I love discovering new manga and there is a variety of series for all types of readers. When seeking out manga I decided to check out Volume One of A Nico-Colored Canvas by Nao Shikita since I like to read slice-of-life manga. Here are my thoughts on the first installment of this new art-themed series from Kodansha!
Nico Sorano is in the dictionary under “free-spirited”…which makes her an instant celebrity at her art university. But one professor, the career making-or-breaking Kageiwa-sensei, has only a limited tolerance for her aggressively good-natured optimism. Unsurprisingly, Nico isn’t fazed…it just means she’s going to have to make her own way to stardom, with the help of her friend Mitsuki and the inscrutable, notorious Soichiro Togo. No matter what, it’ll be an interesting college debut!
A Nico-Colored Canvas follows the story of Nico a young woman from Kagawa who wants to pursue a career in the arts. Nico sets her sights on attending the Osaka University of Arts and is excited to learn new things and meet new people. However, she finds art school a bit different from what she thought it would be like, but charges headfirst into any new opportunities. Nico meets many artists who practice different mediums and ideas about what art should consist of her. Her day-to-day experiences continually shape her school life and artistry ideas.
Nico, the main character, has a bit of a naivete that makes her vulnerable to the sharks lurking in her art school. She has some friends to look out for her, but she quickly learns to adapt by turning a sour situation into something positive. Other readers and I will gravitate to her constant optimism and her drive to never give up on pursuing her dreams. Her free-spirited nature gives her the advantage of exploring new artistic concepts and creating innovative ways to shake up the art scene.
This is a soothing slice-of-life manga that I thoroughly enjoyed. As a person who loves art myself, I saw a little bit of myself in Nico when I reminisce about my own school’s numerous art classes. As the author, Shikita comes from an art university background herself you can really see in this first volume that this story gives back to her artist roots. The story showcases artists from all different backgrounds, and it has a positive narrative about pursuing your dreams. The illustrations are gorgeous including the many works of art included in the story.
A Nico-Colored Canvas starts off strong in its first installment and I can’t wait to see where Nico’s artistic journey takes her and how her character will grow. This series will appeal to those who enjoy slice-of-life stories and art-themed manga such as Honey and Clover or Blue Period. It’s lighthearted, fun, and overall a very calming manga series that gets a 4 out of 5-star rating for me.
A Nico-Colored Canvas is now available in stores today!
*I received this review copy from Kodansha in exchange for a fair and honest review.