January 28, 2011

, ,   |  

Quick Hits: Time and Again Volume 1

Written by JiUn Yun
Illustrated by JiUn Yun
Yen Press

Baek-On is the type of person you'd rather not be associated with. He's a drunkard, a loudmouth, and a money-grubber. Unfortunately, he's also an exorcist, and if you need a ghost removed, you need him. Along with his partner Ho-Yeon, they travel the country to eliminate spirits, though sometimes their methods may not be quite what the clients had hoped for. This is what they'll do...Time and Again.

I'd really hoped to like this one, but in the end, it just didn't work for me, despite being recommended by a blogger whose taste I usually trust. The premise is one that intrigues me (I'll read just about any ghost story), and I try to read as much manhwa as I can find, because I want to expand my horizons.

I even liked the idea that Baek-On is a bit of a jerk. After all, some of the best characters who deal in magic or spirits are unlikable personally, even if they have a quality that redeems them. The twist that ends the opening story even worked really well for me.

The problem I had with this one, however, is that the storytelling itself is horrendously muddled. I found this manhwa hard to read because I often had to flip back and forth through the pages, trying to figure out what was going on. I felt like I was reading a comic where certain pages had been ripped out of the book, and the impression for me was maddening. Unlike most of the other manhwa I've read, Yun's lines did not carry the visual appeal of, say, Bride of the Water God, so I wasn't willing to forgive some storytelling transgressions the way I am when what I am reading could easily be framed on the wall.

I'm going to give this one a second chance, since the library has volume two, but right now this doesn't look like a series I'm going to follow with much further. It's a great idea, but the execution is lacking, at least for me. There's a lot of rough spots here that would need a quick ironing out before I'd recommend it. We'll see what happens with volume two.