Moon Boy 3 by Lee YoungYou: C+

From the back cover:
For the first time, Myung-Ee falls into a real fight against the Fox Tribe. She is determined to do whatever she can to protect Yu-Da from all the hungry foxes, but instead she encounters the “Black” Yu-Da! How can this be? Is Yu-Da’s memory back, or was he just faking?!

The phrase “hungry foxes” conjures to mind the Festrunk brothers from SNL’s early days, who were always on the prowl to meet some “swinging American foxes.”

What a mixed bag this volume is. While I used to kind of like Ya-ho, the pet cat of Ho-Rang (the young-looking kendo captain/elite rabbit warrior) who can turn into a girl with poor language skills, she really got on my nerves in this volume. Absolutely none of the attempts at comedy succeeded in amusing me. This includes Mok-hee, a pervy fellow who up ’til now has been imprisoned in a mystical cigarette or something, but now gets set free to work his surveillance mojo and report on Myung-Ee, since she basically announced to the fox-filled Student Council that she’s one of their prey in the previous volume. All of his antics are excruciatingly boring.

Also seemingly worse is the art. There’s one action scene where I cannot tell at all what’s going on. There’s a streak of movement and a “SHUKK!” sound effect followed by spectator reactions, so obviously something happened, but I couldn’t tell what. Also, somewhere towards the end of the last volume, Myung-Ee seems to’ve grown one of those stupid moe plumes atop her head.

And yet, out of this jumble emerges a couple of chapters that are actually pretty good. Mok-hee summons a bunch of lower-level foxes to attack Myung-Ee just at the same moment that Yu-Da has gone to inquire about the Kendo Club’s festival plans. Myung-Ee witnesses Yu-Da go into “black” mode and essentially cause all of his opponents’ chests to explode. When Yu-Da later tries to erase her memory, he’s unsuccessful.

In the next chapter, after the aforementioned confusing combat scene, there’s a rather nifty bit where a wounded guy is thinking about how much he loves Myung-Ee but won’t tell her until he’s more of a man, and meanwhile the crying Myung-Ee is thinking how horrible she is for being more concerned about Yu-Da than the guy who got hurt on her behalf.

It’s these scattered moments of almost goodness that keep this series from being intolerably dull.

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