Comic, Vol. 8
By Ha SiHyun
Published by Yen Press
Picking up immediately where volume seven left off, Patrick and Alice impulsively seek each other out in a last-ditch effort to rescue their relationship. Unfortunately for Patrick, it is in this crucial moment that he discovers just how much his single lie has cost him. Despite her desperate desire for Patrick, when Alice finds herself stranded in the rain with only enough change for one phone call, it is Neil she banks on as the reliable choice. Truthfully, she’s not wrong. Neil turns out to be the ideal boyfriend—attentive, affectionate, playful, kind—all the things Patrick never was, even at his best.
As Alice’s new relationship goes public, Daria seizes the the chance to reprise her play for Patrick, this time yielding more satisfying results. The most significant development in this installment, however, is that after four frustrating volumes, both Alice and Patrick remember that they are manhwa-ga.
Does that last line sound sarcastic? It might be just a little. For the most part though, it’s just plain gratifying to see even the slightest hint of the story’s original premise creeping its way back to the page. And though the manhwa-ga plotline is hardly front-and-center, it is actually responsible for a few of the volume’s most amusing bits. It is fairly hilarious to watch, for instance, as Neil, filling in as an assistant on Patrick’s manhwa, cluelessly asks his best friend for advice on kissing his new girlfriend—a request Patrick ultimately fulfills by handing him an armful of sunjeong and shojo comics.
What works less well in this volume are some of the standard romance scenarios, like a tedious chapter near the end of the volume in which Neil’s plans for an intimate evening with Alice are relentlessly interrupted by his meddling sister. Yet, while scenes like this play out too obviously to be believed, others sparkle with joyful sunjeong goodness, though they tend to weigh heavily against the main romantic pairing.
“I feel full even when I don’t eat. I have fun even when we don’t do anything,” Alice muses to herself in the midst of a giddy afternoon date with Neil. “The guy I used to like never made me feel this good. Ever.” Reading something like that, it’s hard to feel enthusiastic about the prospect of a break-up, fated romance be damned!
Regardless of this volume’s minor shortcomings, it’s really nice to see this series finally back on track as something just a little more interesting than a standard high-school romance. Let’s hope volume nine continues the trend!
Review copy provided by the publisher.