Anime Review: Mashiro-iro Symphony: The Color of Lovers Episode 1

Anime Review:
Mashiro-iro Symphony: The Color of Lovers Episode 1

What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.

Series Premise: Mashiro-iro Symphony: The Color of Lovers (or Love is Pure White) is a weekly anime television series based on an adult visual novel series, started in October 2011. Shingo and his younger sister are starting their first year at Yuihime Girl’s Academy, which is testing out a co-ed class for the first time. However, they soon learn that the guys are not exactly welcomed with open arms.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:

Spoiler-free Series set-up: When Sakuno gets lost on her way home, her older brother Shingo heads out to help. Eventually, with the help of a passerby, later identified as Airi, they find their way home. On the next day, Sakuno, Shingo and their friend Hayata begin their first day of classes at the prestigious private academy high on the hill. Previously it had always been an all-girls school, but they are attending as a mixed class as a test. During orientation, they once again meet up with Airi, but it turns out not to be a joyous reunion.

My Impressions: With this phrase, it was already doomed from the start: “Based on an adult visual novel”. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a visual novel is a “video game” that is essentially like reading a book with lots of pictures, only there are a handful of choose-your-own-adventure-type decision points where you can affect the outcome. Most of the visual novels are aimed at young guys, and they mostly involve trying to get the main character (you) to form some sort of romantic relationship with various young girls in the game. With multiple girls, there are multiple paths and different outcomes for each.

In short, it is designed for otaku who can’t form relationships with real women in real life, so here’s a video game alternative so they can simulate having a girlfriend. As you can imagine, an anime based on such an idea is aimed at the same subset of basement-dwelling anime viewers. And I can safely say that every single anime I’ve seen that follows this formula is unadulterated (excuse the pun) crap.

And let’s not cherry-coat things: Mashiro-iro Symphony is a piece of pure crap.

We have Mr. Joe Everyman who, just his luck, gets to transfer into what is essentially an all-girls high school. And in the first episode, we are already introduced to several women who will fill out his potential harem, including the painfully-cheerful maid girl and the ultra-mega-tsundere class rep and daughter of the principal. And now it’s just a matter of seeing how he will be able to “capture their hearts” in a series of hilariously sexually inappropriate hijinx and uncomfortably contrived situations based on unbelievable misunderstandings. It’s about as predictable (and also as deeply thought-provoking) as your average schlocky Harlequin romance novel — only aimed at a different audience.

No need to go into any depth about examining the story such as it is. There is nothing redeemable about Mashiro-iro, it follows the painfully-rote adult visual novel/dating sim formula as if filling in a cheesy paint-by-numbers picture. There’s nothing new here, it seems to hit all of the wearying dating sim-related tropes like ticking them off a list. And even if it *did* manage to become some high-quality paragon of adult visual novel adaptations, it would still be just that: an adult visual novel adaptation. And even being the best it could possibly be, that can never be enough to warrant a positive recommendation.

The only thing I don’t really grok is the silly little tribble creature, that looks like a cross between a beachball and a cat, that shows up a couple of times. What the fuck is up with that?

The verdict:

For more information:

Sampling of Online Reviews:

