Grand Blue | Water is great.
Grand Blue’s storytelling mainly chronicles the daily life adventures of Iori although plenty of other characters are featured aside him. The main cast consists of diving club, also known as the “Peek-a-Boo”. He meets others including his cousin Chisa, Nanaka, Kouhei, Azusa, Toshio, and Kotobuki. Among this group, the male cast seems more like they are in love with drinking more than diving. The first episode immediately sets off the humor with the nakedness and adult jokes from the very start as we meet the core members. That is to say, Iori himself also lacks common sense when he attends his first day at college while being half naked. Judging from just this impression, it should be easy to recognize that the show love to make fun of its characters. It uses stereotypes that makes fun of college life such as young adults drinking and partying. Then, there’s meta-humor that plays on jokes with the nudity. It’s also self-aware being that it never attempts to disguise its humor. Certain characters are very aware of their actions regardless of consequences and this often sets off the wrath of others such as Chisa.
For the main female cast, it consists of a colorful group with a diverse range of personalities. The most level-headed person in the show is Chisa who takes many things in life seriously. She also loves diving and geniuely enjoys the feelings of being in the azure ocean. She’s like the anti-Peek-a-boo member in the show as she can’t tolerate being embarrassed. Because of this, there’s often a clash between her and Iori as the two gets into compromising positions. The end result is often Iori taking the blow and Chisa face palming herself. However, it’s also noticeable that she does care about Iori especially during brief flashbacks before them. Often times, I guess you could say that she misses her childhood with him and reliving those moments brings a peace in her mind. Then, we have Nanaka who seems to play the role of an older sister type for the main cast although at the same time, she also has an unhealthy infatuation towards Chisa. It’s the type of humor that makes fun of siblings but in a sarcastic way. Azusa is the senior student who behaves much more like the guys in the show. Her bisexuality is hinted at many times and often makes sexual jokes at others, especially Iori. Last but not least is Aina, a freshman who is much shyer compared to the others. She does go by another persona early in the series so watching her sometimes may remind you just how different her two personalities are.
Between the guys, a main selling point in the show is the character chemistry. Regardless whether you like it or not, there’s an abundance amount of humor when the guys interact with each other and it often comes off as absurd humor. The most prominent is between Iori and Kouhei. They are often observant but says things that may be interpreted in the wrong way. They often get into trouble with the women in the show too given their actions that disregards common sense. The two also gets into many bickering moments. Early in the series, the series also makes fun of the guys with porn jokes. And let’s not forget about the drinking. Pretty every male character in the series loves to drink whether it’s alcohol, beer, vodka, wine, or whiskey. As you may expect from action that results in consequences, the guys behave like drunks while stripping naked and causing questionable scenes. The series pokes fun at this type of adult humor by covering their private body parts with black censored circles. It’s the type of self-aware humor that you’ll witness quite often.
So now what? Is this series just a giant ball of meaningless humor? Or is it something more deceptive that people misunderstands? To me, Grand Blue stands out as a show that deals with adult gimmicks and stereotypes but makes it into a humorous flick. It seems like a popcorn entertainment and you’re not wrong if it feels like the story went nowhere in the end. However, the shows knows how it operates and inserts every joke with a clear intention. The guys in the series acts bold and behaves in ways that wild college students do. The girls are slightly mild but it doesn’t detract them from getting into the party on occasions. There’s a lot of running gags with the drinking jokes, nakedness, and misunderstandings. It’s what the series uses to sell its humor. If you’re in it for actual diving, there are some moments too with info dumps. Don’t expect this like a relaxing slice of life as it’s far too hyperactive to be considered as such though. Watch this for the pure entertainment and forget common logic. That way, you’ll grow to love Grand Blue.
Zero-G has honestly been an unimpressive studio. Their lineup consists of shows that I hardly see anyone talks about these days (Battery, Dorei-kun the Animation, Dive!!). Their production quality is hardly stellar either. Thankfully, they managed to step up to the plate and capture the magic for this show. It deserved a glorious quality and got treated such way with the beach setting, aquatic ocean, and sunny atmosphere. Character designs also feels real with the cast looking like they are college students. Fan service is literally in every episode but they take the extreme during party scenes and drinking segments. Finally, I love the way characters reacts that pushes the envelope to the extreme. Iori and Kouhei are prime examples of this while others such as Chisa and Nanaka also have their own moments. Expressions of shock, anger, and confusion is shown right to your face in ridiculous ways. Thanks to the talented voice cast, it brings the best out of those moments. The OP song also adapts a playful feel to showcase the themes of the show. The ED theme song makes fun of pop culture such as karaoke that’s so fun to sing along with.
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