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DGFischer

  • Wisconsin
  • Joined Jun 14, 2019
  • 68 / M

By their own admission ...

The black-hearted class representative.  The poor girl on a bread crust diet.  The walking black hole.

So we describe the main characters of Teru, Youko, and Futaba, three girls of diverse personalities with the remarkable commonality of a unique kanji form which appears in each girl's name, the character for 'leaf.'

That and the fact that in the short 12-episode season that ran from April to June of 2016 these three would forge the strongest of friendships.  This is the running premise of Sansha Sanyou, Three Leaves, Three Colors.

The strength of this anime is not placing the weight of the story on just these three characters.  Odd cases and screwballs just keep dropping in and enriching the humor.  Yamaji, Youko's former butler who still hovers about, stalking his former employer's daughter to ever be of service.  Speaking of domestics, Sonobe is the former maid who is making a name as a patisserie, and gets to hire Youko, proving that a former rich girl can transition into the working world.  Serina.  Teru's rival who spars with Teru in vicious tongue battles ... until Teru learns to kill the opposition with kindness.  The Tsuji twins (born two years apart), the boy who constantly challenges Futaba to eating contests (and loses) and his younger sister who defends brother's honor in those moments of ignominious losses.  Kou, Teru's health-conscious older sister who's 'nutritious’ food concoctions are more likely toxic than health-giving.

This modest cast of characters struts their stuff through twelve episodes, supplying the background of three girls growing personally.  Futaba, a girl who loves to eat, realizes that her gluttony may get in the way of becoming that dainty girl everybody loves.  Teru, while responsible as class representative, knows that her vicious streak is a detriment and strives to be positive and affirming ... though this personable change might kill her.  Youko has the biggest challenge.  Once from a wealthy family, her family fortune is lost.  Plus, her mother has died, and her father is out in the world somewhere trying to rebuild his fortune and make Youko the 'princess' she always enjoyed being.  Till then, Youko subsists on bread crusts (mayonnaise helps).  But these girls have each other to be the support system.  It is natural that the shamrock is the symbol that flashes about through the whole series.

The anime technique is suitable for this gently humorous story of life out of the fast lane.  Each girl has her color to emphasize their uniqueness but is it really how they interact with their classmates and family that makes Sansha Sanyou click.  The voice talent is well blended, as one can hear in the banter  (this was the dubbed version, though the Japanese talent really cut loose in the opening theme).

I don't remember who recommended this series, but it is a classic example of a single season done and over, yet a project deserving of greater appreciation.  The closing episode's 'thanks for your support' is a poignant reminder that most anime (even good items) can be short-lived.

 

8/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall

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