Webtoon of the Day: The Strange Tales of Oscar Zahn

Paranormal inspector Oscar Zahn is quite the unusual figure with a job stranger than his appearance. He crosses the line between natural and supernatural in a battle to free souls trapped in darkness. Zahn will need all his genius to solve the paranormal mysteries which threaten to destroy this supernatural sleuth.

 

 

My Review (Part 1)

I love the artistic style of works like The Strange Tales of Oscar Zahn which immediately drew me towards this webtoon. Paranormal investigations are a staple in the world of horror mangas, manhwas, and webtoons but this one appeared different from the beginning. The invisible main character facing down the dangers of the visible world was to fascinating to pass up.

The Characters

Oscar Zahn is a paranormal inspector who stands out just by being an invisible figure. He is more of a pacifist then deadly slayer of the undead. His status as an undead figure (likely) in the supernatural world gives a sympathetic air to his work. Oscar also has a sense of humor to his work and appears to be apologetic when his opponents get struck by his own bizarre issue.

 

Agnes is Oscar’s counterpart. She holds him to the real world while still being an understanding part of the supernatural world Oscar exists in. Her appearance as an old woman with a bit of snarkiness makes for a character who isn’t a ‘meh’ filler. She communicates with a raven who also has knowledge of Oscar’s activities.

 

The Art

Mignola’s Drawings

From the beginning it was apparent the author drew a lot of inspiration from the known and unknown artistic greats. One of the most noticeable is his leanings towards the style of Hayao Miyazaki (yes that Miyazaki!). Several of his characters share similar elements with characters from Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli greats. One of my most favorite of character looks are the gas mask figures during the Battle of the Somme who battle against Oscar and Charlie Harper. The first glance of them left me reminiscing over the similarity they shared with the mostly-forgotten (wonderfully illustrated) Disney film Atlantis. Understandable since one of the film’s artists, Mike Mignola, is listed as an inspiration to the webtoon’s creator.

 

Get the hell outta there Charlie!

Vuong does not copy Mignola’s work; he adds a horrific edge which takes eerie figures down to the level of nightmarish. Part of the brilliance comes from giving the figures blurry edges as opposed to pronounced lines which sets them apart from a character like Agnes. The bonus of their demonic red eyes glaring out of the dark battlefield gives the readers a true feeling of the terror which lies when evil simmers in the dark.

My writings of the art of The Tales of Oscar Zahn may give readers the false impression there is little more than dark backgrounds or features they have seen elsewhere. The Tales of Oscar Zahn is quite beautiful to me. I love the blending of colors which remind me strongly of how watercolor works where up close one can see how it flows together. Many times it is easy to become overly accustomed to the computer generated color art in manga covers (which I also love too) but in this case I am fully in awe of this webtoon’s choice in design. The artist’s decisions are a delightful treat to the eye which only add to the atmosphere of this work.

 

My Review (Part 2)

After the introduction of Oscar’s first paranormal work the webtoon transitions directly into full storyline mode. At first it seems almost like a new webtoon is sprouting but the building of the storyline is key to Oscar’s role in the happenings. I love how the author chose an unusual setting, The Battle of the Somme, as it is one of the most overlooked horrors in student knowledge of history. The fact that he sets up this character with a background story, the gun even has a background!, and the emotion of a character’s relationship to those he loves, is well done. Critics can complain it initially takes away from being the ‘Tales of Oscar Zahn’ because Charlie Harper Is the focus for this tale of the paranormal not Oscar himself. I disagree as Oscar is a figure with a sympathy for victims of the paranormal. How can one truly show sympathy if there is no basis on why a character is worth the battle to save? This is not a one punch-take out the evil-now move on webtoon. Readers are getting a full on journey with a bit of a twist of an ending.

Oscar speaks. We want more.

