"The kujibiki is fact. The kujibiki is fate." "And the kujibiki is final." —Kasumi Kisaragi and Ritsuko Kettenkrad, Kujibiki Unbalance TV series.
Kujibiki Unbalance originally started as a Show Within a Show within Genshiken. It is an intentional conglomeration of every anime genre and trope that the producers could cram in. Clips of it were animated for the original Genshiken series, and three complete episodes — the first episode, a Clip Show, and the second-to-last episode — were produced as an Omake on the Genshiken DVDs. They proved to be so wildly popular that the series was produced as its own standalone anime series, which aired in the Fall 2006 season.The series follows a slate of four candidates for the Absurdly Powerful Student Council at an Elaborate University High. The school where the action is set has an unusual tradition: both the admissions test and the student council elections are chosen by lottery ("kujibiki" in Japanese). At the beginning of each year, the entire student body is divided into slates of candidates, who compete with each other through an enormous Tournament Arc of wacky Cooking Duel competitions. Naturally, there's a Love Dodecahedron at work, including a Childhood Marriage Promise between the protagonist and the current Student Council President.The remade series, this time a complete one, is similar, but with a different art style, different group of candidates and a different setup for them to succeed. Rather than many groups competing, the next student council has already been decided, but in order to prove themselves worthy they must complete tasks put to them by the current council. These range from finding the last missing member in the first episode, to things like protecting the president from a bomb threat (and that's just the second episode). The DVDs of the remade series, in a role reversal, contain 3 OVA episodes of Genshiken.It has now been released as a manga too, with a bonus section... where the remaining Genshiken members discuss the new manga.Compare with Getsumen To Heiki Mina, another defictionalizedShow Within a Show.
Post Episode Trailer: (Notably, they only bothered animating any scenes for the trailer at the end of episode 1 - the other episodes have a generic animation of the characters and a live-action scene of Ritsuko's helmet on the beach.)
Brother-Sister Incest: Chihiro's sister makes it all too clear that she wants to do this with him, often giving him The Glomp, and even sneaking into his bed while he's asleep and attempting to molest him. And although she's supposed to be older, her small size makes her seem like his younger sister.
Cannot Spit It Out: Tokino believes this is one of the problems between Chihiro and Ritsuko. Tokino herself finally confesses to Chihiro at the end of episode 8.
Clingy Jealous Girl: Chihiro's sister Shinobu. She hates seeing other girls around him, especially Tokina.
Yamada acts this way towards Renko in episode 9 when the latter creates some more robots. Ironically, said robots were intended to help Yamada, but she takes it the wrong way, and feels Renko is trying to replace her.
Contrived Coincidence: When Koyuki was trying to get a scoop for the newspaper club, she wanted him to cover her having psychic abilities as the story. And just as she does that, a UFO lands, and a giant robot attacks them, conveniently giving her a chance to show her powers to him, as well as provide an even more awesome story to cover.
Cursed with Awesome: Koyuki's ESP, which allows her to teleport, as well as move objects without touching them. She feels alienated because of said power, until Chihiro tells her otherwise.
Cyborg: Yamada. It's never made explicit exactly what modifications Renko made to her, and it's treated as something of an Unusually Uninteresting Sight, with nobody finding it especially strange that Yamada can be rebuilt into various vehicles.
Elevator School: Played straight with Koyuki. But the name is played with when Chihiro and Tokino are wandering around and taking an elevator to various floors at the school, such as an aquarium and a bowling alley.
Expy: Chihiro in the 2006 series bears an uncanny resemblance to Negi Springfield; considering that the series is said to be created by "Yuu Kuroki" (an obvious dig at Ken Akamatsu), this may not be coincidental.
Foreshadowing: In episode 9, Yamada mentions how Renko can cook, clean, shampoo, and condition all by herself after she's been "replaced" by other robots. Turns out that Renko built said robots to help with shampooing and conditioning.
Gadgeteer Genius: Renko invents some really weird things, but they usually turn out to be useful for whatever situation they're in at the time.
Genre Shift: The show starts off all goofy and silly until episode 5. Where the series then turns into a dramedy with very few funny moments.
