addicts' chat

Vanilla Lucy - my newest kpop addiction

 Wednesday, July 28, 2010

  While I was watching The M Wave last Sunday, I saw an amazing group perform and I immediately fell in love with their sound.
   The band's name is Vanilla Lucy and it  has four members, all girls - a main vocalist, a saxophone player, a violin player and a cello player. They have a very catchy and unique style, unlike anything I've seen in the kpop industry thus far. I'm looking forward to their future releases.

Download song


 Monday, July 19, 2010


The action in this manhwa takes place in a fictional Korea where the country is ruled by the monarchy. The main character is a lively and innocent girl by the name of Shin Chae-Gyung, who lives a normal and careless life as a mediocre student coming form a common family. One day, she hers the handsome prince Lee Shin, who goes to the same school as her, propose to a girl and being coldly rejected.  That same day, Chae-Gyung receives a mind-boggling  news: she is to be married to the crown prince as a result of a promise between her grandfather and the former king, who had been best friends. In order to help her family's financial situation, Chae-Gyung decides to go along with the marriage.

Personal opinion:
        I was extremely excited to start reading this manhwa, especially due to the superb art that drew my attention immediately. the artist has an incredible talent, particularly concerning drawing of individuals and portraits, apparel, but also some very nice backgrounds.
        I was expecting a funny and light story and I wasn't really disappointed at the beginning and kept thinking it will get better the more I read it. 
Indeed, the story doesn't lack cute characters and a very well developed romance plot. Actually, in comparison to the Korean live-action inspired from it, the manhwa concentrates a lot on the developing feelings between the characters. The "change of heart" the main male character has by falling in love with another girl doesn't seem forced like it seemed in the drama. On the contrary, his feeling develop slowly and grow little by little until he realizes he is indeed in love. His confession also takes place much later after he discovers his own feelings making al seem more plausible, more life-like.
       However, while comparing the positive points with the negative ones, I realized that the negative aspects are far more numerous.
       Firstly, the usual cliché: the love triangle. What is it with Koreans and love triangles? I admit, love triangles sometimes  add a "juicy" detail to the whole plot, but sometimes they just make it annoying and I think this is the case here. I really don't understand why in every manhwa there are always two people that want to get between the two main characters - a guy, usually nice and kind-hearted (in this case, his nice personality is mostly just a façade though) who is in love with the main female lead and a girl, who's usually very b****y, that madly and obsessively loves the main male character and does anything to attract his attention and to break him up with the one he loves. The main girl  never ends up with the nice guy, but chooses the cold, cool and tough guy. Always.Whilst the girl who wants the cool guy ends up meeting someone who understands her and woos her continuously until all of a sudden  she realized she has fallen in love with him.     
       Secondly, I really don't understand the humour. I am a huge fan of humour and Asian humour really is one of the best I've ever seen, but this manhwa is really not suited for humour, which is why every time I encounter a funny scene, instead of  making me laugh it just leaves me dumbfounded, because it has no place in the whole plot. Not to mention that most funny scenes are just grossing me out cause they're mostly if not entirely based on the character of a perverted eunuch. So, the humour didn't do it for me either.

        Last but not least, what really put me off was the tragedy. Honestly, I have nothing against realistic plots and this plot was quite realistic; yes, politic schemes are known to exist in every monarchy, and, truthfully, everyone knows nobles and the members of royalty have marriages of convenience, but were so many tearjerker scenes necessary?! If the author truly wanted to be realistic then she could have invented dozens of ways to get the main characters out of lamentable situations. But in truth, those occurrences were actually an excuse to torture the readers and prolong the plot, transforming it into an authentic soap-opera. In truth, this is also something typical for the Korean authors. Most tend to make tearjerker plots that remind me of the Spanish "telenovelas". And sadly, I have to admit that I can't stop reading it because I kept thinking "damn, I got so far! I can't give up now!". I feel so cheated! 
         In conclusion, I'd like to say that I'm a very strict and picky person. Although this review sounded like a total negative advertisement, I'm sure many of you would still like Goong very much. Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to insult the author, nor am I trying to offend Goong fans. I'm just being honest and say my truthful opinion. It's a personal opinion, therefore it is also subjective.So, instead of wondering whether you should read it or not, at least try browsing through a few pages. It may turn out to be your type of story. 
       Enjoy your read, everyone!


