Mànhuá #2

前世

Qián Shì

This is translated to ‘pre-existence’ or ‘past life’. That is the name of the mànhuá that I completed only hours ago.

It was a one shot, a single little tale comprised in a single chapter. There were twenty pages in total. As such, I have very little to say on this mànhuá.

The story is set in the Jiānghú. As such, there is a great deal of wonder about the setting. The world is portrayed beautifully. As it is so short there are only three or so settings for the story. Each is significant and leads back to each other. For example, the first place that we see is a Dàoist temple. For the few places that we see we are in immediate awe.

The art is stunning, truly stunning. The lines are bright and clear. The colour, the story is in full colour, is beautifully done. They are bright, bold and eye catching without making me lunge for my sunglasses. I actually ogled, and I don’t often ogle. While it is beautiful, and I will stand by that forever, I have to say… It isn’t the same kind of beautiful that I rate Peony Pavilion.

I admit it, I don’t believe much can stand up to Peony Pavilion. That mànhuá, to me, was uttermost perfection. This kind of beautiful is absolutely, fantastically so. I would say that the artist is flawless but I’m not an artist, nor have I been trained to have an artistic eye. As such, all I can say is that this mànhuá is more on the side of Japanese manga style. I love manga. I have no issue with it.

The story itself is nice. It’s simple. It’s plain to follow. Of course, I wouldn’t be satisfied if it were full of twists and turns at that length. In fact, I don’t think such a thing can be pulled of. For this story I’d say that the characters are easy to get a grasp of. They’re easy to understand. They’re likeable.

All in all I would give this mànhuá three stars. Yes, that is out of five. For what it is, for the length that it is, I think it does what it wants to, and what it needs to, very well. It goes in a style similar to something that I have tried, and failed, to do countless times. I will therefore admit that I am slightly in awe of it.

However, I do find that, though all the points are of perfect use in this story, they do stir up questions that are not answered. There is a whole other line that this story could have gone in and it isn’t touched. It couldn’t have been at this length. However, I do find that it is impossible not to notice. For that I could not give any higher a star count.

It isn’t one of those ones like Peony Pavilion where you want to sit back and think over what you’ve just read. It’s something that you read and enjoy for what it is. It can even be something that you read just because you don’t have much time and you don’t want to get into something big. At the same time, when you complete it, you are left with thoughts.

月下美人

#一

Yuè Xià Měi Rén

The title translates to Beauty Under the Moon. I have only read chapter one thus far. There are two more to go. I supposed that doing this review chapter by chapter would give a deeper insight for those of you who are interested. It would also help me to get around to posting my articles.

This is a modern day story. This chapter is twenty one pages in length. It covers all that needs to be covered on an introductory chapter. There is a good sense of character in this. In fact, you get a really good look at who they are and how they are and that, more than anything, is what impresses me. No one falls particularly into any set characterisation ‘trap’. I’m delighted!

This chapter revolves around the meeting between a female student and a male opera performer. It goes with the point that men once played female roles ‘at the peak of Běijīng Operas’. Their meeting does not go particularly smoothly, as per the typical style of a shoujo manga. There is a slight clash and it does end on a ‘cliff hanger’. Rather, she asks him a question and there is no given answer.

The art is… I am not calling it bad art. I am not. I am saying that at all. However, compared to the cover image, the actual art is slightly differing. I do prefer the cover. Perhaps, I only feel that way because this one is in black and white. Perhaps it’s simply the style of this particular artist. I just don’t like it as much.

All in all, I give this chapter three stars. There are little hints here and there that it could degenerate. I am willing to look beyond them, mostly. It is the first chapter after all. There have been far worse things written and drawn. There have been far worse beginnings. I’m not sure whether the male lead is going to be a ‘jerk’ or not either. Take that how you will, girls, I know how ludicrous you lot can be.*cough*fangirls*cough*However, I am in no position to judge you, so feel free to hold Blood Dupré over my head if you feel insulted.

Again, this is not a story to sit back and think over. It, I think, could not easily be farther from that. However, the whole idea of the setting is interesting. I am definitely going to wait for more. That, and, well, I do have to read it all now, don’t I?

仲夏夜之梦

#一

Zhòngxià Yè Zhī Mèng

This is also known as A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It is set in recent times and it is a one shot. As it is a one shot I am going to cover most of the other chapters in this article. For that I should apologise, shouldn’t I? To be quite honest, there are very few mànhuá. It really seems to be the least popular of the three types. There are also a lot that fail to interest me entirely. I suppose then that this kind of article will fade away sooner than expected.

I should start on manga! I plan on doing Kingdom. I also like browsing through mangamagazine but I’m not sure if I could make articles including those stories. I might have to ask for permission there first. I do recommend that you look at it! The stories that I’ve seen, though few, are wonderful.

Ahem, back to the mànhuá at hand, This one is absolutely wonderful. I really, really like this. I think I’ve found something that I truly adore.

The art is nothing too special. It isn’t the most awe inspiring. It is very like manga in the way that it’s styled. Speaking of manga, in terms of genre, it is described as having elements of Josei. I do quite like Josei though so I’m not bothered by that. It is nice to have a bit of a more mature story. Don’t get me wrong, I love the typical tropes, but this is a nice little change and it is a fresh look at things. None of these people are particularly dislikeable (at least not for long). I really love that.

