We have enough shonen to talk about this season, so let’s put our attention towards a seinen slice of life for once. Blue Period Episode 1 seems to be a delightful stroll across the fine arts explored through anime. Let’s see what it was all about in this review!
Blue Period Episode 1 Overview
Blue Period is a slice of life drama anime that is being brought to our screens by anime studio Seven Arcs, which is known for its slice of life and comedy shows such as Dog Days and Tonikaku Kawaii. The series is based upon a highly acclaimed manga penned by Tsubasa Yamaguchi. It is one of the most anticipated shows of the Fall 2021 season and an adaptation that has been highly waited upon for four years.
Koji Masunari and Katsuya Asano are directing the show, with Masunari serving as the chief director. He is a veteran of the industry, having been around for more than two decades and directing shows like Kamichu and Magi: The Kingdom of Magic. Katsuya Asano is known for directing episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh Vrains, among other things.
– Blue Period Episode 1 Review does not contain spoilers –
Blue Period Episode 1 Review- Plot and Characters
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” is a quote that has been attributed to a lot of people in a variety of different contexts, and it is also the main premise of Blue Period. Blue Period is a story of a boy who figures out what he wants to do with his life after years of pretending to be different among his friends to be accepted into society. It is a story about growth, talent, and following your dreams.
Blue Period Episode 1 was a great look into the psyche of its lead character, Yatora Yaguchi. He is supposed to be your typical Asian teenager, forced to work hard because he and his family don’t consider passions worth exploring. We’ve all been ridiculed for our interests at some point or another because they weren’t practical enough. We’ve all been told that arts and sports aren’t worth pursuing as careers due to lack of scope and competition, among other things. We’ve all felt dispirited because of it.
The show hits some nerves for this particular reason, and it has treated the subject with a lot of respect so far. While the discovery of Yatora’s passion seemed to come out of nowhere and the end result thus felt rushed, one can not deny its impact as the show managed to make a sweet moment out of it. One does wonder if Yatora really earned that relief and acceptance of his true passion in the 10 minutes he was on the screen before that.
We were also introduced to a solid cast of supporting characters in Blue Period Episode 1. The star among them was the helpful, understanding, yet practical art teacher who helped Yatora overcome his inhibitions and stay true to his true passion in life. She could sense that Yatora struggled with his purpose in life and said just the right things to help him. Again, things whizzed by super quick as Yatora just took her word for some reason.
Ryuuji Ayukawa is a fascinating character, but unfortunately, all the discourse around them is going to revolve around their identity and not what their personality brings to the table. The other characters also seemed to have distinct personalities, including Yatora’s friend group and his art club senpai. It will be interesting to see how all of those characters will be expanded upon beyond Blue Period Episode 1.
However, I believe that it is also an anime that will live and die based on the strength of its adaptation. The manga is tremendously popular and highly regarded among its readers, and thus the readers will be very quick to critique the show if it doesn’t do the source material justice. I haven’t personally read the manga associated with the show because I try to keep things objective. Still, I have already seen the discourse among watchers who believe that the show isn’t a very good adaptation so far. We’ll see how things pan out in that regard as well.
Blue Period Episode 1 Review- Art and Music
For a show that is about the arts and paintings, the art pieces in Blue Period Episode 1 sure look unimpressive. I’ll be the first to admit that I couldn’t tell a Picasso apart from a street painting, and I know less about art than most of your reading this right now. I’ll still wager that most people watching Blue Period Episode 1 don’t know much about art either. To my eyes, the paintings (especially the one drawn by Yatora) didn’t look all that promising to my untrained eyes.
Otherwise, the animation in the show is solid, if a little rough around the edges. The character designs look fantastic, and the environment that the artists managed to create looked absolutely gorgeous. The music wasn’t as impactful as the rest of the show was and didn’t leave much of an impression. The animation was the real talking point in the show, and it was mostly solid. I also loved the lighting effects used throughout Blue Period Episode 1 to illuminate one part of someone’s face.
Blue Period Episode 1 was a solid first outing for a show that has a lot to prove. Some parts were a little rough, including the pacing and the animation at points, but the show has enough heart to keep viewers interested despite its flaws.