1/2 Prince Novel - a pleasant surprise

 Thursday, July 1, 2010

    Lately I've been busy reading manga and I've stumbled upon 1/2 Prince, a manhua (the Chinese equivalent of the Japanese manga) about computer gaming. The synopsis is mainly like this: in the year 2100, the creators of computer games have discovered a way to make gaming even more realistic then it already was. Thus, Second Life was born - a computer game with 99% realism rate. The main character of the story is a girl named Feng Lan who, after having a fight with her brother regarding her gaming methods (meaning, her brother accused her of using male players to level-up), decided to start playing Second Life and use her own power to level-up thus proving to her brother that she is capable of doing so without anyone's help. However, Feng Lan enters the game 5 minutes prior to its official release worldwide and the creators of the game decide to offer her anything she wants as a prize for being the first Second Life player ever. Instead of choosing a rare item or something else, Feng Lan requests to become a male in the game. She is given permission and so the adventure of the worrior elf Prince (Feng Lan's Second Life identity) begins.
     After struggling for quite a few times to read the first chapters of the manhua, I finally got into it and , eventually, I found out about the existence of a novel. The manhua was actually inspired by the novel, but I didn't expect much form it, thinking that the manhua was probably more interesting. No such thing! Just like in the manhua's case, the result was pleasantly surprising. The novel sucked me in from the very first chapter and, even though the manhua is 100% loyal to the novel's plot, I felt that the novel is 10 times better!
       1/2 Prince novel is written by Yu Wo, an author that was unknown to me until now. Yu Wo's style is absolutely breathtakingly humorous and fresh, her characters seem to have a life of their own and the reader slowly starts understanding them and loving them  more and more as the story progresses.
      The best part is that, in comparison to the manhua, the novel is, undoubtedly, more complex, the humour has a unique feeling to it and is far more developed then in the manhua, where you miss many of the hinted funny moments. And, let me add, if you haven't already figured it out, humour is an extremely important part of the series. It may actually be the fundamental part.
      Another plus of this great novel is the way the main character was built. Unlike the majority of female characters we see in manga, Feng Lan is a very strong character with a unique personality. Though not a tomboy, she appears to be very kin on fighting in the virtual life and she is so passionate about it that she even ends up earning the title of Blood Elf. In real life, Feng Lan is a girl like any other and she never resorts to physical violence (the most she can do is threaten her brother with not feeding him) and her love for blood in the gaming world derives form a very simplistic thing: her passion for cooking. Every time Prince sees a game monster he (she) imagines chopping him like she does when cooking dinner. As a result, Prince is never afraid of monsters. All he has to do is chop them, after all. Interesting person, right?
     And last but not least, because I kept the best part for the end, is the romance. Yes, incredible, but true: this story not only has fighting, adventure and virtual reality involved, but also a steamy romance plot. Since Prince is the most handsome player in Second Life, romance would actually be unavoidable, but what is he to do when Wicked, a talented elf warrior, turns out to be Feng Lan childhood friend who has loved her for 8 years and finds out Prince's true identity? Moreover, Prince's greatest admirer, the demon bard Gui, who tricked Prince into thinking he was gay, ends up falling in love with him, but he turns out to be Feng Lan's literature professor. In the end, Prince suffers a "terrible fate" as more and more people who know "him" in real life, find out who he really is and he's forced to beg them all to keep the secret. The question that keeps nagging me though is: will Feng Lan be forced to choose between Wicked and Gui? Well, I think we'll have to keep on reading to find that out, though I have my suspicions...      
      In conclusion, I wholeheartedly recommend this very original and funny novel. You can read the novel online for free, translated with the author's permission by the team Prince Revolution!, who are doing a wonderful job translating this project. Go to their website
     The team also translates the novel "The Legend of Sun Knight" written by the same author, which is an exceptional read as well and I'll probably write about it in the future.
      I look forward to this group's future projects.


Blog template by

Back to TOP