Manhwa #MangaMonday Recommendations

Funny, how despite being the person who sets up these themes, they seem to spring up on me! Ack!

Today’s #MangaMonday recommendations are for manhwa. So, not manga at all… this really should have been called #ManhwaMonday. Manhwa in its simplest definition are comics coming out of South Korea. There’s more to that definition, but I’ll talk about that at some later point.

I actually have a pretty size-able collection of manhwa in my collection, but it’s something I pick up rarely to read. I think I only read 2 or 3 titles last year. And, I rarely buy manhwa. I used to pick it up because I didn’t notice the difference between it and manga, plus it was published and promoted as manga… so as a new reader, the difference wasn’t clear.

But now as a seasoned reader, I will say that because manhwa can look so much like manga that it actually shows its differences more clearly. It comes from a completely different country, so of course the stories, art, scenarios, and iconography will be different. In my opinion, this difference is one of the main reasons you or I as a manga reader should be reading them. It challenges, and hones your understanding of another comic form.

So, here are a few titles that I recommend you check out:

Pig Bride by Kook Hwa Huh and SuJin Kim.

pig 1This is a short 5 volume manhwa that I would equate to a shojo fantasy romance. At the tender age of 8 a young boy, and son to a powerful family, finds himself lost in the forest. He is found by a girl in a pig mask, who’s mother threatens not to let him leave if he doesn’t marry her daughter. He is forced into this marriage, and then sent back to his family. But, at the age of 16 this girl which he remembers from his dreams now has appeared and is ready to start their married life together.

At 5 volumes, this series is packed with unexpected twists and turns, and is a treat to read. Plus, because it’s so short, it shouldn’t be too hard to collect. Continue reading

Manhwa Review: Very! Very! Sweet by Ji-Sang Shin and Geo *spoilers*

Very! Very! Sweet Volume 1Very! Very! Sweet Volume 1

by Ji-Sang Shin and Geo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very! Very! Sweet is just as the title describes: very. very. sweet. Loved it! It is the story of classmates Tsuyoshi and Be-Ri.

Tsuyoshi is a Japanese boy from a well-to-do family who is ordered by his grandfather to move to Korea and discovery his ancestry. Tsuyoshi has a terrible family secret about his past which has been making him feel “Not quite complete” since his childhood. His grandfather has been keeping it from him, and is hoping that it will be revealed on his trip. He’s a bit of a playboy and his been involved with a girl Erica who follows him to Japan.

Be-Ri is one of his new Korean classmates — and his new neighbour. She’s earnest and straightforward, and they share a love of cats. Be-Ri is also involved in a significant love triangle: In love with her older sister’s boyfriend, and loved by her loud-mouthed classmate Mi-Hyuk. She’s in a tough situation — and because she’s so straightforward and honest has a hard time actually understanding her changing feelings.

It is a really sweet comic. It was touching enough to bring tears to my eyes. It’s well drawn — and there are some nice elements. I especially appreciated the way the failed relationship between Tsuyoshi and Erica was handled… It was quick and less painful than it would normally be. Sometimes these relationships are just so painful to read.

Personally I found that the conclusion included too much information. Too many revelations revealed in the last few chapters. I think they dealt with too much personal angst in the last volume that didn’t have enough lead-up in the previous volumes. However, It was definitely worth the read. Plus, the boys were so cute… *sigh* so cute