First, from Erica Friedman at Okazu (hosted here for lack of yuri) comes a review of the third book in the Color series, The Color of Heaven.
While Erica praises the book’s artwork, she takes issue with its metaphoric vision of a woman as an eternally rooted being with no purpose other than to wait for a man to distinguish her from the lot.
“I felt that the language of the book was both very beautiful and awkward. Laced heavily with unrealistic platitudes that are increasingly heaped upon our heads, many of them about the “lot of women,” I began to find the dialogue burdensome. Women, we are told, are plain trees in the winter that wait for a butterfly man to alight on our branches to adorn us. Waiting is punishment for women’s love. Women are, in fact, nothing without men. While the language is beautiful, it fails the Bechdel Test completely.”
At Manga Xanadu, Lori Henderson reviews the entire series. She, too, finds fault in the overuse of metaphor, though she singles out some particular instances as being effective.
“The use of insects wasn’t quite as overused, but it definitely got the point across. Earth starts with two boys comparing Ehwa’s mother with a beetle, in that she will sleep with anyone. Butterflies are used most often though, to go with the flower analogies. Ehwa favors the Fire Butterfly through the last two volumes. Like a moth, it is drawn to flames and will die in them. That is the kind of man Ehwa wants, one that will stay in her flame and not dance from flower to flower. I found this expression of monogamy more interesting than the Mountain Butterfly that mates for life.”
Anna at TangognaT reconsiders the series on a second read, discovering that her opinions haven’t much changed. She takes the opportunity to also muse a bit on the state of the manhwa industry in North America and to express a desire to see more adult-oriented manhwa translated into English.
“There’s no equivalent of a Viz signature line for manhwa though, and I think that’s a shame. I’m sure there are more interesting and artistic manhwa being published in Korea, but I’m not sure if we’ll ever see them. Translating the Color Trilogy seems to be a start in the right direction though, since it is aimed at a more mature audience. It would be good to see more variety in manhwa titles translated in English just as we are seeing so many quality manga currently published.”
Finally, Ed Sizemore releases his latest Manga Out Loud podcast, where he discusses the trilogy with Manga Worth Reading’s Johanna Draper Carlson. More on this when I’ve had the opportunity to listen!
That’s it for this morning’s roundup. Stay tuned for more as the month continues!