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Higashi moves to Osaka to be with friends who are also manga creators, and continues to passively neglect Sensei. A lifechanging event that has been hinted at for a couple of volumes looms much closer. Raw, painful, hilarious in inimitable Higashimura style. Can't wait for more! The story is generally good and informative (it's autobiographical and talks a lot about how manga is created). For me the most interesting character, by far, is the sensei, Hidaka Kenzou. He is drawn crisply and has an equally crisp character in the story.

The other characters are mostly frumpy and wishywashy as characters. Without Kenzou, the story would not be very good.

Volume 4 finished with a bang; I was ready to quit, but I will pick up and read the last volume, which is due out soon. I really love stories about creativity, especially memoirs! Akiko Higashimura's Blank Canvas is a really charming story about her journey to become a manga artist. What makes this series really stand out is her honest portrayal of her complicated relationship with her art teacher.

This particular volume sees the beginning of Akiko's creative career. While caught up in the excitement of achieving her dreams she begins to neglect other aspects of her life. The volume ends on a cliffhanger that has me both dreading and anticipating the concluding volume. Higashimura sensei delivers yet again. With warmth and wit she shows us her first steps into the world of Manga making.

One of the things I enjoy about her work is how she changes style to tell her story more effectively. For instance when talking about the differences between the Bouquet Magazine and Cookie Magazine, she changes her drawing style so you immediately get her point. Gosh, I love this series and her teacher! He’s hardcore, but he loves his students even more. ;; The way the author wants to go back in time and slap some sense into her younger self makes me laugh, and I definitely sympathize with her regrets. Like her, my art teacher wanted me to become a painter just like him, and I never wanted to disappoint him but my heart wasn’t in painting either. I see why she wanted to write this story so much now.

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