Sook Kim – Central Park Media – 2004 – 3 volumes
This was the last item I obtained from last spring’s Right Stuf bargain bin sale. Obviously I was super-excited about this one since it took me a year to read. My hesitance wasn’t terribly misplaced since it wasn’t very good, but at the very least, it did seem to be a male-oriented manhwa, something I’ve been wanting to read more of, so I got a little taste of that.
I’m not entirely sure that it was meant to be a male-oriented Korean comic, and the only reason I think it was is that it read exactly like a Korean version of Boys Be…, with mostly male protagonists having comic woman troubles. They were the types of stories that are more comedic than they are romantic and can be enjoyed by both genders, so I’m not sure. It was pretty neutral. But all the same, if you’ve read Boys Be, you know what you’re in for here.
This volume was four short stories that went through a variety of situations. The first was about a boy obsessed with getting his first kiss, but also battling with a mouth full of rotting teeth he was afraid to get fixed. This one was my favorite of the stories and got the volume started off on the right foot, and I like the silliness and single-mindedness of the main character. Dental hygene is also a topic you don’t see come up frequently.
The second story, and the rest of the volume, were more typical teen romantic comedy-type stories. The second story involved a shy couple taking advice on how to be hard to get to increase their relationship (with terrible results), the third was about a stray high school student finding a job at a cafe and helping the unattractive owner work up the courage to talk to the beautiful woman who always requests hot lemonade, and the fourth wasn’t a romance at all until the end and was also the only story in the volume that reused characters (the beautiful woman and the high schooler from the “Hot Lemonade” story). The pair become a cleaning duo and wind up being drafted as assistance by a confused and eccentric comic artist. It’s fun stuff, but some of them went on for too long, and I wasn’t a big fan of the humor or the characters after that first story.
It’s a multi-volume series, and I kind of wonder if continuity starts taking over, since the last two stories were related, but I don’t feel compelled to keep reading. For some reason, I thought this was only a one-shot volume, and in a way it is, since no more came out. But yes, I wouldn’t really recommend it unless you were a big fan of Boys Be… (which I was at first too, but I liked Boys Be a bit more than I liked this).