Blue Period Anime Review

Blue Period

2021, Season 1, 12x23mins

Slice-of-Life, Drama

Based on the manga by Tsubasa Yamaguchi

Produced by Seven Arcs

Yatora Yaguchi is a bright but unguided high school student yet to find his ambition in life. After a night hanging out with his equally unambitious friends, he notices the colours and shapes of the world around him in clarity for the first time. Back at school, a chance encounter with a beautiful artwork triggers his dormant inspiration. Yatora joins the art club and sets his sights on getting into the notoriously selective Tokyo University of the Arts, coming into contact with other students on their own artistic journey.

Basically Plot: An unmotivated high school student awakens to the beauty of fine art, joining the busy and competitive world of students looking to draw themselves into Tokyo’s prominent art university.

Blue Period is the latest anticipated entry into one of anime’s most lauded genres: the ‘adolescent-passion’ show. Some of the best series of all time, such as Your Lie in April, Bakuman, and the more recent Eizouken, present similar stories that play on the freedom and anxieties of adolescence. Blue Period doesn’t offer much to challenge such notable works in the genre as these, but this certainly does feel like a modern addition to these great shows.

First of all, it’s worth noting that Blue Period does a lot of the basics well. The animation is bright and crisp, and the story is well crafted, extending throughout and outside of the character’s experiences opposite the canvas. It does a really good job of cramming a lot of story into 12 reliably good episodes.

The main character, Yatora, isn’t the best lead I’ve ever seen. His personality and ambitions all seemed a bit wishy-washy, never looking strong or weak nor grabbing the story’s focus. Lack of self-awareness is part of his character as an anxious amateur artist, but it felt like some of that came through simply because the character hadn’t been given a rounded personality of his own to anchor the story.

On the flip side, one thing Blue Period does have over some other shows like this is a slew of bright, energetic side characters whose stories are often more interesting than the lead’s. While some of these other characters are slightly one-dimensional, they do at least have clear ambitions, skills and anxieties that make them engaging. Ryuuji, in particular, is one of the most interesting side characters that I’ve seen in a long time, a complex portrayal of a complex individual; it’s just a shame that there wasn’t more of them.

I feel like I’m being slightly harsh on Blue Period, because there were moments where I felt it could be something to sit alongside a show such as Your Lie in April. While Blue Period doesn’t have the depth to compete with something like that, it does deliver a lively and hopeful story with plenty of character development, and the clean, modern animation style makes it pleasant viewing, particularly for fans of the ‘adolescent-passion’ genre.

Blue Period Anime Ranking: 7/10

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This is certainly a good and enjoyable show, helped by the fact that this is one of my favourite genres. It doesn’t have the depth that other shows have shown, but there is certainly plenty to work with going into what we hope will be a second season.

If you liked Blue Period, you’ll love: Bakuman

As mentioned, there are many shows like Blue Period that track young characters as they discover themselves while chasing their passions. Your Lie in April is probably the best example of this, but in terms of the challenges faced by artists, Bakuman is a closer reflection of Blue Period. Following a young manga creator as he tries to follow in his troubled father’s footsteps, it’s a story that shares a lot of emotions and feelings with Blue Period.

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