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Orange

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3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  270 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Orange chafes at her parents' callousness, the banality of her girlfriends' ambitions, and the pressures of school. Orange's feelings vacillate between rage and emptiness--until she meets Dashu, whose mysterious presence just might give her something to live for.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by TokyoPop (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 437)
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Vicki
This graphic novel gets 5 stars for the artwork - the creator uses a fantastic painting style that is both beautiful to look at and quick enough to skim over, which makes the comic very readable (usually I would say I'm not a fan of full colour painted comics as the highly detailed artwork tends to adversely affect the pace of reading and enjoying the story).

Apart from the artwork tho, the plot of this comic couldn't get much more wishy-washy or teen-angsty. The main character is a teen girl who
...more
Amy Thorne
Okay I do not know how far down this book was in the list of results after searching for "Orange" but it was not in the first four pages, and only ONE of those listed was actually titled "Orange." WTF, Goodreads?

You might think I'm overreacting. I'm not. Because this comic is stunning. The art is expressive and intense and gorgeous. The narrative itself is loose--I know from experience that translation doesn't always capture the poetry of a work, although I have no way of knowing if that happene
...more
Jacki
The art in this book is phenomenally beautiful and is its one saving grace. The dialogue is either poorly written, poorly translated, or both. The plot is whisper-thin: Orange is a teenage girl who wants to jump off a building because life is lame and being a teen is hard. The author also makes it clear that Orange has a deep aversion to all things sexual, but gives no reason for including this detail and no background on why the character feels this way. Included as a sort of appendix are more ...more
Timothy
Aug 08, 2010 Timothy rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Your Face
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Greg Heath
I disagree with others in calling this a plotless art showcase. This is a quiet, haunting trip through a troubled girl's experience and, in my opinion, the fractured, sparse narrative and snail's pacing only serve to amplify the sense of longing and despair. The whole thing is dreamlike, surreal - as it should be. The revelation in her lover's suicide is purposefully skewed, enigmatic. We're not quite sure what she's learned in the end, but we're left with a sense of having been a witness to som ...more
paula
Has that elliptical, gappy quality I associate with a lot of translated work, and goes out of its way to describe feelings that Western readers by now find trite... the main character is a pretty, bright high school girl, popular, chased by boys, and yet she feels alone and in despair. I think it's kind of interesting that the book lovingly dwells on all that - it's clearly wish fulfillment on the part of the book's creator, who adds a ton of first-person essay stuff as back matter to the book. ...more
Crystal
Exquisitely depressing.
M
Japanese artist Benjamin puts together a haunting view of urban Japanese life with this novel. Rendered in gorgeous painted style, the book tracks the exploits of a young girl by the name of Orange. Ignoring the pop-culture, mind-numbing, youth culture embraced by her peers, Orange seeks a bigger reason for existence. She wonders why good grades are not enough for strict parents, and why boys want her body but not her soul. Depressed and alone, she encounters drunken oddball Dashu on the rooftop ...more
Jaden
I was familiar with Benjamin's art & usual storyline, so I wasn't really shocked when met with the huge difference between the colorful, joyous panels and the angsty-eventually-tragic plot.

Of course it all starts with Orange, who seems to be dissatisfied, even disgusted, with everything
and everyone. She decides that it's not worth living, so she writes a letter and prepares to jump off a roof. Then Daichi shows up, drunk, dirty, utterly haggard, and she changes her mind. It's really hard to
...more
Carlos Rioja
Esta obra «tan deprimente que le costó tres años encontrar editor» rezuma vida gracias a su explosiva humedad visual y su narrativa fragmentada y acelerada, que ofrece un retrato perfecto de la confusión y la tristeza de la juventud. Que no te engañe la portada anaranjada: es una historia azul, una extraña historia de amor… ¿A qué? ¿A la belleza? ¿A esos pedazos de realidad rotos por los que se cuela la esperanza de que hay alternativas a esta vida absurda y sofocante que no sentimos como propia ...more
Jessica
Appeal Characteristics: STRIKING ART, Gorgeous colors, suicide, depression, teenage, china, youth culture, issues, dreams, self-identity


A lot of people will have a hard time reading this book. Not because of the distraction of artwork due to it's FANTASTIC-NESS) and not in story layout...it's because the translated story is "hard" to follow...notice it's not impossible, just a bit difficult. Foreign works especially translated poetry works is hard in English...as sometimes the language barrier m
...more
Parka
Orange (Graphic Novel)
(More pictures at parkablogs.com)

It's really the artistic style that caught my eye. Every panel is painted, brush style which is tremendous effort, considering the artist Benjamin took 3 years to complete. Most probably on and off. While some panels are detailed, others are just painted with a broad brush. The colours are extremely posterized making the world look unreal — to me.

At the end of the book are a few pages of full page illustrations done in similar and different styles. I must admit
...more
Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian  http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/


Orange is a beautiful but ultimately hard to read contemporary stream of consciousness about a teen girl questioning her life. Written by Benjamin Zhang Bin (本杰明), a mainland Chinese Manhua artist and illustrator, this is a rare look at the lives of young Chinese in the city.

