December 7, 2007
Things are a little more on track than they were in the last volume. We get weird supernatural beings, a sad, emotional story, and even some plot, which is sorely needed at this point. But I went back to adoring this series again.
Though it’s got no direct bearing on the story, Marley mentions in the front she stopped drawing the series for awhile and started back up with this volume. It’s noticeable, actually. I thought it would be worth mentioning.
I almost didn’t recognize Sunbi. The character design changed, she cut her hair short. The first story is about her getting trapped inside a prison by a three-headed boy with one leg and a beak mouth. There’s a mysterious boy who lives at her old house (I think), and he sends the Dokebi after her to rescue her. It was an okay story, and like I said, it got back to the meat of things in this series, which was important.
The best story was the longest, which was about Sunbi and the Dokebi stumbling across a town where a young woman struggled every day against what people thought of her family since her mother was a mute hunchback. The point was most brought home with her boyfriend, who was the worst of the lot. It was a real tearjerker, much like the first volume of the series. I also really like stories like this too, and this series does them extraordinarily well. The only bad thing is that, while discussing the relationship between the woman and her mother, there were some interjections about Sunbi’s mother that I had trouble recognizing as flashbacks… because they sort of are randomly interjected. I also can’t follow them too well. Maybe they’ll make sense further down the line. The story only marginally involves Sunbi and the Dokebi, but Sunbi’s got more of a role than she had in the last volume, and this story was loads better than that one as well.
The third story does try to start some plot back up. We go back to Sunbi’s hometown, and there are some brief moments with her step-sister, the glasses-wearing friend, and the strange boy from the first chapter. The boy talks a bit about a connection between he and Sunbi, and the last page sets things up for the next volume.
I think this series has caught up with the Korean serialization, so I think new volumes are going to be a rare thing, but it’s just so good, and I’m glad we got to see a bit of a return to what makes it good.
May 10, 2007
This volume was a whole lot less devastating than I thought it was going to be when Sunbi got her Grandma’s shaman stuff taken away from her. She WAS pretty devastated though, and the aftermath is that she runs away from home. What follows is a serious deviation in the direction of the series where a rather creepy psychological story plays out about a guy who was abused as a kid… and it doesn’t really have much to do with Sunbi at all, actually.
While the stuff was going down with the girl who got Okboon’s shaman stuff, I had NO idea what was going on. Does the girl see her spiritual guides? Were the guides trying to make themselves invisible to Sunbi and she could see them anyway? Isn’t it implied that the girl at least can’t hear the spirits that are following her, yet they talk to her anyway and she commands them? Huh?
Luckily that didn’t last very long. I rather like that this series is pretty unpredictable like this, and I like that Sunbi has pretty much cut herself free to encounter whatever will happen… but I do like the mystic stuff, I was sad to see a deviation from that in this volume, though spirits turn out to have a lot to do with the story in the end.
April 10, 2007
This volume left off on a wicked cliffhanger. The new arrivals set off several warning bells in my head, and I have a feeling things are finally going to explode epically next volume. I feel bad for Sunbi, while simultaneously being slightly put off by her distance. She did soften up quite a bit in this volume, though. The way she asks her friend from school what he thinks of their relationship is quite funny, and gave me a pretty good idea that… Sunbi is what she is, and I guess she’s not choosing to be distant.
There was a really long subplot for the second half of the volume that involved a really pushy granny. I kinda knew what was coming as soon as Sunbi said something about helping out the old woman to the end of the line, but it was pretty sad when it did finally come all the same. The granny, though she is described as foul mouthed, should not have said “shithead” the way she did. It was disturbing.
April 8, 2007
The story continues to be extremely homey and familiar while maintaining the distance of the main character. It still puts me off a bit that Sunbi is so unfriendly, but it seems like it’s becoming about her need to embrace the side of her that sees spirits and accept it, so maybe she’ll open up more and more as things progress.
For some reason, the fact that she is tormented by spirits doesn’t come up that much, but it does introduce a guardian dokebi who helps her out a lot. The first half of the volume involves her tricking it into helping her, and the second half deals with Sunbi helping out a friend at school by finding the kitchen spirit in their restaurant. The stories continue to be fantastic, with folktale elements being woven into the reality of the story rather expertly. The good spirits are always sweet and sometimes even a bit mischevious in the case of the Dokebi, and they make for better characters in most cases than Sunbi’s bitter and resentful family.
I’m almost sad that it’s still running in Korea, because I would love this to come out extremely quickly, it’s so good.
March 27, 2007
I was kind of mad when Sunbi continued to be a jerk to everyone at school even though they weren’t going to chastise her about her mother. She COULD make friends, like young Sunbi wants, but I guess she just doesn’t want them. Or has better things to worry about, like being possessed by a maggot-eaten demon that only she can see and is sitting in her chair at school.
This one didn’t have granny in it except for a second (and I nearly cried when I saw her), and I liked it a bit less, and I still don’t know how I feel about the plot, and I don’t really like the main character, but it’s so engaging. I really like that the main theme seems to be this gap between the spiritual and the scientific, where most people don’t believe in spirits, but Sunbi is tortured and plagued by them since they are all too real. Also strange is that all the good spirits are fading away because they are no longer believed in, whereas the evil ones seem to be sticking around. Hm.
Still good. I’ve got 3 and 4 on their way, so that’s good news.
March 27, 2007
Even though I’d heard that this was the best of Netcomic’s series, I still put it off because the plot just doesn’t sound that interesting and the art on the covers didn’t really appeal to me. When I saw it in the half off bin at the comic store though, I thought that it was well worth my five bucks each for volume one and two.
And it was. I wasn’t too sure about the story until I got most of the way through this volume. It’s one that’s been told before… girl sees ghosts, is the only one who can see ghosts, girl is ostracized because of family associations, etc. The younger Sunbi makes for quite a cheerful little girl though, and the story with her and her grandma talking to the Dragon God was pretty engrossing, especially when you find out all these nifty things about the grandma. The end is what did it for me, though. I cried. I wept like a little baby, and I cared so much after reading one volume. I cried harder when I got to about the last three pages, too. It was rough on a girl like me.
Anything that makes me cry is definitely on a high recommendation list from me. The plot is kind of weird, and I still feel a sense of detachment from it, but… I don’t even know if I like Sunbi that much, but I do. Weird things happen, and they are fascinating. That’s why I like this series.