Blue by Kiriko Nananan (amazon)
Blue is the first manga from Fanfare/Pontent Mon that I’ve tried. It is priced at $24.00, but the extra money buys you a book with excellent production – the manga is printed at a larger size on glossy paper. Blue details a high school friendship that developes into something more. Kayako Kirishima is strangely fascinated by Masami Endo, a girl who was recently suspended from school. Endo and Krishima become friends, but their friendship develops into love. The story is told from Kirishima’s point of view, and her feelings for Endo border on the obsessive as she seeks out experiences that will mirror Endo’s past in an attempt to feel closer to her. As high school draws to an end their relationship will have to change, but Kirishima wants to cling to the past.
Nananan uses stark black and white to illustrate her story. She frequently mixes background shots of empty desks, staircases, erasers on a chalkboard with scenes of her characters interacting. She’s talented at portraying the inner turmoil and emotions that Kirishima experiences. I’m hoping more of her work is translated soon.