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After all, G.A. does have a high percentage of crazy students.
—Uozomi on the GA students, after Tomokane's brother shown his Beware the Nice Ones side.
Ayanoi High School's G.A. is a class that specializes in the arts. It's at G.A. that a particular five are focused on. Kisaragi Yamaguchi, Miyabi "Professor" Oomichi, Namiko Nozaki, Tomokane and Miki "Nodamiki" Noda. The manga uses its arts class setting well, using this as a chance to teach the audience a few things about color, composition and other things that are usually done at these sort of schools. The Yonkoma manga was written by Satoko Kiyuduki, otherwise known for the artwork at Dept Heaven games.
Compare with Hidamari Sketch, another series focusing on students in high school art programmes serialized in Manga Kirara Carat. While you're in the neighborhood, Sketchbook may also be used to compare and contrast. The series has also been referred to as "Azumanga Daioh, but in art class".
An anime adaptation aired in the summer of 2009.
Tropes in GA include:
- Acting for Two -- Miyuki Sawashiro voices Tomokane and her older brother.
- Alien Lunch -- The dark hotpot in episode 12 of anime. Although the episode concentrated on the one made by the GA-1 girls, apparently It Gets Worse for your traditional Art Club Hazing...
- Art Evolution -- The first three chapters were drawn for the later closed magazine Comic Gyutto!. It was later picked up by Manga Time Kirara Carat. The break was less than a year but the change in drawing style between is noticeable.
- Art Students Imitate Art -- On a trip to a museum, two of the more famous works are referenced. Noda does "The Thinker", and Professor and Kisaragi duet "La Pieta".
- Bland-Name Product -- When Noda wanted to refer to the marks of Louis Vuitton and Cartier in Episode 1, it was blurred over.
- Blank White Eyes--Nodamiki has them by default.
- Book Dumb -- Of course there's Kisaragi, but then there was one strip that the college-prep stream student Uozomi observed GA's non-art curriculum is far less rigourous than his, indirectly implying all students in GA (at least Awara) are this.
- The Cameo -- Kuro, of Shoulder a Coffin Kuro, Kiyuduki's previous work, can be seen walking by in the background in episode two.
- Cloudcuckoolander -- Noda, who's clearly a few crayons short of a box.
- Kisaragi tends to live in outer space too, if not more.
- And Awara. Actually all students in the GA class are more or less like this to a degree. See how often Uozomi and Homura snark them...
- Club Stub: The Art Club and its many predecessors. Due to a mishap when the Cloudcuckoolander president promoted the club the previous year, the club now only has three members. Downplayed in that while the club was eventually saved by merging with Campus Environment Club, and the other club only have one member--that other club can't be disbanded because it provided volunteers to clean the school campus, and Sasamoto-sensei Exploited this to use it as a "shell" to acquire other clubs so that she can have a smoking room.
- Color Coded for Your Convenience -- The commonly used version:
- Although another combination, based on the Sentai discussed below, is also commonly seen:
- Cute Kitten -- Tomokane's misreading of 素描 (subyou, rough sketch) into 素猫 (Suneko, plain cat) leads to Kisaragi filling her sketchbook with a certain kitten. This kitten would go on to become the series' mascot.
- Companion Cube -- The Fine Arts Club's mannequin, Sanae. Also, Professor seems fond of the black poster paint that Noda gave a personality to. Though she likes anything black.
- Death Is a Sad Thing -- The baby chick arc.
- Dream Within a Dream -- Kisaragi's continued trips into a surreal art world after a lecture on surrealism. Highlights include Noda appearing as a mermaid and finding her way back to her classroom (sort of) by the Wile E. Coyote method of passageway creation.
- Early-Bird Cameo -- Awara and Tomokane's brother is seen among the Faceless Masses in the first scene of the first episode. Homura also appears to sliding down a hill.
- Also the whole Art Club cast appears in ep 2, which is 1 episode before their proper introduction.
- Ear Worm -- The opening theme, but especially the ending--yes, all five versions of it.
- Edutainment Show -- All those explanations about graphic techniques make the series comes pretty close at times.
- Elevator School -- Ayanoi Gakuen is a more realistic example. It has a junior high, a high school and technological university in adjacent campi, and they share a lot of common facilities-- the main characters, often goes to the university campus to have computer graphics classes and sometimes even for vending machines. It's also worth noting that because of the university's background, the high school has a relatively large technical/vocational division, on top of general ed and arts divisions-- and it's not an Elaborate University High, but just Truth in Television for many Japanese universities.
- Evolving Credits -- The ending, besides the episodic variations depending on who's singing, has steadily changed over the course of the series with the girls getting older and their activities changing.
