Friday, February 22, 2013

Rosy's scrawled manhwa recommendation: Baby Finger by Lee Ik-soo

Baby Finger
Lee Ik-soo


After serving his jail sentence, Yongho is determined to start anew for the sake of his single mother... However, he learns of an existence of a girl who is bedridden because of him.

Alternative Names


Manga reader sites (free)


Rosy's scrawlings on Baby Finger
This manhwa is a gentle yet disturbing look into the mind of one who's led a violent life within the gang world that led to an accident in which an uninvolved bystander becomes comatose.
The story of Baby Finger reveals a life of crime to be a little less black and white than we normally view it. Yongho's involvement with gangs and crime began at an early age, before he leaves school. He's convinced he's too stupid to succeed in life and so chooses to follow the glittering and enticing tales of gang life. He finds the local gang and signs up, only to find himself constantly beaten, by the boss or during street battles. There's little money and no glamour at all but as soon as he signs up he's already too involved to be able to return to his previous life. Meanwhile, his poor mother goes to great lengths to try to stop his destructive life but is ultimately unsuccessful. His friends are also slowly sucked into his violent life even though they have the ability to become as successful as they dream to be.
The downward spiral of a criminal life is sympathetically explored from the initial appeal of riches and glory, as promoted in popular culture and rumour, to the new gang member's inability to leave the gang, the pressure and threats behind criminal acts and the victims. Where each character has little sympathy for the next, particularly for Yongho, the story is told with a fair view on all. No judgements are drawn leaving the actions of each character to be judged by the reader instead. The hands off and fair view on the life of each character is an interesting and rare position to take and for this Baby Finger is worth delving into.
The illustrations of Baby Finger are simple, comic-like and tend to be dark. The scenery is sometimes removed while in other panels it is fairly blockish. But the appeal of Baby Finger is in the faces, expressions and the storyline. There's a range of faces, realistic in their oddness but otherwise stylised. Their expressions are also wide ranging and help build the sympathetic view the author takes. In all, while not very unique the illustrations are appealing and reveal and expound on what the reader is interested in.

I'd recommend this manhwa to: those interested in stories of gangs, criminals, 

Notes on manga reader sites
The quality of manga readers can vary. The uploads are often done cheaply or as a serious hobby by a collective. Be aware that sometimes licence hasn't been given but the sites noted above, Manga Fox in particular, are extremely careful about adding and pulling mangas according to license agreements. So you shouldn't have to worry too much about the material being pirated. There are also translated works and non-translated. Amongst the translated works you will find that the quality of translation may vary according to the skills of the translators. Usually the works are perfectly readable anyway, with only a few added or dropped words or a word in the incorrect tense or with/out plurals. But sometimes the text becomes gobbledygook. In which case, either seek another version or give up and buy an official copy once a printed translation comes out. The other issue of note is you may need to expand the screen to read the text easily as sometimes the scans are minimised a little.
I find that if a page doesn't download properly or some other issue occurs (too slow or someone ordered the pages incorrectly etc.) with one reader then skipping across to another reader and picking up where I was is quite easy and rarely annoying.
Otherwise, enjoy and watch out you don't get too addicted you forget about the necessary things in life.

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