Angel Diary Vol. 4

Yunhee Lee, Author, Kara, Illustrator . Ice Kunion $10.95 (200p) ISBN 978-89-527-4600-9

For anyone wondering how Korean manhwa measures up next to the large selection of Japanese manga out there, Angel Diary leaves little reason to worry. The story of angel princesses, demon princes and mistaken identities hits every shojo/romance/fantasy expectation and hits them repeatedly. Stylistically it feels like overload. Almost every page has open and skewed layouts with plenty of room for big flashes of Heavenly light or masses of swirling hair. The twisting soap opera story line gets to be a handful soon enough, but the art always gets across the emotions and excitement that these characters have in abundance. The book is easy to admire on the surface, but because the writing takes a backseat to the manic visual pace, the reading experience can feel as tiresome as some of the chores these students, celestial beings or not, have to do. The fourth volume has a lot of situations going on, but never feels like it can stand as its own story. Perhaps that's because everything is being told at one very loud volume and there's no sense of a dramatic arc. Angel Diary has distilled a genre's look into something very refined, but has little else left. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/16/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
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