Welcome, all, again. I’m currently counting the hours until I watch Mary and the Witch’s Flower, but have also been enjoying this season’s bounty of great new shows. Among my early favorites is Mitsuboshi Colors, set in the Ueno district of Tokyo. Three young girls–Yui, Sat-chan, and Kotoha–comprise the group Colors, dedicated to keeping peace in their town. In their own minds, they act as basically a cross between superheroes and private detectives. In the minds of those whom they protect, they appear as anything from adorable, carefree children to outright public nuisances. But they will not be deterred, and continue their crusade against injustice from their hidden lair within Ueno Park.
So, what makes this show so good? Well, seeing as it’s set in a real place with lots of tourist traffic, the background artwork is especially well-drawn and detailed. Meanwhile, the humor overwhelms and overflows its own subtlety. But what really sets this show apart is its accurate portrayal of childhood: the wonder and games; the difficulty with boundaries; the ability to both focus intensely and lose interest at speeds of 90-to-nothing. Appropriately, neither these kids nor their antics get much in the way of sugar-coating. Even the girls’ interactions with local adults seem largely realistic–they interact closely with only a very few adults, people whom viewers can tell they’ve known for a while and trust (albeit they are themselves too naive to recognize that trust). And those interactions can be as playful or respectful as any you might experience with a real child. Equally realistic and endearing is the way those adults respond to the Colors, watching over them while generally playing along with their activities. Being a police officer myself, I am especially sympathetic to Saito, who tries to find minor tasks for these self-appointed public guardians even while protecting them from their own occasional overenthusiasm. Heck, he even buys their cat food for them. And all this despite being consistently targeted by their games.
But who are these girls? Yui is the leader of Colors, a shy and timid child who tries to live by the rules. She is easily upset, and tends to cry a bit overmuch. Still, even Saito alludes to her as the only decent one out of the bunch. Kotoha is constantly distracted by her hand-held games, but is also the brains of the operation. She has a quick mind and is good at deductive reasoning. Sat-chan, however, is the real problem child. She acts without thinking (without even thinking about thinking), and has something of an anti-authoritarian personality. It’s usually Sat-chan teasing poor Saito, despite his patience, and it will definitely be her yelling “poop!” at the top of her lungs. So, yeah. And there’s a cat, too, but that’s a story for episode 1.
We’re two episodes in already, and I’m having a ball watching these chibi sleuths! It’s relaxed, lighthearted fun. Slice-of-life is a genre with many flavors, and this is a heapin’ helping of Neapolitan. So get comfortable, then get yourself entertained!