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 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!


Eden: January 16, 2011 at 10:38 AM  

A very thorough review! I do admit that I skipped over the spoiler parts in the middle, because I have only read volume one of Goong so far. I haven't seen the live action yet, but I may have to check it out!

So far I am really enjoying this series, but I appreciated your honest review. I would also like to read less cliche manga series, but lately those have become hard to find. I just try to enjoy the cute drawings in each manga for all they are worth.

Ayame January 16, 2011 at 4:41 PM  

thank you Eden. Honestly, after I wrote the whole review and reread it I realized how unfavourable it is. It wasn't meant to be that harsh at the beginning, but the more I wrote about it, the more honest I felt I had to be so I ended up criticizing. Indeed, there are too many cliche manga out there, but, like you said, I also try to enjoy the art and all the cuteness.
However, plot is a very important aspect.

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