August 1, 2014

I thought they were going to do another season when they announced GJ-Bu was given the green light for another production. And then it turns out, GJ-Bu@ is just a special (it wasn’t even termed as OVA or OAD) that lasts 46 minutes or 2 episodes lump into one, whichever way you want to look at it. After all, what is more to tell when the seniors of the club who happen to be the main characters for the show have graduated? They can always go back in time for some flashbacks but I think it would be too cliché.

New York! New York!
* As usual, the GJ Club members are doing nothing. But wait! Something feels different. Why are there New York skyscrapers suddenly outside their window?! Why the hell are they in the Big Apple?! As explained by Mao, since the club never had any graduating trip, this one is it! Call it their lost time. So Mao and the other graduates of the club just came back just for this? But how the heck did they end up in New York? Did somebody teleport the clubroom here? They say Mori did it. That’s all the explanation you’ll ever get.
* Okay, so why New York? Because like their club, GJ. New York can also be shortened to 2 abbreviations, NY. But Kyolo mentions shouldn’t they pick Los Angeles as in LA? Besides, it would fit their theme of lost time, as in Lost Angeles. Geddit? The girls ignore him…
* Tamaki explains the reason why she wears bells as her hair accessories because she views automatic doors as her enemy. They never open for her. Wearing bells never did too and she thought is she was heavier and stepped on the doormat, the door would. But it never. So she always had to wait for somebody to walk in while she follows the person closely. Same case if she wants to exit.
* Mao gets excited with everything American and tries to Americanized everyone and get them into the American groove. Talking all about American food makes them hungry and it is decided they’ll go for hamburgers. This sets Shion into some hamburger drooling mode. She can’t wait to taste those meat and buns. Mori rides her Harley bike around New York to get those burgers.
* The gang dresses up in so called American outfits. Cowboys, Red Indians… The younger sisters of Kasumi, Jill and Seira too make a stopover.
* When Mori returns, she does the obligatory maid twirl for Kyolo. Ah… Happiness… It comes with a price that has the other girls beat him up.
* Everyone digs into their hamburger. Shion is so excited that she forgot to take the wrapper off as she eats them!
* As for desserts, Mao suggests to do a Halloween event. Is that really a New York culture? It’s not even October… Their plan is to nab all the candies in the city and to do that, they force Kyolo wear some sexy cat outfit. So uninspiring that you can see the dead annoying look in their eyes…
* The girls are happy they got a large haul of candies (I want to eat them!) although Kyolo is the sad one because they didn’t do any sightseeing despite all that.
* Mao notes they can retire in peace and this means Kyolo is now the president of the club.

Grumpy, Grumpy, Gloomy…
* Kyolo stumbles upon Mao at the tea shop. But she ignores him and doesn’t utter a word. What gives? Megumi, Shion and Kirara are closely spying on them.
* Seems Mao and the seniors have graduated. Kyolo wonders if she is still keeping in touch with them. No answer. She calls Shion and is furious she is late. Shion’s handphone rings but the girls go hide in the tree.
* Kyolo still seeks answers to why Mao is avoiding him when Tamaki comes by. She wonders why they still hang out with each other even after graduation. She wants to know and doesn’t want to be left out. This makes Mao mad and blows her top. She tells her this is the last time she’ll ever see her and leaves. Right under Kyolo’s nose, the other girls kidnap Tamaki. Time for change in plans.
* Kyolo gets call from Megumi to meet at the park. There, he sees Mao sulking alone. Trying to be nice didn’t work. She leaves. What’s with the sour face? That is when the other girls show up and say they won’t let her go home tonight.
* GJ Club members are going to have a sleepover at their clubroom. Of course this is illegal as prior permission is needed for this. But Megumi reasons this is Sunday so school rules do not apply. Really? Mao is still sulking in a corner, mentioning graduates cannot come back. The girls talk about nostalgia and the places they usually sit at when they were in the club.
* Kyolo thinks they should tone down a bit or the guard will catch them. This leads them to discuss what might happen if they are caught. They’ll get scolding, be expelled and of course the club will cease to exist. Shion stands up and says doing things by the rules isn’t fun. They’re having fun because they’re breaking the rules (kids, don’t try this anyhow). This is at least what Mao would say. But Mao is still gloomy. Why the heck is she doing this when they are not part of the club anymore?
* Kirara hears the guard passing and they all keep quiet till he passes. Mao starts to cry. She was scared that if they all got caught, the club would have to disband. Kyolo promises the club will never disappear/ because GJ Club lives in their hearts. They are GJ Club. So don’t worry about it. Guess what? Mao bites him!!! Back to normal?
* Mao wants Kyolo to take responsibility for tonight. If they are caught, he must shoulder the blame and die with honour by committing seppuku. Does he need to go that far? She is going to bite him again but the other girls hold her back. They are glad Mao is back to normal since she was depressed lately. This was part of Megumi’s plan that if she met Kyolo, she would think about the GJ Club and be somewhat revitalized. Instead, she was stubborn and won’t talk to him.
* Kyolo says they are free to come here whenever they want. They’ll welcome them with open arms. But Mao reminds that graduates cannot come back. That won’t change. Because from now on, it is they who will be creating a new GJ Club. Even if they are graduates from GJ Club, their bonds are eternal. In that case, Kyolo also encourages them to contact him when not in the clubroom. Keep in touch.
* Mao suggests having fun outside so they get dressed in their school uniform. They run riot throughout the night (where the heck is the guard?) drawing “I-wuz-here” graffiti on the blackboard, running in the hallway, drinking from the vending machine, playing baseball and finally diving into the swimming pool. Who cares, right? Let’s have fun for tonight!

Good-Bye Club?
Well, it was pretty okay especially for those who have watched the TV series, this is just like icing on the cake and a grand farewell to the seniors who would no longer be around. But then again, they can always come by to hang out any time, right? Rules are meant to be broken! There isn’t much to expect from this special since it mostly remains the trademark formula of the series with its type of comedy and interaction between the characters. Even the art style and the calming pace of the story is also as consistent so there is nothing shocking that will jolt you out of your seat. In the end, nothing much really changes because you can still expect them to be what they are as they were back in the TV series. Just that some of them have moved on to another higher institute of learning. Therefore this special may be a bore to some but a pleasure to others especially if you are a big fan of the series. One thing ‘sweet’ about this special is the food. Yum… I would love to get my hands on those American foods and candy bars… Dang, if I was only in that club. So it is all about the bond and special memories that they spend together. Just like in life we have to move on to make new memories and sometimes we think back and cherish on the old sweet ones that we made. Good times may not last forever but as long as you keep it close in your heart, it will never disappear. Always there. Like it was just yesterday.


