Audition Vol. #01 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Release Date: Saturday, July 01, 2006
Writer/Artist:Kye Young Chon
Translated by:Young Ahn
What They Say
Ever dream of being in a rock band? Ever dream of being in a GENIUS rock band? Could there be such a thing? For Chul, Dal Bong, Mickey, and Rae-young, it's not a matter of if, but of when.
These four deviant misfits of society find themselves stalked, caught, and coerced into forming the greatest boy band of the century. It doesn't hurt that they have talent, looks, and personality. A female detective, an heiress, a Betsy Johnson-inspired wardrobe, an evil dude, a cute evil dude, and other casts and characters all come together in this brilliant high jinks story of rock 'n roll, friends, and yes, love, that will make you wish you could have been there for the Audition.
Don't miss having for yourself what other fans have been raving about from Korea to France!
If you aren't aware of how incredible Dramaqueen's presentation is yet, shame on you! They are definitely setting the standard in presentation, and yet I was again impressed by this release. There are 4 full pages of color plates here (that's color on 8 sides!), along with the usual excellent printing and lovely dust jacket. The cover features a nice wrap-around image of the band-to-be in muted earthy colors. On the front sit Dal Bong and Raeyong, with Mickey and Chul on the back, all four seemingly torn between looking sexy or bored in true pretty-boy style. Summary blurbs for both this and the next volume are printed on the inside flaps so as not to obscure cover artwork. The author's afterward and a few translation notes are provided as extras at the end. It might interest some to know that DramaQueen's books are also now 4mm wider to minimize loss of art or text in the margins.
Naturally, the characters are a bunch of hotties. Their designs are fun and stylish, thin with slightly long proportions. Tones are used to great extent and there's a lot of clothing detail. The artwork looks distinctly Korean, and as such I can't say that it stands out from the pack, but it is still gorgeous. I'm increasingly impressed these days with the linework and inks found in manhwa and this title makes good use of both. Backgrounds utilize a good mix of techniques and plenty of detail. Panels aren't doing anything special, but there are some full- and double-page spreads that are absolute eye-candy. Chon's artwork is greatly showcased here by DramaQueen's excellent printing capabilities. Neither clarity nor nuance in the thick inks and delicate tone work has been lost in the reproduction.
SFX and text have been translated using the overlay method and look great. Effects are integrated without being intrusive and there doesn't appear to be any loss of artwork. The script reads smoothly and without any major errors, although part of one translation note has been cut off on the last page.
Contents:(please note the following contains spoilers)
This boy-band story actually starts out as a little gal-paling mystery. Buok is a struggling detective, hired by her childhood friend-turned rival and music industry heiress, Myung-ja. Together these two ladies are pounding the pavement of Korea in search of four talented young men - but not just any four talented young men, no. These four are musical prodigies, scouted years before by Myung-ja's recently-deceased father.
Creating a super boy-band doesn't appear to be exactly Myung-ja's dream, though. It's a test, actually; she must create the ultimate band in order to receive her inheritance! What determines the "ultimate band" you ask? Well, obviously a giant nationwide musical tournament! Apparently Myung-ja's father set it all up in advance to make sure she was worthy of taking over his media empire.
Armed with vague clues from her father's journal, Myung-ja and Buok eventually track down the four boys in question. What they find is hardly inspiring: A laid-back playboy who delivers noodles, a beauty about to make his TV debut as a back-up dancer, a depressed school kid, and a delinquent in deep with the law. Still, they make their pitch to each one, and as the audition sign-ups begin Buok and Myung-ja are left wondering if the boys will take the bait.
Audition appears to have the makings of a good friendship story, although this first volume is really just skimming the surface, introducing us to the main players. The pace moves at a good clip, dropping in tidbits of background for the supergroup-to-be, but so far the most depth we get is the prickly relationship between Buok and Myung-ja. Thrown together by circumstance (and the promise of a payoff!) these former friends have no love for each other these days (or do they?), but the antagonism between them makes this first volume fun. Buok's the loud-mouthed type, set to play against Myung-ja's more reserved demeanor, but you gotta hand it to a gal whose insistence on wearing a detective's trenchcoat provides such an amusing juxtaposition of fashion. Given only a peek into the personalities of the rest of the cast, we can merely guess at what interesting adventures lie ahead, but I'm willing to bet they'll be lots of fun. Fans of bishie-laden titles who're not quite brave enough to sample others from DramaQueen's catalog might like to start here!
Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: A+
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: DramaQueen L.L.C
Orientation: Right to Left