“My life will one day be colourful / Like a colourless rain eventually painting a rainbow,” sings Omoinotake in the opening theme of Blue Period, effectively setting the tone for the 2021 Netflix anime based on the manga on the same name.
There are certain sentiments that we’re preached to as young children that we end up forgetting in our haphazard, sometimes demoralising adult lives. If “colourless rain” can eventually cause a rainbow, perhaps a person who barely stands out still has something to give to this world. We all possess the ability to create something beautiful, and that is entirely enough to create a ripple in others’ lives. It’s a reminder that I needed and one that I suspect most other young adults will appreciate as well.
We meet the protagonist, Yatora Yaguchi, initially portrayed as a delinquent with excellent grades. Mainly, he works hard for his straight As. He doesn’t seem to enjoy any extracurricular activity whatsoever, and he wishes he could find something that genuinely excites him. After all, his family isn’t well-off financially, and he aims to secure a stable future for them.
So what makes a top-tier student, capable of getting into Japan’s best universities for any academic subject, fall headfirst in love with fine art instead?
Yatora is inexperienced and does not quite understand the arts—He is not certain about his place as an artist and considers it a risky road to take. Despite this, Yatora still decides to pursue art and plan out a future in the field—and he does so with a feverish determination; the moment he painted his first piece, early morning Shibuya in watercolour, his mind was set.
He starts off underestimating the actual effort required to create art. Eventually, he realises it is not at all easy when you’re qualitatively comparing yourself to thousands of artists trying their utmost. Even so, he does not let that get to him. After all, he has passion and dedication—What could go wrong? Without spoiling anything, let’s just say he learns a lot about just that in a considerably short amount of time. Facing obstacle after obstacle and dealing with continual desperation, rejection, and immense turmoil, he still manages to climb up, one step at a time, to get where he wants to be. Maybe not exactly there, but very close.
Circling back to colourless rain eventually painting a rainbow, I want to highlight how this quote is linked to our protagonist, Yatora. He begins with zero knowledge or skill, has no exceptional “talent,” has no special advantage to give him an edge, and still dares to face off against numerous gifted artists from across Japan. And he flourishes. He soars above and beyond what’s expected of him through mere passion and dedication alone. His goal is clear, and he chases it with grit and perseverance—He was once colourless rain and eventually painted a rainbow for himself.
So, does he “win”? Does he achieve his deepest desires and fulfil his wildest dreams? It ends up not even mattering—because his true achievements turn out to be creating a more fulfilling life and bringing beauty to the experiences of others.
I would recommend this anime/manga to anyone who needs a gentle pick-me-up—Or if you just appreciate a lovely, inspiring slice-of-life storyline wrapped up in visually stunning scenes. Artists will enjoy the allusions to different art styles and techniques painted. Each painted artistic medium is depicted with incredibly realistic animation. You can almost smell the fresh acrylic paint on the canvas and touch the still-wet watercolour drying on handmade paper.