Posted by psgels on 22 May 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews

Ah, Ascension: the new promising production company, spawned apparently from Sunrise. I originally thought that Kizuna Ichigeki from the Young Animator Training Project was their debut, but as it turns out their first work is the movie Colorful. After this, they stand out even more as a force to be reckoned with, because here they actually got themselves a number of good writers.

Colorful is a slice of life movie. This is a crowded genre at the moment, but it holds itself up very nicely. It’s perhaps not the best, but the character development is definitely worth it. It doesn’t follow the formula of “first half slice of life second half drama”, but instead it blends in both parts very nicely, taking the time to slowly show his character in his every day life, along with the problems he has and how he develops. The drama is good and quite genuine at times as well.

Kou Outani developed a solid soundtrack, and the animation is also simple, but detailed: not the best for a movie, but there is still quite a nice amount of movement. Characters move life-like, and the animation and voice actors succeed pretty well in portraying the characters throughout the movie. It does have a number of flaws that prevent it from being a great movie, though.

This movie was directed by the same guy who directed Kappa to Coo to Natsuyasumi, and pretty much suffers from the same problem in that it perhaps does not make the best use of its time. It’s the build-up that leaves things to be desired and feels incomplete at times, which prevents the drama from really reaching great heights.

Second of all, and this is a complaint that I’ve seen mentioned by some others already: the ending is… a bit of a downer ending. It’s not like it’s rushed or anything, and neither is it a plothole ending, but it’s the kind of ending that tries to shove its messages down the viewers throats, and they weren’t messages that I personally agree with. For the sake of spoilers I’ll only say that this movie does not use its premise well enough. Beyond that though, it’s a very solid movie that’s worth the watch if you’re into slice of life dramas.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Really well written dialogue, but misses something in terms of building up.
Characters: 9/10 – Excellent and life-like portrayal and development.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Nothing special for movie standards, but the animation remains impressively detailed. Especially the background art is consistently great.
Setting: 8/10 – Don’t watch this movie for its premise; watch it for its characters and how they fit into their daily lives.

Junkers Come Here
Whisper of the Heart
Kappa to Coo to Natsuyasumi

19 Responses

  1. a non a mouse says:

    I’m pretty sure Asention just is Sunrise. As in a name for a team that they came up with specifically to work on this movie and only this movie, which is pretty common practice. If you look at Sunrise’s homepage the movie is listed under their works as well.

    Anyway great movie. Sunrise has been doing some really exciting and adventurous thing for a while now, or at least works that go against the current trends and harken back to the types of anime that were coming out a little more often in the 80’s and 90’s. Really refreshing to see a slower-paced “slice of life” drama with interesting characters again to compete with the myriad of carbon copy “slice of life” comedies that have become all the rage and frankly have already worn out their welcome.

    And I know a lot of people like those slow-paced “slice of life” comedies, but frankly I find them mind numbing so it’s good to have something with characters and situations I find engaging (albeit somewhat depressing) like Colorful.

  2. Alec says:

    I found Saotome annoying! They should’ve focused more on Hiroka before she died

  3. cyshtoph says:

    @Alec: “I found Saotome annoying! They should’ve focused more on Hiroka before she died”

    Say, WHAT? Have we seen the same movie? It’s rude killing people off. ;>

  4. Alec says:

    @cystoph: *sarcasm I’m sorry, But I dont think we saw the same movie! */sarcasm

    go check the scene where the crying Hiroka was alone in the club room with Makoto.

    You’ll understand what I’m talking about. And yes its rude to kill people off

  5. Alec says:

    You’ll see a somewhat surprised Makoto, and Hiroka, who suddenly disappeared infront of Makoto after saying the words “I’m not going to die”

  6. Keoven says:

    @Alec Wow, I didn’t notice that… but did she really die? I hope not… ^^;;

    I really like the movie as well… Was kinda hoping that they showed his “goodbyes” to everyone in the last day.. :D

    Any other movie like this with an interesting premise as well?

    What messages did you not agree on?

  7. keitaro says:

    Hiroka died? She didnt die.

    The only dead person in this movie is PuraPura.

    I LOVE THIS MOVIE. I cried and I dont care…

    Are you Alive?

  8. Alec says:

    She died! just because we didn’t see ha visual confirmation her kill herself, or of Makoto visiting Hiroka’s grave doesn’t mean Hiroka’s still alive.
    Look, Hiroka wasnt even there at the final minutes of the movie. They showed every important character, but Hiroka, who is also very important (More important than Saotome), is nowhere to be seen.

    try to reply the scene at the 1:33:00 mark, and see for yourself

  9. Alec says:

    damn typos! Oh, well… This movie actually made me shed manly tears after a certain scene

  10. cyshtoph says:

    Hello again. Alec, she didn’t die. Stop being rude to her.XD The whole point of this scene with painting is that, thanks to Makoto, she finally understood it’s not a bad thing to “have many colors” and to behave the way she did. She was seriously conflicted over this and that’s why she wanted to destroy the painting – she wanted to do the same thing she felt she was doing to herself. After the talk she had no more of such urge. She accepted herself.
    So, why for bloody hell would she still want to kill herself? Not appearing in the final scenes means more like she got her dilemma solved and went her own way, parting from Makoto, although not necessarily to the grave.

