OP Sequence

OP: 「Authentic symphony」 by ちょうちょ (Choucho)
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼

「ましろ色の出会い」 (Mashiro-iro no Deai)
“Pure White Encounter”

Well, it sure didn’t take long for me to get an answer about whether Manglobe would make a difference in an adult visual novel adaptation. The short answer is yes they do, at least visually. I actually forgot that Manglobe’s behind this production and had to check my own Fall 2011 Preview for the studio after I found the artwork and character designs a lot better looking than I anticipated. The opening theme by Niconico singer Choucho also caught my attention right away, as I really liked her song in last season’s Kami-sama no Memo-chou. What really impressed me though was how the complete first half of this premiere was devoted to our main protagonist Uryuu Shingo (Mizushima Takahiro) searching for his stepsister Sakuno (Gotou Mai) and it wasn’t the least bit dull.

I kid you not, I kept checking how much time had passed in the episode and didn’t find myself bored by the lack of progression. The reason being? I was mesmerized by the soft-spoken Sakuno and the picture she took of herself so that Shingo could find her. I thought to myself how they should really get hooked up with Google Latitude and save themselves a lot of grief in the future, but god damn, I was so intrigued by Sakuno’s character that I don’t think I would’ve minded even if Uryuu spent the entire episode looking for her. Things got even better with the introduction of the “main” heroine, Sena Airi (Ono Ryouko), who was not only friends with Sakuno but also on surprisingly polite terms with Shingo. Evidently, I never came across that important detail when I researched into the premise for Mashiro-iro, so this “starting on good terms” immediately changed my view on this show (…in a very good way).

At no point did I write off this adaptation back in the season preview; however, I did come in with very low expectations and admittedly, a bit of a “poncy” attitude where I thought I had a pretty good idea of what it would entail. Suffice to say, Manglobe gets the last laugh in this case, as Mashiro-iro still feels very much like a generic romantic comedy, but has something different about it. At first, I wasn’t even sure what it is, but the more I thought about it, it ultimately came down to the characters themselves. In this first episode, there were absolutely no cheap slapstick moments where our male protagonist gets beaten for reasons beyond his control. He’s not stumbling onto girls and accidentally groping or kissing them and instead, just searching for his stepsister whom he has a very close and normal relationship with. It’s all very very untypical for an anime — especially an eroge adaptation — and I dare say seeing Sakuno hug Shingo was a series-defining moment. Not only that, it was a series-defining moment in the very first episode. From that point on, I was convinced that there’s something unique about Mashiro-iro, which was quickly reiterated by a bath scene where Sakuno walks in on Shingo and nobody got hit. (I can see romantic comedy purists screaming blasphemy now.)

Does this make Mashiro-iro a godsend as far as adult VN adaptations go? Hell if I know — I’ve only seen a single episode. What I can tell you is that this first episode has single-handedly convinced me to continue watching this all-too common scenario where an all-girls school — a prestigious one in this case — suddenly turns co-ed and our male protagonist finds himself surrounded by beautiful girls. In all fairness, I can’t really generalize the plot like that, since the story revolves around a group of students from Shingo’s school — both male and female — who have been invited over for a test phase in preparation for Kagamidai Academy merging with Yuihime Academy (a.k.a. Yuijo). I don’t want to fumble around too much trying to describe this show, but I do feel it has a refreshing edge compared to other anime of the same kind. This first episode also ended on a really interesting note, where Airi drags her school principal mother, Sena Ranka (Sakurai Harumi, Yuri from Angel Beats), to try prevent the merger, only to find out that Sakuno and Shingo are among the students from Kagamidai. Airi hesitates at first, but goes ahead and tells the guys to screw off — a subtle complication, but a noteworthy one.

Rounding out the support cast is our self-style “Wild Maid” Angelina Nanatsu Sewell (Ichimura Oma), male-hater Inui Sana (Yoshida Mayumi), strange pet owner Amaha Miu (Rikumaru Noriko), and our staple male support character Mukunashi Hayata (Suzuki Tatsuhisa, Yuuji from Bakatest). I make no claims about Mashiro-iro turning out to be a romantic comedy above romantic comedies, but the material so far and Manglobe’s involvement make me want to find out if it does.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「水彩キャンディ」 (Suisai Candy) by marble
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼

Preview

62 Comments

  1. In any case, you’ve sparked my interest. Manglobe doing a harem anime right? Chouchou singing the OP huh? And no screaming when he walked in….?!!? Haha it might deteriorate into a sort of generic series but I’ll watch it anyway.

    But I have to say that the cat-like organism looks a bit strange.

    pimple
  2. Now, if Hayata gets a pairing flag with a nice girl, I’ll sign up for this show. I find harem shows a lot more interesting when they let some spotlight on the male support character.

    JelJel
  3. OK a harem anime that with a similar setup to the likes of Fortune Arterial, I approve of this, will check out the first episode.

    Honestly I really like watching this kinds of show no matter how generic or cliche or cheesy it will become.

    1. Yeah that’s one of the first things I noticed about a lot of the shows. Even the sequels. They may have the same material but the animation and backgrounds have more detail. Like they all got next-gen consoles er somethin. In this show, the characters really pop out.

      Shirt
  4. Wow, nice review. Now I’m really interested in this. It’s on my will watch list now. Also, random off topic question here, but what is the anime that’s on both the banner and on the left and right side of the webpage? Not knowing about it is driving me crazy!

    bakakubi
  5. Something about Sakuno makes her so gut-wrenchingly cute. I guess it’s the combination of a cute design and a calm, soft-spoken, good-natured personality… Seeing that she has a route in the VN, I guess she does have feelings for him. I don’t know how it plays out in the VN, but I suspect it would be more serious than your typical “stepsister has crush on stepbrother”-plot.

    Overall a very decent episode and certainly great art, just as expected from Manglobe. Not too happy about the apparent fact that Airi is the main heroine, though. Not too fond of her yet…

    HenDarou
  6. I had no intention of picking up this series, but most shows that you’ve mentioned positive things about are worthy of a look. At least it can’t turn out worse than Akaneiro ni Somaru Saka… right? (:

    Yin
  7. WTF?!! … Manglobe is doing this? … and I thought Sacred Blackshit was the lowest they could go. >_<

    Give me back the old Samurai Champloo and Michiko to Hatchin Manglobe!!

    Litho
  8. So… so many kawaii girls…
    But, I wonder how the series will go – I nearly never watch anime with harem endings. Then again, step sister vs. everybody else… never ends good.
    Hm, in case it won’t keep up to my exceptations, I’ll watch it anyway, my eyes will be pleased. :))

  9. its kyubey the second. well at least this cat/ creature looks cute and has personality more than kyubey. other than that.. this show looks pretty cool especially the story and animation. I just hope its not like any other harem show but i will watch and see how the show turns out. (i will watch the show for the cat and the characters mainly the cat)

    MM
  10. I enjoyed the game quite a bit and surprisingly I liked Airi the most. Being the main heroine, it’ll most likely that her route will be animated so I’m looking forward to it XD.

    This is NOT a show for people who want story, this anime will probably be like the game, just comedy and character development.

    Aero
    1. Ohh! Well then I will keep that in mind. I see they did other great shows too. Kami-sama being the most recent. Thanks. With what’s under their belt, and Divine approval, I’m set to watch it now.

      Shirt
  11. The backgrounds are very nicely drawn with a good palette of bright colors which help influence the mood of the work. The girls look alright and not so bouncy as to be silly. Needs a few more episodes to see how it goes but looks watchable

    Zaku Fan
  12. Looks really good, I´ve been wanting to see a good romanctic series for a while now. It´s curious that Fortune Arterial was aired exacly a year from today, funny coincidence since that series strike as destined to be vampire cliche but turn out to be really good. I think you should blog this series to show if it´s as good as it seems, I´d love to hear your insight about it, What do you think Divine?.

    haseo0408
  13. This looks interesting. The pacing was a little slow at some scenes for my liking, and at some places it felt a bit abrupt. Love the art, but that’s to be expected from Manglobe. The characters are okay. Music is okay. So far nothing to shout about in my opinion. Won’t say I love it or hate it. Will watch a few more episodes at least…

    x
  14. So far so good. The main heroine looks like she might go tsundere. I don’t personally mind, tho I know people get turned off but them. I really liked the opening song but I skipped the ed one tho. XD

    Leo Khan
  15. I’m also glad this is turning out to have some twist to the usual formula of romcoms out there. I’m so sick of the main male protagonist of these types of shows getting constantly beat up. It’s an overused gag that puts me off some shows now. Fortunately this show looks different with some depth and I’m eager for the next episode.

    Roguespirit
  16. The graphics caught my attention immediately. It looks amazing, but the anime itself progressed too slow for me. Short attention span ftl. I paid more attention to my homework than the anime when trying to watch it. Judging from what I’ve read on this post I’ll give ep2 a shot. Plus.. that cat thing is too damn cute.

    droplet
  17. Divine, please answer!
    How do you make full sized pictures? (for example, that one with Sakuno in a bath towel), I always wanted full size of certain pictures, but I don’t know how to do it! 🙁
    Can you tell me what program you use? I myself have Media Player Classic, but it can’t save full sized images, only thumbnails…

    /Tama

    Tamao

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