The illustrations are quite distinct, unique, and beautiful but with a very strong manhua/manga influence. They are full page and really carry the st
...more
Woods
5 stars for the AMAZING artwork; 1 star for the writing. The plot was nearly nonexistent; the characters severely underdeveloped. There was so much potential here! The premise of the story is quite intriguing, and Orange and Dashu could have been developed into such heartbreaking characters. Instead, the reader is left wishing she cared more about their fate and what brought them to it.
VampireAngelSadist
It makes me think of how useless our world is today. Even if we die, our lives are meaningless, a pitiful black stain on humanity. Sure our family and friends will remember us. But if we don't do anything worth remembrance, eventually they will forget too. They will die and forget and after that even they too will become a pitiful memory and be forgotten. We are only a microscopic part of this world. Without me this world would go on, no one would stop and cry for more than an instance, and some ...more
Laura
Amazing artwork - the artwork was what got me to pick this up in the first place. I didn't even read the blurb... and now that I've finished, I kind of wish I had just looked at the illustrations and not read the dialogue or descriptions. Terrible writing, beautiful art.
Rosa
Orange is tired of life. She feels like everything sucks and contemplates ending it all. The story is dark and serves as a reminder of how dark life can seem sometimes, how fragile life is and how the things we say and do affect others. It tells the story of someone surrounded by people can still feel totally alone and how we take risks to force ourselves to feel alive. The afterward by the author is a touching self evaluation of his own dealings with depression. The best part of this graphic no ...more
Rok
Although a three-star rating is high in my book, I did have to struggle through some of the pages of this graphic novel, since the 'story' element is very fragmented and sometimes leaves you questioning the motives of the character. I felt that the suffering adolescent girl struggling with teenage depression just wasn't real enough to fully make me root for her.

But what this novel lacks in tangibility of characters, more than compensates with the beauty of its imagery. The whole novel just lives
...more
Rae Borman
The artwork was gorgeous, but the story was incredibly depressing. Benjamin should be given credit for capturing the depths of this teenage girl's despair, but I just couldn't relate.
Jason
Melodramatic, over the top & cheesy. That being said I think I probably would've related to it back when I was a teenager!
Licha
This was hard to rate on a star basis. The author adds a note at the end of this graphic novel how he had a hard time getting this published due to its depressing subject. And depressing it is. The story was a bit too choppy for me to ever get to know the characters, why they were so depressed and suicidal, how they connected in the story.

This would get five stars if I were to rate it solely on the drawings. They were just gorgeous to look at. I found myself mesmerized at times at how beautiful
...more
Kate
I can't remember exactly why I picked this book up but I am pretty sure it came recommended to me. It is a beautiful book, I can't tell you how amazing the artwork is, Benjamin is very very very tallented. But the story was kind of strange. It is about a girl called Orange (I am pretty sure but I could be confused) who is considering killing herself when a strange man stops her from jumping off the roof. She begins to obsess over him and in the end (or the beginning, this is the first scene in t ...more
G (galen)
Manhua!!


ah_maz-ing artwork.

Benjamin (aka Bin Zhang aka Benjamin Zhang) is just, wow. Brilliantly colored in expressionist digital painterly-ness, it shimmered and stunned on every page.

I related quite a bit to Dashu's sense of empty loneliness and alienation, but the overall story arc didn't grab me. still very curious to get my hands on some of his other stories.

what *did* grab me was this edition's collection of Benjamin's writings at the end as he talked process, artist's life, stuff he is
...more
Fawndolyn Valentine
Phenomenal artwork, sub-par story, and passively translated.
narajaponesa
Open up this book to a page-- any page-- and be prepared to feel wind around you and to be taken back to your angsty teen days. The artwork breathes, the text is gorgeously translated, and you can feel the characters moving from one panel to the next. (The artist's use of light! My goodness!)

The only qualm I have with it is that it feels like it just kind of ended. I realize that life doesn't wait for resolution or closure, but I was under the impression that I still had many pages to enjoy befo
...more
Chris
5+ stars for the unique, stunning art; 3 stars at best for the writing. I'm guessing the language seems lyrically lacking because it's been translated, but it's a sketchy attempt at telling a story that is hard to follow. Still, perhaps that was the intent, since he's trying to capture the mood of an angsty, suicidal teenager drifting through life. Regardless, this one is worth reading just for the pictures. I keep finding myself distractedly staring at them instead of writing this review.
Arlene Allen
Actually the art in this story is five-star - this is some of the most beautiful, stunning artwork I've seen in a graphic novel. The story I did not like. I'm not sure I quite "got it." Her life was so bad - why? What was so awful? Just being a teen? Live a few more years and you'll get over it. (Literally.) I think maybe something was lost in translation.

I'm sad to see the demise of Tokyopop....so much a part of my life these past ten years.
Jay
Quite an incredibly sad story. I think most people won`t be able to relate to this story unless they`ve had at least a brush with the subject of suicide. I do not like sad stories that are too real, they tend to make me very uncomfortable and this is one of those stories. The artwork is different to what I`m used to, but it is very beautiful. Hopefully other stories by this amazing artist will be of a happier theme.
Stina
Sep 08, 2010 Stina rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Art lovers
I think the comments made that the art is amazing and the story sucks are being unfair. I agree that the story isn't a literrary masterpiece but who expects that? I certainly didn't because I knew that the art would be masterpiece after masterpiece - and as always Benjamin lives up to it (and then some). I spent soooo long admiring the artwork of this book!
It was a very quick read (and I'm a slow reader!)...
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