Awakening Your True Passions – Blue Period Ep 1 Review 

Talented student Yaguchi Yatora decides to pursue art, and throw his delinquent lifestyle away. This is a review and discussion for Netflix’s Blue Period.

Wow, I think I’m actually in love. That was an amazing first episode for this series premiere! 

I honestly don’t even know where to start.

Also, full disclosure – I think I’m feeling so giddy because I went to art school. A lot of the things Yatora said or experienced – like the way the city looks early in the morning- sounded familiar to me.  

I used to spend hours just staring up at buildings while sitting on a campus balcony, or hang out in the 7th floor stairwell when there was no space to sit by the windows on higher floors and just stare at the water towers from a large window ledge.  

Beautiful Shibuya building aesthetic from Episode 1 of the Blue Period anime series.
Beautiful Shibuya building aesthetic from Episode 1 of the Blue Period anime series

I even did a fair bit of writing from just staring at the architecture of New York City; short stories that lay dormant in notebooks inside my bedroom dressers. 

One time after graduation when I was still working out there, I got a free month of bagels from Panera. I already went into work early on weekends just so that I had ample amounts of time to walk around empty city streets and take pictures, so that freebie was perfect for me.  

There was a location right near Bryant Park and the library – giving me a place to sit down, and excuse to people watch extra hard on those days. 

Early morning streets of Shibuya in a blue-ish hue. From the Blue Period anime
Early morning streets of Shibuya in a blue-ish hue. From the Blue Period anime

I remember sitting in the window, eating my bagel – headphones blasting music when I noticed…that the street around me was blue.  

Everything was blue that morning outside of Panera bread in New York City.

Like at a certain time early in the morning, when everything was quiet the shadows of building silhouettes cast a certain way that gave the appearance of the entire city having this blueish-greenish-grey hue.  

Back when the city was quiet and open to explore.

It was so pretty, and I was successfully able to capture it in photos a few different times.  

Hearing Yatora say that Shibuya looks blue in the early mornings, or watching him stare at the way sunlight catches in high-rise buildings that lined the streets made me extremely happy.  

Then sad, when his friend didn’t really understand.  

Then happy, again, when Yatora found another person who understood him; and his friend groups’ later realization of what Yatora meant about Shibuya once he painted what he saw in his head out onto canvas. 

So, you could say Yatora’s early morning blue Shibuya painting inspired him to have a real conversation with his friends for the first time in his life. 

I love the juxtaposition of Yatora mixing, painting, and drawing his heart out while his delinquent friend beside him just drew his girlfriend's tits in what looks like orange crayon. From Blue Period Ep 1
I love the juxtaposition of Yatora mixing, painting, and drawing his heart out while his delinquent friend beside him just drew his girlfriend’s tits in what looks like orange crayon. From Blue Period Ep 1

I know it may not sound like much, but it’s just a nice thing to see on screen. Especially if it’s something you’ve never experienced before, or something you have but rarely spoke about outside of certain circles. 

I’m not sure if I’m making sense here – but when I first got into art school at orientation the professor’s told us to make friends with our fellow classmates. That people in other schools (within the university) would not understand (you), and your peers will be working alongside you in years to come. 

I didn’t really understand that piece of advice back then, and kept trying to hang out with my new friends in different schools under the university umbrella.  

Eventually…they got tired of me. 

My classes were much longer than theirs (I majored in Cinema Studies – so four-hour classes included a film, discussion, and short lecture. As opposed to their 45 minute – 1 hr and 15 minute classes) and I often had different events to go to that were not open to them as they were not a member of my department, or school.  

Despite trying my best to meet up during certain times, or explain why two of my classes accounted for 8 hours of my day – they didn’t believe me. They didn’t enjoy the things I spoke about, or understand why I was stopping in the middle of the street to take a photo of the sun setting between two buildings during the golden hour. 

So, we stopped hanging out.  

Or rather, they ditched me enough times after promising to meet at a certain place and deciding not to wait for me that I finally wisened up and stopped talking to them. 

I made friends in my own school. 

Most were also Cinema Studies, some were from the Film & TV department (which I was taking about half of my courses in at one point in time), some were from the secluded law school (who also crossed over into our school due to studying business law and the legality of entertainment things) and some were in computer programming (as that was also in our school…surprisingly). 

It took some getting used to, but after that I never had problems with people misunderstanding me. Or laughing at me because what I said sounded dumb to them. 

Look at the detail on Mori-senpai's angelic painting! You can see the vermilion paint mixing technique she told Yatora about, her paint brush strokes, pencil outlines, and even the canvas texture underneath! Imagine what this would look like with a higher quality animation! Blue Period Episode one
Look at the detail on Mori-senpai’s angelic painting! You can see the vermilion paint mixing technique she told Yatora about, her paint brush strokes, pencil outlines, and even the canvas texture underneath! Imagine what this would look like with a higher quality animation! Blue Period Episode one

I never had to explain why I was pulling out a piece of paper mid-sentence to write something down, or why I was standing in-between the aisles of an old book store angling my camera toward the incoming light. 

