Thoughts on Mashiro-Iro Symphony: The Color of Lovers (Spoilers)

Last completed anime of the year! Yay!

This show was a mess. It opens with some girl getting lost. And then her brother has to find her. And then he finds her thanks to the blonde. The blonde turns out to be an important figure at their school. Their school just merged into a boy-girl school after originally just being a girls’ school. It turns out later that the merge wasn’t officially in place, yet boys are still allowed there regardless. Hello, logic. Anyway, the blonde goes “GIRLS RULE, BOYS DROOL!” and declares the newcomer a pest and claims that she’ll do anything to reverse the merger (that technically wasn’t set to begin with) to get all the boys out of there. I just spoiled the entire first episode. There you go.

The first episode was actually the best episode in the entire series. The introduction was bizarre, but it set some things in place. It could have gone in a myriad of different directions with how it was set, and boy, did it. Here’s the thing with this series: it wants to please everybody. And by that, I mean it has to include all the characters in some way and give them some background and some flare and what-not and yadda yadda. At first, it didn’t do this very well. It only focused on the relationship between the male lead and the blonde. Might I add, the focus on their relationship was by far the most enjoyable. However, they make blondie fall in love with the male lead after a whopping two episodes, and then they move onto the next girl in the line-up.

By the way, the characters are dumb. The male lead is the male lead. However, he actually makes the first moves in this, instead of being everyone else in his role, so props to him for trying. The blonde is probably my favorite character, but she gets shunned late in the series to focus more on the other characters, which is a shame. Also, she gives up on the merger FAR too easily. There’s the male lead’s sister, who gets about 0% development throughout the entire series and mostly serves as a fill-in role. There’s a maid named Angelina. She gets some screentime, but only to fall for the male lead’s dick. Shocking. There’s a purple-haired maiden who really likes animals. I really liked her at first, but then she exhibited Jesus Christ-like qualities, and I stopped caring. Then, there’s redhead. At first, she seemed like a typical good girl, but by the end of episode three… I believe, she turned into a violent tsundere. What the fuck? They just completely 180ed her entire character, and for what? Fan service, probably. She was semi-likable later on, but that whole random shift of her personality really threw me through a loop. I didn’t care for it.

There are other characters, but they don’t matter because they don’t care for the male lead.

Now, more on the plot, because I wasn’t done before. This anime abandons its plot after episode four, and turns it into a slice of life, harem thing. This is by and large a terrible flaw within the show. It seems like it simply got bored of the premise and decided to give all of their characters a spotlight. Of course, there are a few conditions to this. This being 1. Fall for the male lead. 2. Be adorable. Anyone who doesn’t fit both of these conditions are given about three minutes of screentime. Total. And about that character building scheme, it sucks. Some of the characters (redhead, purple) get more attention than others (everyone else who isn’t male lead), even though they get some attention early on. Blonde and the maid both seem to become important character within the first half of the series, but they’re shoved aside for jealousy plots and teenage angst. Yay.

I will admit that this show had some bright spots. I had briefly mentioned earlier that the male lead actually makes the first moves with the ladies, and he even goes as far as, GASP, choosing one of them to confess his love to! This is a pseudo harem, you bastards! Some of the characters, if they weren’t just shoved aside, may have become really memorable and likable characters. But why do that when we can create juicy drama based on other characters’ laziness and insecurities? That’s where the money is. It’s a shame. I had some hopes for the series by episode three, but then it just went downhill from there. I don’t think this series really knew what it wanted to do, so it did everything.

The art was pretty good, too. They did this thing with the female characters’ eyes where the color of their eyes would encompass their retinas whenever they showed them in a really emotional scene. It was weird. It made them look like they were hyped up on cocaine, but it was something. Also, what better way to show that a scene is going to be depressing than with some heavy rainfall? Yeah, that cliche isn’t going away anytime soon. Only one girl cries throughout this entire anime, which I find odd. She looked legitimately in pain, so I guess that’s good. Out of context, that last sentence was awful.

Basically a standard thing in anime, this title was lost potential. If they had focused more on the original premise and focused less on the (far too large) cast of characters, this series may have been better. I liked how it started, but the series apparently didn’t, so they changed. And changed. And changed. And then found something they liked it unnecessary cliches and drama plotlines that have been done to death in not just anime titles, but in cinema in general. Just a mess, a colorful, rainy mess of girls on cocaine.

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