Mizuiro Jidai is the touching, funny, and very realistic 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. Yuko experiences the things most girls do, so the audience for whom the show is primarily targetted to can easily empathize with what is going on.
Techno Girls fansubbing group translates 'Mizuiro Jidai' as 'The Bluegreen Years'. This is a nice name that has many meanings in both english and Japanese. However the official english name for the series as shown in the series istelf (see ep #30) is 'Aqua Age'. Aqua Age is the name of the hair salan in which Taka-chan gets a job. Therefore, because that seems to be it's 'official' english translation, it whall be the one I use. Either way, 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.
Mizuiro Jidai has often been compared to the American TV show The Wonder Years, and for good reason. Both seies are filled with the many often humorous, but sometimes heartwrenching moments that characterize growing up. For the most part, each episode is a self-contained story, but there is overall continuity maintained, and flashbacks are common. Like many shoujo (girls) anime series, relationships are the key element to Mizuiro Jidai. Overall, if you like shoujo anime, you'll like Mizuiro Jidai. It is like a younger version of Marmalade Boy, but less bizarre ^_^