Tokyo Pop Orange (Tokyo Pop – Benjamin)
So, Tokyopop is launching a new line of color Manga. The purists out there might be skeptical.
With good reason. While ORANGE is actually quite engaging, it is more like poem or short movie, leaving you to infer cause, effect and motivation. Benjamin, the creator, manages to make the the main character, a teen, angst, hypocrital time bomb likeable and engaging. Any of you parents out there who might kids sliding into their teens might want to pick this up as primer in teen paradox. The theme of the book, the pull between life seeming pointless and pointed, fake and real, is well realized, and pulled together in a fairly sophisticated way in the end. So, I like the stroy.
I got the book for the art. The secret Faux-Impressionist in me loves these bright colors, and Benjamin is obviously very talented. It’s worth it for the art, and as a study in digital techniques.
Now, as for the Manga part. It shares some thematic similarities, and meloncholly tones with Manga in general, but stylistically, this isn’t really Manga. It is a great graphic novel, full of brillliant colors, which I recommend, but it doesn’t really share any of the visual cues that I would call Manga. Still, worth reading.