Is the brilliance of COLORs Anime comparable to Makoto Shinkai’s works?

COLORs anime and Your Name

COLORs anime music video brings together a melodious song, visually-pleasing and vibrant animation to tell a story. A story that is overly vague and leaves room for individual interpretations. The story in the music video introduces a variety of themes about the identity of two school students and the lives they live.

Around the end, there’s a disaster unfolding and one of the leads plays a role in it. The pattern of the storytelling and all the different elements are reminiscent of the works of Makoto Shinkai.

The Brilliance of COLORs Anime

COLORs anime
A still from the music video | Image Courtesy of TOHO Animation

COLORs anime has appealed to a lot of people across the world, leading to a variety of interpretations. From cross-dressing to the representation of the LGBTQIA+ community, several theories have surfaced about what the story of the music video is trying to convey. Gaining worldwide recognition wouldn’t have been possible if the visuals and the audio weren’t as captivating as they are. It helps you stick through to the end.

Additionally, the character designs are graceful and capture the cutesy perception associated with anime characters. The brilliance of COLORs lies in all these elements that make it so engaging. This set of themes supported by strong visual and musical elements resembles the works of Makoto Shinkai. The resemblance is quite evident but what’s the extent of this resemblance and does it translate to the eminence as well?

Is it comparable to Makoto Shinkai’s works?

Suzume from Suzume no Tojimari | Image Courtesy via IMDb
  • Makoto Shinkai’s works are visually incredible with music(usually by Radwimps) that supports the emotional appeal of his creations.
  • He uses concepts and symbols from age-old myths such as the red thread of fate and weaves a beautiful story around it.
  • The animation style comprises extremely detailed backgrounds and pretty character designs.

With all these elements, he creates a romance that pulls on the viewers’ heartstrings (similar to our newsletter, which you might want to subscribe to). While the stories are usually well-knit, the strongest point of his movies is the animation.

Garden of Words
A still from Makoto Shinkai’s Garden of Words | Image Courtesy via IMDb

If we compare COLORs anime music video to his works, there are a lot of stark differences. First off we have the length.

  • Makoto Shinkai’s movies are full-length ones that span over at least 90 minutes. During that time, we get introduced to the characters, the setting, the antagonist, which is mostly something supernatural, and the end goal.
  • Then we proceed with the chain of events that gets us used to all these different aspects, which can also be put as the build-up and finally, we have the pay-off or the fruition. He explains everything down to the T leaving a few things open for interpretation. 
COLORs anime
Image Courtesy of TOHO Animation

Now, if we look at COLORs, the story is being told in a little more than 3 minutes. The visuals are spectacular, the music is catchy, and there’s a story, but a lot is going on at the same time. Seemingly a romance, COLORs introduce a sort of war or disaster that envelopes the entire city into flames. While this might be reminiscent of Shinkai’s films, there’s no clarity as to what’s going on. Both works are comparable if we focus on the structure on a superficial level.

When it comes to brilliance, COLORs are a little over the top in terms of ambiguity. Animation-wise, there’s a lack of distinction between the backgrounds and the subject in focus. This leads to a messy experience although a beautifully messy one. 


Mitsuha Your name
Mitsuha Miyamizu | Image Courtesy of CoMix Wave Films

Makoto Shinkai has spent years honing his art and there’s been an evident evolution in the quality of his works over the years. Some would disagree but he has created a league of his own where his expertise is as apparent as it can be. COLORs is a spectacular artistic vision that the creators have let us in on. But it’s still a music video. 

Vastly different amounts of thought and effort go into keeping the audience hooked for 3 minutes and 2 hours. To be comparable to Shinkai’s works, COLORs need to be in the same league. And right now, it’s not quite there. 


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