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From NetComics: Set in a soulless neo-Seoul ruled by young punks and pleasure seekers, an amoral teenager named Dai is the living embodiment of the city's beauty and cruelty.
As the leader of the vicious Furies gang, Dai seduces everyone who lays eyes on him, only to blind them to his own barbaric nature. When an honest schoolboy named Jaehee rescues a beautiful girl from being mugged by the Furies, he can't possibly realize how this brief encounter will plunge him into a downward spiral of unbridled passion and unfathomable pain.
From his brutal gang initiation to an unspeakable act committed against his girlfriend, Jaehee wavers uncomfortably between revulsion and fascination. And in Dai he finds a tender, caring friend one moment and a heartless sociopath the next, awakening strange and unhealthy desires in Jaehee that he could never before have imagined.
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Deep, angsty, sometimes a lot of violence... but definitely worth the read
This manhwa contained a lot of 'deep thoughts' which I think was perfect for the subject matters it was dealing with (youth, loss of innocence, violence, growing up, love, etc...). Sometimes these got a little too heavy and I skipped some of the text, but when (most of the time) I did read them I found the ideas the words contained very beautiful and thought-provoking (which also worked with the amazing art).
I think maybe because this manhwa is about growing up, especially with the deep ideas, it will appeal to teenagers/young adults more than 'grown-up's' but I think its well worth a read for someone looking for a good read with a memorable relationship.
On another note there is a lot of violence, which originally appealed for me because I liked the slightly sado-masochistic relationship that was prevalent between Jaehee and Dai for the first half of the series. However for those who dislike that sort of thing, there was very little/none of that in the second half, and once you get past the first couple of chapters the deep love between the two is very clear. Their complex, deep relationship was what kept me hooked on this.
In regards to the rest of the violence throught the volumes there was a lot. Although the violence was never romanticised, sometimes it was taken relatively lightly (the end however disputes this somewhat).
Despite preferring yaoi to shounen-ai, I absolutely loved it and found it very beautiful. What was most notable for me was that although Dai was clearly the stronger there was never (and I mean it) any sense that this couple was not equal. I loved their relationship, their closeness, their complexity, and though there was no sex I had no complaints (this is coming from a hardcore yaoi fan!)
The art, which I originally found mediocre, grew on me. I particularly loved the way the mangaka drew Dai, as well as some of the deeper scenes.
The ending I disliked. Maybe because the site I was reading it at mixed the pages up, but it seemed too rushed and slightly inconclusive. But maybe disliked is too strong a word, because despite that, I think it reflected faithfully and stayed true to the flavour of the series.
Loved, loved, loved.
... Last updated on July 1st, 2013, 6:15am
I hate the characters with passion
I should have listened to the review about the age thing. Im really too old and mature for this stuff. The characters' behaviors horrified me, just not bc the manga is good enough. It just reminds me so badly of all the bully stories and how the victims and their families suffer. That makes me hate Jaehea too since he witnessed all this inhuman acts and was a victim himself but still follows this psycho like a crazy M. Dai also almost murdered him and he was overflown with happiness to see him again? Heck. Everything is solved by violence. And of course, ALL of the families are bad, so its not the kids fault. Psh. Please. I felt like my morals just flew away out of the window from reading this. I cried, yes, when? When they are happy, those were my tears of hatred for them. I tortured myself finishing the whole series just to see them suffer.
... Last updated on May 21st, 2013, 2:22am
It was hard to understand the first chapter and what was happening, but then I realized that this was Korean and you read it left-right.
The romance was weird. A lot of angst and emo poetry but I never really felt it. Also, no sex ever, which is odd. Except for the assumed rape, theres no mention of anything sexual between the two main love interests or even from any couple in the story. A lot of sadomaschism and abuse. Everyone gets beat up, and they're pretty much asking for it. Dai is extremely cruel and violent, even towards the one he loves, which i find repulsive but facinating to watch. I find all the characters annoying save Goohee, Eunhyung, Crangela, and few others. Especially the main love triangle, they're soul-wrenchingly obsessed over each other and I can't understand why. Like I know they're all supposedly gorgeous but I'm not feeling it.
Despite all the flaws mentioned, it was still incredibly entertaining. I could not stop reading. There was one part where I could not stop crying. Not going to say what it was but you will know. Probably the most heart-wrenching chapter I've ever read.
