Blue Period Anime Review

“Art is a language without words”

~Art Club Teacher, Saeki Masako

Introduction

First and foremost, shout out to Shinobu (@Shinobu_DC on Twitter) for putting me on to the Blue Period anime. I did have Blue Period on my list for animes to watch but it was definitely lower on the list and without Shinobu telling me to check it out, I would have seen it much, much later.

Blue Period is one of those animes that tell a Coming-of-Age story in which the characters find themselves through a particular creative medium.

In Your Lie In April, the “creative medium” used was the music (specifically, the world of a pianist), in March comes in like a lion, it’s Rei learning how to cope in the adult world and how to interact with others through playing Shogi and in Kono Oto Tomare!, they found themselves through playing the Koto and in Blue Period, Yatora (the main character), finds himself in the world of art.

Click here to skip my initial impressions (if you’re not interested).



My Impressions On Moments That Stood Out [No Spoilers]

Episode 1~

Yeah… This is gonna be a special kind of anime.

The main character (MC) went from trying to fit in at the expense of not enjoying anything to, doing him regardless of what other people think and for the first time, he feels the emotion – excitement… you love to see it. -86 Rating.

Episode 2~

16:53~ Ayoooooo…

But, if I have to conform to what society wants me to be… I’d rather die…

~Ryuuji Ayukawa

This is how you know that this is serious… It’s not just there for the sake of randomly being there.

This also makes sense as to why Ryuuji would get on the MC’s case about being free when Yatora (the MC) was only doing what his friends wanted him to do, AKA, smoking.

Maybe I wasn’t paying attention or something but I can’t lie, I never saw this coming… but it makes sense and fits within the themes of the anime. When the MC was taking shots on people doing the things that they want to do freely, I see why Ryuuji took it as a personal shot back in episode 1.

Episode 4~

This MC (for a lack of a better word) is bitch-made for real… but it is what it is I guess…

Episode 7~

The Scene That Starts At 10:43 In The Bar~ I REALLY liked this scene with Yatora & Koigakubo.

The way Koigakubo kept it 💯 with him about how he wanted to go to Pastry School and what became of it, it speaks a lot to his character.

I haven’t forgotten when Yatora drew his first blue Shibuya picture, not only did Koigakubo NOT make fun of him (when everyone else in his group did) but he was the first to notice what actually Yatora drew – the early morning of Shibuya.

I’ve been noticing that one of the themes of this anime is that art can sometimes help describe or represent other things or emotions that someone sometimes can’t put into words so for Koigakubo to pick up on those things shows just how real he is… He’s got my respect, even if they just treat him as a side character lmfao.

Finished

Now, it was really easy for me to understand Your Lie In April since I know how to play the piano and other instruments. I know the struggles that can come with playing the piano but when it comes to art and drawings… I don’t truly fully know… I’ve never been a creative person in that aspect so I was wondering whether or not that would hinder my experience of watching the anime (if they decided to dive into extremely technical stuff etc).

After watching it, I must say… this is a good anime, but just how good???

Let me break it down

The Visuals

The Animation

Click on the CC (Closed Captions) for the Subtitles (it works on the desktop).

Overall, the animation is pretty average. Sure, there are better-animated scenes in the anime but those moments are where the animation reaches its best and is not the norm. These 2 video clips best represent what you should expect on a consistent basis.

Compared to other animes, I’d put Blue Period in the C3/C2 tier and peaks (reaches its best) at B3 tier (which is very rare). It honestly wasn’t all that special during when the animation peaked.

The Art


As for the art, the details in the look of the characters are slightly above average but everything else was nothing exceptional. The Blue Period anime isn’t inherently terrible or lacking in detail but at the same time, it never “wowed” me during my time watching the anime. The art consistently stayed at a C1/B3 tier, not really peaking anywhere.

I did see several moments where characters would have these “awkward-looking” moments when they were shown from the side. It never mattered who it was, a lot of characters get this “awkward” look as if they weren’t drawn correctly. It only happened from time to time.

That being said, the best thing about the art is definitely the character designs. Every character looked unique and distinct; only Yaguchi’s side characters are the ones that look the blandest (and they’re not terrible either).

From hairstyles and hair colors to different characters having accessories such as earrings and other piercings, you do get a sense of individuality from these characters.

