"I've been holding a few words back for a long time — I like you!"
"Beryl and Sapphire" is a popular manhua created by artist Ocarina. Here includes protagonists with the most random names in history — the mild-mannered Beryl (Green) and the easily-embarrassed Sapphire (Blue). At times the closest of friends, at others the worst of enemies… In this donghua where each episode is set in a different world, how would they encounter each other time and again?? Only angst? Too painful! Nothing but fluff? Too sugary! Come watch B&S, the show where you'll never guess the ending…
From what I understand, Beryl and Sapphire are two actors. I’ve never read the manhua they come from, but this show does not depict their real lives. Rather, it showcases their roles as characters within the movies/shows they act in. This series is essentially a catalogue of their acting careers, but it is not necessary to know that going in, as you get a feel for what this show is after just a few episodes.
This Chinese animation plays with many concepts that may be considered difficult to effectively portray in a show. Perhaps it's the short-story nature of the show that gives it the freedom
to execute these ideas well, as most episodes are about 5 – 7 minutes long, with longer episodes occurring about every five or six episodes. Most, if not all of the main storylines depicted in the series receive at least one long episode.
What is unique and captivating about this show is the fact that different storylines are gradually constructed and realized simultaneously, so you have an episode that follows one story, and the very next episode picks up where another story left off. Not to mention, IT IS THE SAME AMAZING CHARACTERS STARRING IN EACH STORY, although they are actually different characters.... At the very least, their names are always the same. We get to ship, we get to cry, we get to be angry, we get to think about profound ideas, and we are present while Shao-lan and Shao-lu experience sci-fi, drama, romance, and real-world problems.
Beryl and Sapphire is able to shift, very easily, between a light-hearted mood to a heavier, more serious tone when needed. This is a series that really prides itself in being able to take creative risks in both its stories and dialogue.
The music is very nice and fits the show well, especially during emotional scenes. Certain episodes really gripped me, I believe, due to the beautiful piano osts that supported the scenes so strongly. There is one piano piece in particular that I looked very hard to find, to no avail.
The artwork/animation, despite characters reverting to bald, blank-faced figures when appropriate, is very colorful, detailed, and consistently pretty to look at.
Few episodes were reaching a bit in terms of attempting to portray original or humorously relatable content, but most of what this show has to offer is quite entertaining and fresh. I do feel obligated to mention the fact that this is a shounen-ai, but I’m sure most people who watch it know that going in. While the bl isn’t exactly subtle, it’s definitely not excessive either.
This series is really a gem worth watching! Give it a chance, and I know you will be entertained by this lovely ship.
Beryl and Sapphire is a show that I randomly stumbled across on an anime site. I thought the premise seemed intriguing enough and I didn’t have high expectations for it… I was wrong.
To say this show is different is most definitely an understatement. The first and most blatant thing you will notice from either the title of the show or watching episode 1 is that it is in Chinese. This kind of threw me off, but I decided that I would watch it anyways. Another cool thing that I enjoyed is that they are comprised of a bunch of different stories rather than just one
long story. I think this approach was very effective as it connected the commonality of characters to different stories which gave it a unique feel. One last unique thing I found is that the episodes are divided into groups of 6. This is comprised of 5 - ~6 minute episodes and 1 - ~25 minute episode as a “weekend special” when it aired. I thought this idea was cool and it gave something to people who like the different types of shows so you don’t need to say “this would have been better as a short” or “man, I wish these episodes were longer”. This issue is tackled well and I can guarantee you will not walk away disappointed in regards to that issue.
With that out of the way, it takes more than just “uniqueness” to make a show good. As you can see, I scored all categories with at least a 9 because I truly felt like it exceeded and performed well in all the categories.
Story: 10/10 - The story was a bit hard for me to score as there are multiple stories to follow as I mentioned before, but I think the two main characters being a “pivot role” if you will helped keep it interesting in a fresh way (although I will touch more on this in the character section of my review). Using the characters as pivots allowed the stories to feel like the same show, but different in their own respects. I gave it a 10 because I haven’t seen another show tackle it like this show did and I thought it was very effective.
Art: 9/10 - The art looked great and they did something that I think seems lazy at first glance, but I think it helped the focus of the show. Almost all background characters and occasionally the main characters would go from having a “normal” animated face to just a simple round head with eyes and a mouth. For the background characters, this allowed social scenes to feel like real life. You don’t recognize faces and it allows you to focus on the important characters at hand. As far as the main characters, it would generally do this to help with the emotions of the characters. I never found it out of place when they would switch to the round heads. Also, small last side note, CGI animation is used at some points of large crowds moving. It looked weird, but it wasn’t important to the show and it was probably much easier on the team making the show, so I chose to let that one slide.
Sound: 9/10 - The OST wasn’t memorable but it wasn’t bad either. I can’t think of any particular tunes standing out as great or awful. I just thought during the show that it always fit well (which can’t be said for all anime). The OP and ED are pretty catchy too I might add. I’m usually pretty big on music, but this music just felt right and I just walk away with a “good job, it worked” feeling. Not much to say unfortunately, but it was good.
Character: 10/10 - As far as the characters go, the show generally revolves around two main characters: Beryl and Sapphire. Not matter what personality or arc is being played on any given episode, there is some sort of relationship between these characters that brings them together (whether a romantic relationship or not). These stories take place in a multitude of different demographics. You have them either in the work place, in school, or just out in public. The best part is that they all work and manage to keep a basic outline of the characters. It felt right in each of the roles that they were playing. Although I don’t think I would take a singular Beryl or Sapphire to my top 10 character list, the interactions between all of them has to be up there in some of my favorites (but MAL doesn’t have a place for that… RIP Hibike Euphonium interactions). I think having this level of interaction value isn’t something a lot of anime can do this well so hats off to the team.
Enjoyment: 10/10 - Not much to say about enjoyment that hasn’t been said already. What I can say is that I knew I was hooked after the first block of 6 episodes. I’d say give the show about 1 to 2 cycles of the 6-episode cycles to see if it’s a show you should continue. I think that there is definitely something for everyone in this show which makes me think the enjoyment of this show is something that can be shared among a lot of people in the community which is why I put it in such high regards. I could easily recommend this to a lot of people.
This Anime is adorable. I've seen quite some romance stories between two men, but this one is definatly one that stands out. I've seen up to episode 61 and I can't wait for the rest to come out! Every 6th episode you get a 'weekend special'. This episode is a lot longer than the usual Episode. Sometimes they can be really sad though.
This show has everything. Shounen Ai, Romance, Comedy, Fantasy, Drama, Artificial Intellegence and a lot more. This is definatly one of my favorite Anime of all time. I highly recommand it to people who like any of the things I listed, especially Shounen
Ai. Really worth watching it. It can also be handy for when you have just a few minuten to watch anime, because most episodes are around 5 minutes long.
It is Chinese though, so you might dislike that. I didn't really pay attention to it and the things that differ from Japanese Anime don't really bother me.