There is a lot to really enjoy about this webtoon but also many questions which could do with a bit of answering from the storyline. For instance, the author answers questions on Agnes but it would be incredible to see more of her immediate involvement or a slight back story as to how she came to be his counterpart. Oscar Zahn himself is such a unique character readers could do with getting a bit more on his paranormal existence. What is the endgame of these tales? Is he to go on in his paranormal duties for eternity or is this a form of penance or just personal satisfaction which is not about passing on to some other plane of existence?  Since this webtoon is still in its infancy, hopefully the author will plan to provide deeper elements to The Strange Tales of Oscar Zahn as the webtoon continues.

 

To the Reader

The  Strange Tales of Oscar Zahn is one for those who enjoy  the horror genre, especially readers who are paranormal fans. The supernatural always lends drama to its happenings so those looking for a read in that genre should give it a try. Romance junkies will find better luck in a webtoon like Orange Marmalade unless they plan to hold out an unusual fetish for an Oscar-Agnes ‘ship. If you do, please alert me as I would love to know how you plan to see that develop. I normally do not advise a read strictly because of the art (ok…sometimes I do) but fans of Miyazaki or Mignola should consider the Tales of Oscar Zahn even if it flies outside your norm. There’s something intriguing about seeing styles you love blended in an author’s own unique vision.

Final Score: 9.3 Dead man tell no tales but the work of the undead is worth telling.

 

Details

Name(s): The Strange Tales of Oscar Zahn

Author(s): Tri Vuong

Artist(s): Tri Vuong

Genre(s): Supernatural, horror, mystery, tragedy

Year: 2016

Chapter(s): 34*

Status: Ongoing

Anime: No

 

*This review was written at the end of December 2016 before the webtoon returned from a brief hiatus in January 2017. At the time I wrote this review the webtoon series had 29 chapters but because I am posting it now I went with the up-to-date chapter number.*

Bastard

Jin Seon lives in a nightmare. His only light is new student Kyun who becomes his first friend. Now she’s caught the eye of an insatiable murderer. To save her Jin will have to cut a deal with a demon.

 

My Review (a Warning)

I am accustomed to violence in manga but Bastard has a lot of violence. This is not violence like in Tokyo Ghoul, Parasyte etc where readers know this world stands alone from there own. Bastard’s violence is on a human level where disturbing s*** like this happens. There are a lot of sickos in this world who do this stuff so if you are looking for after Christmas fluff this is not going to be the read for you. Now that I’ve done my duty…

 

The Characters

Jin Seon– Controlled by his father he is a loner who can be incredibly naïve. Jin has an almost split personality from dealing with his father’s horrors to becoming ‘human’ with his feelings for Kyun. Jin is undyingly loyal to his friends but hesitant to trust any person’s motives. He lacks any normal parental feelings with his father.

 

 

DongSoo Seon– CEO of the popular G company. The world views him as a charming kind-hearted man who goes out of his way to help old ladies cross the street. The only person aware of his real self is his son. Supposedly he is a busy man but his days contain more manipulation then paperwork.

 

Kyun Yoon is strong willed. She holds a passion for those she loves even taking on an extra night job just to care for her sick grandfather. Kyun is both amused and frustrated by Jin’s actions. She is embarrassed over her situation and gets offended at Jin’s misguided gifts of ‘charity’ which hurt her pride.

 

The Art

Kuroshitsuji?! Nope. Bastard.

Initially the art was a bit on the basic side with Jin being far to close to Ciel Phantomhive  from Kuroshitsuji to not leave one wondering if Sebastian would appear in the next panel. The hair hanging over one side of the face becomes even more shady after learning it is to cover up an unusual eye. Luckily for uniqueness factor Jin has a glass eye and not one sporting the mark of a demon like Ciel’s. The doppelganger features are also separated by the distortion in Jin when he is feeling ruthless. Especially when his other side plays devil’s advocate with his decisions.

