Our True Colors, review: the masks we wear every day

Our True Colors, review: the masks we wear every day

Our True Colors, review

Our True Colors is the latest masterpiece by master Gengoro Tagame, an icon of the LGBT world, aimed at an audience of all ages. Announced in February 2018 by publisher Futabasha in manga magazine Monthly Action, the manga was serialized starting March 24, 2018, and the final chapter was published in the magazine's July issue on May 25, 2020. The series was then collection in three volumes tankĊbon also published by Futabasha. It is a coffin, also known as Men’s Love, or a yaoi created by and for gay men and this is evident in the style of the drawing but also in the narrative itself. What is Our True Colors about? It tells the incredible journey of a boy who finds the courage to follow his heart and finally be himself, abandoning those masks he wears every day.

Our True Colors - Planet Manga, review “Love it is a self-centered feeling. What you feel for someone belongs only to you and the feelings of the other belong to him. Yet, when he falls in love, the other person is expected to reciprocate. Even if it is not a decision that belongs to us. "

Our True Colors: the colors of our feelings

Sora is a high school boy who hides a secret that for him is a source of insecurity and shame. He is gay and has known it for many years, since he realized that he is not attracted to girls, but only to his peers. But what Sora can't do is tell someone, not even his best friend. The boy is too frightened by the judgment of others, so much so that every day he wears a mask, which protects him from the comments and innocent chatter and without malice of his companions. A mask that he wears not only to school but also with his family. But Sora is secretly in love with a classmate of his and terrified by the very thought that he might find out. He cannot because he is also a boy and no one could ever accept a love between two males.

The only moment in which Sora feels free is when he draws, while inside him, the fear and fear of someone can unmask him suffocate him more every day. But when he has reached his limit, an unexpected encounter will save him, giving him the security necessary to accept himself as he is: a guy like many who simply fell in love.

Our True Colors - Planet Manga, review Thanks to Amamiya, an open gay elderly gentleman, Sora's daily life will begin to take on new colors and he will find the courage to come out first with his best friend and then with his parents.

The masks we wear pretending to be someone we are not

Through this wonderful story Gengoro Tagame paints a perfect picture of what it means to feel estranged from society, to wear every day a mask to hide one's self, a way to protect oneself from the judgments of loved ones, from family to friends. What does it mean to hide, to pretend every day to be someone who is not, suffocated by the thought of not being understood, of being estranged from the people you love? Sora knows this well. The author very well represents Sora's fear and anguish through drawings of great emotional impact, the use of a mask that appears to cover the boy's face every time someone talks about sensitive topics, which concern him first person, when his mother who, without any malice but only for the sake of the child, talks to him about the future, prepares him for his first time, mistakenly believing that the son has a girlfriend. All these words, even if spoken in good faith, hurt even more deeply. The blue sky that greets Sora cheerfully in the morning suddenly loses its brilliance as the boy is once again forced to lie. But how long can he go on? How long can a person pretend to be someone else? Sora would like to be able to say he is gay, he would like to declare himself to his classmate, but what would happen next?

Our True Colors - Planet Manga, review The chance to put the mask aside is given to him suddenly by an unexpected encounter with a middle-aged gentleman. This encounter completely changes Sora's life. Because Amamiya is also gay and he too has been wearing a mask all his life. Finally Sora no longer has to lie and finds a trusted partner even in his childhood friend Nao who, when he discovers his secret, does not run away, as Sora probably thought, but on the contrary, his friendship becomes even more important for the boy.

Two generations in comparison, two men who have always feared the judgment of others and wore a mask to protect both themselves and others. Two ways of living one's homosexuality in a Japan that still places severe limits on one's sexual identity. Amamiya himself, who now makes no secret of his homosexuality, in the course of his life made choices, probably wrong, but which helped him to protect himself, hiding behind an unbreakable glass, thanks to which no one could see his true me. The shame of being born gay that led him to believe he was a monster, an arranged marriage, a wife and two children, all to make himself and others believe that he was normal, that he could manage to integrate with society . The author outlines with strong and powerful words, energetic and allegorical drawings, the anxieties, fear and anguish of a homosexual person, be it a teenager, still too fragile and insecure to understand that what he feels is perfectly normal and that there is nothing more wrong than believing that you are different from others just because you have fallen in love with a person of the same sex, or with an adult who has lied to himself for too long, making choices that are certainly selfish but that they allowed to survive. It's easy to make a mask, but it takes courage to put it aside. It's never too late to be happy.

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