Lie to Me Vol. #01 - Manhwa Novella Collection (Mania.com)
By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Friday, October 20, 2006
Release Date: Friday, September 01, 2006
Translated by:Jennifer Park
Adapted by:Jennifer Park
What They Say
Presenting the very first series of NETCOMICS' Manhwa Novella Collections-a monthly anthology of the most prominent Korean authors and their works in which every page demonstrates their uniqueness and originality! Volume 1 of this sensational, groundbreaking new monthly series contains three of the most popular shorter works by one of the most famous shojo writers in Korea.
- Ch.1: Lie to me Part 1
- Ch.2: Lie to me Part 2
- Ch.3: Lie to me Part 3
- Ch.4: French Kiss Part 1
- Ch.5: French Kiss Part 2
- Ch.6: Conspiring with the Enemy Part 1
- Ch.7: Conspiring with the Enemy Part 2
Netcomics has not been around for very long but they are already improving the quality of their printed product. The first thing that is clear is how much their translations have improved. I'll talk about that later. And as they continue to figure out the market I have noticed that they have begun to use the Korean covers more often and they are keeping the logo formatting as well. What makes the manhwa novella series different is how they were able to keep the eComix designs with the art intact with the different artists and stories involved. What's cool about that for me is that I can now be confident that I will be reading the title I found on manhwa sites. Therefore, in the meantime as I teach myself hangul I can find and reference these titles ahead of time. Cool!
Netcomics publishes this series in a nice A5 with thick paper. The cover image features a piece where the main characters from the last short come together. It is a little bit misleading because that might be the source of the most romance in this book, but it shows off the mangakas art designs well.
.Lees's art is all over the map. At times it looks like shojo with its light emo manpu. And then it could be really straight forward when it has to revert to dark comedy josei romance. Moreover the character designs have just as much variety. They can be drawn with thin lines that focus the attention on the basic form of the characters and not their unique traits or style. But then she can also mix up costumes, hair styles and expressions to give her standard shapes a different feel. Its pretty cool to see the range in one book.
Backgrounds can vary in detail. I will say Lee-sensei knows when to use backgrounds and she uses them effectively. The layout is much more active, though. It can do comedy very well (and dark humor is not easy to express on paper). Overall, a relatively simple looking art that effectively compliments her writing skills.
I have been very fortunate to have read my share of netcomics titles over the year. So I can say that after a rough start earlier this year, most of their translations have really improved. Lie to Me is one of the better ones I have read. Jennifer Park gets the colloquialisms just right and the attitudes of Lee's characters really come through well. And as I have seen over the last half year they have cut down on the grammar errors too, making this an easy entertaining read.
SFX are completely retouched and overlaid. The retouch is great. The work is very clean and does not seem to compromise art much. However, the fonts used are very loud and did not feel appropriate for this subdued title.
Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The first collection in a series of shorts by some of the established names in manhwa, starts of with three short stories by on of the most famous shojo writers in Korea - Lee YoungRan.
Lie to Me:
Roommates are a pain. The best ones know to share responsibility, but even then complete reliability should never be expected. The bad ones are truly horrid creatures. They lie. They are not considerate of others. They do very little but feed off those around them. And some can be downright manipulative about it.
Lee GangJae was never Kim HyunJin's roommate, but he sure feels like one. When HyunJin moved into her new place, GangJae's stuff was everywhere. Bills for Mr. Lee were filling up her mailbox. She was getting utilities shut off because of the way he left. And now he does not want to pay her back for all the trouble.
Fate will bring these two together as if they were roommates in a different way, when HyunJun plays a serious trick on the suddenly devastated young man. Suffering from amnesia GangJae has now become the lover of HyunJin. For the lie to work, HyunJi n will have to learn as much about her new Lover as possible. She will have to pile lies over lies. However, someday those lies may become something completely different as a bond builds between them.
Conspiring with the Enemy:
Desperate to find enough guys to attend a gokon, ChanWoo makes a grave mistake of asking the first person he ran into at school to join him on a group date full of high school students. But unbeknownst to him, the guy he has asked is the last person any student would want at an event like this - a teacher. This is already sounding like a disaster waiting to happen, but that's just the start of ChanWoo's troubles. Because waiting for them at the gokon is the fiery spiteful Myun MyungHae. This girl is ready to tear down all guys set before her and she doesn't care how little she knows about them personally. And she is not going to waste time before reeling into him.
Kim JangChul is young and good-looking. This high school math teacher could be mistaken for a senior in school. And he does not take students with bad attitudes lightly. So there is going to be heck to pay for ChanWoo and MyungHae . And it is teach who will have the last laugh.
I have not been much of a fan of Korean shojo. The best titles are very good, but there are so many titles that really are eye candy. It really reminds me of the shonen market in Japan where style is enough to carry a product.
Lie to Me is not shojo at all. It is straight up josei shorts with college age characters causing mayhem in love and school.
Lee's stories are twisted little packets of passion and humor bending the standards of love and romance. They have characters openly lying to each other to advance their relationships. So whether it is relative conspiring in a plan to entrap a love interest or a transvestite lies about their "past" to coax a neighbor into bed, Lee seems to know how to push the envelop while still maintaining the basic elements romance comedy.
If there is anything I can gripe about these stories is that they are very brief. My favorite "Conspiring with the Enemy" really grabbed hold of me with its characters and the feeling of doom. However, it ended so abruptly that even with the twisted quasi-conclusive ending I felt I needed more. A cast so " bad" should not be confined to 40pgs!
Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Netcomics
Orientation: Left to Right