Komirai's avatar


  • Joined Jul 7, 2012
  • 28 / M

Clannad, Kanon (2006) or ef - a tale of memories/melodies although aging, are the anime who solely represent how romance visual novels should be adapted. As an anime which aims to be romantic, the formula for success is quite simple. Cookie cutter girls are thrown into the same world with a heartthrob and there their feelings would be played around with might it be love or hate. Though absolutely clichéd, this method of portrayal proved to be effective when handling rom-coms. However as time pass, what was known as lovely and heart-warming was tainted by inappropriate fan service, unfunny and exaggerated humor but most of all, the formula was rehashed again and again making it feel like you’ve seen everything. Thus, the same type of characters appears in every anime with the same genre only with varying facial features. Yet despite that, some studios are too lazy to put in much effort even just to differentiate characters only relying to different hair colors and to two-syllable names to make them easy to remember and distinct from one another. Sadly, Mashiro-iro badly suffers from one of these categories; it was already done before, and in a much better way.

As an anime that has the same method of its predecessors, the story format of Mashiro-iro is quite simple. Our hero wanders off in a peaceful town and meets an atypical girl (our heroine) in an unusual way. Surprisingly, the girl whom our hero has met is in the same school as his and eventually they became classmates. The boy then tries to befriend the girl and her friends but she shrugs him off saying she doesn’t want to because she has more serious matters to attend to. Despite the prima donna attitude, the girl has some secrets and problems she doesn’t want anyone else to find out. Accidentally, the boy found out about this and offered his help. The girl at first rejected the boy, but since he was so persistent she had no choice but to accept it. Despite the boy having without any romantic intentions, the girl developed a feeling of love, and I might as well say that the boy did too. Thus through a simple twist of fate, everything was changed for the couple. Now if the anime focused more on improving their relationship with the help of everyone around then this could easily be the spitting image of a modern day Clannad but true enough, it doesn’t stop there. You could treat the first half of the series as a different story since the second half of the series underwent drastic changes. After the main heroine was introduced and her problem solved, the story now focused on the side characters, or so they were.

For a sweet and happy first half, the second half was rather jarring. As the other characters were introduced, they quickly overshadowed the main girl whom the viewers have grown attached to. Not only that, the series took a much unexpected turn in which not only the main girl was thrown off the scene, but another girl took her place in being the leading lady. In the blink of an eye, what happened during the first half was all forgotten and was never given any further attention. Everything happened as if there was a sudden change of scripts which was much uncalled for. Viewers did not see it coming and there was no reasonable explanation on why the scriptwriters would do such a thing. The cause would probably be because it seemed so generic, the staff in their saving efforts might have placed an event as such for them to be labeled as unique but instead of impressing its audience, it made the audience scratch their heads in confusion, raise an eyebrow, or even curse the scriptwriters. Although not a School Days-tier shocker, a lot of people would be annoyed by the decision made by the creators. And thus would be the most fatal error they’ve made in the series.

For an anime that had me hoping for so much it’s just sad to see that what had great potential was wasted because of mishandling. Having said that, I’d recommend treating Mashiro-iro Symphony as one anime with two different themes: the first part portraying on how it feels like to have a crush, while the second part dealing on how it feels like to have a lover.

Nonetheless, the opening and ending songs are so gentle it could easily drive away whatever grievances you have against this anime. In the opening song “Authentic Symphony”, Choucho really shines with lyrics illustrating how romantic and lovely this series is supposed to be. While on the other hand, the ending song “Suisai Candy” by marble is so sweet just like what its title is. What’s more is that it is so catchy you’ll be surprised that you’re already singing along. If an anime’s criteria for rating is only music then Mashiro-iro will without a doubt get a perfect 10.

Concerning the sound department would also be the voice actors. With different character personalities, you could easily identify who’s the tsun, the tomboy, the caring senior or the “dumb maid”. Though sometimes it seems that they speak very slow, the voice actors still did a good job in providing personalities for the characters. Although sometimes, there are some parts which felt that it dragged on for too long (sedating at most) because of how the characters speak and act slow. Along with the packaging of a character are the designs and as I have stated above, there wasn’t much of a distinction among them but the different hairstyles and hair colors which can be accurately observed in the ending song sequence. Another issue concerning its art would be the distortion of the characters’ faces when zoomed out. The male protagonist Uryuu suffers the most from this.

When all’s been said and done and despite the drawbacks, by all means Mashiro-iro Symphony is not a bad anime. It has a proper storyline and characters you could easily like without focusing much on giving fan service. If you’re a fanatic of sweet and romantic love story then I don’t see why you shouldn’t give this one a shot just be wary of the second half. Sure it is no Clannad, Kanon or ef but it is one of the most decent adaptations I have seen this year. If not for the sudden changes then this would easily be a contender for 2011. After all, who doesn’t like a sugary sweet love story?

6/10 story
5/10 animation
10/10 sound
7/10 characters
7/10 overall

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DaddyOwO Aug 28, 2014

I dunno if id compare Clannad with the rest of those. Though simular, Clannad carries something different to the table.