Colorful Review

There is no secret that I' am a huge fan of anime and manga that are in the slice of life genre. There comes a time when you come across a piece of work that not only makes you think, but also makes you feel emotionally invested that you forget you're watching an anime. "Colorful" is one of those anime's that is truly a must watch film.

Synopsis: Upon reaching the train station to death, a dejected soul is informed that he is 'lucky' and will have another chance at life. He is placed in the body of a 14-year-old boy named Makoto Kobayashi, who has just committed suicide. Watched over by a neutral spirit named Purapura, the soul must figure out what his greatest sin and mistake in his former life was before his time limit in Makoto's body runs out. He also has a number of other lesser duties he must complete, such as understanding what led Makoto to commit suicide in the first place and learning how to enjoy his second chance at life.

Story: "Colorful" has a wonderful concept filled with a few central core themes that drives the protagonist story along. Themes of bullying, suicide, a take on the afterlife and the importance of a support system. Growing up one of the most important life lessons I learn is "You're only as strong as your support system." In other words you might be a strong human being, but you still need a strong foundation around you to keep you strong. Without that support around you, life will be a little more difficult. When watching the character of Makoto and seeing him get bully and then eventually taking his own life, it made me think of how important that having a support system is.  

Colorful Trailer

The movie does a phenomenal job of making you invest in Makoto and his world. Makoto has the typical formula an outcast. He's quiet, not liked at school, has no friends and feels that no one understands him. The great thing about Makoto character and the entire movie is the mystery. Throughout the movie the soul that takes over Makoto's body is trying to figure out what it did, what spark Makoto to kill himself. Surrounded by a strong well written supporting cast that have interesting side stories of their own, like Hiroka Kuwabara who story can be a movie of her own. For the sake of not giving spoilers I won't get into details, however I would like to say I wish they explore her character a little bit more to understand why she did what she did.  With a running time of only 2 hours I wish it was 2 hours and 30 mins to give the support cast more screen time. That is how great this story, it's theme and characters will grab you and make you want more. My only complaints about the story is it gets a little dry when Makoto is developing relationships with key characters, thankfully it doesn't last very long. 

Voice Acting: The English voice cast did a very good job. Greg Ayers plays Makoto very well, he delivers a performance in his voice that really brings the vulnerability, insecurity of Makoto to life. Luci Christian as the mysterious Purapura was my favorite performance. Her character is witty, but serious and deep and I love her calm, upbeat but serious tone she did for the character. Other voice actors such as Chris Patton, Brittney Karbowski and Emily Neves all give great performances.

Music & Animation: The music is a composition of my piano and strings which is very easy to listen too. The soundtrack is composed by Ko Otani and it has some memorable tracks, but it falls a little bit short as it gets to be the standard dramatic ost you expect from a drama anime. The animation however is beautiful. One of the aspects I love is the background of the film, because the background is clearly a painting which fits well into Makoto character since he is an artist. Rarely you will see a anime film where the background has a relationship in some part to a character. The choice to use a painting type background brought me more into the setting. 

Final Grade A-/****1/2 Stars: "Colorful" is a truly a gem that you must have in your collection or witness. The story touches on many subjects that everyone can relate to one way or another, whether it's family relationships, bullying, insecurity, trying to find yourself and your purpose. This movie has a lot of heart and most importantly a lot of soul. It's not the experience that makes it great, at the end it makes you really think about your own life and most importantly raises some questions. This movie truly shines bright.