Let Dai 1

January 31, 2008

I really like that Netcomics seems to stick to the same artist, so if I like one series I can immediately hop onto the next one when it’s over.  Unfortunately, the newer generation of series don’t really sound like my kind of thing, so I went backwards.  I absolutely adored Devil’s Trill in the Manhwa Novella Collection, and Let Dai is her series that Netcomics has been running… well, since they opened, really.

The one thing that this has in common with Devil’s Trill is the, uh, flowery language.  As much as I appreciate ambitious writing, something about it doesn’t read quite right.  It could be the translation/adaptation, but it’s probably like this in Korean too, and it may just seem off because there are pages and pages of these heartfelt, verbally ornate soliloquies.

One thing this does for it, though, is make all the relationships seem super passionate and sincere.  There’s Jaehee, his “girlfriend” Eunhyung, her sister Yooneun, and Dai.  The manga opens with Yooneun getting robbed by Dai and his gang.  At this point, Jaehee and she had not met, but he decides to intervene when he sees the scene anyway.  This brings the wrath of Dai’s gang the furies down on him, and after several beatings, he finds himself mysteriously and inexplicably initiated into the gang against his will.  Since the first time he stood up for her, Yooneun has fallen hard for Jaehee.  Eunhyung and Jaehee aren’t actually dating, but they’re best friends and Eunhyung really really likes him… so you know how that goes.  And from the first time Dai beat Jaehee up, apparently the two had fallen for each other.

Dai and Jaehee are the couple that get the most focus, but Jaehee is trying to push himself away from Dai the whole time.  Dai is described right off the bat as the devil, and he does many evil things throughout the course of the book.  But mostly, it’s just drama drama drama, and you won’t find anything this hardcore and dysfunctional outside a soap opera.  Most manga fall way short of the passion of the romatic problems in this series.  Aside from a lot of physical abuse, there are a lot of other complications that may arise from jealousy et al (Yooneun is older than Jaehee and Eunhyung, and Eunhyung begins to suspect the two are dating in secret and follows her sister around, which leads to other bad things), so there’s a lot of places its flowery and somewhat corny dialogue can take it.  I like it pretty well so far, though.

The cover looks a lot like the covers of Strain.  Unfortunately, the rest of the covers seem to be regular illustrations, which I’m less excited by.

9 Responses to “Let Dai 1”

  1. […] Mouse at Kuriosity. Eric Turner checks out vol. 1 of Black God at Manga Jouhou. Connie checks out vol. 1 of Let Dai, vol. 9 of Pastel, Asian Beat, and vol. 22 of GetBackers at Slightly Biased Manga. Deb Aoki detects […]

  2. Pirkaf Says:

    I’m not much into shonen ai, for obvious reasons, but this book was way more amazing than I expected. It almost feels like Griffith and Guts were reborn in Korea. Dai really reminds me of Griffith reborn under a completely different sky. I can’t wait to read next volume.

  3. Connie Says:

    Wow, you’re right. That made me like it even more, and it’s already a pretty awesome series.

  4. ame Says:

    i just bought this. it is indeed amazing. i can’t wait to buy the rest of it.

  5. Connie Says:

    Oh! I haven’t picked up new volumes of this in awhile. I’ll have to put a few more in my next big order. I’m at volume… 5 or 6 and it’s still amazing.

  6. Fai Says:

    Hey Connie. I have absolutely fallen in love with Let Dai. I’ve read all 15 volumes, but I’ve read them through scanlations (this was before I knew it was licensed). I know, I’m a bad, bad girl, but I’m currently collecting all the volumes since I enjoyed it so much (just a couple more to go!).

    But there’s something that distresses me. I was on Amazon.com looking at the first volume. But I noticed that the preview of the first page was different from the scanlation.

    This was the version I saw on amazon:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v43/riney25/letdai004-005amazon.jpg

    And this is the version I have on scanlation:

    Notice the difference in translation?

    Now, I’m still planning on buying the volume (maybe not from amazon.com exactly) but I was just wondering if you could tell me that the version on amazon is the same was what you have (assuming that you own the first volume).

    Thanks in advance.

  7. Connie Says:

    The translation in the volumes is patchy in spots, but not as bad as the page in that Amazon link. I don’t have them with me to be sure, but I’m pretty sure that scanslation is taken from the Netcomics version, because it’s exactly the same wording as the preview pages they have up on their site (you can read the entire first chapter for free there, if you’d like to compare). I’m pretty sure the version on the site is the same as the version that’s in the graphic novel, except maybe with some minor improvements in the graphic novels that I noticed in the second half of the series.

    I’m away from home for the next day or so, but I’ll check when I get back, and if it’s the clunky version, I’ll let you know here.

    But yes, this is just about the best romance comic I’ve ever read. I didn’t really get into it until the sixth or so volume, but I think I read from volume six to the end in one night. It’s just SO GOOD. I could go on and on about it forever.

  8. P-chan Says:

    I haven’t read this manga yet, but you’ve given it a sparkly recommendation. Money’s kind of tight, but I kind of really want to give this a try. Is this really worth the $150 for the series (keep in mind I will live off yogurt for a good enough manga)?

  9. Connie Says:

    I think it is. It took me a long time to really believe the main couple had any chemistry, and there’s some shockingly brutal scenes in the first couple volumes, but the whole last third of the series is one of the most ridiculously romantic and melodramatic things I’ve ever read. I liked it so much that I broke my own rule for never buying digital versions of comics and did a 10-hour marathon of the last eight or nine volumes.

    Granted, I was re-reading one of the later volumes at random this weekend and was a little sad by how cheesy the dialogue sounded, but I think it works much better in the context of the story rather than just a random volume.

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