Guest Post: Colour Theory in Anime


Karandi: A huge thank-you to Average Joe for stepping up as the second person to guest post for 100 Word Anime. If you don’t follow Average Joe Reviews I definitely recommend checking out some of their anime reviews or discussion posts. However, today, they’ve written a fantastic post about colours and comparing how three anime have used colour. I hope you love it as much as  I did.

Before starting I would like the thank Karandi for letting me be a guest on her blog. I hope you like my post.

Colours and Their Effects

Colour. It’s one of the things many of us take for granted, but it bring so much to our lives. Colour makes things appealing to the eye, is used to indicate certain things and can have an affect on your mood. Different colours and colour palettes imply different things; Red for anger, green for envy, blue for tranquillity the list is endless. In this post I’m going to be discussing how colour and its effects apply to anime. I’ll pick out 3 different anime and address their colour schemes and common colour to explain how said colour affects our views of the show as well as the actual connection it has to the show.

New game

The colours in New Game are very pale and a lot of pastels. These colours help compliment the shoujo nature of the show. New Game isn’t a show with much urgency in its story, therefore it’s subdued colour scene demonstrates this with calm colours with very few sharp or contrasting colours. New game is an inherently slow paced show, the slow pacing compliments the calmer colours since pastels are associated with calming moods and settings. No colours contrast with one another, or stand out against each other, this creates a set level of dimension and makes to world seem smooth and simple in design. The only part of the show I could find that was consistently bright was the eyes, which are rather large with very bright iris’. Since eyes are a major artistic component in anime it makes sense that they’d be brighter, so as to convey more emotion since the brighter colours pop out against the subdued colours. The colours also have an effect on our perception of the show, if the colours are calm and soft, it will have a calming effect on your mind. This improving your overall enjoyment of the show since it is meant to have a calm and gentle style to both its art style and narrative.

New Game


And now we go to the exact opposite in the form of Redline. Redline has sharp colours and is rampant with contrasting colours. The colours of the cars and characters are all very bright and sharp, showing the ferocity of the animation and to accentuate the intense nature of this world the movie is set in. The settings are dark and grungy, and this is shown in the city shapes through very harsh grey as and deep browns. The vehicles are the highlight of the movie, their colours are extremely bright and contrast greatly with the backgrounds and other settings. This adds to the focus being on the vehicles since they stand out so much against the backgrounds. The character designs also get in on this trend, with a lot of harsh darks for JP, mellow yet bright colours for Sonoshee McLaren and dark reds and other sinister tones for Lynchman, each characters personality and style reflected in their colours. Redline is a show that has tons of depth and dimension in its animation, and a major part of that is its combination of dark colours and contrasting brights that make the world seem almost 3D with how much everything pops off the screen.


Death Note

To close off this post, let’s talk about the joyfest that is Death Note. This show doesn’t necessarily have dark colours, instead it has very dulled down and faded colours. It’s both like New Game and completely different from it. It’s similar in that it uses faded and less harsh colours, but it’s different in that it’s done for entirely different reasons. New game did it to create a calming and cheery tone, Death Note does it to create a sombre and depressed tone. Death Note is a show that bleeds cynicism, bringing up ideologies of faith and godhood in its narrative with Light and his God complex. The show isn’t optimistic, and this creates a dim setting that the colours compliment by being very faded. The majority of these colours are greys and browns, colours that are often associated with gloom. The faded colours help to add to the darker tones of the show, the paler colours perhaps being reflective of the lack of value of life in the show with the power of The Death Note capable of taking it away. Duller colours have an effect that leaves its observers feeling more negative emotions, or at least being more exposed to them, and this helps sell the message Death Note provides, one about how sinister the power of a god can be in the hands of a human.


Thank you for reading I hope you enjoyed it, if you did please consider visiting my blog for reviews, discussions and more. Once again, special thanks to Karandi for featuring me as a guest, this was a lot of fun to do, please support her and her blog. Till next time.

Karandi: Another huge thank you to Average Joe and I hope you all enjoyed reading that post. If you’d like to check out more of their posts check out:

If you would like to write a guest post for 100 Word Anime, please contact me via the contact page or twitter and we can hopefully organise something in future months.

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


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Buy Me a Coffee at
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Guest Post: Chicken Soup for the Otaku Soul


Karandi: I’d like to thank Negative Primes! from Curiously Dead Cat for volunteering to be my first guinea pig guest poster on my blog. They’ve put together a great piece for the community and I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I did.

First, a warm arigatou to Karandi for allowing me to guest post for her!

Ever felt depressed? What anime will you most enjoy when you’re down in the blues?

I was feeling particularly down recently, and posed this question to Twitter, where it got a lot more attention than most of my tweets! So I figured a post on the same topic was in order, and my second arigatou is to all of you who chimed in with suggestions! As I’ve written previously, anime basically saved my life when I was going through depression. And Karandi has also written about her experience turning to anime when feeling down as well.

Here I’d like to share with you first those series mentioned in the tweets that I have seen and can personally recommend, plus a couple additions of my own that seemed relevant; and then those which others recommended. I’ve divided these series into five categories, according to what the main thing you’re looking for might be: heartwarming, funny, uplifting/encouraging, light-hearted, and cathartic. Note that most of these shows have more than one of these five elements present; I’ve simply focused on what I think is the main aspect of the show, while noting a couple that seem outstanding in multiple ways.

Obviously, this is highly personal and should be considered a starting point for you, not a dogmatic assertion! Also, it’s obvious, but has to be said. This post is not a substitute for professional help, nor does it contain medical advice.

