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Murasakiiro no Qualia   
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Associated Names
Purple Qualia
Qualia the Purple

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.3 c.17-18 by /a/nonymous over 8 years ago
c.13 by Tenko over 10 years ago
c.12 by Tenko over 10 years ago
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in Country of Origin
3 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 8.3 / 10.0 (267 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.1 / 10.0

Last Updated
June 12th 2023, 1:07pm



Category Recommendations





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Serialized In (magazine)
Comic Dengeki Daioh (ASCII Media Works)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Seven Seas (1 Omnibus - Completed)

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It has some fun ideas  
by Confucius Rex
November 2nd, 2023, 1:04am
Rating: 6.0  / 10.0
When I saw Qualia the Purple for sale in English at the store I was shocked. I would have chalked that up as one for the scanlation obscurity pile. But Seven Seas seems to have access to my read log, because this keeps happening with them. My second reaction was “Would I really want to buy this?” I originally read this as the scans were coming out and according to this site, that was 8 years ago. My uncertainty was owing to a recollection that it was enjoyable but not necessarily a keeper. I left it. I returned to the store a week later and gave in. Over all those years, I had never forgotten it. Surely that was some indication that it was worth picking up.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Now was that the correct decision? Well, if you gave my rating a glace you might find it a bit ambiguous based on that alone, so that’s why I’m trying to write a somewhat comprehensive review of this. We’ll start with my first recollection though. Was it enjoyable? Yes, I do find this holds up in terms of providing an entertaining read. The concept of our protagonist Gaku gaining, learning, and gradually mastering the quantum arts and using them to resolve a very specific issue is captivating even if not completely sound narratively. Parallel universes are hardly an uncommon setting for soft sci-fi, but this approach to them feels novel – though forgive my ignorance if there are any predecessors. The work that seems most obviously related is Everything Everywhere All At Once as there are a number of similarities in terms of how the parallel universes affect one another. I wouldn’t be shocked to discover that The Daniels were aware of Qualia the Purple, but clearly the way these works operate narratively is quite distinct.

Regardless, watching Gaku attempt to unravel the mystery of Yukari’s death via increasingly strange, off-beat, violent, and physics-defying methods is quite entertaining. All the barriers of normal life have been eliminated, and now Gaku is trying to brute-force a solution like me trying to figure out an inconvenient sliding-block puzzle which is preventing me from advancing in a video game. An easy complaint to make would be that the actual science aspect of this plot is pretty hare-brained. True, this is ultimately pop-quantum mechanics, but, by-and-large, the story does a fairly decent job of establishing the implications of it on the story and progressing upon that establishment. The only irritating handwave – when Gaku identifies a version of her younger self who could do magic (certainly there could be a more quantum-y explanation for that) – is pretty much forgiven by being the prelude to the story’s most hilariously unhinged chapter.

The art is another appealing aspect. Tsunashima’s style certainly belongs to a more traditionally shonen work, and that is what helps heighten in severity the gradual shift in tone from school-age nostalgia to reality-bending lunacy. In particular I appreciate how lithe everything seems and his use of contrast. His blacks are no more black than any other artists’, but his shapes make them feel like the ink is thick and wet on the page. Maybe I could quibble with some of his more abstract screen-tone choices, but that’s just searching for problems at that point. Even when the story moves into the pop-quantum exposition, he can detail frames with cute, digestible renditions of what is being discussed. Up to a point.

That point is where some of the issues arise. Qualia the Purple is based on a novel (originally a short story) by Ueo Hisamitsu. I don’t see any other writing credits either here nor in my paperback copy, so I will assume he wrote this adaptation as well. One other assumption that anyone could safely make after reading the Qualia the Purple manga is that Ueo Hiramitsu is not a manga writer. This appears to be his only credit as such, and it is very clear why. Very little meaningful consideration is made for the artist in this story. Gaku is not simply the protagonist, she is also the narrator. That is not normally an issue, but Gaku’s journey here is not a travelogue. It at many times becomes incredibly introspective, speculative, and eventually very tenuously linked to any kind of conceivable reality. As we enter the second-half Tsunashima quite understandably begins running out of ideas. He is given nothing to work with. He attempts to fill pages with vaguely representative abstractions of what is being monologued about for multiple pages. Panels are chopped up almost randomly. Fully black panels with text boxes are sometimes cynically used by an artist who is already overloaded with doing more important drawings elsewhere, but here they are used by an artist who is justifiably throwing up their hands as they read through a manuscript. I could imagine this story working as a manga, but you need someone more versed in telling a visual story to write it.

