Tag Archives: manhwa

Review: Comic Volume 7-8


Comic Volumes 7-8
By Ha SiHyun
Publisher: Yen Press
Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Romance
Price: $10.99
Rating: ★★½☆☆

Comic is a manhwa that is very much the typical high school romance. It’s stuffed full of melodrama, which doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. It’s the fact that none of the characters are likable enough to carry it off  and the story veers too far of it’s tracks that makes it bad.

Continue reading Review: Comic Volume 7-8

And We Have a Winner!

Yes, my first manga giveaway has ended, and we do indeed have a winner. After the cut off of Friday evening, there were 8 contestants for the prize. My youngest daughter, bewildered when I called her to stick her hand in a pot and pull out a folded piece of paper, drew the name and made Lee the lucky winner! Congratulations!

I want to thank everyone that participated. I got some great feedback and will be implementing most of the suggestions I got. So expect to see more reviews, and I will continue with the Shonen Jump/Yen Plus Drive By reviews. And just so you know Lee, my husband does contribute reviews to my blog. They are prefaced with “Brian’s Spot” and are marked in the Review Archive with a (BS). :-)

I also want to thank First Second and Good Comics for Kids blog for helping to make this happen.

Contest: Win a Set of Color of Earth, Water and Heaven

Color of EarthHey!  I’m holding my first contest!  Thanks to First Second Books and Good Comics for Kids, I’ll be giving away one set of this manhwa series.  To enter is simple.  Just leave a comment on this post telling me what you like to read, or read more of, on the blog; manga news, reviews, commentary/rants, e-book and digital technology reviews, etc.  I’m looking for feedback so I can improve the site however you, the readers, would like.  And you’ll get rewarded with a set of manhwa!  Winner will be drawn randomly by my very random daughter Krissy.  Deadline is next Friday.  Good Luck!

Yen Plus – Update

In my continuing evaluation of Yen Plus to decide if it’s worth subscribing to, I picked up issue 2.  I read it the same way as last issue, reading the Japanese side first, and then flipping to the OEL/Korean side.  With this second issue, most of my original impressions stand, if not becoming more ingrained.  The entire Japanese side is a complete and total waste.  The fan service continues unabated, and overrides any story that might be there, especially in Soul Eater and Sumomomo MomomoBamboo Blade has really deteriorated in it’s next two chapters.  Higurashi and Nabari stand on the edge, but they are not intriguing enough to hold up the other three.  The whole Japanese side is a write off as far as I’m concerned.

The OEL/Korean side carries this magazine.  Nightschool and Pig Bride stand as the strongest titles, with Maximum Ride and Sarasah close behind.  One Fine Day is a take or leave title, and Jack Frost continues to show it’s Hellsing influence.  Actually it’s just plain a rip-off, but still has some potential.

All of these titles together as a package just doesn’t do it for me.  I’m paying $9 a month or $50 a year to read half a magazine?  I don’t think so.  Yen Press’ best bet would be to divide the magazine up and bring out two different mag and market them to two different audiences.  The Japanese side is purely for the guys.  It’s hard to find anything substantial for females to really latch onto and enjoy.  I don’t mind some fanservice, but these just go too far for even my tastes.  Actually, most of it is just plain offensive pandering.  The OEL/Korean side is closer to what a general audiences magazine should be.  Action, fantasy, romance, and slice of life all together.  This is the side that has the best chance of surviving as it has the greatest ability to appeal to a wider audience.  The Japanese side for the fanboys.  Why not just give it to them, and leave the rest of us to have 1 or 2 titles we don’t like rather than 6-7.

I will not continue to pick up Yen Plus, but will follow my favorite series in graphic novels.  It was a good idea, but the titles in Yen Plus just doesn’t make it worth it.  Maybe when Hero Tales is added, as was just announced at NYAF, things might change.  I may pick up the first issue with Hero Tales and see if there is any improvement, but at the moment, I don’t have a lot of high hopes for it.  I’ll pay $4.99 monthly/$29.99 yearly for the OEL/Korean side, but I’m not sinking my few spare dollars into a year of titles I couldn’t care less about.

Review: Yen Plus Volume 1 Issue 1 OEL/Korean Manhwa

Yen Plus
Publisher: Yen Press
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Anthology
Price: $8.99

Picking up where I left off last post, the OEL/Korean side starts out with lots of ads, mostly for Yen Press and related, as well as some other company ads.  Since this is the side that read like normal for Americans, they probably thought they were best placed here.

Continue reading Review: Yen Plus Volume 1 Issue 1 OEL/Korean Manhwa

Review: Phantom Volume 4

Phantom Volume 4

By Ki-Hoon Lee/Seung-Yup Cho
Publisher: Tokyopop
Rating: 13+
Genre: Sci-Fi
RRP: $9.99

Rating: ★★★★☆

Eric, Athena’s sniper, rescues the beautiful female cyborg from extermination, he holes up until he can get the evidence of Iron Corporation’s dirtiest secret, the genetically-engineered cyborgs, back to Athena’s base.  Unbeknownst to him, however, the worst is yet to come as Iron unleashes their human-reptilian attack beasts to take back their lost cyborg or kill her.  Unfortunately for them, Eric has rigged the whole place with traps and even though he’s badly injured in the process, manages to kill the two alpha beasts.

