MJ: Back in the spring of 2010, I undertook a digital marathon read of Totally Captivated, a Korean boys’ love series by Hajin Yoo, in preparation for a review of its final volume, which was soon to be released in print by its North American publisher, NETCOMICS. It was an intense 48 hours, to be sure, and at the time, I enjoyed the series so much that this quote from my review turned up on the back of that print volume: “In its early volumes, Totally Captivated was smart, sexy, and fabulously dramatic. Now at the end of its final volume, it has also grown into an unexpectedly satisfying love story, rivaling the best of its genre.”
Since we love Korean manhwa in general (and BL manhwa in particular), for our contribution to the BL Manga Moveable Feast, Michelle suggested that we devote a column to Totally Captivated. I was excited by the idea, but a little worried that I might not love the series as much after so much time (and so much BL), and in some ways my worry was justified. Having been a relative newcomer to both manga and manhwa back then, it’s only natural that my tastes would have evolved, even over the course of just three years. Fortunately, the things I loved most about Totally Captivated have endured, and I can ultimately stand by the quote above.
So what is Totally Captivated? Since I’ve always found summarizing a story’s premise to be the most difficult part of a review (no, seriously), I’ll let my 2010 self do the heavy lifting:
Ewon Jung is a 23-year-old scholarship student in Seoul, whose curiosity over whether or not it is possible to have great sex without love (“It was possible.”) leads him to cheat on his boyfriend, Jiho.
Devastated and yearning for revenge, Jiho persuades his new boyfriend, a small-time loan shark named Mookyul Eun, to force Ewon into service at his office where he is expected to run errands, clean, and balance the books, all without payment. Unfortunately for Jiho, Mookyul soon develops an interest in Ewon, and it isn’t long before Jiho ends up shunted aside once again. Mookyul is controlling and occasionally violent, and Ewon is far from a pushover, but they eventually reach a mutually beneficial arrangement and begin living together. Things do not continue peacefully for long, however, as Ewon becomes aware that he is falling harder for Mookyul than he intended and experiences his first real taste of jealousy. Though the story’s premise initially seems contrived, its real function is to provide a stylish, humorous background to what is essentially a very moving story about two deeply damaged men learning how to love.
Care to add to that summary, Michelle?
MICHELLE: Man, am I ever glad to see you say that your worry was justified, because up to volume four I was a bit fretful that I wasn’t enjoying the series as much as I had hoped to. Happily, that did change.
I don’t think I have anything in particular to add to the summary other than the fact that it takes these guys a long time to figure out where they’re coming from, and there are a lot of scenes (especially in volumes three and four) where you wonder, “Why on earth does Ewon stay with Mookyul?!” It’s like the stereotypical sadistic seme turned up to eleven. It’s only later that you start to gain some insight into why Mookyul is behaving like he is, so it’s definitely worth it to persevere even when you’re disgusted by him.
MJ: I was re-reading my full review of volume six, and I see that I’d mentioned there how hard it was to continue to root for the relationship during a few of the middle volumes, and that’s definitely what I found even harder to deal with this time around. Yet I had a similar reaction by the end as I’d had originally—that once we knew enough about both of them to understand why they were who they were, it was actually a really romantic story. I don’t know that any other story with such a controlling love interest has managed to redeem itself with me to that extent, which makes Totally Captivated special, indeed.
The thing that makes this really work, in my opinion, is Ewon, because he’s such a consistent character all the way through, and even if we don’t understand everything about his past from the beginning, everything we learn as we go slots right into Ewon as we know him. From the beginning, he avoids commitment and real emotional connection, he’s absolutely clear with himself about what he’s willing to put up with and what he’s not, and he’ll find a way to extract himself from a situation he can’t tolerate, one way or another (I think this is why I was able to stomach him staying with Mookyul during their worst times—because when he’s done with something, he actually does leave).
But most of all, something that I think is made very clear is that (and I think this answers your question), with all that emotional avoidance in mind, the reason Ewon gets together with Mookyul, and even the reason he stays with him for a long time, is that he finds him incredibly attractive. Mookyul is exactly Ewon’s kind of hot, and he’s pretty honest with himself about the fact that this is a highly motivating factor for him, even to the end.
MICHELLE: Yeah, I know Ewon has essentially regarded Mookyul as his dream guy since middle school, but still… No matter how attractive a guy, I wouldn’t endure what Ewon endures! That said, he does also mention at one point that, because of what happened between them in the past—young Ewon pledged to wait for delinquent Mookyul to return to school, and though he did wait, his adult self forgot all about it, when to Mookyul it became a sustaining memory—he feels somewhat responsible for how messed up Mookyul has turned out. So that’s part of it, as well.
