The adventures (and misadventures) of men staring, peeking, glancing, looking, and glaring at women and their efforts to get that extra eyeful of harmlessly exposed panties, bras, and occasional cleavage. Following at most, a few regular males and the outrageous consequences of their actions.
Greetings my friends and happy 2015 to everybody! What better way to celebrate the new year then by looking at the absolute worst anime of the past!? This not only provides laughter and merriment, but allows us to see just how far our beloved medium of animation has come. Today we look at Colorful, an anime that celebrates voyeurism...un-ironically...and isn't funny. It claims to be a high concept satire of the perversion of man and was directed by the Avant Garde director of Serial Experiments Lain. Unfortunately, this was a HORRIBLE execution of satire and no one seemed to "get it" besides the director himself.
Especially not the people who did the US dub!
Plot?! We don't need no stinking plot! All we need are 3 minute scenes that look up cartoon girls' skirts and dub in lines like "check out dat ass mang!" Then we will go to live action for 5 minutes and show a middle aged Japanese woman in her underwear! That will be a quality production!
What would a terrible series be without a fucking GOD AWFUL opening theme? Why the fuck not?
Pity factor: 10/10
I feel sorry for the middle aged woman in the cutaway gags! She is probably a grandmother now and I hope to God her grandchildren never have to find out that dear grandma starred in this piece of shit anime!
Ending Quote: "Showing clips of this movie to people makes me feel like a doctor informing someone that they are about to die! I'm not angry that this movie was made, because we've all made shitty movies. I'm angry that this fucking movie....WAS...RELEASED! Someone actually looked at this wretched piece of shit and said, "yeah, I think this is acceptable to release to a wide audience!" - The Cinema Snob on the film "Black Devil Doll from Hell"
As I contemplate this strange little series, a question pops into my mind. Why would a woman watch a series such as this, a series which is practically built around the idea of the panty flash? And on top of that, why might a woman actually enjoy it? I often find the gratuitous panty flashes that plague many anime series to be annoying, and the thoroughly unrealistic portrayals of women found in anime series can bother me as well. However, when these anime traits are taken to extremes and/or used as parody, then I become interested. It is as if
the anime genre is poking fun at itself. "Colorful," in part, is a parody of anime fan service, and it makes fun of stereotypical male fantasies and male behavior. I like "Colorful" for the same reason that I like the British comedian Benny Hill's classic TV programs. A seemingly normal and innocuous man encounters an attractive woman and catches a tantalizing glimpse of her nether regions. He suddenly turns into a blithering idiot, a sex-crazed fool who is driven completely out of his mind by a glimpse of a woman's underwear. The expressions on the men's faces in "Colorful" are hilarious, and the sudden transitions from normal to nuts upon viewing the infamous undergarment are also funny. The artwork and animation quality are good but not great, appropriate to the setting and story line, but no more than that. This series doesn't have a strong story as such, but a strong, consistent story is not necessary; the randomness is actually entertaining. Character development also isn't a major feature of this series, but again, strong characters aren't really necessary. Since the show is interested in stereotypes, stereotypical characters are appropriate. For a compact piece of weirdness that pokes fun at stereotypes, Japanese culture, and anime conventions, I find this series successful, and it is enjoyable to watch. At least in this series, all the panty flashes are appropriate to the story and the concept.
If Japanese men truly are as crazy as they appear to be in "Colorful," I'll have to make sure I don't give them the opportunity to look up my skirt if I ever travel to Japan. Japan's problems with groping, voyeurism, and other forms of sexual harassment occasionally make the news around the world, and the situation is disturbing. Perhaps "Colorful" and other parody series like it are useful in exposing and counteracting this problem. Maybe men can watch this series and see the humor in their own situation; the show makes fun of men, but in a lighthearted manner. However, do men really want to be just like the jokers portrayed in this series? I should think not.
If you like ecchi humor, Colorful! is for you.
Although this series is very funny at the beginning, the events that take place seem a bit repetitive after a while. After all, it does contain frisky guys that seem desperate for that one upskirt peek or that one wardrobe malfunction.
The art is okay. If you want something totally psychedelic, go for the intermission pieces.
Sound...well, I don't remember anyone really talking? I watched the English and, sure, there was conversation but there wasn't really any developing dialogue that occurred. This goes for the characters as well: they were there but they don't develop like in
any other anime.
This certainly ISN'T a Fooly Cooly type anime where you get the full dialogue, recognizable characters and have that urge to watch it again. It might be out of nostalgia that you might want to revisit this anime again but otherwise, for watchers like me, it was a temporary watch.
Bad shows don't always stem from a lack of talent. Even the exceptionally talented of directors or artists have created a work which is far bellow their abilities at one time or another. Take director Ryuutarou Nakamura, for example. At his best, his works are powerful, thought-provoking experiences which warrant multiple re-watches. Yet he's had his fair share of busts, as well. One of these came a year after his magnum opus, the mind-bending Serial Experiments Lain, in the form of a screwball social satire. This is Colorful, Ryuutarou Nakamura's satirical take on the over-sexualized voyeurism of modern society and mass media, which can be
summed up with the words lowbrow gutter comedy. Speaking personally for a moment, I can also describe it as a guilty pleasure.
Given Nakamura's inclination of working on intellectually challenging and thoughtful projects, it is strange that Colorful is so lowbrow in just about every aspect. Conceptually, a satire of overblown sexual content in media sounds pretty juicy. However, in practice all the jokes end up being lewd and crude, rather than being witty and insightful as satires usually are. No doubt this is due to the subject matter of male fixation on the female anatomy. To put it lightly, the male gaze is prevalent in this show; it's naked women galore, with plenty of focus on butts and boobies. Much of the comedy centers around men getting distracted, or acting stupid and perverted, after catching a glimpse of some girl's cleavage. Amusing certainly, but it's hardly sophisticated satire.
The humor also ends up being rather limited. There is only so many ways to depict male lack of judgment being spurred on by hot women. Granted, the show does play around with its pervert humor in creative ways and can be inspired in its lunacy (a giant school girl trots through a city, and all the men are focused on her panties), but it is basically recycling the same joke over and over again. In a way, this is actually counterproductive, as the show itself indulges in the voyeurism that it is lampooning. Although the episodes are only 5-6 minutes long, it is good to take time between episodes instead of going right into the next one; the perverted idiocy of the men in this show can be taxing, especially when taken all at once. That said, the show becomes more enjoyable in small doses and the show does provide a few chuckles and maybe one or two big laughs. Still, it's almost entirely brain-dead humor and if you can't open to its self-aware dumbness, then you probably will not like the show.
Colorful was clearly made cheaply. The animation is stiff, and the character designs are janky. There is (naturally) more detail put into the girls, especially their 'assets'. Even still, they're hardly the most attractive anime girls. Nakamura's direction crude and undisciplined; the complete opposite of his usual work. With its nonsensical tangents and bouts of obnoxious wackiness, Colorful is more akin to adult swim shows like Tim & Eric than other anime. That's not a compliment. It sort of feels like Nakamura was just screwing around, which would be fine if what he produced was quality work, unfortunately it isn't.
In all honesty, I can't say this is a good show. It is far too dumb to be a successful satire. Its humor is hit-or-miss, as well as being repetitive. It has no characters or plot to speak of; it's just a cluster of dumb jokes that occasionally hit the mark. There is enjoyment to be found if you let yourself sink down to its level, but the fact that I used the words 'sink down' is an indicator of the show's quality. It's a small but notable hiccup in the career of a rather talented director.