Yomu has kicked off the collaboration and each week bloggers will review another episode of This Art Club Has a Problem focusing on a particular theme. Want to get involved: check out the week one’s post.
So episode one of a comedy about a high school art club… When this originally came out I gave it wide berth because it just wasn’t anything I was even vaguely interested in. Two years later, realising the number of anime I’ve watched outside my preferred genres that have ended up being pretty awesome, I’m willing to give it a go and this collaboration seems like a good excuse. That said, wow this first episode was hard to get through.
Still, I’m focusing on the theme of the Spirit of the Artist so let’s examine the characters and episode from that point of view.
And I have to say, this art club does have a problem. The President doesn’t seem remotely interested in art in general, Usami seems to have an incredibly narrowed perspective of what art is, and Uchimaki isn’t so much into art as he is into waifu’s and while it is great he’s expressing himself he doesn’t exactly seem to be trying to push himself as an artist. Then again, of the three characters we spent any time with this episode, Uchimaki is probably the closest one to embracing any kind of artistic spirit.
Usami definitely respects art. She clearly has good knowledge of the classics and their techniques and a desire for self-improvement. What she seems to lack is passion, flexibility, or an ability to innovate beyond that. All of that would be fine except that she also wants to impose her definition of artistic spirit on those around her in one scene actually putting her fist through someone else’s creation. That’s a definite ‘no go’ as far as I’m concerned. Regardless of what the art work was and whether it met your standards or not, destroying someone else’s efforts is just not on. While it was technically accidental and she did kind of apologise, at no point was this act given the weight it deserved by the characters.
Additionally, her complaint that Uchimaki didn’t draw the model the way they really looked kind of made me roll my eyes. Sure, you can use models to draw as they are, but you can also use models to get basic shapes, ideas, or inspiration for a different kind of work. For someone as well versed in art as Usami seems to be she is surprisingly ignorant at other times.
For Uchimaki’s side, he at least is very true to what he wants and pursues it. In an almost single minded fashion that has no regard for anyone else’s thoughts or feelings. This is the closes to actual artistic pursuit we see in this first episode however it is difficult to know how serious he is about his pursuit or how much effort he is actually putting in due to his nonchalant attitude.
It would be great to see Usami bend a little on what she defines as art. It would be awesome to see Uchimaki not just pursue his goal of the perfect waifu but also work at improving his technique. It would be great just to see the president actually do something vaguely art related.
All and all, this first episode has demonstrated there is indeed a problem with the art club, though at least by focusing on a theme I could talk about the episode without just rolling my eyes at some of the silliness in the episode. I had something to focus on and think about and that actually made the episode considerably more enjoyable than it might otherwise have been.
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