The Story In The Blue Period Anime

The story in Blue Period follows an unmotivated but hardworking second-year high school student called Yaguchi Yatora (the first name being Yatora). A genius claimed by many but has yet to find himself in his journey through life. As the story progresses, the anime shows the trials and tribulations of what Yatora had to go through once he discovers the virtues of art.

You see, this anime tells a Coming-of-Age story, I’d argue, a seinen story to which they try to convey multiple different themes and messages throughout the entire anime.

What makes the narrative so intriguing is how these themes and messages affect the characters and watching them grow is the highlight of the anime.

Animes such as Orange, March comes in like a lion and Your Lie In April do this.

The Themes In The Blue Period Anime

Blue Period is about people being able to move through life while staying true to themselves, regardless of how others may feel. This anime is about people, specifically, the MC (main character), coming to terms with who they are and is also about showing the virtues of art (more on that later).

You see, in the beginning, Yatora (the MC) would appease his surroundings by doing whatever someone else wanted him to do for the sake of “social stability”. He even went as far as equating getting high scores in exams and hanging out with friends to grinding levels in an RPG…

He was down bad for real lmao.

Upon discovering art, his life changes, and the many different themes of the anime begin to blossom.

The Messages In The Blue Period Anime

Blue Period’s first message is that art is a language without words, meaning, through art, someone CAN be able to convey things that they themselves could not through regular speech.

You later learn that Yatora starts paying closer attention to his surroundings (due to his art assignments) and the things that he discovers are major.

Things like how hard his mother has been working to keep the family afloat. He noticed how she had developed calluses and extra muscle from carrying heavy things all-day and more which went unnoticed until he picked up art.

This obviously leads into an emotional scene but this is how the anime allows its themes to create scenarios that ultimately give the characters, character development. This is just one of the MANY themes that Blue Period has.

Blue Period also plays with the notion of the art that you make can be a reflection of who you are as a person (values, philosophies, beliefs, current mental state, etc).

The Characters

This anime highlights that it’s hard to make “good” art, hard in the sense of not only the ability to do it but the amount of work that is required to achieve it. I can go on and on with the things that this anime displays but the things that are affected by these themes are – the characters.

Characters play a major role in this anime so here’s a very brief breakdown of the MC and my 3 favorite characters in the anime.

Also, just as a heads up, none of these characters were hidden or were kept secret to be revealed later on so, though I’d normally consider something like this spoiler territory, this is NOT, everyone just meets everyone else randomly.

Click here to skip the following Character section

Yaguchi Yatora (The MC)

Yatora struggles with self-confidence, specifically in his work. He also lacks self-centeredness, which is shown when he struggled to create art that represented something that meant strongly to him.

Yatora gets called talented and a genius but he’s really just an ordinary person. His lack of confidence within himself forced him to work 5-10 times harder than the average person to achieve the results that people see, but because of this, he gains a complex of people calling him great.

In his mind, he’s the only one that truly knows how pathetic he is (him trying to fit in with others just for the sake of it, for example).

3. Hashida Haruka

He is one of those characters that every time you see him, he always looks like he’s scheming. 😂

Hashida can be really weird at times – rather than feel exhausted and drained after hearing the news that things will get even more stressful, here comes Hashida turning into a whole freak by the thought of it like bro…. what??? 🤣🤣

Despite his weirdness, Hashida is VERY sharp, able to analyze and expose elements within things, and even scarier… people. The funny thing is once you get to know him.

Hashida is actually a really good person, he just comes off strong to those that do not know his personality.

2. The Art Teachers

Listen… I know having 2 people at number 2 is cheating but hear me out. BOTH of these women are EXCELLENT teachers (both in their respective fields).

Click on the CC (Closed Captions) for the Subtitles (it works on the desktop).

Both have their own unique quirks – Saeki (grandma lool) almost acts very “ignorant” to what’s going on when really, she’s the only one who can see the bigger picture and Mayu is the total opposite, very loud, boisterous, and direct in a very fun way. Her insight into Yatora was instrumental to where Yatora ends up later on in the anime.

My Favourite Character – 1. Takahasi Yotasuke

Takahashi WOULD be the one to say being good at art is like drinking water to him… – basic.

Takahashi has no friends and can’t do anything else in life but as he said in the anime, art gives his life meaning. The thing I REALLY like about him is that you can sum up his entire character with just one word – Honest.