Alright, so it doesn’t work very well as a manga. But since the story takes primacy, it must make up for it, right? Look, I already said I was entertained. If that’s the only thing you’re interested it then go for it. I’m going to turn this thing over and shake out the crumbs, so if that seems boring to you then by all means stop reading.

The common distinction between hard and soft science fiction is the realism of it. Speaking broadly hard sci-fi is dedicated to keeping the technology grounded in, well, actual science and the technology that will come with it. Soft sci-fi thinks science is cool and all, but it isn’t going to let it get in the way of a good story. Some would debate the merits of both, but I don’t find that important. Rather what is interesting is what each is intended to do narratively. Hard sci-fi’s purpose is more to examine how technological advancement will change and alter human behavior as it has for all of human history. Soft sci-fi’s purpose is more to use scientific concepts to serve as allegory for human behavior. Obviously, these aren’t strict rules by any means, but I will be humble enough to make this broad pronouncement.

Qualia the Purple falls pretty clearly into the soft sci-fi camp. Even at that, it meditates extensively on philosophy as well. In that case, what is this story an allegory for? If you take the story’s word for it – I don’t want to seem too dismissive or reductive – it seems to be the “power of friendship.” That, frankly, doesn’t track. Other reviewers note that Gaku’s actions go far, far beyond what someone would reasonably do for a friend they’ve only known for a year. Now that criticism in and of itself is reductive. Yukari saved Gaku’s life, altered it in a way that defies any logical sense, and Gaku discovers an amoral conspiracy that kills her as well. Gaku’s escalating inhumanity and progression into greater understanding of her capabilities propel the narrative in a, at the very least, sensible manner to me. Where the disconnect in Qualia the Purple purpose lies is that there is a distinct clear allegory in this story and the writer doesn’t know what it is.

The disconnect is clear somewhat early on. At one point shortly following Yukari’s death, Gaku flashes forward through some 15 to 20 years where she simply moves on with her life. Gaku has a choice for normalcy. That is the hinge of the rest of the narrative. It demonstrates that Gaku does not have to be defined by Yukari or the cell phone embedded in her hand. The manga then proceeds to tell a story where Gaku becomes defined entirely by Yukari and the cell phone embedded in her hand. It’s a comparatively small narrative bit compared to the whole, but it is enough that it punctures the tension. Gaku chooses her inhumanity. That by itself could be interesting, but if that was all there was to it why is Gaku never at any point satisfied? Before she discovers she can move backwards in time, she exacts every conceivable form of justice on those who she believes have done wrong. But it isn’t enough. That isn’t just the power of friendship or love at work.

The actual theme of Qualia the Purple is that of grief and trauma. Gaku, to put it digestibly, is trapped in an endless loop of the first 4 stages of grief and cannot find acceptance. That’s why the montage of a happy, well-adjusted Gaku who fondly cherishes her memories of Yukari muddles the waters to the degree it does. Gaku’s description of Yukari’s inevitable death regardless of how she changes the past is regarded as “fate.” Gaku however is trapped in the vicious circle that anyone familiar with trauma can recognize. She is endlessly reliving it. She is attempting to rationalize it. She is imagining that there is something she can do to change it.

This reading of it feels potent, but here’s the rub. Does Gaku every truly come across as traumatized? At the beginning sure, I’ll agree completely. But eventually Gaku’s predicament feels unmoored from grounded, relatable emotion. The Gaku-plex cooly regards the plot as a very complicated puzzle that they are intent on solving. We’ve already seen that Gaku can simply move on with her life. Gaku is visiting tremendous harm on everyone including Yukari out what is essentially intellectual fascination, not emotional investment as the manga tries to position it as. While the results of this are entertaining, they are hollow. Gaku’s growing inhumanity should feel slightly off-putting, I agree with that. From the perspective of the narrative though, nothing is left to show us what humanity looks like. Everything outside the Gaku-plex is just snippets and vignettes. Tenjou, the only character who could hope to understand Gaku and craft a meaningful, humane resistance to her methods, practically disappears from the narrative, because she, like the rest of humanity, is now just another variable to be accounted for.

That brings us to Alice who serves as Gaku’s “love interest.” Alice provides us with the last sense of Gaku as a human of meaningful emotion and relatable interiority when Gaku gets a call from another Gaku who has realized she has fallen in love with Alice. Gaku is clearly caught off guard and flustered by the awkwardness of being come out to by herself. That’s essentially the last bit of personality Gaku has, as even the prospect of being in love is seized upon by Gaku as a tool for her myopic goal. Alice serves as bookends for Gaku’s predicament. She provides the two keys Gaku requires: the idea that she is a nobody and the skills to render the equation for the theory for everything. For that she is abused, manipulated, and honed by Gaku into a tool.

