BamBi Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: C
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Infinity Studios LLC
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 175
  • ISBN: 1-59697-011-1
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Left to Right

BamBi Vol. #01

By Mike Dungan     January 21, 2005
Release Date: January 15, 2005


BamBi Vol.#01
© Infinity Studios LLC


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Park Young Ha
Translated by:Je-wa Jeong
Adapted by:

What They Say
A beautiful story of courage, friendship, betrayal and love...

The Review
The Review: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This romantic fantasy begins with a drowning girl and a dream of being chased by a witch. The girl is saved by a young man named Arkid. Arkid is fairly normal except that his right arm is a bird's wing, the result of a curse from long ago. The girl has lost her memories, so she is taken in by Arkid, who lives with his master, Tesan. Tesan appears to be a slightly lascivious and lazy man in his thirties, but is, in fact, the spirit of the mountains. Almost immediately, Tesan is attacked by a witch. Or at least that's what he says she is. In actuality, her name is Buyoung, and she's a dragon. She's also Tesan's supervisor and he's 300 years late on his reports. As a result of their "discussion" of the situation, the house gets destroyed.

The girl is given the name of "Bambi" by Arkid, which triggers a memory in her. After encountering a ghost in the forest, who recounts a tragic tale of cursed love, Bambi begins to regain her memories. She's the princess of the kingdom. At the castle where she's supposed to be, there's another Bambi who looks just like her. She's a puppet being manipulated by Elizabeth, a beautiful young woman who has become a favorite of the court. She's Arkid's sister, and had been using Arkid to get close to Bambi. Elizabeth had nearly her entire family slaughtered by Bambi's father in the name of political rivalry, now she's plotting her revenge. When her doll was finally finished, she dispatched one of her two remaining brothers to kill Bambi so her doll can take her place. At the last moment, Arkid saved her from his brother and thrust her away into a magical pool of water that sent her far away, which is where the story began. Now that Bambi has regained her memories, she is forced to save herself and her father from Elizabeth, discover the truth of what happened to Elizabeth's family, and decide if she can trust Arkid, who betrayed her friendship in the name of his sister's revenge.

Comments
I enjoy romantic stories, and I enjoy fantasy, so I was looking forward to reading this. The only problem is that when a romantic fantasy isn't done well, it can become very tedious. Fortunately, this one is done well. Park Young Ha weaves a very compelling story with plot devices that work, and enough twists to keep it interesting. She has a good sense of humor, with the romantic bumblings of Tesan and Buyoung making a great contrast with the rather more straightforward Bambi and Arkid. Arkid is a great romantic lead. He's not terribly angsty, despite being cursed with a bird's wing for a right arm. He's strong without being arrogant, and his dilemma over his obligation to his sister versus his growing feelings for the daughter of the man who slaughtered his family is strongly felt. Bambi is a great character. She's very strong-willed but friendly. She's not some yammering girly-girl, but a young woman who can defend herself without hesitation.

Ha's artwork is quite beautiful at times. The linework is solid and distinct. She forgoes a lot of detail in the backgrounds, but she's excellent at character expressions, displaying impressive emotional depth with just a look. The composition is straightforward, moving the story along smoothly without being unnecessarily adventurous. I also like her use of lines rather than screentoning to add depth and dimensionality to characters and objects. Not only are her character designs attractive, but the design of the clothing is quite enjoyable too. Each character has clothing that is suitable to them, from Bambi's cute but practical skirt to Buyoung's sexy outfit to Elizabeth's Edwardian dress.

The cover is a simple image of Bambi in a red traditional outfit, surrounded by flowers and with a bird sitting on her hand. The smile on her face is quite fetching and draws attention to the fact that the cover is otherwise quite plain. There's only the logo (why two capital "B"s in Bambi?) and the author's name. The image of Bambi wraps around the spine and flows onto the back cover which is otherwise just as plain as the front cover. It doesn't look bad, but it's lacking the air of professionalism that a better graphic design would have given it. The translation by Je-wa Jeong reads well, if a bit stilted at times. But nothing sounds out of place or inappropriate to the characters. The art reproduction is adequate. The screentoning could have been better, but the line reproduction looked quite good. There is a page of text in front of the book by Ha explaining where she got the idea for the story and a page of extra art at the back of the book where she talks about the book and some of the characters.

This was my first look at a manhwa from ComicOne's Infinity Studios imprint, and I enjoyed it. There is room for improvement, but overall, it bodes well. If you enjoy a good romantic fantasy, this a great book to pick up.

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