Book Reviews of Not So Bad Vol. 1

Not So Bad Vol. 1
Not So Bad Vol 1
Author: E.Hae
ISBN-13: 9781600090554
ISBN-10: 1600090559
Publication Date: 4/25/2006
Pages: 200
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 7 ratings
Publisher: NETCOMICS
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

2 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Not So Bad Vol. 1 on + 94 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I'm a big fan of "shonen ai" and don't usually pay much mind to manga vs. manhwa puritainism (Japanese comics are better than Korean) - but... with this title, I have to say I can see their point.
Something must have been lost in translation, cuz this jumps around a lot, characters say weird things suddenly and scenes shift abruptly in the middle of a page. And the art is inconsistant (which can always make up for a bad story-imo).
This is from the same publisher that put out "Boy Princess" which is much better.
It's rated 16+ for "sexual content" - but it's kind of like "Fake" in that everything is mostly dream sequence and 90% "edited for tv" type shots. It's a "conflicted about attraction to boys" storyline - so there is barely any kissing, and nothing is resolved at the end. But I'm not bothering with volume 2. Bleck.
But, maybe it's just me.
reviewed Not So Bad Vol. 1 on + 114 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a Korean manhwa, not a Japanese manga book. And the cover artwork seemed to me to be not up to the Japanese standards. So I was hesitant about getting this series.

I am glad I finally did break down and get it. I disagree with the other review posted for this book. I enjoyed it, much more than I thought I would. The story revolves around a self-absorbed, semi-depressed actor Eunhee and the homeless waif Gain he lets move in with him. The interaction between these two IS the story. The bond that forms between Eunhee and Gain and the interplay showing how it begins to form is key to the story. This isn't typical shounen-ai 'seme vs uke' romantic sparring. Unlike indicated in previous review, this ISN'T a "conflicted about attraction to boys" storyline - never is gender an issue here. None of that "but-it's-a-BOY-I'm-attracted-to" angst here. But reviewer is correct in stating that there isn't a whole lot of kissing, cuddling or sexcapades happening. The author, E.Hae, is concerned with the boys' emotions rather than physicality and draws us into the story in that manner.

The artwork is spare and lean, without a lot of extra detailing and background clutter, hence more simplistic than many manga. But the characters are drawn strongly and there isn't any trouble distinguishing between them, a problem I find common to the Japanese manga I've read. The style is distinctive, but the inside artwork is far better than the outside cover would indicate.

And, again contrary to the other opinion listed here, I found "Not So Bad" to be, well, not so bad. Much better than I expected. The other reviewer listed "Boy Princess" by the same publisher as being a better story. I have read the first couple of volumes in that series, and while I liked that storyline, I found the artwork not as good (although seme is a cutie!) and the princess-uke character to be the whiny spineless type that annoys and irritates me. So, with better artwork and more sympathetic and likable characters here, my vote goes to Not So Bad. I'm looking forward to volume 2.

TERMINOLOGY NOTE: 'Manga' is the term given to a Japanese graphic novel with pictures, and 'Manhwa' is the term for a Korean book of the same type. 'Seme' is a term for the dominant partner in a pairing, and 'Uke' is the term for the non-dominant partner.