“Jinsei” (“Human”, although the subtitle is “La Bonne Vie” and why it is in French, you’ve got me) is initially closer aligned with “Medaka Box”, but without a lot of the over-the-top histrionics that did undercut that show.
Congratulations, you are back in school! You are enrolled in the Journalism Club, and, as a reward, have been tapped to take care of the Life Counseling section. Here, you will put out a suggestion box, where the students give you their problems and hope that you can come up with a solution. Leading the section is Yūki Akamatsu (the guy up there). Initially, you do not wish to take on the task, as you are a bit of a social misfit and do not think you can give good advice. Not to worry, as we have three other girls (and eventually a fourth) that will help you in your Newspaper Quest. They are (left to right):
Ikumi Suzuki. She comes from the sports club and is bursting with energy.
Rino Endō. Representing the science club, she has more of a nuts-and-bolts approach to things.
Fumi Kujō. Literature club. She has a good mind but overthinks things.
Not pictured is Emi Murakami, who will come from the arts club.
Together, they try and answer the questions that bedevil the students, but each of them has a very focused answer that reflects their personal thinking than seeing the whole picture. And sometimes the answer isn’t germane to what is going on. However, by trying out their own advice, meeting with the person who asked the question and coming to an understanding, the end result is a very measured, reasoned and appropriate answer. The show not only deals with their trials to help these people, but how they can become friends as well. It’s not really a harem show, but it sure turned out that way.
A degree of comic relief is offered by Kouta Asano, who is president of the 1st Division newspaper and he puts together his own staff that pretty much mimics our current staff, right down to physical similarities. Despite the surface goofy nature of the show (it bears a lot more in common with those ‘nothing’ shows like “Joshiraku” and “Daily Lives of High School Boys”, as there is a huge amount of talking), there really is a heart and soul to things. They help people grow as they grow themselves and become more social. Yeah, sure, it could even be something like “Haganai” and we do have our fair share of boob jokes (Fumi sports a nice set of tomes), but it is done more as being goofy than anything salacious (“They’re firm, yet soft”).
I would give this show a chance when you tire of murder and mayhem. It speeds along quickly, both in individual episodes and overall series run, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I wasn’t
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Does a good job)
Plot 8 (Good retelling of a standard idea)
Pacing 8 (Moves along very nicely)
Effectiveness 8 (A well-thought out approach)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler’, but doesn’t really end)
Fan Service 4 (A similar show would be “Gurren Lagann”)
Overall 8 (Balanced things quite well)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. That’s not an answer.