Blue Period Series Review – Explosive Creativity, Drama and Teen Angst

Blue Period Series Review

Blue Period is one of those anime that just kind of perfectly captures a moment most people can relate to. That moment when you realised that you were just going through the motions and the things you did weren’t necessarily the things you enjoyed doing. However, despite realising that you may not have known what else you wanted to do and so got stuck in indecision. Or you tried to change but found it too hard and that there were too many obstacles in your way.

It’s always wonderful when a story can perfectly capture a universal feeling and portray it in a way that doesn’t make you feel like everything is hopeless and futile as it gets so caught up in its own pretension.

Blue Period

The first few episodes of Blue Period are a refreshing surprise, introducing the audience to protagonist Yatora Yaguchi who is very much going through the motions and meeting the expectations of his parents, teachers, and friends, and is very much just drifting through life. Then one morning he sees the city. The same city he always sees. And remembering some artwork he saw from another student that had captured his interest he grabs a paintbrush and tries to capture what he saw and felt in that moment.

And a new fire is lit within him as he finally found something he wanted to do.

Now, in the real world such fires are ignited inside people all the time and just as quickly quashed by the harsh reality of a lack of technique, time to practice, support of others, equipment, or just the fact that even if you worked really hard every moment of every day that is no guarantee of success. Blue Period acknowledges many of these hurdles but at its heart its trying to be inspiring so at times viewers may find Yatora gets a bit of an easy ride (yes I know he’s working himself to near illness but as many other characters in the story discover that’s not always enough).

Blue Period

Blue Period knows what it wants to convey and does it stunningly.

Given the subject matter of this anime is about someone aspiring to become an artist the anime itself is full of art. Characters are constantly creating or appraising works or discussing art and techniques that can be used. Fortunately it is visually impressive enough to pull this off and leave you feeling that the anime itself is something of an artwork (and yes I know all anime is art but a lot of the time the emphasis isn’t put into making something art so much as conveying the story quickly and expediently).

There’s also a genuine progression in the art of Yatora as he goes from inspired amateur to someone who has dedicated pretty much the final two years of his high school experience to art school. The final work he creates in the anime for his university entrance exam is a joy to behold even if there was a bit too much drama in the making of it.

And that’s perhaps my only real criticism of Blue Period. The DRAMA. Now don’t get me wrong, it is supposed to be dramatic about discovering yourself and overcoming limits and so on and so forth. And some of the drama lands right where it should. Such as Yatora’s relationship with Ryuuji and his desperate attempt to reach out to him when Ryuuji has hit an all time low. Or even his strained relationship with Yotasuke which I actually kind of wish we’d seen a little more of.

Blue Period

However other drama such as Yatora getting sick right before the exam just felt like they were trying to milk one last rise from the audience. It kind of cheapened all the effort and time Yatora had put into his preparations. The situation already had enough drama and tension with Blue Period essentially having been a build up to that moment and it was kind of time for the story to sit back and let Yatora show his growth over the series. We didn’t need him nearly collapsing to make us any more emotionally invested.

Its a minor criticism in an otherwise well paced and thought out narrative that really does do exactly what it seems to have set out to do.

Blue Period also establishes a very solid support cast around Yatora throughout its run time. Here we have anime parents that are occasionally seen and even seem to parent in a positive manner. We have teachers who both support and encourage growth but others who are well meaning but don’t quite get it. We have friends and rivals (sometimes in the same package) that Yatora continues to interact with and have their own goals and baggage to work through.

Blue Period

Basically Blue Period has managed to make a world that feels real and a cast of characters that audience members can connect with and its done it all in an anime that looks great. While it isn’t perfect there’s very little to complain about and Blue Period is definitely an anime worth trying.

As always, I’d love to know your thoughts on the anime so be sure to leave a comment below.

Images from: Blue Period. Dir. K Masunari. Seven Arcs. 2021

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Watch or Drop? Is Blue Period Worth Watching?

Watch or Drop Blue Period
Blue Period - Yaguchi

Blue Period is the story of second-year high school student Yatora Yaguchi who is studies hard but spends a lot of time playing around with his friends but he’s really just jaded with life. And then he sees an artwork by one of the art club members, has a chance conversation, and has his own first attempt at using art to convey an idea.

He’s discovered a real love of art but still isn’t sure what he can do with it in the future and he knows his parents aren’t necessarily going to understand his sudden desire to go to art school. These first two episodes have him really discovering art, starting to learn how much hard work and study is needed, connecting with the art club and really trying to speak with his mother about his future.

Blue Period is on Netflix and as of writing only two episodes were available.

Watch or Drop? Rules

Rules modified for the Autumn 2021 season.

  1. The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
  2. I’ll watch as much as it takes to make a decisionas to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
Blue Period

First Impressions of Blue Period

Blue Period kind of caught me by surprise. The opening sequence with Yaguchi and his friends watching a soccer game before spending the night out didn’t do much to grab me but I kind of felt we were supposed to feel disconnected as the character they kept focussing on didn’t seem to excited by what was happening either. Watching more, the opening episode does an excellent job of establishing Yaguchi as a character and where he currently is in life through a range of visual choices as well as his expression and language.

By the end of that first episode I was thoroughly hooked and watched straight on to episode two. This ended up being far more emotional than expected and honestly my biggest disappointment is that there isn’t another episode already available to watch.

Blue Period Series Positives:

Pretty much everything about Blue Period could fit into a positive. Each scene and sequence so far has served a purpose for either fleshing out the characters or progressing the story (though given the slice-of-life nature this is more just exploring the character and his choices rather than any kind of driving plot).

Nothing has outstayed its welcome as we’ve moved between Yaguchi with his friends, trying art, conversations with the art teacher, interactions with the art club, sequences at home, images of Yaguchi working hard on his art, and so on. That every scene seems beautifully put together and has some purpose has just made it a delight to be immersed in.

Blue Period

I think one of the best things in Blue Period is Yaguchi isn’t instantly brilliant at art. Sure he is decent but he doesn’t have the knowledge or techniques and isn’t necessarily familiar with all the tools so he’s really having to work for every improvement. It fits in nicely with both his complaint (and Mori’s) when he was called a genius in episode one for getting good grades at school when in fact he’s studying hard. Mori, the third year art student who inspires Yaguchi inadvertently, also has an issue with being called talented when she’s also working so hard at her art.

Equally the scene where Yaguchi really talks with his mother about art and why he wants to do it is just emotionally moving and I hadn’t actually expected him to speak with her so honestly.

But pretty much everything in these first two episodes is solid so picking a favourite moment or scene would be really quite hard.

Blue Period Series Negatives:

There really aren’t any clear negatives to Blue Period other than perhaps the slow pace (which it is a slice-of-life so viewers had to be expecting).

Blue Period

Yaguchi’s ‘friends’ at the start are probably a low point in that they don’t really seem to connect with much else that is happening, but I think that was kind of the point. They aren’t really supposed to.

It’s kind of clear I’m stretching for bad things to say as Blue Period has given us a pretty well executed opening.


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Blue Period is definitely one I will continue with this season though given it is on Netflix it will be a wait for a few episodes and then binge rather than a weekly watch. That will also probably help me stay hooked given I know my own impatience for slice-of-life stories when I watch them episodically.

Still, Blue Period is perhaps one of the better series I’ve tried in the Autumn 2021 season so far.

Images from: Blue Period. Dir. K. Masunari. Seven Arcs. 2021

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Have You Found ‘The Free Spirit Anime’?

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We all know there are some amazingly talented people in the community and it is always great finding a new blog to read or view that has something interesting about it. The Free Spirit Anime with Rami is fairly new but already has a nice show-case of some very cool anime inspired drawings.

Now I know from looking at the likes and comments over there that a number of my followers have already come across this blog (and Raistlin featured Rami in his latest blogger in the spotlight), but if you haven’t, it might be worth taking a few moments to check out and maybe even to suggest a character you would like to see drawn.

The drawings are absolutely gorgeous and well worth checking out. There’s a few below but head on over to their site and spend some time checking out the work they’ve put on display in just a few weeks. Here’s an introduction from Rami:

My name is Rami Alhaj Hussein I am 31 years old drawing since I was child it’s a hobby I enjoy spending time sketching something around me using pencil or pen sometimes charcoal stick , sometimes using Photoshop for drawing, editing or Clip studio paint ( anime PC app ) sometimes people ask me a common questions like how can I become artists well the answer is easy pick a pencil and start with sketching anything around you, or start with drawing a circle, triangle and square first then start with simple drawings, I always love to see the smile on people faces after I show them my work so I decided to make my first blog to make everyone smile.

Rami Alhaj Hussein

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

This Art Club Has A Problem Episode 3 – Lessons to Takeaway

This Art Club Has a Problem Episode 3

Week 3 of Yomu’s collaboration and this week I’m looking at the lessons to takeaway from the episode. Turns out This Art Club Has a Problem is surprisingly deep. Remember you can check out the other posts in the collaboration or get involved by visiting Yomu’s blog.

So let’s begin.

Lesson One – Don’t Make Assumptions


Uchimaki has a problem this week when Colette (who we finally met) tells him she lost her locket with a super precious picture inside. Uchimaki immediately assumes the locket must contain a picture of her parents who apparently went back home and left her in Japan and he visualises an entire tearful farewell scene. This makes him feel kind of stupid when he realises the only thing in that locket is… well watch the episode and find out.

Lesson Two – Some People Just Can’t Be Helped


Still looking for Colette’s locket, Uchimaki does the sensible thing and actually asks her where she’s been. At first she answers but then she suddenly gets super paranoid about what he might do with that knowledge. Honestly, at that point he should have just walked away but I guess we also learn that Uchimaki is either really, really, really nice or he’s a sucker for blondes.

Lesson Three – Some Times You Have To Cut Your Losses


It becomes apparent that Colette has actually not lost her locket, and at the inconvenient moment of right after she all but accused her two club mates of potentially stealing it, and she’s forced into a situation where she has a choice. She could: A – admit that she made a mistake and apologise. B – Pretend she’s a magician summoning her locket. Clearly she chooses option B. The problem is that the lie is apparent and there’s just no saving the situation so she’s just making things worse for herself. You know what they say, know when to hold them, know when to fold them, and know when to walk away.

Lesson Four – Sometimes The Other Person’s Happiness Is Enough


Usami is put in an odd position this week where Uchimaki seems to have lost his inspiration mostly because he can’t think of a hair-style for his latest waifu. After first suggesting a bob (can’t imagine why) she ends up giving him a magazine of reference images of women’s hairstyles (though she isn’t altruistic enough not to post-it note the bob). Still, she was genuinely happy for his happiness as he leafed through the magazine and began to get enthused again.

Lesson Five – If You Are Cornered and Running Isn’t An Option, Sometimes You Just Have To Grin and Bear It


Look at those pained smiles. Usami’s friends visit the art room and then, mostly to mess with her, decide to have a drawing contest of the two. They position her closer and closer to Uchimaki before finally presenting their work. Personally, I think Usami should have chosen to run away when her friends first said they were going to visit the art club but having left it too late, she was trapped with no way out. Nothing for it but to smile.

Finally – If Your Friend Is A Reporter Your Life Is Fair Game (Watch Out)


Yep, they made front page. I think the lesson here is self explanatory though.

And that is it. Six lessons from This Art Club Has a Problem Episode 3. Looking forward to next week’s themes.

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Friday’s Feature: There Are Many Ways To Appreciate Anime

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Anime is…


I’m certain most of you were finishing that sentence for yourself and I’m absolutely certain that for every reader the answer is going to end up being a little bit different (even if the same word comes to mind). Why? Because even at the individual level, I watch anime for a wide variety of reasons and each anime that I enjoy is enjoyed or appreciated for a slightly different reason. I don’t want every show to feel the same or to look the same and I’m not looking for the same feeling as I move from one show to another.


Earlier this year I wrote a fairly positive review of Chain Chronicle: The Light of Haecceitas. If I were to compare that particular show on a more objective level to something like March Comes in Like a Lion or, more sensibly given technically they are at least both fantasy based, The Ancient Magus’ Bride, it becomes quite clear Chain Chronicle isn’t that good of an anime. Visually it is quite rough, the narrative has some issues, and most of the cast remain largely undeveloped. Yet, my review emphasises that despite these flaws the show was really fun to watch if you were a fantasy fan. It was entertaining, it hit the right tropes for the genre, and managed to do it without feeling too derivative in the process. I appreciated seeing an unapologetic, non-parody/comedy fantasy world for a change.


Whereas, the word fun isn’t one I apply very often to March Comes in Like a Lion. I don’t sit down to watch the next episode of that assuming I’m going to have fun and I’m not even looking for ‘fun’. What I’m looking for is emotional resonance and occasionally a cathartic experience. I know that by the end of most episodes I’m going to be a little shattered and have to take a moment to pause and reflect. The smiles I get in the episodes are ones of seeing characters overcome tough situations or find ways to grow despite the hurdles before them. What I also know I’ll get going into an episode is a visual feast for the eyes and beautifully executed visualizations of emotions and inner turmoil. So despite the absence of a ‘fun’ label on this anime, there’s still much to appreciate that appeals to me as a viewer.


Then, for some reason, there was Days in 2016. An anime about a weedy looking kid with few friends who decided to try out for a soccer team after being invited to play futsal once by a classmate. I hadn’t watched pretty much any sports anime at that point and time and had no real reason to think I was going to like Days. Then I found the optimism of the main character charming and even though the animation quality was questionable (okay, it was mostly bad), the story pretty standard for a sports story really, and a lot of the cast overlooked until it was their turn for an episode, I really enjoyed watching Tsukamoto each week. It was emotionally uplifting and I didn’t have to think too hard about it so it was just a relaxing way to kill twenty minutes each week with enough of a draw to make me look forward to the next episode.


But sometimes, that isn’t what I want. I really loved ACCA earlier this year (and the first half of KADO) for the simple reason that I didn’t feel like I was being spoonfed a plot I’d seen a million times before. Both seemed to take a slightly different approach to what might have been a fairly generic set-up and both kind of liked keeping the audience in the dark but not in the maddeningly frustrating way that Dies Irae has managed just to baffle with its narrative choices. Basically, they were kind of clever in giving enough information that you could sense they knew where they were going and that eventually an answer would be revealed, but didn’t tip their hands too early. These were both pretty delightful to follow along with and speculate with others as to where the story would end up. They were also the kind of shows that were better to watch when you could discuss them week to week as the guessing was kind of half the fun.


Overall, there isn’t a single reason why I might like a show or not. Sometimes it is the art and animation that will draw me to a show where normally that isn’t an aspect I pay a lot of attention to other than ‘this is pretty’ or ‘wow, that’s ugly’. Sometimes it will be the theme song that grabs my interest and makes me like a show more than I might otherwise. Sometimes its the characters or the narrative or the themes or it could be mostly anything. I watch shows to be amused, bemused, informed, inspired, shaken, exhilarated, stunned, and pretty much any emotion you can imagine I’m seeking at some point from a show.

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Quite clearly, no single show is going to hit every one of those buttons and nor would I want it to. That would just be a mess. I prefer that when I tune into show A that I know I’ll mostly get such and such a feeling whereas when I go to show B I’ll find something else. I try to sort my watching around that and avoid watching too many shows in the same style close together. I’ve also learned not to watch anything for at least half a day after an episode of March Comes in Like a Lion because that just doesn’t end well.

So what is anime to me?


Anime is art. It is literature. It is music. It is emotion. It is drama. It is horror. It is a talking point. It is something that can lift me up and can tear me down and sometimes do both in the space of a single episode. It is a reflection of life. It is a doorway to world’s I couldn’t even begin to imagine and characters I can’t conceive. Basically, I love anime and I appreciate even the shows I would declare terrible because while they continue make anime, I know that something will come out that will leave an impression on me one way or the other.

