Nov 25, 2009

Manga Review: The Palette of 12 Secret Colors

The "Palette of 12 Secret Colors" by Nari Kusakawa is a wonderful low key manga series.  It's the story of Cello, a color magician, or "Palette, who bumbles through the years as a Palette student on a warm tropical island.  Cello is lousy as a standard Palette, but excels when she uses her powers in her own way.  As per many Shoujo manga series, there's a romance with an older male member of the faculty, in this case, the school doctor, Dr. Guell.  For the most part, the romance is dealt with in a manner that doesn't sugar coat the difficulties and at one point questions whether the relationship is proper.  However, at the same time, these difficulties aren't shoved down the reader's throat and, in this sense this sense, the romance is pleasant and ties in nicely with the story as Cello matures as a person and a Palette student.

There are some very cute and, at times, hilarious bird side-kicks.  The birds are the palette's companions and in a way serve as the "chorus."  They have their own role in the story, sometimes acting as obstacles the budding romance.  Ultimately, though, the birds love their companions and, in the end, cheer the couple on.

This series runs 27 chapters, compiled into 6 volumes.  There are also some one shots to pad each volume.  I really like that story was tightly limited, though, the end felt a little rushed.  I highly recommend this story for its imagination, likable low-key characters, adorable bird side-kicks, and it's general tropically laid-back feel.  5/5

Buy "The Palette of 12 Secret Colors" from Amazon