This graphic novel consists of a couple of interconnected short stories that revolve around people that were affected by the bombing of Hiroshima. TheThis graphic novel consists of a couple of interconnected short stories that revolve around people that were affected by the bombing of Hiroshima. The first story of Minami got to me the most because the young woman finally allows herself to fall in love, but she then dies due to unforeseen complications from the bomb. Fumiyo Kouno's drawings are wonderfully detailed and she captures the sadness and beauty of Japan perfectly....more
Plot: Jen Dik Seong is studying the ancient martial art of hapkido. She's awesome at the sport. In fact, her parents and friends want her to participaPlot: Jen Dik Seong is studying the ancient martial art of hapkido. She's awesome at the sport. In fact, her parents and friends want her to participate in the 25th National Hapkido Championship because they think that she stands an excellent chance of winning. She saves up the money for the ticket to participate in the championship, but then she spends the money on buying a birthday gift for her crush Adam. He not only doesn't like her back (argh!), he re-gifts her present to a girl that he likes. In the end, Adam and Jen have to fight each other in the championship. He even asks her to throw the fight, but Jen stays true to herself and kicks his butt in the championship. She realizes that she doesn't like him and that she likes another boy, Dillinger, instead.
Evaluation: This graphic novel is beautiful in design and the illustrations are wonderful as well. The front cover features Jen and in the background there's a pink present wrapped with a light pink bow. Both Liew and Hempel give the illustrations a sense of humor, especially in the fight scenes. In the pictures, where Jen is fighting Adam, it looks like she's going to fly right of off the page. The shocked look on Adam's face made me smile. Actually the look on most of Jen's opponents, whenever she was about to kick butt, made me laugh.
The author and illustrators do a good job at showing what a dweeb Adam is...I mean, to re-gift a present from someone that has a crush on you and then give it to a girl that you're after is just bad karma. It definitely comes back to bite him in the butt and the sad part is that he's still a jerk even at the end of the novel. He tries to get Jen to throw the fight because he wants to win and he's willing to use her affections for him in order to get what he wants. Yuk. I was happy when Jen realized that Adam was not worth it, especially when she finds out that he re-gifted her present. Dillinger was obviously a much better choice as a boyfriend because he admires Jen's talent, but also likes her instead of pretending to.
My favorite character in the novel is Megan Schofield because of the way she disses Adam. Once she finds out that the present that he has given her was Jen's gift to him, she decides to dump Adam. The best part is that she does it to him at the championship and tells him that she doesn't under the sport or the violence of it. She literally ripes his self esteem apart and he deserved it....more