  11. Alec says:

    @Cristoph: Did you even replay that scene? Let me ask you a question… Why did she SUDDENLY dissapear infront of Makoto?

    You’re saying she has some device that gives her the ability to turn invisivle?

    What I’m basically saying is… Makoto was talking to a ghost, who then dissapeared (probably went to heaven) after accepting herself! hence, not becomming a wandering spirit

  12. Alec says:


    2 reasons why I conclude she is dead:

    -Hiroka tals about killing herself
    -Hiroka suddenly dissapearing on the scene, leaving Makoto a somewhat surprised expression which didn’t last for no more than a second.

  13. Taara says:

    @Alec. That may be true, but if that is what happened, then I think the makers of the movie could have done a better job getting that message across. That scene definitely confused a lot of people and honestly seems out of place considering there were few other scenes which suggest that the reality that Makoto is living in is fake.

  14. Sheldor says:

    My favourite part of the movie was when Hiroka talks about needing to destroy things that are beautiful. You realise she’s talking about herself as well. I don’t know if she died… I hope she didn’t.

  15. karry says:

    So his crush is a prostitute, his mother is a whore, and his dad has no self-esteem whatsoever…what a crappy second chance at life. Not only it was a pretty disgusting story, but there is absolutely no reason for it to be an animated film instead of live-action. None.

    Oh, and great job at scoring the usual 82,5% !

  16. toddler2kid says:

    So touching. Love the story and scenes.

  17. nodbgp says:

    Humm, guys seriously, she didn’t disappear… Time just skipped to Makoto looking at the picture alone;

    Anyways it was a great movie, the whole thing was very predictable, but I think it had a nice climax for a simple yet interesting premise. I liked the art and the animation, the characters besides the antics were lifelike and the mood and atmosphere was as good as could be.

    I would recommend this one easily.

  18. nodbgp says:

    Humm, guys seriously, she didn’t disappear… Time just skipped to Makoto looking at the picture alone;

    Anyways it was a great movie, the whole thing was very predictable, but I think it had a nice climax for a simple yet interesting premise. I liked the art and the animation, the characters besides the antics were lifelike and the mood and atmosphere was as good as could be.

    I would recommend this one easily.

  19. Megris Vernin says:

    This film had an interesting premise for me but I found myself unable to continue to finishing it. For me the break moment was when I noticed how cruel Makoto was being to his mother. Specifically when they were alone and eating and he told her she made him sick I lost my interest in continuing the film. Films don’t have to make me happy, infact I like downer endings. Windaria had a strong, but powerful impact. Same with the ending to Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. Whenever I watch an anime with a protagonist that I can’t identify with in a fundamental way, such as the main character from Chaos;head, I tend to drop it as I did here.

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:46 AM)
    @Kaiser: so far it’s good. I’ve been hearing the buzz but I wished someone had nodged me to watch it sooner.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:42 AM)
    You’ve reminded me Bam that I’d been meaning to pick up ash vs the evil dead sometime.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:39 AM)
    @Kaiser: the remake was still pretty entertaining, but it lost the silly comedy edge the series was known for. I still think that the 2nd film had the most unique and prominent voice of its own, and all of that is present in the new series’ pilot. If anything Raimi cranked it up a couples of notches here and there.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:35 AM)
    There was a mean spirited feel to the remake I found pretty appealling.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:27 AM)
    @Kaiser: the original Evil Dead was playing the horror genre straight, but it had a strata of slap-stick that was partially unintended. With Evil Dead 2 he doubled down on the strange horror/comedy dynamic and it became fantastic. Army of Darkness was very entertaining, but it strayed very far from the series’ roots. The remake was only produced by Raimi, while he got back on the writer/director chair for the pilot of the new series, and proved that he still got it sharp as ever.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:19 AM)
    Then again I believe Raimi was fairly involved with the remake.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:18 AM)
    The remake as far as remakes go should have been worse but it worked much better than I would have thought and I say this as someone who hates reboots/remakes.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:16 AM)
    @Bam: I’ve only partially seen the first evil dead but I don’t think its aged well, the second one I’ve seen and its hugely entertaining later on but its army of darkness that was the most enjoyable of the three for me.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 03:47 AM)
    Wow Ash Vs the Evil Dead 01 was a blast; I really should’ve gotten into this sooner. I was smiling thru most of it, either because it was funny or slap-stick gory, or because it was a blast to see that Sam Raimi still got it. I guess the only time that Evil Dead works is when he’s involved. Seeing Bruce Campbell again with the chainsaw was a treat which I didn’t know I needed in my life.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:31 PM)
    I’m trying not to get my hopes up however, given that it wouldn’t be surprising if he gave us another filler chapter like he did with that pointless flashback.

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