Gaku achieves Godhood through self-abnegation. I won’t go into the details. The point is that Yukari now survives, because Gaku now observes the entirety of creation. What this means thematically, I don’t know. It just comes across as some hocus pocus. The point is Yukari is understandably disturbed that her friend is also God and has been waiting billions of years for her. She has some good points about how inappropriate all this is, but it is through her compassion alone that Gaku is returned to being human. In this new universe Gaku created, Yukari lives. Thanks to friendship, I think.

Gaku still vaguely recalls the experience which is reasonable considering she had billions of years of memories compressed into a single human mind. But, vexingly, she seems essentially the same person. What did Gaku learn? I don’t know. She was already a good friend in the beginning by my estimates, so learning the power of friendship isn’t much of a moral. She isn’t remotely disturbed by all the things she did. She still witnessed Yukari get killed countless times. It’s a happy ending, but to what end? The quantum puzzle was solved? I did not get invested in these characters because I wanted a quantum puzzle solved. But what I get is a character pushing to the edge of human comprehension and coming back with the same kind of satisfaction as solving a Rubik’s Cube. It’s as if Dr. Bowman in 2001: A Space Odyssey, instead of becoming the Star Child, simply returned the Earth normally, shrugged his shoulders, and went back to work.

For something where the concept is so fresh and has stuck in my head for a long time, Qualia the Purple’s point is ultimately elusive which frustrates the reading of it. The meaningful, tragic nature of this story is explored, not as the substantial inquiry into the nature of reality and our comprehension of it as it aspires to be, but merely as a curious black box to shake about until a conclusion is dislodged and falls out.

... Last updated on November 2nd, 2023, 1:08am
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by MLGSwag
March 23rd, 2023, 8:24pm
Rating: 7.0  / 10.0
I wished they showed the abuse in chapter 11

Overall, really cool, but the amount of details about science and shit just made my head spin

What i really liked was how the femc
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
was good, but then went down the descent of madness all in order to save her friend lol

... Last updated on March 23rd, 2023, 8:43pm
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This is crap, the manga equivalent of Interstellar  
by Yu666
February 17th, 2021, 4:20pm
Rating: 5.0  / 10.0
It started with a truly intersting premise and worked on it for a bit. However, rather than explore it further increasingly dumber misinterpretations of science are thrown at us at an ever increasing pace until the bizzarre ending.

Probably 80% of the "sci-fi" theories are carp if you actually know a bit about quantum mechanics.

Ignoring the "hard sceince" aspect, logically and emotionally the story strangles itself in contrived nonsense to reach the conclusion that "Friendship is important and it is about depending on each other" or something similar. This is beyond ridiculous in the context of what happened in the story.

To avoid spoilers, I will attempt to give an equally stupid scenario. Think about someone intentionally starting WWIII and causing the end of humanity to avoid a homework assignment. It is that dumb.

Just me ranting, heavy spoilers ahead :
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
1. What kind of a person would suffer the things the MC did for any reason not to mention a "friend" they have known for like a year ? She completely abandoned her own parents and actually experienced lives where she had long term lovers, children and so on. All who she abandoned and for what ? Random friend A ?

2. She just waited for 13 billion years and didn't go insane ? Really ?

3. It is of course ridiculous that Yukari kept dying no matter what. If we assume it is something about "every memeber of humanity needing Yukari to die for no apparent reason", the end result of the story is of course that Yukari will die. Nothing actually changed. Supposedly humanity still needs Yukari to die. If anything, it would have made more sense for the message of the story to be "Death is coming for everyone, enjoy the road" or something. At least if she warned Yukari someone is going to kill her in the future, Yukari could use her OP abilities to protect herself. She probably could fix humanity or something.

