Saturday, July 4, 2009

Review: Blooming: Bring It On! - Volume 1

I must say this as a starter: I love love love manhwa. And this is no exception. If I wasn’t so impatient, this would be the Manga of the Month (even though technically, it’s manhwa), but I think I should wait and see what July yields before making a decision. This manhwa has two separate titles, if you’re going to search for it. Blooming, and Bring It On are what you can look this up under.

First off, a small rant about manhwa. Drawing-wise, it’s got subtle differences from manga. For example, the eye-to-face ratio. What I mean is, the size. In Manhwa, the eyes tend to take up more space on the face. Why do I notice this? I don’t know. The fact that manhwa is left-to-right just messes me up and I find myself disoriented a lot of the time. I’ll read a whole page right-to-left and wonder why it doesn’t make any sense before I realize my mistake. Other than that, they’ve got similar themes to manga, so it’s not too much of a difference to read. Oh! And I like the way they draw the irises. Don’t ask, simply observe the next time you find yourself picking up a manhwa – and make sure that manhwa is this one :D

This story is funny, deliciously mischievous and on its way to one of my top shoujos. So far, I’ve only read the first volume, and will do a review based on that, and keep updating as I go. Our lovely main, Miha (thanks to her brother) is a sporty, martial arts-doing, tomboy. She basically doesn’t have much of that girl appeal, and does things like run to school and relieve stress through physical activity. Enter Seung-Suh, gorgeous, lethal with an attitude of his own. From the very beginning, these two don’t get along. Just a quick side note: I was really pleased with this manhwa because of the names. Normally with manhwas, I can never get a good hold of the Korean names, and I find them hard to remember and pronounce. Here, the names are pretty simple, so I was a happy Mizzy.

SO, she finds him passed out in the girl’s changing rooms one day and freaks out, wondering who this freak is. Through her brute strength, ends up carrying him along with his colossal hangover out of there. Since it’s the locker room, he gets a glimpse of her goods (well, just her bra, but you know what I mean :P) and when it turns out he’s in her class she freaks out and calls him a perv.

Here’s where his ‘danger’ comes in. He’s got a lovely face – and he knows how to use it. He turns everything on Miha, saying he wasn’t feeling well and she tried to take advantage of him, and that she’d ‘exposed’ herself to him. Naturally, everyone believes him – and that’s where the rivalry starts.

Before I continue, I bring your attention to Yun-Jin, Miha’s cousin. Drop dead gorgeous, silent, bosses Miha around, and is wildly sought after. It’s a bit of an oddity that Miha listens so willingly to whatever Yun-Jin says, and regardless of her tough exterior, Miha never backs down or complains. Ki-Ri, Miha’s best friend, doesn’t really approve of this, but there ya go. There’s a brilliant moment here where Seung-Suh butts in and reprimands Yun-Jin for using Miha and for not doing things for herself. However, even at that point (when you’re rooting for Seung-Suh, the only person who’s got the balls to throw it back in that ho’s face) Miha defends her cousin. There’s gotta be some back story to that – I can feel it.

On another side note, Ki-Ri seems to have quite the thing for Mu-Jin, Seung-Suh’s best friend. I’m really excited to see where that’ll go. He seems to be that ‘strong, silent’ type, maybe not paying attention to her TOO much. Not out of ignorance, but just one of those guys. It makes me giggle because Ki-Ri really makes attempts to be close to him, and I think that’s a sort of comic relief.

As IF Miha and Seung-Suh aren’t funny enough. What is it about couples like this that attract me? Something like Love Com, they can’t stop going at each other. Seung-Suh’s got some sort of past (I won’t reveal too much since I’m not going to hand out spoilers like candy – as much as I LOVE candy) which contributes to his danger. He’s got a very odd way of showing kindness towards Miha, especially in the one situation that he tried to help her. It was genius and hilarious – and insulting. He seems to handle Miha with a lot humour, if not that general rivalry they’ve got going. That’s the best part. I think he gets this inner giggle every time something happens between the two of them. Miha takes every opportunity to sabotage him, because she simply can’t trust or like this guy. Or does she? :D I think it’s one of those unconscious attractions. Unlike Risa from Love Com, I think it’s gonna take her a WHILE before she grasps it.

However, the end of the volume had me doubting, and also begging for more! Once I’d finished the first volume I jumped to find the second – only for the internet to crash on me. Perfect timing, yes? However, I’ve gotten my hands on the next two volumes. However, I can’t help but feel a bit bad that I’ve gotten so attached to it. It’s like falling in love at first sight. Is it real? In this case, I can only hope so, because a manhwa with this much promise should hopefully go well! I’ll be back with more tales of my sordid love affair with Blooming: Bring It On! :D


(Images © BAEK Hye Kyoung. None of these images belong to me)