Kujibiki Unbalance (2006)

Genre: Romantic comedy
Score: OK
Length: 12 episodes

Rikkyoin Academy has a strange way of selecting its student council: a team of four new students are selected by lottery, and then spend the next year performing weird tasks and overcoming hurdles. If they fail even one of these tasks, the four of them will be expelled. The idea is apparently to select only those individuals who are naturally posessed of great luck. That’s okay for Tokino – naive and trusting, she always had luck in spades – but her friend Chihiro has always been a target for the bad luck she missed out on. Can the two of them, along with a random girl from primary school and a loud brat who makes robots, survive the year’s tests?

Compared to the original fake three-episode version, this remake has a very different story. The original had a more comprehensible contest, where teams competed against each other and were whittled down till the winning team became the next year’s student council. This version’s all-or-nothing approach is indicative of the academy’s apparently unshakable faith in the power of luck – after all, their motto is “The Lottery Is Truth”. Yeah, it’s weird.

Created purely to be the subject of fandom in Genshiken, and deliberately made in the style of so many other things, you have to admire how original Kujibiki turned out to be. While it’s initially just overwhelmingly nuts (and tiring in the same way as a really happy dog that won’t shut up about how much it loves you is tiring), it settles down a little and the characters grow on you.