Manhwa-ga: Lee YoungYou
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Teen (13+)
Released: November 2008
Synopsis: “Having survived the battle with the Soon-La renegades, Myung-Ee can’t remember anything about the fight! In her quest to know what really happened, she finds herself crossing paths with Sa-Eun more than once. Though he stays silent about the battle, he lets slip a shocking secret about himself to his rabbit adversary! Meanwhile, Yu-Da has returned safely with the help of two mysterious friends… who appear to be intent on wreaking havoc on both the Rabbit and fox tribes!”
Taking readers back to the battle that the fourth volume ended with, Myung-Ee confronts the dangerous Sa-Eun. Though he defeated those who attacked them, the bloodlust in his eyes keeps Myung-Ee a little uneasy but she maintains her faith in his actions. But when she comes too back in her own world after the fight, she realizes she can’t remember anything that happened after she appeared there in the first place.
And so a good portion of this book’s mid section involves Myung-Ee tearing around her school to try and find some answers. Seems it’s more than a little unsettling to wake up with your memories missing. Sa-Eun, of course, isn’t talking, though the rest of the vibrant cast is never short on page time. Admittedly I have trouble keeping track of who is who since they seem to fly out of nowhere whenever convenient. At least they have their funny moments.
Along with her memory woes, Myung-Ee also has her own little battles to fight in the form of an requited love. Oh no! But honestly, I found these moments to be the strongest of the book. In particular, a scene where a nearly distraught Myung-Ee covers the mouth of her crush to avoid hearing a possible turn down makes for an especially strong emotional image. These kinds of dramatics pull the book to its final chapters where an attack at the school sends some characters into action while Myung-Ee fights to prove her worth to Sa-Eun.
Lee YoungYou’s artwork doesn’t offer too many surprises as far as Korean shoujo goes with lanky characters and an emphasis on almost fashionably-overdone hairstyles. I do enjoy the stylized look it has, emphasized by the sharp inking style. I did find some of the panels a little awkward from a visual standpoint however, when the artist looked to have tried something new with their panel layout and didn’t exactly succeed. There’s nothing especially exceptional about the art but it does have its pretty moments, including a few of the attractively detailed chapter covers and the full-colour fold out image that Yen Press maintained in the front.
On that note, Yen Press continues to impress with its attractive release job. The printing on the exterior of the book are lovely and very eye-catching (though I am a little unsure on how I feel about the glittery logo). The book has a nice size cut size, a little bigger than TP and Viz’s books, and the binding is really solid. I didn’t come across any real problems with the interior either. All in all, another short review of Yen Press’s work that no doubt sounds very similar to things said numerous times before, but remain no less true with this volume of Moon Boy.
So, all together, this series continues to confuse me a little with its Rabbits and Foxes, two warring groups that make up the backbone of the story’s plot, but I still find it pretty entertaining thanks to some interesting character interaction. While I certainly wouldn’t recommend diving in this late in the game, volume five of Moon Boy shouldn’t disappoint those who enjoyed the series up to this point.