New and ingenious idea for a historical novel; the third person narrator, when describing the characters, always gets very snarky and basically turns into one of those reviewers who critique period dramas and point out all the things the costume department got wrong:
'Her auburn tresses flowed around her in beachy waves, the like of which could only have been achieved with curlers and a hairdryer. The glory of her hair flowed down her back like a cascade of autumn leaves, even though she was preparing for a hard day of manual labour and it would have made infinitely more sense to tie her hair up so she didn't sweat all the way through her chemise and stain her stays - which, for a wonder, she was actually wearing for once, and not yet another bloody corset.'
'His wine red tunic was embroidered with gold, as was his codpiece. Or it would have been, if he actually had a codpiece and the wardrobe team and the viewers weren't cowards.'
I don’t think I’ll ever forget how I felt when I watched Joe Wright’s 2005 Pride & Prejudice adaptation for the first time. Growing up in South America we didn’t really learn about English Literature in school, so up until then I had no idea who Jane Austen was. I had maybe seen some period films in passing, but at twelve years old, this was an entire new experience. Even back then, Mr. Darcys were not really that common, much less Elizabeth Bennett's–looking back I think Hermione was the closest example I had for a strong-minded, stubborn and intelligent female character. But with all my love for fantasy and alternative universes, there was just something fascinating about flocking gowns, courtship and intrigue amongst nobility. I mean–dubious and problematic character aside–Woody Allen made a testament of this nostalgia craving in his film Midnight in Paris.
Interestingly enough, it was around that time I started watching subbed anime, so titles which weren’t available on cable television in an era where streaming services didn’t exist. On one side I found myself fawning over Emma, the Dashwood sisters, Eugene Onegin, Pierre Bezhukov, Queen Elizabeth I, the Tudors (and Philippa Gregory’s books in general) and more. And on the other hand, I found myself gushing over shoujo manga such as Fruits Basket, Full Moon wo Sagashite, Gakuen Alice, Glass Mask, Hadashi de Bara wo Fume, HanaKimi, Ouran, amongst others. But with all my shared love for both, nowhere could I find a bridge between these worlds: an epic period romance full of intrigue with a pinch of innocence and fangirl material delight. And before anyone mentions Versailles no Bara–which I love–I consider this piece to be an exception, an outlier in the manga industry. Head resting in my chin, sighing and wishfully craving a path of conjunction, I stumbled upon the marvelous world of Korean comics: Manhwa.
Needless to say, nowadays I have a hard time reading shoujo/josei manga.
While the world of manhwa is well loved and quite present in the anime fandom, oftentimes I come across kindred souls who’ve never ventured into these magical lands, hence why I decided to compose a list of what I found most exceptional in this genre (following my personal tastes listed above). From this list I’ve excluded series that although great, fall closer to the comedic spectrum (e.g: Beware of the Villainess; I Became the Wife of the Monstrous Crown Prince; Father, I don’t Want this Marriage), ones that although enjoyable, I considered to be mid-tier (e.g: The Villainess is a Marionette; The Reason Why Raeliana Ended Up at the Duke’s Mansion; I Tamed a Tyrant and Ran Away) and even the incredible more psychological ones (e.g: Lady Devil; 19th End Century Memorandum). What was taken into consideration was an excellence in all of the following areas: well-rounded plot, character personalities, development and relationships, worldbuilding, political intrigue, reader immersion and art. So without further ado–in alphabetical order:
A Stepmother’s Märchen
Death is the Only Ending to the Villainess
The Princess Imprints on a Traitor
The Villainess Lives Again
The Way to Protect the Male Lead’s Older Brother
The Villainess Reverses the Hourglass
Who Made Me A Princess
Why Ophelia Couldn’t Leave
And what about you guys? Any hidden gems you think are exceptional and weren’t listed here?
I love a good exchange (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
Tinted With You
Viki Korean BL
I honestly thought Park Jun Hee (Jun of A.C.E.) did a great job with this show. He’s a very fun likable screen presence which you need to hold down a fish out of water portal fantasy. The subs on Viki were a little difficult to follow, which might have had to do with the flashbacks and tenses of sentences. There is the usual suspension of disbelief required to cope with a time travel fantasy, mainly in the form of anachronisms around materials, props, set dressing, and communication. Also, I found the appeal of the prince character difficult to comprehend, we were told regularly how wonderful he was and that everyone adores him but we were never shown this on screen. But these are minor quibbles in what ended up being a fun, pretty, and stylish BL.
Am I more forgiving because I LOVE historical romances? Probubly.
It’s nice to see boys in pastel flowing robes actually kiss and get a happy ending for a change (glares at China). There’s even a tiny hint at a possibly poly HEA.
And not just one but two whole kisses! In a historical Kdrama, let alone a KBL. I am all amazement. Plus one of them was the classic through the hat shot. Korea owns this visual - see Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding for the very first BL iteration of a gat kiss on screen.
That hat is a 갓 AKA a gat, henceforth this shall be known as a gat kiss.
I appoint myself its chronicler.
HOW MUCH DO I WANT A COMEDIC ITERATION WHERE BOTH MEN ARE IN GATS TRYING TO KISS? The great clashing of the gats!
I am well aware that I am ridiculous. But also there are more historicals coming in 2022. That means... more gats!
Anygat, in conclusion, Tinted With You is a fun watch, you should watch it... through your gat, if so inclined.
8/10 - RECOMMENDED