Continue reading Review: Phantom Volume 4

Brian's Spot: Phantom Volume 3

Phanto Volume 3Phantom Volume 3
By Ki-Hoon Lee/Seung-Yup Cho
Publisher: Tokyopop
Genre: Action
Rating 13+
RRP: $9.99

Rating: ★★★★½
Reviewed by Brian Henderson

After K activates the untested Cerebus with the newly installed Aurora system, he takes on Kas Stein, the evil corporate warrior who has a mysterious past with Matilda the drill instructor in the skimpy outfit. We find that AIs like Cerebus aren’t very useful for fighting against experienced TC pilots, except this time when K and his mech sync perfectly and take out Kas at the last second. Everyone gets picked up just before the base self-destructs; K and Matilda are injured but will recover, but Kas, dragged out of his mangled TC, has lost his arm and likely his sanity.

Continue reading Brian's Spot: Phantom Volume 3

Brian’s Spot: Phantom Volume 2

Phantom Volume 2Phantom Volume 2
By Ki-Hoon Lee/Seung-Yup Cho
Publisher: Tokyopop
Rating: 13+
Genre: Action/Mecha
RRP: $9.99

Rating: ★★★★½

Reviewed by Brian Henderson

K agrees to work for the anti-corporation organization Athena, mostly because they promise to help his girlfriend recover if he does. He goes off to their training facility in the middle of the desert to prepare to fight against the mega-corporations, still not quite convinced that the people he’s fighting with aren’t just as much terrorists as those they fight against. Unfortunately, the mega-corps discover their secret base and launch an all-out attack to cut off the head of the serpent. K and his fellow trainees are left to defend the base and allow the civilians to escape and finally, K is reunited with Cerebus, the super TC that no one but him can operate.

Continue reading Brian’s Spot: Phantom Volume 2

Bride of the Water God Volume 1

When Soah’s impoverished, desperate village decides to sacrifice her to the Water God Habaek to end a long drought, they believe that drowning one beautiful girl will save their entire community and bring much-needed rain. Not only is Soah surprised to be rescued by the Water God-instead of killed-she never imagined she’d be a welcomed guest in Habaek’s magical kingdom, where an exciting new life awaits her! Most surprising, however, is the Water God himself…and how very different he is from the monster Soah imagined.

Bride of the Water God Volume 1
Bride of the Water God 1By Mi-Kyung Yun
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Rating:Teen
Price: $9.99
Rating: ★★★★½

It’s a journey through Wonderland, Korean style, as we follow Soah’s adventures in the land of the gods. Will she find happiness with her new husband, the Water God Habaek, or does a worse fate await her?

As serious as all that sounds, Bride of the Water God is a good mix of comedy and drama. Although the romance hasn’t really started yet, you can see it in filtering through slowly. Habaek and Soah are essentially strangers that have been put together in this “arranged” marriage. There are plenty of missteps and misunderstandings, some humorous, others not. But, despite outward appearances, there is an undercurrent that Habaek does have feelings for Soah. The potential for a real romance is there, if Soah can break through the emotional wall Habaek seems to have around him.

The characters are well-developed, and we learn about them through their actions. There aren’t any descriptions or inter monologue about anyone. What you see is what you get, and that really draws you into the story. You have to really look at the characters to pick up the subtle cues that are put in to define them. Habaek, which seems cold and brooding, also has a warm and tender side that only shows when he is watching Soah sleep. Despite being Gods, all the characters have their humanistic qualities that make them easy to relate to.

Mi-Kyung Yun’s art is absolutely gorgeous! Her characters are beautiful with lots of delicate line work. Their clothing has the look and feel of ancient Korea, with lots of intricate designs. The care she puts into her work really shows, and just adds to the overall feel of the book.

The only thing I didn’t like about this volume was the disjointed way the chapters were fit together. Splash pages were the only way to really tell you were moving from one chapter to another, and at one point, I had to go back a re-read a transition because I thought I’d missed a page or two. While only a minor distraction, it did leave me wondering.

Bride of the Water God is among Dark Horse’s first foray into the world of shojo, and it does so with great success. The art, writing and characters all come together to make a wonderful story that any girl would love to read.

Brian’s Spot: Phantom Volume 1

Phantom Volume 1
By Ki-Hoon Lee/Seung-Yup Cho
Publisher: Tokyopop
Rating: 13+
Genre: Action/Mecha
RRP: $9.99

Rating: ★★★★½

Reviewed by Brian Henderson

K is a mech pilot for the Neo Seoul Police, chasing down terrorists in his TC (Tactical Costume) in the near future. This is after the deadly “Meteo Rain” that showered the Earth, toppling governments and bringing about the rise of the mega-corporations that now rule the planet. K has never really given much thought to his job but when an arrest goes horribly wrong, he’s trapped in a world that wants him dead and forced to side with the terrorists against the megacorps at the helm of a new type of TC, controlled by the AI Cerebus which identifies K as it’s sole pilot.

Continue reading Brian’s Spot: Phantom Volume 1