The first episode of Grand Blue Dreaming titled ‘Deep Blue’ aired on 14 July 2018. I’ll be watching this series, write my thoughts, comments and maybe some explanations on Japanese culture in these reviews and hope you will come on this short adventure with me! As a warning, I want to be honest with you readers: I had no idea what Grand Blue was about before the series started and simply chose to review it based on the trailer. This looks like fun, so let’s dive right into it!
Japanese title: ディープブルー
Episode 1 – Deep Blue
Iori is 20 years old and will start going to college! He chooses to live with his uncle at the sea, who owns a diving shop because it is closer to his university. Like it is at that stage in life, he is excited about meeting new friends, finding a new hobby, and generally enjoying his life. However, when he opens the door to his new life for the first time, he ends up smashing it back closed fast and hard, because it seems to be filled of naked men and alcohol… Quite literally, because when he opens the door to the shop of his uncle, all he sees is naked men drinking and playing rock-paper-scissors. That was not what Iori wanted. He tries to outrun his new fate by running away from the naked guys, but they don’t shy away from hunting him down and dragging him back into the shop to befriend him and make sure that he will join their club at university: the diving club.
Naked men everywhere
Okay, it’s not my number one highlight, but I will say that it is good to see male characters showing some skin for once. I want to note, though, that they didn’t bother giving them nipples. If nothing else, this will make the anime enjoyable for me. Also, not all male characters are actually pretty, but I am thankful that Iroi and his new otaku-friend are somewhat pretty, if they do not make their silly faces. So yay for me!
This series already looked funny when I watched the trailer, but I didn’t expect to like the humor in it so much! While there needs to be a warning that this series is definitely glorifying alcohol and drinking, I don’t think it’s too bad as long as the right people are watching it… This airs in the middle of the night, so it’s fine if you ask me. People who don’t like it when people think it’s fun to drink too much might want to pass on this series. I really like the uncle! While he does seem like a simple character, I liked his jokes the best. For him, all the craziness Iori faces in the first episode are just regular, daily life. So he sometimes misunderstand the issues Iori has with his new home. I hope we will get to see more of the uncle and his pretty apron soon!
Girls and weird relations
It might be wrong of me to look for a love interest right away, but his cute cousin does seem like she were the heroine of the series, which gives me a few unpleasant feelings while watching the show. Come on, Iori, she is your cousin! Also not sure the relationship between her and her sister is something I am looking forward to, if everybody knows that she has a sister complex… It still could be very amusing and fitting for this series, so I will put it down as a highlight, but we will see about that!
Culture and Trivia
Drinking, the other kind of sport
At first, I thought this would be a bit of a sports anime. You know, diving and all. People called me out on it and made fun of me, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t think I am that far off with calling it a sports anime. The sport is probably ‘drinking’. When we look at the members of the club all we can see them do is drink alcohol, the stronger the better. Even if you ask for water, you will only receive vodka. It’s not something I agree with (everybody should drink as much and whatever they want), but I thought it was funny the first time in the series, since they are just painted characters after all.
But let’s talk about real Japanese drinking culture. Just yesterday, I had a conversation where we talked about drinking games and if Japan had any. While there are fun games like the King’s game and similar ones that one plays when drunk, there doesn’t seem to be any real drinking games. It seems like in Japan you simply drink to get drunk and then get on with the games that will let you do things you wish you didn’t.
Drinking Culture in General
Let me share with you what I have experienced so far, living and working in Osaka. The restaurants here offer a very useful thing, where you get served a course meal within a certain time-frame (varying, between 2-4 hours) and can add an all-you-can-drink option. It is not too expensive, especially if you drink a lot. Mostly if you go out to eat and drink with your workplace, it will probably be this kind of setting. In general, eating while drinking seems to be the main thing, because even the more traditional ‘pubs’ called Izakaya in Japan are all about ordering food while drinking. It helps to not get super drunk.
I thought this would be fun for this series; maybe we can keep it up. If you haven’t watched the first episode yet or plan on re-watching it, you can try this drinking game! For this episode, take a sip of your drink every time you see a naked upperbody. (A warning: There are a lot).
See you next week
The first episode gave a good introduction! I will keep an open mind while watching this series to not judgde some of the actions of these characters too hard, since they only exist on paper anyway and simply enjoy all the stupid things they do. This will be a fun summer series, so I would be happy to see you tag along!
NEXT EPISODE: Underwater
Grand Blue Dreaming
Summer 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast