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 Visual Prison Worth Watching?

Visual Prison - Worth watching?
Is Visual Prison worth watching?

You wouldn’t really think that singing vampires in visual kei inspired costumes could go too far wrong. The visual spectacle alone should be entertaining and if they actually managed to create a half-decent story to hold it together, it would make Visual Prison worth watching. Throw in my love of vampires in fiction and I was definitely checking this anime out.

But did they manage to make me want to keep watching.

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.
Visual Prison - Worth watching?

First Impressions of Visual Prison

Okay, ten minutes into the first episode and we’ve had a character catch a train and walk a bit and in between we’ve had him listening to music with cut-aways to a music video, then a band literally drop out of the sky and sing, then another band kind of show up and sing as well.

And for some reason they have swords with microphones on the pommels.

Problem is, once you stop looking at the interesting costumes you realise there’s pretty much nothing happening here other than singing and the performances aren’t interesting enough to make you want to stick around and listen to yet another vampire sing.

Honestly, this first episode of Visual Prison was definitely even less enthused about narrative than I suspected from the write up.

Visual Prison Series Positives:

Visual Prison knows how to pose

If you are after a wide range of hot vampire designs with extremely overdone wardrobes than you’ll probably find exactly what you are looking for here. The character designs are by far the most interesting, if perhaps only interesting, thing going on in this episode.

Now I’ll admit, I did bow out before I got to the end of episode one but that was only because having already determined I was not continuing with this anime my brain went into hyper-critical mode and ultimately it just wasn’t worth spending any longer on it.

So positives for Visual Prison? I’m sure the art-book will end up looking amazing.

Visual Prison Series Negatives:

Visual Prison


Okay let’s just focus in on the swords that are microphones and how awkward and ridiculous that looks. Not to mention, for what purpose?

That anime episodes only have twenty minutes in which to convey anything and half of this episode is gone and I actually couldn’t tell you the main character’s name. Actually about the only name I really got was the front man of the band he liked.

More than that, I was struggling at times to understand how sequences were supposed to fit together. We have these two vampires show up in a helicopter and they are seemingly talking to the crowd but there’s no helicopter noise or excessive wind as there should be if they actually opened a helicopter door and stood there.

They then go through this elaborate ritual where they kind of pay homage to the moon but they clearly aren’t in the helicopter at that point. If anything it was like that nebulous space where Sailor Moon transformation sequences occur, only there was no transformation. Though they did get their sword/microphones. Anyway, after that we’re back in the helicopter and leap out.

I think they then perform on the stage which might be the pop-up one that appeared on the back of a truck but while they are performing it looks way larger.

And wow I’ve listened to three edgy songs excessively laden down with the type of imagery one expects from a high school poet and care not even a little bit about anything going on here in Visual Prison.


Karandi Bored Transparent

I’ll be blunt… No. If I had a choice of watching the rest of this first episode or watching the first episode of Tesla Note on repeat five times, I would not choose to finish watching this episode.

Visual Prison seemed like an apt title. The visuals drew me in but then I felt trapped until I remember I can just close the player.

Images from: Visual Prison. Dir. J. Furuta. A-1 Pictures. 2021

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