First, there ought to be Love. Almost without exception, both Japanese manga and Korean manhwa fail at this part. (I don’t know if Chinese manhua does, since I have read very little of it, but I suspect so.) Instead of characters who love one another, they are filled with characters who barely tolerate each other and are, from time to to time actively violent both verbally and physically. This, we are meant to understand is because they *care deeply* about one another.
It’s not that this is particularly unrealistic. There are many couples who show their love by sniping incessantly at one another. But it’s less fun than a barrel of monkeys for people caught on the sidelines. (I’m saying this with complete awareness that my wife and I have a strong tendency to be that kind of couple.)
Translated to a story, it makes the characters really unlikable. If you don’t like him, we think, why not just walk away? Love is not some overwhelming magnetic force that means you *have* to stay with her.
The second thing a Love Comedy needs is Comedy. This is also something that manga and manhwa are pretty slipshod on. Flipping up a girl’s skirt is neither romantic nor funny, for instance. “Accidentally” grabbing a girl’s breast is simply not as hilarious as manga editors seem to think. And manic-depression in the form of denial, even when you call it tsundere isn’t really all that charmingly fun.
The problem with Click, Volume 4 is that it completely fails to have much Love or much Comedy.
There is *some* love. Joonha is “in love with” her idea of Jinhoo, but it’s not Love. It’s more like an obsession, or an itch. They would even make an okay couple since Jinhoo knows from years of experience what an ass Joonha is, but Joonha’s gender change is as much an obstacle to their being together as her original gender was.
Since we all know men and women absolutely, positively cannot be friends without sexual feelings for one another, a perfectly good friendship between perfectly good equals is ruined by Taehyun’s feelings for Joonha. On the one hand, it’s exhausting, on the other, Taehyun’s interest in Joonha is pretty much the only honest affection there is in the story.
And then there’s Heewon. She has no Love in her, for Joonha, for herself, for anyone. She’s wounded and angry and lashing out. And as a joke, she’s tired. Her verbal and physical abuse of everyone around her is exhausting, and the fact that Taehyun’s lackey friend is a perfect partner for her dominatrix side isn’t really satisfying on any level.
Every one of these characters has gobs of talent and money and not an ounce of Love or Comedy in them. It makes for a constipated read, something you watch like a train wreck, waiting for the inevitable crash.
However, I can’t find it in my heart to hate these characters. They, like Jessica Rabbit, were drawn this way. I can’t *quite* stop reading this series until Heewon gives up Joonha for good and then everyone will be tucked neatly in proper little heterosexual boxes, except for the Jinhoo x Joonha thing, which will be strung along as a fake BL story as long as the author can manage.
Art – 6
Story – 6
Characters – 6
Yuri – .5
Service – 1
Overall – 6
Thanks kindly to the sponsor of today’s review, Dan P. I feel bad for you, my heroes, that better stuff is not being translated, but your support is nonetheless very much appreciated!
Oh, and a Love Comedy that does work? Strawberry Shake Sweet. Funny, and actually about love.