by Christopher Farris,
How would you rate episode 10 of
Mitsuboshi Colors ?
This week's episode of Mitsuboshi Colors gets our attention right away with a cold open that is literally cold. Snow comes to town, bringing the promise of a refreshing shakeup after the last episode slowed things down. Thankfully, this episode does end up delivering on its promise, not just because of the snow-covered backdrops, but because of a palpable uptick in ambition.
It's nice to see the familiar photo-filtered landscapes of Colors put to more unique uses. The freshly-fallen snow is most apparent in the first portion of this episode, which is for the best as it's probably the slightest in terms of entertainment value. There are some nice scenes of the girls just gawking at the scenery and getting excited about the new opportunities provided by this development. The actual comedic writing is still as sharp as ever, including a perfectly-timed synchronized slip in the snow, as well as some interesting contrast between the kids' excitement over the snow and the adults' annoyance at the inconvenience it poses. It underscores the ever-present theme in Mitsuboshi Colors of the kind of fun only kids can have because they have the time and energy for it. Other than that, there's not much to this opening segment, which ends with a decently funny but not terribly original attack on Saito. At least he seems (sort of) excited to be back.
It's the next two segments that cement this episode as one of the show's better entries, by utilizing the ‘cute wannabe-superheroes on missions’ format that the series sidelines in its weaker moments. The first features the possibly serious issue of the team's secret base being discovered and blackmailed by some unseen enemy, and their attempts to ‘covertly’ uncover the threat. Of course, being ‘covert’ works out about as well as you would expect for this trio. Some of the jokes, like their pointedly hushed ‘yeah’, are expected but still cute. But there's still an underlying sense of more impact than usual carrying the episode. There are some terrific bursts of character animation, notably in Sat-Chan and Kotoha's flips followed by Yui's utter failure at the same maneuver. They even think to momentarily bring the walkie-talkies from the previous episode back for a quick joke, underscoring how well this show utilizes continuity sometimes.
There is a moment of worry when the last portion starts up, revealing that the snow didn't even stick around through the whole episode, but that's a false alarm as this part turns out to be just as good as the preceding one. It similarly succeeds by giving the team something to do, with Sat-Chan's mom assigning them to find a missing lucky cat from her shop. Seeing the adults of the town actually turn to our heroes and ask for their assistance is generally Mitsuboshi Colors at its most engaging, and this bit is no exception. Honestly, Sat-Chan's idea of not speaking actually felt like it had more build-up than it needed at that point, and I wasn't too impressed with the initial punchline. But then the rest of the story played out, and her non-verbal communications, motions, and full-on charades were adorable enough to win me over. It's all complemented by effective character animation, including more childish attempts at stealth.
Unlike the silly anti-climax of the previous portion, this last segment also succeeds by slipping in a genuine plot-twist, shocking at least by the standards of this laid-back series. There's actually some mild interest in how Nonoka and Moka react to the team's note, and the way it gets put together for the reveal and explanation was decently surprising and interesting. Granted, a lot of that build-up was just for the punch-line of Sat-Chan coming in to steal Kotoha's case-solving catchphrase, but that joke is also perfectly executed. Last week's episode was found wanting for highlights, but this one seems to lack any weak points. It's a tightly-composed week for Colors, with its smart comedy and effective use of the whole cast marking it as one of the better entries for the series.
Mitsuboshi Colors is currently streaming on HIDIVE.
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