April 13, 2010
YoungHee Lee – Yen Press – 2010 – 6 volumes
I loved this series so much that I forgive it its really boring final volume that was almost completely packed with Seung-Ha having talks with himself as a little boy about being abandoned by his mother. There’s quite a bit of him hooking up with Nan-Woo, too, and a resolution to the Jay/Hyun-Ho romance that I liked even better than what was going on between the main couple here.
Basically, yeah. Lots of whining from Seung-Ha. There’s a lot of sad things about his mother, and about how he needed to be loved and needed to find himself… blah blah blah. Lots of talks about Nan-Woo being there for him, and a couple nice reunions. But I wish there had been about 80% less of Seung-Ha talking about himself.
In case you were getting bored, Nan-Woo’s mother rolls in and makes things awesome again. I know on some level it’s kind of despicable that it’s implied that she beats up Nan-Woo for little things, but she’s just so unbelievably amazing awesome that I forgive her the rough love, especially since Nan-Woo seems to get in on the action too, and dish it out to Seung-Ha as well as she gets it.
There’s also a pretty great finale, considering how underwhelming the rest of the ending was. It may or may not include the following dialogue: “I wanted to say this from the beginning. You’re so cool! No matter what!” “I know.”
Yes. So girly.
On a final note, my roommate has this bad habit of ruining my Korean comics by picking them up and commenting on how big the guys are in them compared to everything else. He calls them “land of the giants.” And then I see it when I’m reading them. In this one especially. Seung-Ha is huge. I can’t unsee it now.
November 23, 2009
YoungHee Lee – Yen Press – 2009 – 6 volumes
I covered this volume for the weekly Manga Minis column at Manga Recon, so you can check out my review over there.
I know I say this a lot, and I know I like a lot of cutie Korean comics, but this one may be the end-all-be-all of cutie Korean comics. I can’t help but squeal with delight over every page. The characters are really, really great, and they play well together. The sense of humor is perfect too, especially when it comes to Nan-Woo’s mother and almost anything Seung-Ha says to Nan-Woo (though this volume is much more depressing on that front). Plus, the title makes me smile every time I see one of these books laying around my apartment.
I cannot wait until the last volume comes out in March.
September 19, 2009
YoungHee Lee – Yen Press – 2009 – 6 volumes
Wow. I never thought I would like this series as much as I do, but volume four really put things over the edge for me. Again, it’s not overtly amazing. I’m not saying you should rush out and buy it. But it is an absolutely adorable shoujo romance, and this volume was full of moments that have been hinted at previously. Seung-Ha comes around and finally admits to himself and Nan-Woo that he likes her, and the two start exchanging goofy, but really adorable, moments of affection. That alone made everything here worth it.
Some more of Seung-Ha’s background was revealed, and I’m pretty sure this is all the detail we’re going to get, which was enough for me. He lets Nan-Woo see everything about himself, and she starts to worry just as things in his home life start getting weird again. Like his mom coming around for the first time in years.
Elsewhere, we still have the romance between Jay and Hyun-Ho. And wait… could it be… an unrequieted gay romance? The cute, feminine-looking boy turns the other down because he doesn’t want to be in a relationship? Unprecedented!
They will hook up before the end of the series, I’m sure. The fact they didn’t immediately start making out when Hyun-Ho subtley (and I mean… really subtley) made his feelings known raised my opinion of the series even more.
Now I’m all caught up and depressed because it’ll be another couple months before the next volume comes out. Sigh. In the meantime, this was probably my favorite of the cutie Korean comic that Yen Press has released so far, excluding Goong… which is different, and better, but still kind of a cutey Korean comic, I guess.
September 16, 2009
YoungHee Lee – Yen Press – 2009 – 6 volumes
To go completely against my last post, I realized while reading this volume that another reason I like a lot of these cutey Korean comics is that most of them are kind of mean-spirited in a hilarious way. It comes across all right in the context of the stories since the characters can dish it out as well as take it in most cases, but it really hit home here while I was laughing at two characters that were just tossing snide comments back and forth to one another.
Of course, Seung-Ha sort of follows the typical asshole boyfriend route a lot of bad shoujo manga take, except Nan-Woo frequently calls him out on it and teases him about his two-faced nature. She gets tortured a lot for her troubles, but she’s definitely not a damsel in distress. In this volume, Seung-Ha is moody and broods through most of the first half. Nan-Woo tries to approach him several times, but when she is shut down, she finally does the one thing that is unspeakable between the two: kinda sorta say how she feels about him, which isn’t boyfriend-girlfriend feelings, but it still makes his day. Then he acts all cool, so Nan-Woo has a chance to apply the title of the series to him.