Takahashi is an extremely honest person, he will tell you directly where you’re messing up. He will tell you the things that he doesn’t like about you and I guess, this is actually one of the biggest reasons why he doesn’t have a lot of friends – because he’s too honest.

At the same time, though he is honest, he’s really not honest about the things that he’s embarrassed about. That might seem contradictory but what I mean is, he will HONESTLY show you the things that he doesn’t want to be honest about (whether he likes it or not), it’s just within his nature to be honest, even at the detriment of his own self.

I really like honest people, after all, I am a sincere person.

Honorable Mentions

Both Kuwana Maki and Koigakubo deserve to be at least mentioned. Maki having to go through what she went through and Koigakubo just being an all-around real one, honestly.

Toggle for Spoiler!

I do find it crazy how “the curse” actually came true for Maki (if you know, you know). I didn’t see it coming to be honest

Ayukawa Ryuuji’s character was just alright to me. The anime only really properly showed him at the beginning and at the end of the anime, he felt like he was MIA for the majority of the anime.

That being said, I do really respect how he remained true to himself even though I don’t share the same views when it comes to his whole cross-dressing situation. He’s even the one that got Yatora to start thinking about himself because of how real he’d keep it.

I don’t see how anyone can be mad about Ryuuji’s character.

The Best Things About The Blue Period Anime

The best thing about the Blue Period anime is the way in which Blue Period delivers its themes and messages.

For example, the opening song is not only really good (IMO) but more importantly, sets the mood for the whole anime.

I noticed around halfway through the anime that the opening would really help immerse me quicker into the anime, which leads to the next best thing about the anime… –

Fyi, the opening doesn’t spoil any events that occur in the anime, it’s safe to watch.

The Audio

The OST (Original Soundtrack) isn’t really memorable but when you’re watching the anime, it truly does enhance the experience when you’re watching certain moments. Anytime Yatora would get drawn into making art, the music did a good job of emulating how he felt.

As for the sound design, it was “good enough” for what they were trying to do. You could hear the sound of a paintbrush brushing on the canvas, you could hear a pencil sounding different (at times) when it was used on a piece of paper.

And that’s the thing, it would happen at times, it wasn’t truly consistent, depending on if someone was talking or not. Overall, the sound design is pretty average compared to most animes but if you’re an audiophile like myself, you’ll pick up on the lack of attention to detail in certain areas of the sound design.

Showing The Love For the Arts

You can really tell that Yamaguchi Tsubasa (the creator of the source material – the manga) has so much passion for creating art. Again, I’ve never been good with the basic technical aspects of art and yet, I can tell the amount of care that was taken when coming up with the artistic challenges Yatora had to go through.

How he had to think about the composition of his art, what motif was he going to come up with next or how was he going to embody his ideologies into the motif that he was working towards, look at me sounding like I know what the hell I’m talking about LMFAO.

Blue Period taught a novice like me a few things. It reminds me of the attention to detail that was in Your Lie In April, any pianist worth their salt could see the care that went into Your Lie In April (when it came to its music).

The Worst Things About The Blue Period Anime

This is a good anime but if I’m keeping it real, this anime cannot compete with the likes of Your Life In April, March comes in like a lion and I’m also going to throw in Bakuman because there are similarities.

These are things that make this anime not as good as it could have been.

1. The Pacing

I’ve never read the manga but I still can tell that the pacing is rather quick in this anime. For starters, they couldn’t properly show the transformation of Yatora’s art going from just being alright at the beginning to, when he was actually good; it just seemed like Yatora became good overnight.

How the hell did he go from drawing this in episode 1:

To drawing these in episode 2; this was his NEXT OFFICIAL DRAWINGS…

If you pay close attention to the timeframe, things (in the beginning), wasn’t occurring within days or even weeks, but within months. Mori Maru had the Musashino special admission for her college in 3 months’ time (halfway through episode 2), by the end of the episode, she was already graduating…

2. The Main Character

Yatora isn’t a bad person but he has qualities about him that I personally don’t like.

Yatora is sensitive for real, he’s too soft for my liking. There’s been a couple of times when someone would say something that he wouldn’t like and he’d get emotional to the point where he’d actually start crying…

Do you know the “Why are you running” meme???

Sometimes, I would be looking at the screen with a straight face thinking “My guy… Why are you crying? Why are you crying???”.

