If there is one thing I truly regret ignoring on the summer 2018 anime list, it was probably Grand Blue. I didn’t even give a chance to take a single glance at its first episode and was only eyeing on more popular titles such as the second cour of My Hero Academia Season 3, Cells at Work (though I dropped it halfway) and FLCL Progressive. Also, I found Chio’s School Road to be pretty entertaining with relatable humors and could have been potentially one of the best comedy shows if it wasn’t that underrated. Grand Blue, which I thought to have some kind of Free vibes due to the fact it illustrates topless seaside guys with all the prominent ab muscles, gave me some fear it would end up a total fanservice. I was not right and surprisingly found myself laughing all the way.
The main guy is named Iori who has wanted to experience the most enjoyable college life, and everything turns out to be quite different as he ends up joining the diving club, but it’s not only about living in the underwater world for the rest of his life as he mostly experiences the fun around bizarre people who help him reach the pinnacle of youth. The story is basically a life approach to early adulthood that is realistic, random with an adequate amount of hilarity that will make you laugh and crazy. I got the same feeling when I was watching Chio’s School Road as they both have the power to make every single episode funny and friendly to approach.
What stands out in the anime is how it effortlessly delivers a straightforward script of every character. It is well-executed and doesn’t need to try its best to get its unique sense of humor. Despite it gives some random and nonsensical things, it maintains a lively ambiance that is easy to approach, and the simplicity is all that makes everything at its finest level. All that considered, everything seems to be fairly fine especially when it comes to the chaotic tandem of Iori and Kohei.
The comical aspect is notably shown in the entire series. There are some ecchi moments, sexual matters, censored nudity and superficial fanservice, but the series doesn’t let the story flow that explicit way. It simply portrays the reality of people enjoying their lives to the most possible ways while relieving their stress from college life. It shows typical scenarios of young adults living independently away from home, getting new set of friends, going out and partying late night, making fun and teasing one another and getting attracted to opposite sex. These are just a small part of entering to the adulthood stage of life, and it’s the most genuine way to show how it really is.
Though it is primarily related to diving, I don’t think it dominantly shows that much of the elements. There are some terminologies mentioned, underwater sign languages taught to the amateur Iori, and it’s nice to get a little knowledge about it. However, to the most part of the anime, it does not show the highlights of its sport sensibilities. Though I was expecting a lot about the underwater world of diving, none of those things matter to me. What eventually caught my attention is rather how every humor plays out. I almost forgot this was initially about diving, and all I did was to laugh at any superficial hilarity of each character. After all, Grand Blue is a comedy anime. The humor is not actually at its peak, but it is simply fun to watch.
Furthermore, though there is a little involvement of romance, I didn’t actually root for its development. I knew it wouldn’t focus the way it would likely happen, and I wasn’t surprised that any of the guys such as Iori didn’t end up a serious romantic relationship. There were also sentiments but it didn’t resonate with me as they were actually boring and forgettable. The hilarity of the entire show is already fine and can stand alone without any blend of romantic drama.
Iori is a plain guy, but I like the way he shows his genuine character. He makes up the majority of the entertainment and is absolutely the best spice to make everything good for the viewers who would want to savor a perfect stress relief. I thought he was just like a harem protagonist with predictable whereabouts and all ecchi things around him, but gladly ends up the best comical protagonist throughout the season. He might project some typical reaction when dealing with sexual matters, but he’s rather fleshed out and doesn’t make unrealistic disposition. He makes up the overall impact of the series with his strong sense of humor and realistic views around him.
Other supporting characters such as Kohei is just as hilarious as Iori. He is an interesting character as being an Otaku, and his anime delusions are actually relatable. I like his perfect bonding with Iori, and I think he wouldn’t be an accurate comical personality without the existence of Iori. They make a good friendship, and everything that you could feel to both of them is very refreshing. They become terribly funny when making those distorted faces, and it’s just typical as it seems as watching notable comical shows such as Gintama. The impact of Grand Blue‘s character tropes is something cliche, but to my surprise, it made me feel so caught up in the entire amusement of its underdeveloped plot.
Grand Blue is your comedy of choice if you’re looking for something that is approachable and more mature. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone who is enthusiastic in underwater diving or any related would be disappointed as it isn’t the mainstay at all. The anime is simply good as a stress relief and will not make you feel blue. I wouldn’t say it is the best comedy anime I have watched, but at least it is a good series that will brighten up your day.