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_Emi_
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:31 pm Reply with quote
I'm open to literature of all cultures and thus would like to get into manhwa (as if my wallet needs it). The problem is I don't know where to start and since this site has forum users who've shown interest that can form a well thought out post, of which their must be more, I'd thought this would be the best place to ask.

One manhwa that's caught my interest is Bride of the Water God due to the gorgeous covers. Does the cover art follow into the story and does the story match up to the art?
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classicalzawa
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:48 pm Reply with quote
I'm fairly new to manhwa myself (love Hex btw), but two titles I've enjoyed are Hotel Africa (shame only two vols came out, Tokyopop stopped printing that series long before they went out), which will fill your episodic josei void, and Threads of Time, a time traveling epic that takes place during some historic Korean war.

I personally did not like Bride of the Water God very much, yes it was pretty very consistently, but the story was kinda...a mess if you ask me. One of those "engaged couple doesn't like each other" things, but with more soap opera and no comedy. Not in a fun way either if you ask me. If you want gorgeous detailed art with a much better story, look no further than Bride's Story, which is also easily more gorgeous than even BotWG.

I've also read 4 volumes of One Thousand and One Nights which I've seen described as being "like scherezade but gay" (meaning the story teller is a bishi instead of an actual woman), the volumes seem to be part romance/relationship between the prince and the story teller, except with yaoi overotnes. If yaoi overtones don't bother you (or if you like yaoi, that works too), that's definitely worth checking out as well.
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poonk



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:45 pm Reply with quote
classicalzawa wrote:
I personally did not like Bride of the Water God very much, yes it was pretty very consistently, but the story was kinda...a mess if you ask me. One of those "engaged couple doesn't like each other" things, but with more soap opera and no comedy. Not in a fun way either if you ask me. If you want gorgeous detailed art with a much better story, look no further than Bride's Story, which is also easily more gorgeous than even BotWG.
I'm liking BotWG well enough to keep buying it (it helps that it's rather inexpensive compared to the BL volumes I'm used to buying) but yeah, 9 volumes in now I've kind of lost the story. Part of the problem is that I have a heck of a time keeping Korean names straight. I have the same problem with K-dramas but of course, being real, distinguishable actors I have no problems following along regardless. With manga however it becomes very difficult to remember which similarly-drawn pretty person is who and what sort of intrigue they're up to. I think I'm going to try rereading the story from v01 before v11 comes out in May. I also kind of hope it's wrapping up soon because imo the story's getting stretched a bit thin after this many volumes.

P.S. You've pretty much sold me on at least checking out the first few volumes of One Thousand and One Nights, classicalzawa. But just curious, is there really a BL story line in there?
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classicalzawa
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:33 pm Reply with quote
poonk wrote:
P.S. You've pretty much sold me on at least checking out the first few volumes of One Thousand and One Nights, classicalzawa. But just curious, is there really a BL story line in there?

Well I've only read the first 4 volumes so far, and the books will go off into tangents to tell some of the 1001 nights stories (which are interesting in their own right, but won't be satisfying your BL needs by any means).
But so far, it's more building up a relation between the two mains, which would obviously go faster without the intermittent stories, but of course without those it's not quite 1001 Nights now is it?. So I can't say for sure yet but if you've read Banana Fish, yeah, it kinda reminds me of that sort of gay romance so far. It's the sort of thing where you're not likely to get any juicy scenes, but as a romance, it's quite sweet.
If you haven't read Banana Fish omfg, read it right now!

Of course, the original story of 1001 nights is that the sultan slept with women and murdered them each morning but one woman tells him part of a story and wanting to hear the rest, she is spared, then finishes last night's story and gets half through another, rise and repeat. Here, a very girly guy takes the place of his sister. The sultan obviously notices in bed, but I think he has sex with him anyway, but it doesn't get graphic into it like BLs usually will.
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kuriousity
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:38 pm Reply with quote
poonk wrote:

P.S. You've pretty much sold me on at least checking out the first few volumes of One Thousand and One Nights, classicalzawa. But just curious, is there really a BL story line in there?


There is, though most of each individual volume follows the unrelated stories being told more than the relationship between the Prince and storyteller. It works well though because you see their relationship evolve over the span of the entire series, coming full circle in the last volume (and so, so worth it in those final few books if you're rooting for them). Many of the stories told have plenty of attractive male characters and undertones as well. I wouldn't classify One Thousand and One Nights as a BL series since it's not the main focus but it weaves it in really well - a very charming series I highly recommend!

