Manhwa-ga: Lee Eun
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Teen (13+)
Released: December 2008
Synopsis: “Donning a disguise complete with a pair of antique galsses for an impending (and potentially embarrassing) doctor’s appointment, Bun-Nyuh never expected to find true love in the waiting love! But when the handsome young physician seems equally floored by her, a romantic escapade might just be around the corner. However, love at first sight is not all it seems… especially when you’re looking at the world through someone else’s glasses…”
Some womanly concerns send Bun-Nyuh to a doctor but embarrassment over the possibilities leave her bundled under a disguise. But one look at the doctor and it was love at first sight! And maybe the same from him…?
Readers get to learn more about Bun-Nyuh who I’m quickly learning is far more relevant to the plot than I initially gave her credit for. The newly introduced doctor allows us to learn more about shamans and something called the “Shaman Sickness”, an ailment that he was told his wife had before she disappeared. He reflects on the loss with Bun-Nyuh, as she remembers the loss of her mother to situations eerily similar.
Putting it nicely however: this volume drove me crazy! The entire time it pulls you along with the thought that you know what’s going on. Plot coincidences and overlapping timelines all fit too well, there’s no other explanation… and yet, why do your eyes deceive you? What’s not making sense here? Then you get to the end of the book and realize that it was all entirely intentional. To the author’s credit, it was a very well executed blindsiding and as frustrating as it was, it worked. Kudos to you Lee Eun! Even if your book stressed me out a bit.
Following that main arc of the story is a short story that features a little more of the beautiful black-haired man (or enigma?) who works at Bun-Nyuh’s antique shop. After helping a little girl with her worries, we see how easily worries can circulate until you find yourself with someone elses. I like these short extra tales slipped in. They feel very similar, as I’ve said before, to series such as Pet Shop of Horrors, one of my all time favourite manga series. These stories also make the bishie-lover in me want more of that gorgeous part-timer and his flowy hair and mysterious knowledge of everything! Maybe later in the series I’ll be rewarded.
All in all, I think I really need to step back and read the first few volumes of The Antique Gift Shop to fill myself in on everything up to this point (I hopped in at volume five), but that said, I do find the series to have some merit and I’m interested to see if it’s going to go anywhere in the future once its finished meandering in the past.