Queens 5

May 21, 2008

I was bummed that this was the last volume.  I think it probably needed two to wrap up in a satisfactory way, but it did well with what it was given.

The one thing it did all volume that I sort of dislike about the ends of some shoujo series is talk about love in a “deep” way and what love means to each of the characters in the series.  The only series that was ever able to pull this off was Cardcaptor Sakura, and I don’t think it will ever be done successfully again.  I didn’t really know the characters well enough to totally process the lessons they were giving the main character about how he should love and what love means to him.  This took up about a third of the volume, and my eyes were glazed through most of it… though some of it, mostly the stuff from sensei, was good.

The relationships the three main girls were carrying out all ended in various great ways.  You would expect at least one to be drama-tastic, and you would be right.  The characters all crash a wedding, and although it’s not the oldest trick in the book, the tactic used to split up the couple was nonetheless effective and kind of funny.  Sensei and her on-again, off-again boyfriend continue with their relationship, but I thought it felt kind of shoehorned into the end of the series, so I could never quite get myself to believe it was going anywhere.

The main character wound up being my favorite, and not only does he pursue all his dreams, he even gets a happy ending of sorts.  The series wound up being pretty fun, if a little brief.  I always group it and Bird Kiss together since I started them both at the same time, they’re both Korean, and they’re both 5 volumes long, and of the two, I think I prefer Bird Kiss… but this one probably works better for a more grown-up audience.  I wouldn’t call it josei exactly (especially since it’s Korean), but a lot of the relationship focus winds up being on the three older women, so it winds up having a distinctly older female bend to it despite having a high school boy as the main character.  I liked it a lot.

Queens 4

February 7, 2008

Hm.  There are slightly too many characters in this series, and it comes out infrequently enough that I have trouble picking up the story at the beginning of each of the volumes.

This volume was mostly pretty serious stuff, as opposed to the sillier stuff of the earlier volumes.  Phil-Hyun has a couple problems going for him in this volume, one mostly concerns Gyung-Ju and the other has to do with Bok-Nam.

Gyung-Ju spreads rumors about he and Phil-Hyun to try and get an old girlfriend off his back, and the ruse apparently must be kept up 24/7 for some reason.  Phil-Hyun has to go along with it as per his agreement in one of the earlier volumes, but he really, REALLY does not like it.  Song-Ah won’t talk to him, so he turns his eyes elsewhere.  Where else is there, really?  Unfortunately, this new love interest for Phil-Hyun has a boyfriend that shows up out of the woodwork, which of course starts to break Phil-Hyun’s heart.

Subplots are still going for the two women who work for Bok-Nam which are concerned mostly with their relationship woes.  One is in better shape than the other.

It’s still just kinda… weak ok.  I have this and Bird Kiss forever associated in my mind, and so far, at least, Bird Kiss is the better series by far.  I can’t even think of anything this does particularly strongly, but it has kind of fun characters, and it doesn’t do anything particularly wrong… take that as you will.

Queens 3

August 2, 2007

There’s a bit more purpose this time around.  It’s still not very good, but I think it’s starting to pull itself together and get some focus.  Maybe we’ll understand just where things are going with the next volume.  I’d like that.

We get backstory on all three of the main females, which is nice… if a bit incoherent.  The teacher is the one who gets the most depth, but the way things kind of go in and out and connect the characters together was a bit confusing for me.  Maybe I’d understand better if I read it again, but… I’m not going to do that just now.  I still liked it a lot though, and I liked all the characters that were introduced that were related to the past.  They were all pretty awesome, and I hope we get to see some of that pimp who the main girl was attracted to.  I’d love to see how he turned out.

We also get some story development with the main character, his rival, and the girl he has a crush on.  The main character starts dating a girl he doesn’t like in a situation that parallels that of his rival, and the rival does many things that he doesn’t like, so it’s possible things will be shaken up in the near future.

Yeah.  Rock and roll was introduced, which I think I saw coming, but other than that, it’s still chugging along as a fairly unfocused shoujo-ish romance-thing.

Queens 2

April 14, 2007

Yay, now here’s some things that are not Swan. Queens is still unfortunately not very good, though it is starting to get some focus. The main character finally gives his crush up and convinces the jerk she likes to go out with her, but of course now the main character is indebted to the jerk.   Pretty typical stuff, except the jerk has yet to cash in on the main character’s promise of slavery, which is weird because usually that takes over a series.

There was also a lot of focus on the two assistants, one of whom is so popular with men that she has problems with stalkers, and another who seems to have bad luck flirting with men who are getting married soon.  The main artist gets a bit more personality and gives a lot of good and bad advice to the main character… the way she blushes means either she’s developing a crush on the main character or she just thinks he’s really cute like her assistants.

It’s still pretty bland, though.  I like it, but it’s just not… really going anywhere at the moment.  This volume was better than the first, and at least we get some movement in the relationships, but there’s nothing for the main character to do as of yet.  The jokes and humor also aren’t that good, but I’ll keep buying it… it just feels fresh to me.

Queens 1

December 9, 2006

Remember how I told you I was completely shocked by Eerie Queerie being a shounen ai manga?  I feel stupid even admitting this on the internet, that’s how obvious that one should have been.  I learned my lesson, and I bought this one based solely on the fact I thought there’d be some gender stuff in it, be it crossdressing, transgender, shounen ai, etc.  There’s not, the title refers to the strong female leads.  Still an okay reference, but slightly disappointing.

The manga (or whatever, it’s Korean) isn’t that good, unfortunately.   It’s almost the opposite of what I thought, the main character is trying to transform from a pretty boy into a manly man with the help of a comic artist who creates the bible on the subject, so to speak.  There’s not much progress being made there, but the main character becomes the artist’s student, and is subjected to the whims of the two female assistants.  He does this to try to win his ladyfriend back from the manly jock that she fell in love with at school.

Except his ladyfriend and the jock aren’t even dating… that might make this series slightly better.  It’s kind of all over the place right now, and though it doesn’t outright stink, it’s not very good yet.  It needs to collect itself and find a direction, because making the cute kid into a man isn’t even that good since no progress seems to be made.  There’s no hints that there’s any romantic interest outside the main female, though there could be.  I think I want it to be a drama and it’s actually a comedy, which is a shame.  I’ll stick with it though, because it’s kind of fascinating right now.  I like the three artists well enough to keep reading.

Plus, the main character is kind of silly, and he also sews teddy bears for a hobby.  Aww.