Anime Spotlight: Chronicles of the Going Home Club

Chronicles of the Going Home Club is based on a manga by Kuroha. The anime was produced by Nomad and was directed by Hikaru Sato. The series aired on Japanese television from July 4-October 11, 2013. As of this writing, NIS America holds the North American license for Chronicles of the Going Home Club.

The series focuses on a group of five girls who are part of the unofficial “Going Home Club” at their school. Instead of doing regular club activities, the members are dedicated to having as much fun as possible.

The five girls who make up the membership are very diverse characters, although their attributes are exaggerated because Chronicles of the Going Home Club is a gag anime. Natsuki Ando is a first year who is the “straight woman,” serious member of the cast. Although she may be serious, she has an exaggerated cowlick on the top of her head. Karin Tono is another first year, but unlike Natsuki, she is an airhead who is good in home economics. Sakura Domyoji is the president of the club; she may be energetic, but she proclaims herself as the “ordinary girl” in the club. Claire Kokonoe is the “rich girl” of the group, an heiress to her family’s mega corporation who enrolled in this school because she wanted a normal school life. Botan Ohagi is an expert in martial arts and is the successor to an ancient martial arts school; however, her abilities are exaggerated considerably, which serves as a running gag in the series. There is also a little white seal who appears to be a mascot for the club, but the girls never acknowledge seeing it; there are times when the seal serves as the narrator as to what’s happening in the story.

Each episode of the Chronicles of the Going Home Club is split into several vignettes. Most episodes include three or four, but the final episode squeezes in 20. Many of the stories will feature parodies or references to anime (such as Sailor Moon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon, Dragon Ball, and Fist of the North Star). There were also times where I felt that the entire concept of an unofficial school club that does random things, led by an energetic girl and consisting of members with various personalities, was a reference to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya; the only things missing were the extraterrestrials, espers, and time travelers.

Another element of this series is the fact that the characters know they’re in an anime series and will either poke fun at the animators or make direct references to being in an anime. In a lot of respects, it feels like the characters are “breaking the fourth wall.” I admit that their awareness of being anime characters was one of my favorite parts of this series.

Overall, I thought Chronicles of the Going Home Club worked well for a gag anime. I was able to identify many of the references, and the exaggerations were zany enough to make me laugh but they didn’t come across as “over the top.” To me, these are two important elements to make a gag anime successful.

Even though I enjoyed Chronicles of the Going Home Club and I think it works well for what it is, gag anime usually isn’t something I’m going to be giving a lot of repeat viewings to. While I’m glad I saw it and that I enjoyed watching the series, it’s not one that I would rush to add to my anime home video collection. Even if I did want to add it, it would be expensive to obtain, since NIS America holds the North American distribution rights. It’s not the kind of series I would be willing to spend US$50+ on in order to own a physical copy.

Review: Chronicles of the Going Home Club: Episode 2 – “If the Cuckoo won’t sing, it’s probably dead \ Girl Power Overdrive \ Social Mixer Training”

Chronicles of the Going Home Club is an anime series that focuses on a group of five girls who are members of the Going Home Club, a club at their high school that is about finding out about how much fun they can have after school.

There were a total of three vignettes that took place during this episode, and I only feel like they truly had any kind of fun during the third one. The first two vignettes basically saw the girls sitting around a table and talking, with attempts being made to add humor to the proceedings. The only notable thing in this vignette is the fact that the seal that hangs out in the club room actually talks; of course, there’s still no kind of explanation as to why this random seal is there in the first place.

In the first vignette, Karin starts a discussion about the cuckoo poems, which were written to describe the personalities of the Three Great Unifiers. The poems have to do with a cuckoo not singing. This vignette ends up having the girls discussing what they would do if they had a cuckoo that wouldn’t sing. Personally, I found this particular vignette to be rather boring and not very funny; of course, this might be due to the fact that I have a limited knowledge about the Warring States period that the Three Great Unifiers came from.

