Nijiiro Days follows the daily lives of four high school boys: the hopeless romantic Natsuki Hashiba, the sadist Keiichi Katakura, the playboy Tomoya Matsunaga, and the smart otaku Tsuyoshi Naoe. Even while constantly struggling in their studies, they spend their days goofing around and having romantic misadventures.
On Christmas Eve, however, Natsuki is dumped by his girlfriend. While crying alone, he receives a pack of tissues from a girl wearing a Santa Claus costume, and, in return, gives her the scarf originally meant for his ex-girlfriend. As the holidays end and Natsuki returns to school, he finds out that the girl is named Anna Kobayakawa—who luckily goes to the same school as him! Having fallen in love with Anna, Natsuki aims to get closer to her, despite his friends interfering with his plans.
[Written by MAL Rewrite]
Volume 1: Aru Toshi to Sorekara no Watashitachi
Volume 5: Shinbun-bu no Yoriko-kun
What high school boys do and talk about in school is truly rainbow-colored. From holiday plans to relationship breakups, then escalating to sexual preferences; Nijiiro Days (Rainbow-Colored Days) delivers this naturally through the daily lives of four high school boys.
The true value of this manga, in my personal opinion, lies very deeply in the characters itself rather than on the story (I will explain later down). Unlike many other mangas out there, Nijiiro Days juggles romance and comedy equally from a glance, but I would say it is dependent on which character is the focus. If you're looking for something relaxing and casual,
then this pot of gold will certainly shine brightly in your eyes.
Going down the categories:
When you deconstruct this manga by its categories, there are mountains of other mangas out there that will certainly outclass Nijiiro Days in terms of story. To put it short, Nijiiro Days has a very typical storyline; Four high school boys, things happen around their everyday school life, sounds pretty standard and nothing too fancy. It could be said that the story development is slow but I'd say its a positive aspect because it doesn't force the story to become unnaturally paced.
The characters in Nijiiro Days are what makes the manga shine through the others in the same category. Each character has their own personality and trait, different preferences and desires. The chemistry that comes out when these are mixed in with a healthy high schooler friendship is well, a heap of unexpected surprises. As the story progresses, the characters further develop as many of the chapters specifically focus on one character rather than the whole group. These characters are all likable by their distinctive trait and even the side characters are developed deep enough to be recognized.
Art styles used are very clean and distinct. It is pleasant to look at for long durations and facial expressions are conveyed brilliantly. Occasionally the style changes a bit according to the atmosphere of the story.
At first, I took a plunge into darkness, judged this book by its cover and bought it from Kinokuniya (The front cover was designed well and the texture was smooth compared to other mangas). I read the first page and didn't stop reading it until I reached the end. I was so captivated by the characters that I went to preorder the remaining volumes that were released and read all that within a day. I strongly do recommend this manga, the characters and comedy that it offers is just spectacular. Overall it is very enjoyable, pure and refreshing.
The manga is labeled as a shoujo, but it definitely doesn't feel like one. 99% of the shoujos today are drama-heavy, but not Nijiiro Days.
Nijiiro days is a nice lighthearted & romantic story about 4 friends. Each being completely different in personality, yet their interactions are so natural and friendly.
The story follows their friendship as well as their love lives, with Natsuki's being the most prominent.
It's nothing new, but that's what makes it so perfect. We don't need a shoujo manga trying to be creative by thinking up a new way to create drama. Romance may be like that in real
life, but we already got plenty of those stories, so why can't we just have a nice refreshing story about the positives of love and friendship rather than the negatives?
There may be some drama here and there, but it’s always short-lived. You might even forget that there was drama in the first place because of how sweet the manga is.
Nijiiro days is just a simple yet heart-warming story about friendship and love without all of the unnecessary drama.
The art is good, but in shoujo standards, it’s freaking amazing. Unlike most shoujo manga, the female protagonist’s eyes aren’t drawn to be as circular as possible. The men are handsome and the women are beautiful. You could probably even pass this off as a shounen. The art is so good, you barely see a trace of shoujo.
The 4 main male characters are portrayed in a way that each of them are supposed to be the different kind of guys, we tend to see as protagonists.
Our first character is Natsuki, he’s actually quite the opposite of the shoujo protagonists, we see today. Instead of being a narcissistic douche-bag, he’s a kind and naive boy with a maiden’s heart. Put a wig on him and bam, he’s your run of the mill shoujo female lead. He’s much more adorable and less irritable though.
Next, we got his 3 best friends, Tsuyoshi Naoe a.k.a Tsuyo-pon, Keiichi Katakura, & Tomoya Matsunaga.
Tsuyo-pun is an intelligent otaku with a frank personality. Despite being an otaku, he doesn’t look dorky and he gives off a cool vibe not a creepy nerdy vibe. At times, he serves as comic relief as he can never sense the atmosphere.
Keiichi, like Natsuki, is just looking for someone to love. Sadly for him, not many girls wanna date a sadist. His sadism is more of a hobby rather than a personality issue. He’s not sadistic 24/7, only when he’s role-playing with the girl he likes. With that being said, he’s really a good kid that just has a common fetish.
The last friend is Tomoya Matsunaga, a handsome playboy. I tend to hate characters like him, but he’s different. He may be a playboy, but he truly is a nice guy. Not to mention, out of all the characters, I’d say Matsunaga has gone through the most character development. Early on, he already starts seeing past his play boy ways and develops a genuine affection for someone. Now, we see Matsunaga only trying to get closer to that girl.
As for the female side, we got Anna Kobayakawa as our main female protagonist. This girl is a goddess. She doesn’t act like a typical shoujo female lead. She’s not boy crazy nor is she a drama queen. She’s just a sweet and caring girl who wants nothing more than to get along with everyone. Her only drawback is, she’s a bit dense. But worry not! There is actual romantic progression within the first 30 chapters, you’ll just have to be patient.
Her best friend, on the other hand, is arguably one of the worst parts of the story. Tsutsui Mari hates boys and doesn’t want any guy getting close to Anna because she has a love for her that she deems as beyond friendship. These characters always scream “annoying” and unfortunately, Mari isn’t an exception. You could say she’s part of the reason for slow romantic development. She really has nothing better to do than cock-block Natsuki and cling to Anna. Thanks to the other characters though, she’s slowly becoming less and less of an insufferable person. I can tell that eventually she’ll grow to be a likable person, we’ll just have to wait for the guys to break more and more of her shell.
The rest of the cast is likable too. They’re all cute in their own way. We got Tsuyo-pon’s cosplay loving girlfriend, Yukiko Asai, and Keiichi’s older brother who is a teacher and happens to be just as sadistic as Keiichi. I’m sure as time goes on, we will be introduced to even more characters we can come to love.
Are you perhaps depressed due to a previous manga or just looking for a manga to fill up the hole in your heart? If so, then I prescribe you Nijiiro Days as a remedy. Nijiiro Days is a ray of sunshine in a field of exaggerated drama, angsty female leads, and arrogant male leads. This manga will not fail to put a smile on your face and leave you all fuzzy and warm inside.