I love discovering new manga and there is a variety of series for all types of readers. When looking for manga, I decided to check out volume one of Nao Shikita’s A Nico-Colored Canvas as I enjoy reading life-splitting 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 spirit” … which makes her an instant celebrity at her art college. But one teacher, the career-making or destroying Kageiwa-sensei, has only a limited tolerance for her aggressive and good-natured optimism. Unsurprisingly, Nico isn’t upset … it just means she’ll have to work her way to stardom, with the help of her friend Mitsuki and the inscrutable and infamous Soichiro Togo. No matter what, it’s going to be an interesting college debut!
A Nico-Colored Canvas follows the story of Nico, a young woman from Kagawa who wants to pursue an artistic career. Nico aims to attend Osaka University of Arts and is excited to learn new things and meet new people. However, she finds art school a little different than she thought she would be, but she throws herself headlong into every new opportunity. Nico meets many artists who practice different mediums and ideas about what art should consist of in her. Her daily experiences continually shape her school life and her artistic ideas.
Nico, the main character, has a bit of naivety that makes her vulnerable to the sharks lurking in her art school. She has friends to look after, 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 urge to never give up on pursuing her dreams. Her free nature gives her the edge to explore new artistic concepts and create innovative ways to rock the art scene.
This is a relaxing manga that I really enjoyed. Being an art lover, I saw a little bit of myself in Nico when I remember my school’s many art courses. As an author, Shikita comes from a university art background, you can really see in this first volume that this story returns to her artistic roots. The story showcases artists from all different backgrounds and has a positive narrative about pursuing your dreams. The illustrations are stunning, including the many works of art included in the story.
A Nico-Colored Canvas gets off to a great start in its first installment and I can’t wait to see where Nico’s artistic journey will take her and how her character will grow. This series will appeal to those who love life-spanning stories and art-themed manga like Honey and Clover or Blue Period. It’s lighthearted, fun, and overall a very relaxing 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 copy of the review from Kodansha in exchange for a fair and honest review.