 

Jin’s father’s true self

The beauty of the webtoon (for me) is not in how the character looks on a normal basis. The fascination lies in the way in which the darkness behind the normal face appears. The resemblance is enough to know it is the character but the distortions scream this is not human. Part of me would feel a hint of The Scream in some of the expressions. There’s a disconcerting element to it brought on by the color change in the entire panel.

 

 

Lest it be thought Bastard is all shadows, there are many moments which the artist makes beautiful. Those scenes (like this) are an intriguing contrast to a webtoon often muted in colors.

 

My Review (Part 2)

Describing the plot in depth of Bastard is almost impossible. If one describes it the reader would miss out on one of the greatest plot twisted webtoons I have ever experienced. This is an experience. I was blown away before episode five when the first true evil fully emerged on the scene. Each episode added to the tiers of Bastard weaving together a horrific tale which leaves one wondering about true intentions, what lies at the heart of each character. Nothing is in the webtoon without reason even if the answer is not immediate.

 

Kyun & Jin

Of course there are aspects which the reader foresees like Jin’s feelings for Kyun. Though both characters are more than a boy from a nice family trying to navigate teenage feelings with a girl from a normal life. Seeing the growth between the two is never boring. There are mangas (and mangakas and webtoons) where I’ve been tempted to skip through the mushy does she/doesn’t she/triangle relationship tensions to get back to the wider plot. Not so with Bastard. I haven’t read anything recently which had me addicted to it like this webtoon did. Bastard was a ‘must-spend half the night finishing this because I cannot stop’ escape.

Hell no! Bastard is Ongoing!

Bastard is still ongoing with updates every Monday to keep its readers awaiting the next episode! The final episode may be near as every character is on the verge of a plot twisting climax. This sh*t is real because right now so much in the story is at stake.

 

 

 

To the Reader

Bastard is a fast-paced horror psychological webtoon thriller. Those genre fans are in for something disturbing. Comedy fans face major disappointment unless sadistic murderers tickle your funny bones. Romance addicts would be wise to understand you face a lot of darkness and numerous episodes before fan-girling appears. Don’t expect all out good feelings as the sweet times are usually followed by the cloud overhanging one of the most twisted individuals you find yourself going ‘aww’ over then thinking if this were someone you knew could you accept it? If you are looking for a romance with substance try Orange Marmalade or go fluffy with a oneshot like Hajimete Ageru.

Final Rating: 9.6


Details

Name: Bastard

Author(s): Carnby Kim

Artist(s): Youngchang Hwang

Year: 2014

Status: Korean release (Complete); English Release (Ongoing)

Episode(s)/Chapter(s): 81

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Psychological


*My apologies for the months between reviews. I meant to finish this one weeks ago but am struggling with pneumonia. They are trying to knock it out with strong stuff but so far it seems the treatment just knocks me out.

Cafe of Dreams

Unemployed college graduate Sunbae is job hunting when she meets, Na Bong Nam, a2016-09-20-1 young man working at the Cafe of Dreams. Sipping her first cup of hope she begins to rethink career plans with the help of the cafe employees. Sunbae’s heart is slowly makings its plans until a beautiful young woman returns to the cafe from abroad. Has Sunbae’s cup of luck gone empty or is this just the beginning to a far bigger journey?

 

My Review (Part 1)

Korean Tea HouseThe teahouses of the East remain a fascinating part of their culture. Reading a manhwa which surrounds one struck the interest of this reviewer. The translators have chosen to refer to the teahouse of this manhwa as a café. Teahouses are usually for the older men in Korea but this one is for meant to be a place for the young people aka the terminology café. Also, this café of dreams serves coffee which is kinda weird for a teahouse but it works best for the story!

Characters

2016-09-20-14Soo Ah Sunbae-College graduate who is downhearted over a lack of job prospects. Her future is changed when a young man invites her to the café of dreams. She is bolstered by the suggestions there but still struggles with self-esteem.

2016-09-20-9

Na Bong Nam– Worker at the café of dreams who makes each unique cup of tea. He is handsome with a charm not lost on Sunbae. Na Bong Nam appears to have a relationship with a former international volunteer.

