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He’s Dedicated to Roses – Hwang Mi Ri

…Or how a manwha can really divide opinion.

He’s Dedicated to Roses generally divides its readers into two camps: Those whom adore it and will bravely put up with the embarrassment of citing the title as their all time favourite, and those whom perceive it as hideously overrated – in private.

Choi Ida lives a Cinderella-like existence as a slave for the spoilt princess Mimi, and reviled as plain and subservient by her classmates; Ida’s only escape is a nocturnal existence as Choi Yodah, a universally-admired street-fighter that most girls – and a few guys – would kill to be with. However, Ida’s double-life is made somewhat complicated by the fact she falls in love with Gang Naru as Choi Ida, but he loves Choi Yodah.

A take on the nature of jealousy, love and lifestyle via the medium of  an Ugly Duckling story, He’s Dedicated to Roses (the title is NEVER explained) inspires a worryingly addictive/obsessive streak in people and is definitely in my top ten list of manwha. The ending is rather sudden, but the characterisation of the main characters makes sure you don’t mind so much as if you were relying on the ending to entirely plot-driven manwha; the characters are the beating heart of  the manwha, without them it simply wouldn’t work. It is well-drawn, and much more beautiful and mature than Hwang Mi Ri’s previous work  – both in terms of plot and draughtsmanship.

4.5 out of five, on the grounds I don’t like how suddenly it ends, or indeed how gaudy a certain character’s outfit is at the end – mainly because that’s the image of He’s Dedicated to Roses I’m left with. Stay tuned folks.

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