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Colorless Vol.1
Colorless Vol.1

Colorless Vol.1

Written by Ross Locksley on 16 Aug 2023

Distributor Seven Seas • Author/Artist Kent • Price £11.99

In a world devastated from an event that stripped away colour and mutated the human race, a scientist stumbles across a mysterious girl who may prove to be a link to the old world and the saviour of humanity.

There's a lot of Western influence to be found in the pages of Colorless, from the artistic stylings of it's masked Dark Knight protagonist to it's trope of a young girl representing the future of mankind (Fifth Element, Willow, The Last of Us etc.) which should be no surprise considering the author, KENT, specifically realised his world to mimic the style and tropes of American comics. The devastated noir-punk world and crazy mutants are certainly nothing new either, so one has to look at how KENT has taken the inspiration and made it his own. That's not to say the setup is alien to the Japanese either - many elements of series such as Battle Angel Alita and Vampire Hunter D can be found here too.

The first thing that obviously strikes you is the premise of a colourless world, an idea that's really both easy and hard to show in a medium that's typically greyscale anyway. The pages that introduce touches of colour (in much the same way The Maid I Hired Recently is Mysterious always shows the maid's eyes as purple) are striking, and the weaponisation of colour is really quite a nice twist. It might not be original, but the book did enough to intrigue me as to just how Chie, our young amnesiac (naturally) heroine might change the world, and The Order makes for a suitably mysterious organisation with its own cultish sensibilities mirroring some of the organisations that aren't exactly unfamiliar to us already. 

One of the elements that undoubtedly works in the book's favour is KENT's glorious artwork. Gritty, very noir in style and tone, the book just oozes atmosphere from every page. That's not to say there aren't occasionally issues, such as the action scenes being somewhat hard to follow, but hell that never stopped Kia Asimiya so I'm not going to be overly harsh here. The level of detail, smart character design and Professor Avidia's billowing black coat are enough to keep your attention throughout.

It's no secret that manga is massively outselling US comics, but now the talent in Japan is doing the American style of storytelling better than the Americans. This feels very much like KENT schooling the US on how to do things properly - and goodness knows someone needs to at the moment - so good for him keeping his story tight, simple and realising it on the page with such flourish.

Seven Seas have done a wonderful job on the covers, the semi-gloss finish making it jump off the shelf, and it makes me suspect they know they have a hit on their hands here. If you're a Marvel/DC fan curious to see what manga has to offer, this is a series that might just bridge the gap for you. 

An intriguing blend of Eastern and Western story elements are blended through gritty artwork and tight storytelling.

Ross Locksley
About Ross Locksley

Ross founded the UK Anime Network waaay back in 1995 and works in and around the anime world in his spare time. You can read his more personal articles on UKA's sister site, The Anime Independent.


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