Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Star Project Chiro vol. 1 by Baek Hye-Kyoung review

Star Project Chiro vol. 1

Author/Artist: Baek Hye-Kyoung

Publisher: UDON Entertainment

Rating: Teen - 13 and above

Genre: Shojo, Comedy

Grade: B+

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

Eun-Yo Song is a fairly typical 16-year-old with a few exceptions. Her family owns the renowned Mama's Childrens Clothes, which her three older brothers now run. She started modeling in their television spots when she was just a little kid. All of her wardrobe contains unique designs made just for her. She is stunningly beautiful and she knows it. All the boys love her and all the girls, with the exception of her best friend Hyun-Joo, despise her. It must be so difficult for her (can you sense my sarcasm?). Eun-Yo has all the traits of being the youngest child, something I know very well myself since I'm the youngest. Because she's gorgeous and the youngest Eun-Yo has somewhat of a superiority complex. Even though Eun-Yo could have any guy she wants, the one she's trying to catch his eye is Chan-Kyung Woo. He's popular, smart, athletic and kind. He's the complete opposite, personality wise at least, of Eun-Yo.

One afternoon Hyun-Joo has a strange money making scheme in mind and cons Eun-Yo into helping. What is the scheme you ask? Kuen Entertainment is holding auditions for a music video and Hyun-Joo wants to take pictures of hot actors and actresses to sell the pictures to the kids at school. She knows that with Eun-Yo there she'll be there for a while, plenty of time for picture taking. We all know that life isn't that easy and the president of Kuen Entertainment breaks Hyun-Joo's camera. The president happens to be the hot pop star Nan Lee. Eun-Yo doesn't handle situations very well, she usually opens her mouth first and thinks later (actually she usually just opens her mouth and leaves it at that.) She demands that Nan Lee replace Hyun-Joo's camera. Nan Lee, being a schemer, says that he'll only replace the camera if Eun-Yo auditions and gets the part that he's casting. Enraged, she first declines but then changes her mind once she realizes how distraught Hyun-Joo is. After putting on an embarassing show, Nan Lee shouted instructions at the casting table, our two girls stumble across some concert tickets.

No one else showed up to the concert and it's not to hard to hear why. The band stinks. It turns out that the band members are actually acting students fulfilling one of their assignments. You'll never guess who the lead singer is. It's Chan-Kyung Woo. He's an aspiring actor but doesn't seem to have much luck in that department. After a freak accident (Chan-Kyung fell off the stage and broke this two front teeth on Eun-Yo lip) it is revealed that Chan-Kyung is crushing on Eun-Yo. At school the next day a mysterious student shows up. It turns out that Nan Lee is a student at Eun-Yo's school! He decided to show up because Eun-Yo got the part in the music video and he came to deliver the prize money, oh, and to do a little blackmail as well.

When White Day arrives Eun-Yo has big plans with Chan-Kyung. She met an older gentleman awhile back and asked if she could come back over to his totally amazing house on White Day. She arrived at the house and rang the bell, several times. No one answered so she went a head and broke in. The man didn't seem to be in so she decided to help herself to his home. Eun-Yo was being impatient when her life too a crazy turn. She accidentally burnes down the house, and it turns out that the house belonged to Nan Lee's father (the older gentleman). Instead of turning her into the cops Nan Lee giver her the option of paying him back. We're talking a large amount of cash here (around 8 million dollars). What will Eun-Yo do?

Star Project Chiro is an ongoing series in Korea and there are currently 9 volumes, but only three are currently available here. Baek Hye-Kyoung's artwork reminds me of a cross between Mihona Fujii (Gals! mangaka), Toko Kawai (of Our Everlasting fame), and Kazumi Ooya (artist for several Takumi-kun mangas). It is truly beautiful to behold. The story is pretty funny and pretty easy to keep track of. I don't know if you are supposed to feel sorry Eun-Yo. I don't feel sorry for her at all and she gets what is coming to her. Nan Lee is a true jerk and it's written that there might be a budding romance between him and Eun-Yo (however slight the chance might be at this point). The character I fell the most for would be Chan-Kyung. The way things are progressing in the story, his situation is the most heartbreaking. For someone as sweet and kind and totally adorable as him he deserves so much better than Eun-Yo. The way the series will continue is an interesting thought. I have no clue on how the story will unfold. UDON Entertainment has created a beautiful manhwa. It is of a larger trim size and has a full color fold out front page. also the artist has some humorus additions on the inside of the front and back covers. I think that if you like shoujo type stories you'll probably enjoy Star Project Chiro vol. 1. I know I did.

***Review Copy provided by UDON Entertainment***
***Reposted with permission from The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society***

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