Sora Kajiwara is a shy first year who joined the art club at her school. Sora slowly becomes less shy as she befriends everyone in the art club. She also grows artistically and learns how to sketch the beautiful world around her... and cats!
Every once in a while, you just need to relax, chill and wach something easy. That's when Sketchbook is perfect. It doesn't hve a lot of humor, and the story is, well, not a story. The animation quality isn't anything outstanding either. What catched me when I watched Sketchbook was how calm and quiet it was. And of course, the cats! If you like cats, that's a reason in itself to give Sketchbook a try.
Story-wise, it just follows an episode-by-episode formula, with each new episode bringing abotu an event totally unrelated to what happened in earlier episodes. Each episode is very tranquil, and the pacing
is very slow, but as I said earlier, it's perfect when you just need to relax, either because you've been very stressed or because you've watched some heavy anime earlier.
The artwork isn't especially detailed or vivid, but it's not directly bad either. I think the best description of it is "average".
Soundtrack-wise, Sketchbook is fairly good. I rarely notice the soundtrack, but when I do, it was some good piano pieces I heard. It fits right in with the calm mood of the series, so that's a plus. The first OP theme is very good though, and the same goes for the ED. I'll keep them for times I'll need something calming to listen to. The voice acting is great, too, and they manage to keep the calm tone of the series in their voice acting.
I loved the characters though, and they're very colorful. Since it's a slice of life anime, don't expect a lot of character development, but the varied and colorful cast may cover enough up for this since it's just a 13-episode series.
All in all, there's nothing spectacular about the series, but if you watch it at the right time (when you need some relaxation), you'll probably enjoy it anyway.
To 'Not Helpful' voters (and you 'Helpful' voters too): Feedback greatly appreciated =)
When you first sit down to watch Sketchbook Full Colors you need to know what it is your getting in to. First if you are someone who needs action and a story driven series to keep you entertained, Sketchbook is not your kind of show. This is a very slow and methodical slice of life series that will have you feeling at ease and relaxed.. or asleep depending on the episode you’re viewing.
Almost the first thing I am reminded of when viewing Sketchbook is Aria, and rightly so as they were both produced by the same studio. There are even several appearances
of Aria characters in the series. But even though Aria had the same sort of pacing as Sketchbook does, this series feels more disjointed and inconsistent. Some episodes are humorous and nostalgic feeling, the one that I probably felt the most emotional connection with was towards the end when Sora is home sick. I found it fascinating how some things, such as the boredom of lying in bed and the things one imagines or thinks about transcend culture and language. However this was not the case in many of the others. Slice of life tends to always walk the line between soothing and being boring. When we look at our own lives, how exciting really is most of the things that happen to you during the day?
The characters also hurt the series. They just aren't that interesting. In this genre the characters have to be strong to carry the lack of plot and action but I didn’t really find myself carrying all that much for any of them. Sora is the lead, she is a painfully shy girl who borders on complete anthropophobia. She can’t even so much as say her name to people she has just met and only finds any level of comfort with people she has known a while. She does make a breakthrough at the end of the series so in that sense that was good to see. The rest of her personality doesn’t make her all that much more interesting. That’s not to say she isn’t very sweet and moe, but really her only other character attributes is her love of cats and sketching and the blissful state she enters when drinking her favorite tea. The rest of the cast is pretty much just as socially awkward and strange. Many of them feel like they have some very deep seeded emotional issues. They grow on you a little by the end as only a cast of complete lunatics can. Most of the comedic moments revolve around the non human members of the cast, the group of cats that Sora is so fond of. As characters the cats are probably the most interesting the show has to offer.
From a voice acting and music standpoint, Sketchbook is truly brilliant. The music is outstanding, the songs are so beautiful and serene that I think I could have listened to them all day. The art is very inconsistent. Many of the backgrounds are really beautiful and the colors are vibrant, but when it comes to the characters themselves most of them look dull and boring. Individually characters like Sora sometimes look great but at others she doesn’t look good at all. Some of the character models are downright ugly. I do give the artists this though, these characters were probably the most realistic in terms of bodies than any series I have seen. No impossibly short miniskirts, fantastic busts, and waist lines a runway model would kill for.
