Goong 4

April 24, 2009

Man, I can’t tell if I should really love Shin or really hate Shin.  Again, he’s quite straightforward with his feelings.  It seems he really is fond of Chae-Kyung at this point.  But then he just has to go and ruin the moment by being a jerk all the time. Even he seems to be confused as to why this is, but in this volume a lot of his lashing out seems to be in response to jealousy aimed at Yul.

To be honest, I like Yul less and less in each volume, too.  He’s the only one who’s nice to Chae-Kyung, but now it seems like he’s only doing it to get under Shin’s skin.  It seemed like he genuinely liked Chae-Kyung at first, but I’m not sure if that’s still in play or not.  I guess I’m just having trouble seeing past his insane vendetta against Shin.

Watching those three together is like watching a train wreck slowly.  At one point, something happens to Shin, and he has to go stew in his room.  Chae-Kyung sits and worries about him, but as she goes over to check on him, Yul intercepts her, convinces her not to, then gives her a puppy.  When Shin comes out to see why Chae-Kyung hasn’t come by, he sees her and Yul playing in the yard with a puppy, and you just know he’s going to unload on her later.  It’s this insane sense of foreboding the series has going for it that makes it so addictive.

Most series are addictive because they’ve got a lot of drama, and there will be different, increasingly serious problems that keep popping up.  This series has had the same problems since the beginning.  I like to think is a sign of better writing, since you don’t really need to add additional problems to the mix to keep it interesting.  I like watching these problems fester.  I only wish Chae-Kyung was treated better.  Even Yul’s mother has taken to just verbally and emotionally abusing her as hard as she can.  I hope this will result in Chae-Kyung just snapping one day and just lashing out at everyone who’s horrible to her.

There are some scenes at school in this volume.  One thing that makes this a little more unusual than most other romance series is that the main couple is already married.  It’s a little weird to hear them talking of their husband and wife to their friends at school.

The humor has settled down into a really good place, too.  I enjoy the author’s asides a lot.  At the end of the last volume, she was complaining about how her two friends had gotten her addicted to boys’ love comics when she previously had no interest.  There’s a really blatant joke scene where, instead of punching a kid, Shin starts to hit on him, and the scene is drawn with exaggerated sparkles.  My mental comment at this was “Damn you, Beauty Park!,” and I was amused to see she had beaten me to the punch by drawing a tiny panel of herself shuddering right in the corner of the panel.  I laughed so hard at that joke.

This was a lot more than I really wanted to say, but it’s hard not to ramble about this series.  There’s a lot to like, and it’s horribly addictive in a way that only the best girls’ comics can be.

This was a review copy provided by Yen Press.

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