I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
I have a massive manga collection, and one of the things I want to do in 2014 is finally read, review, and possibly even offload a bunch of them. I tagged this as OEL (original English-language) manga, but it's probably more accurate to call it OGL (original German-language) manga. The author is described as an “international superstar who is a German mangaka by way of Korea.” I wasn't entirely sure what this meant, but I spotted one sound effect in German, with the English translation in a smaller font right next to it, so I suppose it was originally written in German.
This started off relatively okay. It managed to be both melodramatic and kind of boring at the same time. For a good chunk of the volume, there were three main characters: Dionne, Lyon, and Shikku. Lyon was Dionne's older brother, and Shikku was Dionne's best friend. When he was little, Lyon had a serious heart condition. As a result, his and Dionne's parents were super-protective of him and neglectful towards Dionne. Later in life, Lyon tried to compensate for this by being as supportive and caring towards Dionne as possible.
Shikku had a big crush on Lyon but didn't really know him that well, so Dionne sort of talked Lyon into at least considering going out with Shikku. Dionne seemed fine with the idea of the two of them being in a relationship, except she kept having dreams of Lyon abandoning her. I began to worry that this was going to turn into an incestuous love story, with Dionne realizing that she'd fallen in love with Lyon and couldn't bear the thought of him ending up with someone else.
Thank goodness the story didn't go in that direction. It did, however, go in its very own crazy new direction and, in my opinion, suffered badly for it. There's no way I can talk about any of this without spoiling the big plot twist, so, if you have any plans to read this, you might want to skip the rest of this review.
As far as the artwork went, I thought this volume was okay. People occasionally looked a little awkward, but I've seen worse. I kind of enjoyed Park's love of screen-tone. Unfortunately, the last chapter or so of the volume looked dramatically different – compared to the rest of the volume, the artwork looked bare, unfinished, and a little flat. In an author's note, Park explained that she had bronchitis and that a friend helped her finish the last chapter. I think she and her publisher would have been better off postponing things until she was well enough to finish on her own.
The volume began with eight full-color pages. There were a couple author's notes, a couple Dystopia “making of” pages, and a few character profiles. The weird thing was, one of the character profiles was for a character, Raiden Crowfield, who never once appeared in the volume. I did a bit of checking online, and the best I was able to come up with was a German forum in which someone asked the same thing I was wondering: “Who is Raiden Crowfield?”
At first, I thought this was the identity Gabriel chose for himself after he decided to become his own person, but, as someone in the forum noted, Gabriel and Raiden's heights were completely different. The only theory that makes sense is that Raiden was a character Park planned to include in a future volume 2. The problem is, this volume was released as a one-shot with only the barest chance that it would ever be continued. Raiden appears to be nothing more than a loose end.
(Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)