Publisher: Nozomi/Lucky Penny
U.S. Release Date: 9-1-15
Format and Length: DVD / 13 Episodes/325 Minutes
Genre: Slice of life
Industry Age Rating: 13+
Overall Personal Rating: A-
Similar Series or Titles to Check Out:( I think that if you like these other series, you’ll like this one too.) Tomako’s Market, Aria, Hidamari Sketch, Is This Order a Rabbit?
Kajiwara is a shy, quite girl in high school. Two of her favorite things are cats and drawing. The latter leads her to join the art club, although she seems rather afraid to do so. Lucky for her, the outgoing student Aso is headed to join the art club too and sweeps Kajiwara along with her.
As the year in high school progresses, the anime moves through the everyday lives of the friends and the club. There are school trips, shopping, colds, and plenty of cats. Kajiwara approaches them all with a sense of wonder, usually finding special meaning or beauty and a deepening sense of connecting to people and the world. Their school trips include art field trips were they head out to find different places to draw or paint. And of course, there is the overnight trip insisted on by their teacher, in an effort to retain her own youth, but the destination leaves something lacking.
This really seems to be a gentle anime exploring the life of a quiet and introspective girl, but one who is generally happy in the world and sees value in just having new experiences, as well enjoying the experiences she is already familiar with. The art club is a chance for her to make friends and connect to the world by relating to her peers.
Another way to describe Sketchbook Full Color’s is cute. The characters are definitely cute in their large eyed looks, and of course the cats were cute. I’m a cat person so I am biased in their favor. There were even episodes where the cats had there own scenes and we could hear them talking to each other (translated in human language for the viewer).
Kajiwara is a really sweet girl, she is introverted and doesn’t talk much. She experiences the world with lots of enthusiasm, but kept in her thoughts. Friends aren’t really a motivating force, but she has enjoyed meeting them through the art club. She sees them as another very special part of the world.
The rest of the characters don’t stand out too much, they aren’t particularly unique or quirky to make them notable. This is not a problem, but makes it easy to meld into the situations, the experiences which are the real stars of the anime. The exception is the teacher. She is a kid at heart and has a bit of trouble acting like a adult. She seems to miss her high school days, adding comic relief. One question I have, is what is with the animals sitting on top of people’s heads? I’ve seen it in other slice of life comedies. The teacher is often seen with a chicken perched in her hair.
This is one of those slice of life anime that is quiet and gentle. It about the little joys of life and friendships. Nothing big really happens. No trials, no hurdles, no fights. There have been others in this genre that I have watched and found that I got bored, falling asleep and just hoping something would happen. I didn’t feel that about this one, Kajiwara was a delight to watch as she tried to figure out the world, enjoying the steps along the way.
Overall Grade: A- If you are looking for a sweet and fun break from the real world, Sketchbook Full Color’s will fill that order. And, it might just help you appreciate the wonder of the everyday things in life.