Friday, July 07, 2006

Dokebi Bride, v.1

by Marley
Published in the U.S. by Netcomics

Slugline: Sunbi, who grew up in a small town with her shaman grandmother, has to move to Seoul to live with her estranged father and his new family.

The plot isn't yet clear, or this would've been a 4-star book. Volume 1 covers Sunbi's childhood in flashback and the problems of growing up with a shaman's ability to see the spirit world. And even though no goals are laid out -- her mother died because of spirit trouble, but Sunbi doesn't seem motivated by it, and the guardian spirits of the small town are leaving, but then again so is she -- I enjoyed the story very much.

Partly because of the dragon. I haven't seen many traditional Eastern dragons in manga, strangely enough, so it made me smile when a shaman from out of town accidentally summoned the town's guardian sea dragon. We also meet traditional Korean goblins called dokebi and learn a little about guardian spirits. Maybe this is all old hat in Korea, but it's the sort of thing that makes me devour a book even faster.

By the end of the flashback, we know a bit about why Sunbi has moved in with her father and stepfamily, but there isn't any conflict to speak of. Not yet. I expect this title will be climbing in the ratings as the story continues, because the writing and the art show a great deal of promise.

- Miranda

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