Blue Period is a coming-of-age drama manga that began publication back in 2017. Written by Tsubasa Yamaguchi, the manga series is still ongoing with 11 volumes published as of the time of writing this article. This story about the internal struggles of a high school student became so popular that it also received a 12-episode anime adaptation in 2021. In this article, we are going to tell you whether the manga is completed or not.
The Blue Period manga has been published since June 24, 2017 in the Monthly Afternoon magazine in Japan; Kodansha USA has been publishing the manga in English since 2019. At this moment, Blue Period is still ongoing with a total of eleven volumes published, but with more on the way. Tsubasa Yamaguchi has, so far, not indicated when the manga might end.
In the rest of this article, we are going to tell you everything we know about the publication of the Blue Period manga. You’re going to find out about its creation, its publication, the plot, and the setting, as well as the reception of the manga in the West. This article is going to be your go-to guide for all information concerning the Blue Period manga.
Is the Blue Period manga completed or is it still ongoing?
Before we tell you a bit about the publication history of Blue Period we are briefly going to tell you one thing – Blue Period is still ongoing and as things stand now, it is going to be around for some time in the foreseeable future. Now, let us find out a bit more about the publication of the manga.
The manga has been published in individual chapters in the Monthly Afternoon magazine by Kōdansha since June 24, 2017. The series has, since, been collected in eleven tankōbon volumes. Since November 2019, Kōdansha USA has been publishing the manga in English. Also since June 2020, the series has been published in German by Manga Cult in a translation by Lasse Christian Christiansen, while Milky Way Ediciones is publishing the series in Spanish.
As you can see, Blue Period is doing quite well and what started off as an online manga has managed to become a global phenomenon that is being published on practically every continent in the world.
What is Blue Period all about?
Now that you know what lies behind the title of the manga series, we can give you a brief overview of the plot. Now, Blue Period is not a series focusing on any particular adventure or quest, so the story is quite straightforward and made of daily struggles. The daily struggles of the characters aren’t something that should be discussed in detail, so we won’t give you a lot of spoilers here. What follows is just a rough outline of the plot.
High school student Yatora Yaguchi is a good student and spends his evenings with his buddies in Shibuya and watching soccer. But he doesn’t know what to do with his life after school. Out of interest, he gets involved in an art class assignment and is unexpectedly praised by his teachers, but also by his friends. He then decides to increase his activities in the art club of his school.
Further contacts with the art club make Yatora become more interested in art in general, and he eventually decides to join the club. For the first time in his life, he develops an enthusiasm for something, and, seeing how good the others in the club are, he decides he wants to get even better. He talks to the others about which art school he could go to after high school, but then he finds out how difficult the exams are and how tough the competition is.
Since his parents cannot afford tuition for him, Yatora can only apply for the state Tōkyō Geijutsu Daigaku (English: Tokyo University of the Arts). During the holidays he diligently completes all the tasks assigned to him by the head of the club and with excellent results. Together with Yuka, a fellow art-club member who struggles with their own sexuality and is on his level, he then attends a preparatory school for the art college exams in the winter and meets many talented young people there who have the same goal as him for the first time.
How was the Blue Period manga created?
The author of the work is Tsubasa Yamaguchi, a mangaka who has studied at the National University of Fine Arts in Tokyo and who, in 2014, had won an award from the Monthly Afternoon magazine. Before taking on a longer series, she made some self-contained works for the magazine, among them a manga adaptation of the short film Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko, the work that made Makoto Shinkai globally known.
Part of the plot of Blue Period is inspired by the author’s personal experiences as a student at the Geidai College of Fine Arts. Throughout the work, technical explanations on drawing, examples from art history, and original creations that have been made by art students and former colleagues of Tsubasa. The very title of the manga, Blue Period, is a reference to Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period.
Is the Blue Period manga well-received?
The series has won several awards. After being nominated for the Manga Taisho Award in 2019, Blue Period won the award in 2020. The manga was also nominated for the 2019 Kōdansha Manga Award and won it in the general audience category in 2020. Also in 2020, Blue Period was nominated for the Osamu Tezuka Culture Award.
With the different people that Yatora gets to know on his way, Yamaguchi draws inspiration from a variety of situations, according to Der Tagesspiegel in its review: “There are a lot of stereotypes gathered here, which in their colorful diversity seem authentic.” The artist lets her “distorted -angular manga style, sometimes reduced to the bare essentials, incorporate art epochs and styles and, as a highlight, uses real works of art by artist colleagues and well-known masterpieces by famous painters the training of artists in Japan.”
Marianna Rainolter of NerdPool reviewed the first volume of the manga, finding that it presented the typical characteristics of the “shōnen making the art world” absolutely compelling and exciting. With spectacular designs and a very intriguing character design, the reader remained glued to his pages and wished to discover not only if Yonaga will succeed in achieving his goals but also the secrets and magic of the art world told with simplicity, almost seducing the reader himself to get closer in turn.
Eliana Cammarata of Playhero found that already the first introductory volume was able to deeply touch and excite. Despite a few points here and there that broke the reading, in general, Tsubasa Yamaguchi was very capable of catapulting the reader into the story. According to Cammarata, it was impossible not to empathize with Yatora and reflect on oneself and one’s choices and it was not necessary to be an art expert to be able to appreciate and understand the volume.
Alessio Micheloni of Everyeye.it affirmed that it was a really interesting and promising manga, set in the world of art of which he revealed, thanks to a story with a canonical structure that was developed in an impeccable way and a convincing protagonist, the numerous background details and the thousand difficulties experienced by those who wanted to establish themselves in this field.
Davide Landi of MangaForever paused on the fact that he had found in the first issue the replica of the typical narrative patterns, with the talented young man who was involved in a new activity that he thought he despised. He also noticed the different weight of talent and study, one of the themes of the story, where there was the evident reflection of an experience that the mangaka must have had too.
He praised the drawing style, which was bright and combined very expressive characters with reproductions of works made by other authors. Andrea Orlandi of Games Academy saw Blue Period as a fresh and sparkling work, which he kept on reading until the end of the volume.