In fact, one of the pieces that I love most, is the beginning. It isn’t the art. It isn’t the set up. If you read the little bits floating about, narrating the whole start, you can tell that it’s so typically Chinese. I really admire that. It’s such a lovely way to start a mànhuá.

The story is very straight forward. Its simple, so simple, but it really is quite touching. One person can affect your whole life and you often have no opportunity to thank him. I think I would probably say that to anyone who was interested in it. That is the best description of the story that I can think of.

This is not the most original of stories. There are various ways that it could have gone. For all intents and purposes I think that this ending was for the best. It was sweet and I was touched. It’s exactly the kind of kind and fun spirit that goes so brilliantly with wǔxiá.

I award this one three out of five stars. It’s definitely my favourite so far of this article. I didn’t see the ‘typical’ ending that apparently was obvious. I am pretty oblivious, having taken three days to realise that three (my bathroom, bedroom, and a sort of anti-chamber with a bookshelf) rooms had changed colour and even then it was only because I was told…

I digress, that is way off topic.  I think the story is wonderful. Even if you look at it and think ‘I know where this is going’ I think you should stick around anyway.

仲夏夜之梦

#二

Zhòngxià Yè Zhī Mèng

The second chapter… I feel that I read this chapter at a terribly inappropriate time. The message that it gave only served to annoy me. I should have felt something better but I could only tear it to shreds. I could feel no contentment in its words, no inspiration or gladness for its heart.

I am reminded – vaguely – of Anna Pavlova. It was only a small coincidence. Her name came to mind for only an instant. However, because of who she is, I feel that you should understand this chapter enough by that alone.

I give this chapter two and a half out of five stars. Even if I had received it in a more positive way I doubt that I would have given it more. Even to me this chapter was obvious. The beauty of it, at least in my perception, waned towards the end. The message is one too plain and done too plainly.

莲之实

Lián Zhī Shí

This is known as Truth of a Lily. If you are aware of Chinese, however, you will notice that the first character is lotus.

This is another modern day mànhuá. Unfortunately, all of the mànhuá that are one shots are modern day. The sole exception available on the websites that I frequent is the first mànhuá of this article. I am choosing to do these one shots simply because academic studies, piano and Cosplay do not meld well with my other passions or time for that matter.

This is a lovely little piece. The message of it is ‘do not give up’.

As with all stories that have such a message – especially those that are one shots – you can end up feeling a little bit, well, smacked in the face. It is bright. It is bold. If you miss that you need to visit a doctor.

I like the story for all that it is. I think that it works with all that it has in the greatest way that it can. It is touching. It is sad, but it is extremely good. I feel that you can look at it in two ways. You can take the message and the story and you can come away feeling good and a little bit moved. You could also be in the position that I was with the former mànhuá. If you are then you might want to just sit and huff and puff.

I give this mànhuá four of five stars. I truly do like its message. It tells the story in a way that I haven’t seen before. Granted, while I’m sure the creator has, will and can do better, that doesn’t detract from this one. There has been some confusion over the end, however. To those who are confused I would say:

Remember the face that is not recalled.

天体观测

#一 (?)

Tiāntǐ Guāncè is the title of this mànhuá. The title used is The Astrometry.

This is one that makes me want to cry. It isn’t tragic. In fact, it’s humorous! If I were to cry over it I would be splitting a gut. However, all things consider I am pleased with how it is. I say that as the team couldn’t find the whole mànhuá. They translated only a part of it. As I said, I think it’s still really good! You should read what there is of it!

Wait!

Please read it on MangaHere. My usual website gave away the funniest part of it. I was not particularly pleased about that. In fact, I really was quite upset with the whole arrangement. If you are going to include links to forum pages that discuss the mànhuá you should have them somewhere that is not in direct sight. You most certainly should not have them listed above the actual content.

All right, on with my part.

Oh my gosh! Did you see that? Did you see that? The art is – *drool*amazing, special, beautifulgorgeous! I love this! It has been done so, so well. Usually, when reading something like this I always wonder whether it’s been done by hand or by the computer. I prefer for these things to be done traditionally, but – oh my goodness – I could not love this any less no matter what!

The whole story is bursting with humour and loveliness. I really love our leading lady. She’s so cool. She… She… Oh, I can’t tell you because it’s that funny thing I told you about! It’s so funny! I love her personality. I do like her friend as well though she isn’t in for long.

Shegu is really, really interesting. I’d love to have seen more of him. He seems such a cool guy and so fun to be around too!

The ‘master‘ is absolutely amazing. His personality is one, I think, of the hardest. You’re always worried about making them too ‘tame’ or too harsh. You’re treading a fine line with every moment that such a person is even thought of! This is absolutely pulled off!

I give this Five of Five! I just love this! What an amazing little gem! I want to read it all over again!

This is the best way to end the article, I believe.

I promise that there will be another one soon. I will read and ‘review’ six more. You will see more of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Do you remember in my last article of this kind – the first article I posted – that I mentioned Storm Riders? I plan on being more in-depth with that. That can have a whole article to itself as, apparently, there is a movie and an anime.

I hope that you have found this article to be useful. Thank you for reading. Thank you for your patience: especially now that I have my ChinaSorrows blog too.

I will not forget you. I have thousands of ideas. I just don’t have the time or diligence to have them prepared so soon. I am improving on that, however, so I shall see you soon.

Yours Truly

Miss Sorrows

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