The Color of Love by Kiyo Ueda Manga Review

Title:  The Color of Love

Author:  Kiyo Ueda

Publisher:  Junè

ISBN:  9781569707463

May Contain Spoilers

The Color of Love is a very enjoyable collection of short stories.  Just when I thought I was tired of the seemingly endless selection of BL anthologies, I read this and Everlasting Love, and now I realize that I was being a little hasty.  There’s still much joy to be found in this popular format, and I’m determined to track down all of the little gems that are still hiding out there.

If this book has a theme, it would have to be the crowd pleasing unrequited love.  Starting off with Nao and Tairi, most of the chapters revolve around long time acquaintances where one of the friends is secretly in love with the other.  I really like this formula, and the fact that, because they’re friends already, the focus is on that transition from buddies to lovers.  There’s no time wasted getting to know each other – they already know and accept each other’s faults.  I like that there’s already a connection between them and that they already care for each other, and there’s only a tiny nudge needed to propel their relationship from friends to soul mates.

"How to be Happy" was my favorite chapter, as Kouta’s best friend suddenly confesses his love to him.  Kouta begins avoiding Kazuyuki, confused and uncomfortable about his abrupt declaration.  Kazuyuki is a real ladies’ man, and Kouta always thought he was as straight as an arrow.  Now he doesn’t know what to make of his friend.  Kiyo Ueda really captured a mix of emotions here, even sneaking in some humor as the bashful Kouta is about to be kissed by Kazuyuki.

The art is delicate, with fine lines and subtle backgrounds.  I love the cover – there are nice textures and soft color combinations that made me want to see what was inside the book.  The character designs are appealing, and these guys are so good-looking it’s no wonder they couldn’t keep their hands off each other.  The sex, like the rest of The Color of Love, was understated and almost gentle as the couples expressed their deep affections for each other.  While there are panels of entwined couples, there’s hardly even a fleeting glimpse of muscled buttocks here.  Drats. 

Grade:  B+

Rated for Mature

Review copy provided by Junè

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