Hissing 2 by Kang EunYoung: B-

From the back cover:
Sun-Nam doesn’t really know what this feeling is, but he just simply cannot get Da-Eh out of his mind. But she doesn’t seem to be interested. So instead, he starts going out with a girl he thought looked a lot like Da-Eh; but who knew she was such a wench? Meanwhile, Da-Eh meets Ta-Jun, who seems like nothing but trouble. Will these two both manage to survive their complicated relationships?! Read this second volume of the series and find out!

I really should start a hall of shame for inaccurate back cover blurbs. This one ignores the fact that Da-Eh met Ta-Jun on multiple occasions in the first volume. Oopsies.

This volume is a lot better than the first one. After introducing Sun-Nam’s annoying brothers last time, they are barely present here, allowing the story to focus on the main characters instead. I’ve also reconciled myself to the fact that all the boys look similar. Similar, but not indistinguishable, and that’s what really counts. The translation is also much better, with only one glaring error. (“Reoccurring” is not a word, folks.)

Some of the flaws from the first volume are still present, though, like the propensity of characters to make random angsty comments (“If I’m laughing, it might be to mask the tears.”) and the hyperactive nature of the narrative, as it spends only a few pages on each scene before jumping to another one.

Thinks I did like include the continued focus on Da-Eh’s dream of becoming a manhwa artist. Not only do we see her working on storyboards and things, she’s also so fixated on it that when other girls in class are gossiping about the antics of a popular boy, Da-Eh is completely oblivious. Later, when said popular boy, Ta-Jun, drags her off to hang out with him, it kind of reminds me of Boys Over Flowers. Popular (presumably rich) boy picks the feisty girl who wants nothing to do with him rather than all the other sycophantic beauties he could be wooing.

There’s also development on the plot concerning Da-Eh’s younger brother, Da-Hwa. (Who, by the way, is completely adorable. He has fangirls at his elementary school and everything. I want to kick Da-Eh for treating him so crappily, though.) It seems that Da-Eh’s mother and Sun-Nam’s father had an affair and the result was Da-Hwa. Sun-Nam has encountered the kid a few times, but so far Da-Eh is in the dark. I find that I am actually looking forward to seeing how this story plays out, which surprises me considering I had such an adverse reaction to volume one.

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