The big turning point for me came in volume four, when Ewon’s friends pressure him to invite Mookyul out to drink with them, and it all goes horribly wrong. I loved seeing how concerned Ewon’s friends are with how controlling his new lover is, and I love the argument that results when Ewon and Mookyul get back home. “All I wanted was to introduce you to my friends. Just like other normal people get to do!”
I feel like this was the point where we realize that this isn’t going to just be some standard BL romance, but an in-depth character study. From here on out, we start to realize that Mookyul may actually be pretty clueless, despite how suave he seems to be. He has no idea how to be in a real relationship, and he’s going about it the wrong way because he can tell that Ewon is just looking for that thing that’s going to give him an excuse to bolt.
MJ: I love that volume four argument as well (and I actually adore pretty much all of Ewon’s school friends whom we meet during the series, but I expect we’ll talk about a few of them in-depth later), and the fact that Ewon never just takes any of Mookyul’s crap—there’s always a fight.
As I was reading your response, though, it also occurred to me that I think Mookyul’s bad behavior is maybe even part of why Ewon is willing to be involved with him, because he is always looking for an excuse to bolt. And since Mookyul is providing those excuses on a pretty much daily basis, it keeps that escape route always open for Ewon. Unlike with Jiho, a genuinely sweet, devoted guy whom Ewon couldn’t help but feel guilty for betraying, Mookyul is someone he could betray almost out of a sense of righteousness. Who could ever blame him for stepping out on Mookyul? He’s practically asking for it, right? And Ewon actually does this at one point early on in their relationship (more than once, if you consider his behavior with Dohoon). In a twisted way, a jerk like Mookyul is the perfect match for someone who always has one foot out the door, and that’s Ewon all over.
MICHELLE: I can see that. I want to be clear, though, that I’m not putting responsibility for Mookyul’s horribly controlling ways on Ewon’s inability to commit. Because Mookyul really does and says some horrible things, from threatening to kill Ewon a couple of times to forcing himself on Ewon in volume four just after that argument in which it seems like he’s beginning to see the light, to concealing the fact that he’s in a sexual relationship with “Chairman Lee,” the father figure in his life, when his declarations of love had persuaded Ewon that it was safe to give his heart—that one, precious possession that he clung to when he had nothing else—to Mookyul.
MJ: I should be clear that I’m not, either. Mookyul is 100% responsible for every shitty thing he says and does to Ewon. Ewon’s only responsible for his decision to stay with him (which, even then, I’d probably still lay on Mookyul, given all the threats he makes, if Ewon hadn’t made it perfectly clear time and again that he’s totally capable of leaving when he wants to—and does at least twice over the course of the series), and that’s where I see his inability to commit coming into play. I’m saying that Mookyul’s abusive behavior is is attractive in some way to Ewon because it makes it easier for him to avoid dealing with his real feelings. But that doesn’t erase the fact that Mookyul’s behavior is abusive.
In fact, I’d say Mookyul is unbelievably lucky—much more than he deserves to be—in that he’s managed to find someone (Ewon) who, over time, is willing to wade through all his abuse and teach him how to be a person. I think it might make me angry that he gets to have that, actually, if Ewon didn’t ultimately get something he really needs out of the relationship. The fact that Yoo is able to write all this in a way I can stomach at all is pretty incredible.
MICHELLE: Yes, I agree with that completely.
It’s only in the second half of the series that we start to see that Mookyul is actually pretty desparate to keep the people he cares about from leaving him. He’s jealous of any other guy Ewon talks to, and attempts to restrict his behavior, and yet also continues to sleep with Chairman Lee because he can’t just toss aside his own “father,” to whom he owes so much. Because he’s compartmentalized those two parts of his life, it’s almost like he can’t even see that sleeping with Lee qualifies as cheating on Ewon, which is something guaranteed to drive him away.
MJ: And, you know, I have so little sympathy for cheaters (it’s a thing), you think I’d have at least a moment of satisfaction when Ewon gets a taste of his own medicine (after all, the first thing we see Ewon do in the series is cheat on Jiho), but Ewon’s so genuinely distraught when he realizes that his pain over the discovery of Mookyul and Chairman Lee’s relationship is the same pain he’s inflicted on Jiho… I couldn’t even get there. And oh, Ewon’s pain. Yoo writes this perfectly, because it isn’t just pain Ewon feels, but also the humiliation of discovering that he’d been essentially made a fool—that he’d stood by, smiling, while Mookyul was cheating on him in the next room. Ewon’s sickening reaction and his remorse towards Jiho… it’s all written with such emotional truth.
