Saver Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.95
  • Pages: 184
  • ISBN: 1-59816-509-7
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Saver Vol. #01

By Danielle Van Gorder     April 09, 2007
Release Date: August 30, 2006


Saver Vol.#01
© TOKYOPOP


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Eun-Young Lee
Translated by:Jennifer Hahm
Adapted by:Lorelei Laird

What They Say
Lena Ha is a tough and beautiful girl who is also the captain of the Kendo team. Though skilled in swordplay, she is totally unprepared when she discovers that she has fallen in love--with her long-lost stepbrother! Unable to withstand her emotions, Lena runs away and has a near-death experience that takes her to a new world where her destiny is changed forever!

The Review
Packaging:

The cover has a really striking sideways shot of Lena's face with some feathers, on an otherwise empty white ground. The use of negative space makes this a really elegant overall design. Print quality is acceptable, if not outstanding. There is a summary of the next volume after the story, along with several one page ads for other Tokyopop titles.

Art:

Eun-Young Lee's style is really striking. Faces are angular and somewhat simple, with the majority of the detail going to the eyes. While there is a good amount of detail in things like hair, backgrounds and clothes seem like afterthoughts in most cases.

Text/SFX:

Sound effects are not translated. The translation reads well for the most part.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):

Hyun-min is starting at a new school, after several years of studying abroad. Despite the desires of his parents and teachers, who think it's a low-class sport not good enough for him, he decides to join the Kumdo club. Lena, the club president, immediately makes an impact on him, although he doesn't realize until later that she's actually a girl.

Lena is a girl who has clearly been through a lot. She's cold on the outside, not letting anything in past her guard - in kumdo or in everyday life. Being the illegitimate and unrecognized daughter of a wealthy man has not made life easy for her, and watching the things she loves being taken from her by other wealthy and influential men just makes it worse.

She's very popular with her female classmates, but doesn't know how to take the admiration. In Lena's world, there are always strings attached to everything. Her mother still pines for Lena's father, who refuses to see her, even after Lena goes to beg him to. Lena, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to be acknowledged by him, even as she states that she wishes she could have nothing to do with him ever again. Lena is determined to live on her own terms, even going so far as to challenge one of the kumdo team members, who resents her status as captain, to a fight - with real swords.

Hyun-min is fascinated by Lena, and the two begin a short-lived romance, that ends abruptly when Hyun-min's mother finds the two of them kissing. That's when the truth comes out - the two are actually half-siblings. Hyun-min's mother decides that breaking Lena's heart isn't enough, and sends thugs out to attack her. Hyun-min protects her, and winds up in a coma. Even more enraged, Hyun-min's mother sends more men - professionals, this time - after Lena's mother. Having lost everything that is important to her and still being chased by thugs, Lena ends up falling into the water - but swears to return.

Comments
If it wasn't for the summary on the back of the book and one or two short scenes that didn't really make much sense, I would have no way of knowing that this was intended to be a fantasy series rather than another angsty drama. While the story was somewhat interesting, things simply progressed too fast to make much of an impact. Lena makes an interesting character, but everyone else in the book was too two-dimensional to be believable. Depending on how things unfold in later volumes, this could be a really interesting series. I feel better at this point treating this as an extended introduction to the main story.

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