Title: Cynical Orange
Author: Yoon JiUn
Genre: Romance
Licensed: Yes (iceKunion/Yen Press)
Release Date: December 28, 2005 (US) 2002 (Korea)
Volumes: 9
Cynical Orange 1

Cynical Orange 2Cynical Orange 3

Plot Summary
Hwang Hyemin is the most beautiful girl at her school, all the boys love her and every girl absolutely hates her. The girls go out of their way to pick on her and she never defends herself. Why? Because there is one boy that she has a crush on, and her true personality is violent and tempermental. She feels that if she showed that aspect of herself he wouldn’t like her, but of course one day she overhears a conversation where her crush states that he doesn’t like her and that there is probably a reason why she doesn’t have any friends…from that day on she stops pretending and acts herself. However, in the meantime a boy from another school named MaHa has begun pursuing her after seeing her at the front gates of her schoool.

CO 1

Review
Ok why did I pick up this series? Well I wanted to find another shoujo series with a bit of a fire in its belly, something along the lines of a Skip Beat! substitute. PLUS I’m sick of all the shoujos where the heroine is perceived by everyone else as defect and flawed in some way that cripples her ability to date. I get it already inner beauty wins, I want something else. I chose this series specifically for the above 2 reasons AND because the first 3 volumes sell for dirt cheap on Amazon used. After you pay shipping it’s still half the retail price.

CO 3

The art for this series is beautiful, I really like it. Although I admit the men are drawn a few too flowing hair strands too girlie for my typical tastes. Still nowhere near as bad as how girlie the male cast of Wallflower is drawn though. Also the volumes are printed very nicely with those nice couple first pages of color art that I love so much, each volume seems to have a lot of pages too.

CO 7

The hero of the series is Maha, how do they meet and stay together during the series? MaHa wants to start a conversation with Hyemin and ends up stealing her cell phone instead, he ends up breaking it and she makes him work at her cousin’s cafe at $1/hour to pay her back. Seems a bit of a stretch for a setup? I agree. Also after reading 6 volumes this manga is getting a lot less interesting, the pace of story is slow and to be honest nothing is going on. The initial charms of the series has worn off a bit. All its filled with is Hyemin and MaHa bumbling around in their “relationship” and a lot of fairy tale symbolism about how Hyemin is a pure fairy tale heroine that has one of two paths she can follow.

CO 6

So the two paths I mentioned? She can face reality and the cruelty of the world and hope to find the bit of love out there. Or continue to live in her fantasy world where she and her ‘Oppa’ (her cousin) and his girlfriend make her feel at ease and happy. It also continues to have the typical unjust bullying that Hyemin faced before, although her former crush now befriends her and they get along great. I’m not getting a vibe off of him that he likes her as more then a friend and she seems to reciprocate that feeling now. I like the fact that Hyemin likes horror movies but her love of things horror seems to be progressing to the point where she reminds me too much of Sunako of Wallflower.

CO 12

If this series were long I’d drop it here and now, but I’m on volume 7 of 9, so at this point I figure I should get to the end so I at least have a complete picture of the story. Plus I AM curious about the ending, but I’m getting the feeling it’s not going to be something unexpected and entertaining. Keep in mind this manga is not AWFUL but it’s not something that would pop into my mind for Manga or Manhwa reccommendations at this point in time.

CO 11