MICHELLE: Exactly! What I really loved about all of this is that it honestly, genuinely shocked me. We’re so conditioned by romantic fiction of all kinds to believe the behaviorally challenged (seriously, I tried out and rejected ten adjectives here) hero when he claims that his beloved is the only one for him that I totally did believe it when Mookyul said so. It never even occurred to me that Yoo would let him be lying. But, of course, in reality people lie all the time, and they hurt each other like this all the time. It’s a complication to Ewon and Mookyul’s relationship that I can love deeply because it is realistic and not just some genre trope.
MJ: Yes! And actually, there is a ton of lying in this series, perpetrated by characters we care about—in fact, Ewon does more of it than anyone. He lies frequently, sometimes to save himself from grief (or serious harm), sometimes to save someone else, and sometimes just because it’s easy to do and it makes a potentially complicated situation less complicated for him. And because he’s our POV character, we know about all of it.
MICHELLE: I love that, even though he’s our POV character, Yoo still lets him do some pretty shitty things. Like when he leaves Mookyul’s place and goes straight to Dohoon, the friend he knows has a thing for him, and proceeds to sleep with him. Poor Dohoon thinks that Ewon has chosen him at last, but it turns out not to be the case. Ewon’s just distracting himself from his
MJ: Help! I’m torn between two emphatic responses!
First, yes, I so agree with what you’ve said here. I love the fact that Ewon is not always a good guy, at least when it comes to the way he treats his romantic and/or sexual partners (and in Dohoon’s case, his romantically-interested friends). Which isn’t to say that he’s an anti-hero by any means. He’s a protagonist you can’t help but love. It’s just that he’s a mess in a lot of ways, and one of the ways in which that manifests himself is in the way he takes advantage of his attractiveness to other men.
But what I maybe love even more is the way his circle of friends feels like the real thing, in all the best and worst ways. Dohoon is a fantastic character (one of my favorites in the series, actually), but more than that, I know that guy. Not necessarily in the most obvious sense—I don’t have many close friends from wealthy, connected families—but that friend, that long-time friend with whom one has weird sexual tension that is maybe mostly one-sided, but you’d do anything for each other no matter what shit is going down… I know that guy. And Ewon’s whole circle feels like that. They drink together, they date, they break up, they sometimes hate each other, but mostly love each other to bits. They can hurt and use each other and ultimately be forgiven. Those are friends I know and love. And though Ewon’s friends are sort of in the periphery of this story, they are fully realized all the same.
MICHELLE: I find I’m partial to a guy whose name I don’t know, so I’ll just call him the Peacemaker. He’s the one in the scene with Mookyul and Ewon’s friends who is trying to smooth things out, reinterpreting what other people are saying in order to foster understanding and avoid unpleasantness. I mean, he’s just a bit character, really, and we already can tell so much about him by how he acts in that situation.
MJ: I know that guy, too! I think I used to be that guy!
MICHELLE: I pretty much am that guy!
MJ: I think you’ve articulated something here, too, that is key to the success of this series. The fact that Yoo creates a character like the Peacemaker, whose name we don’t even know, but who is so immediately familiar and fully fleshed-out for us in his tiny role—that’s exactly what she does throughout the series, and she kind of does it on the sly. Particularly early on, before we start getting into the meat of Ewon and Mookyul’s histories (which takes a while, partly because Ewon avoids thinking about his past and because he lies so often), Totally Captivated is a deceptively light read. It’s over-the-top and genuinely funny (I’d forgotten, really, how funny it is), and on the surface it appears to be pretty much just a stylish romp. But Yoo is so skillful with things like characterization, that before you know it, you’re hooked into something much deeper, and you’re not even sure how you go there.
MICHELLE: And the story is just well constructed in general. The most significant action takes the form of conversations (or arguments), which I liked, but there’s also the storyline about the power struggle within Chairman Lee’s organization, and I thought that was handled quite well. There’s not too much of the gangster stuff to make it boring, but it ties together reasonably well and impacts our leads in significant ways.