- - - - - - - - - -

As for other manhwa's, I've really been enjoying March Story which Viz Media has released three books of so far. UDON Entertainment also put out a good book called Chronicles of the Grim Peddler but unfortunately they only put out one book (fortunately it stands alone short-story style). Both are twisted takes on fairy tales.

Yen Press - who bought the licenses from ICE Kunion, a manhwa publisher - has a lot of manhwa titles in their library: http://www.yenpress.com/​series/​ If shoujo stories are your thing, they've got lots of great manhwa series for it.

Edit: Just remembered! Seven Seas also has a number of new manhwa titles out next year - Lizzie Newton Victorian Mysteries, Witch Hunter and Jack the Ripper. They just announced them late last year and have info on each on their site. It's great seeing companies are still looking around for different content instead of just Japan's market - some really, really interesting looking stories coming our way.
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st_owly
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:58 am Reply with quote
As others have mentioned, Yen Press have a good selection of manhwa. If a long series doesn't bother you too much, I'd definitely recommend Goong. It's based on the premise that Korea is still united under its royal family, and a common girl is forced into an arranged marriage with the crown prince, who apparently is a complete bastard. (Yen's description not mine) There are a /lot/ of Korean terms to keep up with (court language is different than that of the commoners) but the art is beautiful and the story's interesting as well. It spawned a drama by the same name.

Chocolat (which sadly seems to be perpetually incomplete) seems just like your average sunjeeong (shoujo) manhwa at first, but it's quite an interesting look at Korean "idol" culture. Plain Jane girl Kum-Ji is so desperate to meet her idols, that she joins the fan club of another idol group in order to try and get close to them. I did wonder when reading; "And why aren't you allowed to like more than one band?" but as the interviews at the end of volume 1 show, the authors themselves are idol fangirls, so it's probably based on some of their experiences.

If you want to track down any Tokyopop series, Crazy Love Story by Lee Vin is worth your time. As the title says, it is crazy. It's basically a love triangle, but it's a lot more complicated and twisted than that, and has the mafia in. It's only 5 volumes long, so might not be too difficult to get.
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poonk



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:53 am Reply with quote
classicalzawa wrote:
it's more building up a relation between the two mains, which would obviously go faster without the intermittent stories, but of course without those it's not quite 1001 Nights now is it?. So I can't say for sure yet but if you've read Banana Fish, yeah, it kinda reminds me of that sort of gay romance so far. It's the sort of thing where you're not likely to get any juicy scenes, but as a romance, it's quite sweet.
kuriousity wrote:
There is, though most of each individual volume follows the unrelated stories being told more than the relationship between the Prince and storyteller. It works well though because you see their relationship evolve over the span of the entire series, coming full circle in the last volume (and so, so worth it in those final few books if you're rooting for them). Many of the stories told have plenty of attractive male characters and undertones as well. I wouldn't classify One Thousand and One Nights as a BL series since it's not the main focus but it weaves it in really well - a very charming series I highly recommend!
All right ladies (am I right, is it ladies?), I am officially convinced-- I'll be throwing at least the first 3-4 volumes in my cart with the next RightStuf order I place. It doesn't bother me that it's not as explicit as some outright BL titles. I'm also a big fan of slow-burn romances and this story-telling plot sounds right up my alley.

Edit 2012.01.21: I just ordered v01-04 in today's RightStuf order.


Last edited by poonk on Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:28 pm Reply with quote
Oh, yes, do read 1001 Nights! One of my students lent it to me and I loved it. I'm an Arabian Nights fan anyway, but the unique take on the story and the characters, along with the historical setting, really made it a favorite.

One of my favorite manhwa is sadly out of print - 9 Faces of Love by Wann. Netcomix published it as part of their "manhwa novella" collection. All of those (collections of short stories by one author) were very good, with Lie to Me being my second favorite, but 9 Faces was just a wonderful, diverse collection with really great stories. I actually teach stories from it every semester.

Netcomix actually put out most of my favorites - Land of Silver Rain, Can't Loose You (a delightfully melodramatic soap opera), Narration of Love at Seventeen, Dokebi Bride...I'm sorry they stopped releasing print collections. Wait, are they even still around?? Well anyway, if you have any interest in Korean myths, check out Dokebi Bride. Only 6 volumes were released, but they're worth it.

