Sports anime isn’t exactly my territory, but top it off with some perceptivity plus adult humour and I’m game. During this 12 episode series (Grand Blue), we get a taste of college life and the au naturel manly men that’ll probably make you envy their abs. Of course, censorship will soften the blow from the potential vision loss that some of you may receive. So, there’s nothing preventing the straight male population from joining the excitement.
I was absolutely blown away by the casual use of male nudity because it’s not exactly the norm for this genre. Originally a manga series, this anime intends to connect with its audience through awkward butts, yet relatable dialogue. Words like misunderstanding and misfortune equally describe this anime’s initial comedic presence, as the gags come one after the other.
Its carefully coordinated scene progression coupled with the characters’ dramatic facial expressions form the glue that bonds its humour to unforgettable moments. The story begins with Iori Kitahara eagerly awaiting his freshman year at university. He moves to his uncle’s scuba diving shop where family and familiar faces reunite. Like many new college students, his purest intentions are put on hold as he is dragged into the diving club’s reckless activities.
In this male dominated club, they go to extreme lengths to ensure that their single lives are collectively eventful. By that I mean cockblocking eachother because misery loves company, unhealthy obsessions with drinking parties, diving below the deep blue sea and of course, random streaking. Keep in mind, there’s usually that one girl among the group of guys that just fits right in and she’s here to stay.
Jokes aside, who said anime can’t teach you a thing or two? You get the opportunity to learn all about the art of diving and the wonders of the ocean. It’s a fun learning experience that may enchant viewers and inspire them to try new things. I for one have certainly gained a positive perspective on this particular subject. No longer am I adversed to dipping my pinky toe into the easiest way to die. On a serious note, I’m actually tempted to take the plunge purely out of curiosity. Then again, curiosity killed the cat. Guess I’ll have to revisit this at a later date in my decision making process. I digress.
To say nothing of the life lessons learnt would be an insult to this gem of a series. It teaches you about the importance of being thoughtful towards others, their hobbies and creating an interpersonal connection with loved ones by understanding who they truly are. Furthermore, you learn that the positive results of overcoming your fears are magical experiences waiting to happen. Over and above that, being anything but yourself is a disservice to the natural order of things.
Regarding the animation, each pencil stroke displays significance as the animators make a clear effort to represent every purposeful shape of the character design. This anime deals with guys who like hot girls, but they don’t quite focus on the sexualization of the female body. While there is detail to it, the girls are tastefully clad unlike the guys.
The underwater scenery is a sight for sore eyes. It’s beautiful the way the colors pop and its overall presentation is particularly welcoming. Look at it; an underwater wonderland where you may wish to breathe freely, but you can’t. Did I tell you they made reference to Evangelion? I’m not certain about the motive behind that, but whatever it was, I’m happy.
There isn’t a second thought in my mind about the values shared in this series. It’s amazing how one anime could add insight to someone’s life, if done the right way. They did an amazing job with the storyboard, animation and character design though I’m indifferent about the soundtracks. Even the naked guys positively contributed to the show’s value. All in all, I’d give this anime a pretty good rating and a round of applause because I’d rewatch it in a heartbeat.
Grand Blue anime episodes can be found on Amazon Prime Video while the manga is available on Crunchyroll Manga.
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