I’m Joybo Maybe not so Joyful…?

Y’see, it’s called “I’m Joybo” and I made the title also say “joyful” so… Kind of funny, right? Well, I think it’s pretty funny. You don’t have to. The Chinese name of this animated series is “Wo Shi Jiang Xiaobai” in case you wanted an easier way to find it. I’m not gonna lie to you it was pretty boring for, like, 90% of it. At one point I fell unconscious into a bowl of popcorn! But I pride myself in being someone that can rip out value out of every piece of art I witness, therefore, we’re talking about the boring 3D animated drama: “I’m Joybo”.

And yeah! One of the main prospects that captured my attention was the fact that it was fully (well, almost) 3D animated. And it’s not that I was expecting it to have great 3D animation but I am drawn to trying all sorts of 3D anime because that’s a field I am interested in pursuing. But damn! I had to really analyze it for awhile to come to a sensible conclusion but it wasn’t the most awful CGI I’ve ever seen. Relative to 3D anime it was pretty OK. There didn’t seem to be any restrictions or dips in terms of frame rate. The anime aesthetic was, for the most part, intact. There was hardly any clippings in-between models. Like I said, it was OK. The character designs, in some cases, were actually really good and I enjoyed that very much. But to the average viewer it’ll still leave a lot to be desired.

But as a real-life drama I have to talk about what it means to watch some guy with an awful name slowly regain memories of a death that happened 10 years ago. And they did this back-and-forth thing where it’d go back in time to show us their high school life and how it relates to present time dilemmas. There was a, somewhat, shock value moment where it actually impressed me. The way the colors were used in the designs of specific characters and how it was written tricks the viewers into thinking differently. There are 2 girls in this story that had feelings for Joybo in high school. One was ‘Muse Raine’ and the other was ‘Rey’. Muse Raine was the red-haired girl that changed Joybo’s life… Forever. Rey just looked like any generic shy girl. 10 years later, Rey comes back into Joybo’s life having dyed her hair red and cut it. That’s where the show starts. It’s funny because it was such a simple way to create a twist and really I value my time watching the show, despite how mediocre it may be, for that reason alone. It made me think that Joybo was communicating with Raine but it was actually Rey the whole time. Leading you to believe Rey was the childhood friend that passed away all those years ago. It wasn’t just a color scheme that made me believe this. There was another intro to the show where it had this really nice 2D artwork that depicted an accident that happened even earlier; somewhere around elementary school. It showed Raine hopping across the street with a meek attitude. A car that carried Rey and her parents were about to crash into Raine but in an attempt to prevent that the car crashes into other cars that leads to the death of Rey’s parents and Rey, herself, heavily injured. Raine came out unharmed.

Really, it was all these smart directorial choices that lead to me interchanging the girls. It was really good. So, that’s the good news! The bad news is there was not much else. That was about the whole narrative and the ending was separated from the main series into its own OVA which was not only as boring as sin but annoying as shit. Not to mention very cliche and uninteresting. But hey! If you wanna watch I’m Joybo… You probably shouldn’t? I doubt you’d like it very much. However, I respect the work put into it and thought it was worth my time.


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