 

2016-09-20-16Soon Bong– Has a stalkerish passion for Sunbae. He is in the same job scenario as his crush. The café of dreams becomes a place for him as well. Soon Bong sometimes speaks faster than he thinks but at the core is a well-meaning young man.

 

Recently returned from volunteering abroad she has an affection for Na Bong Nam.2016-09-20-19 Sunbae sees her as the perfect girl. She is very pretty and has a lot of passion for the work being done as an overseas volunteer.

 

 

 

2016-10-07-4Computer techie who connects tea-drinking customers to potential job opportunities. He is the counterpart to Na Bong Nam. He lacks the graceful confidence of his coworker even tripping over himself.

 

My Review (Part Two)

Sunbae is a college graduate searching for her first job. She spots Na Boom, who invites her to visit the Café of Dreams. His first recommendation is a cup of hope and a2016-09-20-4 meeting with his coworker opens Sunbae to the idea of a job outside of Korea. Internships abroad offer opportunities which add global to returning candidate resumes. Returning to the café of dreams Sunbae is followed by admirer Soon Bong. He’s got a passion for Sunbae. Sunbae is finding more than hope at the café. She’s starting to have feelings for Na Bong Nam. The return of a beautiful young woman to the café opens Sunbae to the choice to volunteer her time overseas. Meanwhile, she struggles to see this lady standing by her crush. Sunbae will need all her courage to find her path to a future career and her heart.

The Café of Dreams tackles a topic college graduates face every year: what happens 2016-09-20-22now? Sunbae has done the academic work, gained a degree, but now remains at a loss about where the future leads. Na Boom Nam’s invitation to a cup of hope in the Café of Dreams has huge potential to opening a manhwa of infinite possibilities. The humor in the computer techie who stumbles over to help Sunbae is there. The definite potential of a romantic relationship impeded by another beautiful woman is there. Every element is there! The difficulty is the author’s ability to weave them into a powerful narrative. Café of Dreams lacks the intricacy of endearing a character to the reader. This is not about length. There are oneshots which master the art of such a thing.

The Café of Dreams ending could be the opening to a beautiful future. Details skimmed 2016-09-20-24over by the author could have created a journey for the reader. One which would have filled the wonderings of many in the position of Sunbae. Even the possibility of a fantasy series where a cup of tea holds magic for the drinker to manipulate their future. Sunbae’s own dreams deserved to be explored. This manhwa should have been explored. Instead it leaves a reader pondering how such a sweet ending could have been so much more. The possibility remains open if the author were to release a sequel or further chapters exploring questions left unanswered.

 

 

To the Reader

Those seeking a webtoon tugging at the romantic heart strings would be better off with2016-09-20-12 Orange Marmalade. Slice of life fans would be interested in Sunbae’s realistic struggle on deciding just what to do when life transitions from academics to the real world struggles. Comedy fans might be amused by the antics of hopeful suitor, Soon Bong , in his quest for Sunbae’s affections. Those looking for a quick read will find it as Café of Dreams is a brief eight chapters.

 

Final Score: 5.2

 

Details

2016-09-20-1Name(s): Café of Dreams

Author(s): Seok-Woo

Artist(s): Seok-Woo

Chapter(s): 8

Year: 2008

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Slice of Life, Webtoon

Status: Complete

Anime:

Bloody Sweet

 Power blogger and social outcast Shin Naerim is forced by her classmates tobloodysweet break the seals on a foreboding door. Alone in a remote church she wakes a vampire from his slumber. The meeting will spark a relationship which innocent beginnings may hide a sinister secret.