- Excited Kids' Show Host -- One of the recurring elements of GA is Let's Draw and Play!, a kids' show starring "Kisaragi onee-chan" as the lovable host and a "Suneko" hand puppet friend (voiced and controlled by Noda). Kisaragi is in love with this idea.
- Expy -- Nietzsche from Yggdra Union, art directed by Kiyudzuki-sensei, is based on Noda; Milanor has shades of the younger Tomokane, and in the anime, she was given his voice actress. As the manga continued after Yggdra Union was released, Kiyudzuki went on to incorporate some of its characters back into GA; Tono-sensei has a strong resemblance to Gulcasa, and Same-chan-sensei is a dead ringer for Flone.
- Also, let down Kisaragi's hair and give her Professor's hair color and personality, and you've got Kuro.
- The Faceless -- The viewer never gets to see the face of Nodamiki's older sister.
- Five-Man Band-- The Art Club shows elements of this.
- Footnote Fever -- This work's art edutainment tendencies plus the heavy use of puns means every manga volume by Yen Press has at least 4 pages of translator's notes.
- Fun with Acronyms --GA does not mean Geijutsuka Art Design Class (Arts Division Art Design Class), or Graphic Arts--but Geijutsuka A (Arts A), vis-a-vis GB (Arts B), which is for music.
- There apparently also used to be an Arts C class which dealt with fashion.
- Ayanoi's very wide offering of classes means every one of them has an official name and a descriptive name. Using non-GA members of the Arts Club as example, Uozomi is from FA--Futsuuka A (General Ed A): Special College Prep; and Homura is from KJ-- Kygyoka Jidosha (Vocational-Automobile): Car Maintenance. This of course applies to GA; Art Design Class is its descriptive name.
- There apparently also used to be an Arts C class which dealt with fashion.
- Gag Series -- This, with the bulk of artistic terms, made Yen Press' translation of the first manga volume to have 5 pages of translator's notes.
- Hard Work Hardly Works -- discussed. In the museum arc Kisaragi was angsting over her lack of skill (See Book Dumb, above); and Professor and Namiko sort-of Deconstructed the trope:
Professor: As far as I know, Kisaragi-dono spent the most time creating her work.
- Hammerspace: While having a comb and a sewing set in her blazer is not surprising, but when Professor pulled out a bag of dye fixative from her blazer...
Tomokane: Are you always prepared for a trip or something?
- Imagine Spot -- Kisaragi, frequently.
- Implausible Hair Color -- Namiko and Nodamiki were known in-universe to have pink and light brown hair; they submitted their kids' photos to show that they did not dye their hair.
- Improbable Chopsticks Skill -- Tomokane is able to caught a fly with a pair of chopsticks. Eating rice by just holding with middle parts of them is an other matter however...
- Japanese Honorifics -- In the last chappter of volume 3, after Professor opens her shell in front of Kisaragi about her dislike of her Arranged Marriage, Kisaragi feel like calling Professor Professor-chan--note Professor and Namiko are always referred as -san, due to Professor's demeanor and Namiko's Team Mom status.
- Lemony Narrator -- The narrator complained about the main Ensemble breaking color mood of the cast, so they shout back at the narrator.
- Love Bubbles -- Appearing during a strangely intimate moment between Noda and Kisaragi.
- Magic Feather -- A pencil Kisaragi got from an old lady at the stationery store turns out to be not special in the slightest. She was conned into buying it to get rid of the stock.
- Medium Awareness -- When the GA-1 students were talking about typography, one strips actually have the characters discuss the sound effect typeface on that strip. These moments are generally restricted to the bonus strips between chapters.
- Medium Blending -- The OVA ending recreates several pieces of art from the series in live action, and ends with a claymation shot of the main five.
- Moe-- after all, the mangaka mentioned this series is drawn in puni-moe.
- Mythology Gag -- The anime opening include scenes (such as the badminton game) that were pretty much hot off the press.
- Nonuniform Uniform -- The last scene of the OP shows them all.
- Not Named in Closing Credits-- Strange anime example. Tomokane's brother had a single line in an episode before he was introduced, and in the ending credits that was only listed as "Grade 11 Student -- M.S."
- Not So Above It All -- Namiko is usually the most reality bounded of the main five. Some of her design ideas however...
Namiko: I heard that invention-type stuff was popular. *Presenting a writing desk which can wip into an inbuild garbain*
- Only Known by Their Nickname -- Most of the Art Club, Same-chan-sensei, and Tono-sensei, especially in the manga.
- Puni Plush-- Word of God said this is in puni-Moe, after all.
- Rearrange the Song -- "Coloring palettes", the ending theme, has five versions, one for each of the girls.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter -- The Sunekos and, to a certain extent, the Lord Chickens.