  • “The reason Mashiroiro fails so miserably is that I couldn’t care less about the characters. The male lead is a soulless stand-in for the viewer, and the females are defined by a single trait and hair color. This first episode may have been even worse than Hoshizora’s. Dropped with prejudice.” – Draggle’s Anime Blog
  • “Please Mashiro, be more pretentious with that opening monologue. It might have some deep meaning to the concept of boys being mixed in with the girls academy, or whatever. It wants to be meaningful, but considering episode 1′s content, it probably should’ve held this off a week.” – Metanorn
  • “It was too stupid and full of the cliche that I fucking hate so much. Grade: 5.4/10.” – Conspicuous Klux
  • “At least this show gives a nice introduction compared to Horizon which is crappy. So far, there is some character developing but I hope to see more in the coming episode. I have some hope that this series would be decent and hopefully there won’t be any crappy cliches. Grade: 7/10.” – Doragon Den
  • “The first episode starts out talking about what color boys, girls, and love are. They only decide on the color for love which is pure white. I am so glad I know now. It was keeping me up at night.” – Nerd Age
  • “Like I said, don’t expect any wheels to be reinvented here – this is very familiar territory. It’s really just a question of execution to decide if this is worth watching, and so far that’s pretty solid. There’s some sense of style to the direction, the backgrounds are pretty, and Shingo doesn’t come off as an especially annoying lead.” – Lost in America
  • “This whole episode just screams and bleeds generic. Just about everything that we are presented with here is generic, the voice acting, the character design, the background art, the cast from the little we have seen so far is generic and uninspiring. Grade: 1/5.” – Janai Blog
  • “The way the characters were introduced was fun, sometimes learning a name, sometimes just getting a glimpse through a window, showed us who was going to be important later on, but not trying to overload the viewer with too much information in a short time frame. Grade: 3/5.” – Population GO
  • “Moe is the cancer killing the anime industry. RIP, Manglobe. Let’s hope your return is more glorious than Gonzo’s.” – Sekijitsu
  • “This show is trying to be very serious with it, but what is it about? The colour of pure love, and that the main female lead very stubbornly refuses to open up her school for boys. It’s completely insubstantial, even though this show acts like it struck gold with it. Also, who the hell designed that abomination that is supposed to be a cat? Potential: 30%.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
  • “This was just brutally boring watching him run around town trying to find her. A first episode is the very first impression, when nothing happens for the first half of the episode, that is bad sign for things to come. She is picture perfect dense imouto that can’t do anything by herself. I always hated this character type with a burning passion.”> – Days of our Past Megaten Lives
  • “This is going to go down the drain, and fast, but as far as first episodes of destined to fail anime go, this was actually a pretty good first episode.” – Toxic Muffin


Thumbs-up for Round One: Un-Go, Chibi Devi, Working Season 2, Bakuman Season 2, Mirai Nikki, Shinryaku Ika Musume Season 2, Ben-To, Chihayafuru, Guilty Crown, Phi-Brain, Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing, Fate Zero, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Hunter x Hunter

Thumbs-down for Round One: Morita-san wa Mukuchi Season 2, Kimi to Boku, C3: CubexCursedxCurious, Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls, Shakugan no Shana Final, Mashiro-iro Symphony: The Color of Love

Coming up next: Tamayura: Hitotose, Persona 4: The Animation, Maken-ki, Cross Fight Bedaman, Digimon Xros Wars II, Sengoku Paradise Kiwami, Gdgd Fairies, Sora no Kiseki, Kyousougiga, High Score, Infinite Stratos OVA, Hidamari Sketch SP, Boku wa Tomodachi OVA, Lupin III Movie, Ao no Exorcist Special, Queen’s Blade Visual Book, Deadman Wonderland OVA, Toradora Special, Dragonball Z Episode of Bardock, R-15 OVA, Hoshizora e Kakaru OVA

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2 Responses to Anime Review: Mashiro-iro Symphony: The Color of Lovers Episode 1

  1. Reiseng says:

    Oh wow, I am surprised you found that old Mashiro post of mine. I watched like 2 more episodes of this anime, and surprisingly enough, I did not hate them. Sure, the setting, story and some of the archetypes are quite stereotypical, but still… Someone on randomc mentioned that this anime would just fall short of going full cliche, and that seemed to be a good assessment at the time.

    Yeah, this anime is sort of otaku-pandering, but at the same time, it seems to be missing in the weak, good for nothing main lead department. Sure, the male lead is not that special, but at least he tries. In episode 2 and 3, the guy spends quite a bit of effort trying to be friends with the female lead, while normally, the female leads just fall head over heels in love for no real reason whatsoever.

    I have not seen anything past episode 3, but from what I hear, there was a period of dumb drama, followed by a good period again. But meh, this anime for most people is probably not worth watching. I might revisit it someday though, because I did get a few good vibes out of it.

    Also, both Clannad and Kanon were based on adult visual novels, and they did not suck at all. :P

  2. Pingback: Anime Review: Recap of the Fall 2011 Season (after watching the 1st episodes) | This Euphoria!

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