August 10, 2013

Is this a club where you can get in all the action? You get to wield cool weapons and call yourself cool nicknames and fight against equally awesome bad guys. Ride cool vehicles, use cool gadgets and experience the fiery explosive battles firsthand. This is the club where you can live out your childhood dream of those American action figures, right? Right???!!! No???!!! Heh… When I first saw the title name GJ-Bu, it resembled so close to GI Joe and thought it was some sort of rip off club for that famous American toy franchise. If you think that there is going to be any sort of similarity between that American cartoon and this Japanese series, then you are wrong because both shows are at total opposite ends of the pole. Besides, how can you think of this of an action genre when the characters here look so cute and kawaii?

This series chronicles about a group of club members in Good Job Club or more popularly known as GJ Club. What exactly is this club’s main purpose is the biggest mystery and anyone’s guess. You see, all we see here are the club members bumming around doing their own fun with their own brand of antics. Over the years of the many animes I’ve watched, there must have been a handful of weird clubs and useless clubs that I’ve come across. So for an anime featuring a club that does nothing sounds kind of amusing. Weird. Interesting? That depends very much on the characters as the setting takes place 95% inside the clubroom. You need the characters to drive the series and make it interesting. Let’s see. We’ve got the petite club president, Mao Amatsuka; her younger sister who is like the tea lady of the club, Megumi; the vice president and ‘genius’ Shion Sumeragi; the meat eater and cat-like Kirara Bernstein that sometimes make me think she is the club’s pet mascot; and Kyouya Shinomiya the only male of the club and newest member. By the way, he was ‘kidnapped’ to join this club. Holy cow! Is that some sort of club tradition?

Episode 1
* Mao tries to change the dead bulb but it’s too high. Even if she’s twice her height I don’t think she would reach it. She insists on doing it herself because of the club president role she’s been entrusted with. Whatever. Kyouya eventually helps her by lifting her up but gets kicked in the gut and then bitten. But Mao is agreeable when she sits on his shoulders to change it.
* Kyouya reads a shoujo manga recommended by Megumi. He finds it good but Mao doesn’t like the genre because it has kissing. She prefers shonen manga because it has none (really?) so Kyouya will bring some next time. So he brings a cupboard worth of it and Mao still has her suspicions and wants to confirm with Kyouya that if most of them do not have any kissing scenes. Does a kiss on a forehead count?
* Kyouya notices Shion playing online chess with the American champion and beats him! Seems she once made a promise with him. If he became a world champion, she would agree to play him one day. Because Kyouya doesn’t know how to play, Shion gives him a book to learn. Did he just get played?
* Learning that Shion comes from a family of genius where every family member is one in their own fields, they are anticipating the great lunch she will bring today. However she brought instant noodles and they are appalled that she tries to eat them raw and without putting hot water! Does she lack such common sense for a genius?
* Everyone freaks out when there is a spider on the table. Mao orders Kyouya to dispose of it. Easier said than done. The only one who isn’t afraid is Megumi as she coolly takes it with her hands and lets it free outside.
* Mao tries to reveal Megumi’s true character behind her back to Kyouya. Because of that, he accidentally breaks a tea cup. Mao tries to make him feel guilty that this is her favourite and got it as birthday present from her late grandpa. She succeeds in that and Kyouya would accept any punishment. Since 30 laps or a thousand squats won’t do, Megumi has him say her name repeatedly a hundred times! After finishing, the rest of the other girls would like to have a go too! His mouth must be getting tired…
* Mao and Kyouya see Kirara eating a meat whose shape that we normally see in mangas or video games. They would like to taste it but they’re too shy to ask. Eventually Mao orders Kyouya to do so. Kirara instantly gives it to him. But when Mao snatches it from him, Kirara takes it back to give it to Kyouya. This process continues till Kyouya suggests Mao be someone Kirara likes. Because he must have insulted her how she looks like an elementary school kid due to her petite size, she bites his hand. So how does this meat taste?
* The girls feel like giving Kyouya a nickname. Something that mix and matches his character. Rice? Plain yoghurt? Tasty rice? Megumi suggest Kyolo, a mix of his name and his personality of always looking around. So do we all agree on that? Kyolo, okay?
* Mao shows off her collections that comprises mainly of cicada skins

Episode 2
* Shion seems stumped. It’s not the chess match she is playing but rather the canned coffee she drinks. It tastes different from the one made by her genius barista brother. Kyolo thought it’s a prank and tastes it. Nothing different. This is how canned coffee is supposed to taste. Shion can’t drink it again because it would seem like an indirect kiss.
* Mao is napping when suddenly she sleep talks in alien language. Based on Shion’s observation, it’s like as though she is changing from a bad dream to a good one. To prove her point, she demonstrates by influencing Mao’s dream. Mao’s cringing in her dream… Shortly, it’s that alien voice again before she calms down. Wow… Speechless…
* Megumi instructs Kyolo how to comb Mao’s tangled hair. He has reservations since he needs to touch it with his hands. Mao likes the way he runs his fingers through her hair but realized that Megumi is watching and becomes ‘hostile’ by biting his hand.
* Megumi points out to Kyolo that Shion is reading his novel, which is of romance genre. Later Shion asks him several questions that she couldn’t understand. Especially those that is related to love. Shion is straight to ask what it is like to be in love because she has never fallen in love before. A sign?
* Shion and Megumi play Twister. Megumi seems to be in a tough position. In a pinch. I wonder how long she can hold out since every inch of her body is twitching. Shion is just cool and is about to do her winning pose on the next move till she realizes how embarrassing it is and gives up, handing the victory to Megumi.
* The girls note Kyolo is a nice guy because he doesn’t get mad when Mao bites him or Shion teases him a lot. Even Kirara seems to be intrigued with him (because he gives her meat). Megumi says she likes it when he’s around because she can brew him tea. But Kyolo has brewed his first tea for them. How does it taste? Terrible! See them vomit back into the cup!
* Mao challenges Kyolo to arm wrestling. Seriously, Mao is so weak that Kyolo didn’t even know that the match has started! Is she even trying?! Without any effort, he easily wins! Pathetic… Next is Shion. Same thing. Weak. Are these girls that feeble? Then he is up against Mao-Megumi combo. May be unfair but at least this one proves to be a little challenging. Kyolo for the first time needs to exert some strength to win this match. Finally it’s their trump card Kirara. Think it will be the same? As soon as the match starts, Kirara’s immense strength not only catches Kyolo off guard but his body is even flung away! He never knew what hit him and even got knocked out with that silly smirk on his face! Maybe it’s thanks to eating all that meat…
* Kirara has eaten the whisky bomb chocolates so she is harassing Megumi by licking all over her. Perhaps even kissing her! Nobody can do anything. After that she pounces on Mao before setting Shion as her target. Total wipe out! Kyolo is the final victim but she fell asleep on his lap. The embarrassed girls want Kyolo to forget this ever happened and such food is banned from the club.

