Let Dai 9

December 27, 2008

God, I love this series so much. Did I mention that? I really, really do. It really is very romantic, and I love the way the entire cast of the series contributes to the angst/drama plot totally independently of the main couple.

I’ve sort of ignored Goohee almost the entire series (I think he appeared in, like, volume 2), but he’s actually a really great character. He was introduced as sort of a bad guy, but his earnest and shy pursuit of Eunhyung is quite adorable and understated. It’s a shame pretty much every single character gives him the shaft as far as… well, everything goes. He gets taken advantage of again in this volume when a gift he picked out for Eunhyung scores Naru Hagi brownie points, even after he tried to use it to try and get closer to Yooneun.

I’m glad Eunhyung is getting better. What happened to her was terrible, and I’m glad it wasn’t taken lightly in the context of the series. Actually her surviving and dealing with being raped is probably one of the main themes of the series. Seeing her getting back to a regular life and accepting the good things around her again definitely makes all the guilt I had reading the previous volumes worth it, because it really shows how the event changed her, and how she’s gradually healing and looking up once again wouldn’t seem as realistic if she had done it to begin with.

Something terrible happens to Dai in this volume, too. He cries. Sometimes I have a hard time telling the difference between whether Dai is sweating or crying when his face isn’t shown, and I’m pretty sure the ambiguity is intentional. But here… well, he’s just crying, and it is most heartbreaking. He has every reason to cry, and the dialogue that goes with that particular panel is also quite well-chosen.

I liked that scene and the aftermath quite a bit, actually. Dai winds up at Jaehee’s house, and Jaehee’s mom revises the opinion she had developed about him at the hospital (it’s not stated what the opinion was, but it was either hostile or uneasy, it doesn’t really say why). Later, she… revises the opinion again in a scene I don’t quite understand (was the bathroom door open? why was the bathroom visible from the front door?!). She tries very hard not to think about it, which doesn’t bode well.

Also, this is as good a time to mention it as any, because Dai was apparently showering in his tighties. I kind of wonder what kind of censorship guidelines the magazine this ran in had. Jaehee and Dai are shown sleeping together several times, but never having sex, and they’re always wearing pajamas, sometimes matching ones. It’s implied that they have sex, since Dai admits at one point that Jaehee was his first. They kiss, but never are they shown kissing with their tongues. There was one or two other things that struck me as slightly off, which I may mention later, but I’ll say it again: this series has the most erotic relationship I’ve ever seen between two people, and that this is accomplished with little more than kisses between the couple is nothing short of amazing.

7 Responses to “Let Dai 9”

  1. Sarah Says:

    I know that there is strict censorship in Korea and that there will probably never be a “sex scene” in a manhwa (which disappointed me to no end). When Dai said Jaehee was his first I thought he meant that he was his first love not his first sex partner, he seemed to get along with the ladies pretty well before Jaehee.

    I share your enthusiasm of Let Dai I can’t help but get all girly and giddy about the series, I try to get my friends to read it but they say its too slow or they just don’t like the violence. And to them I say they are idiots for willfully missing out on such a wonderful series!

  2. Connie Says:

    It’s true, I think a lot of people are probably put off by the violence. I can understand that, especially since a lot of the worst of it happens within the first couple volumes, so someone trying out the series would probably be put off right away. It’s kind of a shame that limits the audience, because it’s nearly flawless as far as the romance goes.

    And thanks for clearing that up about the censorship in Korea. It’s something I didn’t really think much about before I read Let Dai, because I think almost every other Korean series I’ve read has been sort of PG. Off the top of my head, June is the only one I can think of that gets close to sex, and in that case the characters actually have a lot of sex, but it’s handled in a fairly silly way.

    You might be right about Dai, too. I read the “first” thing as first love the first time I read the volume, actually. I wasn’t really very sure before then that the two of them were actually together and it wasn’t all in Jaehee’s mind, even with the beach scene, so a sexual meaning didn’t occur to me until I read it through again. Was Dai popular with the ladies? He seems to hate women, but I could be forgetting a lot of stuff, too.


