nabi the prototype

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