My Review (Part 1)

TappyToon SiteThe TappyToon webtoon site contacted my LaRuse News Twitter account asking about reviewing a work of theirs. I happily agreed and they recommended their most popular site webtoon “Bloody Sweet.” Before beginning a review I scope out more information to ensure I am not going to find myself in the midst of a yaoi, josei, or pwp. None of which I review for my site. This was where the TappyToon surprised me. Many of their webtoons begin free then require purchased tokens to continue on. I promote supporting manga authors by purchasing their works but am uncomfortable at promoting purchasing a chapter by chapter commitment. Feeling conflicted I have chosen to read and review ONLY those chapters freely available to my readers. Having explained that…enjoy the review.

 

2016-08-25 (7)

Characters

Shin Naerim makes dolls, writes novels, and is uber popular as an online blogger. In real life she is bullied by her classmates and is silent to most real people. She silently handles the cruel taunts of her classmates without seeking revenge. Shin’s true persona will be revealed in a single fateful meeting.

 

2016-08-25 (11)Song – former friend of Shin. She is popular for her cute looks. Song has confidence and is a leader among the girls. She takes delight in finding ways to make Shin’s life miserable.

Looks good for being undead

Looks good for being undead

 

Main male character- Kept hidden behind talismans in a creepy old church he is a handsome young man who was originally mistaken for being dead. He has a sense of humor and a liking for Shin’s blood.

 

 

The Art

Heterochromia!

Heterochromia!

Many webtoons have a particular style which Bloody Sweet embodies. The similarities in characters are shared in works like Orange Marmalade and Subtle Disaster. Bloody Sweet does have several unique character looks. For example, the main male character has complete heterochromia. One of his irises is red and the other yellow. I loved seeing this because 1) it’s a bit different and 2) I have incomplete heterochromia.

 

 

There is one character whose look bothered this reviewer. Son2016-08-25 (21)g shared an uncomfortable resemblance to certain blow up dolls. I asked for collaborating opinions and the consensus was the same. I would have loved to see her with a design similar to the rest of the characters.

 

My Review (Part 2)

Bloody Sweet Twist

Bloody Sweet Twist

The vampire and human scenario is not unique in the world of mangas, manhwas, and webtoons. To actually stand out an author must have some unique tidbit. Lee’s  is Shin’s family history of a mother who is a moodang (although the term in the summary is a shaman). The summary assumption would be this becomes a part of the drama making a not to so simple relationship even more complex, perhaps sinister.

 

Even a shaman mother would leave me skeptical about chancing Bloody Sweet. Maybe2016-08-25 this is why it’s not focused until chapter 2. The webtoon wants the reader to ‘know’ the unique being of Shin Naerim. Bloody Sweet pleasantly fools the reader by setting up a person one believes is the character before turning the assumptions upside by presenting the exact opposite. Shin Naerim is an online novel goddess and reality’s bullied misfit. I found myself loving this unconventional girl who embodied the double life of a lot of internet junkies today. She isn’t an obsessed fan either; but a ‘power’ blogger making it all the more fascinating someone so beloved online could be so victimized by her peers.

2016-08-25 (17)The accidental meeting between human and vampire in a cliche’ church ‘oops I shouldn’t have done that’ was above average. The humor was there. The quirky ‘extra’ was there. Even a definite smack to the face for tasting blood without asking was there. Bloody Sweet’s only problem with the meeting was it just was not hugely original. I felt deja vu disappointment. Could there have been a more creative meeting than this one? Definitely. Does that make the webtoon less of an enjoyable potential read? No. Bloody Sweet has that something to draw potential readers back to its pages. Unfortunately, readers will have to decide how much this draw is going to cost them. Chapter three onwards requires ‘tokens’ to unlock this webtoon’s unfolding drama.

Note: Tappytoon offers regular token specials for different actions (e.g. one can gain tokens by liking them on Facebook or Twitter). This gives readers a chance to keep on reading for making use of the sites they already love.

To the Reader2016-08-25 (4)

Bloody Sweet is perfect for those who have a passion for the relationship between vampire and human. I’m talking to all you fans of Vampire Knight, Orange Marmalade, and such. I also highly recommend it to lovers of the supernatural genre and fantasy. There is drama mixed in with comedy so readers will have an added bonus in the two.

