Yep, This Art Club Has a Problem! means it’s time for Yomu’s collab.
Because I’m lazy, I couldn’t think of a better format than “listing out things” this episode. Maybe you’ll find my insights interesting, though…? They’ll definitely reveal a lot for characters we’ve only just met.
Theme for this post: “What’s in a name?” (episodic)
What’s in a name? Well, “a lot” if I managed to wrestle 500 or so words out of names after one episode…
The name of the show
First of all (it’s relevant, I promise), the title of the show in Japanese is actually Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru!, meaning I got that wrong the entire time I was thinking about it (notice I refer to it as Kono Bijutsubu wa Mondai ga Aru! in this post).
That sort of small mistake tends to happen with titles I’m getting used to, as you might remember with Nil Admirari no Tenbin in the past. It doesn’t make a difference in English translation, but…the short version is that ni indicates position and the wa indicates the art club. The long version…er, that’s a bit more complicated…
By the way, you don’t always have to deal with the long name of the anime – according to the OP and other sources, you can refer to it as Konobi, which is mighty handy, don’tcha think?
The name of the first segment
Mondai ga Aru Hitotachi actually means “People Who Have Problems” or, in its most literal form, “People Who Have a Problem” (because it doesn’t specify if multiple people have one problem or each person has their own problem, hence the ambiguity between translations). It doesn’t specify it’s these people, like the title does, because it lacks kono.
The names of the characters…so far
宇佐美 みずき (Mizuki Usami): Our protagonist. Judging from her hairclip, her symbol seems to be a rabbit (and pausing at the right time shows there’s a rabbit on a calendar hanging on a wall in the art club room, possibly as an extension of this), which is explainable through the fact her surname is similar to “rabbit” (usagi). Unfortunately, that’s all that means anything, because the first name being in hiragana could mean a number of things…
Aesthetically, I think she kind of looks like Akane (SSSS.Gridman)…is that true for anyone else, or is it just me???
内巻 すばる (Subaru Uchimaki): Our lover of 2D waifus. Again, his first name doesn’t mean anything, although my Japanese keyboard tells me the only possible kanji translation is the Pleiades constellation. Uchi means “inside” and maki means “roll” (e.g. spring rolls are called harumaki in Japanese).
I’m not sure if it’s deliberate, but the President mistakenly him “Urimaki-kun” at two points in this episode, with uri presumably meaning “melon”.
部長 (Buchou/Club President): As you can tell from the link, I took a look at the character page on the official website…and it turns out this character is only called “Club President”. But he could be our spirit animal by the time this collab is over, y’know?
By the way, the canned drink he was having this episode was coffee. Not sure if that’s of relevance later, but it’s a fun fact nonetheless.
コレット (Collette): We don’t know much about her at this stage aside from the fact she’s brought up in conversation, she’s a member of the Art Club – probably Uchimaki’s usual model – and that may have been her in the cupboard at one point…scratch that, that is her in the cupboard!
…erhem, back to the topic.
Even the official webpage only reveals a first name, so it’s not much help (I don’t want to read any spoilers, so I haven’t bothered trying to translate the character description). It looks like her name should be spelt with two Ls though, rather than one.
Paul Cezanne: A French painter who apparently inspires Mizuki’s work. His paintings, particularly the ones that focus on apples, kinda look like they come out of Art Academy…which is probably why he’s so influential in the first place, all things considered.
恋する図形 (Koisuru Zukei/Cubic Futurismo, a.k.a. the ED): Literally “A Shape in Love”. “Futurismo” seems to be Italian for “futurism“, while the “cubic” gives the ED its visual touch, with an actual cube featuring artworks from the anime and the ball. Those are both examples of perspective upon the checkerboard floor – the reduction of “natural” images to geometric shapes is apparently a signature of cubism. Interestingly, according to both links on cubism I’ve included in this paragraph, the aforementioned Cezanne was an influence on cubism…
So that concludes the first of my posts for this collab. I’ll probably keep changing my themes every episode (hence the different colours and the bolding), but hopefully if you have the time and a blog, you can join in. After all, the anime’s on Crunchyroll, ready for you to watch (assuming you’re in the right territories, of course)…