Heroic BSOD: The main characters suffer through these at various points in the show. They usually snap out of it shortly afterwards, except in episode 11.
Hot-Blooded: Renko often seems a bit too overexcited about almost any situation she's in.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Invoked by Tokino in episode 12, when she tearfully tells Ritsuko that Chihiro loves her, and that she's the only one that can snap him out of his current Heroic BSOD. Ritsuko herself does it a few moments later largely by going overseas to study, partly because she wants to learn more, and partly so she's not in Tokino's way.
Loophole Abuse: Koyuki's a candidate for the student council despite being an elementary school student, because she grabbed the lot. "The kujibiki is final."
Mythology Gag: Several elements from the original series reappear in different forms, such as the aliens (who become friendly in their second appearance), Alex (now the Student Council secretary and a dog) and Renko's dumb muscle (now a pair of robots she creates).
The Napoleon: Renko (in both versions, but this one even has a gag about it).
Nice Guy: Chihiro, and Ritsuko's fiance, surprisingly enough. Unlike other shows of this type where said fiance's are usually JerkAsses, he's the one who allows Chihiro and Tokino into Ritsuko's private birthday party, he doesn't get jealous or angry when Ritsuko dances with Chihiro, and he kindly points out that Tokino's unease at seeing her two friends so close is her own feelings towards Chihiro surfacing.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: While Shinobu isn't a bad guy per se, in episode 3 Chihiro and the others are having no luck whatsoever trying to find the missing panda, despite their traps. Meanwhile, Shinobu had one of the other teachers create a Love Potion for her to use on Chihiro. It turns out the potion worked a little too well. Soon Tokino and several dozen students, along with the missing panda and some zoo animals, begin chasing after Shinobu while she tries to escape. She later loses the potion, and unintentionally causes the two pandas to fall in love, thus solving Chihiro's initial dilemma, along with Tokino, still under the effects of the potion, giving Chihiro a kiss.
Completely flipped in the English dub, where every character retains their voice actor from the OVA's, with one exception. The odd one out? Ritsuko.note (the recast was due to Jessica Calvello's retirement; however, new CV Anna Morrow was such a dead-ringer for Ms Calvello that most people wouldn't notice a difference)
Scary Shiny Glasses: Chihiro does this briefly in episode 10, but then reveals he's still the same guy to Koyuki.
Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: When Koyuki is kidnapped in episode 10, Chihiro and the others are told not to do anything about it, as the current student council was trying to resolve the situation. However, their first plan didn't exactly go very well either, so Chihiro, Tokino, and Renko all decide to rescue Koyuki themselves. They finish the job just as the student council's Plan B kicked in, and a lot of guards arrive at the building.
Secret Keeper: When Chihiro finds out about Koyuki's powers, he promises not to reveal it to anyone, as he feels doing so would cause more trouble than its worth, and doesn't want to ruin their friendship.
Serious Business: The school has such a reputation that there are spies all over, as well as assassins and even an army of guards.
The Power of Friendship: Used a few times, once on Renko in episode 5, later on Izumi in episode 7, and then on Koyuki in episode 10.
The Reveal: When everyone finds out Komaki is really Koyuki's Cool Big Sis rather than her mother, and that she's also a guard for the current student council.
Ten Minutes in the Closet: When there's tension between Tokino and Chihiro, Renko invents some sort of washing machine funhouse and traps the two in there. It doesn't really work, but it was a good attempt.
True Companions: Chihiro, Tokino, and Renko all rush to save a kidnapped and mind controlled Koyuki from her brother who turned to evil in episode 10. Chihiro also uses The Power of Friendship to snap Koyuki out of her mind control.
Unrequited Love: After Tokino confesses her feelings to him, Chihiro seems a little uneasy around her when they're alone. Both Chihiro and Ritsuko seem to feel this way towards each other as well, although Ritsuko being in an Arranged Marriage doesn't help matters.
Chihiro gives one to his friends at the end of episode 11 when he says he's thinking about giving up the student council president candidate position.
The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Ritsuko. She does not allow herself to show kindness or indecisiveness as a requirement of the office. In the end she is glad to leave the position for her successors.