And the ending was abrupt but I didn't think it was so terrible that it took away from the series.
I disagree with a review below that says you have to be at a certain age to appreciate it. It all depends on your taste. For one, I am a sucker for that dark, angsty, violent love AS LONG as it fits the personalities of the characters -- and this one does. It also helps if you've been in a relationship like this...okay, not like to the extent of the characters, but having intense feelings for the other person in the relationship to the point at which it could be classified as obsessive.
Let Dai tugged at my heart strings...I admit, the 1st volume didn't pull me in but I kept reading and I do not regret it.
Pros: 1. Character development -- and no, not just of the couple. 2. AMAZING, CONSISTENT & UNIQUE supporting characters -- i LOVED Naru Hagi to death! Each character had a distinct personality and different issues that helped moved the story along so it wasn't some random filler type extra. 3. Great art -- I also appreciate how the characters were not all "beautiful" looking. 4. Themes -- consistent and executed nicely. linked all the characters together. 5. Not your "feel good" story -- there ARE sad parts in the story which help the characters grow. In this sense, it's realistic. There are too many BLs these days that take serious issues WAY too lightly (rape, love, neglect, abuse, etc). This one does not...you can see how major events influence them to their cores...but a good balance of tragedy, comedy, etc. Tragedy happens when you least expect it......which is what makes it such (sorry, but Zetsuai/Bronze was just overdone...)
Cons: 1. Too much pretty words-- Okay, not words but sections of "deep thought" as other reviewers have mentioned. The kid is a teenager...who thinks like a poet ALL the time but doesn't speak like one. 2. The last volume felt a bit rushed.
Overall: The strength of Let Dai is its consistency in literally EVERYTHING. Yes, the ending is open-ended and annoyed me at first, but after reading it over I am able to draw my own conclusion of the series; which is what the author wanted us to do. I'm still giving it a 10/10 despite the cons. Anyway, I highly recommend this.You will laugh, cry....but it's all good :')
... Last updated on December 2nd, 2012, 9:29pm
a long series full of adolescent uprisings, emotions, & experiences
I read Let Dai for the first time back in April 2010 or so, when I was near the end of my freshman year of high school. Now, I am a senior and I have re-read the entire series again. When I finished Let Dai the first time, it was one of those feelings where so much happened in the story with so many high strung emotions that I felt like not reading it again for a really long time. Now having read it once more, I still feel the same way. A story like this can only be taken in once in a while.
In an analysis of the series as whole: there are a lot of ups and downs. The characters...I suppose they are realistic, or at least, realistic enough for me. There are happy moments and tragic moments. As the series falls down from the climax to the conclusion, there is a feeling of slight melancholy and anticipation. In the ending, however, I feel that there is some hope above all the rest. Despite the tumultuous events, the reader can still expand upon the light at the end of the story.
Jaehee and Dai's relationship...you can't really describe it. It has so many levels. For me, it seemed complex at times. Dai's nature made him violent because that was how he only knew how to express his anger/jealously whenever his relationship was jeopardized. However, the longer he spent with Jaehee, the softer he became, but he still retained his rough nature, true to his character.
Overall, I give this an 8.5. This manwha is incredible, just close to being what I would call a perfect manhwa, but with some minor flaws, just some things I feel are holding me back, but those are minor.
Overall, I recommend this to anyone wanting to read a LONG, complex, boys love, teen story full of every emotion you could think of. Times of happiness, unity, sadness, laughter, anger, violence, tragedy, misunderstandings, high school life, relationships of family, friends, lovers, etc., darkness, light, and just life in general for the characters....
It really matters where you are in your own life...
I first read Let Dai when I was a teenager and was really impressed at that time. I gave it a 10 back then. It's a angsty and a little poetic yet still quite typical manhwa series with unique characters, character growth and what I most liked: females who actually matter from the plot's point of view. And the bittersweet relationship between Dai and Jaejoong was something that really drew me in.
Yet now, 5 years later (and older) it didn't leave the same impresson. Now it was too angsty and Jaejoong's sudden interest for Dai had no ground. I still loved the bittersweetness of their love and still think it's a great story, worth your time. But I realized I'm just not mentally/emotionally "at the same level" with this manhwa right now. So a little drop to 8 as it's clearly not a series you can pick up and enjoy anytime you want, but still try it and make your own opinions
... Last updated on November 9th, 2012, 12:39pm
How should I put this? Feelings aren't always rational and neither are people. The work is poetic and it's wording and air gives off a feeling of a novel. If one isn't looking for angst they shouldn't read this. Though there are some funny instances through each volume. To some it might seem like mood whipflash. This isn't for someone wishing to break away from reality because this work can really hit close to home with some issues it addresses.