I recently picked up Sugarholic and am still undecided on it. Kind of cute, I guess, but it doesn't have the strange allure of Neck and Neck, which told a similarly romancy story.

Ohhh, I almost forgot one of my favorites. (Brain stalled by Preview Guide...) Sweety Gem by Park Eun-Ah (author of TokyoPop's Bird Kiss) is a wonderful retelling of "Sleeping Beauty" with some interesting twists, particularly on that whole "charming" thing with regards to the prince. Now that I think about it, it's a bit similar to ABC's "Once Upon a Time" with the whole queen thing...Anyway, it isn't available in English, but you can get it in French and other less scrupulous places.
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_Emi_
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:18 am Reply with quote
classicalzawa: Hex is my favorite ReBoot character. And being an Emma fan, I've already got the first volume of Bride's Story.

Bride of the Water God: According to the review here on this site, Soah cottons on fairly fast that Habaek and Mui are the same person and that she's torn between Habaek and Huye. My concern is how long the author drags this out. Are these still concerns after 10 volumes? I should probably see if I can get it through inter-library loan. Or does BotWG have an artbook? Then I could just get that and not concern myself over the story.

I have no interest in yaoi/BL, so suggestions of those sort are right out. I'm also not interested in incomplete releases of ongoing series. It's painful enough looking at Swan sitting on my shelves never to be completed (Damn you DC! *shakes fist*). I don't need to add to that. Incomplete sereis that can stand alone (like the Chronicles of the Grim Peddler kuriousity mentioned) are OK though.

kuriousity: I can find out where to get manhwa just fine, it's the what that I would like some advice on. Which of Yen Press's releases do you like and why?

Princess_Irene: I've looked at those manhwa novella collections before. It's good to know that they come with a recommendation. I looked them up on Amazon and went ahead and ordered The Devil's Thrill as it looked like that one would be the hardest to get the longer I wait. It's a shame they only managed to release four volumes as its format seemed like a great way to sample various authors without the investment of time and money that a longer series would require.

Please, everyone, do give me more recommendations if you have them. And don't worry about the length of your posts, the longer the better.
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classicalzawa
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:44 pm Reply with quote
Well, although Hotel Africa is incomplete, it was episodic enough that volume 2 didn't end on a permanent cliffhanger.

Threads of Time was completely released though, 11 volumes. It's about this kid living in modern day Korea who has been having dreams, then visions while awake of past Korea (probably at a time that Korean readers would have been familiar with, but not being familiar with Korean history didn't dampen anything for me because the story telling was good and it explained what was necessary without a full history lesson). Eventually (in volume 1), his reality is overtaken by the visions and he finds himself stuck in past Korea. And the Mongols are about to wage war on Korea to take it over too! I liked the characters and the Mongols weren't these hideous weird looking people like they were in, say Mulan, and there's an instant romance between the hot Mongol princess (who isn't dressed like a hooker either) and the main character. I really enjoyed the balance between characters and war scenes and it fit in its 11 volumes very well. The author's very first manhwa, a short story, is somewhere in there too as a bonus chapter at the end of one of the middle volumes. I kept reading the books one after the other and found it easy to marathon too (a factor I always like). I suppose it's not the best action ever in a manga/manhwa, but it's still pretty easy to follow and the artwork is overall quite nice. And it's a shonen written by a woman, those are always the best shonen if you ask me (after all, there's FMA, Kekkaishi, Hikaru no Go, and plenty of others), but it's also pretty violent at times (fair warning). So yeah, for complete manhwa, I'd definitely recommend this one.

I only read three volumes of Bride of the Water God, that was enough for me and I just had to give up. And I'm someone who doesn't really care about the artwork unless it's impossible to follow (like Trigun) or the story is already good on its own. You could always see if a local library has Bride of the Water God first.

And man, I loved Hex! I was so sad spoiler[when she saved the world from the virus because then she went away for good (I say for good of course because of the freakin' permanent cliffhanger, I normally get annoyed if a character comes back from the dead unless they were my favorite character, so if she comes back in that movie they're supposedly making, then I will still cheer)]. But yeah, Hex is awesome!
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_Emi_
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:49 pm Reply with quote
classicalzawa wrote:
Well, although Hotel Africa is incomplete, it was episodic enough that volume 2 didn't end on a permanent cliffhanger.

Sounds good to me. I don't some open-endingness, just as long as their isn't a overarching main plot thread left dangling.

