And so ends Kim Dong Hwa’s Color series with the Color of Heaven. The series proves itself to be a classic Shakespearean Comedy despite the fact that it is not an Elizabethan play. That means that it ends on a positive note with a wedding of a couple that has been separated. We begin with Duksam having to leave the village after the events in the last book. Now Ehwa must, like her mother, wait patiently for the man she loves to return to her. It is also her mother’s turn to support her daughter. But all is well that ends well. Ehwa resolves any lingering feelings she has for past loves before her wedding and we end with a consummation scene that is mostly symbolic but does not shy away from being tastefully graphic. Overall the series has been consistently solid. The Color trilogy has maintained its highbrow feel while still having a graceful humanity. With its relatively short but substantial length and its more mature narrative the Color series is a manhwa to show to people who might not necessarily give your standard manga a chance.
The beginning of The Color of Heaven starts very somberly as Ehwa is separated from Duksam and knows not when he will return. The first two book build up to this point of falling truly in love, so the third has a lot of quiet moments of introspection and realization. Also about half of the book involves waiting and waiting. However, that isn’t to say it is boring, much to the credit of the author, the growth between mother and daughter is subtle and beautiful. Ehwa’s mother is a woman who knows through maturity the power of longing and waiting and she imparts many important lessons on Ehwa in this final volume. In fact, much of this concluding story seems to be as much about her mother as it is about Ehwa. But perhaps even more telling is Ehwa’s ability to understand these lessons while still maintaining a hint of her naivete when it comes to the relationships between man and woman unlike her moments in the first two book. What becomes increasingly obvious through various conversations with her friend and mother is Ehwa’s ability to emotionally understand herself and her love but not to physically understand the relationships between the sexes. The finally moments of the book play out between Ehwa and Duksam while being interspersed with her mother and the picture man and also a set of neighbors. And you feel her education while not complete has finally gotten to a new plateau. The Color series has been both artistically unique and calmly enthralling and as such is a series that needs to be read and experienced.