This Art Club Has a Problem! Ep. 12: Is This a Pigeo-I Mean, Classic?

(Oh, memes. Never change.)

This episode’s theme: How Does This Compare to the Classics? (core, see here for all themes and takes on the episode)

I think this’ll be a good way to wrap up.

Okay, so what’s a “classic”?

“Classic” implies tradition. Tradition is something that has to go back a long way, in this case to the beginnings of anime itself…so in this particular case, “classic” implies it can stand the test of time from ever since it began to now, and beyond.

Addendum for why I’ve picked such a broad definition and why I needed to define the term “classic”: Apparently, in order to look at where we are today, you need to look at the state of the times, including what constitutes “tradition”. Besides, you need a “shared language” in order to talk about something…

…yeah, you can tell I’ve been poking into the more sociological parts of international studies lately.

Does Konobi stand the test of time?

There are certain things, to me, that don’t stand the test of time. Things such as technology (such as smartphones for the current era of tech) can easily date a work, especially one known to be made in a hurry like anime. It’s the same with references, since you need shared knowledge in order to find references funny and sometimes that shared knowledge can just be a “fad”…like memes that pass in the night, if I want to sound intellectual (but really, I just cribbed the original term “ships that pass in the night” from TV Tropes – I’m not that fancy).

However, since most of Konobi is just the same stuff over and over, I think it might be easier for it to survive into the future. When anthropologists of the year 3000…or maybe even aliens…come back to look for signs of summer 2016 anime, they might look through their archived version of AniChart and flat-out ignore Konobi (since retroactively speaking, it was overshadowed by things like Mob Psycho 100) but at least because they see the same things over and over in this show, they’d be able to understand that’s what makes the show tick.

Sidebar: If you’re wondering, I was watching simulcasts when Konobi first aired – I have evidence, even. (I find it funny that I was right on the mark for the predictions for Saiki Kusuo and the idol shows, but not Berserk or D Gray Man Hallow…and Orange is kinda arguable.)

However, because of that reason, I also think it will be quite forgettable in the long run. Humour as a genre, in particular, has a very short “watch life” and very little payoff in regards to rewatches (right up there with mystery), since once you know the ins and outs of the show…that’s it. You’ve understood it, so now you can move on. The execution of the same formula can work over and over with different jokes, but that’s about as malleable as the show is.

Comedy may be one of my favourite genres because you can apply it into lots of different shows and come away having enjoyed it all the more, but here’s another problem with humour – it rarely talks about deeper issues due to such myopia, which is why Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – a multi-genre work which is drama with occasional bits of comedy – tops my chart and not a pure comedy like, say…Konobi.

I’ve read things that attribute the love of high school in anime to how fleeting your time can feel then and the reminder that all things will end eventually (so you need to live your life to the fullest before you get Adult Responsibilities…ouch, I think that’s an attack on the one who’s trying to adult here, i.e. me), but…aside from kind of touching on that throughout the show but (possibly) being too afraid to engage deeper with that theme, Konobi never strives to be anything greater.

The reason you may never have heard of this show before Yomu’s collab began was probably due to a combination of these factors, so I think I’ll stop my mini-essay here. Konobi was simple, but because of that, it was never able to exceed its own boundaries, for better or for worse.

Other observations:

  • I like how the background characters casually pointed out how the rain is going to get worse. It’s some nice foreshadowing.
  • Kaori left her own umbrella…hmm…yet Subaru didn’t notice Kaori’s umbrella was there…big hmm.
  • Subaru’s umbrella says usamimi (rabbit ears)…hence the name “Usami” for the character.
  • “Nowtype” magazine (sic).
  • When Subaru left the clubroom, I almost imagined Mizuki going “Hoeeeee~?!” like Sakura does.
  • Is…that a typhoon on the TV???
  • …aw, I don’t think some of the hints that were given were resolved…Then again, the typhoon might’ve explained why there was so much rain all of a sudden and then it was fine again.

Being able to watch Konobi at the speed of a simulcasting show without it being a simulcast and simulating the simulcast experience means we collaborators were able to stand on the shoulders of those who came before – both those who watched it during its simulcast run and those who read the manga. Admittedly, those who binge it have that too, but it’s hard to treat a show like a simulcast without having other people to talk about it in (close-to-)real time, episode by episode and not knowing what happens next…so I think it was interesting to have that experience!

Thanks to everyone who followed along or did posts for this collab…even if you join now, it won’t be too late.
If you ever offer another collab like this, Yomu, I’d be happy to join you (so long as I didn’t leave myself such a short time frame to write up the weekly post next time and allowing for other commitments as well).

So, what’s your opinion on Konobi if you’ve seen it (either with us or without)? Will you give it a chance if you haven’t? Do you agree with my sentiments on comedy, while we’re at it?

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8 thoughts on “This Art Club Has a Problem! Ep. 12: Is This a Pigeo-I Mean, Classic?

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  1. My full thoughts will go up on this tomorrow but I more-or-less agree. There were moments where Art Club was pretty decent, even good, but overall it was fairly mediocre. That didn’t stop it from being an enjoyable watch, outside of the final episode, which is one epic troll.

    As an aside, I’m surprised you didn’t mention Collette’s final pun regarding her Kappa Kappa… I was really proud of getting that one lol.

    Like

  2. Konobi in the end was very simple. I think that as a pure comedy it falls short (compared to Saiki K., Daily Lives of Highschool Boys, Plastic-Neesan…), and that it also falls short as anything other than a comedy due to no real overarching development, aside from Usami & Subaru getting a little closer. Enjoyable but mediocre, as it still had many fun moments. Definitely not a classic, but maybe a pigeon.

    Thanks for taking part in the collab this whole time Aria!
    Speaking of pigeons, you managed to be the first to post for every episode, making you the early bird.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I got into the habit of only having approx. a day to post Konobi posts and that left some obvious mistakes (hence the complaining about deadlines), so it’s not so much “getting the worm” as much as it is “botching the capture of the worm”…

      Liked by 1 person

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