Category: Insights

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.

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.

Because Valentine’s Day Deserves A Chance

“Valentine’s Day” by LINKIN PARK

Remember when we were younger, and during Valentine’s Day we make hearts cut from red art paper. Then we would scribble something on the heart. Messages of “I love you Mom” or “You’re my number Dad” would be written on it. We had no knowledge about love back then. Our love was our family and favorite toys.

But we grow up.

We had our first crush. The fastest runner in class. The most intelligent guy in class. The aloof guy in class. Or even a crush on our teachers. We make cut-out hearts but we never give it to them.

A few more years past and now we know how to flirt and hang-out with guys. Sooner or later, we had the taste of first kiss.

Lucky for others. Hopeless for some.

Not all can afford to be romantic. Some of us had our own share of waiting. Not all of us were able to flirt with guys. Not all of us were able to hang out with guys. No first dates. No first kiss. No first boyfriend.

All the time, just watching other girls change their boyfriends like they were clothes. All the time, just watching guys drink their heartaches away. All the time, just waiting.

Yet, hoping, that this Valentine’s day something will happen. Maybe in the coffee shop. Maybe in the book store. Maybe in the library. Or maybe in a dream.

 

 

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.

Random Words My Thoughts Formed: Little Prince

Deep inside where the stars align
Stands a prince
Pure of innocence
In a place where chaos lives
He breathes a life
Of wonderful words
Look at those eyes
Nothing to see here, Prince
Where is the light?
You ask
To guide a little prince
Ask him a question
But the words he speak
Tells the truth
Beyond lies we know
What we have forgotten
He remembers still
Give him a drink
A long sip of longing
Where he came
He won’t go back

P.S. I read the book The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry just recently. It was a good book, but it was really not intended for children. I was so inspired by the book I had the motivation to write a simple poem.

Random Words My Thoughts Formed: Who We Are

We are who we are
We made it this far
How was it possible?
But we don’t care
Let them judge, grudge
Deny the truth
That we are better
Now that we’re together
A new journey starts
We must say unexpected
To live a dream of yesterday
Now we make a legacy
We will make it to the end
They were wrong
We prove we are strong
This is who we are
Who we are, who we are
Is all that matters

Random Words My Thoughts Formed: Message to Bullies

I’ll get up one day
To show you what your words meant
That nothing you say
Would make me lesser than you

Ugly, pretty face
Weak, big baby
Stupid, four-eyes
Tell me more my friend
Saying these won’t make
You better than who I am

You get your pleasure
From my pain
But just because I cry
Doesn’t make you higher
Nor victorious

All along, you were weaker
Afraid to be called
By the names you made

Skinny, fat boy
Black, freckle face
Chicken, wanna-be
Laugh your hardest now
If it makes you feel happy
Then I’ll let you

I won’t hate you
Even with all these stabs
I got
You already have enough
Hatred kept inside you

But one day
When I get to finally stand
I’ll look over
To where you are
And show you

Ugly, weak, stupid,
Skinny, black, chicken
Are all people
You once hated
But didn’t hurt a bit

If it’s about hatred
and hurting
You want to hide from
Who else could listen
Other than the people
Who’d been your victims

We could all be here
Lend our ears
And share something
You never had
Love is never short
If you lose your hatred