The second vignette sees Karin bring cookies to the club room that she made herself. Sakura makes a big deal out of this, because she assumed Karin was a “brainless beauty” that wasn’t capable of cooking. This vignette suddenly sees a Dragon Ball Z Scouter appear over Sakura’s eye, which she uses to measure Karin’s Feminine Appeal. This vignette uses some of Vegeta’s dialogue about the Scouter from Dragon Ball Z and tries to apply it to the story taking place. I’m a Dragon Ball Z fan, and normally I’m easily amused by Dragon Ball Z references and parodies that appear in anime; however, this just felt rather stupid, “over the top,” and not terribly funny.

The final vignette sees the girls doing a social mixer practice drill. Claire and Botan play the boys in the practice drill, Natsumi and Karin are the girls, and Sakura is the waitress/referee. Sakura assigns rather arbitrary points, as well as drags out the already worn out Dragon Ball Z Scouter joke. Again, I really didn’t find this vignette to be terribly amusing.

Overall, I found this episode of Chronicles of the Going Home Club to be boring and not very funny. While anime viewers who enjoy series like Yuyushiki will more than likely enjoy Chronicles of the Going Home Club, this series just isn’t for me. At this point, I’d rather watch KINMOZA!, which is another Summer 2013 anime series that features cute high school girls doing cute things.

And with that, I’m giving Chronicles of the Going Home Club a one-way ticket to Dropville.

Review: Chronicles of the Going Home Club: Episode 1 – “Go-Home Club Applicants \ Life is Short; Go Home, Young Lady \ Beware of Hagizuki-ryuu Practitioners \ Extravagant Youth: Priceless”

Chronicles of the Going Home Club, which is known in Japan as Kitakubu Katsudo Kiroku, is an anime based on a manga series written and illustrated by Kuroha. The series is streaming on Crunchyroll on Thursdays.

This series is set in a Japanese high school, and focuses on a club known as the Going Home Club; their only goal is to find out how much fun they can have after school.

Rather quickly during the first episode, it becomes readily apparent that this series is another entry into the “cute girls in a club doing cute things” category, and that the series is going to have a “moe appeal.”

Several of the moe stereotypes are present in the characters that make up Chronicles of the Going Home Club. The main character, Natsuki Ando, is the excitable protagonist; she also has a piece of hair that sticks up in the air that almost looks like an antenna. And this piece of hair that sticks out is really tall; as I watched the episode, I kept having this urge of wanting to get a pair of scissors and cut it off!

Karin Tono is the shy girl, Sakura Domyoji is the blond-haired leader of the club, Claire Kokonoe is the rich girl, and Botan Ohagi is the dark haired girl that’s usually cool and composed. The one quality that makes Botan stand out is the fact that she has skills in martial arts.

There’s also what appears to be a small white seal that appears with the club members. However, no explanation is given for the seal, and it just feels like it was thrown in there and doesn’t truly add much of anything to the series.

The episodes seem to be done in such a way that there’s four separate vignettes, rather than one overarching story.

Chronicles of the Going Home Club is supposed to be light-hearted and comedic, but I didn’t find much in this first episode to be truly funny. A couple of times during the first episode, the ending credits try to start early, and Natsuki pushes them off the screen, yelling that it’s too early for it. The first time this happened, it was mildly amusing; however, the second instance felt more annoying than amusing.

I have to say that, after seeing the first episode, there’s really nothing here that makes Chronicles of the Going Home Club stand out to me in comparison to other similar series (Lucky Star, Yuyushiki, K-ON!, etc.) I know that there’s an audience for these types of shows, and I believe that viewers who enjoy these kind of series will probably like Chronicles of the Going Home Club.

I’ll watch the second episode of this series to see whether or not it continues in the same vein as the first episode. However, I should mention that it may take me a couple of weeks to get to the next episode, because next Thursday, I’m not going to have access to streaming anime.