DVD Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: DramaQueen L.L.C
  • MSRP: 11.99
  • Pages: 180
  • ISBN: 1-933809-35-3
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

DVD Vol. #01

By Jarred Pine     November 01, 2006
Release Date: June 01, 2006


DVD Vol.#01
© DramaQueen L.L.C


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kye Young Chon
Translated by:Sihyang Lee
Adapted by:

What They Say
Welcome to DVD " the world of Ddam (spunky future prosecutor), Venu (the face that is the envy of all males), and DD (a punk rocker DJ): a story about a girl, two guys, and their motto of "living life miserably!"


The Review
Imagine a romantic comedy born from the love child of John Waters and Alex Cox, with the music from Rocky Horror Picture Show running in the background mixed in with the visual idiosyncrasies of Amelie. Then you might at least have some idea of why DVD is a title to look out for!


Packaging:
This is my first experience with DramaQueen, and I'm totally impressed. Dust jackets, color pages, and extremely sharp printing; which I might add was printed in the USA. The cost is a couple bucks higher than the norm, but you get much more value than that in the production. This is how all books should look.

Art:
I admit I wasn't entirely sold on the artwork at the beginning, but by the end it really began to sink its teeth into me. Very strong, thin, angular lines that create some very unique character designs. I also like how the backgrounds are actually filled in with art rather than flowery tones or other more typical shoujo manga screentones. The facial expressions are a little static at times, just a little too rigid.

Text/SFX:
SFX are translated with overlays that are very well done and non-intrusive. Signs and other in-panel text are translated in an equally delicate manner. The English script is very readable and free from errors. The one thing I would have liked to have seen was possibly some translator notes in the back of the book for what seemed to be some cultural bits that I didn't quite understand.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
To set the stage properly for just how bizarre DVD can be, imagine a romantic comedy born from the love child between John Waters and Alex Cox, with the music from Rocky Horror Picture Show running in the background mixed in with the visual idiosyncrasies of Amelie. Do you have a clear picture now in your mind? No? Sorry, that's the best I can do. Kye Young Chon's strange threesome tale have you reading with bug-eyed confusion at first, but by book's end this becomes a fresh romantic comedy that will have you pining for more.

And honestly, calling DVD a romantic comedy might be painting to broad of a stroke. It's really a sort of quirky buddy comedy, centered around a girl, Ddam, who is filled with suicidal thoughts after getting dumped quite harshly. The buddies are DJ DD, a nihilistic punk-rocker with a biting tounge, and Venu, a tall boy who is often mistaken as a model but spends most of his time partaking in spitting contests and sleeping on train cars while wearing his dirty track suits. They are bold and pretty, but I think they might not be playing with a full deck. In fact, they might have burned the deck of cards while coming up with their motto, "live a pathetic life".

As Kye Young Chon states in her words on the book flap, the story constantly "shifts between reality and illusion". Ddam has vivid hallucinations that blend in with her reality, like the cow who rides the bus next to her. Venu breaks into hilarious daydreams about outrageous situations, like his 8-legged squid plushie which is up for auction as a rare cultural artifact. Even the casual conversations between DD and Venu run the line of being certifiable. "Do you know why fish buns have red bean paste inside? It's to represent the poop inside its belly." / "Fish poop is this dark?"

So, the burning question I know you must have on your mind is, "what the hell is the story?!" Easy! It's about nothing! Okay, so you do have something building with Ddam and her ex-boyfriend, and you can see how DD and Venu are helping Ddam take life by the horns, but ultimately the pace just casually follows these two dynamic characters in DD and Venu, who pick up Ddam after she answers an "ad" for a new roommate which was placed on a D-sized bra (Venu has a thing for big boobs). There's an organic flow with the story that places you right smack in the middle of these characters as if you were their close friends. Their conversations are random, DD's outbursts embarrass everyone around him except himself and Venu, and they just strut around doing nothing all day. And yet, somehow Kye Young Chon turns this into something funny, touching, and all-around a joy to read.

Comments
In my experience, finding a good romantic comedy is akin to finding a good soda at the local convenience shop. Sure they may have different colored labels, flavors, names, but in the end they all taste like the same sugary bubbly water. Then once in a while, when you least expect it, you stumble onto a new kind of soda that you didn't notice before and it becomes something fresh. You've found a new soda. Well, I've found a new fresh manwha by the name of DVD from creator Kye Young Chon.

DVD is an utterly bizarre buddy comedy that just happens to have a strange idiosyncratic romantic comedy thrown in for good measure. For those waiting to experience DramaQueen's terrific production values without the yaoi or boys' love content, definitely grab a copy of this shoujo-inspired manwha.

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