Anime K (pt. 1) was quite the treat!
First off, as a disclaimer – my opinions of Kujibiki Unbalance OVA are absolutely influenced by the fact that I watched Genshiken. A quick summary here is that Kujibiki Unbalance, which I will also refer to as Kujiun henceforth, is actually a fictional anime that airs within the Genshiken universe. So while I had not seen Kujiun, I already was aware of several characters from Kujiun.
The OVA of Kujiun is only three episodes – the three episodes that we see clips of in Genshiken. Despite having seen bits and pieces, it turns out I was wrong as to the type of anime Kujiun would be…
A Very Brief Overview
So based on what I had seen from Genshiken, I thought that Kujiun would be a school / drama / comedy anime, which it is. The thing is, I didn’t expect Kujiun to lean as far as it does on comedy – because several of the moments we see from Genshiken are serious & heartfelt moments.
Here is a basic overview of Kujiun for those who couldn’t be bothered to check out a 3 episode OVA:
Chihiro Enomoto is a boy who is very unlucky, with a very unlucky past. He enrolls in Rikkyoin High School as a freshman. Rikkyoin holds a school-wide event in which every single student draws lots (hence kujibiki – “lottery”) and forms teams based on what they draw. Teams then battle each other through various challenges / mini-games throughout the school year. The winning team becomes the next student council.
Chihiro’s team is comprised of the following members:
- Chihiro – indecisive, unlucky
- Tokino – airhead, compulsive
- Komaki – levelheaded, smart
- Izumi – strong fighter, gambler
The title Kujibiki Unbalance is referring to this unbalanced team, who were chosen by lottery.
The last notable point is that Chihiro was actually childhood friends with Ritsuko, the student council president and figurehead of Kujibiki Unbalance. This leads to some special interaction between the two characters.
That about sums it all up.
Seems interesting enough right?
I quite enjoyed this premise, the characters, and all they entail.
The Spirit of Kujiun
The spirit of Kujiun is being over the top. Kujiun is one of those anime that understands that it is in fact, an anime, and throws reality out the window. Crazy and unrealistic situations just occur all of the time in Kujiun, and this is really what makes Kujiun such a fun anime. Anything is possible in Kujiun!
Kujiun also has this very charming art / animation style that I enjoy. Maybe this is just because it’s supposed to be an older style anime, but either way I really like the art style. It all works very well in the wacky world that is presented in Kujiun.
The second episode of the OVA, which is a “recap” episode, gives us a real taste of what the anime would have been like if it was in fact a full length anime. The team battle against foes of all sorts – magic girls, military men, meditation masters, computer nerds, and many more! It’s a large variety of mini-games that provide some good entertainment, all in one episode. I really got the feeling that I had watched much more than I did, because of how much content was packed into this single episode.
And this brings me to the “unbalance” part of Kujibiki Unbalance, because there is one aspect that all of the other teams seem to share: they all have something in common. All of the competitors share a common strength, whether it be swimming, soccer, computers, magical combat, etc.
Chihiro’s team isn’t like this. In comparison to other teams, Chihiro’s team appears to be a ragtag team that is incompatible, or unbalanced. Kujiun is the story of how this unbalanced team managed to compete and win against seemingly stronger teams.
Drama & Romance
Kujiun builds up some romance between Chihiro and two of the female characters: Tokino & Ritsuko.
We get some drama with Ritsuko pushing Chihiro away, despite being childhood friends that haven’t seen each other in several years. But we also see that there is something there between the two.
We also get some drama with Tokino & the team wanting to quit late in the competition. There are several moments between Tokino and Chihiro that could be characterized as romance, I could see something happening between the two.
Now Kujiun OVA is only three episodes, so it’s hard to really get into the drama / romance. All I can say is that these elements add to the potential of this crazy anime that seems to have it all.
I loved the Kujibiki Unbalance OVA. Only three episodes, but I could really appreciate both the potential that the series has and the fun that I experienced in such a short time.
Of course I watched Genshiken before I watched the Kujiun OVA. I can’t guarantee that skipping straight to Kujiun will yield the same level of enjoyment, so keep this in mind for my “rating”.
Personally, I would say that the Kujibiki Unbalance OVA is underrated by quite a bit on MyAnimeList. I actually wonder if people gave it a low rating because it’s only three episodes, not realizing that the reason for this is because of Genshiken. A lot of content is skipped over between the episodes because the OVA is only trying to show us the episodes that we saw clips of in Genchiken, and I can see why someone who doesn’t realize this would be annoyed and give a poor rating as a result.
I’d like to give Kujibiki Unbalance OVA the Iconic Characters award, for having a very fun and iconic cast of characters that develop quickly and hold up well given the time constraint of only 3 episodes.
I think that Kujiun has a lot of charm. It’s a very charming anime. The art, premise, characters, it’s all very charming. I feel like it would make for a good 12+ episode anime…
Is this the case though? Find out in Kujibiki Unbalance (pt. 2) where I write about the Kujibiki Unbalance anime!
Until next time!
Thanks for reading. 🙂