Mashiroiro Symphony Review: The color of soft-core

sym6Based on the adult visual novel in which the player has to seduce the main female characters. Maishiroiro Symphony takes on a soft-core visual novel journey without all the hassle of choosing and seducing the right female companion.

I haven’t played enough visual novels, or erogé, but I can imagine that a part of the whole experience is making the right choices to seduce the ladies. If you take all the choices away from the player or viewer, a crucial part of the whole idea of an adult visual novel is gone. While a visual novel in essence is a novel with visuals, the player can take small steps to manipulate the story.

sym1Mashiroiro Symphony starts with a merger of two schools and follows the young lad Shingo as an all girls school gets mixed up with guys. While the story progresses, Shingo joins the Kitty Club, which I suspect is some kind of hidden message, you know what I mean and he gets familiar with the ladies of the school.

As you might have guessed a harem story unfolds in which Shingo is the center of attention. Presumably the perfect guy and all the girls want a piece of Shingo for themselves. And where you as a player of a visual novel can in some way interact with the characters, the anime takes you along a fixed route towards a specific girl whether you like it or not.

sym2I often wonder if the girls’ intellect in harem shows is downgraded on purpose. In Mashiroiro Symphony the girls are eye appealing, which isn’t a downside, but also seem to have a higher cuteness level than their average IQ. They all blindly follow Shingo around for he is a perfect male mating candidate.

Of course I can’t judge from a girls perspective and as a teenager, crumbling love relationships can be the end of the world. And as cute as the girls are, as utopian is the male lead. He seems to be the embodiment of pure male elegance accompanied by the most tolerable and passionate girls in the world. I would like to argue that it would be nearly impossible to relate to the male lead, as he seems to be the perfect male being.

Plus I’m not a fan of the ‘innocence theme’ in which the guy ‘fears’ the opposite gender on a more sexual level. Are you really over the top embarrassed or shy when a girl takes your hand? Do you topple over when a girl takes initiative? We aren’t all Casanovas, but an over the top fear and embarrassment is not credible in an adult visual novel setting. Taking initiative as a man would become pretty damn difficult, especially in the erogé world.

sym3It is difficult to judge an anime if you aren’t a fan of the genre. I gave it a try because it only contained twelve episodes. While there are certainly good points, the overall show was pretty straight forward and the setting, the Kitty Club, is rather boring.

The show didn’t do many attempts to move out of the familiar setting. The main focus was the club environment. The viewer didn’t really get a glimpse of the big picture, only fragments. Meaning that the story didn’t have much development and the cast wasn’t fully explored. The show could’ve expanded more on the character development, although it choose not to.

sym4The good point of the show is that it resembles the erogé design, especially the female characters. Those who are familiar with adult visual novels will find themselves in a familiar setting. That is a noteworthy element when a show is based on the earlier mentioned adult visual novel.

The uncensored edition doesn’t leave much to the imagination. I think that the censured edition wouldn’t do the series much justice and without sounding perverted, the show could build more on the erotic side of things. But oh well, that’s what hentai is for if you want a more edgy sexual experience in an animated fashion.

sym5Mashiroiro Symphony left out a lot of story building. It took a straight forward approach to explore its characters aiming very quickly towards the ending character. The World God only Knows is a better example in which the main character explored more female candidates in an approach that would also fancy viewers that aren’t familiar with the genre.

The strong points of the show were the overall design that fitted the genre and its origin. On the flipside, the show left out too many elements that could make it credible and pull it out of the shallow. I therefore rate this show a 6 out of 10 and would only recommend it to lovers of the genre.

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