Quote:
Threads of Time was completely released though, 11 volumes. It's about this kid living in modern day Korea who has been having dreams, then visions while awake of past Korea (probably at a time that Korean readers would have been familiar with, but not being familiar with Korean history didn't dampen anything for me because the story telling was good and it explained what was necessary without a full history lesson). Eventually (in volume 1), his reality is overtaken by the visions and he finds himself stuck in past Korea. And the Mongols are about to wage war on Korea to take it over too! I liked the characters and the Mongols weren't these hideous weird looking people like they were in, say Mulan, and there's an instant romance between the hot Mongol princess (who isn't dressed like a hooker either) and the main character. I really enjoyed the balance between characters and war scenes and it fit in its 11 volumes very well. The author's very first manhwa, a short story, is somewhere in there too as a bonus chapter at the end of one of the middle volumes. I kept reading the books one after the other and found it easy to marathon too (a factor I always like). I suppose it's not the best action ever in a manga/manhwa, but it's still pretty easy to follow and the artwork is overall quite nice. And it's a shonen written by a woman, those are always the best shonen if you ask me (after all, there's FMA, Kekkaishi, Hikaru no Go, and plenty of others), but it's also pretty violent at times (fair warning). So yeah, for complete manhwa, I'd definitely recommend this one.

If it is as half as good as The Twelve Kingdoms, I should be satisfied. Granted Yoko ended up in a new world and not past Japan, but I'm sure the differences between modern and past Korea would be great enough (especially the tech differences), that a person would still feel like a stranger in a strange land.

Quote:
I only read three volumes of Bride of the Water God, that was enough for me and I just had to give up. And I'm someone who doesn't really care about the artwork unless it's impossible to follow (like Trigun) or the story is already good on its own. You could always see if a local library has Bride of the Water God first.

I've already put a hold on the first three volumes and I never had to leave home! Although only the one library in the four counties has it and only up to volume 5. I wish the counties were more populated as more people would probably mean more selection.

Quote:
And man, I loved Hex! I was so sad spoiler[when she saved the world from the virus because then she went away for good (I say for good of course because of the freakin' permanent cliffhanger, I normally get annoyed if a character comes back from the dead unless they were my favorite character, so if she comes back in that movie they're supposedly making, then I will still cheer)]. But yeah, Hex is awesome!

Hex spoiler[coming back wouldn't bother me either. Scuzzy, too. Whatever happened to him? I hope they would keep her bondage outfit as I liked it the best.] If this movie ever comes about, my biggest concern would be who they would get to replace Tony Jay.
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vashna



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:38 am Reply with quote
I was actually surprised that no one has mentioned Chronicles of the Cursed Sword yet. It's an extremely fast read, and it should please anyone that cares for regular Japanese Shounen fantasy manga fair. There was a discussion here once before about how long it takes one to read a manga, and Chronicles of the Cursed Sword came up as one of the single fastest series to read, even though it manhwa. Yeo Beop-ryong and Park Hui-jin created the series, and to me, the art almost looked like someone else's, though I've never quite been able to place what.

By the way, am I missing something, or is there supposed to be a ReBoot movie?
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classicalzawa
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:17 am Reply with quote
@vashna

We got this teaser back in late 2009. That is kinda all we've gotten so far. So they *should* be working on it.
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vashna



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:53 am Reply with quote
Thanks! I vaguely remember that in 2006-2007 when Rainmaker Income acquired Mainframe Entertainment, they had plans to create a trilogy of films and I even heard that there is a ReBoot web comic floating around. At the risk of getting off topic, may I ask if this trailer is connected? For that matter, do you know where the semi-official comic ever ended up? Thanks again!
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poonk



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:37 pm Reply with quote
Well, just to update whoever cares about the matter: I did in fact get v01-04 of 1001 Nights from RightStuf just this past week and... yeah, I'll be buying the rest. I'm really interested in seeing Shahryar's turn-around because he sure seems pretty irredeemable in the beginning (of course irl I don't care if your family is messed up, it excuses nothing, especially mass murder; but since this is fiction I can roll with it if the author executes it [ha ha] convincingly enough). Thanks for planting the seed, everyone!

Oh yeah, I also got Bride of the Water God v10 and I have no idea what's going on. I'm going to have to reread it from the very beginning and make some kind of cheat sheet of character names, alternate names (!), type of deity, interpersonal relationships, etc. It's kind of a mess but with a chart I think I can figure it out. *sigh* I just hope it doesn't go on for another 10 volumes...
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