Episode 3
* Mao forces Kyolo to say something interesting. And she’s counting down… Kyolo is taken by surprise though each word he spews seems to be contributing to Mao’s annoyance. In the end, since nothing interesting was said, Mao bites him.
* Mao decides to officially make Kyolo a club member. What was he all the while?! A test member? Well, he never submitted his membership application. Mao gives him a badge and behind there is a button that makes a meow sound. When Megumi points out there is 1% chance it will play a different sound, everyone starts pressing it till Mao’s button ends up with a screaming sound!
* Kyolo praises Shion a genius when she wins another chess match but as pointed out by Mao she doesn’t like to be called that although Shion doesn’t mind. She considers them all her normal friends. Noting about Kyolo’s politeness towards her, Shion says it is because of the misconception of their grade difference.
* It’s so hot in the clubroom. Only Shion is not feeling the heat. Her body has low temperature as she touches Kyolo’s face to prove a point. He likes it… Noticing his stiff shoulders, she massages for him. Then she realizes how close they are and gets embarrassed. Now she’s heating up, eh?
* Talking about Prince Charming, Shion puts it that each girl has their different versions and whether or not true depends on the girl. What about Kirara? Meat Charming?
* Mao ponders if guys believe they are attractive anytime and anywhere. So she starts saying nice things to Kyolo and even hints that she likes him. This causes him to fluster till he realizes he has been tricked. Mao just proved her theory…
* Mao brings up that question again so Kyolo he plays it cool this time. Because he is modest and humble, they think he should be proud of it. As reward, Megumi massages his shoulders and Kirara licks him. Mao joins in the fun while Shion makes it a fivesome. Kyolo thinks this is what it feels like to be loved by many girls. Then he realizes it’s a trick by Mao for that attractive question…
* This causes Kyolo to become depressed sitting alone in the corner. The girls apologize but can he believe them anymore? No answer. This causes Mao to become upset because it’s not like him to become mad. Kyolo gets up from his position and clears himself that he was just sulking and not angry. Mao needs some time to recompose herself. Maybe much longer because she has used the entire box of tissues and it’s still not enough.
* Kyolo sees Kirara talking to a stray cat. Cat language? However he notes she may be good in that instead of Japanese since she is having a tough time stringing her sentence together to explain it to him.
* Mao has Kirara help her bring an old TV to the clubroom since some old guy didn’t want it anymore. At first nothing seems to come up on screen till Mao realizes they cannot move from their weird positions if they want to receive the picture well. Nobody moves! Even if you look silly in that embarrassing pose. Because Kirara wants to watch this baseball match and is a big baseball fan, looks like they won’t be moving until the match ends. How long is a baseball match? 2 hours… That is if they don’t have extra innings…

Episode 4
* Kirara and Kyolo are having a mock marriage. With Mao as the priest, she gives permission for Kirara to carry Kyolo! Apparently this is what the club will be doing for cultural festival: A wedding service.
* The sound of a familiar truck passes by. Mao orders Kirara to get them and she jumps out the window! It’s the second floor, you know. She has bought the baked sweet potatoes that they all love. Then they’re down to the last one. Who is going to eat it? Shion wins since she used the probability of rock-scissors-paper to deduce her victory.
* The gang discuss on how much they can earn for the festival and decide to aim to amass club tickets. Megumi has made a lot of hand knit sweaters but Shion seems interested to sell a new type of cup noodles. Isn’t that just ordinary instant noodles? Never seen one in her life, eh?
* Kyolo is stunned when he sees Megumi dressed as a maid and serving him like one. She borrowed this from Shion since her class did a maid cafe last year. Since Kyolo hints he wants to see Shion in one (and being roundabout about it), Shion tells him to wait for tomorrow. So how beautiful will Shion be in a maid outfit? Actually, she dresses up as a butler! That was her role last year? Disappointed? Mao is a bad girl because she teased Kyolo that she should have measured how long his devastation lasted! Unforgivable! You just broke the heart of a guy who loves maids!
* Mao then dresses up in a hamster outfit. Did Kyolo request her to do it? Just say yes. Seems her class is doing a costume cafe whereby they dress up in animal outfits and eat biscuits like animals to entertain customers. When Mao suggests they get a hamster and Kyolo dismisses they should since they have a ‘big one’ here, Mao gets embarrassed and bites him.
* Mori, the maid of Mao and Megumi comes to the club to give them some tools they forgot for the festival. Wow. Kyolo is amazed. A real maid! He requests her to spin around and she did so. That guy is so happy! Suddenly the girls kick him from the back! He tries to explain that request being a guy’s dream. So which means he can die happy now? Mao is happy to oblige that. Mori amused that Kyolo is the guy the sisters describe him. After she leaves, he is still in awe. I mean, a real maid, right? They tell him to keep his pants on since tomorrow there’ll be lots of maids walking around in the festival. But a real maid…
* At the end of the festival, it seems their wedding service was a hit. Kyolo notes during the dance with each of the girls, he felt how different their hands were. Happy Kirara takes him to dance again but his comments that she is sweaty has her go on the defensive. The rest think he is some wolf in sheep’s clothing because that statement was like sexual harassment.
* Kyolo can’t hold it in anymore and has to excuse himself to toilet. Why? Because he had refills after refills of Megumi’s different teas… Shion kept count the number of cups and types of tea he drank? And Megumi wonders if he still wants another refill…

