7.5/10
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9 user 18 critic

Karafuru (2010)

A sinful spirit is granted the opportunity to prove worthy for rebirth, inhabiting the body of a student who killed himself.

Director:

Keiichi Hara

Writers:

Eto Mori (novel), Miho Maruo (screenplay)
Reviews
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kumiko Asô Kumiko Asô ... Makoto's Mom (voice)
Greg Ayres ... Makoto Kobayashi (voice)
Luci Christian ... Pura Pura (voice)
Keiji Fujiwara Keiji Fujiwara ... (voice)
Jingi Irie Jingi Irie ... Saotoe (voice)
Michael Michael ... Purapura (voice)
Akina Minami Akina Minami ... Hiroka Kuwabara (voice)
Aoi Miyazaki ... Shoko Sano (voice)
Carli Mosier Carli Mosier ... Makoto's Mother (voice)
Akiyoshi Nakao ... Mitsuru Kobayashi (voice)
Genevieve Simmons ... Mao (voice)
Katsumi Takahashi Katsumi Takahashi ... Makoto's Dad (voice)
Kazato Tomizawa Kazato Tomizawa ... Makoto Kobayashi (voice)
David Wald ... Makoto's Father (voice)
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Storyline

There is a train station on the other side of death, yet not all who arrive on the platform will be judged ready for passage onwards. For one unready soul, there will be both a test and a second chance. Rather than be reborn, this soul will awake in the body of 14-year-old suicide Makoto Kobayashi where it must not only find a way to fit into Makoto's existence, but also unravel two mysteries. What is the secret of the great sin it committed in its own previous life and what were the reasons that led to Makoto's suicide? While some may believe the truth to be as plain to see as black and white, "Makoto" soon finds that the real world is overlaid with so many shades of grey and rainbows of colors that even the most obvious of "facts" are not what they seem. With the soul's time in Makoto's body quickly running out, the answers to all life's mysteries await discovery in the acclaimed animation masterpiece that won the 34th Japanese Academy Prize for Excellence. Written by itsterr

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

anime | one word title | See All (2) »

Taglines:

Makoto is 'lucky' and will have another chance at life


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

21 August 2010 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Colorful See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Aozora
Performed by Miwa
Written by Masatoshi Mashima
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User Reviews

 
An unsentimental and imaginative look at youth issues
28 December 2017 | by nmegaheySee all my reviews

Considering their target audience, youth issues tend to be a major theme in manga and anime. The animated format moreover tends to give creators rather more freedom to experiment with fantasy elements that can explore deeper underlying issues. Directed by veteran animator, Keiichi Hara, COLORFUL for example manages to touch on an important subject with a message that is perhaps rather more difficult to reach a younger audience through conventional live-action drama. That subject is teenage suicide.

Passing through the transit between life and rebirth, a dead soul in danger of obliteration is given another chance to reform and regain the right to rebirth. Brought back into the realm of the living, the soul is reborn into the person of Makoto Kobayashi, an artistically-inclined 14 year-old boy who has just attempted suicide. With the assistance of Purapura, a guide in the afterlife, the 'new' Makoto considers why someone from a seemingly happy family attempted to kill himself and tries to pull the young boy's life back together. COLORFUL is literally a 'finding yourself' film that considers the challenges facing young people who are finding it difficult to cope socially, to fit into the world and deal with the problems of friends, family and relationships.

The fantasy element of the film isn't the most convincing, but it does have a powerful pay-off at the end and it undeniably finds a unique way to tap into the mind of a young alienated individual and how he might respond to the world, particularly one who has been driven to attempt suicide. Keiichi Hara uses an animation style that is reminiscent of GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES in how it touches obliquely but incisively on the challenges facing youth. One seemingly irrelevant sequence based around the disused 'Tamada' trolley car, for example, is just beautiful and transformative. Using such techniques COLORFUL manages to cover a wide range of difficult issues and personality types in a realistic fashion and offer some measure of sympathy and understanding for its characters. It manages to do so moreover without ever becoming sentimental or talking down to its audience.


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