Latimer: I’m a bit of a manga nut.
I really adore them. They are also the means through which I’ve developed, rightly or wrongly, my view of Japanese, and to some degree Korean, culture!
I’m a fangirl, so I love shoujo – the girly manga! I love the ones set in schools; the drama between the school president and the yankee, or the shy girl and the cool guy.
In Korean ‘shoujo’ manhwa there’s always (ALWAYS) a jjang (leader of the gang), in the story. Sometimes it’s the girl, and sometimes it’s the boy. So again, I know I’m misguided, but I just assume in every Korean high-school there are warring factions of gangs, and everyone can fight and kick-ass! And everyone is angry… so angry!
I wouldn’t be able to hide my disappointment if I turned up (very randomly) at a Korean high-school and I wasn’t caught in a show-down between two rival gangs from opposing schools. Even though I don’t speak the language, I’d know… I’d just know what was going on. I’d know the first jjang had kissed the other jjang’s sister, or belittled her… and I’d stand there fists waving in the air screaming.
“Oh it’s on! FIGHTING”
Then if I ended up at a Japanese high-school, I’d be looking for the yankee (the bad boy, delinquent) and the bookish girl – or the tsundere (initially cold character who shows their good side in time – a staple of the shoujo!) school president and the silly, but kind-hearted girl… and I’d be chuckling to myself thinking; “Oh how is this going to turn out!”
Ah, manga (and manhwa), you really distort reality for me (but in a way that makes me so happy)! Reading them is a roller-coaster ride of emotions!
Pandora Hearts, confuses me, makes me gasp in awe, then confuses me again…
Naruto always makes me emotional – it’s the best manga for making you empathize with the baddies, because they were good once… or they have these tear-inducing back-stories…
Kamisama Hajimemashita makes my fangirl squee – such a lovely romance story!
Anything by Minami Maki will make me laugh and wait desperately for the next chapter; her stories and artwork are sweet and cute and hilarious…
Then, recently (and as it’s a week for pets!), I came across this webcomic (they seem to be v.popular in Korean – at least to my untrained eye). It’s called My Young Cat and My Old Dog (by Cho) and it is… wonderful…
If you have a pet, it will make you cry.
At times the issue/episode/chapter is about the young playful pet and all the silly things they do. Then at times it’s about the old pet, who isn’t quite as fast as they used to be, or sleeps more than they used to. It’s those one’s that grab your heart and squeeze the feels out, leaving you gasping and in tears (I am an emotional being!).
Well, but there’s lots of joy to be had in the series too, things that make you remember how wonderful your pet is. How selfless and how they love you unconditionally; they love you for you, no other reason and we love them too..
Ah, manga and manhwa, you give me so many different feelings – and I love you for it 🙂