Episode 5
* Mao suspects something is wrong with Kyolo since he has been staring at Shion. Turns out that her hair is a little frayed. At first Megumi is brushing her hair but after pinpointing Kyolo as a natural, he takes over her. How does it feel? Shion suggests Megumi should get her hair brushed by him too.
* Mao wonders if guys speak in a rowdy manner. But why doesn’t Kyolo? Since he has no reason to do so, they want him to speak rowdy. He has no reason, right? Besides, they think it will be interesting. So Kyolo changes his tone little by little and the girls are excited! They’re squealing in ecstasy the manliness he is. I guess they haven’t seen a real rowdy one, haven’t they?
* Kyolo sees Mao knitting a big Christmas sock. He is about to reveal that Santa is fake but Shion and Megumi try to hint to him to stay quiet. Since he didn’t quite get it, they throw a shoe at him. They tell him Mao really believes in Santa and doesn’t want him to shatter her dream. Mao falls asleep after knitting it so the rest wants Kyolo to carry her to bed. It’s a man’s duty. How does it feel to carry her like a princess?
* Shion joins Kyolo in the kotatsu as the latter notes how she has changed because in the past she was more aloof. She thinks maybe his cognizance has changed. Since Kyolo mentions about her weakness, she hopes he could be more specific. Then the other girls come in and join them. Kyolo can’t stretch his legs since the girls are having some sort of ‘leg war’ underneath and all over the place. Megumi is last to arrive so how can 5 people share a kotatsu with only 4 corners? Kyolo and Megumi become too polite to give way to each other that it annoys Mao. She will not have one to be left out and starts thinking. In the end, Mao sits on Kyolo’s lap. She’s the lightest, right? This will be their positions whenever they want to use the kotatsu.
* Kyolo is acting strange and Mao notices it. Everyone makes a guess but they’re way off. Till he reacts when Megumi mentions about cakes. What special day is today that involves cakes? Mmm… Think harder. Kyolo is saddened that he won’t get any this year except from mom and sister again. Yeah, so it’s Valentine’s Day. The day girls give the guys they love chocolates and confess their love. It has nothing to do with them and they shrug it off! Kyolo is so sad that he is about to cry! Sorry boy, but Shion says they have agreed not to give him chocolates since they thought they must confess to him.
* Kyolo seems to be sulking on their stupid agreement but all is not lost when Mao says they did make one for him. Mori enters and gives hers to him. Wow. From a real maid! He can die happy now. He will definitely return the favour on White Day and asserts he won’t give candies to those who didn’t give him chocolates. Mao views it as discrimination and bites his thigh!!! How does it taste? I bet chocolates are sweeter.

Episode 6
* Mao is bored because Kyolo is not around. Megumi is pushing the panic button since nobody will drink her tea! Mao will drink on Kyolo’s behalf. Seems Kyolo is out doing an errand with his little sister. Speaking of sisters, Kirara notes she has one too. She is Geraldine or Jill for short and is currently making her way from Canada to visit her. Shion loves the thought of having one since she is the only girl in the family. Mao interjects that real little sisters can be scary because they will grow old! Just like how their younger sister, Seira is a millimetre taller than Mao now.
* Once Kyolo is done, Mao forces him to go out with her. Although it is her treat, she acts like a little sister at the restaurant. This is so she can order the Kids Lunch. Well, why not get Megumi or Shion to accompany her? It’s embarrassing says she? So it’s not embarrassing with Kyolo? Because Kyolo is Kyolo. Is that an insult? As for why she likes the Kids Lunch, it hit a nerve so she rants about how sacred this lunch is. Whatever. Then she chows everything down like a monster. Not so little sister-like, eh?
* Since Kyolo has his reservations holding Mao’s hand like a little sister, she argues if he has a problem with it since there are no laws that prevents so and so about little sisters. Then she starts acting like a cute little sister and wants to hug him. Who knows, Kyolo’s real sister, Kasumi sees this and is devastated! What kind of play is this?! Of course she calms down after learning the truth. Well, half truth. Seems Mao wants Kyolo to tell her she is his friend’s little sister. Nobody would believe her height, eh? Kyolo almost let it slip that she is the same grade as him but Kasumi thought she is in fourth grade or something.
* Kyolo bumps into a blonde girl with fairy-like hair (Jill). Seeing she is having trouble with the train ticket counter, he helps her out. Jill then meets up with Kirara. She happily explains how she met a Japanese samurai.
* Kasumi loves hanging out in Kyolo’s room. While admiring Mao’s hair, Kyolo mentions the pain to maintain it. This causes Kasumi to ask if he has brushed her hair. Oops. Kasumi wants him to brush hers. Jealous? Then she makes it his job to brush her hair after she takes a bath.
* Kyolo visits Mao’s home to give candies to Mori for White Day. Mao wants her portion but he isn’t giving any since she did not give him chocolates then. They go through the photo album and see a picture of toddler Mao being carried by Mori. Hey, she looks the same. She never aged! But Mori points out that is her mom who fills her in on weekends. WHAT?! Her mom looks so young and like her exact twin?! Not even the sisters knew about it!!!
* Kyolo is introduced to Seira and he thought he heard some wicked voice scorning him. Must be hearing things. Of course it is obvious that voice seems to come from Seira as Kyolo becomes confused. Mao also can hear that voice. Whether it is ventriloquism or some paranormal activity, she wants Kyolo to keep quiet about it since Megumi can’t hear them.
* Kyolo couldn’t find the manga he wants to rid. Kasumi says she has hid it away because it contains ecchi material. She will return it to him once he becomes a proper brother. It’s her duty to ensure he grows up properly. What now? She’s her mother? But she left a questionable one behind for him to read. Why? Because the heroine is a little sister. She wants him to read it 5 times! I know what she wants to turn him into…

