Category: Feature

American Ghost Jack (Manhwa) Review

I’m trapped.

I finished reading 54 chapter of American Ghost Jack this early morning. I started reading nine chapter a month ago, but I stopped for a while because I had a lot of things to do. Then last night, I was feeling tired of everything so I decided to continue reading it. It is the best and a bit bad decision I made. The best because the manhwa was worth every single second spent. Bad because now I can’t seem to move on with my life and I’m dying for the next season.

While I was still in Chapter 2, I tried looking for an American Ghost Jack review or any helpful article that will shed light on what the manhwa is all about. However, there are very few reviews. And I’m not sure what is wrong with Google search because I discovered some reviews via links but they don’t appear when I search them through Google. It’s weird.

ALT Jack American Ghost Logo
Picture not mine. Belongs to Han Ji-hye and Ahn Jeong-eun as well as the publisher.

I have to say though that there are very few reviews of American Ghost Jack in the internet. The wikia is insufficient too. I am not sure if there are very few readers of American Ghost Jack or no one bothered to write about it. Haha. So I decided to write a review about the American Ghost Jack Manhwa.

This article is on what I loved about American Ghost Jack manhwa.

American Ghost Jack is written by Han Ji-hye and illustrated by Ahn Jeong-eun. It started way back in 2012 or 2013. I think the manhwa began as an animation, or vice-versa. I’m not very sure about this.

Love the plot. Let’s begin with the story. The summary of American Ghost Jack is:

ALT American Ghost Jack Dunn Rose Mansion
Picture not mine. Belongs to Han Ji-hye and Ahn Jeong-eun as well as the publisher.

 

Young Ma Go-eun and her father are about to be evicted from the haunted house they’ve run throughout the years. But Go-eun is not about to let the park owner demolish their haunted house and her memories of her childhood and her mother. She resolves to go to the United States to surpass trials and get a million dollar cash prize awarded to those who can survive a stay in Ghost Jack’s House.

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

ALT American Ghost Jack Young Go-eun
Picture not mine. Belongs to Han Ji-hye and Ahn Jeong-eun as well as the publisher.

 

So, Go-eun and her father owns a haunted house. It was Go-eun’s mother’s creation and legacy. However, while setting up the haunted house, Go-eun tripped on a wire which got pulled causing the wire to loop around her mother’s neck. Her mother was hanged causing her death. Go-eun witnessed her mother’s death in front of her, which caused her to be immobilized for five hours until his father came home. It is unclear from the story if her father really blamed her or not for her mother’s death. But from that day on, she was criticized by people around her. They whispered that she killed her mother, and that her mother committed suicide because of an unhappy marriage. Go-eun was sent in a mental hospital, where she would constantly sing a Korean lullaby that her mother loved to hear. In that asylum, Jack Blande was also confined. He stayed in the room next to her. Jack was sent to the mental hospital after revolting against her parents. Read American Ghost Jack if you want to find out why. Anyway, Jack was drawn towards to voice of Go-eun. Jack is a famous pianist, and he tried to compose the song or a song based on the voice of Go-eun. This song would be later be known as “Crush.”

ALT American Ghost Jack Crush
Picture not mine. Belongs to Han Ji-hye and Ahn Jeong-eun as well as the publisher.

 

Jack requested for a piano. However, the nurse was able to get a small toy piano. Jack would play the piano and Go-eun would sing along with it. One day, Jack told his story to Go-eun. They were, however, separated by a wall. Nonetheless, Jack offered Go-eun to escape the mental hospital. Go-eun told him that he would wait for him. However, when Jack’s father died, he left the hospital, and never fulfilled his promise to leave the mental hospital together with Go-eun. Unable to recover fully from the trauma, Go-eun became expressionless and lost her singing voice too.

ALT American Ghost Jack Piano
Picture not mine. Belongs to Han Ji-hye and Ahn Jeong-eun as well as the publisher.

 

After that, Jack stayed in Dunn Rose Mansion. Ryan and Misha, who would be his future bandmates, visited the Dunn Rose Mansion hoping to find Jack. At first sight, Jack fell for Misha. Even if Jack was not into rock genre, he agreed to join the band for Misha. They became lovers. Misha gave Jack a tryst card. In that tryst card, a command is written which Jack must fulfill if he truly loved Misha. However, after some time, Misha broke up with Jack because Jack fired Ryan from the band. The reason: because Jack knew Misha loved Ryan. Jack went to Dunn Rose Mansion, took drugs and alcohol, then committed suicide.

