Manhwa-ga: JiUn Yun
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: December 2009
Synopsis: “Baek-On and Ho-Yeon are exorcists-for-hire, traveling throughout the country in search of grudges and ghosts. Each encounter reveals a story of tragedy and loss, sentiments they are all too familiar with themselves. But sometimes the violence of the most murderous spirits is nothing compared to the cruelty of the living.”
A new story from the mind of JiUn Yun, the author and artist for Cynical Orange, Time and Again is a collection of ghost stories she’s based off poems and tales from primarily Chinese literature. There are five stories in total and they’re all strung together by either the presence or mention of one Yoo Ju – a young and talented, though also arrogant and lazy, exorcist.
When I picked up Time and Again I flipped through the pages and cocked an eyebrow. Flipping through the pages again, I picked up a copy of Cynical Orange and discovered they were by the same person! Ecstatic, I took it home and started reading. I’m glad to report I was not disappointed, though the stories do have a very different and distinctively darker feel to them then my beloved Cynical Orange. It is still however beautifully drawn and the characters are full of personality.
My favourite part of the whole book is Yoo Ju, and it’s a good sign when the best part is the main character. He’s condescending, greedy, lazy, elegant and not afraid to pass judgement on total strangers. He also has a side kick/servant who he orders around like a dog without hesitation. In short, Yoo Ju is a horrible person and I love it! Though really he’s not all bad, just mostly. He has a kind of justice system where he only helps those who deserve it and punishes the greedy and black hearted by using their own evils against them. Sweet, manhwa love – it’s been a while since I got giddy over a character like this.
Artistically, it’s obvious that JiUn Yun has only one character design for an amazing beauty. Both the girls who appear in this book that are fabled to have breath taking loveliness have the same face and structure as the main character from Cynical Orange, Hye-Min. Luckily none of the other characters seam to have any resemblance to previous designs and seeing the same face on those girls didn’t bother me though it was weird.
JiUn Yun is new to the manhwa game and she is obviously still learning. Her last attempt at a sequential story line (Cynical Orange) fell flat about half way through. Hopefully this time though, by compiling series of short stories, her current problems with being unable to consistently carry a story line won’t show through.
Though Yoo Ju didn’t appear often enough for my liking, in a series where he was the only thing connecting the different parts, the chapters themselves in Time and Again were still an interesting look into ghost stories of a different flavour.