Very! Very! Sweet 2 by JiSang Shin and Geo: B

Tsuyoshi, sent from Japan to Korea by his grandfather in order to discover his roots, has begun attending school with his neighbor, the tomboyish Be-Ri. When Tsuyoshi’s uncle asks Be-Ri to look after him, she finds herself doing things like showing him the way home after school and abandoning her own lunch when it occurs to her that he might be eating his in the classroom all alone. Gradually, they get to know each other better and she realizes that Tsuyoshi isn’t the selfish jerk she took him for.

Of the main characters, it was Tsuyoshi who needed the most fleshing out after the first volume, and he gets it here. Though he was initially critical of Be-Ri and of Koreans in general, he’s now friendlier and even recognizes when the anger she’s directing at him is really due to something else going on in her life. Later, when his (highly irritating) girlfriend from Japan arrives out of the blue, we learn that he was looking on his relocation as an opportunity to change himself, and with her arrival, he feels as though he’s back in the same old place.

There are things about the story that I don’t like, like how Be-Ri treats the boy who likes her, but it’s also pretty unique sometimes. For example, it deals with realities of cat ownership (such as the threat of feline leukemia and the joys of scooping the litter box) that I’ve never seen addressed in any other comic. The gradual improvement of Tsuyoshi’s communication skills is also discernible, which I find quite neat.

All in all, I enjoy this series a great deal and will be continuing to read it.

This series is still ongoing in Korea, with five volumes available so far. Very! Very! Sweet is published in English by Yen Press with four months between volumes; two have been released and the third is due in March 2009.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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