Thursday, August 07, 2008

Jade of Bango, vol. 1

Story by Ae-Ju Yim with Art by Jin-Ju Yim
Released in the US by TokyoPop

Slugline: Despite Japan and Korea having a history of disliking each history, their manwha and manga is not that different.

Lin, is a cheerfully happy girl despite the fact that her mother was killed by a monster one night and lives with her forgetful father. Of course, she just accepts that monsters killed her mother in a world that seems otherwise exactly like our own. Despite the fact that she can see ghosts Lin doesn't think that there is anything wrong with her world until monsters start attacking her directly and night falls instantaneously around her. After a rescue she learns that she is the Jade of Bango, with a Phoenix related power that can destroy the world, so of course she gets a hot but emotionally distant protector (is this an attempt by get women to accept that emotionally distant men are cool, or that they need to settle for that?) Lin is also informed that he will be her husband. Of course she has no problem with that, or that her protector's rival arrives to take her away from him, but despite the whole kidnapping thing she thinks that they are friends. And yes, it is even sillier than this brief description of it.

Wow. Mystical girl with the power to destroy the world is given a hot but emotional distant protector. Never have read anything like that. This week, that is. As a manwha I was hoping to see some interesting spins on the standard manga genre conventions, but nothing of that was here. Sure, some of the iconic imagery was different (different portrayal of the ghosts) and the costumes seemed more Chinese based than usual, but otherwise is way too conventional. Even the two girl friends with one more mysterious one having lesbian overtones is right out of the manga playbook. The one thing that was forgivable was this appeared to be a double volume, so at least there was decent chunk of story to suffer through.

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

- Ferdinand


Oliver said...

Hi Prospero:

I enjoy reading your blog because you feature not only manga, but Yaoi and manhwa reviews as well.

I really wanted to get Jade of Bango because it's an enormous chunk of manhwa to read, but if you say that it just means more to suffer through and it's conventional, then I'll look elsewhere. Any other manhwa you would recommend?


Prospero's Manga said...

Thanks for the kind words! If you look along the side, you can see that the reviews can be categorized by tags, so there are 30 manhwa reviews and 22 yaoi reviews.

Manhwa, some stuff I would suggest would be Hotel Africa, Fever, I Wish... and 1520 (though I am not sure if 1520 is available yet...)

Oliver said...

Thanks for the recommendations! All those titles you mentioned (minus 1520) are currently "on hold" by Tokyopop. Nevertheless, I do want to check them out.

On, the entry for 1520 says it is licensed by UDON. Is this the same one you are talking about? (

Prospero's Manga said...

Yep! I forgot to mention that all titles are also tagged with it's publisher, so that should help...