Artist Kiyoko Iwami 2018’s one-shot “Transparent Light Blue” brings a tale of childhood friends that face difficult decisions when their feelings grow beyond their current relationship.

Ever since Ichika’s mother introduced her young daughter to fellow apartment kids Ritsu and Shun, the trio were inseparable throughout their school career. Many students headed home to start their winter break but Shun decided to practice with the rest of the boy’s basketball team. Ichika and Ricchan (Ritsu) headed to Ricchan’s place to hang out. The girls chatted, had a traditional Japanese ear cleaning session and then napped under the kotatsu. However Ricchan couldn’t fall asleep with her crush so close to her. Her heart belonged to Ichika even though Ichika and Shun have been a couple for the past couple of months. Overwhelmed with emotions, Ricchan kissed Ichika by chance at the same time Shun arrived with a delivery from his parents. The shocking revelation was the beginning of a test for the trio if their friendship can survive this confession of true love.

“Transparent Light Blue” is a short drama of queer romance that questions one’s acceptance of each other. Readers will find themselves drawn and even see a bit of themselves in the torn emotions shown in Ichika, Ricchan and Shun, especially those that may not have the chance to openly confess. The ending of their tale is a refreshing one and one society should strive towards. The manga also contains a two-part story that also deals with one-sided romance. Though Seven Seas gave the book a Teen rating, one should read at their discretion if they are wary of slight sexual content and a bit of gender dysphoria.

Those interested in similar stories should check out “Nameless Asterism” from Seven Seas Entertainment and “Sweet Blue Flowers” from VIZ Signature. Both deal with teenagers trying to understand their gender identities and sexualities while juggling their school life. Check out their publishers’ websites for more information.

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