Mizuiro Jidai is the story of the life of Kawai Yuko, a normal girl growing up. The series begins at the start of her 8th grade year of school, and follows her life through its many small and large ups and downs. The anime's title refers to the time in a girl's life when everything is new, a time of growing up.
Yuko is a cute, somewhat insecure girl. She is a good writer but is somewhat shy of her talents and worries about others not liking her work. Yuko has grown up all her life in the same house with her mother, father, and older sister. Living right next door is one of Yuko's closest friends, Hiroshi. Yuko and Hiroshi have been friends since childhood, but recently their feelings for each other have been changing.
The series gives the audience a view at Yuko's life through the seasons as she goes through such events as school trips, jyuku (cram school), band, making new friends, finding love, dealing with her parents and learning more about them, holidays, and sports. Yuko's normal fears of the future and the unknown are explored, and the joys of her life are shared.
Some people have likened this series to the North American late 80's/early 90's TV series "The Wonder Years"...I can see the similarities. While the voice over is absent, there is the same down-to-earth treatment of the characters with just enough light comedy to keep things going. Unfortunately, like the Wonder Years, it doesn't really grab you like a lot of other series. It's fun, but can be kinda bland at times. The animation isn't particularly good for a 90's TV series, but it's about the same as shows like Marmalade Boy (in a different style of course). The characters seem interesting enough, I just couldn't really get all that into the story though..I guess I've been spoiled by shows like Sakura and Kare Kano. Ah well, you can do a lot worse than this for shoujo series. A good, realistic high-school story.
Only available fansubbed.
Emily's Mizuiro Jidai Page