Episode 7
* The new club member, Tamaki Kannadzuki takes a photo of Kyolo sleeping. He hopes she could erase this embarrassing photo that is in demand by the other girls. Only a more embarrassing photo will erase that one. Tamaki then demonstrates how she can hide her camera like a magic trick. Now you see, now you don’t. Like a true magician, it pops up in Megumi’s pocket.
* Tamaki seems to be making this club like her home and conversing casually with her seniors instead of being polite. By the way, she was also ‘kidnapped’ like Kyolo’s case before she joined. Club traditions really die hard. Tamaki demands for her cakes, the reason she joined the club because she was promised that but Megumi had woke up late and no time to do so. She threatens to leave the club if there are none so Mao tells Kyolo to go into that mode. Kyolo acts and speaks like a tough guy (including a badass posing) to put Tamaki in her place. I guess he did well to last this long so it is obvious to see him running out of steam at the end.
* Their snack expenses are increasing ever since Tamaki joined. Yeah, she’s eating nonstop. They try to warn her about fats and calories but it only affects Megumi. The last blow came when Tamaki says that she doesn’t get fat no matter how much she eats. So Megumi treats her to a large serving of cake and ice cream to see if she can stay slim. She gladly eats them… Backfired…
* Mao is light enough to do Thai massage on Kyolo by stepping on his back. Megumi wants to give a try too but she feels more like an ‘elephant’… Sorry. Kyolo’s backbone nearly broke there…
* Kyolo goes to ask Kirara since the meat lover is eating vegetables. Mao and Shion are shocked that he really went to ask her because everyone has been trying to avoid this. Seems Jill got mad she only ate meat and wanted her to eat her vegetables properly. Kirara then offers her big bowl of vegetables to him. Now you know why they don’t ask… Eat your greens!
* Mao decides to have Megumi undergo her grooming punishment. That is, she must let Kyolo brush her hair. Megumi falls into ecstasy when Kyolo weaves his magical fingers. Mao and Shion watch in glee her reaction. I guess everyone seems satisfied.
* When Mao decides to put away the kotatsu, everyone decides to use it for one last time. When Tamaki mocks Mao about her presidency, the latter starts to bite her. But Tamaki won’t take it lying down and also bites back!
* But with Tamaki in the picture, how will their sitting arrangement be like? Since Tamaki is second smallest after Mao, this means she has to sit on somebody’s lap, right? The other girls signal their intention for her to sit on theirs but in the end, it is Shion who got the honours. Is this what it feels to have a little sister? Mao teases Tamaki’s ‘chair’ can only pat her hair unlike hers who can also groom. Tamaki may be regretting it since Shion starts brushing her hair.

Episode 8
* Mao becomes embarrassed when she learns Kyolo has given her a nickname: Maa-chan. Actually, it came from Kasumi. I mean, she gave him that Kyolo nickname, right? She tries to justify his nickname fits him and this leads to her accidentally revealing details of events on that day to the other girls. Though the other girls are fond of little sisters but not Tamaki who views them as annoying. She has got to share her snacks… Kyolo gets bitten when he really thinks Maa-chan fits her.
* So Kasumi is coming to visit to check up on his club. Who wouldn’t be concerned after the bite he got? Kasumi introduces herself and first thing Kirara did was to hug and smell her. Mao dresses up and acts like a little sister. Looks like she has no intention of correcting this misunderstanding. But Kasumi feels odd. Why does Kyolo call her the club president? She likes to be called that. What is an elementary kid doing at high school? To be tutored. Do they teach such hard stuffs in maths these days? Erm… As Kasumi gives it a try, Mao and Kyolo explain to the rest and hope they can play along with this little sister act. Kasumi solves the maths since she is good at it so when Kyolo wonders if Mao can do the same, she bites him! Kasumi also joins in the biting! Double pain! Mao even coaches her how to put all her heart and soul into the bite!
* It is so darn hot and everybody is like a living zombie and yet why doesn’t Mao want to on the fan? To save energy?! Come on… Eventually she can’t stand it and has Kyolo fan her. It doesn’t look like she is going to switch places… But as reward, she’ll invite everyone to the pool tomorrow.
* When Kyolo arrives at the clubroom, he is shocked to see the girls in their swimsuit!!! Why dress in them? Because their uniform will get wet. Duh… Kasumi was also invited and she too invited her friends. Want to guess who they are? It’s a small world after all.
* At first Kyolo couldn’t remember Jill. It boggles me that if Jill is fluent in Japanese, how come she can only write but not speak? He remembers her and to Kasumi’s surprise they are already on good terms. So he’s the ‘handsome samurai’ that Kasumi often hears about. Amazing coincidence, no?
* Then the other friend… Yeah, Seira. Mao forces Seira to shut up and play the big sister part. She’s a smart girl, right? Yup. Kyolo can still hear her sarcastic insults whenever he is too close to Mao.
* Kyolo leaves so the girls could change. Actually Kasumi and her friends changed into their swimsuits. He looks at Mori and she gives him the usual twirl. He loves it! But gets kicked out by Mao.
* The next round of change has the girls in their yukata. After the pools it is always the festivals, right? Did they even go to the pool? As usual, another Mori twirl. Loves it even more. Got kicked out even harder… Tamaki suggests that since he likes spinning, they should spin him too.

Episode 9
* Kyolo is forced to play doctor and he doesn’t look very enthusiastic about it. Mao must be one annoying patient. Seriously, she never played this before? When asked why she is always mad, she turns around the question why he is always calm. He explains he does get mad but doesn’t show it. Otherwise it will lead to an argument. For your information, the last time he got mad when he was forced to play doctor… Mao is worried he might be mad for all those bites but he doesn’t.
* Next patient is Shion and she is seriously depressed. Lack of common sense? Kyolo has his nurse (Tamaki) to assist him. When Tamaki sits on Shion’s lap, she becomes so happy. So it is not common sense deficiency but little sister deficiency.
* Megumi almost gives away her 3 sizes when she is the patient. Asking whether she has been mad, she hints about the time about Tamaki and the fats from the snacks. Is she still mad? Maybe. Scary…
* Kirara’s turn sees her power being measured. So strong that girl is that the dynometer they borrowed breaks!!! Let’s pretend all this never happen.
* Now it’s Kyolo’s turn. The girls tie him up and prepare to remodel him! After putting all the makeup, he looks cute! Now they get excited to take this to the next level. Even suggesting name change and new personality (since it mirrors Mao, she bites him). Introducing… Kyoloko! Dressed up Kyolo fully looks like a cute girl! So cute that he’s scaring the girls. They’ve just created something deadly… Maybe they should forget making him their club idol.
* Mori enters the clubroom as per Mao’s request to face Kyolo in a fight. Eh? Kyolo immediately admits defeat and feels sorry that the girls made her tag along with their antics. Feeling that she should say something too, she twirls for him. I think the kicks he get are much harder this time. And now they won’t let him back out from the match.
* The duel will be brushing Mori’s hair. So that’s why Kyolo is the reigning champion with 3 winning streaks. Kyolo begins his usual as Mori tries to hold it in. The rest are watching with glee and become expert commentators. In the end Mori cannot resist the goodness and lets out a squeal. The girls declare Kyolo as the winner against the boss.
* Kirara seems to be staring up at the corner of the ceiling. Is ‘something’ there? Well, Mao and Kyolo are starting to freak out since a storm is brewing. Any sound would make them jumpy. Everybody else is just cool. Maybe they’re just paranoid. When they refer to Tamaki, she just nonchalantly hints something about it. That means something is really there?! She offers to exorcise since her family runs a shrine. Besides, the duo are being noisy and annoying. But why is Kyolo being tied up?! He is to become to sacrifice?! Mao doesn’t care as long as the club’s peace is preserved! Screw his peace! Kirara then stops staring because it is gone and joins the rest. Frightened Mao still trying to sacrifice Kyolo…

