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.


Karandi Excited Transparent

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