From the back cover:
When art student Takashiro Tsuda chose to show his painting, Color, in a gallery exhibition, he never dreamed that an uncannily similar painting would hang next to his—with the same title, even. Works of art come from the deepest depths of an artist’s soul, so how can anyone else be expressing themselves so much like Takashiro? Filled with a yearning to find his artistic soulmate, Takashiro goes off to art school in Tokyo and meets classmate Sakae Fujiwara. Soon, Takashiro learns that this is the artist he’s been searching for—the one who created a Color so much like his own—but Sakae is a guy! Can such a profound connection between two people transcend gender and become something more?
Creators Eiki Eiki and Taishi Zaou (otherwise known as Mikiyo Tsuda, creator of the Princess Princess series, among others) collaborated on this BL one-shot and patterned the story somewhat on their own relationship, in which they first admired each other’s work in a doujinshi circle and later became fast friends, though they point out that the romantic aspect is entirely fictional. The two mangaka divided the artistic duties, too, with Eiki designing Sakae and a smattering of supporting characters and Zaou handling Takashiro and his family.
On the surface of it, it doesn’t seem like Color has all that much going for it. The two leads fall in love extremely quickly, and from there are eager to advance their relationship in a physical way. The supporting characters are not very interesting. There’s a leap forward of a couple of years and randomly inserted family drama—one collapsed dad (this is at least the second DokiDoki title I’ve read to feature this plot) and one “the firstborn son eloped and now you are the heir” dad—threatens to tear the couple apart just as they had declared their desire to stay together forever.
And yet, it’s actually pretty good. The way the two boys gravitate towards each other and develop an instant and profound rapport seems perfectly natural, and the feeling of joy and gratitude upon finally finding the person that understands you is palpable. The approach they take towards becoming intimate is cute, too—I love the scene where they’re sitting formally and awkwardly working out how best to kiss for the first time—and about 200% consensual.
Also, though the angst near the end, in which Sakae decides that if reality is going to pull them apart eventually it’s better to just break up now, is kind of annoying, I concede that it’s necessary to bring about a resolution, and an admirably ambiguous one at that. After enjoying a period of halcyon days, the boys have grown up enough to realize that some things just don’t last forever. “When I realized that we’d have to be apart,” thinks Sakae, “I had to admit that we’re separate people after all.”
Ultimately, Color is both sweet and bittersweet, and well worth a read.