ALT American Ghost Jack Haunted Mansion
Picture not mine. Belongs to Han Ji-hye and Ahn Jeong-eun as well as the publisher.

 

A devil, Sebastian (reminds you of Black Butler?) offered a deal with Jack. Jack would be given 10 years to compose a song that would send shivers throughout the body of Sebastian, in exchange for Jack’s life. Initially, Jack agreed to the deal. He wanted his life back so that he could have another chance with Misha.

One twist of American Ghost Jack is that Sebastian is a soul collector. He has hundreds of souls collected, and wants Jack’s soul also.

Now, with the death of Jack, hundreds of fans mourned. Some of them would constantly visit the Dunn Rose Mansion. However, Jack would get irritated and disturbed by their presence. So, he would just order Sebastian to chase them away using his ghost collection. This would later cause more people to visit the mansion because of ghost sightings. Taking the opportunity, Jack and Sebastian started the ghost camp. Four people will stay in the mansion for fifteen (15) days, and if they survive, they will get one million dollars. A bonus will be if they see the very ghost of Jack. Hence, it became American Ghost Jack.

At first, the ghost camp participants were selected randomly. But later on, they were chosen carefully. Chosen participants were those with an experience of death. Death of a child, or a lover, or a parent. This is to make them leave the camp easier. Of course, Sebastian and Jack are delighted in watching the participants suffer too.

Unfortunately, Go-eun is not affected by the ghosts and tricks of the haunted mansion. Jack would later be interested in her. The same goes for Sebastian, who realized that Jack and Go-eun’s fate were intertwined. Jack needed Go-eun to make a good composition.

I would highly recommend that you read American Ghost Jack. The sequence of how I narrated is different from the manhwa.

The thing I loved about the plot is how the author connected all the details. The further you read, the more light is shed on the story. Every twist and turn is engaging and interesting. The hype does not end with each chapter. Rather, it goes on and on continuously.

The ending is a bit hanging. Jack died, finally. But the sinister Sebastian has other plans. That is, to have Go-eun’s soul a part of his collection. The question posed at the end of the season is whether or not Go-eun will make a deal with Sebastian and will Go-eun and Jack have that happy-ever-after? I really want them to. That they could find a way to deceive Sebastian and live on their own.

ALT American Ghost Jack Performance
Picture not mine. Belongs to Han Ji-hye and Ahn Jeong-eun as well as the publisher.

 

Love the drawings. American Ghost Jack is a horror cartoon. And to compliment the illustrator, the drawings are truly scary. Neat, well-drawn, and everything just fits. I don’t know how the illustrator gets the idea or the imagination to create those characters. This is what a horror cartoon really is.

ALT American Ghost Jack Love
Picture not mine. Belongs to Han Ji-hye and Ahn Jeong-eun as well as the publisher.

Love the romance. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but what I love about American Ghost Jack is that the story is direct and straightforward. No bullcrap or nonsense. Maybe the trait I like about Go-eun is her lack for facial expressions, which is advantageous for her because she is what a natural woman is. Most animes and mangas have a damsel-in-distress woman concept, which is irritating most of the time. In this case, she’s just normal and acts normally.

 

American Ghost Jack is still on-going. However the second season has not yet started. I do hope that a lot would support the creators of American Ghost Jack. Kudos, and hoping to have more manhwas like this.

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Noblesse: Rai’s Awakening Animation

My senses are tingling. Are we to expect an anime version of Noblesse?

A marvelous creation of Jeho Son and Kwangsu Lee, the Noblesse is a manhwa published by Naver Comics/Line Webtoon. As of February 2, 2016, the Noblesse manhwa has reached Chapter 391. Publication of chapters are once a week every Tuesday.

I have already made a review of Noblesse, since it’s my first manhwa. Anyway, to give a short background, manhwas are Korean comics. What I love about manhwas is that most of them are colored, that’s why reading them is more exciting.

I started reading Noblesse way back, I think, two years ago. That was when Manga Traders was still active and in operation. Then, the creators of Noblesse took a vacation due to health issues. It took them a long time before they continued the publication of Noblesse. Before they came back, the illustration were not a bit good and the story was fast paced. However, I think they had to employ another illustrator. The change was drastic, because the graphics were really amazing. However, the story is dragging. Waiting for one chapter every week makes time seem to tick slowly. And just now, I chanced upon a YouTube video published by Line Webtoon last February 4, 2016.

The video is entitled “Noblesse: Awakening animation.” On the description box, it says:

Production I.G, the legendary producers of “Ghost in the Shell” and “Psycho-Pass” are bringing you the epic LINE Webtoon series, Noblesse.

It covers the beginning of Noblesse manwha. The looks of the characters stay true to the manhwa. However, I think that M-21 looks more handsome in the animation. Haha. The video is roughly 31 minutes and worth watching. Will there be more Noblesse Animations that we should expect soon?

The Sound of Disney Music

Amazing Young Singers Perform Disney Medley

I never get tired of Disney, especially nowdays that they bring out new surprises in every movie. They don’t bore me, especially when I hear a very catchy song that would keep on playing on my player for a hundred times.

Recently, I have discovered videos of Disney medleys or mash-ups. I have watched mash-ups videos of Boyce Avenue and Pentatonix before, and I also could not forget to mention the Pitch Perfect 1 and 2 movie, but some of the songs they sing are not familiar to me. When you are a Disney fan, you know almost every song even if you haven’t watched the film.

Spirit Young Performers Company uploaded a video of Disney medley. I think the Spirit YPC is a voice camp or training studio, unless I’m wrong. Anyway, the kids are incredible, and I love the start of the video.

Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation Review

On May 9, 2015, I went to SM City Baguio to buy some cosmetics for a special event. I was planning to buy a cake foundation from either Nichido or Kokuryo because I’ve read some reviews that those products are worth it. My budget was P180, since Nichido Beauty Cake in Classic Mint and Kokuryo Summer Cake is P100. However, I chanced upon Maybelline’s half-off on all Dream products.

My initial reaction of course was surprise with amazement because I never encountered any make-up sale ever since. Well there was one time when Maybelline lowered the price of the Hypercurl Mascara to P200. However I think that was because they were getting rid of the old packaging for a new one. Anyway, this was an opportunity for me so I went to their counter and looked for an “affordable” item.

Everybody knows that Maybelline is expensive, well that applies here in the Philippines. Unless it’s sold in the Black Market or from independent retailers purchasing abroad. So, I wasn’t suprised that despite the half-off the items were still expensive. I might have been too late or they were just hoarding the products, but among the Dream products this was the cheapest.

Presenting the Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation!
From P599, I bought it at P299. This is the 30 mL bottle in Nude Beige/Light 3.5. The product has no box, so I bought it as is with a plastic seal covering the pump.

IMG_5066 modified
Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation. I bought it at Php 299 only. The photo is mine.

Enough with all the introductions, now I’m going to share my experiences and thoughts with this product.

What I love:

I tested all the shades available and I was deciding whether to go with Natural or Nude Beige. However, the sales lady told me that if my skin has the tendency to be reddish, I should do with Nude Beige. I did a lot of swatching before ending up with Nude Beige. I thought that it was a shade lighter than my skin, but when I applied a single layer it matched my skin tone! Even if I don’t apply the product on my neck it isn’t obvious that I am wearing foundation.

Whether using a brush or a damp sponge, the foundation can be applied effortlessly. In my case, I don’t have cursed undereye circles or too much blemishes so this product is enough even without the use of concealer. Based on my experience, the foundation doesn’t crease/cake/flake. Well, I always use a moisturizer before applying foundation so that could be a factor.

No breakouts, yet, everytime I use this product. That is to be expected since it’s manufactured by a famous line and it’s expensive. However, I have to warn you that not all expensive products means that they’re worth it. I’m not acne-prone, so I cannot say that the product assures no breakouts for all people. Finding the right and most suitable foundation can take many tries. In my case, this is my third foundation product.

What I think should be improved:

Dream Mousse Foundation – that sounds promising, isn’t it? I’ve read other reviews saying that they were attracted to the name. Not for me because I was attracted to the price. The packaging says that the foundation has an “airbrush” finish. I have heard of airbrush makeup and I saw it in one of Shebby Liqutte’s YouTube videos but never in real life. So, I was expecting a really flawless skin after application. I wasn’t disappointed, but to tell the truth it wasn’t close to what I was expecting. Anyway, I haven’t an actual look using airbrush makeup so I don’t know what I’m saying.

I should not have expected in the first place, but the foundation is not really for prolonged use. During warm weather, the foundation would last for 2 to 3 hours. After that, it can be easily smudged and in my experience, it would run off with sweat. Even with final/loose/pressed powder, the foundation doesn’t stay that much time. One time I was wearing a round-neck white shirt and I went to school wearing the foundation on my face and neck. I was testing the product that time. By the time I got home after four hours, the foundation was all over the seam of my shirt.

