You probably can’t know that i like comics created in East Asia. They have different names, depending on where they come from: manga (Japan), manhwa (Korea), and Manhua (China).
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This time I want to talk about a South Korean comic, Sarasah by Ryu Ryang. It’s actually the 2nd volume of the series because we couldn’t find the first one.
This is a 10 year old manhwa – it was first published in South Korea in 2007 and the English translation [the version I own] dates back to 2009. This comic is targeted towards teenagers – and more specifically teenager girls. You can read more about it here and you can purchase it from here.
Despite me not having the first volume, the back cover has a little presentation of what the story is all about, making it easier to understand or figure out what we missed on. Reads: left to right, unlike manga (from Japan).
Warning! spoilers ahead!
The main girl character, Ji-Hae, likes a boy at school, but he somehow doesn’t want to know anything about her. She then somehow travels back in time and finds herself in the ancient Korean kingdom known as Silla. This is where and when most of the action takes place.
There’s no coincidence for it either: it is at this point in time when Ji-Hae and Seung-Hyu (her love interest) met for the first time (in their past lives) and their interactions led him to not ever like her (no matter how many life times they spend together).
The story is pretty difficult to explain, however I wouldn’t like her either if I were him. She seems a bit too clingy and stuck up on him, and much like a stalker. What guy or girl likes this kind of person? The behavior is only acceptable when displayed in moderation after all and generally only after the 2 form a stable couple.
There is a guy who seems to like Ji-Hae, and that is Bub-Min. He tries to help her get closer to her love interest, but it’s mostly because he’s pretty much sure she won’t succeed. As a result he helps her enroll in the military though she has to pretend she’s guy.
What I liked:
- the time travel theme – there are several comics and shows that involve some time travel of sorts. People generally seem to have a little obsession with this theme, and as a result many works have been created. Some are of course better than others.
- the art – South Korean comic artists are generally pretty skilled at creating eye catching characters. Well, if you like manly looking men or guys, then this comic is not for you. However we need to remember that for the longest time in history, the kingdoms that formed what we know today as China and both Koreas, valued their long hair on both men and women. For a person to cut or shave their head was a very big form of punishment, an insult and was disgracing to the parents. Only monks and nuns were expected to have a shaved head.
- pretty easy to read – most comics are easy to read, after all. One targeted towards teenagers is even more easy to read.
What I disliked:
- the main girl character – I mentioned above why I disliked her. Nothing more to comment on that.
- the talking cat – there is a talking cat character in the story, and he is Ji-Hae’s pet. He acts entitled and arrogant, but it’s mostly to teach her some manners or a life lesson (or so I believe).
Rating and recommendations: I rate it 4 stars out 5, and I recommend it to those interested in manga, anime, history, East Asian culture, or even time travel. Link below!
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