By Baek Hye-Kyoung
Released in the US by UDON
Slugline: I think this is the fastest I have ever seen a manga (or manhwa) series fall apart.
Note: UDON seems to prefer using the term manhwa rather than the currently more popular term for manga from Korea, manwha. And this creator has also done the series Bring it On!
Eun-Yo Song has fashion designer brothers who make her fine clothes and the appreciation of most of the boys in school, but cannot make a move on the boy that she is really interested in, Chan-Kyung Woo. But after an accidental confrontation with the pop singer Nan Lee, Eun-Yo's life becomes more than a little crazy. She manages to get into a relationship with Chan-Kyung, but that is challenged when she gains a debt to Nan Lee for burning down his house, mostly by accident.
This started out as a nice little wacky comedy series, but then halfway through the volume things started falling apart. First of all there is a a jump forward in time of a year that I don't really think was necessary, and it jumpstarted some things I think we should have seen, such as the beginning of Eun-Yo's romantic relationship. Several characters seem to be needlessly cruel, and make demands that one would think that any reasonable person will refuse, but because this is a manga/manhwa they will be taken seriously by other characters, to those character's detriment. Plus the debt that makes characters dependent on each other? Hasn't anyone in Korea heard of homeowner's insurance? Or perhaps using banks to schedule payments over time? Sorry, one of these days I would like to see an approach of one of these massive debts in a somewhat reasonable fashion rather than just using them as a poor excuse to keep characters together when there is no other reason to. But there was a good beginning and some effective use ofchibi art throughout the book, so if the creator can resist the urge to go all cliche, she may still pull this off. (At least I believe it to be a woman, my grasp of Korean naming conventions is need of improvement.)
Star Project Chiro, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.