[Review] Mitsuboshi Colors – Episode 1

What’s it about? Three elementary school girls calling themselves “The Colors” hang around in their secret hideout, bother the local police officer, and solve minor mysteries, all in the name of “protecting the town’s peace.”

I finished Mitsuboshi Colors with a deep sigh of a relief and a cry of “Oh THANK GOD it isn’t lolicon!” There’s more to like about it than just that, mind you, but if you saw the cover art and were side-eyeing it like I was, I figured I should start this review by putting your greatest fears to rest. Based on this premiere, Mitsuboshi Colors is more-or-less a family-friendly show, albeit one with a saucy streak.

Three young girls wearing casual clothes hold a rocket launcher, pointing it at someone off-screen. Subtitles: "Saito! You need to explode! For the world's sake!"

Maybe the thing that stands out most about Mitsuboshi Colors (other than the fact that it cleared anime’s low, low bar of “not sexualizing children”) is the way it allows the girls to be actual kids instead of just doe-eyed moeblobs. Yui is mostly a sweet kid who cries easily and wants to get along with everyone, but her friends Sat-chan and Kotoha are both little shits, and I mean that in a good way.

While the girls are well-liked by the local adults, they also regularly get in minor trouble, whether it’s because they’re shouting about poop in a bakery, threatening the “corrupt” local police officer with a toy rocket launcher (these are the kinds of jokes you could never make on American TV, BT-dubs), or just being plain old cheeky. Mitsuboshi Colors is a very cute show, but a lot of its cuteness comes from how un-cute kids can be at times.

A close-up of a young girl with her hair pulled back in a short ponytail. She looks serious. Subtitles: "They yelled at me a lot."

The series is keenly aware of how much information kids soak up and mimic without totally understanding it, which is where a lot of the humor and some of that “sauciness” I mentioned comes from. Video game-addicted Kotoha enjoys stepping on people’s faces, which she learned from seeing dominatrix archetypes in video games and other media. And later, in the only slightly uncomfortable moment of the episode, Sat-chan connects a riddle involving the word “pan” (bread) to “panties”—specifically Yui’s panties, which she’s able to see by lying on the ground and looking up her flustered friend’s skirt.

The series does not show us said panties, which makes it a scene about kids not understanding boundaries rather than providing fap material for an older audience (shudder), but it’s jokes like this that have me slotting Mitsuboshi Colors in the “more-or-less family friendly” category. Assuming the humor remains at this level and doesn’t veer into anything truly skeevy, I think you could show this series to your kids, cousins, and niblings and have a fun time, but every family has different limits for what they think is appropriate, so I’d recommend watching it first before you make that call yourself.

A shot from above in a room. A girl with a side ponytail stands near a whiteboard, looking down at another girl with short hair who's laying on the ground, looking up the other girl's skirt. Subtitles: "Yui's panties."

Beyond that, there isn’t a ton to say about Mitsuboshi Colors. It looks to be an episodic comedy series with a mystery-solving undercurrent, meaning it’ll be driven by character dynamics and silly scenarios instead of a proper narrative through-line. Whether it stays strong or fizzles out will depend entirely on if its cast’s interactions stay fresh and fun or grow repetitive and stale. This premiere was frequently quite funny, particularly when the three girls are playing the “fool” to the young police officer’s “straight man,” so hopefully that bodes well for the series as a whole.

While I do think this is the kind of show where the humor’s strong enough for an adult to enjoy watching it with a kid, as someone without any kids myself I don’t think there’s quite enough here to lure me back for more. Even so, I’d happily recommend it to others. With luck it will stay cute with just the right amount of cheek, and folks will be able to enjoy it free of any serious problematic elements.

 

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