A full on case of what the hell!?
What They Say
With hotties on subways, perverted cabbies, panty-obsessed video geeks, sexy mall babes, and the furry phenomenon, Colorful! takes aim at the randy idiocy of the human male with over 50 vignettes of weird, twisted and perverted humor.
This bilingual release has a Japanese stereo mix encoded at 224kbps and an English 5.1 mix done at 448kbps in addition to a 224kbps stereo mix. Having absorbed a fair amount of obscene and obtuse Japanese comedy over the years, we went directly to that track to see how much of it we’d get. The track is a pretty standard stereo mix with some light dialogue directionality across the forward soundstage and a fair amount of depth as well. We didn’t experience any dropouts or distortions on it. ADV went the extra step with the English track and produced both a 5.1 mix and a 2.0 mix, but we didn’t notice all that much difference between the two during a spot check here and there beyond some slightly more focused pieces of dialogue.
Originally airing in 1999, the transfer for this show is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. Colorful features an extremely varied piece of work that must have been chaotic to encode at times as it shifts between so many mediums at times, all with an animated layer on top. The transfer here looks pretty flawless with clean colors, no cross coloration or aliasing to be seen. There are areas where things look a touch pixellated, but it’s intentional as you have the camera getting so close to the image that it almost looks like its breaking up. But once you realize that they’re doing a faux avant garde style show at times, it all makes sense.
The text on the back says it all. “Roses are red, Violets are blue. This show is about panties”. The package is all about panties as well as you get three covers to choose from. The front cover has the Colorful logo and a pair of white panties. The back cover provides a lot of screenshots and a brief summary of what to expect from the show as well as the discs technical and production information. For some reason, ADV never seems to want to mention that they’ve done an English track in 5.1 on their package, much like they did with the original packaging for this release. Unlike the previous release, this is done in a black keepcase and there is no reverse side artwork.
Going for basic but subversive, the menu here is very simple with just languages and extras at the top to select from while below is all sixteen episodes. Sliding across the screen near the top is Japanese text that’s getting shot by a space invaders like icon at the bottom. Each time a character is hit, a very quick flash from the show comes up, all while set against the opening song of the show. If this plays too long, you’ll find your head moving up and down unwillingly and unable to stop.
The extras here are just hilarious. The opening and ending sequences are done up in textless format and the ADV trailer for the show is also included. The actor bios are for the English cast here, and they’re done up with an average of three screens each, with the first two doing something amusing and then the third one telling you the truth. Unless Kelli Cousins really has appeared in a copy of Jugs, in which case I can see a mad rush to acquire that particular issue among some of the readers here.
The one extra that just had me in stitches is the Colorful: Exposed! Documentary that runs about twenty five minutes. It starts off with Steve from the anime going to the ADV studios and then getting distracted following a nice, well, I’ll leave it that until I know who she is. The camera then refocuses and we follow it into the offices as we meet various voice actors and staffers involved with Colorful as they talk about their experiences, we see some like Shelley get into the booth, we see an audio engineer actually get lucky (which means it’s fiction) and all sorts of other bits, including outtakes. It’s hard to explain this, but there is one thing for sure – everyone had a hell of a lot of fun making this and I had a great time watching it. I hope to see more things like this as it’s only going to continue to build up the voice actor industry as something more than “them” for some people. I’m not exactly a huge dub fan, but I can sure as hell enjoy something like this.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This show is one long panty shot.
It completely blows away any other show that has tried. It is that simple.
Colorful is a series of vignettes that ran as part of a variety show called “Wonderful” in Japan, so each of them is pretty short, with a total running time of just under two hours, with openings and endings included. There’s a fair amount of continuity throughout it and there’s an obvious beginning and ending to the entire thing, but you really can just jump in anywhere and watch.
The basic plot is that we follow two guys who aren’t exactly lucky. They’re college English teacher is a hottie who they try to get to help them pronounce their L’s and R’s as she has these gorgeous ruby lips and uses her tongue so well in her explanations. They also show up throughout the show in various jobs, such as shoe salesmen that allow them to look really closely at panties, or just sitting on a bench on a windy day and watching the skirts fly up.
There’s also an arc about a school athletics teacher who is coaching a young woman named Yamamoto, but he finds himself attracted to her and can’t stop looking at her as she lives the life of sparkling youth. From running track to swimming, this guy is in over his head as he tries to keep it professional but his mind is completely elsewhere.
And then there’s just the weird and wacky stuff that happens, such as a giant high school girl who appears one day and strides through the city. The news reports on it and makes careful note that yes, she is wearing loose socks. Her celphone goes off and windows shatter, she leans and looks at the glass buildings to put her lipstick on. Men on the street get a fantastic view up her short skirt. It’s all pointless, but it induces quite a bit of laughter.
With comedies like this, it’s often hard to really explain. It’s like taking South Park down to just its gag moments, giving enough of a setup for it and calling each gag an episode. It works here very well, but makes it difficult to convey, at least for me. Quite a lot of the show though simply comes down to men staring at women’s panties in any way they can. Often it’s something as simple as them leaning over and the guy catching a glimpse of maybe less than inch worth of the panty, but that’s just enough.
And it’s frighteningly accurate for those willing to admit it. While the majority of people don’t act out like these guys do, more than enough men will find it a big thrill to catch a glimpse of what they’re not supposed to see, even in this age of oversexed advertisements and television shows. This may turn into a frightening realization for some women though, but don’t worry, we’re mostly harmless.
The art style for the show is definitely different than normal, as we get new women in most each episode, most often done up in a slightly realistic/Japanese way, with the softer coloring applied to them, but vibrant in the clothes. Hairstyles are very well done, with the artists likely just grabbing hairstyling magazines and copying straight out. These aren’t the typical anime women we see in most shows, but something a bit more… special.
And I haven’t even mentioned Steve, the male character (who I’m insisting is from Canada) who has come to beautiful exotic Japan for picture taking. This poor guy gives westerners such a bad name.
Colorful is one of those odd titles that has a very small but amusing set of fans to it. You have to be a little off to really enjoy this kind of humor in a way. ADV Films has simply changed the cover artwork up a bit and slapped it back out into the market as most everything is otherwise the sme – right down to the “10th anniversary” logo on the load up. I can see some people finding this boring as hell, there a lot of people who are looking for an edge-pushing show will likely find this just as hilarious as I did. This is a show that definitely merits a watching in both languages as Stephen Foster adheres only partially to the original script – but in a show like this, his deviances from the script tend to work out really well. While I wouldn’t say we’re getting two shows for the price of one, we’re getting two very enjoyable pieces of work. Very recommended for the perverted fans as well as those who have absolutely no issue in saying that they love panties.
Japanese Language, English Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.