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Review: Goong (Vol. 04)

Reviewer: Marsha Reid

Manhwa-ga: Park SoHee
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: February 2009

Synopsis: “After the king grants his late brother a posthumous coronation, the status quo shifts dramatically as his widow, Yul’s mother, gains power in the palace. And she definitely has it out for Shin and Chae-Kyung! When the newlyweds are invited to go abroad, it seems like they might be on the road to romance… but with Yul’s mammy dearest determined to make the couple miserable, will they even get off the ground?”

With drama around every turn, Shin and Chae are still finding the time to fall in love (though Shin will be hard pressed to ever admit it). His royal mood swings and possessive personality cause tension between them as he begins to suspect she’s falling for his cousin, Yul. Little does he know, she’s far to much in love with him to even consider it.

If Korea still had a royal family, everyday of their lives would play out like an over complicated episode of Days Of Our Lives. To recap, so far we know that Shin’s cousin Yul was supposed to become the crown prince but since his father died before receiving the crown he lost all rights that came with that. Included in the things that he lost when his father died is Chae-Kyung, the common girl who was promised to the crown prince since the day of her birth. So, she was supposed to be his wife, not Shin’s, and everyone knows it but her. In this twisted tale there is but a single villain, Yul’s mother, and she is dead set on making Shin abdicate the thrown at any cost without knowing that he plans to do so anyway.

Writer/artist Soohee Park is a pretty funny person, you can tell this from the subtle weirdness like Shin’s sexy back, pictures of Chae in full formal dress using a cell phone, or the palace’s perverted old man eunuch. She’s very good at keeping this story from becoming entirely about Chae trying to deal with life in the palace or how everyone is plotting against Shin. They have fun sometimes, they get to know each other better and occasionally are permitted to enjoy life. Everything isn’t pain sorrow and suffering, and that’s awesome!

The slightly frighteningly-deformed perverted old man chibis have found their place in situations where someone (usually Chae) is being perverted, or saying something perverted, or thinking perverted thoughts. In the beginning they seemed to be pretty random, and far too frequent, so she’s either cut back on them or I’ve gotten used to them. I hope I haven’t gotten used to them. Her art style is overall fluent and lacking in any kind of weird syndrome I can come up with. The characters never suffer from misplaced limbs or eyes, messed up proportions, or the far to common looks-like-every-other-character face. In true manhwa fashion, the beautiful men are just as elegant as the beautiful women, but in this series if you’re not beautiful you’re ‘not’ beautiful. Plain people look plain with less flowing in the hair, shape to their face, eyelashes and so on.

I’m going to tell the future of this story right now using my awesome manhwa mind powers. Shin and Chae get married after finding out about his cousins families evil plot to get rid of them and he is put in a situation where he has to either give up the crown or Chae. For an unknown reason at this time, Yul will either die, or choose not to become the king because he’s realizes Shin would be a better king. Shin will still divorce Chae and abdicate the thrown leaving the country without a king, then propose to her as not the prince and she’ll cry and the story will be over. Or something like that, it’ll be fun to find out how right or way off I am over the next few books.

Review written June 20, 2009 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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