This Art Club Has a Problem!
Episode 7

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 7 of
This Art Club Has a Problem! ?

Humor has been called one of, if not the, hardest thing to write. That's because everyone's sense of humor is just a little different from everyone else's, so what makes one person cackle with glee will just get a shrug from someone else. This week's episode of This Art Club has a Problem definitely fell on the latter side for me, particularly in its second half, but it did still make me smile, even if those smiles were tempered by a few checks on how much time was left in the episode.

The first segment this week definitely had more to work with. Another art contest is coming up, and since Uchimaki's waifu won second place in the last one, Yumeko-sensei wants the art club to go for the gold this time. Except she can't seem to say it – throughout the first half of the episode, we keep cutting to poor Yumeko trying to say “go for the gold” and failing miserably. While her difficulties make more sense in Japanese than English with that particular phrase, the subtitles do a pretty good job of coming up with silly ways for her to mess it up involving gobs, goobers, and other words that don't belong in terms of encouragement. Meanwhile, Uchimaki is totally prepared to let Usami carry this contest until a random guy challenges him for drawing “moe trash” and suggests they compete in the contest. This enrages Usami so much that she vows to help Uchimaki draw the best damn waifu ever to teach the jerk a lesson.

What follows is not so much funny as kind of sweet, as the two of them team up to create the Ultimate Moe Babe. Uchimaki doesn't quite get why Usami's so upset, but he is touched by her apparent love of waifus (sigh), and their friendship is nice to watch, even if he is disappointed that she doesn't want him to draw her underwear when she accidentally lifts up her skirt too high while modeling. Even if their relationship doesn't go any farther, they've gotten to a good point where they appear to be truly friends, even if Usami goes off into her own little world when Uchimaki says that she's more like his wife than his mom. (Note how her weird apple obsession returns in her fantasy. What is with that?) The best part of this section, however, is the jerk rival. He's a little like Takumi Aldini in Food Wars; he really wants a massive rivalry with Uchimaki in the best shounen style, but gets thwarted by the fact that no one really cares enough to get his name (and that apparently he sucks at drawing).

The second half of the episode kind of falls flat. It wants to be another “Colette is Wacky” segment, but it doesn't quite pull it off with her future career goal of “Hero of Justice” enmeshing her in Maria's world of otaku make-believe. Colette is best when she's being zany on her own and doing things we don't often see in other shows, like the whole weird bird thing last time. This just feels like the same shtick most comedies try, so when it kind of falls flat, it feels like a waste of the character. I do love the idea that Colette has been flying kites on the school roof, though.

Next week looks much more promising with a scavenger hunt, but can we take a moment to appreciate Uchimaki's impressive hoodie collection? Not only is he apparently devoted to the style, but we've now seen that he has at least three different ones – his long-sleeved orange, sleeveless red, and now his “dress up” pale blue sleeveless hoodie. That's a guy who's serious about his sweatshirts, and it's a tribute to the artistry in the show that he actually changes them instead of just wearing the same one all the time, like when most anime characters have their school uniforms and one other outfit. Now we just have to figure out why there are so many rabbits in the background of this show...

Rating: B-

This Art Club Has a Problem! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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