Blue by Kiriko Nananan: A

From the inside flap:
Kayako Kirishima and Masami Endo are about to discover that their recent friendship is turning into obsessive love. But when today’s hopes and yesterday’s dreams meet tomorrow’s problems, will they be able to continue?

Blue is a one-volume title in nice binding and printed on glossy paper that happens to cost $24. I read it in the store today, but it should carry some weight to say that, even though I now technically don’t need to buy it, I intend to shell out for it someday just the same.

Just yesterday I began to watch the UK TV series Sugar Rush, and it’s interesting to note a number of similarities here. Masami would be in the Sugar role, a girl who’s already been in some trouble and is a little notorious because of it. Kayako is pretty quiet, but her actions are always believable and her motivations always well-portrayed. I shan’t give the plot away, but I thought that the events unfolded realistically. I was especially glad that there was no fan-service. This is not shoujo-ai for the drooly fanboy contingent.

The one critique I could make is that the art style makes it hard to tell what’s happening in a few panels, and it took a bit of time to get used to who was who, since some of the characters look fairly similar. I liked that she would shift the vantage point on a scene around and show it from different angels. It livened up the panels in a subtle way, and served the story without becoming a distracting display of skill for its own sake.

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