Friday, August 15, 2008

Seduction more Beautiful than Love, vol. 1

Created by Lee Hyeon-Sook
Published in the US by TokyoPop

Slugline: Korean schools still have corporal punishment? Another important safety tip for manga fans who go abroad.

Daoun is a new teacher at a high school and temporarily takes over the homeroom of a class with one of those quietly tortured pretty boys the clutter up manga/manhwa, Ryumin. He barely pays any attention to schoolwork but enjoys twisting her head about over whether or not he is trying to seduce her, drawing her out emotionally then (apparently) feigning disinterest. But both have their own other romantic interests, Daoun has an old college friend Hyunwoo who never managed to tell her how he felt before and has become a new teacher at the same high school that Daoun teaches at and Ryumin has a girlfriend (of a sort) that seems to be able to manipulate everyone but him.

This is a fairly low key title, no big or broad character traits or actions. Daoun is a little clueless, which is best shown by how her mother manipulates her into a blind date but also because she can't seem to make head or tails of Ryumin or Hyunwoo . Why is it in real life (or at least western fiction) that it seems women can see right through guys (not that it is all that difficult) but in manga/manhwa/eastern fiction women never seem to have the first clue on what is going on men's minds, or even can decipher the most blatant of actions? I realize that the truth is probably more in the middle (and that fact would destroy whole buildings of the Library of Congress) but it just seems that Daoun would have at least some clue Hyunwoo likes-likes her, even if she doesn't acknowledge it out loud. Most of the other character's confusions are more or less believable but having the main character being so clueless is just annoying and let's you see the hand of the author pushing the characters around like chess pieces just so that he can have story that lasts longer than an episode. And more importantly make sure to have lots of moments filled with sexual tension. Nice art though, easy to recognize the characters and each is attractive in their own way.

Seduction more Beautiful than Love, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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