Grand Blue Episode 3
This week’s episode of Grand Blue plants a future arc with the introduction of the festival and the male beauty pageant! Being the beautiful men that they are, Iori and Kouhei are urged by their seniors to take part in the competition. I’m a bit surprised that the seniors themselves don’t enter the competition, since both Kotobuki and Tokita are absolute muscle, but they don’t exactly have the pretty boy faces that Iori or Kouhei possess. I’m also curious as to what inevitable embarrassment the two boys will face when the competition actually comes. Will they be nude on the walkway? Will Chisa call them perverts again? Will Kouhei enjoy wearing a uniform too much? Probably all of the above.
After the pageant discussion, the episode dives into the diving aspect of the show once again. Now, I understand that the show’s name is Grand Blue, and that diving is supposed to be an important aspect of the series. However, I can’t help but feel like it’s getting a bit repetitive already. Compared to the great humor of the comedy scenes or the intensity of the drinking scenes, the ‘peaceful’ vibe that the studio is trying to achieve for the diving scenes seem a bit underwhelming. In the previous episode, we had a gorgeous scene with Iori and Nanaka at the aquarium, looking up to a beautiful environment. It was a realization moment for Iori and a hurdle that he overcame, it was great. But it seems to happen again to a lesser extent at the start of this episode as well, with Iori learning to be comfortable breathing underwater. I didn’t dislike it, but in context with the comedic elements of the show, it feels so underwhelming and a tad bit repetitive. How many more realizations or excitedly talking to Chisa scenes do we need before Iori dives for real?
Thankfully, the show returns to its true and tried humor with both the introduction of Azusa, and the operation to have Chisa enroll in the female beauty pageant. Azusa of Grand Blue is a fan favorite of the show and her entrance was well hyped among manga fans. Her initial introduction as she wakes up beside Iori was great, albeit a bit lacking in the alluring vibe that the manga gave off. However, the charm she adds to the cast is undoubtable, and watching her console Iori about his bisexual tendencies was hilarious. If I had to knitpick, I think the lackluster art of the anime adaptation is definitely taking a toll on the character designs. There are certain scenes where Azusa doesn’t even seem like Azusa, but just a normal girl. Her introduction however, was gorgeous and I have no complaints about.
As for the actual operation, it was a good attempt by Iori and Kouhei. I’m not sure how effective getting Chisa drunk would be, since she might just refuse after sobering up. Unfortunately, Chisa doesn’t want to just embarrass herself, and is only convinced to take part after Azusa’s intervention. Her only condition winds up being Iori and Kouhei’s entry into their own respective competitions, and we end up at square one.
Overall, I’m quite excited for the upcoming competition, and I’m sure the gags during the competition will be great. This episode was definitely more on the tamer side compared to the previous two, and the diving scenes were a bit underwhelming, but I’m still excited for the next episode!