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This manga was amazing, all these nitpicky reviews just kill me  
by cursedGalatea
August 24th, 2020, 6:11am
Rating: 10.0  / 10.0
This is a crime that I cannot purchase this in English. I love it so much.
It does not need to be a dozen volumes long.
It does not have too much science.
It is not just a stupid romance story.
The ending does NOT undo everything that occurred. IT IS THE CULMINATION OF IT.
It is the journey of a single character to find her self and realize her place with the people she loves. By their sides holding their hands, not controlling them on a leash. Because you can never perceive something exactly the way someone else does, but you can still share your love with them.
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personal enjoyed the mind f@ck  
by sinxer
June 16th, 2018, 10:30pm
Rating: 8.4  / 10.0
personally I really enjoyed this and how the mc's initial guilt and powers cause her to sort of devolve/distort her self over and over, so in that regard its a lot like madoka. It does get a little to "sciencey" in the middle there but I didn't mind that to much cause you can still kinda follow her reasoning for the most part then it gets shot down which is hilarious. I only have one issue and it still bugs me.......the models how and why?
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Could be better  
by pierzing
February 12th, 2018, 2:06pm
Rating: 6.0  / 10.0
There are leaps of logic regarding the plot story. I still finished this manga because I liked the science theory bits in the story. I'd recommend this manga if you like sciencey things.
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More stressful then enjoyable  
by akaikaze
June 17th, 2016, 10:00pm
Rating: 5.0  / 10.0
I'm gonna have to be in the minority, saying this was more a stressful read than an enjoyable one. I'm no stranger to "deeper than initial premise" stories. In fact, I enjoy them... when they are done well. Murasakiira no Qualia tried too many things and as a result, told a lackluster story. The premise is as follows, "The main character Hatou Manabu is an easy going person and highschool student. She has a very eccentric classmate named Marii Yukari who claims to see people as robots". Yeah..... that's really out there. The biggest hurdle to even attempt to read this series is not even that. You have to go through chapters of info-dumping of scientific theories and concepts and piece together how they relate to the plot. And you'll be going though this all throughout the story. Never once does the story ever give the reader time to process this information. A major problem is it gives actual intellectual theories, but it doesn't deliver them smartly. It will just suddenly go right into the thick of it, expecting the reader to follow along.

Next is the characters, specifically the leads Hatou and Yukari. The story mostly focuses on Hatou and her thoughts and processes. The story is told completely from her perspective, going through the story through her thought process alone. Hatou goes through many changes throughout the story. The major transition is a bit over the halfway point, after a major incident. Where she starts out as a average character before this point with the traditional MC easy acceptance for the strange, her character becomes more divisive and one dimensional. Through her struggles, she's supposed to come more as a complex character, but it becomes the opposite where she becomes actually very simple striving toward a single goal.

Yukari, the heroine, serves more as a plot device than an actual character. She starts the plot in motion by coming into contact with the MC, seeing something she doesn't usually see in her specifically, and then, kicks the plot in high gear, by saving the MC's life after an incident, which inadvertently gave the MC her powers.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Her death is what triggers the MC to use these powers to first find answers to her death, and then save her. However, there's no reason or emotional attachment to ever get behind Hatou. Throughout the story, I was wondering why Hatou goes though what she does to such extent, other than unhealthy obsession. Yes, they became friends, but it was only for a short while. Also, the audience hears more about scientific theory than seeing how their friendship develops. The story doesn't give the reader much time to connect with the characters, nor does it flesh out the friendship between the two mains to substantiate the protagonist's hard dying steadfastness to her goal. Hatou's easy acceptance to having her cellphone in her arm actually cheapens the relationship between her and the heroine. Yukari seeing her as a "Super Robot with great adaptability" is a plot point designed to justify why there's no conflict, resulting in their friendship being bland, hollow and unrealistic. Conflict can make or break any relationship, and in storytelling, not always the best way to define character relationships but it's a common way to give it substance and make it stand out.

Hatou's powers don't make any logical sense, and more for plot convenience sake. You're more drawn to this conclusion the further you read. First, it starts out as simple communication with herself from parallel worlds, and their experiences are shared. The narrative (through Hatou) states limitations, but down the road, those limitations no longer matter, as the MC has found a way to work around them. Eventually, new powers are added as plot demands it using a scientific theory to justify how it's possible. "MC can do these things just because she can, accept it" is essentially what it comes down to.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
What her powers evolve to essentially allows her to do multiple repeats transferring her conscious to a previous time or even parallel world, and perceive other realities and using the former ability jump to it. The story practically abuses "I think, therefore it is" to explain the ridiculous and mind-boggling events to occur in the second half that seem to only occur simply because Hatou thinks it could exist.

Lastly, the story forces a happy ending on you. In the end, the entire second half gets hand waved like it was dream, and the status quo essentially returns, with a implied brighter hope for the future.

Overall, I did not enjoy this. It had a very clever idea with an actual plot point of storytelling, leaning on the fourth wall, when the MC at certain points ponders this in regards to her own life.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Near the end, she essentially becomes the writer of the story itself, but again status quo at the end means she was back to normal by the end.

However, the rest falls really flat. I couldn't feel anything for the leads; the protagonist became unlikable in the second half. The scientific concepts are thrown at your face with loads of info dump. While trying to teach the reader, it comes off as more pretentious.