Episode 10
* The girls see Tamaki sleeping soundly in a cardboard box like a cat!
* Mao sees Kyolo drawing and is interested in this cute monster he drew. He even has labelled its anatomy. Wait a minute… This is not a monster… This is Mao!!! WTF???!!! Well, it was her fault to jump to a conclusion it was a monster. Not amused by it, here comes the bite!!!
* Shion takes a look at the next picture and is fascinated with this new species. I’m sure we can tell it is Shion but you know, she lacks common sense. Yeah, even the familiar traits of this ‘species’ is listed down. It took her long enough to realize it is her. For the first time, Shion gets mad and bites him!!!
* Now it’s Megumi’s turn to look. You know who this kind fairy resembles, right? Mao and Shion are interested to see how long it will take for Megumi to realize it is her. Then she starts to realize. Nozzle that forces liquid down her friends’ throat. Depressed fairy on the scale. Megumi accuses this drawing as slanderous and misrepresentative since she is sure her weight isn’t what is written here. Now she is going to bite him! But she’s so cute and her bite lacks any strength. Are you sure she’s really biting him? More like pecking…
* Finally it is Kirara’s turn. You know who this tiger drawing is referring too. Mao and Shion know that Kirara won’t really get it. But then… Kirara gets upset that this is her and not a tiger. Lies! She’s going to bite him and sinks her teeth into his head! OMG! If they don’t do something, Kyolo’s head might come off! Kyolo’s being eaten alive by this carnivorous girl!!! Help!!!
* Kyolo buys a McDonalds’ cheese burger for Shion since she has never tried it out before. Because has never tried autumn foods before, this prompts Tamaki to note that all this food will cause her to go fat. Of course this triggers Megumi’s weight alert and so she challenges Tamaki to eat a huge cake. She must eat it until she gains the same weight as hers. Tamaki is not bothered and continues munching. She finishes the cake and has room for more. This challenge goes on for a week and guess what? Tamaki didn’t gain weight. In fact, she lost weight!!!!! WTF?????!!!!! UNBELIEAVABLE!!!!! Total defeat!
* Despite still early, Kasumi, Seira and Jill enter the clubroom for Trick or Treating. Seems the trio have created their own GJ Club. They hope to get more members next year. Noting the ‘surprise attack’ they did for them, Mao also will ‘surprise attack’ them by bombarding them with tea and cakes. All Tamaki is worried that her portion will be downsized…
* Jill is shy to speak to Kyolo, but when she does (at least she writes it down), the other girls want him to put up his super Japanese male act. And so Kyolo puts on his cool persona and this thrills Jill. Bravo! Till Kyolo hear those insults from Seira that he is gunning other girls in addition to her sisters. He wants to be friends with her and although she seemingly accepts it, her dark voice insults him again that he is now targeting her. Make any funny move and he’ll regret the day he was born!
* Mao then issues a challenge to see which club can get more candy on Halloween. Erm… Isn’t her true cover of her position blown? Who cares. Kasumi can’t believe she is siding with ‘Kyolo’s club’ even though she is ‘younger than her’. She’s their president after all.

Episode 11
* Mao loves eating her mikan after peeling every inch of the white skin off it. Every one of them. Kyolo pesters her to eat some of it and even Shion explains its functions and goodness but Mao remains stubborn.
* Mao has bought a set of cat ears. Tamaki knows what is coming and quickly makes her exit but too late. She isn’t interested in putting them on so Mao forces her to pay her back! Did she ask her to buy it in the first place?! Till Kyolo notes how super cute she will look, so cute that everyone will have a hard time staying alive, that Tamaki decides to try. Did Kyolo’s intention just backfire? However Shion hijacks them. Mao doesn’t think it suits her.
* The girls then decide to cross-dress and dress up as guys. Host club? Delinquents? They even ‘dramatically’ change their name. Noting that Kyolo somewhat enjoyed himself, they are not going to let him go. Oh no. They’re going to dress him up! Quick! Run! Too bad the girls run faster than him. Say hello to his girly side once more.
* Kirara seems to be coughing so Shion does a little checking and thinks she has a little cold. Mao has already informed her sister to come pick her up. Suddenly they feel the ground rumbling. OMG! It’s Jill on her way rushing in! She’s treating this like a life-or-death case and carries her away. I guess excessive strength runs in the family.
* When Kirara is feeling better, it seems now it’s Kyolo’s turn to catch the cold. Kirara feels guilty for passing it to him. Just as he is about to go home, the familiar rumblings from the ground. This time Kasumi and Jill are so worried about him that they want him to pass the cold to them. Seira is even more ‘serious’ because she’s wearing a gas mask and sterilizing the entire room with her whatever gas! Now everybody is coughing. Is she sure that gas is safe on humans?
* Valentine’s Day is near. We remember that incident well, don’t we? So Mao hints to Kyolo if he is interested to know the agreement they had of not giving him any chocolates last year. It is revealed so he won’t get carried away. What? Him? You know what they say about giving an inch and take a yard. So good news, this year they will be voiding that agreement. See how Kyolo’s face lights up.
* So on the much anticipated day, everyone decides to give him chocolates so as not to let sulky boy cry. Haha… Megumi goes first and presents him with a giant chocolate castle cake. Shion gives a high quality chocolate while Mao a tiny chocolate bit. She thinks he got too much from Megumi’s portion. But Tamaki is already eating it and if he doesn’t hurry, it will finish! She’s already eaten half! Oh, Kirara gives him a bone… Does she even know what Valentine’s Day is?
* Mori comes into the clubroom. Her share of chocolates? More precisely, she is here to request for a rematch. Say what? Remember the brushing duel in which he won? That was Mori’s mother he defeated. Say what?! Oh yeah. They look like twins… Seira as the head of the family will not accept losers so if Mori loses this time, she will be fired. Mori will work for Kyolo. Since he isn’t fond of that idea, Seira tells her to commit suicide! Oh sh*t! Not willing to bear the responsibility of this match, Kyolo immediately goes down on his knees, apologizes and forfeits his victory to her. See? Everything solved. Mori thanks him for playing along with Seira’s game. So it was just a prank? But she whispers into his ear the coward he is. He finds her Valentine chocolates in his hands. Could it be that Mori really wanted to experience his brushing?

