I’m in no mood to do a movie review and also because I didn’t download any movie. I’ll be reviewing an anime series instead. It’s still part of the Fall 2011 lineup and it’s another VN adaptation. The anime is Mashiroiro Symphony: The Color of Lovers. Yeah, pretty awesome title.
It’s twelve episodes full of romance and lies! All lies! Also, this review number sixty so the time passed me. I didn’t notice I was already at my 60th review. Anyways, enough talk. Let’s read on.
The all-girls school called Yuihime Girl’s Private Academy decided to turn co-ed for one term by accepting students from another school in preparation to its merger. However, the students of Yuihime didn’t like that decision and doesn’t want students from Kagamidia Private Academy in their school. It’s up to Shingo Uryuu to convince the girls to accept them but the task isn’t easy. The only possible solution is to befriend the perfect girl in the academy, Airi Sena, who strongly opposes the merge. It’s a tough task but Shingo is determined. He’s determined to even convince Airi to fall in love with him.
Taking the Pants Off
I can simply summarize my experience with this anime in one word. That word is “Misleading”. Maybe not misleading but I felt cheated when I watched this anime for reasons I’ll explain in detail one by one. First of all, this anime is an adaptation of a visual novel game of the same name. It’s hard to do an anime about a VN because in the game you need to choose a “route” to take that involves making one of many girls of the game to fall in love with you. If the game has five or six routes then it’s certainly a challenge to give justice to each route. The anime has the option to choose one route but that would mean putting the rest of the girls on the sidelines. If they put all the routes in then it can become a harem which isn’t faithful to the original source. There’s a risk an anime need to take and that will either make it or break it. This anime tried hard and took risk but the end result is a bit unsatisfying.
I don’t play VN so I don’t give a crap which way the anime goes as long as the story is clear. The first part of the anime is really impressive. It’s about Shingo and the rest of the boys from Kagamidia Academy having a rough time as they are being ignored or mistreated by the all-girl academy. Shingo realizes that Airi seems to be a leader of sorts and if she thinks that having boys in the school is OK then the rest of the girls will follow. It started out rough though as Shingo keeps ruining their relationship by walking in a girl’s bathroom or peeping at Airi’s undies by accident. Shingo is determined though and he does his best to be close to Airi.
Shingo and Airi became class rep of the class and they had a lot of alone time together. It was very romantic. They have a very pleasant chemistry that is so very interesting that I was absorbed with the anime. Airi hates men but slowly but surely, Shingo is making his way into her heart. Airi would see Shingo’s good side and Shingo would discover a lot of things about Airi. They slowly bonded and they open up to each other. This uptight girl would suddenly find comfort being at this guy’s side. Isn’t it romantic? I was really amazed at the brilliant story the anime has set up.
The pacing of this love story is smartly done with each episode having a moment for Airi and Shingo to be alone so they can be sweet to each other. Airi’s transformation from this girl who opposes a merge to this girl who would laugh and spend lunch with the boys was amazing. It also did a nice job of introducing the rest of the characters and giving some time with Shingo but without diluting the romantic development with Airi. It was really well done and I wanted more. I want to see how the anime ends. I want to see Airi and Shingo kiss and I expected it to happen in the second half.
Yes, the second half. Episode seven and onwards. The anime decided to give some screen time to the rest of the characters. It was fine since they decided to flesh out these characters and it certainly wouldn’t sit well if the two main characters keep improving leaving the rest behind. So there were a couple of episodes given for the rest. Things went south from here though. Shingo would suddenly become involved with the “Kitty Club” where the club aims to take care of wounded animals then release them to the wild when they get better. He was mostly involved with its two members, Miu Amaha and Sana Inui. I was completely fine with it because he was strongly involved with one of the characters before them. I was fine watching Shingo try and save the club from disbanding. Yes, it was an awesome moment for the hero of the anime.
It came out of nowhere though. The anime suddenly abandoned this romantic build up with Airi and switched it with a love triangle involving the Kitty club members. It suddenly became a story about Shingo being too nice with the girls and the two of them having a crush with him. What the heck? What happened to Airi? What happened to the climatic romantic entanglement the first half promised? Huh? It’s no longer mentioned by the anime? Oh, what’s that? Shingo is interested with one of the girls from this club? What the—I don’t even—
It was heartbreaking. I tuned in to the second half to see Airi’s route and it was suddenly replaced by somebody else’s route. Why the hell did the anime do this? They couldn’t continue forward with the amazing story of the first half and just shoot hard hoping the second half would stick. It did nothing for me. Airi is the leading lady that the anime first established so I can’t just switch gears and suddenly have an emotional investment with two girls who was just side characters in the first half.
It’s annoying but the second half did have a definite ending. Shingo did choose one of the girls and there was some heart wrenching moment where one of the girls is hit hard with the fact that she wasn’t chosen. There was a lot of crying from the other girl because he loved him a lot and she can no longer be with him. It even had a touching moment where Airi was the one consoling the heart broken girl. AAAARRRGGGGGGHHHH!!!! F*ck that sh*t. Ever hit in the face with a pie that had rocks in it? Ever admired a cosplayer from the back thinking her costume was awesome then you ask for a picture, she turn around and she was really really really ugly? Heart breaking, isn’t? The anime had a nice thing going for it in the first half but I don’t understand why it would troll the viewers this hard.
The character development is superb though. All the girls, except for Shingo’s sister, started out as wallpapers but the anime gave each of them time to develop. They brilliantly break free from their stereotypes and were able to stand out in their own way. Shingo remains the same from start to finish because he’s supposedly awesome. The interactions with the characters were superb as well and there was honestly no boring moments in the anime thanks to the nicely developed characters.
I don’t recommend this. It had a lot of nice things going for it but I can’t simply ask you to watch just the first half. It’s sad but this anime didn’t live up to the expectation it set upon itself. A real shame too. I would easily rank this a nine of ten if they maintained the pacing and story of the first half.
Sight and Sound
The animation is pretty plain. It stayed true to the art of the VN so there is really nothing worth nothing in terms of animation or background. The one kissing scene in the anime was nice though and there were some hints of fan service in the anime that they covered with the “blinding light” that gives the anime some comic relief. I love the school uniforms though. Both uniforms where nice and they were design pretty smartly. The characters had some moments of cuteness thanks to the uniforms.
The opening song was plain. It didn’t jump at you like a good OP should but the song was nice though. Chouchou’s voice was really amazing though as it follows to the song’s beat. The opening sequence is nice as well. It introduced the characters without any spoilers. The girls dancing in the snow was a nice touch.
The ED song is more “moe” because it featured the anime’s mascot. The song had a cute vibe to it and the feel of it was unique in a way. “Suisai Candy” by marble was a nice touch by the anime. The sequence was about the mascot being cute so just watch it. It did nothing for me cause I don’t like the mascot.
5/10 “An amazing first half ruined by a pathetic second half.”
I really love the first half about Airi but it’s from the initial shock that I didn’t like the second half. To be fair, it had a nice pacing and a solid theme about blossoming love and unrequited love so I can’t be too hard on it. After all, the anime still had a nice soundtrack, great character development and a romantic pay off. It’s just with the different girl.