Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Magical JxR vol. 1 by Lee Sun-Young review

Magical JxR vol. 1

Author/Artist: Lee Sun-Young

Publisher: UDON Entertainment

Rating: Teen - 13 and above

Genre: Shojo, Comedy, Fantasy

Grade: A

*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at http://liheliso.com/buzz/. Check it out! ***

Magical JxR by Lee Sun-Young is a four volume manwha (Korean manga) series. It's the tale of two wizards in the human world.

Aru and Jay are wizard apprentices and study partners in magic school. Aru uses fire based magic. He's not the best student and kind of an airhead but he's cheerful and sincere. Jay uses water based magic. He's the exact opposite of Aru. He's an excellent student, thoughtful, but a tad cool and aloof. At their magic school when study partners are assigned it's the teachers who pair them up. They also assign them based on the source of magic. In Jay and Aru's case, however, they chose each other to be their partner.

Cho-Ah Nam is your typical 16-year-old, with a few exceptions. She's always loved fairy tales, especially Alice in Wonderland. She imagines her world as though it's a shojo manga and she really wants to be seen as a feminine girly girl. There is one thing standing in her way. Her dad is a national Taekwondo champion and has a famous high kick. It seems as though Cho-Ah inherited her fathers genes and has a killer high kick as well. Since she has the reputation of being able to kick butt and take names she strikes fear into the hearts of many. But Cho-Ah just wants to be seen as a cute sweet girl that she can sometimes be.

These two worlds collide on one fateful day. One day as Cho-Ah is headed home after school she runs into a fortune teller. In reading the cards the fortune teller informs her that she will meet two people with opposing personalities and bring confusion and chaos into her life. The confusion can either be positive or negative and it all depends on her. She has a choice to make on whether or not she believes this weirdo that claims to be a fortune teller.

All day Cho-Ah felt as though someone has been following her. When she arrives at home she meets the two guys with opposing personalities that fortune teller told her about. Yes, it's Jay and Aru.

For Jay and Aru to graduate and become full fledged wizards they must pass a graduation test. They have been sent to the human world and must use their magic to help someone. They are also assigned to a human, which in this case is Cho-Ah. Aru and Jay have to sign a binding contract with Cho-Ah and then the three of them have to help someone in need. Once their kind deed has been completed the contract terms have been met Jay and Aru are to go back to the magic school and out of Cho-Ah's hair. Have they really gone back to magic school when their mission is complete?

Magical JxR is a fun quick read. Being a fan of the whole Harry Potter universe this is a great addition to my library. This is a great shojo title and is great for anyone who likes fluffy stories. The art is beautiful and the story is pretty solid. The instructors at the magic school are great. Mr. Mats, Aru and Jay's teacher, when he gets angry he turns into a bear. Master Ode, the principal of their school, is really quite sneaky and pretty funny as well. It's a great tale of how people with opposite personalities can get along and bring the best out in each other. UDON Entertainment is a fairly new company that focuses on publishing Korean manhwa. I've only started one other series released by them, but so far I have been pretty impressed. It is a larger trim size, it's around the size of a Digital Manga release. There is a full color fold out at the very front. I didn't notice any spelling or grammatical errors so the editing is quite good. Since I don't know Korean I wouldn't know if the translation is good or not but the flow of the story is pretty good. The price point isn't too bad, at $11.95 a pop at the trim size that it is, I'd say it's a pretty good deal. I say check it out, it's cute, funny, sweet, and surprising!

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