MJ: Yeah, gangster stuff is not usually something I’m extremely interested in, but not only does it support the main romantic story in various ways, especially in terms of dealing with Mookyul’s relationship with Chairman Lee (which did not play out as I expected!), but the day-to-day stuff in the office of a loan shark actually provided some of my favorite moments in the series! Obviously the main relationship is developing in that office, but I also really love the way Ewon makes a place for himself with Mookyul’s underlings, and the way they all support him. There’s a scene somewhat early on in which Ewon is studying in the office and though he’s already asked everyone if they needed coffee, Mookyul fails to ask for any until later on. When he then does ask for coffee, his guys basically reprimand him, “You should have raised your hand when he asked.” It’s such a heartwarming little moment.
Then, of course, there’s all the stuff with Byungsoo Yoo, which is so interesting. He’s an underling working for Mookyul, who gets kicked out early on for embezzling from the organization—a feat he clumsily accomplishes by convincing Ewon to let him temporarily take over the office bookkeeping (it had originally been his job before it was Ewon’s) while Ewon is busy with schoolwork. There are a whole slew of things I love about Byungsoo’s story, though not for his sake, but rather for what his story reveals about both Ewon and Mookyul over the course of the series.
First, during the scene in which he asks to take over the bookkeeping, Byungsoo makes a homophobic remark to Ewon, and Ewon’s reaction is so much exactly who he is. He doesn’t try to defend himself (why should he have to defend his existance to anyone, especially a guy like that?) or engage him on the subject at all, he just quietly writes him off as a person.
Then later, as the increasingly clueless Byungsoo walks away, spouting promises to buy him a drink, Ewon just gives him the finger. “I don’t want some stinking homophobe to buy me a drink.” It’s just Ewon all over. He’s totally comfortable with himself and his sexuality, and anyone who’s not simply isn’t worth his concern. And yet, still, when the shit inevitably hits the fan, Ewon throws himself to the lions (Mookyul) in order to save Byungsoo from a grisly death. Which, incidentally, ends up being a surprisingly hilarious moment, in the way that Yoo creates hilarious moments.
MICHELLE: I think that was our first inkling, too, that Ewon isn’t going to necessarily be completely honest about everything. Because he didn’t ever really confess that he pretty much knew that the guy was going to embezzle, only that he wanted to take over the accounting and Ewon let him.
MJ: Yes, you’re right. This is our first really clear glimpse of Ewon’s lying for self-preservation, something that happens a lot, and which I don’t even totally disapprove of, I find, which is interesting for me as a reader.
Then, later, when Byungsoo re-enters the story, it’s Mookyul we end up learning things about—namely that he’s smarter and more forgiving than I had realized, though it all seems so obvious once it’s out there.
MICHELLE: We start to see new facets of Mookyul once he’s given up everything for Ewon. It’s like he can relax at last because Ewon has come back to him. There’s a great scene early in volume six just after they’ve been reunited when he is still clearly himself and yet exudes a completely different vibe, saying, “It’s strange… I have nothing left now. But I’m happy.”
MJ: This brings up something that’s a point of discomfort for me in the series, and that definitely bothered me more on my second read than it had originally. Both Ewon and Mookyul have epic abandonment issues that make them each who they are, and it all feels very real. It rings true, even during the most super-dramatic portions of the series. Mookyul needs to control and Ewon needs to detach—this is how they’ve each learned to cope. Obviously each character’s behavior is destructive to himself and his relationships, and we watch that happening, over and over. Nobody, including Mookyul, Ewon, and the author thinks this behavior is healthy. It just is what it is.
Where I feel uncomfortable is where they ultimately end up, but I wonder if that’s just because it pings my own issues. By the end, they’ve each finally accepted that the other *isn’t going to leave* and that’s a huge relief for them both. They can worry about losing each other to outside forces, but they’re also there to keep each other safe from those things. And I really appreciate that this intense universe of two, which is so often just written as a super-romantic vision of controlling, over-protective behavior, is instead here a mutual coping mechanism that can help these two seriously damaged men build a happy life together—one happier than either of them ever hoped to find. It’s brilliant, actually. Yoo has taken an overused, unhealthy romantic cliche and turned it into something understandable and actually not creepy.
But a little bit? I’m still creeped.
MICHELLE: I’d say I’m more concerned than creeped. It’s just not healthy to be so dependent on another person that you declare “I won’t be able to breathe without you.” But, as you said, it’s understandable given what they’ve gone through. I hope that, with time and maturity, they’ll be able to achieve the ability to function separately as need be while retaining a feeling of certainty about their relationship.
