Thursday, January 25, 2007

Good Luck, v.1

by E-Jin Kang
Published in the U.S. by Tokyopop

Slugline: They say Shi-Hyun's bad luck, so she's singled out... and she's actually tough enough to handle it.

Sadly, most of the manhwa we've reviewed here has been a disappointment. (notable exception: Dokebi Bride) They've mostly been rehashed mediocre manga with a too-small dash of Korean flavor.

Good Luck is different. The dialog pops and snarks and the art is both pleasantly clean and developed beyond merely manga standard-issue. Shi-Hyun and her brother are character types we've seen before, but she actually has a tough shell (Rather than either just smiling now and crying later, or breaking out into comedic violence, which are what pass for "tough girl" in a lot of manga. Neither of which, I would say, treat female anger with much honesty.) And her brother isn't quite a cross-dresser... yet.

There are several small tweaks to the staple new-girl-at-school story, all of them refreshing even when they're a bit confusing. I was just so glad to meet a female character who wasn't aspiring to be a door mat for the Cute Boy and so charmed by the art that I'm overlooking the lack of plot (it will probably be a series of small episodes, loosely tied together) and recommending this one, especially to middle-school girls.

Good Luck is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Miranda

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