... Last updated on October 1st, 2016, 6:46pm
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Surprisingly entertaining  
by bionioncle
August 10th, 2015, 11:04am
Rating: 8.5  / 10.0
If you can finish chap 11 then you can't stop but keep reading this manga regardless of whether you have any idea or knowledge about science or not.

This manga is boring until it start turn out to be interesting at chap 7 but then still, its true nature wasn't showed until chap 11. To be honest, most of this manga is monologue of MC and there's no interesting point in the way MC tell the story. Additionaly, the mysteries isn't solved or explained though they is suppose to be solve as they are just plot device. So, what make this manga good? The thing is that how random and weird the story go on, At first is just something even you can think of but then it's thing you can't predict like
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
MC become her own mother and father and every classmates or MC become mahou shoujo
. At this point, you can't help but laugh for whatever it'll turn out to be. Surprisingly, the randomness in the story which is suppose to be dramatic and serious make you not even care about the plot anymore and you will keep reading to find out how fun it'll turn out.

To sum up, forget about drama, the shoujo-ai friendship, the yandere character, the bunch of science (seriously, I don't even give a shit about what is explained even though I know a bit about possibility of finding particle in Quantum Physic). What make me give this manga high rating is because how it entertains me by its randomness, not drama, science, twisted plot or shoujo-ai. This make me recall of Madoka but I think in term of trying to save someone, this manga is better though I originally don't like Madoka.

... Last updated on August 11th, 2015, 12:06am
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One crazy ride.  
by theone06
May 21st, 2015, 9:54pm
Rating: 8.0  / 10.0
Murasakiiro no Qualia is one interesting manga, it starts out with a SoL/shoujo ai feel, but with in a space of a few chapters transform into hardcore sci-fi (I'm not kidding, there is literally a page warning you that things are about to get real "cray-cray") so if your physics/metaphysics is rusty, keep Wikipedia open in another tab.
The story's premise itself is deceptively simple (i.e save the girl). The agonizing and sometimes ridiculous lengths to which the main character goes to do this is what makes this story so unique.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
She goes from being a normal girl to becoming a god-like existence and everything and everyone else (yes you read that right) in between all for the sake of her obsession with saving Yukari.

It gets pretty dark.
At times the science/philosophy gets so much focus that it seems the mangaka and by extension Hatou forgot all about saving Yukari, but it wraps up rather nicely (I think so anyway) if not neatly in the final chapters and epilogue.
Overall I think this one is well worth a read, not because of scientific accuracy but because it is entertaining AND scientifically accurate. No doubt this won't be for everyone, but those who get past chapter 10 page 1 are in for a satisfying journey down this rabbit hole of a story.

... Last updated on May 21st, 2015, 10:07pm
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I have the same complaint about this that I had about Stein's;Gate  
by calstine
April 10th, 2015, 10:02am
Rating: 8.5  / 10.0
And that is: despite the brilliance of the plot, the intricacy and accuracy of the science, and the exciting pacing of events, the actual solution was so simple, and scope of the hero's quest (ie: saving their love interest) so tiny, that instead of admiring the mangaka's ingenuity, all I came away thinking was: "Such brilliance, wasted on such a boring goal!" I mean, why, really, should I care about someone's quest to save their love at the cost of everything and everyone else? What does it matter to me, the reader, whether s/he succeeds and lives HEA, or fails and is miserable for a couple of years before s/he meets someone else? No manga where the MC's primary motivation is love has ever managed to answer this question satisfactorily, and Murasakiiro no Qualia, despite being so delightfully philosophical, was no exception.

My personal issues aside, here's something that concerns the readership as a whole: Manabu and Yukari barely know each other; they're nothing more than very amiable (but not too emotionally involved) friends right up until the moment the plot starts rolling, and I can't fathom where Manabu's obsessive love that caused her to give up everything just for Yukari's sake came from. Most people wouldn't do this even for their long-term spouse and kids, let alone for a sort-of girlfriend they'd known for all of two months. Which wouldn't have been noticeable if Murasakiiro no Qualia were just another dumb romance story, but when the rest of the psychology behind the characters' personalities and mindsets is so chillingly realistic, the fact that such abnormal behaviour is central to the plot sticks out like a sore thumb. (In that sense Stein's;Gate was much better, since the three main characters had enough history between them to make their all-consuming devotion plausible)

Still, those are the only flaws I could find -- which is excellent, as they're just minor quibbles. I won't elaborate on its many good points because the other comments have already covered that, but I will say that Qualia is a must-read for any GL fan, since you'll never find another shoujo-ai or yuri even half as intelligent as this one.

... Last updated on April 11th, 2015, 12:07am
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