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Manga / Mizuiro Jidai

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Mizuiro Jidai ("Water-Colored Age") is a Slice of Life Shōjo manga by Yuu Yabuuchi, which was serialized in the magazine Ciao from 1991 to 1994. It was later adapted into a 47-episodes anime that aired from 1996 to 1997 on TV Tokyo.

It follows the life of a preteen Naïve Everygirl named Yuko Kawai, dealing with the typical problems of the adolescence, her relationship with her friends, and her Unresolved Sexual Tension with her best friend and Boy Next Door Hiroshi.

This series provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Hiroshi is a smart student, a great soccer player, and a popular Chick Magnet. In Yuko's eyes he is also a case of He Is All Grown Up.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: In early episodes, Yuko's friend Takako has a crush on Hiroshi who has a crush on Yuko.
  • Book Dumb: Yuko, as a typical Stock Shoujo Heroine, doesn't do too well in school.
  • Bowdlerise: The anime is still remembered in Italy for an episode that was infamously censored in the worst way possible. The entire episode is about Yuko getting her first period. In the Italian dub, in order to censor anything related to menstruations, all the dialogues were completely changed and the main plot point became "Yuko had a nightmare and she is worried about it being a premonitory dream". The result is utterly ridiculous, it's not clear why Yuko and her father blush when talking about this supposed nightmare, the tampon becomes an "anti nightmare talisman", and many scenes make no sense whatsoever. To make things even more confusing, the episode title is translated literally from the Japanese, "Major changes". What do these "changes" have to do with premonitory dreams?
  • Boy Next Door: Hiroshi is literally this to Yuko. Yuko herself is a female example.
  • Chastity Couple: Even after they start dating, Yuko's friends point out that Yuko and Hiroshi seem more Like Brother and Sister than an actual couple, since their biggest romantic moment was Hiroshi kissing her on the forehead. It takes a long time for them to have a real First Kiss.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Yuko and Hiroshi. Strangely enough it was Hiroshi who figured out his feelings for Yuko first and has been in love with her for a long time. She was very surprised when he confessed to her in the first episode. Yuko, on the other hand, starts to see him in a different light throughout the series and realizes that he is more than just a friend.
  • Dub Name Change: Yuko is called "Yumi" in the Italian dub for some reason. Exactly, changing a Japanese name to... another Japanese name. In a similar way, Takako becomes "Rika".
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: Hiroshi used to wear glasses as a kid. After removing them in junior high, he suddenly becomes a Chick Magnet.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Takako is rude, stubborn, and abrasive, but she has a hidden softer side that shows in several occasions.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: Takako has one of these with her boyfriend at some point.
  • Lovable Jock: Hiroshi is part of the soccer team and currently portrayed as a friendly Nice Guy (it’s implied he was less pleasant as a child).
  • Naïve Everygirl: Yuko means well but is the typical naïve and shy teenage girl who is insecure and vulnerable in every situation.
  • Oblivious to Love: Yuko is generally clueless when a boy is interested in her, until the boy tells her to her face.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Most of the story is about childhood friends Yuko and Hiroshi evolving into an Official Couple.
  • Weight Woe: In one episode Yuko wants to lose weight because (in her opinion) she doesn't look good in a swimsuit.