In relation to the statement above, the product does not guarantee a matte finish. However, it isn’t dewy or shiny either. It’s just natural. If you want a matte finish, top it with powder. The downside is that it doesn’t control oiliness. Either you keep on retouching with pressed powder or use blotting sheets.

So, these are my evaluation of the Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation. These are based on my experiences and technically it doesn’t apply to all people. I like the product however I won’t buy it again in the future.

Karnoodle Help!

Hey guys! For us who cannot understand/read/write the Japanese language but love reading mangas and watching animes, we owe our life to those who patiently translate and transcribe our favorites. Recently, I’ve watched and read Karneval. It’s still ongoing until now, however translations are delayed due to lack of translators and typesetters.

I really want to help, however I cannot read Japanese. So I’m appealing to those who can read and translate Japanese to help Karnoodle in their “scanlating” projects.

Here is a link to their site: http://karnoodle.tumblr.com/tagged/karneval

Thank you in advance and I hope you will help them!

Manhwa Overload!

–UPDATED!–

Good day everyone!

It’s been a very long time since I last posted and I have a lot of unfinished articles piled in my computer. All the texts are okay but the photos are not so I need to work on that as soon as possible.

Anyway, I got free time today so I decided to make this short article of my favorite manhwas and other comic strips that are accessible online.

A little background for some who haven’t heard of the term “manhwa.” English people have their comic strip, print cartoon, animated cartoon, graphic novel, illustrated story, etc. and all these terms are just the same with the description of a manhwa. Accordingly, manhwa is the term used to refer to Korean comics. It’s also similar to Japanese manga in this case. For further reading, you can check this site http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Manhwa.

For this article I won’t give a plot summary or spoilers because you can find a lot online. I’ll just be giving suggestions and my personal review to pique your curiosity.

Now, let’s get straight to the list and skip unnecessary nonsense from me.

1. Noblesse Review

http://i12.mangareader.net/noblesse/242/noblesse-3473415.jpg

I first got to know about manhwas because of Noblesse. Back when Manga Traders still existed, I chanced upon this manhwa while looking for a new manga. What I loved in Manga Traders before was you could download the chapters to your computer and read the files anywhere and anytime. They also have the option to download the chapters by volume. So I downloaded the first five volumes (Chapter 1 to 25, I think) of Noblesse. I always do that whenever I encounter a new story. I would read several chapters before deciding to continue or not. It would give me enough info and interest to keep on reading. Back to the Noblesse Review. The first few chapters might not be amazing because the graphics/drawings are not that good but as you progress the illustrations become better. The illustrator has a sense of fashion too and I really appreciate him because the breasts (of the women) are drawn as close as possible to reality. And all the chapters are colored too! Awesome right?

Noblesse is at Chapter/Episode 356 (English translated) as of June 1, 2015. From December 21, 2014 up to March 2, 2015, the release of Noblesse was delayed due to health reasons of the author and illustrator. Noblesse has a new illustrator also.

Read the English version of Noblesse here:
http://www.webtoons.com/en/fantasy/noblesse/list?title_no=87
You can also know more about Noblesse here:
http://noblesse.wikia.com/wiki/Noblesse_Wiki

2. The Gamer Review

http://doujutsu.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Gamer1.png

I stayed with Noblesse throughout its production until the unfortunate break happened. I didn’t think of looking for a new manhwa. Instead I was just hopping through my old files of anime and manga. When Noblesse came back, I tried to look for another manhwa to keep me busy since Noblesse’s releases are every Mondays only. So, my next discovery was The Gamer.

At first, I thought The Gamer was another cliche high school story. It is though, however, with a twist. Personally, The Gamer could be a bit boring and text heavy at some points. I do that, I skip reading some text balloons because I’m too indolent to process all the words in my head. The Gamer is not difficult to follow if you are familiar with Role-Playing/Simulation/Strategy games. It’s similar to Ragnarok (the anime and the video game) in some ways. A low profile, lazy, and ignorant boy suddenly discovers he has a great power that he would use to help other people. So far, his aim is to improve and use his power to save a damsel-in-distress whom he met a few times only. I’m really disappointed with that plot, but we’ll see if the story progresses better in the future.

The graphics are well done and it’s full-colored. I don’t find the lead character handsome or appealing in any way, but that’s just my opinion. It shouldn’t affect your decision to read the manhwa.

