Comics / Manga / Yaoi Manga

Color (DokiDoki)

By Leroy Douresseaux
July 31, 2009 - 13:02

Color cover iamge is courtesy of Anime Castle Books.

Drama/Romance; Rated “16+ Young Adult”

First published in 1999, Color is a boys’ love graphic novel that brings together the creative styles and visions of manga-ka Eiki Eiki (Train Train) and Taishi Zaou (who created Princess Princess under the pen name Mikiyo Tsuda).  The story, which focuses on two teen painters who discover that they are essentially artistic soul mates, is also a union of like-minded manga creators.

Takashiro Tsuda is a junior high art student who enters his painting in a gallery exhibition.  Entitled “Color,” Takashiro believes that what might seem like to others a dab of colors on canvas actually has a deeper personal meaning to him.  “I knew the image represented ‘me’” he thinks.  He is shocked, however, to discover another painting hanging next to his that is also entitled “Color,” and it is uncannily similar.  How can a work that comes from the deepest parts of his soul have a twin?

When Takashiro enters Ryokuyou High School, a leading Tokyo art school, he gets the answer to that question when he learns the identity of artist who painted the other “Color.”  It’s a fellow teen painter named Sakae Fujiwara, and he’s a guy.  Soon, Takashiro will discover that his profound connection to Sakae goes beyond just being artistic soul mates, and Takashiro becomes something like Sakae’s missing half.  But fate and family may tear them apart.

Eiki Eiki and Taishi Zaou first discovered they had similar artistic sensibilities when they both had work published in a doujinshi (amateur manga).  A friendship was born, and they eventually united for Color.  They apparently wrote the story together, but divided up the art chores.  For instance, according to notes included as back matter in Color, Eiki Eiki roughed out the first four chapters, while Zaou worked on the yaoi (sex) scenes.  Each also designed specific characters in the book.  Zaou designed Takashiro Tsuda, and Eiki designed Sakae Fujiwara.

Yes, the artists do have similar styles, which is evident when comparing their character designs.  However, I am not a big enough fan of either’s work to analyze the minute details of technique and craft.  Besides, I’m guessing that Eiki and Zaou’s assistants did the actual penciling, inking, and toning of the art.

I can say that their union is absolutely not a disaster, but it’s also not anything exceptional.  As a boys’ love tale, Color is an especially pleasant read that goes down like smooth hot chocolate.  The story is not only sweet, but Color is so sentimental that it comes across as either old-fashioned or about old lovers reunited.  Rarely do Takashiro and Sakae could across as randy high school boys exercising their burgeoning lusts.  There is little teen angst or confusion or even conflict.  When something finally comes between them, it happens so late in the story that a reader couldn’t possibly believe that this obstacle is anything more than a pebble on the road to happily ever after.

The way the story is presented visually, the graphic presentation of the characters, especially their expressive faces and the animated way their heads and faces seem to keep changing to convey emotion and mood, is pleasing.  This concept may be an ordinary boys’ love tale, but the (sequential) art is really a joy to read and behold.  Fans of these two manga-ka may agree.



Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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