Author: Mi-Kyung Yoon
Summary: When Soah’s impoverished, desperate village decides to sacrifice her to the Water God Habaek to end a long drought, they believe that drowning one beautiful girl will save their entire community and bring much-needed rain. Not only is Soah surprised to be rescued by the Water God – instead of killed – she never imagined she’d be a welcomed guest in Habaek’s magical kingdom, where an exciting new life awaits her! Most surprising, however, is the Water God himself… and how very different he is from the monster Soah imagined.
My Review: I picked up the first volume a few months ago as a manga book of the month. I ended up reading the available 10 volumes. I really did enjoy this series. It was a nice break from the constant kick-a**, blood and guts manga or some of the more deviant plot forms I’m stumbled across recently. It’s an over all gentle romance, with beautiful artwork throughout. My only issue was sometimes the art was alittle rough and sometimes the plot itself drifted…
The story centers around Soah, the girl her village decides to sacrifice to the Water God, Habaek, to appease him for rain. Once there in the Water God’s realm, she stumbles upon a world of mysterious characters and royal intrigue. She soon becomes torn between the child-like appearance of the “fierce” Habaek, his loyal vassal, Hoo-ye, and the strange Mui…
Art: The art was one of the reasons I gave it such a high rating. Though there were times where it was just alittle bit rougher than I’d prefer, the general look of Bride of the Water God is pleasing to the eye. Mi-Kyung pays special attention to detail, bringing the characters to life with such beautiful clothing and style. The backgrounds are also carefully done. Even the characters themselves have a certain beauty to them. I will admit though that sometimes, they do appear a bit stretched, with too long limbs and too tiny heads, too much focus on hands and feet (something I really hate). Also some of the character’s hair styles can look a bit hastened, expescially when it comes to braids. It just looses that sharpness feel that the rest of the manga expresses.
Characters: I’ll admit, the characters themselves though all possessing unique personalities, there doesn’t ever feel like there’s enough plot to express themselves with. Loyalties seem to shift almost too rapidly, and all their minor pains never seem to matter much. The story centers around feelings and emotions and testy god’s and their funky attitudes rather than something more complex and engaging. I’m not looking for an epic battle, either of the mind nor the physical, just something deeper…
Plot: I have to say that while I did find this series occasionally amusing and beautifully drawn, sometimes the plot felt like it was going around in circles. I like it when there are several arcs, each plot progressing steadily onto the next. This one just kept taking two steps backwards, divulging into the past again and again. I would have liked to have had a bit more uniformity to the story line.
Disclaimers: While there was occasionally language and bit of blood here and there, it never really was peppered with profanity or violence. Not really. Maybe alittle bit of name calling, nothing drastic. There was a rare occasion or two when someone got stabbed through or shot, but it’s never ever gory. Sensually, though… Mui is a bit, to put it bluntly, a bit aggressive. There are instances where characters overpower others, either playfully or not so. Sometimes the intentions are not clear. In one of the later volumes you can see two naked characters (of the opposite sex) pressed against each other, but it’s so brief and doesn’t show anything (plus their technically married) it would be easy to miss or overlook.
Favorite Character: Hoo-ye
Favorite Quote: N/A
Recommended: Older teens & up
Over-all Rating: ★★★★☆
***Next week: Mushishi***