Honesty, smfh.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about when someone like Takahashi acknowledges his art, I’m specifically talking about moments where he’s purely just being sensitive…

Not only that but there’s also a theme in this anime where Yatora learns that he’s not special, that there are people better than him in art. The problem comes in the number of times this man has to RE-LEARN this flipping lesson.

Yes… Yes, you did… You ain’t that dude, we get it, we get it… Why haven’t YOU gotten it already???

The Disappointing Visuals

Lastly, we’ve come back to the visuals. Like I said before, the visuals are not terrible but for what Blue Period essentially is (an anime to do with art), the visuals are disappointing.

Take Your Lie In April for example, it’s an anime that explores the world of the pianist. One of the major things that made that anime so good is its music. From the actual OST to the songs that the MC plays, how the songs relate to his journey to adulthood, as well as his trauma, the attention to detail is INSANE in Your Lie In April.

Meanwhile, with the Blue Period anime… It’s almost as if Seven Arc (the studio behind the anime) did the bare minimum for the art (when it’s an anime ABOUT art)…

Smaller Things That I noticed

Can I just say… that one dude that’s a teacher is fake as hell!!!

Toggle for Spoiler!

At the beginning of the anime (well, throughout the majority of the anime really), time and time again he would put Yatora down, not supporting his vision but once that ending happens… this man changed his whole tune, he ain’t slick! 🤣🤣

The other thing that I noticed was about Yatora’s friends. Everyone on the outside viewed them as delinquents but if you actually look at their actions, they’re actually good people.

They were just as lost as Yatora and them doing all of those “delinquent activities” was just them trying to go against the grain.

Moments with Koigakubo would stand out to me (despite him being a side character). Koigakubo was asked about his future plans beforehand but he didn’t want to tell them just yet.

In episode 7, the bar scene with Koigakubo is probably my favourite scene in the whole anime.

At that moment, he finally felt it was time to keep it real… with EVERYTHING. Much respect.

Overall, Who Would I Recommend Blue Period Too?

At the end of episode 1, I said, “This is going to be a special anime” but it’s not as special as I thought it was going to be. Nevertheless, it was still a good anime.

Who should watch this anime?

For those that are complete beginners to the world of anime, I’d recommend you start out with other animes before watching Blue Period. With animes like these, there are a lot of nuances that can fly past people’s heads, and because of this, newcomers might get the wrong impression from animes.

For those that ARE anime fans but have never watched one of these “artsy-fartsy” animes before, I think this is a good starting point and there are animes with better adaptions out there so don’t view this anime as the end-all, be-all of its kind.

For the more experienced anime watcher, people that have seen 200+ animes, I feel like this anime is worth the watch. Experienced watchers will most likely have seen a couple of “artsy-fartsy” animes (let me run with that lmao) so don’t think Blue Period is anywhere close to animes such as Your Lie In April or March comes in like a lion. It’s more in line with animes like Kono Oto Tomare! (I like that anime a lot btw).

Lastly, for the veteran anime watchers, every single one of you should at least watch this once. I don’t know many veterans that don’t like these kinds of animes lool.

Availability

As of right now, there is no news on the Blu-ray but Netflix has acquired the streaming rights to Blue Period both internationally and domestically. Click here to watch




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I appreciate EVERYONE that was able to read my fourth review on Blue Period, you can stay in touch with me @FlamzerFounder to see what I have coming next.

What are YOUR thoughts on the anime???

You can leave a comment at the bottom of this page to voice your opinions about this review, tell me what I could do/add to improve my reviews moving forward.

Thank you for your time.

Blue Period

Available on Netflix
8.5

OVERALL OBJECTIVE SCORED [THE MAIN SCORE]

8.5/10

MY PERSONAL SCORE

8.5/10

Pros

  • Blue Period demonstrates what makes art so appealing in a way where a novice like myself can still appreciate what is going on in the anime. You can tell there's a passion for the arts in the source material and that the anime is able to display this.
  • Blue Period does a great job in utilising its own themes and seeing how the characters survive through their hardships is one of the things that makes Blue Period so good.
  • Though the audio isn't anything exceptional, the vibe and ambience that the music brings really set the mood of the anime quite well.

Cons

  • The pacing is one of Blue Period's weaker areas. It's not horrible but at the same time, certain things do get glossed for the sake of fitting everything that they wanted to cover into a 12 episode anime. It's definitely still enjoyable though.
  • For Blue Period to be an anime showcasing the love for the arts, the visuals were ultimately underwhelming.
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