Manhwa-ga: YoungHee Lee
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: March 2010
Synopsis: “While Jay struggles with old wounds and new worries at the crossroads of his relationship with Hyun-Ho, Nan-Woo heads out on a journey to track down her wayward boyfriend, Seung-Ha, and bring his punk behind back home! Is she only setting herself up for another rejection?! Or will her characteristic pigheadedness win out after all?! It’s the end of the road for this wacky cast of characters and their mixed-up affairs of the heart in the final volume of You’re So Cool!”
The volume takes off running with Nan-Woo hunting down Seung-Ha who’s gone missing. This is to no worry by his family whose fairly substantial page-time drives home his often-emphasized cold home-life. But Nan-Woo refuses to be deterred by their apparent lack of caring and heads out to find Seung-Ha on her own. Seung-Ha, meanwhile, is battling his own internal demons via the often-used child form embodiment of his own angst.
With some reluctance I admit that I still don’t like Nan-Woo as a character all that much. Even more reluctantly I point out that her monkey-face appearance may have somewhat to do with it. Personality-wise, she’s pretty average as far as manhwa heroines go – loud, spunky and on the tomboyish side. She’s changed very little since the beginning, which is likely why though rather endearing at first, proves a little insufferable over time. But at least her zestful energy is more uplifting than Seung-Ha who though despite some much-needed soul searching, still has the outward personality of a stale wet-noodle.
The plot here eventually comes about with some of the series’ more candid moments as Seung-Ha spills his emotional guts and Nan-Woo, well, continues to be Nan-Woo. Impressively the story takes a turn I didn’t expect and the conviction the characters have in regards to it is refreshing after many moments in the series that just leave you shaking your head in the why-do-they-put-up-with-this sort of way. The resulting finale falls victim to cliché but isn’t without its charms.
To little surprise, the conclusion of Jay and Hyun-Hoo’s story really steals the show, even if only for a moment. The artist herself admits she had to keep it short in order to make sure Nan-Woo and Seung-Ha remained the central focus of their own story. Note to the artist: I want you to “give into your preferences” and draw a boys’ love story. Staying in the scope of its genre, don’t expect anything raunchy from the two pretty young men but you still get a rewarding resolution to their tense couple of weeks and even some shirtless scenes together that leave Nan-Woo doing a sex-check before entering any room in her house.
Another thing aside from Jay and Hyun-Hoo that I loved about this book was the progression of time via Nan-Woo’s hair. It’s been short for the entire series (apparently getting even shorter for a period in this book but I couldn’t tell the difference), but when a year is suddenly going by readers see her hair growing out and her hairstyle changing over the months. It’s also nice because she looks so much better with longer hair – a little more mature and a lot less monkey-like.
Volume six of You’re So Cool offers a fairly fulfilling ending, albeit to a story that followed a relationship that never felt entirely satisfying in its own right. Still, most things come full circle and Nan-Woo and Seung-Ha feel like they could actually be a decent couple by the end. Jay and Hyun-Hoo may likely end up being more readers’ cup of tea for a relationship that really feels worth cheering on though. Either way, You’re So Cool was an often entertaining mix of fanged-toothed outbursts, confusing gender-identifications and how-can-they-put-up-with-that antics that made it a manhwa regular that shall be missed.