  3. […] 1 of Kyo Kara MAOH! at Manic About Manga. At Slightly Biased Manga, Connie posts reviews of vols. 9 and 10 of Let Dai, vol. 3 of With the Light, vols. 1 and 2 of Human Club, vols. 2 and 3 of […]

  4. Akinyi Says:

    Hey =]

    Still haven’t bought all of Let Dai yet, but have most of the volumes. You’re right. It’s one of the most passionate, semi-erotic, angst-ridden, violence-driven manhwa I’ve ever seen … and I love it to death, too. Just wanted to comment on this particular post because I remember in Volume 4 (pretty sure it’s 4 anways) there indeed *was* a kiss with tongue scene … in the subway train. I also remember this as their first ever (shown) kiss. If you look a little more closely at the panel, you see what I’m assuming is Dai’s tongue very lightly coloured in.

    Also! In the subway scenes again, when Dai admits to Jaehee as being his “first”, I actually didn’t interpret it in a sexual manner. I got the feeling that Jaehee was his first plutonic relationship, first kiss, whatnot. I thought their first sex scene is a little later in the series … Volume … can’t remember. But it’s when Dai gets back to Seoul after hiding out with his family and finds Jaehee in his bed. But, y’know; the metaphorical artistry and language in this entire series is hard to decipher things for certain. =D

    Loving your blog.

    xx

  5. Connie Says:

    Thanks!

    I do like trying to decode some of of sexual innuendo and seeing what needs to be read between the lines. I think you’re right about the scene on the train, though. They may kiss with tongues once or twice now that I think about it and have re-read it (a bunch more times) since this post. The fact that the tongue is involved is definitely played down a lot more than it is in other series.

    And that sex scene… it baffled me when I first read it, because it just seemed like such a strange leap after all this time, there wasn’t much leading into it or anything. I re-read it several times, and I got to thinking that it may have just been something Jaehee was imagining, even though the two are clearly shown having sex, since a page or so after the particular image the two of them are dressed and the narration mentions something about Jaehee waking all the way up or something. That scene is definitely up to interpretation though, and I could easily be convinced they were having sex.

    I’m probably wrong about my reading of the “first” thing since a few other people have said they didn’t take it that way. I think I did only because I assumed they had sex in Jaehee’s house when Dai first came over and is changing when Jaehee jumps on him and it cuts away, maybe one volume before that train scene. Sex isn’t even remotely implied in that scene unless you want to read it in, but it was that scene I thought of when Dai said that. Of course, he was so embarrassed about asking, and Dai seems like the kind of guy that would be more forward about sex than his feelings.

    Sorry if I’m getting a bit long-winded, I’m still on kind of a buzz from finishing this, and I loved picking it apart as I read through it. It seems like it lends itself to interpretation more than a lot of other series.

  6. Athabasca Says:

    I’m really late, sorry. I just wanted to say… I think Dai puts on his underwear at some point during the shower scene. I have no idea WHY he would (Jaehee’s discomfort?), but if you notice, when Jaehee first comes into the bathroom, Dai’s crotch area is kind of nebulous and undefined, and it’s not till later, post ‘touch me, I’m burning up, lala,’ that the space between his hips and thighs is drawn, and that’s when you see the undies.

    …Not that I thought about this too much, or anything. (Actually, I did, because it weirded me out. ‘You try to take Jaehee’s shirt off but you put your panties ON? Uhhh.’)

  7. Em Says:

    Hmm. I gotta say I didn’t actually think they ever had sex. Jaehee goes on about “the dazzling temptation of being completely close to someone” (like he didn’t know) after the shower scene, which I interpreted as “we were about to have sex but…” and really none of the other scenes mentioned struck me as references to some offscreen activity. I don’t know, maybe I’ll go back and read it AGAIN :)


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