Platina Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C-

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Info:

  • Art Rating: C
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: CPM Press
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 177
  • ISBN: 978-1578007141
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Platina

Platina Vol. #01

By Ariadne Roberts     June 05, 2007
Release Date: May 01, 2007


Platina Vol.#01
© CPM Press


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Yeon Joo Kim
Translated by:Christina Sohn
Adapted by:Christina Sohn

What They Say
A fast-paced journey into a fantasy realm unlike anything you've ever seen! Auna is a rich girl who is forced into servitude of a petulant princess after her family is bankrupted. When the princess presents her with a tiny fox cub, Auna embarks upon the adventure of a lifetime when she learns that fox is really an adventurous boy trapped by a magical spell!

The Review
Uneven and a bit confusing, it can flip-flop between drama and comedy a bit too wildly without excelling in either category.

Packaging:
The soft, durable cover is well color-coordinated, aside from the odd blue/red diamond with the volume number. The image of pistol-pointing cowboyish Auna is eye-catching and simplistic without being boring. On the back is a summary, with a quick if awkward tag line ("Girl meets fox... girl meets boy... boy is fox... oh, boy!"), and an image of Jenin and Auna together. The MSRP price is directly printed on the back, which is common, but still feels a bit tacky. The B/W images inside are sharp and the paper is good quality. Extras are very minimal, with only a short profile for each major character. A little bio of the author would have been a welcome addition.

Artwork:
To put it simply, it's a little amateurish. The constant presence of chibi/SD-style characters is telling, and when they aren't chibi, they have clumsy poses. One thing the author can do well is draw faces, and when she restrains herself from using chibis, the characters look quite nice. Because nearly everyone is drawn with the same body and eye style, the cast is a bit difficult to differentiate between at times, and often the decadent, mod-meets-babydoll clothes were the easiest identifier. I found myself forced to re-read scenes multiple times just to be sure I was correct on who was who!

Text/SFX:
The dialogue is error-free, and flows well. All original sounds and notes are dutifully translated, and in the case of sounds, the English equivalent is placed on top of the original Korean without being distracting. In the bubbles, some text is bold for emphasis, sometimes randomly and apparently without purpose, which made the dialogue seem a bit clunky at times.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The family of the icy, gun-toting teenage girl Auna lost everything, including their home Copris Castle. Taken by the government, the castle is still her home because she agreed to become Princess Vellotte's servant in exchange for living there. Not long after, she is called to meet someone 'special', and it turns out to be a little fox on a leash named Jenin. As the princess tells her, Auna can keep the cursed fox if she can turn him back into a boy, and until then, he's only a loan. He helps Auna with the tasks Vellotte assigns her, such as fetching fresh-baked almond cookies and weeding the garden. Soon, it's revealed that a duo of airheaded suit-and-tie guys calling themselves 'the syndicate' are chasing after him to get back the precious Tears of the Mermaid they claim he stole. Jenin swears he doesn't have it, but the syndicate sets an ultimatum: get it back in one week or they'll hurt his beloved 'Sara'.

Comments
As fun as the plot description may make it seem, it all felt more like a chore. Everything from pacing to artwork to characterization feels distinctly undeveloped and like the work of a rookie. Some important details, such as where Auna's family is and what they're doing, is left unmentioned. Her personality is unconvincing; the author tries to make her a feminine, but lethal badass who can kill you at any moment, but fails to capture that personality at all. If the comedy was actually funny, such a personality could be used to good comedic effect, but the way Yeon Joo Kim uses it, it just falls flat. She attempts to give Auna dimension with scenes of frailty and weakness, but they are injected into the story so abruptly and awkwardly that it leaves you more confused than touched. Near-constant chibi scenes undermine the drama and attempts at characterization, which only make it feel like they are signs of laziness. The only thing that was remotely funny about any of the comedy was when the fourth wall was broken, but even that was doled out a bit too frequently.

It's too bad the quality is so haphazard. There are enjoyable elements, such as Jenin's scheming and his chemistry with the unflappable Auna, and sometimes the artwork really can be quite nice. But in a world with amazing girls' comics and plenty of ones with good comedy or drama, there's not much of a reason to read one where the author seemingly can't make up her mind about what hers should be.

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