Thursday, May 31, 2007

Platina, v. 1

By Yeon Joo Kim
Published in the U.S. by CPM Manhwa

Slugline: I am not sure that there is a story here, but it is amusing to read.

Auna was a rich girl whose family lost everything, and was forced to work for the government and her kingdom's demanding princess to maintain the old family home which was foreclosed on. The Princess gives Auna a fox cub, who promptly turns into a boy thief with a mother complex that defies easy description. Needless to say, the transformations from fox cub to boy and back again, are half of the humor of the book. All of the characters have hidden depths, but it is hard to actually pick out a coherent storyline here. We have secret pasts, but also an awareness that they are in a manhwa since they reference things that they know will not happen until the next chapter. Evil background characters are evil because they are in the background, and they know it. But hidden in the midst of all this frivolity there are the character's secret pasts. And what the hell is the Princess up to? Is she supposed to be a sympathetic character or not?

So as long as you don't mind being purposefully confused and seeing the structure of the story laid bare to you, this is a pretty good read. I rank it above stories that are confused because the author thinks that is the best way to be mysterious, or the author just can't tell the story coherently, which are sins of commission, whereas I think the omissions here are very purposeful.

Platina, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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