DFTG’s January Manga Recommendations Feature Smash It Girl, Dallae, Gray And More
This section of DFTG took a break last month, but we’re starting off the year with another installment of Hoi’s Manga Corner with January manga recommendations! This time, there are four new recommendations to choose from titled Gray, For the Sake of Sita, Dallae, and Smash it Girl! All of them differ greatly in genre focuses, but that’s all the better for diverse choices.
A couple of the series listed below are hosted on a website called Lezhin, which isn’t free though many of the comics offer the first chapter gratis for an idea about what it’s all about. I know none of these are from Japanese authors and illustrators, but I think comics and graphic novels should be on equal standing despite country of origin. Without further ado, check out the January manga recommendations and don’t forget to check out the lists from previous months!
Genre: Romance, Girls Love
Dallae is a cute and sweet love story about a young girl and a high school crush. Though deep down she always knew she liked girls, Lee Bo-Eun never confessed to her friends and never acted on her feelings. However, there was always one girl that remained in her heart and occupied her mind even after graduating high school – Kang Saeyeon. She was known all throughout their high school as the perfect student, one who excelled in academics, sports, and practically anything she put her mind to. On the other hand, she was very stoic. Bo-Eun was always a shy girl, but Saeyeon’s standoffish demeanor was difficult to approach. Nevertheless, the crush seemed everlasting as the feelings followed her through college.
After two schools merge sports department, the two begin attending the same university and thus rekindling the small flame in Bo-Eun’s heart. Slightly older and more courageous, she finds it in herself to take initiative and see where their relationship may go, even if it poses a challenge. However, Saeyeon is a lot closer to her than she realizes.
This ongoing series can be read on Lezhin translated from Korean to English.
Title: For the Sake of Sita
Genre: Romance, Tragedy, Fantasy
A young medical student, Sangmin, volunteers in Nepal to help those in need, and there he falls in love with a beautiful young woman name Sita. Formerly a Kumari, she has had her hardships in life and he his own, but they both find strength in each other to move on from their mistakes and live happily. However, barely a year after they moved back to his home in Korea, Sita loses her life to illness. Moving through the various stages of grief, Sangmin journeyed back to Nepal in search for answers, but he could only plead to the gods for his wife.
Hearing his woeful cries the gods grant his wish, but Sangmin must be willing to give up something of equal value to see her live a healthy life. This is a heart-wrenching story of love and sacrifice, where a man must choose to give up his true love to see her live happily. “Would you be willing to give up your Sita?” asked the gods. Beautifully written and illustrated by Haga, For the Sake of Sita is a heart-breaking story of a man’s sacrifice to see his true love once again. Though his wish is fulfilled, it is not in the way he had hoped, but he would give up everything to see her again.
This completed series can be read at Webtoon Line and is only 13 chapters long.
Genre: Mystery, Action
The author has a storytelling and art style that gives about the feel of an illustrated noir novel, except with heroes and villains for a more supernatural take. Gray is about a hero by the same name whose popularity with the general public blew up in short time. In fact, he grew to be so popular that there are action figures, attractions, and billboards all in awe of his heroism. Even so, it seems as though Gray has had enough.
One day, he kills a villain and is detained by police. Confused and appalled by his actions, he is brought in for questioning, but during interrogation he outs himself as a fraud and his story only gets more complex from there. “Do you think a real hero can exist in reality? Never.”
The synopsis is kept very short to prevent giving the plot away. Gray is an interesting take on the actualization of heroes and villains in the modern world. Bringing into consideration real-life factors that may prevent that existence of superheroes. This is more of a philosophical mystery with occasional action sequences, and it’s definitely worth a read.
Check out this ongoing series at Lezhin.
Title: Smash It Girl
Author: Lee WonSik (author), Min Hong (illustrator)
Genre: Supernatural, Action, Comedy
There are creatures that roam the world freely, some able to morph and take the shape of humans and others simply seeking to satisfy their hunger run rampant. There are, of course, a system of checks and balances. There are hunters brought up in this world with the sole purpose of destroying these demons, and this story starts off with a sheltered young woman named Park Seul.
After spending most of your youth training under her father’s expertise, honing her skills as a hunter, Seul is tasked with an entirely new experience – living life in the city in search for more challenging prey. At the same time, she must learn to navigate and adapt to a regular city life, which is a challenge in itself. It doesn’t take long before trouble stirs, and she uses her brawn to take down obstacles standing in her way…especially in the name of love. Also, to preserve human life. The artwork while bright with colors and illustrated with expertise is simultaneously dark and somewhat gory. It’s action-packed and hilarious too!
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Hoi is an elusive figure at DFTG, whose favorite past-times include chillin' in the Fade, reading manga, watching anime, collecting novelty items, and gaming.