Three Leaves, Three Colors – Preview
Three Leaves, Three Colors:
Original Air Dates: April 10th, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Futaba Odagiri is an energetic transfer student who befriends Teru Hayama, the class president who is meaner than she looks, and Youko Nishikawa, a former rich girl who still acts like a princess. Three very different girls who only share one thing: the kanji for leaf in their names. Balancing school and life is hard enough, but what about dealing with clashing personalities on top of it all?
Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Three leaves, Three Colors is a lot like Anne-Happy in the sense that we’re watching a group of girls bond and grow together through budding friendship. We’ve got the hyper transfer student Futaba Odagiri, who’s got a thing for eating huge lunches and the supposedly cold but pretty class president Teru Hayama who both end up befriending a former rich girl, Youko Nishikawa through a chance encounter. But despite their unique personalities, which do each feel unique compared to one another, everything about this show is just as subdued as Flying Witch, but doesn’t manage to nail that same quaint and engaging air. Watching three middle-school girls bond could be engaging, but so far the show is so tame that everything just feels bland and uninteresting.
Linny: To be more cynical, you’re getting some classic moe characters, just in a different combination. The glutton is a loudmouth, as opposed to the common quiet moe glutton. The quiet and calm class president hides a sinister and scary persona, something that you must have encountered before. And lastly, the most common archetype, the disgraced ex- rich girl desperately clinging onto her pride and past glories. Unless you are a die hard moe fan, you’re most likely going to immediately tire of these girls for being so common. Or maybe they just might appeal to you for the comfort that familiarity brings.
Tom: The only character who shows any kind of real energy is the bawling, emotional stalker/Youko’s former butler who brings some late comedy into the episode, but his jokes become repetitive and lack the right punch thanks to poor pacing/comedic timing to really make it funny.
Linny: The show starts off feeling a little vague and random, with its characters basically stumbling and crashing into their friendship. There is a belated reveal that the two girls are befriending the poor, jilted ex-rich girl out of sympathy, but they start off feeling like they literally decided to sit and eat with the girl because they happened to trip right where she was sitting. There’s also no signs that anyone was particularly friendly with the other previously, so it feels weird that these three strike up a friendship so suddenly. It’s not a huge setback but it still feels like a good example of how random the entire first episode is with its pacing.
Tom: The concept is sweet: A former rich girl, now facing poverty, who can’t make friends finds friends. Unfortunately it just does not progress in an interesting manner. Their chance meeting is so abrupt, and poorly realized that nothing feels earned or real. They bond enough to be willing to have lunch together, despite their previous exchanges feeling more adversarial than charming. It doesn’t feel natural and that’s a problem for a show hinging on a portrayal of budding friendship.
Linny: You may find it an enjoyable and touching experience to watch the girls bond or to see poor Yokou finally freed from her dismal life of loneliness and, attempt to connect with her friends. There are a few humourous moments scattered throughout and while this is aimed at the moe audience, it does feel like a very basic attempt to woo them as the girls bonding starts to feel more haphazard and dragged out as the episode goes on.
Tom: Oddly enough, Three Leaves Three Colors struggles to hammer home the idea that Youko’s a former rich girl. Initially we’re lead to believe she’s quite poor, as she’s seen eating bread crusts. When the two other girls accuse Youko of talking like a rich girl that’s literally the only hint we get as to her origins. Without this dialogue, and her former butler’s later appearance, I would never have once assumed she was some snotty former rich girl. I can’t help but feel Three Leaves, Three Colors should’ve started with back talk, other girls talking about Youko behind her back, chatting about what a rich snob she is before we’re treated to her secret lunch in the school garden.
Linny: If you were thinking of picking this up for the moe cuteness, might I direct you to Anne-Happy instead. This show seems to want to have more heart than the average moe story, but because of its scattered jokes, predictable characters and ill execution, the show struggles to balance itself.
Tom: Much to my surprise, Three Leaves, Three Colors is based off a 4-koma manga, yet lacks the usual flurry of 4-koma jokes and punchlines that generally keep 4-koma adaptations moving so quick and snappy. All in all Three Leaves, Three Colors is a bit boring, unable to sustain its premise with interesting developments or tidbits about the characters. Anne-Happy really is the better choice, but if you want something slower, and Flying Witch isn’t colorful enough for you, Three Leaves, Three Colors is a decent fallback position.
Three Leaves, Three Colors is available for streaming via Funimation.com.