Review: ‘Mashiroiro Symphony: The Color of Lovers’ [Anime]

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by Marlan Moore | staff editor

Mashiroiro Symphony: The Color of Lovers is a 12-episode anime series from late 2011 based on the visual novel Mashiroiro Symphony: Love is Pure White.  The fact that it’s based on an eroge about a male student joining an all girls school led me to believe this was going to be some fan service-filled, cliche’d romp with little to no story and bad jokes. Boy, was I wrong.

Mashiroiro Symphony starts out as a cute slice-of-life story and ends as an emotional romance. If ever there was a great date anime, this would be it. Ladies, watch it with your men. Men, pour some wine and get ready to remember what these “emotions” women keep talking about are. I started watching Zetman promptly afterwards so I could renew my man card after all the feelings I experienced watching this thing.

Here’s the lowdown on the show:
Shingo’s a guy from Kagamidai Private Academy, a co-ed high school. Kagamidai is planning to merge with an all-girls school, Yuihime Girls’ Private Academy. Shingo winds up being one of the lucky boys that gets to join the all-girls academy.

While there, he meets a harems-worth of pretty ladies, a good number of whom have the hots for Shingo. So the question is…who will Shingo wind up with? Will he go with tsundere Sana? Ange the maid? Airi, the principal’s daughter? Or the moe Miu Amaha?

Although finding out who Shingo gets with is where the anime is headed, it does some interesting things along the way. Instead of treating the whole co-ed school merging with an all girls school thing as a joke, or as just a way of getting a guy into some ecchi situations, it actually takes the idea pretty seriously. The girls aren’t all happy with the merger, and aren’t comfortable with having guys around at first. The guys from Kagamidai start out just as awkward as the girls from Yuihime as well.

Once Shingo gets acclimated to his new environment, the show focuses more on his slice-of-life-ish adventures, and Miu’s would-be club that helps injured animals.

When one of the girls realizes she has feelings for Shingo, and then realizes that Shingo has feelings for someone else, my cold, tin heart actually felt for her. It’s rare that I actually care about these kinds of shows, or about will-they-won’t-they relationships in general, but this one–this one got me. Maybe it’s because I’ve been there. Heck, I’m sure most of us have been there.

Which brings us back to what this show is really about — falling in love. It’s as much about the pain of unrequited love as it is about that first skipped heart beat. The last couple of episodes, when Shingo and his lady are just starting to feel out their relationship (in non-ecchi ways), made me feel all warm and gooey inside. This series reawakened the hopeless romantic in me, even if only for a moment.

If you’re looking for an anime that’s all fan service and no heart, look elsewhere. If you want something that reminds you of what falling in love feels like, check out Mashiroiro Symphony: The Color of Lovers.

You can catch Mashiroiro Symphony streaming on Crunchyroll, or find it on DVD starting December 4, 2012.

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