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There's something wrong with this Art Club!

Mizuki Usami has a problem with the Art Club: the club president is a slacker, their newly-recruited kouhai hardly shows up, and the only other person who takes his work (somewhat) seriously, Subaru Uchimaki, is more concerned about painting the 'Ultimate 2-D Bride' than doing any 'proper' work! Will this Art Club ever get their affairs in order?

This Art Club Has a Problem! (Kono Bijutsubu Niwa Mondai ga Aru! or Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru!; Japanese: この美術部には問題がある) was originally a two-shot Slice of Life manga by Imigi Muru, and was subsequently serialized in Dengenki Maoh. It began running in 2012 and, as of September 2020, has twelve volumes. An anime adaptation premiered in July 2016, which can be watched on Crunchyroll; an English-language Blu-Ray was released in 2019.


This Series Has Tropes!

  • A-Cup Angst: Nonoka has this. Probably doesn't help that her crush definitely likes girls with big breasts.
  • Accidental Pervert: Uchimaki ends up as this from time to time; usually the other party is Usami (with maybe two exceptions). Additionally, he is unfortunately caught with lewd materials twice, once with a hentai magazine, and once with a DVD with a nude woman sketch lesson. Both times, the actual culprit was the club president, and both times Uchimaki gets reprimanded by Tachibana.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The two sisters who go looking for a pervert in Episode 2 never appear in the manga.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: In Episode 3 Sayaka uses the excuse of looking for a scoop to visit the art club, and Mizuki says nothing interesting ever happens there. In the manga, Sayaka was able to bring up the art club's swimming pool incident as a counterpoint; in the anime though, the art club hadn't painted the pool yet, so Sayaka just says that it's called a scoop because she's looking for something that isn't there.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Largely averted, with the exception of the club president and some of the past members of the art club.
  • Almost Kiss: Usami nearly gives one to a sleeping Uchimaki, but restrains herself, opting to draw on his face instead.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Mizuki's mother likes to eavesdrop on her daughter's conversations, especially when they're with Subaru. Later, Usami's father is introduced, and he's a different kind of embarrassing.
  • Amusing Injuries: Mizuki frequently delivers hard hits in reaction to things, especially to Subaru and the president. The effects rarely stick for long.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Maria thinks a cross-dressing Subaru is pretty cute; she's not alone.
  • Beautiful Dreamer / Sleep Cute: In Work 62, Usami falls asleep on Uchimaki's shoulder, and, instead of waking her, Uchimaki draws her portrait.
  • Birds of a Feather: Uchimaki and Imari are both huge Otaku leading them to becoming friends pretty quickly.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Tachibana-sensei.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Work 5 begins with this.
  • Brick Joke: This occurs a relatively often in the series.
    • In Work 15/Episode 3, Mizuki's friends get her and Subaru to stand together for a drawing, and Sayaka takes a picture of the two in what looks like a Funny Background Event. At the end of the segment, the picture is used for a scandalous newspaper article Sayaka writes, all to work Mizuki up.
  • Bridal Carry: Subaru catches Mizuki in this manner after she falls off a stepstool.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: The club president. He gets good grades but spends most of his time asleep.
  • Butt-Monkey: A purposely-unnamed character introduced in Work 18, who gets angry his painting was beaten by Subaru's in a previous art contest. His first appearance is the only one where he gets any form of respect; every other time he shows up, something bad usually befalls him.
  • Buxom Is Better: The club president is of this opinion, much to Nonoka's chagrin.
  • Call-Back: Usually, but not always, a product of a Brick Joke. Examples include the "pool-art incident," Usami and Uchimaki getting stuck in the storage room, "Loli-maki," and the time Usami and Uchimaki helped a lost little girl.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Usami likes Uchimaki very much, but cannot bring herself to say it outright.
  • Casting Gag: Usami's one-sided crush on Subaru marks the second time Ari Ozawa has played a school girl with a hopeless crush on an artist in her own grade, not to mention that they are both members of an art club in their respective schools.
  • Character Tic: In the anime, Sayaka likes to throw up a "V" sign when she successfully trolls someone.
  • Childhood Friend:
    • Kaori is this for Usami.
    • Nonoka, who is the club president's childhood friend.
    • Uchimaki's elder sister, Yurine is introduced along side her childhood friend, Aoi.
  • Chuunibyou: Imari is one, right down to wearing a medical eyepatch like Rikka in Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions. "Evil Grimoire Exploration Society," indeed.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Mizuki gets pretty anxious if there's a chance that Subaru and another girl might have something together.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • After Mizuki's art competition entry is ruined, the club submits Subaru's catgirl-in-a-swimsuit painting instead, which surprisingly wins second place. Mizuki finds it unacceptable, and Subaru agrees, because he thinks his painting should've won first prize.