Read the English version of The Gamer here:
http://www.webtoons.com/en/fantasy/the-gamer/list?title_no=88

3. Gepetto Review

http://2.p.mpcdn.net/334282/555768/3.jpg

I read 52 chapters of this manwha today. Yep, from Episode 1 to Episode 52 in one day. That’s how interested I am and how reliable our internet connection is today.

Gepetto started in 2012 and still ongoing. I originally found this in Line Webtoon when I was looking for other manhwas to read. In Line Webtoon, there are 52 currently uploaded chapters as of this article’s posting date. However, in Manga Fox there are already 112 chapters accessible.

Geppeto’s characters have a resemblance to the story of Pinoccho. There are two main characters in the story having the name of Pinoccho. The plot revolves around the search for Gepetto’s inheritance. The story’s pace is really fast and it will definitely hook you up. Gepetto is set in the future, where andriod robots are at war with humans.

This is another full-colored manhwa with awesome graphics. I love how the eyes of the android robots look when they are activated.

Read the English version of Gepetto here:
http://www.webtoons.com/en/sf/gepetto/list?title_no=81&page=1

http://mangafox.me/manga/gepetto/

4. Westwood Vibrato Review

westwood-vibrato-4761131
Photo from http://i8.mangareader.net/westwood-vibrato/11/westwood-vibrato-4761131.jpg

If you can stand stories full of feelings (mostly drama), I would recommend that you read Westwood Vibrato. There are two things I love about this manhwa, first is that it has something to do with musical instruments. Second, the stories attached to the musical instruments are super amazing and inspirational. Each chapter features a song and a musical instrument. These instruments are like strings that attach the life of a person to another. You know that cliché, where one single act creates a chain reaction? This is that type of story. Read it to understand what I mean. My most favorite episodes are Track 2 (Go, My Heart, On Golden Wings) and Track 8 (My Way). Comment your favorite episode below too!

Anyway, the protagonist of Westwood Vibrato is Cornelia Bobo Warshaw. She is a musical instrument repairer. Before that, she used to repair weapons used by rebels and terrorists. (SPOILER) Her leg was cut off so that she would not be able to leave the community – a community of children repairing guns and other weapons. She realized that what she was doing was wrong, so she started musical instruments instead. Every time a customer comes to have their instrument repaired, she would ask them to tell the story of the instrument and the player. As the client tells their story, Cornelia relives the story as if she there when it was happening.

Read Westwood Vibrato here:

http://www.webtoons.com/en/drama/westwood-vibrato/list?title_no=537&page=2

http://mangafox.me/manga/westwood_vibrato/

5. Winter Woods Review

Read Winter Woods here:

http://www.webtoons.com/en/fantasy/winter-woods/list?title_no=344

I have recently discovered Winter Woods. It tells the story of an experiment who wants to experience “living.” There are a lot of plot twists on this manhwa so I’m telling you to fasten your seat belt while reading it. I read 33 chapters in just one night. Every chapter raises a lot of questions so it would keep you reading until the next chapter and then you would realize it’s already 3 am.

Winter Woods, originally EL-01, is the protagonist of the story. He looks creepy, isn’t? It’s because he’s been alive for so many centuries. He is a creation of an alchemist who lost his wife while giving birth. While coping with despair over the loss of his wife and child, he decided to “make” his own family. He made so many experiments, each time failing. The problem was the heart – it could not function. Winter was the 1001st experiment, the last experiment, and the successful experiment. However, his heart still could not beat.

Now, Winter is living with Jane Reina, a frustrated writer. Jane wants to make a story out of him. Unknowingly, everything is set up by the researchers working on Winter Woods. They want to know more about Winter, and see if he could develop feelings and emotions.

I’ll leave the rest for you to read. It is really interesting, and the story is on-going.

Anyway, you may also want to check Line Webtoon’s website because they offer a lot of illustrated comics not only manhwas. They even have a Challenge League for aspiring authors and illustrators.

These are some of my manhwa favorites that I recommend for you to read. There are a lot of manhwas that you can find and there are some popular ones which I did not include in this list. The reason is because I’m still assessing them or I don’t prefer them.

Hilarious: Circumcising Me

I’ll begin by saying that I admire Mikey Bustos so much. All of his videos are hilarious. He does it again by rendering his own version of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me.”

Circumcision is a tradition in the Philippines. Males are encouraged to undergo circumcision for health purposes. It is a good thing, but most boys are teased because of it. Boys usually have to wear skirts to feel more comfortable after being circumcised.