Title: Pig Bride Vol 2
Authors: KookHwa Huh & SuJin Kim
Publisher: Yen Press
May Contain Spoilers
Wow. About the only thing that left an impression on me from the first volume of Pig Bride was the beautiful art. The story showed some promise, but I didn’t care for the characters, and the pacing was too uneven to hold my attention. Si-Joon, in particular, annoyed me, and I thought that he and the painfully fake Doe-Doe deserved each other. Along comes volume two, and lo and behold, my opinion of the series has totally changed for the better.
Thankfully, the art is still as lovely as it was in the first volume. The art alone makes this title worthy of a read, with its fine lines, elegant details, and overall attractiveness. The screen tones are occasionally overused, creating some cluttered panels, but the vision revealed inside this book is gorgeous. Dramatic and comedic scenes are played out with equal effectiveness, making the visuals a joy to behold.
The storytelling advances by leaps and bounds, and I found that aspect of Pig Bride as enjoyable as the art. The fantasy elements were convincingly played out, and the plot threads are progressing in an interesting way, making me want to read more. Si-Joon seems to have had a personality shift, and I didn’t find him as much of a spoiled brat in this volume. I even felt a little sorry for him. He’s trying to deal with a sudden disruption to his life, and he’s not handling it well. He doesn’t want anything to do with the weird Mu-Yeon or her equally weird sister, and who can blame him? He’s suddenly been engaged to a girl who wears a pig mask in public, who walks around in clothing more suited to a period drama, with archaic speech patterns to match! I was able to cut him some slack and feel bad that his plan of courting the pretty Doe-Doe has been ruined. Sure, he’s as gullible as a shoe, but he never claimed to be clever.
Mu-Yeon is such a fun character! It takes a lot to get her to lose her cool, and she is calm and determined under pressure. When ghostly evils begin to make life hazardous for Si-Joon, it’s Mu-Yeon who is there to fight for his continued well-being. I love the way supernatural elements are being woven into the plot, and how naturally the action sequences unfold. Mu-Yeon is fascinating, too. Despite wearing a mask all the time, it is never hard to decipher her emotions. I must be getting used to her mask, though I am still very curious to see what she really looks like.
Doe-Doe is the kind of character you love to hate. She is greedy, out for only her own gain, and she’s very good at fooling other people into thinking that she is a kind and bubbly young woman. She’s only interested in Si-Joon for his money, but he’s naturally too stupid to see that. When Doe-Doe finally meets Mu-Yeon, she is given a fortune-reading that brings her up short. Though Doe-Doe wants a confrontation with her rival, Mu-Yeon is politely dismissive of the other girl. This segment near the end of the book is so skillfully rendered, with tension increasing like a stretched rubber band, that I found myself holding my breath with all of the suspense suddenly filling the pages. I want more of this series, and I want it now. Yup, I am hooked on Pig Bride like a pony on peppermints. Why am I so weak?