Kisaragi has gotten accepted into G.A., the art and design department at her high school. There she makes a host of new friends: the hot-headed Tomokane, the quiet and serious “Professor,” the fun-loving Nodamiki, and Namiko, who tries to hold the group together despite their crazy antics. A year in school will seem even longer as this bunch tries to learn and not accidentally kill each other!
I keep hoping for a really great four panel comic, but somehow I keep being disappointed. Kiyuduki is also the creator of Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro, which I really do like, but her seriousness and off-beat goth-ness from that title is missing in this lighthearted moe-light title. Mostly GA is an excuse to allow cute girls to do cute things, which is fine, except that I’d like a little more plot to hold things together and keep the reading interesting. Unfortunately none is forthcoming.
Yen Press has done a nice job presenting this, though. The oversized book format works better for the four panel comics as it keeps them from seeming squished. Kiyuduki did a number of color pages and they’ve been reproduced nicely. Those pages offer a minimal amount of art instruction and they are interesting, though her color palette is rather too “autumn” to be completely accurate for instruction. My only real objection to the work Yen Press did is that they really needed even more translation notes in the back. So much of the humor of GA depends on knowing Japanese art terms, understanding puns, etc. and without enough translation notes it is tricky to get the jokes.
If you like cute girls doing cute things, then this is a perfect title for you. I think I’ll stick with Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro, since it has an actual plot holding it together. And, as far as four panel comics go, I’ll keep looking for one that is as funny as I’d like it to be.
GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class, vol. 1
Yen Press, 2009