TOHO Animation is a giant in the anime industry. It has released many of the community’s fan favorites, from Jujutsu Kaisen to Mushoku Tensei. It decided to do something different as part of its 10th Anniversary Project. Calling forth artists, under its Music Film Project, it released 5 animated shorts that premiered each day from March 20th during the Anime Japan 2023.
The project has many talented artists, and among those films [COLORs] has been rocking the community with its smooth animation and delicate theme, accompanied by a euphonic melody the animated short film has taken hold of our hearts.
TOHO Animation Music Film Project
For their 10th Anniversary celebration, TOHO Animation announced numerous activities and releases. From a new website to many articulate events during Anime Japan 2023, TOHO Animation had a packed itinerary for its fans.
The Music Film Project was one of their plans. Under this project, TOHO Animation collaborated with various music artists. 5 Short Films have been released where some are pure music, while others are interwoven with drama. TOHO Animation, in response to the support of their fans, wanted to bring happiness to the community through this project.
The 5 works:
- [astronomical observation]: It was made by Director Loundraw, in collaboration with Bump of Chicken.
- [White Rabbit]: It was made by Director Namiko Ishidate, in collaboration with the Green-Yellow Society.
- [Cicada]: It was made by Director Mizuki Ito, in collaboration with the Kinky Gentlemen’s Club.
- [Rinto]: It was made by Director China, in collaboration with Creep Hype.
- [COLORs]: It was made by Director Tetsuro Araki, in collaboration with Sawano Hiroyuki.
[COLORs] is an animated musical short about a shy girl who musters up her courage to chase after the guy she fancies. As simple as it sounds, the music video expresses a variety of themes. These themes include fascination, cross-dressing, military drafting, and war. Each of these themes has been creatively explored and demonstrated in the video.
The animation is crisp, as expected of this giant. The video uses multiple color combinations, making it an aesthetically pleasing work. The entire video is the POV of the meek girl. It is her fascination and desire for the boy. Meanwhile, the boy does not notice the girl till the very end of the video. Within formal institutions, he dresses up as a guy. However, that is not the case when he is outside. He dresses up as a girl, getting a complete makeover of his appearance.
He, dressed as a girl, enjoys his daily life. While he goes on with his life, the girl looks at him from the side. Her fixation grows to such an extent, that he is all she thinks about. She could only look at him from the side. Yet, things did not remain the same. The guy got drafted into the military.
It seems that it was through personal connection, rather than an arbitrary choice. The guy moves to do his term. She meets him again while travelling through the metro. This is where things go sour. The metro gets interrupted on its route as there is an explosion somewhere. The scene quickly changes to a war scenario with blasts all around. The girl realizing that she might never get a chance after this runs to the boy.
The boy holds the girl as he leaps to save her from a blast. The girl finally confesses her feelings, and as the situation around them grows ever so drastic, the boy kisses her forehead. With this last action, it is clear that this is his farewell, as he walks along with the military to deal with the crisis.
The Musical Short tells this story in a vibrant tone of execution. It gives artistic expression to the girl’s daydreaming. On the same note, it provides beauty in the crisis. What’s even more astonishing is the vivid portrayal of acceptance in the short. It is futuristic in this aspect. The boy is shown to be able to continue cross-dressing while still serving his time in the military. This is something that is not expected in the military.
Having said this, it seems TOHO animation had the aim of inclusivity while making this film. An evergrowing culture that is slowly encompassing the world through anime culture, it was an angle worth picking.
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Fans reaction to [COLORs]
Anime Community around the world has loved the short. It has been a means of expression for many, especially those who do not feel comfortable in their own body and appearance. Many have made memes regarding the video, facilitating its reach and garnering many to the story that it tells. Overall, the fans get another reason to support TOHO Animation.