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Review: Moon Boy (Vol. 01)

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo

Manhwa-ga: Lee YoungYou
Publisher: Ice Kunion (now Yen Press)
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: May 2006

Synopsis: “Apart from the fact that the color of her eyes turn red when the moon rises, Myung-Ee is your average, albeit boy crazy fifth grader. After picking a fight with her classmate Yu-Da Lee, she discovers a startling secret: the two of them are ”earth rabbits” being hunted by the ”fox tribe” of the moon! Five years pass and Myung-Ee transfers to a new school in search of pretty boys. There, she unexpectedly reunites with Yu-Da. The problem is, he mysteriously doesn’t remember a thing about her or their shared past at all!”

I’ve gotten into the habit of jumping into series midway recently, and more often than not, it’s easier than one would imagine to get caught up with the story. Moon Boy, however, was not one of those instances, and having been confused from volumes four and up, I knew it was time to step back and check out volume one for a simple much needed explanation.

And a simple explanation there was. Rabbits lived on the moon, foxes ate the rabbits, rabbits fled to Earth. Now some ‘rabbits’ have mingled with humans and over the years lost powers once native to them, and at the same time, a war continues to wage between the rabbits and the foxes. Flash forward to today where Myung-Ee, a young girl in elementary school, becomes a participant of this war when she meets a young boy in her class and a rabid fox, sighting them as rabbits, attacks the two. Soon after, the boy goes missing and Myung-Ee is the only one who remembered he even existed in the first place.

Fast-forward again to Myung-Ee ‘s first day at a new high school where she meets the same boy, though he doesn’t seem to remember her. Cue a variety of other characters and situations to add more bulk to the story. Now determined to learn more about this war, her true existence and to save the boy, Yu-Da Lee, from a fate decided for him, Myung-Ee joins the war with, at this point in the story, no plan, no powers and all enthusiasm.

Considering how much trouble I had figuring out the simple basics of the story, it was all outlined pretty simply here in volume one (which one would hope/assume would be the case). Things do start getting a little on the hazy side during the second half however, when multiple characters are thrown in amidst changing locales and intermediate context-exposition. I still don’t have a good grasp of the student council characters but having read several future volumes, I take some comfort in knowing they have yet to be as relevant as they’d like to be.

Still, on the grounds of the main characters alone, I was really entertained by the foundation laid for Myung-Ee and Yu-Da Lee. Myung-Ee is a boy crazy little girl and Yu-Da Lee is a brash little boy with more personality than I’ve ever seen in subsequent books. The two buttheads after their initial meeting and I found these sides of them more compelling than the relationship, of sorts, that they share in present day.

Overall I’m not sure I would’ve continued on with this series had I started from volume one thanks to its trip-up midway through when multiple character introductions severely hampered the flow of the plot. But the first half does set up a fairly solid plot with lead characters worth following for at least another book or two to get to know better. As for me, I’ll keep reading Moon Boy as I have been, but now with hopes that the more off-beat personalities of Myung-Ee and Yu-Da Lee will return to give the series a needed bit of oomph.

Review written July 2, 2009 by Lissa Pattillo
Book borrowed from Halifax Regional Public Libraries

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.

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