Nijiiro Days by Mizuno Minami

Nijiiro Days

Mizuno Minami is a fairly new shoujo mangaka and the impression I got from reading two of her three previously published works is that the art is delicate and beautiful and the stories are sugary sweet, but ultimately forgettable. They didn’t stand out from the mountains of pretty shoujo manga. Nijiiro Days (Rainbow Colored Days) is a tale of adolescent fun, idiocy silliness, mischief, and a touch of romance–it sounds like it would fall into the same pattern. But the… colorful personalities and hobbies of the boys keep it fresh.

Natsuki is the main character and fits the shoujo lead mold fairly well–he’s all smiles, bright, and innocent when it comes to romance. He recently got his first girlfriend and asks two friends for Christmas date advice. He’s immediately rejected because Tomoya is too busy figuring out how to juggle his 5 girlfriends in the same day and Keiichi is too busy fielding a phone call from his, pointing out she was not given permission to call him and must be punished (to which she happily assents to)… and the tone is set for this manga. Natsuki’s friends include a playboy, a sadist, and an otaku whose fetishes occasionally creep out. All this in Betsuma?! In comparison, they think Natsuki has a pure maiden heart and tease him relentlessly for it, but they ultimately look out for him. This manga is all about their (sometimes dubious) friendship and (mis)adventures in love.

Don’t be deceived by those adorable faces.

Anna

Natsuki is the romantic and dreamer of the group and sometimes those dreams are shattered. He’s dumped on Christmas, left alone to cry and clutch his rejected gift, a cute scarf. He gives it to a girl dressed like Santa who offered him tissues. Later, he spots the same scarf at school–who is she, why is she wearing that scarf? Is she thinking of Natsuki? His imagination spinning completely out of control, eventually the boys learn the truth about the girl with the scarf. No, she didn’t fall in love at first sight with Natsuki–she just liked the scarf and once she found out it was from Natsuki, tries to politely return it. Anna is a cute character–she’s calm, quiet, often expressionless, but capable of smiling nicely. She’s an oasis in the midst of all these crazy personalities. Thankfully, their story isn’t over–Natsuki is drawn by Anna’s quiet smile and they become friends.

In contrast to Natsuki’s innocence, you have Tomoya–the playboy of the group who we often see act/speak like a complete scum bag when it comes to women (which his friends readily point out). He loves women and the validation that the chase and catch bring. He seeks their attention, they seek his.  He doesn’t handle rejection well, so he’s taken aback when confronted with the man-hater, Mari.

Mari. Isn’t she cute?

Mari is Anna’s friend, so she and her loud insults are unavoidable. Mari puts the TSUN in tsundere, constantly spitting venomous words at any man and even tries to sabatoge Natsuki’s gift to Anna. While Mari’s personality is abrasive to say the least, Anna is chill and accepting. Mari doesn’t appreciate these disgusting men hovering over Anna and makes that known. It seems like Tomoya wants to tame this girl… despite the fact it’s implied she’s a lesbian. Tomoya does have a redeeming quality or two if you squint, like how he will look out for his friend. Although sometimes that’s after teasing and making him miserable..

Keiichi seems like the nice guy of the bunch.  Until he busts out that whip he always carries (where does he hide it?!). Keiichi is a sadist and his odd tastes and nature creep out into conversation, disturbing his friends. He’s proud that he keeps it to one girl at a time, unlike Tomoya. His older brother is a teacher at their school and they share similar “hobbies.” Oh boy.

Keiichi is all pent up after losing his girlfriend and turns on Natsuki

Tsuyoshi (nickname: Tsuyopon) is an otaku.  He’s aloof and does things at his own pace to the point he is incapable considering the situation and feelings of others around him. He just processes things differently.  He gets the brilliant idea of inviting Anna to their study session but neglects to inform Natsuki that his crush will be there.  Like the other two friends, his interaction with women is a bit off.  He has a girlfriend who’s into cosplay, but almost breaks up with her because she dyed her hair to match a character.  Black is moe for him and you don’t mess with the moe points of an otaku.

Even though the three guy friends often act like tools, it’s a pretty entertaining read. The craziness works with the tone of the manga. It similar to Morinaga Ai’s writing style, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. It’s not your standard sweet shoujo manga. It’s a bit crude, but there’s no malice or ugliness. There is an extended preview available online, so you can judge for yourself. The story has sweet moments. Natsuki and Anna begin to realize they enjoy being together by the end of the first volume. Tomoya might calm down a bit if he decides to aim for Mari, but she will be screeching the entire time, so plug your ears. Tsuyopon seems happy enough with his girlfriend not to break up over his moe disappointment.  And Keiichi will find the perfect M someday…? In this manga, expect idiot boys doing idiot boy things.  They may look all cute and innocent, but there’s a lot of mischief going on.

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7 responses to “Nijiiro Days by Mizuno Minami

  1. Nice rant.

    “Anna is a cute character–she’s calm, quiet, often expressionless”
    Yes! I like quite guy/girl type, so I will read this as soon as there’s scanlation. Calm type x energetic type = epic win! Ifeel like this Mari girl will fall with playboy.

    “And Keiichi will find the perfect M someday…?”
    Lol. Poor the girl, but I want to see it.

    This Anna girl sound like Kujou from Last Game. She’s also calm & expressionless type, yet have sharp tongue.

    • Anna and Natsuki do make that nice calm/energetic pair. Kujou is another calm type, although much sharper than Anna. Anna is unfazed by Mari’s pushy personality, which is pretty impressive.

      Poor Keiichi.. he was dumped by the first girlfriend for not being exciting enough, so we’ll just have to root for him to find the perfect girl or up his game until he’s at his brother’s high S level (R-25 is how he was described :O)

  2. Yes. cannot wait for your another manga recommendation. I also follow your tumblr.

  3. Pingback: Orenchi no Furo Jijou by Itokichi | the manga habit

  4. Omg i’m so happy I found someone into this manga as much as me *^*
    I swear, I took a liking on this manga ’till the first chapter, they’re too much a bunch of idiots xD
    i just love Matsun, maybe because I like assholes types but I really love his soft part being a good big brother and him liking Mari ♥
    Unfortunately I can’t read Japanese or Chinese so I’m waiting English team to keep translating, but it’s taking sooo long ç^ç
    I enjoyed a lot your review, it was very detailed :) I’ll read more of your reviews, maybe I’ll found some new mangas ^^
    Byee~ \(^o^)/

    • Nijiiro Days definitely needs more fans. I find it quite entertaining for being a high school comedy manga. I’m not sure who my favorite is, but I do like how Tomoya is confused and annoyed by Mari’s rebuffs.

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