MJ: The other thing that bothers me is that I worry that Ewon doesn’t get his way often enough in the bedroom, and this also was a bigger issue for me on my second read. Now, I’m not even talking about the non-con early on. The power dynamic is seriously screwed up in the beginning, and even though Ewon proves he can get out of situations he doesn’t want to be in, it’s still clear that he sometimes goes through with things he doesn’t want just because it’s easier, which isn’t the same as actual consent. This is a problem, and though it’s handled in a more complex manner here than in a lot of BL, it’s still yucky.
But what I’m talking about here is just their general bedroom dynamic. Ewon finds Mookyul to be pretty impossibly sexy, and clearly wants to sleep with him, so that’s not the issue. The issue is that they always have sex the way Mookyul wants to have it, and I never get the feeling that this is really okay with Ewon.
Yoo tackles the whole seme/uke (if we’re talking Japanese BL tropes), top/bottom business in a way that feels more authentic than what we usually see (I’m not saying it is authentic—how would I know?—just that it reads like it is, so I’m able to buy in), but where it works well in her scenes with Ewon and Dohoon (both exclusively “pitchers” who aren’t particularly interested in experimentation, which leads to verbal sparring), the arrangement between Ewon and Mookyul (also two “pitchers”) just reads as perpetually unsatisfying for Ewon. I’m unhappy with this state of affairs, and Ewon should be, too.
MICHELLE: I wondered a bit about that myself. I think Ewon only makes one complaint about that aspect of their relationship, and it’s not followed up on. But after he leaves Mookyul and goes on his sex-as-distraction spree, he starts off by being “catcher” for Dohoon. I’m not sure what he does with those other guys, but I kind of thought maybe he realized he liked it after all. I do note here that this title is rated 16+, so we don’t get any kind of intimate details of bedroom relations, for which I’m grateful.
And I wonder how flexible Mookyul is in that department. When Ewon discovers that Mookyul and Lee are sleeping together, he implies that Mookyul is the catcher in that scenario and Mookyul doesn’t deny it, but doesn’t confirm it, either.
MJ: Hmmmmm, perhaps you’re right. I suppose my overall reaction is based on a sense that we mostly see Ewon just exhausted from sex with Mookyul, rather than basking in the afterglow. So I kind of felt that he never really liked it as much as he could. And when he goes to Dohoon, it’s out of a pretty destructive kind of need, so I’m not convinced he actually wants the sex then either, but rather just to be wanted, which is something Dohoon can easily deliver (unfortunately for Dohoon). I mean, Ewon’s a guy who clearly likes sex, but I’m not sure that particular spree is representative of his healthiest impulses.
Speaking of Chairman Lee… wow. There are very few characters I hate more than Chairman Lee, between the semi-incestuous (and definitely abusive) relationship with his “son,” to his downright *mean* behavior with Ewon, he enraged me more often than anyone else in the series, with a healthy side of SKEEVE. Though, true to form, Yoo managed to surprise me with him in the end.
MICHELLE: While majorly, majorly icky, I still found Chairman Lee pretty fascinating. Yoo could’ve easily turned him into a mustache-twirling villain, but he never feels like that at all.
MJ: Yeah, he’s significantly less that kind of villain than, say, Papa Dino in Banana Fish. Fortunately, he’s also never portrayed as actually sympathetic, which I don’t think I could stomach. But he is a more fully-formed character than your average sexual abuser might be, and that at least makes it easier to understand Mookyul’s extreme loyalty. And this makes it feel that much more profound when he actually does cut Lee out of his life in order to be with Ewon, too. As twisted as Mookyul’s relationship is with Lee, I think they actually love each other. It’s just that this love is constantly compromised by Lee having established a deeply inappropriate sexual relationship with Mookyul.
And speaking of twisted relationships… oh, Jiho. Poor Jiho. Want to talk about him a bit?
MICHELLE: Sure! I actually grew to like him quite a lot. I like that he was still able to care about Ewon, despite everything that happened, and felt close enough to challenge him on some of his bad behavior. I think this may be another case of someone finding love and security—Jiho eventually acquires a sweet and adoring boyfriend—and then being able to move past some of their past hangups.
MJ: I was surprised to end up liking Jiho as much as I did, even though he was initially wronged by Ewon. I thought his revenge (or what I interpreted as simple revenge at the time) was disproportionate to the crime. But he absolutely won me over, and actually his friendship with Ewon is one of my favorites in the series. It’s one of those times where I think maybe they just got it wrong the first time around, and they were always meant to be friends. I love watching the two of them care for each other, which they do over and over. And Jiho’s little declaration of independence is possibly the cutest thing ever.
