This Art Club Has A Problem! – Review (Spoiler Free)

One of these days, I’ll never have to write “This Art Club Has A Problem!” in a post title ever again. Unfortunately the time is not yet, so until then my blog will remain a This Art Club Has A Problem! / Konobi tribute. Many people have already come across this blog looking for details on specific episodes of Konobi, only to get a themes list or some nonsense theme post. In the end, traffic is traffic, so I’ll take it.

While there are a few more Konobi posts to go, I will sum up my final thoughts on the anime here. Thanks to the Collab, and the variety of posts we’ve all created for it, I feel like I’ve been exposed to Konobi far more than most anime I’ve watched. I sort of feel like a Konobi expert as a result.

So how did Konobi do?

konobi treasure

As A Comedy

First and foremost, Konobi is a comedy anime. A mix of situation-based and character-based jokes, it manages to garner some laughs here and there. Of the 12 episodes, I’d consider 6 funny overall. The rest I’d consider relaxed slice of life – worthy of a chuckle here and there but not explicitly comedy worthy.

The biggest issue Konobi had was that it was too restrictive in the jokes used. The first episode is actually a great indicator of what to expect throughout the rest of the anime. What you see is what you get: Usami acting tsundere towards Subaru, and Subaru acting unaware of Usami’s feelings while obsessing over 2D girls. While this may be an exaggeration, I felt as if close to half of the jokes in the anime were this exact setup. I may have laughed the first few times, but after 12 episodes of this, I wasn’t laughing by the end.

The anime introduced many other characters, each with their own quirks, but for some reason Konobi was dead set on making Usami and Subaru the primary focus, much to its detriment. Side characters such as Collette, President, Imari, Tachibana-sensei, Usami’s friends… all felt like a breath of fresh air whenever on screen, because their mere presence meant that the jokes presented had a chance to be something different from the usual Usami / Subaru dynamic.

Character introductions were a problem, or I should say, character integrations. Instead of integrating any new characters into the cast, giving them more time on screen and giving the anime more opportunities for fresh jokes, the anime would give them a couple of episodes of attention before casting them aside as a minor character who only shows up every once in a while.

Collette

Collette is my favourite example of this. When first introduced, Collette was a huge relief to me. A cute and wacky girl who would manage to get herself into the funniest of situations. Collette is such an oddball that you could make an entire anime around her, because you’d never know what to expect. She felt like she didn’t stick to the script where other characters (Usami / Subaru) did. The episodes after Collette was first introduced were in my opinion the best of the entire anime – she really brought life into the anime. Unfortunately, after a few episodes of attention, Collette stopped showing up for episodes at a time, only getting small moments here and there. This meant no more Collette magic tricks, or Collette misunderstandings, or Collette anything, and instead it meant a shift back to the same old Usami / Subaru dynamic.

Collette isn’t the only example either. Plenty of other characters managed to do the same thing, which was introduce fresh jokes and situations into the anime.

It’s a shame, but Konobi was just too interested in it’s original setup of tsundere Usami and 2D obsessed Subaru to take advantage of the great cast it had created. The potential was there, but it went unrealized.

As a comedy, Konobi is mediocre at best.
There are many other comedy anime out there that do a much better job in this area.

As A Story

Konobi is not an action anime, and it’s not a drama anime. But it had an overarching story, simple as it was. Usami has a huge crush on Subaru, who is obssessed with 2D girls. Despite the slice of life format, I’d still like to look at this because many slice of life anime still advance the plot in order to change dynamics / introduce new elements.

That said, Konobi did none of the above. Just like with the comedy, what you see in episode 1 is what you get. Don’t expect any development on any fronts. The introduction of new characters is the only real development in Konobi, and the anime fails to take advantage of these characters. Instead Konobi remains more interested in focusing on Usami & Subaru, despite no tangible development between the two.

As a story, Konobi fails to deliver anything of interest.

collette

As A Slice of Life

I’m a huge fan of slice of life anime, just as I’m a big fan of comedy anime. While not always the case, the two generally go hand in hand. The slice of life format creates a repeatable loop that’s great for setting up jokes, because no matter what happens, the next day everything can start over as if nothing had happened.

So what’s the purpose of a strictly slice of life anime?

I’m no expert, so you may hold a different definition of the genre. My personal belief is that a successful slice of life anime is one that creates a relaxing atmosphere. Something that I can watch that doesn’t wrack my brain, or spook me, or put me on the edge of my seat. An anime where I can enjoy the little things, and feel relaxed knowing that the anime has purposely set a slow pace to story & character development. I don’t have to worry about missing details, or not understanding what’s happening. It’s a relaxed pace that allows me to enjoy the anime even if I’m half asleep.

There are plenty of feel good slice of life anime out there that aren’t heavy on the comedy, but manage to be great slice of life anime. Many mildly entertaining moments can still add up to an overall rewarding experience.

One criticism I have is that I would have liked to see more content related to art, and the art club itself. Despite the title of the anime, there is a distinct lack of actual art beyond a few paintings of apples and 2D girls. It just feels like a waste of potential, as daily creations in the art club could have been enjoyable to watch in a slice of life format.

As a slice of life, Konobi gets a passing grade. While I found myself frustrated at times due to the comedy, or lack of certain characters, Konobi was always enjoyable from a strictly slice of life perspective. While the comedy left a sour taste in my mouth, the overall experience was still nice. You don’t know what’s going to happen, and there are no story cues to hint at what will happen. Each episode was a completely new box to open and explore.

rooftop

As An Anime

Overall, what you get from Konobi is an OK anime. If you watch it with absolutely no expectations, you will walk away with something that was mostly enjoyable. The kind of anime you throw on when there’s nothing else to watch, or when you don’t feel like tackling other anime on your to-watch list. That average anime that does a great job of killing the time – just don’t expect anything more than that.

To put a number on it, I give Konobi a 6.5 / 10.
An average anime that has enough redeeming qualities to still be enjoyable in the end.

I’m going to give Konobi the Needs More Collette award, because an extra dose of Collette throughout the anime would have dramatically improved the comedy.

And that sums up my review of This Art Club Has A Problem! / Konobi!

thumbs up

I decided to try out a different review format, tackling the different individual roles that the anime fills before wrapping it all up. Let me know what you think about it!

Still a few more Konobi posts to come, but I wanted to get my overall thoughts of the anime out of the way first. Still to come: the overall collab posts list, my collab thoughts / lessons learned / ideas, and maybe one other special post.

Until next time,
Thanks for reading! 🙂

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4 thoughts on “This Art Club Has A Problem! – Review (Spoiler Free)

    • Yeah. The way I see it, even though I really disliked Subaru and how little screentime Collette got, the anime still made me laugh enough & the slice of life aspect was relaxed enough that I think its just a bit below average.

      Liked by 1 person

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