Final Score 7.8

A webtoon to sink your fangs into.

Details

bloodysweetName: Bloody Sweet

Author: Lee Narae

Artist: Lee Narae

Genre: webtoon; fantasy; romance; supernatural; comedy

Complete: No

Anime: No but would love to see it!

Black Wind Pandora

Witches are real beings. Different than humans and hunted by Templars they have been hidden away for

hundreds of years. Kang Woohyun´s best friend begins the revival of the witches. Her death leads to Kang Woohyun being revived by two six hundred year old witches. Witches who are at the center of a death battle between Templars and humans. 

My Thoughts (Half of them)

Witch hunts were the result of a very real fear

I chose Black Wind because the witch theme goes well with Halloween. In real life there are humans who do describe themselves as witches. I was thinking this was what Black Wind meant. Instead the webtoon blew me away with proposing the idea of witches being non-humans. All those witch-hunts of the Middle Ages we dismissed as innocents being killed by superstitions had truth to them. The witch hunters who were able to catch and kill their query did overlook one HUGE detail. In this webtoon witches are more or less able to live forever. They can be revived from their current death state through the blood of a human. The human then is linked to them in a strange relationship where the human cannot die but do not transform into a witch themselves.

Those of you familiar with a book like the Davinci Code may remember the Knights of Templar. In Black Wind the Knights of Templar are also non-humans. They have their own brand of powers used to hunt down witches. If a human gets in the way they get killed as well. The relationship of humans-witches-and Templars are described on the right. Personally I believe we get a shady deal. I get the witches wanting

The human-templar-witch triangle of power

 to kill us in revenge. I can see their angle. The Templars, on the other hand, are supposed to be our Saviors. Yet they don´t think twice about killing a human to keep their existence a secret! I would call them just as much as a risk to humans as the witches. Perhaps more because they definitely fit the bill for psychopathic serial killers. I am on the witches side when it comes to the Templar existence. Take them out before they take us out.

The Characters
The main character is a young man named Kang 

Dana rescues Woohyun from his abusive childhood

WooHyun  who is visiting a childhood friend Dana when chaos breaks out. In the beginning he seems like a happy-go-lucky guy but as the manga goes Woo Hyun´s sad past is revealed. He saw Dana as his Savior. Her death brings out the darker side of him intent on revenge. 

Literal Witch Doormat

Simulatenously he has a great deal of kindness for his new family. Even though Jeanne accuses him of being selfish, beats on him, and treats him like a doormat he never runs out on them.

Jeanne is the witch ´tied´ to Woohyun who was brought back by his blood. Unfortunately her actual

Jeanne explains why she appears like a child

body was swapped with her sister´s. She is pint-size power with an angelic look but devilish temper. Jeanne cares deeply for her sister but remains conflicted over Woohyun´s role in their lives. She is quick to tear him down for being human. Then turns around to guilt him over not treating her sister better. Her sister who had an incident in the past which makes her extremely child-like with zero distinguishable vocabulary. She has a lot of power but acts out to defend those she cares for but doesn´t understand the reality of their situation.

Kyle & Naska

There are numerous Templar characters just like there are other witches as well. Kyle is the highly unusual witch. He is male (clearly) which makes his power work differently. At his side is Naska who is extremely powerful but acts like a bratty younger sister. The two are close in their own way even though Kyle is supposed to be merely the protector. 

Geil 

Out of all the Templars, Geil is the one first met in battle by a witch. She is a powerhouse. Geil can keep up with witches who are out of most Templars leagues. Her power partly comes from an immense desire to destroy the witches who took away her family. No matter how much damage her body takes she is unwilling to give up. Geil is not just muscle. She is a strategist with a high respect for her ´ḿaster.´   

The Art

Kyle fights the Templars

Black Wind is beautiful in so many ways. I am a very big fan of the artist´s use of colors. The backdrops for fights are often done in rich darker shades which contrast beautifully against the white witch. Pages often have a great deal of white which serves to highlight the scenes shown. Scenes which use colors ranging from soft pinks to sky blues to fiery orange.

