Meet the Urumas, a slightly dysfunctional family of four sorcerers. Mom, being the most powerful sorceress around, works away from home keeping the world safe. Dad picks up the slack and takes care of the family. Except when he’s out, which is when the older brother Jin finds himself in the unenviable position of keeping tabs on his sister Ran. And Ran, the youngest, is a willful girl with too much power and too little wisdom. Let’s take a look at Ran’s everyday misadventures, shall we?
Ran to Haiiro no Sekai or Gray And Wonder Around her/Ran and the Grey World, is a manga written and drawn by Irie Aki. The manga was first published in the Harta magazine in December 2008 and finished with 52 chapters in April 2015. It has 7 Volumes and is a Drama Fantasy, Romance, Supernatural and Seinen manga.
I really haven’t read such a magical manga in a long time. Magical not in the sense that the characters are using magic, and I’m also not exactly talking about the fantasy. The whole adventure, the characters and the illustrations turns this manga into a very magical experience. Ran to Haiiro no Sekai is a fantasy set in a real world and a coming-of-age story. As the name would suggest this manga is about Ran, a little girl who can transform into an adult. But she is not the only one who can use magic. The world is filled with sorcerers who are hidden in the human society. It’s a world where everything is possible and it’s interesting how the reader is never sure how exactly the magic works and what’s possible and what not. But this isn’t really a bad thing, as the setting is so believable that everything works.
Ran to Haiiro no Sekai is mainly focusing on Ran and how she spends her days. Be it at school or at home with her family. You could say that it’s a Slice of Life manga at certain chapters, but it also has more to offer. Be it the introduction of some shady characters or even enemies. For a manga like this I wouldn’t have expected fights but it works. That’s what I like so much about this manga. No matter what the mangaka decides to introduce it works. Even though it’s almost all over the place, the story and the characters are thrown in into a setting where nothing is impossible. The whole world feels like a world which was borrowed from a Fairy Tale. In one chapter you will learn more about Ran’s family and in the next chapter you will dive into an adults psychological problems. It offers an interesting insight into character’s emotions.
Both adults and kids are facing problematic situations where they have to deal with something for the first time. Everything is really fast paced, but not too fast. You have enough time to learn more about the characters. Nothing is dragging and it never gets boring. The fast pacing has a few downsides though. Sometimes it feels like a little bit more focus on certain events wouldn’t have been bad but this is not really something which hurts the manga. Ran’s emotional development is the most interesting part in this manga and Irie Aki does a great job at portraying her emotions.
You can tell how Ran is slowly changing the more you read and the development is handled carefully. Besides Ran there are a lot of other interesting characters. Be it her parents who have a hard time to be the parents they wish to be as they have to deal with a lot of problems, or her brother who can turn into a wolf with an interesting backstory. Something which is very difficult for manga’s to create, is a good atmosphere. While reading something I want to be drawn into it. I want to have this feeling that everything around me doesn’t exist anymore as I got sucked into this world.
The atmosphere of this manga managed to do that. I was completely into this world and I felt like I knew the characters for a long time. It’s a really good feeling and one of the biggest reasons for that was the gorgoeus artstyle.
The first time I heard about this manga was when I saw a picture together with a character from Otoyomegatari. Otoyomegatari is also a manga which has one of the most impressive illustrations, and when I saw the character from this manga I thought I should give this a try. And Irie Aki doesn’t really have to hide from Otoyomegatari as her art is just as great. Of course in a very different way. This is the type of manga where I wished that I could buy the volumes as the attention for details for each panel is incredible. I’m someone who really enjoys to analyse a single panel and be impressed by how much effort they put into it. I love to see the love and dedication someone spends into their illustration. It never feels lazy which is very important in order to create the atmosphere you are aiming for. And Ran to Haiiro no Sekai is sparkling. That’s pretty much how you can sum it up.
Everything is sparkling, it has charme and grace. You probably have seen sparkles in some Shoujo manga’s, but the way Ran to Haiiro no Sekai is using it is different. It has a certain modern touch to it and the sparkling is used in a very effective way where you can’t put your eyes away from the panel. This is a very good effect as the characters are reacting in the same way. So if a character is impressed by the beautiful human standing in front of them, so are the readers. But even aside from the sparkles, the character designs are really unique and I’m really in love at how the bodies are drawn. Be it male or female. And this combined with the background creates a very ravishing impression. Easily one of the best manga’s in terms of the art style.
So what’s left so say ? Just dive in into this adventure and by the time you are finished, you’ll be happy that you started reading this. I’m pretty sure.