By Leroy Douresseaux
Oct 2, 2007 - 13:19
|Thanks to barnesandnoble.com for the image.|
Ha-Ru’s half sister, Mi-Ru Sung, must also return home for the rites. Ha-Ru and Mi-Ru have the same father, but Mi-Ru’s mother was “the other woman,” and Mi-Ru greatly resents her sister’s chosen status on the island. On the night of the rites, Mi-Ru runs away, and Ha-Ru, who loves her sister, chases her. In a startling turn of events, both girls end up magically transported to another land – a mystical world of desert warriors, monstrous beasts, and demons. It’s survival of the fittest, and Ha-Ru has to make sure they survive to find a way home.
THE LOWDOWN: Rure, a manhwa (Korean comics) series by Da-Mi Seomoon, traffics in high entertainment on two worlds. First, the world of The Last Island is a bubbling cauldron of family intrigue involving inheritance, gender roles, and bloodlines. Seomoon also delves deeply into the world of societal roles, community relationships, and shared beliefs, and although the material isn’t exactly a college sociology text, Seomoon takes the subject matter pretty seriously for a comic aimed at teenagers.
Meanwhile, the second half of the book is a light comic fantasy – lots of romantic bickering (between Ha-Ru and teen warrior named Ku-Ya) with some action. The second half of the book is where Seomoon can show off the beautiful illustration skills and figure drawing (with an emphasis on livewire hairstyles).
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Being a strange hybrid of family soap opera and other-worldly fantasy, Rure skews towards shojo more than shounen.