Posted On May - 25 - 2008


  PAGES:   200
  RATING:   12+
  RELEASE DATE:   01/30/2008
  REVIEW DATE:   05/25/2008

Plus and Sung-Jae Park continue their hilarious tale of high-school romance with volume three of Hanami: International Love Story. This smash hit from South Korea always ranks in IQ Jump’s top five and has been charming readers’ socks off since its debut. It is presented in its original Korean format (reading just like English books do here in North America) and translated by the mother/son team of Taesoon Kang and Derek Kirk Kim.

In the continuing story, Joonho had stumbled his way into every teenage boy's dream, but the dream is getting a bit complicated for his liking. He was surrounded by sweet, cute girls on all sides . . . Hanami, his magnetic next-door neighbor from Japan; Joori, his spunky coworker at the fast-food restaurant; and Sae-un, his longtime crush from back home in Suwon. But when Joori makes a pass at him – with a kiss! – Joonho is thrown into emotional turmoil! It's hard to stay true to Sae-un when temptation gets this aggressive. And to make matters worse, Hanami is thinking about moving back to Japan. It's time for Joonho to make a decision, and fast.

The art style and visuals in this series are really a lot of fun – they have a bubbly pleasantry to them that really makes the characters shine and stand out from other romantic comedies that we may have read. Facial expressions are varied and hilarious – this book doesn’t try to take itself too seriously, and that works for it just fine. The flow of the story through the visuals is very easy to follow because of how the visuals are set up within the boxes, and the text is just as easy to follow due to good sizing and bolding where required. The art style itself is also pretty unique – character designs, especially relating to the hair styles, are unlike anything most people will have seen before. It’s always nice to read something with art that is fresh and different from the other books we’ve read and enjoyed in the past, and Hanami certainly hits that nail on the head. The physical product itself is also nice with a really glossy cover and some neat effects with graphics that reflect light differently in the background. Hanami really is an all-around unique series with everything it does, and that’s only a part of what makes it so enjoyable. Give it a read and see what you’re missing!

Hanami: International Love Story is a romantic comedy that stands above the rest in it’s uniqueness and its quality. With a fun and involving cast of characters and great art, this series is sure to entertain a wide variety of readers, not just fans of love stories.

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