Grand Blue

Grand Blue is a diving manga that isn't about diving. Trust me, that description is very accurate. It's quite an obscure manga, as far as the international community is concerned and it certainly isn't big enough to warrant an anime despite having published multiple volumes. Fingers crossed however.

Grand Blue centers around the main character, Iori, who moves to a seaside town for college. Yes, I know. COLLEGE. Mind blown right? What kind of idiot would read a manga that isn't set in a high school with lolis and shotas?

Because this is exactly what college is like
Anyways, the plot is, in essence, about Iori joining the diving club. That's it. That gets accomplished pretty quick. The rest of the manga is comedy. Imagine a slice of life manga but without the highschool romcom drama bull. That's how it flows. Now just add comedy to it. This is a freshman in college with a cast of incredibly likeable but incredibly weird people. Wonderful things are bound to happen.

Grand Blue does comedy really well primarily due to the fact that it can pull at obscure sources of mature gags because of its setting. This is further reinforced with some incredibly great art which draws resemblance to that of Prison School. If you've read Prison School, you know what's up. The characters are very detailed and emotions, while exaggerated, is conveyed effectively. It's beautiful in its realism and dynamic in its expression.

This isn't to say that Grand Blue is mature all the time with themes bordering that of adulthood. No, it's still a very silly, very slapstick comedy manga. But it delivers with every chapter and consistently hits its mark. There's no need for any tsunderes, there's no need for ecchi sequences to deliver the gags, there's no need for basically anything that makes regular comedy mangas work. It's actually the third series for me to hit the God-tier level of comedy alongside the ranks of Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun and KonoSuba.

Having said all that, there are rare instances where the manga ends up surprising you. It decides to forgo gags for a few pages to allow its characters to show their side of the picture. Of course, this is subverted for the most part but it gives just enough time to for the reader to paint their own picture. I like it. I like that a series can build on its world and characters while still selling itself as part of the gag, comedy genre. It knows when to switch up the pacing to match the readers' interest.

The point I wanted to get to with this post is to spread the good news of this manga. I honestly believe it deserves at least that much. It's entirely worth your time and it very much needs to be read. It has great characters, an interesting setting, wonderful comedic sequences and does not fail to put a smile on my face.

Note: The images I used were obtained from Google image search.


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