Manga and manhwa for girls are filled with pretty boys and cute boys and boys who look great dressed as girls. But is that really what girls want? Pil-Hyun Jung is one of those pretty boys–his eyes are large, his skin is soft, his body is thin. He’s very popular, but even though the girls say he’s cute, that’s not enough to keep his classmate (and crush) Song-Ah from falling for the manly Gyung-Ju. Desperate to shed his pretty boy image, Pil-Hyun turns to a manhwa artist, Bok-Nam Park, creator of the series “How to Escape from Being a Pretty Boy.” As Park’s apprentice, Pil-Hyun will finally be a manly man. However, Park and friends are not quite as they appear!

This series is about as silly and fluffy as they come, but it’s a fun and appealing read. Pil-Hyun is completely oblivious in many ways, but you can’t help feeling sorry for him. He wants to be liked for who he is, but he also wants to be something else, something that his father, his brothers, and the girls at school will appreciate. This very real teenage emotion is kept from angst by a host of wacky events. Particularly funny is how all the girls in school think Pil-Hyun would be a perfect companion for manly guy Gyung-Ju, even though neither boy is inclined that way. Some language and discussions of sex give this its older teen rating, but libraries looking for silly follow ups to shojo titles like Ouran High School Host Club or The Wallflower might want to give this series a shot.

Queens, vol. 1
By Sung-Hyen Ha
ISBN: 9781598166583
Tokyopop, 2006

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