Click Manhwa, Volume 1 (English)

March 27th, 2009

You may have noticed that almost all (if indeed, not all) of the gender-switch manga and manhwa that make into English are meant to be comedy. I have some theories about that, the chief of which is that for many, many people drag is, all by itself, utterly hilarious. Add to that the whole gender switch thing, and the joke is fall on the floor hysterical.

Not so much for me. I think I have yet to see a drag show that I thought was inherently funny. zOMG! Man in dress! is not enough for me to fall on the floor laughing. Even (especially) when it was Milton Berle. Monty Python did funny drag scenes, because the funny was in the writing, not just in the drag.

So, when I’m reading something like Your and My Secret, the story has to be funny for me to find it funny. The idea that Nanako and Akira switched bodies zOMG!, on it’s own, is just not enough.

Which brings me to today’s review.

Click, Volume 1 is, without rival, the least funny “comedy” gender-switch manga I have ever read. It beats out Yubisaki Milk Tea, which I found utterly without merit, for the position. Not because the gender switch itself is preposterous (it is, but it’s still miles better than being hit by an alien spaceship), but because the characters in this story are the most hideously unlikable, unsympathetic, cretinous characters it has ever been my experience to read.

The lead character, Joonha, is a medieval-minded sexist asshole. He believes that he is God’s gift to warthogs and acts accordingly. When it turns out that his family has a genetic predisposition to switching gender, he wakes suddenly female, but no less sexist, or one jot less an asshole.

Joonha continues to remain an asshole throughout, as she switches schools, deals with the important things like periods and skirt length (sigh) and other breath-robbingly comical situations.

The truth is, I so disliked Joonha that I found myself wishing her exceedingly painful cramps for her period. Stupid git deserves the worst nature can throw at her. Although mood swings would go completely unnoticed by the people around her.

Yuri is implied when we learn that Joonha’s father was once female and her mother fell in love with him then. If he had not switched, Dad and Mom laugh, they would have had to have been a lesbian couple. Ahahahah. And the girl that Joonha rejected with the most brutality and the least class possible, has vowed to track her down and be true to her – no matter what. zOMG. So, Yuri? Yeah, I guess. I’ll get back to you in Volume 2 to see if it gets any less miserable.

It dawned on me about 1/2way through the book that I will *never* understand straight women’s attraction to men who are loathsome and that no one ever smiles happily in a manhwa. I find it utterly depressing.

This is the first Netcomics book I’ve ever read. I have no quibbles about the reproduction, but I’m sure if I asked, I’d get straight-girl responses to the misery. (Last time I asked someone I know at a BL/Hetero publisher, I was told, “Isn’t it hysterical?” I looked at the respondant like an alien was bursting out of her head. No. It really isn’t hysterical.) I will give Click this – in comparison, Your and My Secret is much, much more entertaining.

Ratings:

Art – 6
Story – 4
Characters – 5 Joonha – 2
Yuri – 1
Service- 1

Overall – 4

Welcome *another* brand new Okazu hero, Gabrielle S. for sponsoring today’s review! Gabrielle – to receive your Okazu Hero badge, email me!

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12 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I completely agree about the genderswap/crossdressing thing. “Haha! Males have to act like females and vice versa!” A genetic predisposition to switch genders though? That’s so ridiculous it’s almost funny. Almost.

  2. michiru42 says:

    I myself am a hetero female who also has a problem understanding just what the hell people find so attractive about rebels. We often think that women are attracted to jerks more than men, but I’ve noticed men tend to be just as taken in by nasty women. It’s the whole “Women you sleep with vs. women you marry” thing. Which is gross all by itself, for different reasons!

    Oh well. Thanks for the honest review. It’s always good to know what I should save my money on.

  3. Charuru says:

    Hi, I love your blog but was surprised to see you call Yubisaki Milk Tea utterly without merit.

    It’s one of my top mangas. Was also surprised to hear you call it a comedy, if it’s a comedy I totally missed it, for me it’s a very powerful drama.

    It would not be amiss for you to go more into it. Thanks.

  4. @Charuru It’s nice that it’s one of your favorite mangas. It must be obvious that I disagree. If I were to “go more into it” it would merely to explore the reasons why I (who am not you and do not share your opinion of it) dislike it. It would not make you happy to read that. And I’d have to reread that series, which would not make me happy. I think it best to simply agree to disagree.

    I did not call Yubisaki comedy specifically, but yes, the gender switch *is* meant to played for yucks and chortles at the outset.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Possible ending spoiler warning?

    From what I’ve heard, I really wouldn’t place much hope on it for Yuri. I believe she gets two guys and a girl chasing after her, and the girl ends up leaving at the end and she ends up with a guy. Keep in mind that this is second-hand information though. I don’t know if the characters improve any or how much our opinion of them can be salvaged, but might be interesting to some out there. I figured it was more for the straight-girl-yaoi-esque-fan.

  6. Charuru says:

    Are we sure we’re talking about the same manga.

    In the next sentence of the original post you mentioned getting hit by a spaceship. That’s some ridiculous manga called Girl Meets Girl.

    But if you really were talking about Yubisaki, I really am very curious why you have the opinion you have. And where I live with a total dearth of anyone to talk to about manga even an opposing opinion is very much sought after by me.

    I promise no argument, I just want to hear what you think.

    Though I understand if you really can’t be bothered to do such a thing.

  7. @Charuru – We are talking about the same manga. You will simply have to accept that my reading of it and yours are *not* the same. I loathed it. You loved it. That happens.

    I found the characters unsympathetic, unlikeable, the setup maddeningly annoying, the drama exhausting and tedious. Exactly the opposite of you, I imagine.

    I am unwilling to go into detail, not because I can’t be bothered, but because I *did not like* the series. Thinking about it annoys me and I can think of many things I would rather do with my time.

    Think of a series you really disliked, then imagine me asking you to delve into it, and discuss it, and explain why you did not like it. That will give you a sense of what I am feeling. :-)

    I know it’s very, very hard to remember that just because you like a thing doesn’t mean that thing is great literature and that other people simply may hate what you like. My wife loves Francis Bacon. Many people find his art distressing and repulsive.

    I read “Yubisaki Milk Tea” twice. Once in Japanese and once in English. I disliked it strongly both times. It’s as simple as that. Sorry if that confuses you. Feel free to hate something I love to balance things out. :-)

  8. Kaja Rainbow says:

    Yubisaki Milk Tea… it gave me a strong initial impression because of how raw and powerful I found the characters’ feelings on my initial reading, especially the angst related to the crossdressing. Then I tried rereading it and realized that, yeah, I didn’t really like it that much for most of the reasons Erica stated.

    I mean, Hourou Musuko gave me similarly strong feelings (particularly “been there” feelings), but overall I like it far more.

    I can see what people like in Yubisaki Milk Tea, but I don’t think I’ll finish rereading it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    woot! i got your sarcasm this time about the gender switch in the first paragraph. yay~!

    i agree with the gender switch thing. i wished the creators were more creative about Yuri than creating a magical and totally unrealistic “gender switch” from (for example in kakashi girl meets girl) from aliens! it’s really really bomkers.

  10. Anonymous says:

    and i guess i feel fortunate (after reading charuru’s comment) that there are tons and tons of people where i live to talk to about manga and anime. half the population of chinese people where i live read manga or watch anime.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It dawned on me about 1/2way through the book that I will *never* understand straight women’s attraction to men who are loathsomeThis from the woman who’s favourite character type is “evil psychotic lesbian”? :p

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