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Review: Angel Diary (Vol. 06)

Author: Yun-Hee
Mahnwa-ga: Kara
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Teen (13+)
Released: July 2008

Synopsis: “Princess Dong-Young is kidnapped by the powerful demon, Se-In. With the help of B-Wal, Doh-Hyun the Black Turtle attempts to rescue the princess. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, Ryung enters the scene out of nowhere… and more secrets are revealed about the characters’ hidden pasts!”

The youngest and only unwed Princess of Heaven, Chun-yoo, has been betrothed to the King of Hell as part of a binding peace treaty. Not wanting to wed someone she has never met, Chun-yoo (aka Dong-Young) has run away from home to hide on earth, hoping that if she is missing long enough everyone will just forget about the wedding. With the help of best friend, Ah-hin, and Ah-hin’s half brother, Ee-Jung, the princess enrolls in high school and hides on earth posing as a young man.

All is fine and good for about three years when suddenly demons and dark spirits begin popping up all over the place! Every new face is turning out to be someone with a secret identity, but she doesn’t let this get her down. Day to day life is hard enough with male class mate Bi-Wal-Jin hitting on her all the time, even though she’s supposed to be a boy.

In the end of Angel Diary book five, Dong-Young was kidnapped. This leaves Doh-Hyun, one of the four guardians of heaven, with a choice: he can either pursue the princess and her kidnappers or question Bi-Wal about his true (and possibly demonic) identity. Bi-Wal tells Doh-Hyun that he’s able to lead him to the princess and their time is running out, so they go together to face who, or what, has taken her. Dong-Young sleeps soundly in the care of Ryung-Jin, who tells his manservant, Se-In, that he is Bi-Wal’s twin brother. Feeling his presence near by, he appears pleased that they are going to be reunited.

When she wakes up, Dong-Young immediately mistakes Ryung for Bi-Wal with a new hair do, then the chaos begins. Crashing through the door, Doh-Hyun successfully puts everyone in the same room and the secrets begin to unravel and pile up at the same time. Being the thinker he is, Doh-Hyun is confused about something: Bi-Wal has the power of Shin-Sun (people who become godlike through good deeds and Zen) and Ryung the power of Hell. This should not be possible between brothers. He wants to know what they really are but loses that chance when Dong-Young flips out after hearing Bi-Wal’s reason for befriending her three years ago.

Wielding the sword of Ice and Snow, meant only for general winter, Dong-Young nearly kills Se-In and adds to Doh-Hyuns growing list of questions. Ryung retreats in the best interests of his little friend, leaving with a warning that next time he gets a hold of the princess he will kill her. Still angry about what Bi-Wal said, Dong-Young refuses to have anything to do with him anymore.

Currently this series is suffering from what feels like a case of, ‘oh god we’re already on book six and we haven’t explained anything’, syndrome, but somehow they’re pulling through anyway. Secrets are spilling like wild and they are adamant in making sure all the characters who weren’t there when the cat got let out of the bag are surprised to find out the truth later on. This is an admirable venture many artists and writers tend to overlook, leaving it up to their readers to assume the characters’ talked about what they know off the page. Though I’ll have to admit that it’s a tad annoying to have to stop in the middle of the action and have character A explain to character B what’s going on, it’s nice to not have to assume anything.

There are some very confusing parts of this book. A lot of stuff happens on three pages, followed by five or six pages of semi-pointless filler. Semi-pointless because it is still very entertaining so without it the story could become dull rather very quickly, plus it usually holds slight ground in moving the plot forward. Writer Lee Yun-Hee is a talented individual and very fortunate to be pared with the equally as talented manhwa artist team, Kara. Their character designs are nothing short of adorable, and even though at times the paneling is a bit chaotic, it guides the story in the right direction. The three of them work very well together and it will be exciting to see how Angel Diary continues from here.

Review written August 3rd, 2008 by Marsha Reid
Book provided by Yen Press for review purposes

Marsha Reid

About the Author:

Marsha Reid is a self-proclaimed manhwa nut – "It’s my not so guilty pleasure and my one true love." She has a group called Anime@ Large, which has become much like a full time job to go along with her full time job at a local theater. Marsha likes fluffy animals (even though she's allergic), manga/manhwa, anime, and make Lolita costumes in her spare time.

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