Editor's Sidebar: Where we hear directly from VIZ editors about series they're working on.
That Blue Sky Feeling, the new series from writer Okura, based on the original webcomic, and artist Coma Hashii, achieves something golden.
It’s actually a pretty realistic account of how confusing love and life is for anyone in that bizarre battle-arena-disguised-as-education we’re all forced to attend during our most sensitive and formative years. So far, there’s an ambiguity to the love connections in the book that are touchingly honest.
Noshiro is this outgoing kid, new to the school, who’s intrigued by a loner, Sanada, with a cool demeanor, smoldering stare and an attitude designed to scare off passers-by.
When Noshiro first hears that Sanada might be gay, he doesn’t believe it. Sanada, on the other hand, just coolly responds to Noshiro’s awkward asking with:
Noshiro doesn’t even know how to hide his shock:
As Noshiro gets to know Sanada, he realizes a lot of this perceived coolness is actually a shield of bravado and is hiding a real kid underneath it who really does care what people think of him…and feels what he feels very strongly.
Feelings ensue. The rumor mill churns:
And the boys, and their group of friends, embark on discovery journey that is not always the easiest, but that is universal.
The characters are never quite sure how they feel about the person they are attracted to – or what that says about their sense of “self” or even their sense of “self-preservation.” I mean, maybe some of you had it all figured out in high-school. But I’m guessing, like most of us, you didn’t. And maybe still don’t (which I think is probably more accurate for most of us).
And that’s really the wider appeal of That Blue Sky Feeling.
The focus on two guys who are not quite sure how to be friends at all, let alone deal with their burgeoning feelings for each other, is as unique in it’s truth as it is in its deft handling and representation of the characters. We’re talking normal kids with honest feelings that they aren’t quite sure how to handle.
There’s a sweet nostalgia to the story that works for those who may be in the throes of such feelings now…or are decades past it.
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