So Random Curiosity, an anime website I frequent recently did a review on Colorful. I didn’t really read much of the article. In fact, I pretty much stopped reading after the first paragraph as to not spoil it for myself:
As a rule, I’m not going to blog the same shows here on RC that I do on Lost in America, with the exception of a couple of Spring series that I’ll be taking over from Kiiragi. But as we get ready for Summer to start, I asked to make an exception for Colorful. Why? Simply, because I really want this movie to get as much attention as possible. I admit it, this one is personal – I love the film and I want to promote it any way I can.
Funny thing is I’m actually writing this review with the anime paused in front of me right now. The anime is a feature film and runs for a little over 2 hours. Colorful reminded me a lot of the works done by Shinkai Makoto. It appears that Colorful was directed by Hara Keiichi, and was based on a book. Colorful was extremely beautiful and the story deep. The characters are well developed and you quickly get attached to them.
The anime starts off in 1st person view. It appears you’ve died after committing a great sin. We never do (or at least not yet) learn about what sin you committed or how you died, but it was so great that you would not be given the chance to reincarnate. However, “the boss” is willing to give you another chance. He gives you a challenge, a test, by putting your soul into the body of a boy who just committed suicide with the instructions to live life. You don’t immediately learn why the boy whose body your overtook committed suicide, but slowly and surely you learn about the boy’s life.
I highly recommend this anime. It’s a bit melodramatic (I might be using the word wrong here) and definitely not your typical action/battle anime. However, don’t let this scare you away as there were many emotional moments and several intense moments I was clenching my fist. Like I mentioned above, it’s very Shinkai Makoto-like. If you’ve enjoyed Voices of a Distance Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, or 5 Centimeters per Second, you will surely enjoy Colorful. Don’t confuse it with the 16 episode anime series Colorful, which appears to be a comic relief/parody type.
Just some random thoughts…
Just to get this off my chest before I see the ending. I have a hunch that that the soul that currently resides in the body of Makoto (the boy) is actually Makoto himself and he’s being given a 2nd chance. His suicide, the great sin, somehow caused him to forget who he was. And it makes sense that if you’re willing to kill yourself, you shouldn’t really be given a chance to reincarnate.
Anyway, you learned (or are led to believe) the main reason why Makoto committed suicide was because he caught his mother cheating on his father. Halfway through the anime, he confronts his mother about it. He wasn’t really confronting her to give her a chance to explain, but more of a reason why he’s being so cold to her. The mom becomes devastated and tries her best to be a better mom, yet he continues to give her the cold shoulder.
At certain points in time, I thought the mom was going to commit suicide because it became so unbearable to face her own child. In one scene, you see her pumping oil from a giant tank into a smaller tank and overfills it because her heart was somewhere else.
In another scene, Makoto comes home to find his mom “asleep” on the couch. It’s a Japanese tradition for the person coming home to say tadaima and the people at home to say okaerinasai. I was so afraid that she had already killed herself. Makoto was just starting to come around. When his brother came up to ask him to come down to talk about some important family matter, I was so scared the mom had died and the brother and dad were trying to softly break the news on him. It would’ve been so sad!!!
That was also another reason I believe that the soul is really Makoto, or why else would he care so much about the mom having an affair.
The anime also shows how important it is to have a friend you can entrust your problems with, even if it’s just one, so you don’t feel like you’re alone in the world. When you’re stuck by yourself and feeling the world is unfair and against you, you are led to do some crazy and stupid things.