Art student Takashiro is stunned when a painting of his titled “Color” is hung next to a very similar painting with the exact same title. It’s as if the artist, Sakae, is expressing the same emotions in exactly the same way that Takashiro is. Takashiro decides that he must meet Sakae, who might just be the one to fill the lonely hole in his heart. But when Takashiro finally meets Sakae, he’s shocked to discover that his possible soul mate is a guy!
Overall, this is a light confection of a manga that doesn’t really offer up much substance, but which sure tastes good going down. Takashiro and Sakae are likeable guys and watching them navigate their relationship is touching, even if they don’t encounter much in the way of roadblocks along the way. Towards the end there is some angst thrown in just to make things begin to work towards a resolution. It is easily overcome, though, and the plot gets right back down to sweetness. Probably Zaou and Eiki could have dug a little deeper, but I don’t think that was what they wanted when they set out to create this title.
For me, the most interesting part of this story is the blending of Eiki and Zaou’s art. They have a fairly similar style, even back in 1999 when this was published, so there is a seamless quality to the combining of their work which makes the manga stronger than it would have been otherwise. If you haven’t seen their work before, they draw characters who are pretty in an almost fairy-like way. Wide, slanting eyes that are darkly outlined and lean, almost androgynous bodies. Eiki favors short hair that fans out around the face (Sakae) and Zaou prefers long hair that drapes gracefully (Takashiro). And if you’re already a fan of Eiki’s work, Color is the prequel to her unfinished series The Art of Loving (DMP/Junè).
It is fairly obvious right from the beginning that Zaou and Eiki are having fun with this work. There are side notes throughout the work where one creator will make a comment about the other and then the first one will offer a rebuttal. It does throw you out of the story a little as your reading, but it was so cute that I couldn’t bring myself to mind. Their authors’ note is worth reading. It points out the similarities between their characters’ story and their own meeting during the time when they were both doing doujinshis. Though it is long for an authors’ note, it is funny and worth reading for the insight into two popular yaoi creators and who they were before they were well-known.
NOTE: This review was previously posted at an old blog of mine, Fujoshi Librarian.
Taishi Zaou; Eiki Eiki
DMP/Doki Doki, 2009