Shin

Sweet & Sensitive volume 1

Story and Art – Park Eun-Ah
Korean Publisher – Daiwon C.I Inc
English LabelADV
Release Date – 06/2004
First Volume ISBN – 1-4139-0074-7
Genre – Comedy, Drama, Romance
Age Rating – All
Volumes – Currently upto volume 2

Ee-Ji has a problem, maybe even a catastophe on her hands. She is torn between two men, and the indecision is causing far too much grief for this high school freshman. She still holds a certain forness for her elementary school crush, Han-Kyul, but her new infatuation comes in a much more vulgar package. Sae-Ryun is crude and he incessantly bullies her, but beneath the rough exterior, Ee-Ji is convinced that he is hiding a softer, gentler side. Add the fact that these two guys are best friends and this turns into one exciting love triangle!

Ee-Ji’s best friend is the beautiful Do-Kyung, who has an easygoing personality that’s at odds with her intimidating beauty.

Adding to the complication is when Do-Kyung, who is very protective of Ee-Ji, believes that Han-Kyul has made Ee-Ji cry, and begins to work to get Ee-Ji and Sae-Ryun together, just as Han-Kyul is becoming more interested in Ee-Ji and begins to accept her feelings for him.

While this is a fairly straightforward teen romance for girls, the four main characters are very likeable, and the pacing of the story keeps the reader interested. Park Eun-Ha has a gift for mixing comedy with pathos. Her art is very interesting. Sometimes it’s light and wispy in typical shoujo fashion, but it can also be very dark and heavy, and she uses a lot of chibi charicatures to bring out the humor in certain situations.

ADV uses a wrap-around cover that’s printed in landscape, rather than portrait fashion. Do-Kyung and Ee-Ji are sitting back to back with a light blue background and holding sunflowers. It makes for an original and arresting cover. ADVs art reproduction appears to be quite good, with the screentones and light linework looking good. There are two pages of very useful translator’s notes as well.

In the crowded teen-romance market, this Korean entry manages to stand out, but living up to it’s title, by being sweet and sensitive.

Characters
Ee-Ji – The main character of this story. She’s seventeen years old and lives with her parents and three older brothers. She’s friendly, straightforward and caring. She really likes Han-Kyul, who she used to be desk buddies with for a short period in Elementary school, but now Sae-Ryun has come into the picture poor Ee-Ji is getting all confused.

Do-Kyung – Ee-Ji’s best friend at high school. She went to the same junior high as our main character, although she was considered unapproachable during their time there. Do-Kyung is actually friendly and down-to-earth. She doesn’t get intimidated by anyone and she keeps a long notebook with all the details of the hottest students in their high school.

Han-Kyul – The first love of Ee-Ji. He used to be in the same Elementary class as our main character but later got transferred. He’s polite and seems very reserved. In the first volume he passes out due to suffering from malnutrition. His mother doesn’t live with him anymore and he seems to have a difficult time at home. Han-Kyul goes to the kendo club with Sae-Ryun, they’re best friends.

Sae-Ryun – The second pretty boy in this love-triangle gone wrong. He meets Ee-Ji when he throws a can out of the window during the kendo club, it hits Ee-Ji on the head so she argues with him and throws it back, hitting him in the forehead. It’s instant love for Sae-Ryun. He is short-tempered yet is very caring towards his friend, Han-Kyul.

By Raven

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