Platina: Volume 1
Story and Art By Yeon Joo Kim
Published By: Central Park Media
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
When I received Platina: Volume 1 by Yeon Joo Kim, I had never before read manhwa, the Korean equivalent to manga. In fact, I hadn’t read much manga either. But, G-POP.net is about trying new things, so I decided that, rather letting one of the other writers here review the book, I would try my hand at it.
In Platina: Volume 1, a young girl named Auna is forced into indentured servitude of a princess after her family becomes bankrupt. Service to Princess Vellotte is no easy task as she is very demanding and inpatient. One day, Princess Vellotte bestows a “present” on Auna – a small fox named Jenin. At first, Auna is confused by the princess’ words as she hands over custody of Jenin: “I’m only lending him to you, Auna. You can keep him once you make him human.” But soon, Auna learns that there is more to Jenin the Fox than meets the eye.
It would seem that Jenin is actually a young man who has been cursed to live half of the day as a fox and the other in his human form after having been caught in an act of thievery. For his part, Jenin wants no part of Auna and plans for escape every chance he gets. However, a bond begins to grow between the two which deepens as they face an old enemy of Jenin. We soon learn that there is more to Auna than we could ever have imagined. What possible reason could a young teenager have for constantly carrying a pistol concealed on her person?
I must confess, I wasn’t certain whether I would like manhwa, but I was pleasantly surprised by the experience. Yeon Joo Kim is a talented artist and storyteller. Her artwork has detail in all the right places, remaining true to the genre. Her storytelling abilities keep the reader engaged in the tale and yearning for more. When Platina: Volume 1 was finished, I found myself wondering what was in store for Auna and Jenin, a sign of a great beginning to a book series.
I am a true fan of the flashback and believe that, when done correctly, flashbacks reveal tantalizing little details of characters’ pasts while also allowing the reader to understand the characters’ current actions and behaviors. Yeon Joo Kim definitely knows a thing or two about the use of flashbacks in a story. Small bits and pieces of Auna and Jenin’s pasts are revealed while still leaving the reader with tons of questions to be answered in future volumes. Yeon Joo Kim is a master at keeping the reader coming back for more.
I loved the little bits of humor inserted various points of the story. Jabs at the author, funny side explanations, etc. simply add more fun to an already enjoyable read.
All-in-all, I would say that Platina: Volume 1 has made my first manhwa experience highly enjoyable and one I would like to repeat in the near future!