Released in the US by TokyoPop
Slugline: Emotion is Color
After reading so much manga in black and white, after a while you lose sight of the potential for color to help tell the story. On the surface, this is rather standard story about a suicidal girl who cannot connect with others even though others seemingly can connect with her. A stranger that has both more and less than her makes the grand gesture she needs to see in order for her to find the value of life. In those ways this title is like dozens of other manga, pushed further than most because it doesn't have the weight of a continuing story and with a story that is free (of age ratings) to be as coarse as the characters need it, but with similar themes. But the almost impressionistic (or perhaps expressionistic, I was never too good with art terms) painting style gives heft to the main character's feelings, dragging you along with her into her depression and despair, much more deeply than just words could. The world remains blurred and out of focus to her, and even though she begins to see value to life at the end of the story, it still does not change her problems and perceptions with it.
Though this is from China, the volume physically is close to the European albums (like Biggles, which was reviewed last week. Any you thought that was a completely random choice...) though with a higher page count and glossy paper. This line from TokyoPop is an experiment in a larger format color titles. While Orange title stand alone successfully, the story itself is so depressing and bleak I find it hard to think that readers will be so excited by it to see what else is available from this line.
Orange is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga