“ART-MAKING. Yatora prepares for the first-year show, where he’ll have to pass an open review from intimidating professors and celebrity guest lecturers. To make matters worse, the self-directed nature of the assignment is more stifling than freeing, and he’s no longer sure: Does he even like art? Why did he ever start? An all-nighter in Shibuya may hold the answer, but Yatora’s not with his usual boys…”
[Text from the publisher’s website ; see also the backcover]
>> Please, read the warning for possible spoilers <<
Blue Period (ブルーピリオド / Burū Piriodo) is a Seinen manga about painting written and illustrated by Tsubasa Yamaguchi which has been serialized since June 2017 in Monthly Afternoon and has been compiled into thirteen volumes so far by Kōdansha. The English version is published in the USA by Kodansha (twelve volumes available, the next one to be published at the end of May 2023) and the French version is published by Pika (twelve volumes available, the next one to be published mid-June 2023). It won several awards in 2020 (the Manga Taishō and the Kōdansha manga shō; it was also nominated for the Tezuka Osamu bunka shō) and was adapted into an anime television series in 2021 (twelve episodes animated by Seven Arcs studio under the direction of Koji Masunari and Katsuya Asano, from a script by Reiko Yoshida; it aired on MBS, TBS, AT-X and on Netflix). I have already commented (in French) on the first three volumes, the next three, volumes seven and eight as well as volume nine.
When I started reading this volume I felt that something was odd and different about it but couldn’t figure out what. I was half way through when I realized that it was a softcover book in English while I used to read the French hardcover edition! I’ll probably continue to read this English edition which seems to be available sooner than the French version. In this volume, Yatora has to produce the final assignment of his first year in an art college. This time lots of the story is set around his relationship with Yotasuke. The story offers us the usual trials and angst of young adulte college students, often with a touch of humour, but in the context of learning to produce art.
The style of this manga is rather ordinary but it remains a good read because the characters are endearing and the story is catchy. However, what makes this manga really interesting is that it opens a window to the world and techniques of art in a rather unusual way. Indeed, the author uses the narrative style of shōnen manga by presenting a series of challenges and competitions as the driving force of the story, which has the result of captivating the readers’ attention while teaching them the basics of art. A very good manga but especially if you are an art lover.
Blue Period #10, by Tsubasa Yamaguchi. New York: Kodansha Comics, November 2022. 208 pages, 5 5/8 x 8 1/4 in., $US 12.99 / $16.99 CAN, ISBN 978-1-64651-396-3. For Young Adult readership (16+).
For more information you can check the following websites:
[ Amazon • Goodreads • Google • Nelligan • Wikipedia • WorldCat ]
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