There is a point in every young man's life, usually between the ages of ten and fourteen, where he discovers girls. He finds everything about them fascinating...the way they talk, the way they dress, the way they walk, the way they smell. Part of that fascination, of course, is directed towards knowing what's happening underneath those Capri pants and halter-tops. As long as it's kept in check, that curiosity about the opposite sex is normal, not perverted.
However, when you get past puberty and are still obsessing about women's underwear, you've got a problem.
Colorful! is being advertised as a sexy new show that deals with the hormonal appetites of the typical male and his lecherous ways. Really, what it's about are guys so infantile that their greatest joy in life is seeing a bra strap or a pair of cotton panties. To give it credit, Colorful! doesn't portray its characters as anything more than nose-bleeding losers with no real lives. However, Colorful! celebrates their perversion, giving the audience shot after shot of women's undergarments with no character development, no romance, and barely ever even a story. Colorful! is made up of short segments that only last a few minutes each, but getting through the nearly two hours of them on ADV Films' recent DVD is a torture I'll never repeat.
Normally, this would be the place I'd explain a little of the plot. But there is none, so I'll just put it this way: a plethora of guys obsess over women's underwear. They are all races and types, all sizes and colors. They have all kinds of jobs--track coach, filmmaker in training, stock boy, salaryman--and they all get crazy at the sight of a woman's frilly things. That's it.
Rather than go through a typical review of this title, I'm just going flat out say it: I hated Colorful! with a passion. Many times, I've attacked shows like Don't Leave Me Alone Daisy and Agent Aika as being degrading to women. Well, that's true of Colorful! too, since the women here are all ciphers to be drooled over, not real people.
But Colorful! goes and degrades men by throwing us all in the stew. The show makes a point of including a variety of men in the show to try and say one thing: we're all perverts. And it rejoices in the thought. It wants to poke us men in the ribs and say, "Yeah, we're all in this together, guys." I simply don't believe this to be true. I believe that we are a great deal more than our hormones and our lusts and our passions. And Colorful! says that we are nothing but them.
You will find a surprising number of reviewers on the Internet who've liked this show. It's their right, I suppose, and if one is looking to find good stuff here, there is a little. I won't say I never laughed, as there are a few truly funny bits. And there's an interesting discussion that could be had from watching, say, ten minutes of it. There is a very serious undercurrent in Japanese culture that shows that men and women do not get the opportunity to relate to each other much and find themselves unable to properly relate to the opposite sex. A documentary explaining why the Japanese have such a fetishistic culture would be fascinating. But Colorful! is not a cultural commentary; it's a show feeding those fetishes.
Beyond all that is the boredom factor. Colorful! was broadcast in small, five-minute glimpses on TV. I'm not sure that if I caught one or two episodes in its original form, I would have been so aghast (to my shame). There's just enough humorous whimsy that I can see it as a vague diversion. But watching two hours of it all at once is enough to cause synaptic burnout. It's too much of a bad thing.
The truth is this: if you find Colorful! hysterical and the quick glimpses exciting, the concept accessible and the content acceptable, you need to grow up.
Colorful! -- fleeting nudity, non-stop sexually-based material -- F