When I had to make student films for my courses, the professors never questioned why I wanted to shoot entirely during the golden hour (or around twilight like when Yatora was frantically trying to sketch his neighborhood’s veranda) or why I put a blue filter on my short film about solitude and loneliness in the city. 

I loved the scene of Yatora frantically trying to sketch his neighborhood before Golden Hour ended. Blue Period Episode one
I loved the scene of Yatora frantically trying to sketch his neighborhood before Golden Hour ended. Blue Period Episode one

Just as Saeki sensei told Yatora, one of the benefits of attending an art school is witnessing firsthand what your peers are doing. Learning and sharing new techniques with one another, or competing in a friendly manner to both spur your art forward. 

And just as my own professors told our year – you will be working with your peers after graduation. Most organizations have one or two alumni from my school.  

My old friends work for some of the bigger production studios, or museums (as I did for a time) – and a few people in my year are even famous actors, actresses, and directors and/ or producers.  

Or they are on tv attending the Emmy’s or Cannes, being awarded for their work. 

Two people from my year are on Riverdale, of all shows. Haha. 

It’s really amazing the pull that network has. The same goes for the law students who mingled with us – they are each (for the most part) in dignified firms or dealing in their chosen fields. 

I know I’m talking a lot about my own personal experiences, and not enough about the anime – but just watching Yatora be so passionate about his art that he had a sketchbook kept tucked away made me happy.  

Hearing Yatora’s conversation with Mori senpai about the merit of talent vs raw ability was fascinating. 

Seeing Ryuuji recognize that Yatora is passionate about art, but just needed a kick in the ass to start was magnificent.  

Mori senpai and Yatora making a connection over their shared interest in art. From the Blue Period series premiere
Mori senpai and Yatora making a connection over their shared interest in art. From the Blue Period series premiere

The way Mori senpai, Saeki sensei, and Ryuuji slowly eased him into figuring out he wanted to pursue art, and eventually join the art club before he could talk himself out of it due to fear of what others thought was also magnificent. 

I hope Yatora pulls off getting accepted to TUA. 

I’m sorry I keep bringing myself up, but I did something similar.  

The program I was in only admitted twenty graduate and twenty undergraduate students each year – and they rarely took transfers.   

I was really reckless back then, and got it into my head that if I couldn’t get into the hardest school in the university with the lowest acceptance rate – that I was worthless as an artist and would give up.  

I don’t know how I did it, but the gamble paid off.  

And looking back, I am glad I did it.  

Especially since that was the only place I applied to, because I never really wanted to go to college anyways. 

It was lonely, and I was always tired from the cycle of class, internship, commuting and work – but I learned a lot about myself.  

People outside of the university used to refer to it as ‘Hogwarts’, and it’s top of the list for many as their dream school.  

I think the U.S. ranking recently went up for the school as well, and now it’s first for film and the arts. 

Anyway, I’ve probably droned on about this long enough.

 Yaguchi Yatora blushing as his delinquent friends finally recognize his art. From Blue Period Episode 1
Yaguchi Yatora blushing as his delinquent friends finally recognize his art. From Blue Period Episode 1

I hope Yatora perseveres to allow his dreams to come true, and doesn’t stop himself out of fear midway.  

I hope he makes friends with the art students, and can still hang out with the delinquents if he truly wants to. 

I hope everything works out for these students, and that Mori-senpai gets into the private program she’s dreaming about. And if she doesn’t – maybe it wasn’t meant to be, and she’ll find something else. 

Either way, I think I’ll leave this one here. 

 Yaguchi Yatora shows off his painting of Blue Shibuya for the first time. From the Netflix Blue Period anime.
Yaguchi Yatora shows off his painting of Blue Shibuya for the first time. From the Netflix Blue Period anime

Are you enjoying the Blue Period anime adaptation? (I realize that I might need to read the manga after our story ends.) 

Did you hear that Ryuji’s character is actually a male who possibly identifies as a female named Yuka? 

Hopefully I didn’t offend anyone with calling them Ryuji earlier – I was just reading Reddit while editing this and found out. 

What else do you think we’ll see from this series? 

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more weekly Blue Period reviews and discussions! 

We are also creating Anime and Japanese fashion-inspired merchandise for fellow fans, Visit our Redbubble store if you have a chance – you get cool gear, and it helps support the blog!     

☆ In Asian Spaces  

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Author: In Asian Spaces

I write in my personal time and I haven't published much at all. I don't know if that qualifies me as a writer or not, but I'd like to change that. I have a deep passion for travel, cinema and (mainly) East Asian things, but I plan on writing various things to keep it spicy. Let's prosper together ~ よろしくおねがいします。

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