What is anime to you?

Thanks for reading.

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Karandi James.


Re: Hamatora Series Review



The sequel to Hamatora, the story picks up immediately after the events in season 1 so be prepared for a few major spoilers for season 1 if you read on.


Hamatora is an enjoyable enough story with a bit of mystery, a bit of super powered violence, some friendship stuff and a lot of bright colours. Re: Hamatora is a passable follow up but taken by itself is not a good piece of story telling nor character piece.

Actually, Re: Hamatora falls into traps that many sequels have issues with. Firstly, we ended season one on an enormous cliff hanger.


Art shot Nice. Nice had finally beaten the crazy serial killer and saved the city and Art shot him point blank (or at least seemed to but of course it happens ‘off screen’). Art was his friend, and a detective, and completely committed to protecting others and the formerly believed to have been killed Art turns up and shoots Nice.

That’s a pretty big finish to a series and is more or less a guarantee that people will come back for a season 2.


And yet, by the end of episode 1 we might as well say, well, that was pointless and move on with out lives. Nice isn’t dead (given he’s the main character and displayed prominently on the DVD case and pretty much every image of Re: Hamatora) and the motive for playing dead is at best incredibly lame. While we’ll need longer to figure out what is going on with Art and why he took that course of action this would only be a good enough hook if Art’s character had been developed as anything other than the nice guy, powerless do-gooder prior to these events. We don’t care about Art because season 1 gave us no reason to. Art’s death was a shocking moment. It came suddenly and with only a few minutes between the foreshadowing and execution so it definitely shocked, but it wasn’t because we liked Art. It was more the impact his death would ultimately have on Nice and that up until that point we had no reason to believe the killer would target non-minimum holders.

So before season 2 even gets rolling we have a shaky foundation with some questionable choices but the issues don’t stop there for the story.


The show has always had a vague focus on the discrimination minimum holders and/or normal people face in the world (those with power vs those who don’t) and yet this isn’t actually part of the overall motive for the serial killer, Art, or Nice as all three of these characters are more or less indifferent to the issue. Even Nice who protects others at times doesn’t really see the point of discrimination in either direction and he’s ‘off beat’ enough to just sail through life without really dealing with it. Art on the other hand has more issues with his own inferiority complex rather than an issue with external discrimination. So a major theme that attempts to build some sort of social commentary in this story, and scenes and sub-plots around this dominate whole episodes, but don’t actually link in to the main plot in a cohesive or meaningful manner. It’s more just a backdrop that takes up a lot of time and space.


Season 2 also sees an increased focus on Hajime (Nice’s friend who he regularly feeds at Cafe Nowhere who seems tough but we haven’t really seen her do anything prior to season 2). While she ultimately gets a really intriguing back story and a great side-story the link back to the overarching plot is again tenuous. Her story does lead to some complications with the powers of the characters and is probably the most interesting of all the stories we see in season 2, but it isn’t enough to carry the whole series.

Re: Hamatora ultimately has a bunch of ideas all competing for attention to the point where you all but forget that dramatic conclusion to season 1 or even what it is the characters were ultimately trying to achieve (if anything).


Despite the story issues, of which there are many, it is the fact that the characters seem so disconnected from these events and do not seem to undergo much development or growth that really causes it all to come tumbling down. A fragmented story could still come together if the characters drove through the plot and learned from each of their encounters and took something with them. But Nice is apparently perfect from the get go and others just need to see he’s fine. The other characters personalities barely blink over the course of the events and so as an audience member you are not asked to care about any of the goings on but are merely expected to embrace the zany colour pattern (which is intensely bright, even more so than season 1) and the sickening scene transitions.

This is a watchable follow up and it does ultimately answer questions about the school and Minimum Holders and it does end, but honestly there is little point in watching unless you just like anything involving super powers. Because it is not bad. It may not be good but there is fun to be found in watching this just don’t expect anything amazing.

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Karandi James.