- Running Gag -- Every episode begins with the appearance of the word "hajimaru" (はじまる - "it's starting") in one way or the other.
- Schoolgirl Series -- The series includes mainly focuses on the group of five girls (Tomokane, Namiko, Noda, Oomichi, and Kisaragi).
- Self-Deprecation -- In one of the bonus strips in volume 3 Noda and Tomokane are seen looking at GA volume 1 and saying they don't feel like reading it because they don't like the art.
- Sentai -- Irodorunger! Tomokane is Red, Namiko is Yellow, Noda is Magenta, Kisaragi is Cyan and Professor is Monochrome.
- Shout-Out -- For GA-1's design of home appliance, one of Tomokane's design is a rather blatant Shout-Out to Doraemon.
- Sibling Rivalry -- Tomokane can't hide her disdain towards her older brother due to unfulfilled Sibling Rivalry, which boils down to...
- Sibling Yin-Yang -- While the case of Bokukko versus Non-Action Guy didn't seem too out of ordinary, their parents thought her older brother was too ill for her to make a physical response--as a result, while she kept being pwned at home, she gets more gratification outdoors. Like being a Delinquent.
- Sick Episode -- the last episode of the anime, when Namiko was sick. She just have the uncanny ability to predict exactly what's going to happen...
- Strange Minds Think Alike -- Kisaragi at first tells Noda to stop narrating a conversation between two people she sees out the window. Then Professor, normally one of the serious ones, is doing the exact same thing.
- Speaks Fluent Animal -- However, given that it's a pair of chickens, hints at various points indicate that Professor actually does know what they're saying.
- Storybook Episode -- After a fashion. One episode features the Fine Arts Club creating a storybook that features a protagonist which looks oddly like Kisaragi, who's quickly joined by an adventuring party resembling the other four.
- Super-Deformed -- The ending. Note that this is for a series that's already in Puni Plush territory.
- Although the girls are not as much Super-Deformed, but rather depicted as really young.
- Talking with Signs -- A variation is used by Noda. She turns her sketchbook into sign language for other people, holding it over them like a Speech Bubble.
- Another example was when Satoma-sensei was reprimanded for his reprimanding Tomokane's and Namiko's work, Tomokane and Namiko discreetly wrote their response (to the effect of "You'll regret it!!") on the top of their sketchbooks and put them over their heads. Of course, Tomokane got the kanji wrong.
- Tear Jerker / Bittersweet Ending -- The last story in the first volume of the manga.
- More specifically, Professor, who can somehow speak to chickens, finds an abandoned newborn chick and decides to take care of it. It dies soon after, and she reveals to Kisaragi that she knew it would die all along, but she wanted to keep it comfortable until the very end. The next day, the two of them go to the chicken coop and find a whole brood of chicks, which the mother hen had been caring for.
- Terrible Artist -- Homura, especially evident in the Storybook Episode discussed above. Or maybe an example now.
- Too Long, Didn't Dub -- Yen Press' translation has the tendency to do this, including the title. The Japanese side already made a fully acceptable English title GA: Art Department Art Design Class; but Geijutsuka is kept untranslated in the English release. At least they add notes in between panels to translate signs, covers, written words, and other miscellaneous text that's part of the art instead of the print.
- Yeah, because GA: Art Department Art Design Class really rolls off the tongue.
- On the plus side, "Geijutsuka" does make it easier to search for and know the results are probably what you're looking for.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible -- Noda fully exploits this when a solid block of pencil scribblings on a sketchpad is able to be viewed as "art" by everyone except for Namiko.
Noda: Um... it's called "Scratch Painting". Can you tell what it is?
- Sort of subverted, as that blob was intended to be a reverse canvas.
- Twelve-Episode Anime -- Followed up by an OVA in the DVD-releases.
- Two-Teacher School -- Averted. GA-1 has homeroom Satoma and co-homeroom Usami, and GA-3 has Sasamoto as their homeroom--who also supervises the Art Club. GA-2's homeroom Morita also shown up in one scene and so have the principal and the school nurse.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance -- The Tomokane siblings not only look alike-- Nodamiki one said the older Tomokane as a "bleached Tomokane-kun" in episode 12-- but both were voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro, hence upgrading from Strong Family Resemblance to this.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair -- lampshaded. the girl discussed why Western Animation have an Amazing Technicolor Population while Anime would rather have this-- and to break the Fourth Wall, the shot showed their hair colours: Kisaragi is dark brown, Professor is black, Tomokane is green, Noda is pink, and Namiko is medium brown. By the way, Awara is reddish brown, Mizubuchi is black, Uozomi is blueish black, and Homura is blond. Also, Yoshikawa is blond and Mitsui is blue.