Episode 12
* Although the gang continue to do what they do, Kyolo seems pretty worried. Why not? Tomorrow is the seniors’ graduation ceremony. So worried that he is the first to arrive at the clubroom at the crack of dawn. And the rest of the girls are acting as though it is no big deal.
* Shion has Kyolo accompany her to the vending machine whereby for the first time she successfully buys a drink. To top it, she became a lucky winner and got a free drink. Shion reveals she always tried to buy drinks from this vending machine but was never successful till Kyolo came along. She thanks him for being her common sense knight. Eh? What?
* Kyolo finds himself alone with Kirara in the clubroom. They’re not sure if this is part of Mao’s plan or not and to show us Kirara isn’t a ditz, she uses her handphone text to effectively communicate with Kyolo! At least she doesn’t stammer this way and her ‘speech’ is more elegant and normal. I know it’s odd seeing 2 people this close texting to each other. Kirara requests that he brushes her hair since she didn’t experience this yet.
* By right, it’s supposed to be Mao’s turn but it seems she’s fine the way she is. Feeling the need to say something, Kyolo gives her a 10 Yen coin he got from the vending machine. She takes it and gives it to him. It’s hers, right? She can do whatever she wants. Besides, it’s no point giving it to her because all goods belong to her. What’s yours is hers!
* Kyolo attends the official graduation ceremony. Back at the clubroom as they hurriedly prepare, Megumi cheers up Kyolo that it’s not that Mao didn’t want to be alone with him. It’s just that she is shy. More of she couldn’t than didn’t want to.
* When the trio seniors return, Kyolo and the rest initiate their own graduating ceremony for them. But first, they would like to change from their hakama into their usual school uniform. Kyolo realizes he has been toyed around when they don’t let him stand outside but turn his back when they start changing. Love seeing his reaction, eh?
* The seniors note that with this high school uniform, it becomes like cosplay as they are no longer high school girls. Kyolo begins handing out their very own high quality graduation certificate they made to them. Then he sums up all his courage to act out his manly version to give his final speech. Though they are stunned, Mao couldn’t hold back and laughed out loud.
* Mao makes Kyolo the next club president. Though she had this in mind since last October, she felt he wasn’t up to it and extended his ‘training’.
* The question that we have all been dying to know: What exactly is GJ Club as asked by Tamaki. Unfortunately no clear answer because the newly elected club president confidently says he too doesn’t know.

A Place Where The Fun Never Ends…
Another nothing much happens ending. Shows like these without any specific plot or goal either tend to be boring or refreshing because of that. It’s like a double edge sword. GJ Club is like those many animes featuring a group of friends hanging out together like Lucky Star to A Channel. You don’t have to worry about any sudden twists in the plot or something sinister brewing or even slapstick laugh-out-loud comedy. That in the case would be good and bad because you can be rest assured that there will be some sort of a ‘good and happy ending’ and at the same time there is nothing really memorable to remember in the long run. So what that the senior trio have graduated? In the end it doesn’t really feel that the club’s existence is being threatened because they have the other half of their younger members to carry on. Kyolo might have been gloomy about his senior’s last day but at least he didn’t really make a big deal like breaking down or cry-mother, cry-father about it. That would be awful seeing the calming pace of the anime only to be ruined with such a scene. So at best this series isn’t that unique nor will it end up as one of the best animes of the year. You just watch this for a little fun, a few chuckles and variety then move on with your life with another anime. In short, it is a very normal show with a dash of moe.

The company of the club members are greatly focused on as we see them bond in unusual ways despite most of the time they will be doing their own thing. Even the name Good Job club is baffling. What are they doing to be considered a good job? Maybe doing what they like in this clubroom is already a good job. You do the things you love or want to do. Isn’t that good enough? They might not be engaging in very physical of activities (I’m not going so far as to suggest that as sex, mind you) but at least their presence in the clubroom feels somewhat like a bonding moment. Don’t you realize that nobody else enters this club? Save for their other sisters and the maid, you don’t even know their club’s advisor! Heck, in almost every animes that I have watched, for a club to continue existing, it always needs a minimum number of members and a teaching staff as an advisor, right? And here we are seeing a bunch of high school kids bumming around without any adult supervision. It makes you feel that this is their second home because we certainly don’t see them going back to their classes.

The characters too are rather okay. Just like any other characters, they have their own quirky and unique personality. Like Kyolo’s kindness may be a good thing but I feel that it makes him a sissy and the source of ‘bullying’ by the other girls especially Mao. Although we learn he too does sulk and get mad, he doesn’t show it and that is also good because we certainly don’t like to see such cute people arguing, right? His best skill is his hair brushing. It’s like sex for the girls, right? Oops! Mao as the spunky girl is ironic she is the most energetic among the lot despite her tiny stature. You could say that she almost fits into the ‘troublemaker’ personality. A little bit crude too, she has make biting Kyolo a habit if he embarrasses or upsets her too much. By the way, I noticed that in the final 2 episodes she has stopped her biting. Because in every other episode Kyolo becomes a biting victim at least once. Has she matured in this sense? Not even Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn’s Kyouya Hibari could have bitten someone like this to death. Haha! Shion the genius is also another amusing one. Because she is a genius, doesn’t necessarily make her street smart. For many things, she lacks common sense in the most simple every day operations whether it is eating instant noodle or operating a vending machine. Even so, do not estimate this cool beauty when it comes to chess. She is truly a genius in this area. I can understand why she wants a sister of her own. She’s the only one in the club without one and the rest of her siblings are all guys. Then there is nice and dreamy girl like Megumi. Her smile could easily melt all the guys’ heart. Just too bad she is averse when it comes to weight issues. That’s something very taboo to her. Kirara may seem like a meat brain and lack anything elegant as a human lady due to her cat-like nature. It’s like you never see her without stuffing her face with meat. She excessively uses full stops in her sentences. One or two words per sentence, I guess. Or try making up a sentence with 10 words and put full stops in between every one of them. But you don’t want to mess with her immense strength which I believe can tear the entire place down! Amazon woman. She is also intellectual but expresses them in a different manner. Finally there is Tamaki, another ‘troublemaker’ and the very big eater. She is every girl’s dream to eat whatever they want and not gain a single gram. Her main concern is how much snacks she can eat. The snack industry will definitely prosper with her around.