The second half of the volume was an absolute riot though, and it improved my already high opinion of the series several times over. The two mystery boys that live with Nan-Woo. I thought maybe some lukewarm explanation had come in volume one that I had forgotten. It hadn’t, though, and the scruffy-haired boy hadn’t even been named. For good reason. I was right in thinking that neither of the boys being her brothers, but the truth is actually much more hilarious than I could have imagined. The scruffy-haired one does NOT get along with Seung-Ha, and it makes for several delightful scenes. I love when characters trade barbed dialogue like that.
I’m excited to see more of the two of them interacting. I’m a little worried things will get serious and turn to Seung-Ha’s tragic home life, though. We can only hope that food fights will somehow be involved again.
September 15, 2009
YoungHee Lee – Yen Press – 2008 – 6 volumes
I have been in something of a shoujo drought here on the site lately, since my shoujo indulgences have been entirely composed of frequent re-reads of From Eroica With Love. I do have a few girly things lying around, so let’s see about injecting some romance back into things here.
As I tend to mention every time I review one, I love these cutey Korean series and they very rarely disappoint me. I like the strong heroines, the weird and elaborate scenarios that tend to spring up, and I love the cute romances and the love/hate relationship between the main couples in many of the titles. You’re So Cool is a good example of the cutey Korean comic genre I love so much, and it only gets better in this volume, which always seems to be the case with this type of series.
Surprisingly, after revealing himself to be the king of jerks last volume, Seung-Ha begins to soften ever so slightly towards Nan-Woo here. He does chase her around and threaten her and make her do things against her will, like study, and generally menace and make her life miserable, but then he tends to leap to her rescue and save her from the jealousy of other girls and even the advances of other guys. He also, unusually, forces her to study so that she won’t fail her exams, something that seems inevitable initially since Nan-Woo is… well, strong-willed, but not necessarily all that smart or interested in school.
Chan-Gyu knows Seung-Ha’s true nature and keeps trying to intervene and steal Nan-Woo away, but Seung-Ha insists that he will keep the girl with him as long as she is fun to tease. This reeks of unspoken jealousy, and I’m curious to see how this develops. I know I’ve seen a thousand romantic triangles before, but the good ones still snare me anyway.
There’s also a couple subplots that seem to be running untouched. Nan-Woo still lives in a house that is inexplicably populated by young men and no real adults, and one of the men, Jay, is developing a friendship with another guy. Now, the friendship seems to be good for Jay and is picking up his spirits, but the other guy seems annoyed despite the fact he keeps indulging Jay. And then he starts to inexplicably have feelings for him. I don’t know. That might be interested. I’m more interested in who Jay and the other boy are, and why they live in a house with no parents. There’s also some background details revealed for Seung-Ha, but it’s a pretty predictable well-to-do-family that neglects their son scenario.
Notably, this volume featured the most perfect depiction of a character’s thoughts drifting I have ever seen. While Nan-Woo is studying, it’s literally a huge thought balloon where thoughts associate themselves with one another and lead her completely away from her studies and through a variety of brief randomness. It’s very funny, and it’s strange touches like that that make reading these cutie Korean comics fun.
If you like romance manga, and shoujo, I think you’d be a lot cooler if you were reading this series. I’m just sayin’.
July 9, 2009
Once again, I love cutie Korean series like this one. I’m not sure what it is about them, but they never fail to entertain me.
This one’s really, really awesome. Which is probably what I say about all of them, but I seem to always mean it. The main character is Nan-Wo, a freshman with a huge crush on the dream boy in her school, Seung-Ha. Everything about Seung-Ha is perfect, from his manners to his looks to his sports abilities. Nan-Wo, on the other hand… well, her clumsiness is legendary, she’s constantly late to school, and is apparently only average-looking. But fates align and Seung-Ha zeroes on on Nan-Wo and asks her to be his girlfriend. And… wait for it… turns out Seung-Ha is also a legendary punk outside of school.
The buildup to the first date is just perfect. There’s lots of Seung-Ha being nice at school, lots of Seung-Ha standing up to the merciless teasing Nan-Wo has to put up with after the two of them start going out, and lots of perfect shoujo moments between the two. Nan-Wo has extended fantasies about the date the two of them will go on. And then… well, the date happens. Seung-Ha hits all the punkish jerk buttons, and I loved every minute of it. From there on out, he also terrorizes her at school with a nice-boy smile, something that turned out to be absolutely terrifying and hilarious.
There are a few other things the series has going for it, the most interesting being Nan-Wo’s home life. She seems to have two brothers and absentee parents. The two brothers have their own lives that aren’t really commented on in the story, but seem like they will be developed further in future volumes. Seung-Ha also offers a dark look when a teacher comments on his home life, so there’s probably something there… and I really have to know what makes Seung-Ha pull off the perfect Jekyll and Hyde act.
It’s not extraordinary, but it is a highly enjoyable cutie Korean comic, and I’m pretty sure anyone that feels inclined to pick it up won’t be disappointed.
This was a review copy provided by Yen Press.