Guest 1


Heartwarming: These are the shows that leave you with a warm afterglow. You’ll be feeling peaceful and contented.

  1. Fruits Basket: An orphan girl living in a tent meets a family with an unusual curse. Humor and tragedy follow, but mostly it’s just a whole lot of heart. Message: Everyone has their hurts and their secrets, even those who seem to have everything.
  2. Interviews with Monster Girls: A comic slice-of-life about a teacher and his attempts to help his “demi-human” students and colleague. Message: People come in all varieties, and that diversity is something to be welcomed and enjoyed.
  3. Recovery of an MMO Junkie: An MMO-addict quits her job to focus on her gaming, and ends up falling in love. Message: Love is hard for otaku. Oh wait…
Guest 2
Funny: Any show here puts the humor front and center. For when you just need to laugh.
  1. Working!!/Wagnaria!! and www.Working: Two related series, totaling four seasons. Co-workers in a restaurant have to deal with each others’ rough edges. A similar message to Fruits Basket, just with the scale tipped slightly more on the funny side while FB is slightly more on the heart-warming side.
  2. Disastrous Life of Saiki K.: A pink-haired, nearly omnipotent psychic boy has a very hard life indeed. The laughs come fast and furious with this one.
  3. Konosuba: One of the funniest anime of all time! A boy hit by a moving vehicle is reincarnated into a fantasy-like world and quickly gathers about him one flaky goddess, one over-achieving explosion mage, and one masochistic crusader. Together, they try to resolve a lot of problems and usually end up causing even worse trouble.
Guest 3

 Uplifting/Encouraging: Down in the dumps or facing one of life’s hurdles? Here’s what the doctor ordered!

  1. My Hero Academia: One of the smash hits of recent years, with a lot of heart, humor, and humanity. Ultimately, though, it’s mostly about persevering in the face of seemingly impossible odds.
  2. Girls und Panzer: High school girls shoot at each other in tanks. As a sport. In order to become more womanly. Nothing unusual here. Many warm relationship moments between the all-female cast of characters. Message: You can do it!
  3. Naruto: If you’re reading this, you know Naruto. Iconic “you can do it/the power of friendship” shonen show. (Helps to have a guide to avoiding the “filler episodes“. My thanks to @irxson for pointing me in the right direction here!)
Guest 4


Light-hearted: Just want to shut off your brain and watch the anime equivalent of cotton candy? Here you go!

  1. Working Buddies: Two cats work temp jobs and have zany experiences, often involving a mysterious koala bear.
  2. BananyaNational Geographic-like “documentary” of cats that… live… in… banana peels. It just gets better from there.
Guest 5


Cathartic: Shows that help you through the tough times by depicting characters who are also going through tough times. Is this catharsis, where you experience a spiritual cleansing through watching dramatic tragedy? Or is it schadenfreude, where you just derive pleasure from watching others suffer? Does it matter? You be the judge!

  1. GATE: A portal opens up in the middle of Tokyo and Earth gets invaded—by a bunch of iron-age horse riders who can’t stand up to modern armies. Japan invades them back and gets involved in some deep political twists and turns.
  2. Golden Time: From the creator of Toradora!Golden Time is like TD but darker and edgier, and depicting college students. It’s pretty funny, and also very tragic, seeing as the main characters suffer through everything from amnesia to car accidents to mental illness to getting abducted by a cult to being possessed by vengeful ghosts to…
Guest 6

A Cut Above: These shows are those that incorporate more than one of the preceding elements, and do it very well. So you’ll get a concentrated dose of animedication with them.

  1. Silver Spoon: A funny, heartwarming, and extraordinarily well-crafted story of a high school boy from the city who transfers to a farming school. He finds happiness and love. From the author of Fullmetal Alchemist.
  2. Hinamatsuri: The sleeper hit of Spring 2018, this story is really hard to describe. I typically fumble over my words and say something like, “It’s the touching story of a yakuza underling and a weaponized telekinetic girl; she blackmails him into lettering her stay at his apartment, and then they bond over mass murder…” But that’s really just the first episode, which sets the rest of the show up. Like the Matrix, it must be seen to be understood. By turns funny, heartwarming, and heart-wrenching, Hinamatsuri strikes a unique balance and depicts some of the strongest secondary characters ever to grace the anime screen.

These are the series that I have seen and recommend—though I could certainly recommend others! If you need even more suggestions to try, my Twitter friends proferred the following ideas, which I have yet to dig into. These first three were mentioned multiple times:

  • K-On
  • Daily Lives of High School Boys
  • Non Non Biyori
  • Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
  • Fullmetal Panic
  • Skip Beat
  • Nichijou
  • Natsume’s Book of Friends
  • March Comes In Like A Lion
  • Bunny Drop
  • Barakamon
  • Sweetness and Lightning
  • Aria the Animation
  • Shirobako
  • Hanasaku Iroha
  • Hoozuki no Reitetsu
  • Free!
  • School Rumble
  • Seto no hanayome (My Bride is a Mermaid)

If you have other ideas to add to this list, please let us know in the comments! Who knows, you may help someone! Thanks for reading, and remember to support 1!

Karandi: Another big thank you to Negative Primes! for offering to write a post for July and for the fantastic job they did putting it together. 
If you would like to write a guest post for 100 Word Anime, please contact me via the contact page or twitter and we can hopefully organise something in future months.

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


Consider supporting the blog by:

Buy Me a Coffee at
x click but21