Manga Digest: Korean Manhwa

Theme 06: Korean Manhwa

~America has comic books, Japan has manga, and Korea has, well, manhwa! Lately I’ve been emerging myself more into Korean culture due to my growing fandom for Kpop (SHINee~~I love you!), so I thought it’d be a nice change of pace to introduce manhwa to those of you who aren’t necessarily familiar with it, and to help others who have heard of it to get good recommendations ;D

Korean manhwa is the Korean version of manga (if you didn’t notice already) in which you actually read from left to right. I discovered it about three years ago while I was on my monthly manga hunt at the bookstore, and saw a pretty strange looking author name. At the time I didn’t know anything about Korea other than it was a peninsula and it harbored both an ally  and a enemy, so curiosity made me pick it up, and I flipped through it, surprised that is was from left to right instead of the opposite way. Since then I’ve tried my best to found more manhwa but it was actually quite hard at the time. Lately, they have been licensing more and more of them, which is really a bummer for you online readers since all the best Korean manhwa (in my opinion) are licensed already, such as Pig Bride, Very! Very! Sweet, Goong, Chocolat, and many others.

I’ve noticed in these three years that manhwa generally has a specific kind of art (like a cross between shoujo and CLAMP art), but they are many who defy that and have really strange and unique art styles. Overall I think they’re very interesting to read because you get to see a different look at manga from another country’s culture view point, and it’s just nice to take a little break from Japan and magically whisk yourself away to Korea xD

Ensemble
Author: Yubi
Genre(s): Comedy, Drama, Gender Bender, Mystery, School Life, Slice of Life
Status: Complete
Volumes: N/A (Just chapters)
Year: 2008
Summary: Bohm (meaning spring in Korean), on his way to give his dad, Detective Ghim, (who’s been working for 10 days straight) some underpants at the police station, sees a girl by a vending machine and wishes to see her again…
Mahnsoo, a boy with a strange lonely past, the only witness to an important criminal case, must undergo a disguise as a girl and stay together with Detective Ghim’s family until the investigation is over and the case ends. So he meets Bohm again, and trying to get close to his new icy brother is not easy…

Thoughts: At first I was bit hesitant to read this, because it looked pretty strange, but after getting through just two chapters, I instantly fell in love with this. From reading just the storyline, it seemed more dramatic to me, but of course you can’t judge a book by its cover or summary! Ensemble is just hysterical; I’m literally busting up laughing every chapter with its “WTF?!” comedy XD Of course it does have its share of some school and family drama, but it’s very light and even a bit comical at times, which I’m loving because I can’t handle huge heaps of drama.


I’m guessing the art for this is done on a tablet (How do I know? I stalk DA to much), so it must be a webcomic, which Korea has a lot of from what I’ve noticed. It’s really nicely done, the details and such! I love the strange facial expressions, and the coloring is lovely. My favorite character is (OF COURSE) the trap-ish Mahnsoo. He’s so adorable!! *squeee* I like Bohm’s freaky friend too (I forgot his name |’D); he’s hysterical as well. I really have no complaints for this manhwa, seriously. The story is hilarious with a hint of drama and action, and the art is just great. I think out of all of my picks for this post, this my absolute favorite; I can’t stop reading it!~

 


 

Please! Mr. Bear
Author: MK
Genre(s): Drama, Psychological, Romance, Slice of Life
Status: Complete
Volumes: N/A (It’s a webcomic)
Year: 2009
Summary: After the ending of his last true love, a white-collar worker experiences the excruciating sorrow of parting. Walking around the empty city aimlessly and now living a prosaic life, how will he be able to put back the broken pieces of his heart and love again? A philosophical and heartwarming story about an emotion called “love”…

Thoughts: Oh, this is such a slow, but sweet manhwa~. It’s only problem is that it’s pretty slow (well it is a philosophical manhwa) and can get a bit boring with its sappy dialogue and depressing shots of the guy in the story. Yet, it’s really sweet, and the random bear that comes in makes it comical at times and strangely provides some nice insight.The art was pretty good, not my favorite; the people looked a bit block-y. However there were some nice scenes in it~.