    • While Mizuki and Subaru have a spat over Maria, Mizuki throws the president's pillow at Subaru's place. The president calls Usami out, then adds that the pillow is a really expensive, foreign one. Colette is surprised at the president's priorities.
    • When Nonoka warns Tachibana-sensei that the club president is "aiming for her body," the teacher interprets this as the guy wanting to punch her.
  • Comic-Book Time: All four seasons have cycled more than once, but none of the characters have changed grades.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Episode 3 of the anime has a segment which adapts Work 7 of the manga, but without the middle part containing the group's antics in a bookstore, keeping the sentimentality while reducing the Mood Whiplash.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Colette tends to do this with the neighourhood kid, Moeka.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Colette and her numerous antics. There's also Aoi.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Uchimaki Yurine for her Childhood Friend Aoi.
  • Club President: Subverted, as he just uses the room to sleep all the time.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Tachibana Yumeko-sensei, the new club advisor for the Art Club.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The last part of Episode 10 focuses on Kaori, as she tries to dig up some dirt on Maria.
  • Death Glare: The president is on the receiving end of Usami's in Work 21 and Nonoka's anytime she's present and he's perving on Tachibana-sensei.
  • Ditzy Genius: Uchimaki qualifies... when he actually bothers to create normal artwork. Actually, he qualifies regardless, since his work is high-quality, but his normal artwork is even better. One of his paintings of a 2-D Bride won second prize in a contest, though.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Nana Mizuki (Tachibana) and Sumire Uesaka (Colette) respectively perform the opening and ending themes.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Usami does this quite a lot to both the Club President and Uchimaki. To a lesser extent, Nonoka does this to the club president periodically whenever he is up to something pervy (or seems to be).
  • Dropping the Bombshell: Happened during the two-shot, when Uchimaki revealed he was leaving the Art Club since he was about to finish his perfect 2-D Bride.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In the anime, Colette can be seen hiding in a locker in the first episode, two episodes before she's formally introduced.
  • Every Man Has His Price: The way the former club advisor, Koyama-sensei, managed to commission posters for other clubs... by bribing the club president with a box of books on sleeping well.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Everyone just calls the club president by his title. It isn't until his childhood friend, Nonoka, appears that we learn his real name, or rather nickname: Yoh-chan.
  • Expressive Accessory: Mizuki's hair-clip changes expressions with her mood.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Nonoka has this, regardless of her mood.
  • Fell Asleep Standing Up: The president does this in Work 8.
  • First-Name Basis: Some of the characters always are referred to by their first names, to the extent that their surname isn't even provided in the work. Colette, Usami's friends, Yurine (to avoid confusion with her younger brother), and Aoi being the biggest examples.
    • In Work 33/Episode 12 Subaru asks if he can call Mizuki by her first name, because he's fallen for another character who shares her last name. Mizuki later turns down his request, but it was fine by then because Subaru had fallen out of love with the character.
  • The Gadfly:
    • Sayaka likes to say and do things to get a rise out of Mizuki.
    • The club president loves to mess around with people. His favorite target is Usami and her crush on Uchimaki.
    • Yurine, especially where her younger brother is concerned.
  • Hide the Evidence:
    • What the Club President and Uchimaki were trying to do when they accidentally ruined Usami's entry to an art contest.
    • Colette does this when she painted the bust. Again, it doesn't work.
  • I'm Crying, but I Don't Know Why: When Subaru says that he's kidding about Mizuki feeling sad if he quit the club, Mizuki suddenly tears up. She isn't even aware of it until Subaru points it out.
  • In Medias Res: Work 43 opens with Mizuki and another student hiding in a locker, then goes back to show how they got into that predicament in the first place.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Instead of "chapters," the manga is divided into "works."
    • Each anime episode's title is a mashup of all the titles of the individual segments.
  • Immoral Journalist: Sayaka says that a news "scoop" is called that because you need to dig for something that isn't there.
  • Indirect Kiss: When Kaori messes up Subaru's drink request, she offers her drink to him. Mizuki is fully aware of the implications, so she snatches the drink for herself, which leads to Subaru taking Mizuki's drink and downing it for himself. Mizuki is quite satisfied with the outcome.
  • Innocent Innuendo: In Episode 9, Subaru and the president are alone in the club room. The president says that it's just the two men alone in the room, and if Subaru knows what that means. Subaru immediately thinks of a Boys' Love situation, but the president was just talking about looking at the hentai magazine they found previously.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The president periodically employs this to get what he wants, particularly of Tachibana-sensei. Aoi also uses this a decent amount.
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Painting the school swimming pool before commencing the cleaning... unfortunately, the President didn't bother checking to make sure it was water-soluble!
  • Japanese School Club: The series centres on the school's Art Club.
  • Just Friends: Uchimaki and Maria are this. Despite what Usami thinks at first.
