Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: All Ages
Release Date: January 2010
Synopsis: “Take one fussy dog, a rain-loving cat, and a little mouse with a big sweet tooth, mix in a sprinkle of sunshine and a dash of magic, and you’ve got a recipe for adventure! Whether they’re baking cookies, cleaning up, or helping out a friend, this trio always manages to stir up a healthy helping of mischief and fun.”
On the surface One Fine Day appears to be about some sort of magic user and his three animal familiars. Below the surface that’s still what it’s about so far. The familiars call their master (No-Ah) a wizard in training most of the time, monster wizard some of the time and treat him like a father all of the time. In turn he feeds the little mouse, cat, and dog as well as takes them out for walks and picnics and other very mundane things. One Fine Day is a pretty slow story – it’s cute, it’s kinda messy and it doesn’t make a lot of sense if you try to think about it too much.
I read this whole book twice, and I could not figure out when exactly these little creatures take human form. Or if they ever really did? I’ve encountered this before in other manhwa animal series, where the artist gives the characters human forms just so that you’re not looking at animals the whole time but in reality (the reality in the book) the little guys don’t ever actually become humans. It gets confusing when they do things that require fingers, like hold a hot cup of tea. The people in the town don’t seem to see them as children, but they talk to them like children. The times when No-Ah sees them as children have no consistency but again, he talks to them like they’re children as well.
The “plot” thickens when someone No-Ah does not like shows up! He’s not an enemy but his intentions are not good. He’s a bit of a tormentor and disregards others in favour of his own entertainment. Nothing of real substance happens until this guy shows up, Aileru the evil wizard, who is definitely more powerful than No-Ah. Either that or No-Ah is holding back so that the lightness of this story won’t get bogged down with too much… anything.
I’ve put off talking about the art, but it has to be done. Trying to define it without making it sound like I hate it, because I did actually rather like the way the characters are drawn, but it’s still going to be hard. It’s kinda scribbley, like it was done without an eraser. This adds to the cute childlike feel to the whole book. The problem with the scribbles though is that every other chapter looks like it was drawn by someone else. The chapters aren’t consistently good scribbles, sometimes they’re very bad scribbles where you can’t tell the characters apart from each other. Don’t get me started on the panel system. If you were to ask me about it I would have to say there isn’t one. It’s like the panels were an afterthought – Sirial drew a bunch of stuff on a piece of paper then went and added in faint lines to try and make sense out of the chaos of the page. Whatever method the artist used, it lacks in consistency just like everything else in this book.
I didn’t especially hate or like One Fine Day. When it was all over I found myself completely indifferent towards it. So much so in fact that when I came to write this review I could not even remember where I put it, let alone too much about it. I think if I was handed volume two I’d read it just to find out what trouble Aileru stirs up in their otherwise dull lives, but I guess the point is that I ‘would’ read it which makes (in my opinion) volume one at least some what a success.