I’d mainly recommend this to people who need to clear their minds. I read this story out of curiosity because my head was killing me from stress and other confusing things in life, and it certainly did put my mind at ease which is why I put it in this post. For people who like action or something not philosophical, then go check out Ensemble. Also, I need to make a comment on this…If you read it, tell me the guy doesn’t look like Light Yagami! xD At the end of the first chapter, even the translators made a little joke saying it’s Light hahahaha!~


 

 

Sad Love Story
Author: Ji-Sang Shin/ Artist: Geo
Genre(s): Drama, Romance, Shoujo, Tragedy
Status: Complete
Volumes: 5
Year: 2005
Summary: As a child, Joon-young was always teased because his mother owned a bar that served Americans. When he meets Hae-in, a blind girl, they become childhood sweethearts and he vows to always protect her. However, Hae-in and her mom take off one night, leaving Joon-young and his promise behind. Hae-in later meets Gun-woo, the rich son of a CEO. Among these three, a tragic love triangle begins to form…

Thoughts: Now it’s time for the dramatic manhwa, oh boy. It was actually made into a movie with the same title, and I really wouldn’t want to see it. Not because it’s not good; it’s a brilliant manhwa made by my favorite manhwa team ever! It’s the dramatic romance and love triangle that will kill me with stress and nervousness |’D It’s one of those books that you KNOW was meant to be turn into some kind of real life TV drama (which I’m surprised they didn’t).

The story is just so bittersweetly good~.  I’m actually reading it as I type this, and my heart already feels heavy from what’s happening! There are some points when I’m reading and I just want to type ;SLKFJGSDLKFJGDFLKJG because it’s killing me~!! DAMN YOU TRAGIC LOVE TRIANGLES! Getting me hooked and making me cry…;A; I love the team Ji-sang Shin and Geo; I’ve read almost all of their series and loved every single one of them, even if it gets so dramatic. The art is always fantastic from Geo; I absolutely adore her style with skinny bodies. Sad Love Story is starting to become my favorite now out of the stuff I’ve read from them. It’s just, like I said earlier, so bittersweetly good!

 

 

~I hope you all got a good dose of Korean culture! I promise next time I’ll get a more action-y theme because I’m sort of getting tired of slice-of-life and such. So, see you all next manga post where we’ll venture back to Japan, because manga is manga and we can never stay away from it long. 또봐요~!!

 

About

A tired, over-dramatic 20 year old college student who likes manga and cheesy Korean boy bands. Prone to succumb to laziness and refuse to work for hours on end.
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60 Responses to “Manga Digest: Korean Manhwa”

  1. Ness says:

    Never read those manhwa’s before but I do like to read manhwa in general. Actually, I go by the story and art and sometimes it just happens to be manhwa haha. Tokyopop has been licensing a good amount of manhwa as well~

    • Hoshi says:

      ~I always notice if its manhwa hahaha. I have like these sensors in brain.
      Tokyopop has, but Yen Press brings out a lot as well. I always prefer Yen Press titles for a lot of reasons even if they’re hecka expensive sometimes x’D

      • Ness says:

        Oh yeah I forgot about Yen Press too haha. I don’t read many Tokyopop manhwa, the ones they choose aren’t always that appealing to me. I don’t buy manga/manhwa since they’re online. But there are a few I’d like to own but I end up spending moneys on art books ahh so expensive haha.

        • Hoshi says:

          ~Me neither :/ I’ve only bought one manhwa from Tokyopop and that was because it was by Ji-sang and Geo. What makes me mad though is that they only brought one volume out of it =3=;

          Ahh yes, art books are pretty expensive, which is why I haven’t bought any, though there are some I’d love to have |’D

  2. Tofu says:

    LOLS when you mention manhwa, I think of Sassy ^^ But anyways, I ain’t a Korean person, nor do I know much about Korea itself or it’s people, music, dramas etc etc… But again, after reading over some of those mang- *cough* I mean manhwa’s I’ve got an urge to read them now xD Hoshi! Your stacking me up with manga’s! xP But overall, they do have a different type of art design, not that it’s bad to have a change but since I’m (as I like to say~) a Jap person ^^ Japanese stuff comes first, sorry Hoshi~~

    OH! Please Mr Bear appeals to me the MOST! Kyaa~ I want to read it so bad now!!! ><!

    • Hoshi says:

      ~That’s my job to stack you up with manga with so much temptation hahahaha!!! XD Yeah I understand~ but as long as you give it a chance then it’s fine 8)

      I kinda thought so x’D READDD IT, it’s short!

      • Tofu says:

        Wha- what do you mean you thought so? O___O LOLS! Hoshi, you know me too well xD

    • sassy says:

      I’m so happy you thought of me.

      Yay for webcomics. Don’t you looove scrolling down while reading :D

      I haven’t read Ensemble or Mr. Bear, but I might check out Ensemble. Nice art.