And here’s another area where Yoo just really gets it right. When Ewon is going through his self-destructive sex spree, Jiho can’t help but care, and he kind of scolds himself for worrying about who Ewon is sleeping with when he’s got his own awesome boyfriend to care about now. And that’s exactly what would happen. It’s not like we stop caring about people who wrong us… if we did, they wouldn’t have been able to hurt us in the first place. So Jiho can’t help but care.
MICHELLE: And, of course, there’s that great moment above when Ewon is able to apologize to Jiho for the pain he caused, finally knowing what it feels like to be betrayed by the one to whom you’ve given your heart. I think we’re back to the “Ewon has great friends” point again. :) But actually, Mookyul has some loyal friends, too. Especially Sangchul, who’s his right-hand man in many ways.
MJ: You’re right, of course! I mean, technically Mookyul’s friends are kinda paid to be on his side, but it’s obvious that their loyalty to him is real. And later, when Mookyul really needs them, they come through, particularly Sangchul and, surprisingly, Byungsoo.
MICHELLE: I guess we are Friend Fangirls for this series. They provide a good deal of the humor, too.
MJ: It’s true, they do. Like the entire section where the the boys in the office are trying to cover up the fact that Ewon’s in hiding after having accidentally broken an important vase? That whole thing is hilarious, from start to finish.
Heh, I was going through the books to pick out some of my favorite bits of humor, and there are just so many! Humor is so much a part of the fabric of Yoo’s storytelling, I get the feeling that she’s barely trying; humor just happens. Sure, sometimes she takes the time to go all chibi-like to punctuate the humor (and her chibis are freaking adorable, I have to say). But so often it’s just part of the drama. I mean, there are are, in the middle of a life-or-death scene, and somehow there’s nothing funnier than Ewon suddenly exclaiming, “The crazy fucker that tried to grab your sac in elementary school was me!”
MICHELLE: I thought it was a good sign when I snickered on, like, page three. That “It was possible.” line is just so well-timed.
MJ: Heh, yes, it really is. I suppose this is what you get when an author is just plain funny herself, rather than trying to make jokes. She can’t help but endow her protagonist with the same natural comic timing she has. And the same self-deprectating humor, too.
We get to see that directly aimed at Yoo, even, from time to time, during occasional breaks in the fourth wall. One of my favorite instances of this is in volume two, before Ewon is sexually or romantically involved with Mookyul, and he’s gossiping about Mookyul’s relationship to Chairman Lee with Sangchul. “Hajin Yoo says she’s gonna elaborate on the relationship between Mookyul and the big boss in a doujinshi,” says Sangchul. Ewon responds, “How can you trust what that lazy-ass says?” at which point he is punched in the eye by the text bubble.
MICHELLE: Hee. I’d forgotten that bit.
So, are we basically saying that Totally Captivated has it all (save for gratuitous sex scenes)? Good points, bad points, humor, romance, well-developed characters, and loads of profanity?
MJ: And eyes! I love the heavily-lined, detailed eyes we see in so much female-aimed manhwa. Yoo totally delivers on the eyes.
But yes, I guess that’s what we’re saying. Now that you’ve laid it all out there like that, it makes me want more.
MICHELLE: Alas, this appears to be Yoo’s only work released in English. It looks like she did follow through with writing a few doujinshi based on the series, though—including one featuring Ewon’s fourteen-year-old little sister.
MJ: I procrastinated on picking up the volumes that NETCOMICS printed (they were awfully spendy) and they sold out long ago. Though, given the 18+ rating, I suppose none of these is the little sister story. Sad.
MICHELLE: I actually had no idea they’d printed any of the doujinshi!
MJ: I still have some hope for a manhwa resurgence over here, and given how much I’ve enjoyed most of the Korean BL I’ve read, more of that (and more of Hajin Yoo) is absolutely on my wish list.
MICHELLE: Mine, too!
All images © Hajin Yoo, English text © NETCOMICS. This article was written for the 801 Manga Moveable Feast. Check out Otaku Champloo for more!
Moon Child | Fullmetal Alchemist | Paradise Kiss
The “Color of…” Trilogy | One Thousand and One Nights | Please Save My Earth
Princess Knight | Fruits Basket | Chocolat
Wild Adapter (with guest David Welsh) | Tokyo Babylon (with guest Danielle Leigh)
Full-series multi-guest roundtables: Hikaru no Go | Banana Fish | Basara | Gerard & Jacques | Flower of Life