Colorful
[Anime]

If you have to write an essay on Media and Anime, Colorful is the anime to do it in. Take the confusion of Lain, add the plot depth and humour of Beavis and Butthead, and throw in some fan service, and you've got Colorful, sixteen episodes of six and a half minutes each. It's also a bit like the random video/sound fell of WarioWare.

In the opening sequence of the first episode, you see a paper doll girl in bra and panties, various paper clothes strewn about, and a human hand. As the fingers tap across the tabletop, the jerkiness of this motion conveys a feeling of stop motion capture. When the hand tries to remove the panties, something not possible with paper dolls, and a mosaic censor appears, you're now getting into computer animation. Plot wise, you can forget all about this paper doll scene, because it's completely irrelevant and will never come up again in the series.

The artwork is varied, ranging from messy digital inking (like Beavis and Butthead), to more detailed watercolour paints, to 3D rendered scenes, to brown and white silent films. Various post-filters are applied, including adding television-like interlacing, static noise, color negating, overexposing and decomposing the image into its Cyan-Magenta-Yellow components. Occasionally, to simulate a hand held camera, the image is jiggled, and goes in and out of focus. Similarly, the medium of sound is played with as well, with sounds looping, pitch-shifted, and reversed, etc. Also confusing is that the characters frequently switched between speaking English and Japanese. And the episodes don't have an ending sequence of closing credits of anything like that. They just cut off.

There's really not all that much I can say from a "Should I, a normal viewer and not a person who's writing an essay on Media and Anime, get this anime?" perspective except "No." While the ridiculousness of the B&B style humour might get a few chuckles out of you, I think the side effect of a confusion-induced headache is not worth it, regardless of whether you get the anime for free or for a fee. And I am not exaggerating when I say you will get a headache. One scene in the 3rd episode that lasts for 20 or 30 seconds involves having white noise played out of the left speaker, then the right speaker, then the left speaker, and so on. Not a pleasant experience. Again, avoid this anime unless it's for the purpose of writing an essay on it, in which case it shouldn't be too painful, as it'll only take 104 minutes to go through the whole series (less than a two hour movie). 3 out of 10.

Random trivia: Episode 5 uses a sample of a guy saying "Disco Bombing", which I think is used in the song Paranoia Evolution for DDR. A bit of self-referentiality: In episode 10, the characters in the episode watch episode 4.

 
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