manhwa

Manhwa Review: Evil's Return

Author Jong-Kyu Lee and artist Hwan Shin bring us, Evil's Return. Every young girl thinks that something evil has taken over her body when she gets her first period but in Yumi’s case, it just happens to be true. This coming of age tale has everything a teen novel should, with a little demon mixed in. Yumi’s boyfriend, Sunwoo, is a long-haired hottie who all the girls are ga-ga over. He is obsessed with Yumi’s safety, which becomes more important when her “evil” period shows up. With it come hordes of baddies to kill her or make her their evil queen. Sunwoo gives her protection spells, but they can’t warn off the first devil woman who comes a-callin’. The ultimate big boobed baddy tries to hit on Sunwoo at first, but he banishes her with a spell. Meanwhile, a scary possessed teacher lures Yumi into a classroom and these evil spirits who look like a cross between zombies and vampires attack her.

In volume two, we learn that Yumi is pure blood. It is said that both the Virgin Mother Mary and Lilith, Satan’s wife, were pure blood. It all depends on if the woman is filled with light or darkness, and that is the way the next 1000 years will be ruled. Volume two is mostly fighting scenes, which took a little away from the story for me.

The art work and style of this series is contradicting to me because the inside features the good old Japanese style school uniforms, but the covers look like something off a 1980’s heavy metal band cover. Even the book blurb on the back sounds like a metal music video opening.

When the floodgates of Yumi’s womanhood burst open, demons rush in, clamoring to make the high school senior the mother of evil itself.

All hail Iron Maiden and all that. It’s strange to me how these two styles mix. This is definitely not a kids book with the graphic language and panty/boob shots. There aren’t any extras, but you won’t need them with these action-packed volumes.

One confusing thing about the art in this series is that sometimes they have the same character in the same frame doing two different things, so you might think… “Is that him split in two?” Or, “Who’s that new guy who looks exactly like Sunwoo? Does he have a twin?” But in battle scenes, this is a cool effect because it makes it like still shots of DBZ fights.

The Evil’s Return series is hard to find, but a few used copies can be found here and there on the web, including at Amazon.com.

Manhwa Review: Nabi the Prototype by Yeon-Joo Kim

When we think of Valentine’s day, we often think of poetry, so for today’s post, I thought I’d bring you a book of poetry themed comics. Those of you who like poetry, but have yet to pick up a manhwa, then Nabi The Prototype by Yeon-Joo Kim is for you. A particularly beautiful passage reads:

Like the shy camellias That blossomed On a sheet of white Summer paper…

Red flowers are blooming On the surface of the snow.

Or perhaps, It is a crimson cloud touched By the sunset afterglow…

This manhwa is a group of love stories about people who have grown up together or traveled together on a great quest, whether it be a quest of distance or time. From tales about falling love with your kidnapper, to falling in love with your best friend from childhood, this book explores what love can mean in many different forms. I found the most touching tale was about an orphan who feels unwanted and unloved, but she finds out that her father, a poet, thought her name was the best poem he ever wrote.

Because of it’s poetic style, this book may be hard for straight fiction readers to understand. I found it was similar to Shakespeare in that if you did not understand it the first time, a second read and another viewpoint would bring the meaning to life.

This is a Korean manhwa, read in the English direction. The art style in this book is decidedly Korean with elaborate costuming and stylized hair. I’d recommend this book for anyone who likes to look beyond the obvious and experience love stories truly unique.

You can check out Nabi the Prototype at Amazon.com.