Overall if you like the slice of life then this might be worth your time. Those of you didn’t like Aria you won’t like this one either. If you did, then this could be your cup of tea. For someone who has seen neither and wants to sample the genre, then I would recommend you check out Aria instead.
Ok, by now i've been thinking about what to write for about 30 minutes already. The same was when i was trying to write a review for Aria. I simply do not know what to say.
Might as well explain the ratings ...
1 for story as it had no story. While Aria the Natural had a different story every episode, this one has none. It's easier to add those mini-stories to Aria because of it's sci-fi elements. Adding that to a bunch of students' everyday life is hard.
9 for art because i loved it. Again, similarities to Aria can be seen.
10 for sound. The ED songs
are made by Makino Yui, the same voice actress who made the OP songs for Aria. Great, calming music. The OP songs of Sketchbook were so good that i decided not to skip the opening sequence (i usually do).
9 for character - THERE ARE TALKING CATS HERE !! Yes, that's right, talking cats.
Anyways, this one is rated so high because the variety of characters in the art club is rather wide. They are all unique (except Ryou and Fuu who seem like the same person :P). And of course the cats, can't forget the cats.
I won't be doing any in-depth character analysis, you will see more about them when you watch it.
10 for enjoyment since there is no other option here. I'm a solid fan of the slice of life genre, watching these series is truly relaxing, especially after a hard day at work.
9.5 Overall. I'm not counting the story part in here. Sketchbook is highly recommended to slice of life fans. It won't disappoint you :)
I hope this review turns out helpful to at least one person, that'd make my efforts worthwhile ..
I had picked this show up via Crunchyroll recently and I was not disappointed!!
You can understand the plot and story by reading the description, honestly it's fairly simple and oddly relaxing slice of life & comedy anime. What made the show interesting for me was the main character Sora's and other characters opinion and perspectives on life. I like that everyone in the show sees things differently and I felt that this was something that made the story unique. Because of the lack of interesting story, I was already anticipating slow paced story telling and plot. Honestly though that slow pacing really made the
show all the more enjoyable. This is because I got to understand the characters more. It was relaxing in a way and lastly I was able to get to know their back stories and why they each like what they are talented at. Overall I gave the story 8/10 simply because it's enjoyable if you have the right amount of patience to sit through it.
Now, with the characters, I liked almost all of them. I do not have any complaints or anything that I would want to see change from them. I believe that each character played their role perfectly and help bring some sort of comfort and enjoyment to the story. Sora of course is my favorite of the bunch. This is mainly due to the fact that she is a bit of an airhead, very spacey, and as mentioned earlier she has a very unique perspective of life both in and out of school. I also mentioned earlier that the characters have their own unique personalities which makes for an interesting cast. Overall I was very impressed with the characters and wouldn't want to see anything changed.
Nothing too special with animation. Sketchbook is presented with generic late 2000 animation, decent considering it's time of release however, I personally felt like it had a more early 2000's look to it perhaps 2001-2002-ish visuals. Either way, it was still pleasant to watch and appealing enough for me to enjoy. Character designs were also pretty good. Some of the characters were a bit odd... but I managed to pull through.
As mentioned in lots of my other reviews I am a sucker for pianos. As a keyboard/pianist it's sort of self explanatory. The music in the show has a great relaxing feeling to it. The piano songs in the background help enhance not only the mood of me (the watcher) but also it helps reflect what the characters are doing as well as the mood. Voice acting was pretty good too. Lots of the voice actors did an amazing job with their roles. The opening song is my favorite thing about the soundtrack though. It's very peaceful and relaxing. It's sort of like the embodiment of the show. It really represents what to expect from the story and characters. I actually don't have too much to add on the subject of the soundtrack.... anyway I'd have to give it 8.0/10
Overall, I loved Sketchbook. I felt like it fit my needs. Everything I was looking forward to seeing came true. It was a relaxing, very sweet and a heartwarming show to watch. I do believe that it was well worth my time checking out.