Jun 17, 2008

100% Perfect Girl Manwha -- how low will it go?

The manhwa series "100% Perfect" girl started out as a sweet Cinderella story about an ordinary girl from Korea and generic "European" prince falling in love. That sweetness lasted for about 2 volumes and since then the story has been getting weirder and weirder in a very misanthropic way. At first this was going to be a semi-feminist rant about the way the character "Jay" is treated, but then I realized all of the characters in this manhwa are distasteful. Also, I'm pretty sure the author, "Wann," has writer's block and doesn't know what to do with the story. I'm afraid with the way things have been going -- Jay's been kidnapped 3 times and she is constantly mentally abused -- that Wann has painted himself/herself into a corner because Jay has been through situations that cannot be recovered from. If this were somewhat realistic she would have probably killed herself by now because the human mind is not built to withstand as much trauma as she's been through. She certainly can't be with Jarte because he betrayed her in the deepest manner, plus, he's just as sexually depraved as the villains in this tale. Based on other series by Wann that I've read, I wondered if it was cultural because this pattern, in milder forms, was present in other stories. Consequently, I tried to keep an open mind, but I've come to the conclusion that Wann has never been in love and that he/she simply does not like people. With this lack of experience and attitude, it's impossible to write a love story and have it ring true.

So here's what urks me about "100% Perfect Girl" and Wann in general: what the heck is with the extremely possessive feelings that all of the main male characters feel towards Jay and why it is that these men only know how to express themselves in an aggressive and violent manner towards Jay. For a story that is supposed to be a love story, there is no love in it. Most of the scenes that involve sexual activity are pretty close to what is considered "rape" in the US. Rape is never and act of love, so in reading this manwha it's very hard for me to like any of the male characters. They all come off as thuggish and cowardly -- very anti-male. And then there's poor Jay who can only be kind, get kidnapped, be nearly raped and wait for her prince to come rescue her followed by the prince, himself, attempting to force his way on her. So I wonder what Wann will do with our "hero" , "Jarte," who has once again rescued Jay, who is naked and crying on a bed after waking up with that arm's dealing guy trying to have his way with her. Will Wann let the healing begin with a hug and "let's take you to sanitarium?" Or better yet, an I'm sorry, now I will send you back home and support you for the rest of you life as penance for ruining your life? Or will Jarte try to take advantage of Jay while she's naked and mentally fragile.

I quit buying this manwha in book form during the Capelletti incident because it didn't square with my values and I don't want to encourage the US publisher of this series to continue publishing and distributing this misanthropic sh*t. I will admit to hypocrisy, though, since I still pay a quarter per chapter to read it online. I don't read this series for fun, though. I read it because I'm curious as to how low this tawdry tale will go.