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Pez Review

Pez Review

-Written by: Will

When I signed up to review this title, I was surprised by how in demand it was by my co-workers. That was when i realized: this is the first color manga sold by us in years. I mostly read Western comics before I came here, so to me the inclusion of color isn’t a big deal. But make no mistake: The color used here is well done, and it’s one of the best new manga I’ve reviewed this year.

This short story collection centers on the adventures of Pez and her significant other Decosuke in a post-apocalyptic world. The stories themselves are unrelated but they come together to form a bigger picture. The stories themselves are short but touching vignettes of survival. One can be about transhumanism, and the next could be about making pizza. What makes them so cool is the way they are told. Hiroyuki Asada likes to mess around with panel layout, color, text, and story length. It kept me interested to see what new trick he’d pull next.

The art style immediately grabbed me, taking inspiration from Tank Girl and Tekkonkinkreet with its sharp lines and hodge-podge fashion sense. The use of color is integral to the storytelling; Asada knows how to draw and use color. I don’t know what technique was used, but the coloring adds texture and dimension to the images that only a painting can bring out. Black-and-white manga often uses shading for the same effect, but color helps bring it to life and off the page in this book.

This was written by Hiroyuki Asada, most well known for Tegami Bachi Letter Bee. This book takes place in the same universe, and if it’s representative of that series, I need to read it. The world itself is great, and Asada takes a similar approach to world building that great titles like Star Wars or Girls Last Tour do with environmental storytelling and implied history. Plus Asada’s unique artstyle would stand out among typical Shonen Jump series, which is where it was first published.

I do have to say that this short story collection is short at 72 pages. Considering how much I was liking this book it feels criminal, but that’s all the story Asada wanted to tell, and I have to respect that. But it doesn't sour my feelings for this book, which I liked a bunch and heartily recommend. Hopefully more Japanese publishers make the investment into colored manga, because this can only be the tip of the iceberg of what manga creators can do.

PEZ Manga (Color)

Pez is on a journey. She is out searching for a place where there is life and society is still bustling. The world she knows now is far from that. It is a cold and lonely place. And even with her partner, Deco, at her side, she knows that there isn't much left for her in this place. But along her way, she runs into places and people who remind her of what life used to be. They also give her motivation and hope for what she would have life be once more!

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