Full House Vol. #02 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: CPM Press
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 202
  • ISBN: 158664971-X
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Left to Right

Full House Vol. #02

By Eduardo M. Chavez     February 07, 2005
Release Date: October 01, 2004

Full House Vol.#02
© CPM Press

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Soo Yon Won
Translated by:Mayuki
Adapted by:

What They Say
The performance of a lifetime...
Now "officially" engaged to world-famous actor Ryder Baye, Elle Gee must pretend to be the celebrity's fiancée in order to save her home. And from the way they act when they are around each other, people would think they've been married for years! But when Elle's former boyfriend comes calling, hidden emotions rise to the surface and force Elle and Ryder to think about how they really feel about each other. In the game of love, who is fooling who?

The Review
Packaged in a tall B6, Full House is presented in left to right format. On the cover, an interesting image with Ryder and someone looks like Elle with short hair about to go on a bike ride. The image is full of color on top of delicate inking. Very nice cover. (Though I still wonder why they do not have covers with longhaired versions of Elle.) The opposite cover has a panel image Elle in black and brown next to the short volume description.

Inside, the printing is pretty good. I did not notice issues with alignment or screen tone; actually, this looked like one of their better printings. As this series does not have chapters, there are no chapter headers or even much of a volume header, but CPM tried to compensate by adding a character introduction at the start of the volume and a short manhwa artist biography at the end. They also added ads for Comic Party, Couple and Duck Prince.

I am not sure why by Won's art reminds me a lot of Kamio Yoko's (Boys over Flowers) works. The characters have crazy hair, overdone eyes and crazy style. The designs are pretty nice. While a little on the long side, they all have sharp lines, good facial expressions and fun costumes. Backgrounds are okay but at times, I wonder if there was any research done on English architecture at all. Indoor scenes are fine, albeit almost ridiculously chic. Outdoor scenes just look like a mish-mash of different metropolitan cities nothing looking like the UK I have seen in person. Fortunately, Won's layout makes up for the stale backgrounds. Like the main character, Won's layout has a scatter-brained feel to it, with a variety of panel sizes and strange perspective. Occasionally it feels pretty hyper but that really worked as the characters were often in a panicky and confused mood. One thing that really impressed me was the first chapter. I consisted of a segment where the main characters communicated through notes. They would write down their thoughts and toss them to each other. The presentation was perfect and it really brought out the characters personality, as well as the mangaka's personal sense of humor.

Mayuki's translation is sounds really good. Some translations can be flat and void of emotion and personality, but this work sounds good and distinctly gives each character a unique voice. No grammatical errors or typos, so overall a good production. SFX are subbed with a variation of equally sized FX and small text. CPM does subbing better than most studios out there and it shows in this series. Won-sensei uses a variety of techniques and sizes for SFX and asides, CPM overall handles them all equally well. I will say with the scattered layout readers might miss some asides if they go through this manga quickly.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Just when Ryder and Elle appear to finally be cordial with each other, the gloves come off - their engagement press conference is over and they are back at each other's throats. These two have too much pride to give the other even on inch of leeway. They live to pick on each other and their very personalities are pushed to the brink of madness; yet, neither one of them really know why they have so much animosity.

They are both reasonable people. Elle might be a bit of a recluse, but that does not mean she does not have friends nor does that mean she is a sociopath. She is just desperate and very protective of what little family she has left - mainly, Full House. Unfortunately, Ryder does not know that. He is actually doing Elle a favor with their strange contract, especially when one considers the trouble he is put into by his new "fiancée" and tenant. Ryder would love to give her a chance to open up, but with every olive branch he gives, he is faced with misdirected anger and disrespect. Ryder is put into a situation where he has to be on the defensive for being helpful, and Elle wonders why he is not consistent in his attitude towards her.

Maybe some time off from each other will give them time to reflect on their situation. Maybe then, they could find a way to live with each other without turning to violence...

Possibly not. There is not enough Full House for the two of them!

In this volume, Won-sensei starts to really show talent. Some people can draw very detailed lush art, others can write a great complex story to get imaginations going, and there are some that can do both; Won does a little of both but is able to creatively present this story in a unique but easy to relate way. This cast has some great chemistry. Now I know that sounds weird coming from a manga, but that illustrates how well Won is able to write. The dialogue is all over the place - cruel, humorous, naive and self-centered it is very much like old bickering friends and that is exactly how Won wants them to sound. Ryder and Elle are made for each other even though they come from completely different worlds. They in a way need each other to grow and with every fight, with every act they put on, and with every gentle moment they share that becomes more apparent. Won-sensei makes sure the story is entertaining along the way by adding new characters and putting in some nice twists here and there but in the end, its Elle and Ryder that always command attention in this house.

There are times when drama is all you need. Relationships, affairs, fights and rapid biting dialogue can make a really interesting read. Full House does all that well. Nevertheless, it does it with a lot more charisma than most titles. There just seems to be romance building from the start, despite the animosity between the lead characters. I guess that sexual tension is really what drives this story, but what else really matters right?! This volume starts to show that Full House is much more than a dysfunctional contractual relationship - this house is full of secrets. I just hope we get to hear them soon.


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