COLORFUL (2002)

 

Format: 16 6-minute episodes on one DVD

 

Rating: R (AC, AL)

 

American Production: ADV Films

 

Japanese Production: TBS

 

Grading

 

Premise:

C+

Story:

C

Writing:

C

Character Design:

C+

Animation:

C

Artistic Merits:

C

English Dub:

B-

Musical Score:

n/a

Opener:

B+

Closer (English/Japanese):

B/C

 

 

Humor Content:

B

Action Content:

n/a

Drama Content:

n/a

 

 

DVD Presentation:

C

DVD Extras:

B

 

 

OVERALL:

C+

 

Synopsis

A collection of shorts with one common theme: guys going ga-ga over getting a peek at women’s undergarments. Many vignettes are standalones, although recurring characters include a high school coach obsessed with his star female athlete, young men in the class of a gorgeous English language teacher, college students sitting on a park bench, an ambitious news reporter, and a tourist with a videocam intent on recording the “beauty of Japan.”

 

The Long View

The rapid-fire vignettes, visual effects, and abrupt scene changes are highly reminiscent of MTV video productions, but the subject matter is Japanese in origin. To fully appreciate Colorful you have to understand that panty fetishes are considerably more common in Japan than they are in the U.S. (which is curious, since Japan is less prudent than the U.S. when it comes to nudity). This series is both a revelry in, and social commentary on, panty obsession. It explores the many different ways that males both young and old attempt to catch a glimpse of the undergarments of pretty young women and their lurid reactions when they do get a glimpse. There’s also a fair amount of general ogling and fantasizing going on, too, as well as reactions to things such as a woman’s breasts accidentally pushing up against a guy in a crowded subway car. This isn’t “peeping Tom” material, however; it’s on-the-street voyeurism, such as catching a glimpse of panties via a reflection in a pool or when wind tosses up a girl’s skirt or when a woman in a skirt sits down to try on a new pair of shoes. Most of the vignettes involve very short skirts in some way, which I’ve been told either are or recently have been in fashion among girls and young women in Japan. (One American I knew who regularly traveled to Japan on business was certain that many teenage girls there did it specifically to play up to male panty fetishes. I cannot personally confirm or deny this.)

So is this a rather sexist series? It could be interpreted that way. I would point out, though, that the portrayal of males in “Colorful” is hardly flattering. Although male viewers might delight in the panty shots and humor bits, they are just as likely to be uncomfortable about the comical male overreactions and how close some of the vignettes hit to home. Any U.S. male over the age of twelve who claims that he’s never done anything depicted in this series is probably either lying or gay. Although most of us might not go out of our way to do it, I am firmly convinced that most males (and I do not exclude myself here) would sneak an innocuous peek if the opportunity presented itself; being susceptible to visual stimuli is hardwired into our nature.

The humor quotient in the series, which is fairly high, is mostly derived from the immature schoolboy overreactions to the peeks at young womens’ undergarments and the touches and actions of young women that are given sexual connotations by young men. One exception is the aforementioned English teacher, whose male students read a lot more into the way she tries to show them how to correctly pronounce ‘l’ and ‘r’ sounds than what is intended. Although some of the content might be justly regarded as disturbing by some viewers, nothing here should be taken too seriously.

The artistry of Colorful focuses its efforts foremost on the glimpses of panties offered in the series. Artwork is otherwise drab, and the rendering of characters has the peculiar habit of making their noses disappear (especially on female characters) in front-on shots. The manic tone of the opener is quite appropriate, but the closer is unremarkable except for an anecdotal background voice-over included in the English version. Music throughout the episodes is unremarkable.

Although there is no actual nudity or sexual content in the series, the occasional swearing in the English version and the highly suggestive content are enough to merit an R rating. This should not, however, prevent a discerning parent from allowing a 15 or 16 year old from watching Colorful, as their teenage son might recognize himself in the series and it might provide a heads-up to a teenage daughter for what to avoid if she doesn’t want to be ogled by boys in this manner.

Viewers are encouraged to watch the series in both dubbed and subtitled form, as there is a substantial difference between the two. The English version completely alters the verbal content in some places and adds new jokes in others that are more suitable to the context for an American viewer. Examples include the word “pussy!” being shouted the various times a cat is shown languishing on a couch (a joke that surely would have been there had this been made in the U.S. but which would probably go over the head of a Japanese viewer), the less-than-kind way the student athlete finally tells off her coach (the Japanese version reflects a greater toleration of such behavior than would ever be allowed in the U.S.), or the whole bit about the news reporter trying to earn a spot on “The View” (purely American context). Also see the note above about the English version of the closer.

 

DVD Extras

· Clean Opener and Closer

·  Series Trailer

·  Company Trailers

·  Actor Bios (includes some humorous content)

· Colorful Exposed! - A mock “behind the scenes” feature which does include a real look at the ADV Films headquarters and involves real voice actors and production personnel, albeit in fictionalized situations. Definitely worth watching; it might be the funniest thing on the whole DVD!

       

Principle English Voice Actors

            Note: There aren’t any true lead roles in Colorful. Those characters mentioned specifically below simply appear most frequently.

           

Role

Voice Actor

Steve

Greg Stanley

Yamamoto, assorted roles

Hillary Haag

Coach

Rob Mungle

Reporter, assorted roles

Shelly Calene-Black

Anchorman, assorted roles

Charles Kennedy

Professor Pamela , assorted roles

Allison Keith

Itani

Tommy Drake

Hirokawa

David Matranga

Big Dick

Andy McAvin

Pussy Man, Colorform Man

David Geller

assorted minor roles

Monica Rial,

 

Emily Carter,

 

Christine Auten,

 

Mark Laskowski,

 

Kira Vincent-Davies,

 

Kelly Cousins,

 

Nevets Retsof*,

 

Ruby Halipoto

 

            * - Clearly a fake name. Steven Foster, maybe?

 

 

 

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