  • Last-Name Basis: With a story set in modern Japan, it's no surprise that this is the rule rather than the exception, with most adults being only known by their surname.
  • Locked in a Room: Usami and Uchimaki ended up as such while looking for a bust in the long-unused club store room.
  • Love Letter Lunacy:
    • In Work 9/Episode 2 Subaru receives a letter from an underclassman and requests Mizuki's help in turning her down.
    • Work 35 and 36 are about Mizuki and friends practice writing a love letter, and the events following it.
  • Love Triangle: Imari appears as Usami's rival for Uchimaki's affections, only she isn't really.
  • Luminescent Blush: Usami has one not infrequently and, about eighty percent of the time, Uchimaki has something to do with it.
    • Periodically, other characters gets this as well, including Tachibana-sensei and that rival-guy. Another notable example is Uchimaki, who gets this on rare occasion, notably in Work 71.
  • Mind over Matter: In Work 9, after Uchimaki brags about his latest "bride" having Psychic Powers, Usami tries bending a spoon, and is shocked to see it work. Uchimaki didn't believe her, however, and it hasn't come up again since.
  • Modesty Shorts: When Subaru remarks that he can see up Mizuki's skirt when she's modeling for him, she puts on some shorts under her skirt before she gets back to modeling. She does this at other times as well.
  • Mood Whiplash: Episode 1 opens with a more comedic segment in which Mizuki's plight is Played for Laughs in the first half, and switches to a somewhat more serious segment in which she's taken more seriously in the second half.
  • Motifs: About half of Usami's works which are actually shown involve apples, a reference to Paul Cézanne's still lives.
  • Mr. Imagination: Maria constantly goes on about grimoires and supernatural powers.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Tachibana. She gets a good number of swimsuit shots, and is a frequent target of the Male Gaze.
  • Nice Girl: For all her eccentricities, Maria is a kind person who helps others out if they need assistance.
  • No Name Given:
    • The Club President in the anime, since his childhood friend, Nonoka, doesn't appear.
    • Work 18 introduces a classmate who is always interrupted when trying to introduce himself.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform:
    • Subaru wears an orange sweater with his winter uniform and a red sweater with his summer uniform.
    • Kaori wears a yellow sweater instead of a blazer.
  • Oblivious to Love: Uchimaki seems completely oblivious to Usami's feelings.
    • Played around with. Uchimaki repeatedly states he's not interested in 3D girls, including in regard to Usami. However, due to their interactions, he gradually starts seeing her as a girl and not as an individual tangential to himself.
    • Later on, it is implied that Uchimaki has this with regard to his own (possible) feelings toward Usami, as indicated by the various ways he ends up being unconsciously influenced by her (mostly seen in his artwork).
  • Odd Friendship: The club president and Moeka develop this.
  • One Degree of Separation: This occurs several times.
    • The lost little girl, Moeka, turns out to be Koyama-sensei's granddaughter. Meanwhile, the masked girl she was with in her first appearance is implied to be Colette.
    • The little girl with a cute strap is actually the younger sister of the underclassman who confesses to Uchimaki.
    • Usami and Kaori actually met Yurine and Aoi when they were really little. Similarly, the club president and Nonoka met Tachibana when they were at a similar age. Kaori and Colette (implied) likewise met about a year before the series began.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Usually caused by Colette. For example, Colette and the president in Work 11/Episode 5: he's talking about seeing what looks like Subaru and Tachibana about to kiss, but she thinks he's talking about her painting the bust.
  • Only Sane Man: Usami feels that she's the only one in the club who takes the club activities seriously.
  • Otaku: Uchimaki, who's obsessed with creating the Ultimate 2-D Bride. Maria Imari is also an anime fan, a reason why she and Uchimaki become fast friends.
  • Panty Shot: Happens multiple times.
    • The president takes an up-skirt shot of Mizuki in episode 1. It happens a bit differently in the manga, although the result is the same.
    • Mizuki flashes Subaru again when she's admiring the dress she's wearing in Episode 7, though this time the audience doesn't see it.
    • When Usami is drawing a portrait of Uchimaki, he keeps trying to tell her that he can see her panties, but she interrupts him, insisting that he stay still and quiet while posing for her, so he ends up seeing them the entire session. He wisely keeps quiet about this.
    • When hiding from a teacher in Work 87, Usami ends up flashing Uchimaki big time. Again, she doesn't notice; he ends up staying quiet about it, although it does effect his artwork.
  • Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Definitely the feel of the club early on, until Koyama-sensei, the old club advisor, commissioned a poster on behalf of the other clubs.
  • Pose of Supplication: Dogeza occur quite frequently in this series. Notably:
    • Mizuki falls to her knees when Sayaka gets her to say she likes Subaru more than drawing.
