Welcome to another Manhwa Monday! As the Manhwa Moveable Feast continues, here is a quick roundup of the latest contributions from participants.
First, at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Jason Yadao reviews the series with a humorous nod to its (literally) flowery, metaphorical language.
“From the opening pages, where two beetles are shown entwined in their tight rope of love, this story flows in one direction, carrying one theme: Life is all about the buds that blossom between a man and a woman; all other matters are mere leaves that fall and litter the ground. And under this canopy, the flowers of women can only bloom to their fullest potential with the gentle rain provided by men.”
Though Jason makes his point regarding the manhwa-ga’s use of metaphor (among other things), he also wonders if the book would have as much flavor without it.
“I can see the beauty, and I can certainly appreciate the Color trilogy for that. At the same time, though, my enjoyment is tempered by those thorns. But would this story have resonated quite as much with me, for good or for ill, had those thorns been removed? I know for starters that this post probably wouldn’t have had nearly as many metaphors crammed into it. But more importantly, the story probably wouldn’t have had as much of the flavor of a cultural perspective unlike our own, and it wouldn’t have stirred nearly as much discussion or debate as it has.”
Linda (aka Animemiz) pens a few thoughts as well.
“I found myself thinking about The Joy Luck Club or other dramas I have seen where arrange marriage is conducted, especially with the fate of Chungja. Certainly the actions with Master Cho is not the least bit unfamiliar with me. This is a good series to be read to be exposed to a different world and different time period. I have noticed other reviewers mentioning this as a great mothers/daughters read and am saying that this is a great book to be shared, or with any adolescent female.”
At Rocket Bomber, Matt Blind reviews The Color of Earth, praising the book’s artwork, but noting that it doesn’t seem to quite live up to the expectations of romance or slice-of-life.
“If we’re telling a romance story, we start with the romance (age 16? earlier?). If this is to be a slice of life tale, I’d expect a lot more of the day-to-day, a better development of friendships, kids being kids and the like. If we’re going to explore human sexuality, I’d like to see more couples, more points of view, even more characters who better represent the whole of human nature and needs and compromises, and not just this one-note homily of waiting-and-wanting.”
Despite that, he thinks it is a book well worth reading.
“Even considering all my reservations about the story and characters, this is also a view into a culture that just doesn’t exist anymore. No matter how narrow the window provided, it’s still a glimpse into a time (though just a century ago) long past.”
Finally, the Reverse Thieves, Hisui and Narutaki repost their original reviews of the three books in the trilogy. Here are a quotes from each of them as they sum up their feelings about the series:
“The Color Trilogy has maintained its highbrow feel while still having a graceful humanity. With its relatively short but substantial length and its more mature narrative the Color series is a manhwa to show to people who might not necessarily give your standard manga a chance.”
“The Color series has been both artistically unique and calmly enthralling and as such is a series that needs to be read and experienced.”
The Manhwa Moveable Feast continues through June 30th. For more, check out this month’s archive.
In other manhwa news, Deb Aoki reports that Tokyopop has teamed up with digital magazine and book publisher Zinio to offer digital downloads of select titles. Already the short list of titles includes Sang-Sun Park’s The Tarot Cafe. Hopefully there will be more manhwa to come!
New in reviews, at Manga Maniac Cafe, Julie takes a look at volume three of 13th Boy (Yen Press). At the Graphic Novel Reporter, Danica Davidson looks at two series, volumes 1-3 of Do Whatever You Want and volumes 5-8 of Click (both from NETCOMICS). Also at the Graphic Novel Reporter, Snow Wildsmith reviews volumes 1-9 of One Thousand and One Nights (Yen Press). At Manga Life, Charles Webb looks at volume two of Laon (Yen Press). And over at MangaBlog, I post a guest review of the full series, Hissing (Yen Press).
That’s all for today!
Is there something I’ve missed? Leave your manhwa-related links in comments!