For the past couple of days, I have dedicated a large amount of my time reading some Hwang Mi-ri’s manhwa series, and I have come to notice that there are some similarities. Before reporting my findings, I shall provide a “brief” summary of each manhwa series I have read so far.
The first manhwa I’ll introduce is Honggane. Nanhee Hong is the middle child of the Hong family, and she has an older brother, Nanpa Hong, who is the jjang (boss) of his high school and an immature younger brother who is a member of a rival school’s gang. Yet things get complicated when Nanhee encounters Ji Young Jin at a bar.
Say Say Say (2007)
Sae is a high school girl who host an online music broadcast known as Say Say Say. Yong-won is the lead singer of a band. He is an avid listener of “Say Say Say,” in which he would frequently communicate with her under the pseudonym, Timeless. Fate brings the two together from the online world to the real world, when Sae starts dating Yong-won’s best friend. However, Sae and Yong-won begin to hangout with each other and their friendship transforms into something more.
Saesang Bring It On! (2008)
Hyo Yi is a poor student on scholarship at a rich high school. She protects her mentally handicapped little brother by fighting bullies that harm him. In exchange for protection against bullies, Hyo Yi agrees to go out with Min Ha. Soon after, Hyo Yi and Min Ha slowly start falling for each other.
The first thing I noticed is how the characters are drawn generically. In every series, the male and female protagonists all seem to look-alike. The main guy usually has this weird “Goku” dark-colored hairstyle. While the main girl has long light-colored hair that is sometimes stylized crazy. Yet despite the similar physical features, the characters have really cool, highly detailed outfits as if they are all fashionistas.
Practically in every chapter, there is some sort of violence: boy/boy, girl/girl, boy/girl, and family members fighting each other. Usually, there is a character who is the jjang (boss) of the school or part of the mafia. I thought it was very graphic for a boy to slap or punch a girl. Yet even though I frown upon domestic violence, I found it interesting that some of the female characters have the willingness and courage to go up against a man in a physical fight, which is definitely empowering.
As for the storyline, romance develops through some form of bet or contract between two stubborn characters. Or fate plays a huge role in the creation of a couple. In addition, the main girl is usually from a poor social background while the main guy is from a rich family background or has some form of power that makes him an authoritative figure. Also, the main male guy has some family problems like a parent’s death or abandonment issues.
Those are some of the similarities that I can pinpoint so far in these Hwang Mi-ri manhwa series. Overall, the art isn’t as spectacular in comparison to the other manga and manhwa I read, but the storyline is entertaining. So if you have some time to waste, I recommend to read one of these or some other Hwang Mi-ri manhwa series.