by Kyungok Kang
published by Netcomics; $9.99 US
This 20-year-old science fiction manhwa (Korean manga) looks its age, with its big-eyed, big hair art style. Colleen Doran, whose Distant Soil was heavily influenced by the same look, compares it to drawing all the men as though they were Robert Plant circa mid-70s — lots of hair and tight pants.
The story centers on Shinhye, a star-obsessed daughter of an astronomer who winds up hosting an American with psychic powers. The matter-of-fact way everyone accepts the possibility of ESP also seems historic to me, a relic of several decades ago.
There are hints of the visitor’s alien origins and kidnap threats as well as interpersonal drama and burgeoning romance. The more I read, the more comfortable and appreciative I became of the lush figures, but continued exposure didn’t help with the clunky and familiar plot revelations.
I also found the typeset lettering particularly off-putting. It’s much too perfect to match with the art, and it has no heart. It makes the dialogue feel cold and overly formal, which sometimes made me wonder how skilled the translation was.
Read a sample at the publisher’s website. The obvious example for comparison is To Terra, another project with a similar back story. (A complimentary copy for this review was provided by the publisher.)