The white witch first moments after rebirth

 Templars are typically clothed in dark serious colors befitting their ´intense´ job while witches get clothed in pastels which add a pop of color to this dark webtoon.

Colors aside Black Wind does have

its´ share of artistic difficulties. One of the most noticeable (to me maybe not to everyone) was the look of a character´s movements in battle. They appear ´stiff´ at times like the anatomy of them is not quite right for the action. I will try to explain as

best I can how I think of it. When reading a manga fight scene I get the sense of it being very fluid. One move flows into the  next even though they might be on seperate pages. Part of the character´s ´fluidity´ comes from reading a movement through their whole body language. I look at the picture on the left and love the feel of the characters she cut through. They are in mid-movement but Geil herself is bland. She looks like a poorly posed mannequin. Her whole body hardly fits the scene of someone who just slashed apart a hated opponent. The upper arm is supposed to give an impression of using her sword but it´s just stiff with her lower one looking to floppy to do anything. And the pose of her legs just doesn´t fit

the overall picture. In the webtoon the artist usually does an excellent job on the witch battle scenes making me wonder just why Geil is so awkward in battle. 

My Thoughts (Part 2)
I felt extremely rushed at the start of Black Wind. You get an episode in when suddenly there´s crazy fighting, people are getting annihilated, and no one

Because of you we need more info on plot background please

ever explained just what the hell is going on here?! You feel like you missed a chapter somewhere! Agh. One of my pet peeves in mangas is when they immediately start referencing past events without ever indicating what is this character about right now. Black Wind started out like a freaky flash flood. Suddenly all this information is flooding you without so much as a ´Warning´ Seriously Plot Downpours expected

The rushed beginning evens out further into Black

Tsukune moment? Wimpy human transforms to powerful character?

Wind. Unfortunately once the plot downpours have slowed I got a sense the author had lost enthusiasm for his own webtoon. Sink holes in the plot started opening up all over. The characters are fighting but why? Every ´episode´ started to feel like it was trying to rush getting to the ending. The ending which left me wondering if somehow there were more chapters somewhere or a second ´season´ in the making. For having high hopes at the start of this webtoon I felt pretty disappointed with how Black Wind ended up.

To the Reader
Those who enjoy a manga fight or ten should consider

Black Wind a possible read. You don´t need a real plot

to appreciate the action. Readers interested in webtoon art should take a quick look at what Black Wind has to offer. There is a definite beauty to the white-haired witch. Fans of little girls with lots of sass type humor may go for Black Wind´s later chapters. 

***I´ve decided to give a final rating to all manga I read with 10 being mind stunning amazing and 0 being worse than 24 hours of explosive watery stool.


Final Rating: 6.7


Details

Name(s): 블랙윈드 ; Black Wind Pandora; Black Wind
Author(s): Jay-gyuun
Artist(s): Jay-gyuun
Chapters(s): 39
Genre: Mystery, Drama, Tragedy, Fantasy
Status: Complete (?)
Anime: No
Webtoon: Yes

Orange Marmalade

Jae Min is returning home when an unusual girl shocks him with a gentle bite to theIMG_2971 neck. Ma Ri is terrified she has just blown her cover as a vampire. To keep her secret she chooses to close her heart to any chance of love even with the unusual Jae Min. Jae Min is still wondering how he fell so fast for someone so odd. Is it even possible for a vampire and a broken young man to change each other for the better? Or will Ma Ri stay the ‘ice queen’ forever to keep her family safe?

 

My Review (Revisited)

I revisited this review as part of updating my blog to my site and was reminded all over again of the beauty in Orange Marmalade. The webtoon has grown immensely in popularity since way back when I first enjoyed it. Creators have come out with a real life rendition for tv but nothing real people do will match a scene like the ‘first’ bite which brought Jae Min and Ma Ri together.