    • Colette assumes the stance once the art club finds the the bust she painted.
  • Reality Ensues: Played for laughs. Subaru sees a half-naked Usami accidentally and as a result this starts bleeding into his artwork, as he draws bodies with realistic proportions instead of busty ones like he intends.
  • Really Fond of Sleeping: The club president tries to sleep whenever and wherever he can and has devoted club funds toward the purpose. The reason he started this was revealed in Work 38.
  • Running Gag: Well, it is a comedy. Any of the characters' various quirks and other tendencies are played this way and almost all of them have at least one. That aside, examples include:
    • Colette's various games and guises.
    • Drawing on the club president's face.
    • That classmate and self-proclaimed rival of Uchimaki's getting interrupted whenever he says his name. And also when his efforts go unnoticed by the people he wants to notice them.
    • Uchimaki getting scolded by teachers for things that aren't his fault.
    • Morohoshi-sensei chasing a trouble-maker, mostly Imari.
  • Satellite Character: Ryouko. At least Karoi is the Genki Girl and Sayaka is The Gadfly; Ryouko doesn't do much aside from supporting others' statements and hanging out with the others.
  • Shipper on Deck: Just about everyone wants to see Mizuki and Subaru become a couple, especially Mizuki's friends and Uchimaki's older sister.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In Episode 5, the art club's manga shelf is lined with volumes of Now Game!.
    • In Episode 10, Uchimaki is painting Renge, albeit without her Girlish Pigtails.
  • Shower of Awkward: Sort of. In Work 71, Uchimaki accidentally walks in on Usami drying herself off and dressed only in a Modesty Towel; this causes much awkwardness for a while.
  • Spock Speak: Subaru speaks like this at all times.
  • Stealing from the Till: The Club President uses the club's funds to buy pillows and futons for naps, and the club room's sofa is implied to have been obtained similarly.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Imari has this with Colette and Uchimaki periodically.
  • Stranger Danger:
    • Colette's first impression of the new club advisor, Tachibana-sensei.
    • Invoked towards Usami and Uchimaki when they were helping a mother find her lost daughter. The daughter won't come near them when they finally found her, no thanks to a certain masked person heavily implied to be Colette.
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: In Work 11/Episode 5, the president sees Subaru about to give Tachibana mouth-to-mouth and soon after encounters Colette. He says something major was happening, and Colette assumes he knows about something else she did, so she fesses up. Her vague answers only help to reinforce the president's thought that Colette had a hand in hooking Subaru up with Tachibana.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: The president does this from time to time.
  • Theme Tune Cameo:
    • A snippet of the anime's ending is heard in episode 6, filling in some awkward silence after Maria asks if Mizuki and Subaru were dating.
    • Colette is listening to the ending theme on her music player during Episode 8.
  • Those Two Guys:
    • Mizuki's three girl friends, Sayaka, Kaori, and Ryouko. They are distinct from each other but mundane compared to the main cast nonetheless.
    • Uchimaki's older sister, Yurine, and her friends, Aoi and Nakamu.
  • Treasure Hunt Episode: While rummaging through manga left behind by the past members of the Art Club, Uchimaki, Usami, and Imari found a note promising them a valuable treasure. In the end, they found it, which is a box of hentai magazines.
  • Trying Not to Cry: What Usami ulimately failed at doing while trying to talk Uchimaki out of quitting the club. As it turns out, the waterworks are what convinced Uchimaki to stay in the club, because he found the characteristic endearing.
  • Tsundere: Usami is usually on the dere side, but can switch quite abruptly to the tsun side when facing Uchimaki's weird antics.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Granddaughter in this case; the adorable Moeko is the plain Koyama-sensei's granddaughter. This is lampshaded by Koyama-sensei himself!
  • Umbrella of Togetherness: It's raining really hard in Work 38/Episode 12. While Mizuki is running errands for some teachers, Kaori snatches her umbrella, setting up her and Subaru sharing one for the walk home.
  • Unknown Rival: The classmate who first appears in Work 18 is a self-proclaimed rival of Uchimaki when it comes to art and later for Usami's affections. He is incredibly unsuccessful with regard to both, despite Uchimaki not actually competing in either.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In Episode 2 of the anime two extras are revealed to be sisters, and it seems like the two will go out on a hunt for a predator at the school. However, they don't have any relevance for the rest of the season. This is not true of the manga, where they never appear to begin with.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Uchimaki has no problem crossdressing when asked to do so and, if it's for his artwork, he'll crossdress without being asked.
    • In Work 43 Subaru asks Maria to take off her uniform so he can use them as a reference point. She agrees, on the condition that he wears it.
  • Your Answer to Everything: 2D waifus, for Subaru.

Alternative Title(s): Kono Bijutsubu Niwa Mondai Ga Aru, This Art Club Has A Problem


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