The rest of the sisters are okay too and they don’t really make an impact on the overall show or even the GJ Club. Like Kasumi is quite a lively little sister and it is hinted that she may have a big brother complex and obviously that sole manga she left behind is her true intention that she wants him to turn into a siscon. I wonder if she knows about Mao’s true age and identity in the end. Just like how quirky is Kirara in her appearance, Jill too is the same. Her fluency in Japanese is expressed in a different medium instead of her speech as well as that frightening display strength when she easily lifts up her own sister. As for Seira, I wonder if she is tsundere or just two-face. On the outside, she may look like she is nice to Kyolo but her ventriloquism or whatever other reason you call her so called inner voice is her source to vent her displeasure. I sometimes feel that it may not be ventriloquism because if it was so, shouldn’t the other girls hear it instead of just Mao and Kyolo? Or maybe there is really ‘something’ on her… Yikes! Don’t want to even think about it or that episode! Of course there is Mori. Who doesn’t love the maid? Every guys love maids, right? Right!!! So it becomes a natural response for the elegant Mori to twirl whenever she sees Kyolo, much to the ire of the other girls. They think it’s his creepy fetish to make other people’s maid twirl before him. I still can’t believe she and her mother looks very close…

For the romance part, a part of me deep down inside feels that the girls of GJ Club do take a liking for him. The kind where it is more than just being friends. I mean, picking on him and enjoying watching his reaction doesn’t necessarily mean that they have romantic interests in him. But there are a handful of scenes that indicate so. Like when Megumi hints about Mao’s shyness, it’s like she is trying to confess something but stops short of it. Then there is the part whereby Shion wouldn’t want to share the can drink with Kyolo. This shows she is quite conscious of what the implications of an indirect kiss would mean, right? Or what about the time she asks about the meaning of love after reading a novel? But the part whereby she touches his body due to her low body temperature seems bold. Then again, it could be her lack of her common sense. Besides, it would be a bad idea if the girls all start fighting over him. It will turn out to be a bloody harem cat fight. Would we like it if suddenly the final episode has a twist of one of them dramatically blurting out her true feelings? How would that leave the position of the rest? How will it proceed? Where would the peaceful days go then? So that’s why in foresight, the girls even came out with an agreement about the Valentine chocolates part. Sure, it is not to get his hopes up but there is this little issue whereby they might be mistaken for having feelings for him although they can just brush it off as obligatory chocolates.

Hiro Shimono being casted as Kyolo/Kyouya sounds a little odd at first because we are so used to his typical outburst like Keima from The World God Only Knows or Ryousuke from Dakara Boku Wa H Ga Dekinai rather than someone who is shy and soft spoken. It feels like he has no energy whatsoever when he talks. He does enter his typical trademark voice but that’s only during his manly act. Recently, I heard him voicing such a similar role of characters. If I’m not mistaken, it would be Tejirof in Aoi Sekai No Chuushin De. The rest of the casts I’m not pretty familiar with and many of them are relatively young unknowns. Some are very different from the roles that I usually hear like Maaya Uchida as Mao doesn’t give the impression she was Rea in Sankarea, Suzuko Mimori as Shion didn’t make me realize this was the voice behind the bratty Sherlock in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes. Yume Miyamoto as Megumi was only 16 years old when she took on this role. She had voiced other roles too when she was younger like Ayami Morishita in Ghost Hunt which was way back in 2006/2007. Chika Arakawa makes her debut role as Kirara as well as Wakana Aoi as Jill. Other casts include Sumire Uesaka as Tamaki (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Ibuki Kido as Kasumi (Akiko in OniAi), Sumire Morohoshi as Seira (Clara in Kuragehime) and Ayumi Tsunematsu as Mori (Maiya in Fate/Zero).

The opening theme sounds like typical anime pop. Mousou Koukan Nikki by Otome Shintou (an all-girl J-pop idol group) starts off weirdly because it’s like they are rapping. There is a short skit during the opening anime sequence whereby the GJ Club members are doing a cute little dance of their own. There are several ending themes and they are tailored to the female characters of the club. Starting off as the first one is Tokimeki no Mahou by Maaya Uchida and Yume Miyamoto for the Amakatsu sisters. Sounds like another cheeky lively anime pop. Next is Balance Unbalance Hontou No Watashi by Suzuko Mimori for Shion. The animation for this anime pop ballad piece is quite interesting as it is somewhat abstract (floating furniture like in space and mass balloons) and perhaps reflects the heart of Shion. Then we have Watashi Dake No Sora by Chika Arakawa for Kirara. I thought this pace of this lively piece doesn’t really match Kirara’s character but then again, she might be a totally different character if you get to know her well. After dedicating 2 episodes each for those ending themes, past the halfway mark a ‘permanent’ ending song takes place and features the original quartet of GJ Club females. Hashiridasou probably sounds like another lively anime pop. So no ending theme for Tamaki or the other sisters?

In a club with no particular goals and doing things their pace seems pretty suitable for people who don’t really want to go out there to achieve some target or to proof something that perhaps no one else cares. Here, you can do what you want and at your own pace. Be yourself. Stay true to yourself if that what this club is meant to be. Even if it seems like lazing around and doing nothing productive, I guess in a way it is better than a certain club created to make friends but failed miserably in achieving that goal. Of course they achieved something else more precious than that and that is the bond and friendship among themselves. I suppose I can say the same for this club. At least they seem much better than a certain student council body that has its members chatting away mindlessly about almost everything and get nothing done. If I want to join this club, do I need to wait to be ‘kidnapped’? Hah. Which cute girls would want to whisk away an otaku like me?

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