Monday, February 4, 2013

Rosy's scrawled manhwa recommendation: Nineteen-Twenty One by Yohan

Nineteen-Twenty One


Yun-lee is a girl who is carrying a huge emotional scar in her heart. Due to an accident, she lost 2 precious years of her life, the time period between 19 and 21 years old. Her life is empty. She is miserable, but still attending a preparatory school in an attempt to catch up with all the time she has lost. Suddenly, one day on her way to feed some stray cats, she comes across a young man who seems to have what she has lost... the period between 19 and 21 years old.

Alternative names
Nineteen, TwentyOne


Manga reader sites

Rosy's scrawlings on Nineteen-Twenty One
Nineteen-Twenty One is a very gentle story about loss, identity, new beginnings and becoming an adult. Yun-lee has lost a period of her life and some of her physical health due to a traffic accident while Ju Dong-Hwi is aimless and lost after graduation, knowing only that a career or study lifestyle is not for him. Their problems are very personal and the impact of them seems limited until the pair of them become involved in the lives of a large number of stray cats. Once they do they become agents of social change and betterment as they enlighten people about the cats and help build up the neighbourhood's garden. Together, Yun-lee and Ju Dong-Hwi find their way in life and realise what they'd like to do and how to be adults.
One of the most interesting aspects of Nineteen-Twenty One is its focus on the stray cats. There is a long discussion as to what to do with stray cats, the way humans should treat them and how their health should be managed. Both Yun-lee and Ju Dong-Hwi start out caring about the cats through feeding them during their lunch hours but soon their concerns deepen. The health and lifestyle of the stray cats becomes increasingly important to them both as they discover that they are both carers and interested in cats. Yun-lee and Ju Dong-Hwi develop relationships with a vet and those living in the area the cats frequent, eventually considering futures within the pet care business. Along the way they, and we as readers, learn a lot about what can be done for stray cats that provides them with a better life over the long term. 
Nineteen-Twenty One is illustrated by the artists Zhena, Jenna and Kim Hye Jin. The art is very sweet, flowing and brightly coloured. There's lots of flowers, cats and the colours pink, green, brown, yellow and blue. Black and white are used mostly for depth and shading, occasionally clothes. There's a depth and warmth to the images that draws you in and highlights the larger world within which the personal struggles of Yun-lee and Ju Dong-Hwi occur.

I'd recommend this manhwa to: cat lovers, women and those stuck in a life rut for whatever reason.

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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