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|| PINK ||

3 volumes
BL, Drama, Humor, Fluffy Angst
Publisher: Chara Comics
ISBN: 4199601139, 419960149X, 4199601724
Mangaka: TAKAGUCHI Satosumi

Other manga on this site by TAKAGUCHI Satosumi: Kreuz, Shoubu wa Ji no... Un darou? SEVEN, Utsukushii Otoko

The story is told in turns from the point of view of Benio (a 20-something who writes the scripts for pornographic comics), and Usaki (a high school boy who works as his artist partner on one of his series). Usaki really wants to become a comic artist, and if this is what he has to do to break into the business, than so be it. Unfortunately, he has a lot of trouble illustrating certain sex scenes... because he is a virgin. Benio was completely opposed to letting a young innocent work with him, but his publisher talked him into reluctant agreement.

As the story progresses, Usaki (nicknamed "Usagi" or "Bunny" by Benio) loses his innocence about sex and about life. Benio is disgusted to find himself attracted to a boy ten years younger than himself. And then Usaki's father enters the scene. I cannot begin to describe this man. In fact, to do so would ruin some surprises. Let's just say that I have no idea how he managed to form such strange, twisted morals. He is my absolute favorite old letcher. I have a pin to prove it!

What I Thought:
Takaguchi has pulled even with Ishihara in my most-loved mangaka list. It is really hard to find a frame of reference to compare Takaguchi to. I have heard her artwork described as "soft" and "lovely". And it is, but it is also so much more. The art has a pencil-sketch feel at some times, and the eyes are unbelievably deep. Every character in every series is unique, unlike some artists who tend to recycle stock character designs.

I've had to create a new classification for her stories: fluffy angst. It is some of the most realistic soul-searching drama you will find out there. But she doesn't (usually) take her characters to the depths of self-destructive despair.

I loved PINK. In some ways, I enjoyed it more than Sakende Yaru ze! (which has been scanlated, if you want to sample her comics before buying). Usaki's naivete was rather unbelievable, but the way it shaped the story-lines, and how things changed when he finally got a clue were very interesting. And I loved Usaki-senior. I still have no clue how to classify this guy. Okay, I can't resist. Spoiler: Who goes to seduce their son's lover when their wife is in labor in the hospital? And does it so calmly? Who!?