Comic, Vol. 7
By Ha SiHyun
Published by Yen Press
Now that Patrick realizes that the girl Neil has fallen for is his own estranged girlfriend, Alice, he is filled with jealousy as Neil and Alice prepare for the school festival’s three-legged race together. Patrick’s partner in the race is a real surprise as well. Later, Alice is mesmerized when she sees Neil dance but is flustered when he confesses his feelings for her. Both Patrick and Alice experience wavering feelings throughout the volume–Alice for Neil and Patrick (shockingly) for ice queen Daria–but by the end they are both drawn back to each other, even if their timing is astoundingly unfortunate.
I have to admit that I just can’t seem to let go of my disappointment over the fact that this series seems to have entirely dropped its original premise–Alice’s pursuit of a career as a manhwa-ga–in favor of becoming just another high school romance. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a very charming high school romance but it is the story of an aspiring young artist that really made it stand out in the first place, and it is a real shame to have (apparently) lost that for good. This volume did not include even the slightest mention of Alice’s artistic dreams or Patrick’s current profession as a manhwa-ga, as though that had never been part of the story at all. That said, I’m as anxious as anyone to find out what happens in the Alice-Neil-Patrick-Daria love quadrangle and I’ll be counting the days until I’m able to read the next volume.
Neil has become an especially appealing character in this volume and I admit I even considered that it might be nice if Alice actually fell for him, since he would be much less complicated to love than Patrick is. It was especially gratifying to discover that his feelings for Alice hold up even after hearing the truth about their original meeting in the music room. On the other hand, Neil obviously has her propped up on a pedestal and that can rarely end well. Oddly, even Daria comes off well in this volume. Okay, “well” might be an exaggeration but she at least shows some of who she actually is and evokes some real sympathy at long last. Patrick and Alice remain as volatile and dense as all girls’ manhwa couples seem destined to be, which is perfectly fine with me.
Though there isn’t enough forward motion in this volume to satisfy my quest for a romantic conclusion, it is fun, fiery, and emotionally fraught, just as I have come to expect from this type of manhwa, and I mean that in a good way. Though the artwork isn’t as stunning as something like One Thousand and One Nights or even Goong, it has its very nice moments, and the visual storytelling flows quite well.
Though it has lost some of the charm and particular draw of its initial volumes, Comic is still a solid choice for fans of girls’ manhwa.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
Travis saysAugust 23, 2009 at 1:20 am
I’m curious about the names. Is it set in Korea with randomly English names or is it actually set in an English-speaking country but with a random manhwa-ga plot?
Melinda Beasi saysAugust 23, 2009 at 8:10 am
It’s definitely set in Korea. Though of course I don’t know what the names are in the actual Korean version of the comic, I can only assume it is as you first suggest. Oh, and they all have Korean surnames.
Okay, after looking around a little, I can’t find anything official, but in this Amazon description of the first volume, it actually looks like Alice was originally Haae-Won. So was it Ice Kunion’s decision? (They were the original publisher.) Interesting.
Travis saysAugust 23, 2009 at 12:46 pm
How odd! I’m used to seeing characters get “American” names in dubbed anime, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in manga.
Melinda Beasi saysAugust 23, 2009 at 8:29 am
Just an additional note—if Ice Kunion did change the names from the original version, it’s an interesting choice, because they were a Korean company. I wonder if they thought English-speaking readers would have trouble with the Korean names? Though they didn’t do that with any of the other series of theirs (now Yen’s) that I have, like Goong, Very! Very! Sweet, Legend, You’re So Cool, etc.
Megan M. saysAugust 23, 2009 at 10:47 pm
Strangely, this is the only Ice Kunion/Yen manhwa that I’ve bounced off of. (Not that I’ve read all of them.) I liked the premise of Alice wanting to be a manhwaga, but Patrick and his treatment of Alice in the volumes I read were very much of the type of shoujo hero that I’ve come to dislike. And yet, the male lead of You’re So Cool is worse like that, and it doesn’t bother me there.