Pine Kiss, Vol. 1

Eunhye Lee, Author . Netcomics $9.99 (200p) ISBN 978-1-60009-065-3

Saebin Jo is the daughter of the local gang leader—she prances around her school like a princess, followed by a bevy of admirers but no friends. Dali Nam, on the other end of the scale, has many friends, but envies Saebin her popularity. Sanghyung is a boy who only wants Saebin to notice him, but she has no time for him. A new math teacher named Orion arrives—beautiful, just out of college—igniting a fierce rivalry between Saebin and Dali. And where Saebin chases Orion, Sanghyung follows. The stories of these four are more intertwined than they seem at first glance. Orion is haunted by tragedies in his past; Dali hopes and fears that Orion is her first love, who she gifted with a marimba stick years ago; Saebin is threatened by a rival gang member who Orion may know. Lee's intricate story is illustrated with beautiful, sensual drawings that help the characters come alive. Unfortunately, the English translation is as inept as in any Japanese monster movie—the clunky language will leave readers more perplexed than entertained. Ultimately, the translation proves too impenetrable to make much sense of the first installment of this acclaimed series. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/06/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
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