- Alt. Name
- Release Date
- Winter 2013
- No. of Episodes
- Doga Kobo
- Light Novel
GJ Club is a 2013 Slice of Life Comedy anime series from longtime Japanese animation studio Dogo Kopa. While many of their creations are fan favorites within their respected genres, not everything they have created is worth watching. Though when it comes to the entire winter season of 2013, many people thought the season was rather abysmal and lacking in many ways. This leaves much room for potential hidden gems within the season; could this be one of them? Don’t judge an anime series based on its promo poster, but when it gives the expectation of a stereotypical harem, the best advice is not to get one’s hope too high, but then again, who knows.
School clubs usually advertise their activities, but the GJ Club’s goings are a mystery. Kyouya “Kyoro” Shinomiya recently joined and became the sole male member of the five-person club. While school can be undoubtedly a boring place, all that changes the moment the members cross through the doorway of the club room. Whenever anyone outside looking in may think this is a dull club, the shenanigans during their activities are boring.
Besides Kyoro, there is the kind meat-loving Kirara, calm Megumi, game prodigy Shion and of course the pint-sized firecracker Mao. She always manages to have a good time while navigating the day-to-day life, whether they’re preparing for the cultural festival, playing doctor, fixing the TV signals by becoming a human antenna, or simply getting to know each other better! When nothing is ever guaranteed within this club, the only thing one person can count on when participating in the activities is that there are never two days that are the same.
Considering that the entire series is based within the four walls of the club room, one may find these premises instead boring; however, the simplicity is what makes the story special. Having a simple yet entertaining concept is rather hard to do in any modern era series, regardless of if it is anime or not. The story is very episodic and easy to follow, an excellent way to view any series of this caliber. That reason is mainly that one can watch each episode or have it on while doing something as missing an episode or two won’t hurt the viewer’s enjoyment by any means.
Another positive within this anime’s story is that they quickly took a six-episode series that would probably do just as well within a twelve-minute episode timeframe and made it into a whole-length series without losing any of its charms. This may seem relatively easy to overlook, but think of all the short episode anime series that went over twelve episodes and continued the same routine and gags; they quickly got boring most of the time. Outside of those two significant positives, the viewer will enjoy the ability to follow the beat of the series without much effort, especially the characters within each episode.
However, every series and movie must have some aspects that go against itself, as nothing is ever perfect in this life. One of the biggest complaints this series can have for any potential viewer is that if the person watching GJ Club does not enjoy watching cute girls doing cute things, this might not be a show for them. While not all female characters are any part of the MOE demographic, they have endearing personalities, which may turn off for some interested in a meatier series.
Another negative that some viewers may find about the series is that there is no story within the story. One can quickly summarize this series in bullet points, so much that the episodes are divided into multiple segments. Having a story that is not a story isn’t good writing, but for those who could care less of that, this point is mute; it is just a fair and accurate assessment viewers must know before watching. The last issue of criticism within the story the viewer must know is that on the outside, it looks like it’s a potential rom-com type anime series, and it’s not but what it does have is a hefty Slice of Life genre, almost a bit too heavy on the genre. If the viewer is not interested or willing to give it a shot, this may not be a good starting point for them to dip one’s toes into the genre.
Please don’t underestimate the power of a Slice of Life genre anime series when it comes to art, and it has genuine power. While the story was lacking within the Good Job Club, the artwork is more pleasing, though not by much. The background colors and designs are realistic and stunning, almost too good for a simple club room type series. However, the artists and team behind the series worked extremely hard on the color tones and what pairs well with the background, and it shows within each episode. The warm and bright colors and the bright uniforms mixed with the characters’ different personalities showcase the designs and artwork. Is this perfect? Absolutely not, and that’s fine; it does not need to because they focus more on the experience than the result.
While the viewer will surely enjoy the characters’ designs and the events that involve each of them, they will indeed witness the cut corners of the art and its production. Whenever there is an “action” scene like Mao biting Kyouya, they zoom out, which means they need minor detail within the scene. Another area to cut corners that were easily seen was that the series used the Chibi animation style a bit too much, which is fine if they do something with it, and they didn’t. If the viewer watches this series again, when the show cuts to the Chibi, watch the background members, they talk but don’t move. Alongside this negative, the best way to describe the animation style when they switch artistic styles is Flash, which is a potential huge red flag for any self-respected anime series.
When one talks about the characters within the GJ Club series, it is somewhat hard to do so without overhyping them. Kyouya Shinomiya, nicknamed “Kyoro,” is the main protagonist and the sole male member of the GJ Club. While he joined the club after being kidnapped by the other members, he does not regret the decision at all. He is a kind and courteous person who is the usual target of the other girls’ teasing, frustration, and even their affection. Despite being less courageous when compared to other males, he has an innate ability with his dealings with the opposite sex, like making their hearts skip a beat when he temporarily assumes a more manly and less formal kind of speech or when he carefully brushes their hair.
Mao Amatsuka is the older sister of Megumi and the club’s president. She is relatively short and has bright orange hair with brown eyes. She has the habit of biting and picking on Kyoya when she is experiencing the emotions of boredom, anger, or even bashfulness. She can’t stand public displays of affection like kissing, to the point of carefully choosing shows and books that don’t have those types of scenes within them.
Megumi Amatsuka, who goes by the nickname “Megu,” is the middle sister of the Amatsuka family. She is best described as the mother figure within the club as she is the one who is the most caring towards anyone who needs a listening ear. She is a lovely girl and always makes tea inside the club room. Though she is often seen with a calm demeanor even when everyone else is scared, she is very self-conscious about her weight.
Shion Sumeragi, who goes by the nickname “Shi,” is recognized as a genius chess player and has many brothers. In comparison, all of her brothers are recognized as experts in some activity, whether cooking or even in the automotive industry. She spends most of her time separated from the group playing chess. As she is the sole daughter within her family, she likes to dote on younger girls and even act like an older sister to them.
Kirara Bernstein is the tallest and strongest member of the club. She has blue eyes and blonde hair shaped into cat ears. She can talk to cats and has a massive fear of spiders. She is almost always seen eating the meat of some sort and tends to be very possessive of it, to the point of blurring the lines of being human and animal. She never shares any of her meat with anyone but will share anything she is eating with Kyoya.
During the entire twelve-episode anime series, the viewer will witness the good and bad things of this anime. However, viewers will most likely see the better parts of GJ Club at the end of the day – though not by much. This simple plot point-type story works exceptionally well within the confines of the show. Though this might not be for everyone, it is a great starting point for anyone who is not into anything action and adventure. Don’t underestimate the simple things in life, and that’s what this anime showcases, which is what makes this anime series better than one may expect.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.