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ADV Films presents
Colorful (2003)

"I never knew a paradise like this existed!"
- Guy on train (uncredited)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: April 23, 2003

Stars: Nobutoshi Hayashi, Yasuhiko Kawazu, Fumihiko Tachild, Urara Takano, Neena Kumagai, Yuichi Nagashima, Sayaka Oohara, Miho Yamada, Mayumi Yamagisawa, Shelley Calene-Black, Kelli Cousins, Alison Kieth, Monica Rial, David Matranga, Hilary Haag, David Geller
Other Stars: Tommy Drake, Greg Stanley, Andrew Klimko, Kira Vincent-Davis, Charles Kennedy, Rob Mungle, Mark Laskowski, Nevets Retsof, Christine Auten
Director: Ryutaro Nakamura

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (17+ for mature content, nudity, language)
Run Time: 01h:48m:50s
Release Date: March 18, 2003
UPC: 702727025525
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

There are plenty of shows that are known for their fanservice, and then there is Colorfula show that is pretty much nothing but. Originally airing as part of the Wonderful show in 1999, Colorful is a collection of 16 mini-episodes, each running roughly six and a half minutes, following a group of guys whose sole purpose in life is to get a glimpse of girl's underwear. This DVD holds the complete series, based on the manga by Tarajiro Kishi. If you are looking for plot, deep characters or a compelling story, look elsewhere. If you want to see how many panty shots can fit in an hour and three quarters, this is the show for you.

Nosebleeds abound as men vie for the ultimate vantage point that will let them gawk into the forbidden world of women's undergarments. We start out in Shibuya, where an intrepid reporter is on the scene to find out what is causing a strange phenomenon, where a rash of mysterious accidents have left several male victims with cracked skulls. Cut to class, where a pair of college students encourage their shapely teacher to instruct them in the ways of the English language. Next is exchange student Steve, a budding videographer from North America, who is in Japan to seek out the elusive upside down Fuji shot. Of course, while aiming his lens at the reflection in a pool of water, he finds another subject more to his interest. We also visit the famous bullet trains, where one never knows what they'll bump into. Then there is the high school gym coach who marvels at the attributes of his young athlete, and a 50-foot school girl.

Each vignette is assembled in a plethora of styles, blending various forms of animation and design with quick cut editing. This admittedly adds more interest to a pretty straightforward premise that plays over and over again. Half the show is peering under skirts and down blouses, the other half consists of the facial expressions of the rewarded voyeurs as they revel in the sights they have witnessed. Some of the characterizations are apt, such as the older gentleman edging out his younger and less experienced competitor for the best seat, or the guy who "discovers" his new hobby by chance while on the subway. There is a continuity of sorts as the characters reappear to continue their thrill seeking from episode to episode, but trying to extract an actual story is a bit of a task. I'll admit it is somewhat humorous on a very juvenile level, but I'm not as certain whether it is the content itself or that fact that someone actually made a series about panty peeping that is more amusing.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: C+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Image quality looks great, with both traditional and computer animation looking clean. As its name implies, the show is very colorful, from ruby reds to cottony whites, silky pinks or lacy purples. Saturation levels are good, blacks are solid. There is a bit of minor aliasing, but that's about it for technical issues.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Audio is available in original Japanese or a more "colorful" Steven Foster English dub. The soundstage is well used, working well with the rapid fire video editing. Tonal balance is natural, and there were no technical deficiencies noted. Nothing wrong here.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Noir, Zone of the Enders: Dolores, i, RahXephon, The Devil Lady, Neo Ranga,The Samurai.
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Clean opeing and closing credits
  2. Behind the scenes documentary
Extras Review: A show as whacked as this one get the "frillies" treatment. Clean opening and closing credits are supplied, along with the show's trailer, which for once is indicative of its style.

While the feature itself may be questionable, the principle extra here is priceless, and something I hope we see more of. ADV has created Colorful: Exposed!, a 24m:38s behind-the-scenes mockumentary, featuring members of the dub cast, as we get an inside look at some of the personalities involved in the dub. Hilary Haag, Kelli Cousins, Shelley Calene-Black, Tommy Darke, Steven Foster, Rob Mungle, Mike McCrae, David Geller and Fred Walker Jr. are featured, along with some of the production staff in this silly, but fun extra.

Learn amazing and insightful information in a similarly unserious bio section for the English cast.

Trailers include Noir, Zone of the Enders: Dolores, i, RahXephon, The Devil Lady, Neo Ranga,The Samurai.

Extras Grade: B


Final Comments

Panties, panties everywhere! Colorful presents a barrage of visual styles as it uncovers the truth about men's obsessions with undergarments. Fans of Beevis and Butthead-type humor should enjoy it, but definitely not for those with an aversion to fanservice. Some will find the extras more entertaining.


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