      • Tofu says:

        It definitely saves time from just scrolling down instead of loading a page each and always waiting for the next ^^

        Read Mr Bear with me Sassy, stuff Ensemble for now xD ahahahaha

  3. Amutofan123 says:

    I’ve never read any manhwa before, but I’m a huge K-pop fan. I guess now I know where to start! :D

  4. Namika says:

    Sad love story looks really interesting, but I WON’T READ IT! :| I don’t want another depression pressing on my heart….But….wanna….read…..*trembles* T_____T

    • Hoshi says:

      ~I know how you feel ;A; At first I was like, “NO WAY it looks depressing!” But it sucked me in and I was forced to read it! Now I can’t stop; it’s just getting so good ;A;

      • Namika says:

        No, I will crush my teeth but won’t read it. I’m just TOO emotional for this ;A;

        • Ness says:

          Ooo thats on my to read list. Hahah but it sounds so depressing.. maybe I’ll have to wait a bit longer to read it haha :3

          • Namika says:

            Yeah, until the moment we’ll develop a stronger heart XD

  5. AkatsukiYuki says:

    Lol. I wonder if anyone reads Immortal Regis and it’s sequel Cavalier of the Abyss and Witch Hunter? These are all pretty awesome korean manhwa.

    • Hoshi says:

      ~I’ve heard of Witch Hunter, but never thought of reading…Maybe I’ll go check that out myself xD

  6. MikADo says:

    lol how come you know manhwa that i don’t?
    im such a disgrace to korean fanboys

    • Hoshi says:

      ~Hahahaha, no you’re not xD
      I just dig really, really deep for stuff that I know a lot of people don’t really read xD (But sometimes its bad because than you can’t read them!)

  7. Kyokai says:

    Oh these look good. Will definitely check ‘em out.

    I might one day do a post on my favourite manhwa Immortal Regis.

  8. ichigopockysticks says:

    Hurray I have been looking for some good manhwa to read thanks so much :D

  9. Overcooled says:

    I think here is the appropriate spot to tell you my friend bought me socks with Taemin from SHINEE on them. XDDD

    ANYWAYS, BACK ON TOPIC. I love trying new things to try and spice up my life, which makes me all the more inclined to check some of these out. Maybe the next time you see me I’ll be a crazy manhwa fan? Who knows.

    …By the way, I love how you colour-code the font for your manga posts LOL yeah, random, I know.

    • Hoshi says:

      ~WHAAAAAAAAAAT?! NO WAY!! ;A; YOU KNOW WHAT…I have a Taemin cellphone charm! |’D Sorry I’m kinda jealous now hahahaha.

      ANYWAYS, YES, new things always spice up life ;D I hope you do become a crazy manhwa fangirl!

      and thanks XD It makes it look nicer hahaha.

      • Overcooled says:

        LOL well, I guess at least people will see your phone charm whereas my socks are hidden unless I opt for going barefoot :B Ahahaha oh Taemin…

        Right now I’m catching up on Bakuman manga and omgggg soooo gooodddd *rolls around her room enthusiastically* =w=

  10. Junko says:

    I love manhwa! Chocolat and Pig Bride are my personal faves.

    Sometimes, however, I find that it can get a bit, stiff? I feel like manhwa is alot younger than manga, and is still developing. If this is the case, I’m looking foward to see series break the current mold :)

    • Junko says:

      Oh yeah, and I also love how the manga ver. of Maximum Ride is by a korean artist I believe XD

      • Hoshi says:

        ~AND YES ME TOO!! 8D I actually decided to read the original novel because of it xD

    • Hoshi says:

      ~Pig Bride is one of my personal faves too<3

      I can agree with that; I think it is a bit younger than manga, but I’m not sure. I’m pretty new to it too, hahaha.

  11. anaaga says:

    SHINee? puhleeze, DBSK FOREVA!!!! ~<3

    ahh manhwa. it's been a loong time since i read a manhwa.
    have you read Bride of the Water God and Totally Captivated? I swear, their arts are just BEAUTIFUL!!! Goong also have the manhwa (everybody here knows the k-drama Goong right?), but I prefer Bride of the Water God xD Oh, and Totally Captivated is yaoi too, so you should check it out ;) Let Dai and U Don’t Know Me are also yaoi, and Let Dai is pretty deep. I also have I.N.V.U. bcz my friend gave it to me. that one is just, weird i guess?
    one thing i love about manhwa is how the eyes are not as big as the eyes in manga. they’re normal-sized eyes xD
    anyway, you should read Bride of the Water God and Totally Captivated! I really recommend them :D

    • Ness says:

      Bride of the Water God is still on my to read list. But I’ve read Totally Captivated, there’s some funny stuff in it but it does have that taste of drama for a yaoi haha. The art in it is pretty good, the mob boss guy is so hawt hah. I think I got about 5volumes done of Let Dai, its so long.. isn’t it like a 17something volume series? Its pretty deep like you said. So many different dorama situations occur. As well, the art in it is pretty detailed which is what I notice a lot in manhwas.

