25th May 2008

Let Dai 3

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

There are very few series that have art on par with the art in Let Dai. It’s hard to find an artist who is able to draw teenage boys as teenage boys, complete with the slumped, unfinished look and the unrelenting, coltish energy. It’s even harder to find someone who can capture all of that in a few panels. Most teenaged boys in this genre either look very young or completely adult. It’s such a nice change to have the boys look their age.

The other thing that really grabs me about this series is the characterization. As far-fetched as the plot may be, there are a lot of things about it that strike me as true to life.

As much as Dai scares me with his amorality and his violent tendencies, I find myself half in love with Dai, sympathizing with Jaehee and how he’s pulled in many different directions with his feelings for Dai. Then, when Dai lets down his guard, you start to see the events that formed and shaped him into the person he is today and he creeps deeper into your consciousness and sets up house there.

The rest of the characters in the series suck you in too, but there’s just something special about Dai and that’s half of Jaehee’s problem.

So in this book we’ve got Eunhyung who’s still trying to cope with the aftermath of her assault, Jaehee who’s completely fucked in the head over how he feels about Dai, Dai who is not coming from the happiest of homes and Naru who’s completely insane and has a family to match. You know at this point it’s very hard to give more details on the plot without spoiling things for everyone. That’s the problem with reviewing books in a series, by the time you get into volume three or four, you’re so completely entrenched in plot that just about anything you say will spoil the book for someone else.

Net Comics’ presentation of this series has been stellar the whole way through. The only thing that really threw me was the changing of the Korean Won into American dollars. We know this is set in Neo Seoul. We know that Neo Seoul is not American. Maybe it is possible that in world this is set in everything is in American dollars, but it just kind of jerked me out of the world of the story when I read that.

You know it’s a pretty good series when I’m left to nit-pick over things like that. Seriously, this series is really one that should be in people’s collections right along with some of the other classics of the genre. It’s just that good.

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