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[Colorful box art (why yes, yes it is)]
AKA: カラフル (Japanese)
Genre: Ecchi comedy
Length: Television series, 16 episodes, 7 minutes each
Distributor: Out-of-stock R1 DVD from Section23
Content Rating: 16+ (fan service, suggestive themes, animated blood)
Related Series: None
Also Recommended: Golden Boy (PLEASE watch this instead)
Notes: Based on the much racier manga by Kishi Torijiro. This ran originally as a segment in the Wonderful anthology TV series.
Rating:
 

Colorful

Synopsis

Colorful is a series of (mostly unrelated) skits of men and their sexual desires concerning women. That's about it.

Review

The first two times I reviewed Colorful, I made the mistake of watching its detestable dub. So for my first real viewing of this show in seven years, I went with watching it in Japanese. I've reviewed anime before that I had low opinions of in English but much higher ones when I watched it in its original Japanese - Battle Athletes, for example - so I hoped that maybe, just maybe, the second time around with Colorful would be way better.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, Colorful is just as obnoxious in its native tongue. The acting's better, but the series is still as unfunny, creepy, and annoying as when I first saw it years ago in Enlgish.

Chief among the problems in this series is that it makes out men to be nothing more than horndogs, and women little more than objects of lust for men. I hope you like looking at breasts, panties, and crotch shots, since almost all of the jokes in this series (except the last episode's) revolve around those three things. And quite a few from high school girls, too. Joy. If this is supposed to be some form of satire on Japanese society, then the writers of the series failed big-time. Instead of laughing, I felt like a creepy voyeur.

There are very few recurring characters in this series. One is an American named Steve. As if his name and blonde hair isn't enough of an indication he's American, nearly every scene with him has a (admittedly) nice instrumental version of The Star-Spangled Banner play. And yes, he does massacre the English language quite a bit throughout. Another has high school track runner, Aki Yamamoto and her coach, the latter whose jokes involve drooling over her. And yet another features an annoying duo, Itani and Hirokawa, who work/go to school together, trying to score with women. The joke is that the latter of the duo has his hair preventing him from seeing girls' panties outside due to wind.

To be fair, Colorful DOES try to spruce its limited repertoire of jokes with as many kinds of fan service opportunities it can. Buses, college campuses, track and field, schools, futons, movie theaters. Not that it makes the series jokes actually funny mind you, but at least they attempted something. Unfortunately very few, if any of the jokes, work. Yamamoto's coach drooling over her (including looking at the spot where she rested her butt before going in the pool) isn't funny. An English teacher suggestively pronouncing L's and R's to a male student isn't funny. Showing a woman moving her legs on a bench, her panties barely visible, isn't funny. A man hugging the toilet seat of a woman just on it isn't funny. A guy looking at a doll's panties isn't funny.

In case you did want to laugh at any of the jokes, Colorful tries its damndest to make sure you don't with some of the worst editing in anime. How I forgot to mention this the first two times I reviewed this turd is incredible. High-pitched/slowed-down/distorted voices, high-pitched cries, shots of the series' logo, and footage of men shooting guns, cats lying around, cartoon mice, advertisements for shampoo, and a couple making out with tongue add nothing. They don't make the show "deeper" or "funnier" - it's just obnoxious filler. Considering the episodes are only 5 minutes long after you gut out the opening theme, it makes you wonder if the writers wouldn't, oh, try to use what finite time they have to their advantage. Or maybe I'm giving the writers of Colorful too much credit.

Also, yes - we know the name of the series is Colorful. You don't need to remind us every single episode!

Probably the only remotely funny segment in the entire series is episode 15, when Itani tries to order a woman from a magazine named Prize A, but ends getting a cheerful moe girl, Prize B instead, upsetting him greatly. Of course, it's not long before he tries to look up her skirt as she sleeps...only not being able to due to her being made of paper. So he ties her up in a box without a second thought and gets a "real" woman, who extorts him monetarily for all he's worth. Then she leaves him after a bad night of sex, resulting in him releasing a very broken Prize B and apologizing, but still wishes she had breasts.

There. I just spoiled for you possibly the only remotely clever segment in the entire 108 minute run of Colorful. You can thank me later.

I won't even attempt to describe the laughable animation and bad art, since most anything in this series not an attractive female woman is drawn with little effort. And even then most of the females don't look that great. Yamamoto is probably the cutest girl in the series, which just goes to show you the mindset the writers/animators had. The music, aside from the interesting ending theme, is either forgettable or obnoxious, especially the series' ska opening and its inane lyrics/singing.

So that's about it. Having now seen the entire series, I can safely say that Colorful is not funny, and only gets worse the further you go in. Its attempts at "adult" humor are among the most juvenile I've ever seen in animation. Go rent/buy Golden Boy to see fan service aimed at older audiences done right. It's just as juvenile at times as Colorful, but the execution is worlds better.

On the plus side, I never have to sat through Colorful ever again. Now that's what I call a silver lining.

Same rating as before. Not a big surprise.Tim Jones

Recommended Audience: Only for older (male) teens and above. Although there's never any actual nudity like in the manga, there are a lot of close calls, and quite a bit of fan service.



Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD; Anime Network, English dub
Review Status: Full (16/16)
Colorful © 1999 Kishi Torijiro / SHUEISHA - TBS