      • anaaga says:

        i haven’t continued bride of the water god. everything was just soo confusing i had no clue what happened.
        let dai is around 11 or something like that, and the ending is pretty ambiguous. didn’t satisfy me at all. so yeah, good thins that you dropped it xD
        i just finished reading Flower of Evil last night. That one’s really dramatic. i cried when i read the ending (and pissed at the same time) i am depressed now because of it T___T

        • Ness says:

          I have yet to read Flower of Evil. I just can’t get into siblings problems type. :x

          • anaaga says:

            good thing u didn’t read it yet. don’t. the characters are really annoying and apparently they just can’t make up their mind :S

    • Hoshi says:

      ~Pssshhh whatevah gurl! xD (I’m just messing~)

      Yeah I actually saw the drama to Goong, and decided to check out the manhwa. The art though in Goong bothers me a lot…|’D And I agree on the eye thing as well.

      Ooooo~ Totally Captivated sounds good (and it’s not because it’s yaoi, I swear xD)! And I might check out Bride of the Water God too ^^
      Thanks for the suggestions!

      • anaaga says:

        lots of manhwa are like that. either the art are beautiful, or the art is really weird. i guess we’re so used with the manga style we’ll find it weird when the art is more realistic (like goong’s) xD

        • Ness says:

          I’ve also noticed that some manhwas from different authors have the same looking characters hah its strange when the artists aren’t the same too.

  12. berrish17 says:

    sry but that “UCLA” really bothers me how its printed.lol
    hmm never read any manhwas before….the pics kinda remind me of japanese mangas from wayyyy before :)
    i have soo many mangas to read(hehe excited)so mayb ill check manhwas in the future, but thx for throwing some ideas out there =]

    • Hoshi says:

      ~Lol it is a bit crooked xD

      Yeah manhwa art does sort of resemble older Japanese manga art~. I do hope you get to read some manhwa in the future! ^^

  13. Fontaine says:

    Actually “Sad Love Story” does have a TV drama, as far as I know it has 20 episodes.
    Haven’t seen the TV drama nor read the manhwa, if I’m able to find either I’ll be sure to pick them up =)

    • Hoshi says:

      ~It does?! Wow that’s awesome! Though I’m kinda scared to watch it |’D
      Please do check it out though ^^

  14. Demon_Acker says:

    I’m gonna have to check out some of those series.
    Can you believe, I’ve read over 150 mangas and only 1 manhwa! (Unbalance x2)

    Not like I have anything agaisnt manhwa, there’s just much more manga available compared to manhwa.

    • Hoshi says:

      ~That’s definitely true about there being more manga available than manhwa. It took me a while to find some really good ones >> Anyways, do check them out! ;D

    • sassy says:

      I heard from a “reliable” “”source”” that Ties of Compassion is entertaining to read.

      Loooooooooool.

      • Tofu says:

        Oh, same here man I heard from this really RELIABLE source that Ties of Compassion is not just entertaining but very captivating to read as well, you guys should check it out xD

      • MikADo says:

        I heard that too! what a coincidence

  15. Teabie says:

    Oooh, manhwa! It’s so interesting how it’s pronounced exactly like the Chinese say – manhua. After I got hooked onto the K-drama Goong (and to the concept of K-dramas happily every after), I started to read the manhwa equivalent of Goong and eventually got used to how Korean mangakas draw. They’ve got some pretty intense stories too. Thanks for highlighting a few here too, I’m always eager for recommendations! It’s better than having to scout in the dark. :)

    • Hoshi says:

      ~It always starts with watching K-dramas, hahaha! Yeah, when I found out Goong had a manhwa I was pretty excited and started reading it, plus others manhwas. It always takes some time to get used to certain art x’D and you’re welcome ^^ I hate scouting in the dark as well sometimes so I’m happy to shine a light to help others out~.

  16. Leo says:

    Hey when i saw this little post i was really excited!
    There usually isnt much manhua recognition in the otaku world bt i saw that there was one that really shouldnt be left out!!
    Its called Faeries Landing
    Its a comedy/supernatural/romance.
    its just aout everything in one whole series
    its still going and translated ad published by tokyopop

    But good thing is is that its still readable on Mangafox!

    http://www.mangafox.com/manga/faerie_s_landing/

    the art is a little bad at first but progressively gets better!
    this is one of my absolute faves!!!

    • Hoshi says:

      ~That’s definitely true, which is why I decided to make this post’s theme about manhwa.

      Oooo~ sounds interesting :3
      I’ll be sure to check it out next time I’m at the bookstore since it’s published by Tokyopop~. Thanks for that!

    • MikADo says:

      I love that manhwa :D
      i read until like volume 15? 16?
      and couldn’t find it anymore :P
      ill check out mangafox! thx :D

      • Leo says:

        haha it has about 20 volumes out now.
        i buy all my faeries landing but i just recently found that mangafox had it!

  17. tayu says:

    Noblesse should be here. ;__;

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