Friday, May 11, 2012

Manhwa Review: Moon Boy

So I realized a few weeks ago that if I didn't do anything I would be out of reviews by today (I never did a chance to read my friend's copy of Sailor Moon) and decided that to be on the safe side I should go ahead and grab a number of manhaw titles I had come across at the library before, thought they looked kinda interesting, and just check them out. So here's the first of that bunch, I've got three volume ones to talk about, let's get started!

Moon Boy by Lee Young You

Summary: Myung-Ee is a regular fifth grader, abet a bit more boy-crazy than most of her friends, but does have an odd quirk, her eyes turn red when the moon rises. She mentions this to a boy in her class, Yu-Da Lee, who has the same thing happen to him and it turns out that they are both rabbits from the moon who fled to Earth to hide from hunting foxes. Shortly after this he vanishes and no one remembers anything about Yu-Da until Myung-Ee finds him five years later only to find that he doesn’t remember anything about his old life either.

The Good: It’s an interesting concept, I don’t know a lot about Asian mythology (especially Korean mythology in particular) but I wouldn’t be surprised if the idea of rabbits living on the moon was an actual story and not just made up for this manhaw and I’d like to see that idea expanded upon. Right now the pacing is a bit awkward so while Myung-Ee does not come off as much of a self-centered, annoying lead as you would expect it’s hard to tell just what she is since she hasn’t had any time to even take in what’s happened so far. And at this point that’s really all I can say about the story, it could be rather interesting but so little has actually happened that it’s hard to say how well it will turn out.

The Bad: As odd as it sounds, I really liked the story before it time-skipped, odd because it’s about a boy-obsessed fifth grader and nothing is explained but I just didn’t like the characters introduced later on. While the conflict had some potential for cool the random characters just me completely uninterested in the plot and didn’t make me want to pick up another volume. If the pacing had been smoother, and one or two more events had happened, I probably would have looked around for more on the story but just the promise of a possibly cool story just isn’t enough to sell me on it.

The Art: Much like my complaints with the story, I greatly prefer the pre-timeskip character designs to the regular designs, I couldn’t even tell Yu-Da was the same character until some of the bad guys confirmed that Myung-Ee wasn’t crazy. Style-wise the art here looks a lot like generic manga art that I’ve seen dozens of times before, lots of screentones, background only appearing when necessary to a shot and more chibis than I’d like. It’s not bad, unless you count some characters changing so much in five years that they’re unrecognizable bad (and in all fairness that does happen to some people with puberty), it just didn’t catch my eye.

It appears that Yen Press has taken over the license for this series (unsuprisingly, they've licensed a lot more manhaw that most people seem to realize) and I might pick up the second volume if I ever came across it but right now I don't have the urge to go out and actively look for it.


  1. It looks very, well, standard: the art looks like it's taken out of 'drawing manga for beginners', the plotline seems to have 'amnesia' as a central point (very original idea there) and the whole thing has a very done-to-death look about it.
    But a story about bunnies from outer space? I would be all over that. Shame they let such a novel concept go all bleugh (technical term).
    Also...Manhaw? Do you perhaps mean 'Manhwa'? 'Manhaw' sounds like some obscure Texan farming verb.

  2. Oops, the problem with foreign words is that my spellchecker never catches them, I'll go change that right now...