Orange Marmalade’s unlikely beginnings to a romance

Characters

IMG_2970

Smile Ma Ri!

Ma Ri is a normal looking student with a huge secret. Her entire family are vampires who face intense discrimination if discovered putting a lot of pressure on Ma Ri to keep to her human charade. She does her best to ‘fit’ in but over time begins to let more of herself show despite facing threats from those around her.  Ma Ri is constantly in turmoil over her feelings for Jae Min, the struggle to appear ‘normal’ to her classmates, and having to deal with a not so welcome suitor.

 

om37

Jae Min

Jae Min: Jae Min is attractive and not used to being confused by a girl acting like Ma Ri. His background is a dark place and he remains estranged from his mother over her new husband. Jae Min’s feelings will be tested when he finds out what Ma Ri is.

 

Orange Marmalade’s Art
I remember being so happy over realizing the whole manga of Orange Marmalade was96567l in color. (Of course it wasn’t a manga, it was a webtoon!) Whatever it was it’s colors were outstanding. The warm tones blending in a watercolor wash of sunset against the solid figures give one a sense of being able to almost reach into the panel.
Manga covers give readers the insight into a full color vision of what the artist envisions.orange-marmalade-3477993 The focus is almost always given to the characters which is logical considering a color page only comes once a chapter or so. Orange Marmalade’s characters are well-done but being a webtoon they get the chance to become something more. In black and white panel, a scene like the fountain would be nice but hardly outstanding. The artist stunned me with the sky’s coloring. To see such a wash of colors makes me long to pick up a brush and paint. Usually a background which looks so realistic is jarring when paired with characters who are clearly anime figures. In the case of Orange Marmalade I find a balance between two which actually works quite well.
Review (Part 2)

tumblr_mmdnf8UOcB1somq4lo2_500The storyline itself was well done. I did appreciate the manga becoming deeper as it went on. Although there were a few chapters where I was very, very, very, tempted to skip to near the end. Romantic manga lovers would find me a bit crazy for wanting to skip the dramatics but I’m a simple girl. Looking back I am so glad I did not give in. Orange Marmalade is a journey which needs all the events to be complete.

 

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Jae Min’s childhood memory

What I loved most about the manga was just how much it is able to touch you. There are a lot of sensitive issues which are faced. From childhood abuse, to bullying, and painful discrimination Orange Marmalade takes them on. One of the saddest parts was learning about Jae Min’s past and just how badly it still affects him years later. And his reaction to Ma Ri’s vampirism? If you get teary-eyed easily you might be crying your eyes out at what it leads Ma Ri to do.

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Ma Ri tells a classmate

As for the vampire element, I was really glad to see it didn’t take it to a ‘corny’ place. If Orange Marmalade has started approaching Twilight [shudder] fandom I would have backed off immediately. There were times where I felt like saying, ‘That’s like Tru Blood!’ but mostly I found the vampire element extremely well done. Orange Marmalade is about vampires but the elements of friendship, romance, and drama make it more than just another vampire tale.

To the Reader:

Orange Marmalade is no action manga or tale of horror. This one is all for those who like the dramatic, school life, and romantic genre. If you have an issue with one of those types you might want to check out another one of my manga choices. Before you do, take a moment to appreciate the colors of Orange Marmalade. You can find more pictures of this manhwa under the Gallery tab: category Orange Marmalade

Final Score: 9.5

A marmalade worth experiencing.

 

Details: 

Name(s): Orange Marmalade; 오렌지 마말레이드, 橘皮馬末蘭果醬
Author: Seok Woo
Illustrator: Seok Woo
Genres: Drama, Romance, Slice of Life, School Life, Fantasy, Supernatural, Webtoon, Comedy
Year:2011
Status: Complete
Anime: No but it is a webtoon