Publishers Weekly - Publishers WeeklyComics fans will have to exert themselves extra-hard to enjoy this Korean manga by two young women. It has manga's familiar but disconcerting tendency for characters to turn into cute little bobblehead dolls under stress; it plays to the sub-genre's fascination with the romantic woes of beautiful, androgynous young men; and it features a hero who literally transforms from male to female without warning, as well as other characters who are sometimes birds or panthers. The characters' unpredictable identities contribute to a seriously confusing jumble of events. The story takes place in a fantastic world divided into little nations. The ruling class, Habits, treats the Spar commoners very badly, but even Spars discriminate against others. One outcast couple is a dwarf mine worker married to a female hunchback, whose doubly cursed child, called Lapis as a boy but Lazuli when a girl, is extremely brave and pretty; in fact, he/she is The Chosen One who will remake the world. Of course, Lord Daimon, cruelest but loveliest of the Habits, loves Lazuli but hates Lapis he doesn't realize they're the same person so when Daimon murders Lapis's parents, the lad pokes one of his eyes out to teach him a lesson. Park's art relies on manga cliches, with the supposedly heroic dwarf looking for all the world like a cement lawn ornament, while the tone of Jo's script, even allowing for sloppy translation, veers from awestruck to cutesy. None of the discordant parts is impressive enough to draw readers past the incoherent plot so they could get more pleasure than perplexity out of this odd tale. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Hooray! Another manga for smart people...sorry, but those who didn't understand this *cough cough crititics* need to perhaps listen to some classical music, etc, to boost their IQs...or maybe read the rest of the series, yes? The story's too complex to tell in one book, and that's what makes it such an amazing series! oh, and as for cliches...well, let's see here... 1. Lapis/Lazulii's mum and dad are a hunchback/dwarf couple...haven't seen that lately. 2.Lord Diamond was sexually abused by a creepy monk. Haven't seen that much in manga either...hmm... 3.Oh, yes...Lapis turns into a woman. I could go on...the charecters are complex...the art is intricate...Diamond is hot...need I say more?
This is one of the best mangas I have read. The artwork is truly amazing, and the story line is captivating. Its just plain awesome. I recomend it to anyone who likes fantasy manga, or any other type really.
FANTASTIC! Gorgeous artwork, and a wonderful storyline...keeps you entertained the whole time and wanting more! It's not as funny as some mangas I've read (i.e., Demon Diary), but it still has its moments. I've already mentioned the gorgeous artwork, haven't I? I am not kidding when I say lovely/gorgeous...I mean it! Lapis, Panther, Carnelian... *jaw drop**drool* Diamond, too, though I like him not so much as the others. Panther has to be my favorite...gotta go for that knee-length hair *falls over in a daze* But, anyway *coughs* I have to say, some of the characters DO look quite girly...but what do you expect, when the main character (Lapis) can turn into a girl (named Lazuli ^^)? The general consensus from all of my friends was that Lapis, Panther, Carnelian, and Diamond were not male, but were in fact female. Incorrect...but what can a girl do if she likes girly-guys? *mournful look* Anyway...a fantastic read! Yep *nodnod* Oh, yes...a quick synopsis of the storyline. The world is divided between Habits and Spars, Habits being the dominating and cruel overlords, and the Spars being the persecuted commoners. Lapis, a twice-cursed child, is born of a dwarf and a hunchback. Anyway, as the story goes, he ends up having a love/hate relationship with the Habit Diamond. Love/hate, because Lapis the boy tries to kill Diamond, but Lazuli the girl is loved by Diamond. On the way, Lapis finds out he has some sort of destiny to overthrow the Habits...he will be aided by two spirit guides, Peridot and Panther (*droool*), as well as Carnelian, gay man extraordinaire who is the younger brother of the Habit Chalcedony. Most of the characters are named after some sort of stone/precious gem; the personality of the chara reflects the properties of the stone (some of it is explained at the end of the book). 'Les Bijoux' apparently means The Jewel in French. I was gratified to learn this, because though I knew Les was The, I had no freakin' clue what Bijoux meant (this is someone who's taking advanced Spanish, here =S). Anyhoo, yes... READ IT! *blinks dazedly and patters away*