Colorful (Japanese Film)
Original Title: カラフル
Release date: August 21, 2010
Director: Keiichi Hara
Book by: Eto Mori
Screenplay by: Miho Maruo
Cast: Kazato Tomizawa, Aoi Miyazaki, Akina Minami, Michael (Maikeru), Jingi Irie, Akiyoshi Nakao, Kumiko Aso, Katsumi Takahashi
Here’s an amazing premise: a soul arrives to the “station of death” where it’s informed that it’s been given a second chance at life.
In that period of time the soul will be taking the place of a 14-year-old boy named Makoto Kobayashi (Tomizawa), who has just committed suicide. During the time he spends in the body of this boy, he must figure out what he did wrong in his past life, and why Makoto ended his life.
This is just like suicide therapy in animation form, even though the first 30min of the story are completely depressing to say the least. After all, we are talking about such serious matters which not only include suicide, but also loss of innocence, bullying at school, and even discontent at home.
Colorful is based on the book by Eto Mori, which had been already adapted into Colorful (2000) by Shun Nakahara — a live action version that had a complete different feel and focus. In this animated version, we are treated with the solemn story of this boy who’s had it rough as we learn what it’s like for him. However, as the film progresses, Colorful begins to have a brighter outlook on life.
As an audience, we go through a broad variety of feelings towards the people around Makoto, which include his relationship with his mother (Aso), his father (Takahashi), and his older brother (Nakao), as well as his weirdly out of place classmate Shoko (Miyazaki) and the goofy Saotome (Irie). But it’s perhaps Makoto’s relationship with his guide Purapura, which brings both- the lightest and most heartbreaking moments throughout the whole film.
If you really like drama, don’t be turned off because of the medium, you’d be truly missing out. This is just as wonderful as anything you might be able to get in any live action drama.