Orange Marmalade (2011-2013)
Story & Art By: Seok Woo
So I decided to read Orange Marmalade (오렌지 마말레이드) by Seok Woo to see what’s all the hype about. Honestly, Orange Marmalade is one of the good vampire series I read, better than Twilight. If you are a vampire-romance type of person, you should definitely check it out.
In a world where vampires and humans coexist, Baek Ma-ri—a 2nd year high school student—struggles to live a normal “human” life and to keep her vampire side a secret. Yet when she smells the sweet blood of a boy named Jung Jae-min on the train, she accidentally nibbles his neck. Jae-min slowly begins to fall for Ma-ri and tries to get to know her better.
Even though this webtoon may appear to be a typical vampire romance storyline, it also deals with some darker issues. In Orange Marmalade, humans live in fear of vampires because they believe that all vampires desire human blood. Ma-ri, her family, and other vampires do not live a lifestyle like that, but rather their diet consists of pig’s blood. Yet when the media spreads a rumor about a vampire killing a human girl, humans start accusing all vampires as monsters and begin to promote a vampire genocide. Ma-ri becomes a target of school bullying when someone reveals that she is a vampire. As a result, students began throwing pig blood packs at her and calling her a “monster.”
This webtoon captures some of the most controversial topics in society: discrimination and bullying. Discrimination comes in different forms: race, sexual orientation, disabilities, and etc. In this case, Seok Woo addresses the inferiority of a fictional species, vampires. “People fear what they don’t understand,” is a statement that is clearly shown in this webtoon, in which humans view vampires as monsters. This fear results in bullying, a symptom of discrimination. What I learned from this webtoon is that as humans we should be more open-minded and accepting of others. You don’t have to like everyone, just be more considerate of others.
Also, Orange Marmalade addresses the dangers of the media. The media is a powerful tool that we use to spread truth to civilians, but at times, the media can spread lies that can transform into a dangerous “truth.” An individual shouldn’t take news heard on TV, internet, or radio at face value, instead one should question everything, and come up with his or her own valid, logical conclusion.
If you are into the whole vampire romance, I recommend it to you. It may seem cheesy at first, but it has its’ merits.
(I do have a question though, where does the title, Orange Marmalade, come from? I don’t recall it being mentioned in the webtoon. I am assuming that it is relating to the various panels where the background is this golden, orange hue as shown in the pictures.)