Lets get this out the way – I liked Kujibiki Unbalace.
Now, for the rest of you an explanation.
Kujibiki unbalance started off life as a fictional manga and animé series that the cast of Kio Shimoku’s “Genshiken” would watch and talk about [and which also gave the creator to make jabs and in jokes about the real life anime/manga industry]. However in 2007, Shimoku decided to make it into a series in its own right and, alongside a manga release in afternoon magazine, a 12 part anime series was released.
The manga [and the anime, albeit via a different route]follows the perils of Chhiro, an otherwise unlucky individual, whoose luck changes when, upon attending Rikkyuoin high, wins the lottery [or to use the Japanese name kujibiki, thus the series’ name] to become the next president
the only problem is that he, along with childhood friend and fellow kujibi winner Tokino, tech mad [and avatar of Tsundere] Renko and her assistant/punching bag Karuko, and Primary school girl, and accidental winner Koyuki, find themselves sent on almost impossible tasks by the current student council president ad her council to prove there worth as the next council.
The act that the current president, Ritsuko, happens to be also the childhood friend of Tokino and Chihiro also complicates matters…..
So, we have potential love[insert multi faceted shape here], madcap comedy, romance, adventure – all the makings of, if not a groundbreaking show, then at least a reasonably enjoyable watch/read.
So what went wrong?
The reception for its initial release though was…less than warm, with many fans [ironically of kio Shimoku’s previous work genshiken] complaining that the series was rubbish [but most complaining that this wasn’t the then hoped for second season of genshiken,despite the fact that the anime series came with three OVA of said series].
The result was that the manga series disappeared without a trace after two volumes, many plotlines either left unresolved or simply hastily finished. The anime fared better though, completing its 12 episode run with a bittersweet ending.
I as a writer feel that Kujibiki unbalance, and by extension Kio Shimoku, were victims of their own success – with the runaway success of otaku fan favorite Genshiken resulting in fans clamoring for more of the same, caring little for the fact that that Kios other works were nothing like Genshiken [Yonensei, and its sequel Gonensei, for example follows the lives of a college couple from when they meet at university, though to finding their place in modern society].
Which makes me all the more concerned that his newer work, Digopuri – the story of the day by day life of an 18 year old single mother, and her struggles to raise a baby – will get decried [or worse cancelled] due to it not “being otaku” enough – he already had to placate his fans by inserting artwork of Ogiue in the first volume [presumably to try to encourage sales].
At the end of the day kujibiki unbalace was a concept that could have been a good series, but was always overshadowed by its connection to Genshiken.