There is actual character development with a healthy male to female ratio. Meaning females actually get a real role in the work and aren't JUST romantic buffers. No one is really forgotten.
I read this for the fighting and what was to be an incredibly abusive relationship. Despite Dai's first treatment of Jaehee he mellows out. Though he's called the devil, he proves that he does have some morals. Although they tend to be bended by his love for Jaehee to questionable levels. He borders on a possessive sociopath but that's because of his upbringing and skepticism toward humanity. Dai is by no means an idiot which can be a good thing or a nightmare. Again, character development.
Jaehee is a sensitive model student who is breaking out of his shell. At first he serves as Dai's foil which brings about later drifts in their relationship. The kid can really take a punch. He earns DAI's respect and even mine. Most of the time he's outnumbered, someone pulls a dirty trick, or he's holding back for personal reasons. It's just not his nature to go all nut-so like Dai.
Other characters are realistic. No one is knocked off their throne for something as simple as their looks. One character in particular isn't incredibly likeable since the character wants to drag down their love by constant guilt trips and really invokes a lot of double standards. Also the only main (?) character that didn't really change.
In other words it's a rare jem.
I'd had this manhwa on my wishlist for quite some time and finally got around to checking it out. Based on the rave reviews it has gotten, I was honestly hoping for something better. I read only around half of the first volume before dropping it, and I would have dropped it sooner if not for my sincere desire to actually want to enjoy this series. After all, it's not often that you get a thoughtful, well-written shounen-ai manga. However, I found I just couldn't get through this one. The art is fairly dated (1998), but I was willing to bear it for the sake of the story. The story, though, hardly captured my interest beyond the first brutal meeting the protagonist has with the eponymous Dai. Only a few pages after that breathless opening scene, however, the manhwa fell into a montage of classic slice of life genre sequences which reintroduced the male and female leads in much less dynamic settings where characters I honestly couldn't care less about at the moment (the protagonists' respective friends) cropped up like weeds.These "cool down" scenes served only to dull the feelings of suspense and intrigue I had begun to cultivate, for I felt like I wasn't given enough time with the two protagonists to care about their mundane daily lives and abstract musings just yet.
Of course, this wasn't the only factor that killed my interest. What felt really clunky to me were the boxes and boxes of narration and reflection done on part of the two main POV characters. It was a chore to read them along with all of the meaningless dialogue made on the part of the side characters. The prose was hackneyed, insipid, and I felt that the author was using it as a vehicle to tell rather than show the characters' reactions. I do not hold the belief that comic artists must be excellent crafters of prose; good writers, yes, but not in the sense of a traditional prose writer. Therefore, I have to wonder why this author fell on a clear weak point of hers to try and tell the story. Perhaps it was meant to sound profound or meditative, but it came across as the opposite - shallow, a lazy cop-out.
Finally, I did not understand the main character's motivation for staying with Dai when he could have left with the girl. Was his irrational and unfounded decision supposed to mirror some crazy Stockholm dynamic or an internal masochistic fantasy of his? We learn so little about his character that it's impossible to say. I felt as if the author couldn't come up with a legitimate reason for him to stay with the guy who had tortured and humiliated him on more than one occasion and so tried to play it off as some weird, superficial fascination he had developed for Dai after only a few abusive encounters. Honestly, the whole thing seemed incredibly forced to me, and I had to stop reading after that because I realized that I just didn't care about the characters enough to keep on.
I understand that this manhwa is quite popular, and I can believe that it's a lot better than most of the BL out there, so I won't rate it after having read only half a volume. However, from what I read, I found myself bored and apathetic, and so I won't be continuing this one.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
This story went far beyond my expectations. I had initially avoided reading it because I didn't know if I could deal with 15 volumes of something that was supposedly really tragic and then offered no closure. I had to force myself to read past the first volume. The plot jumps ahead so quickly that I couldn't quite grasp how Dai and Jaehee even managed to fall in love. After that, however, I easily became entrenched in their story. I think I fell in love with Dai, both his kind love and nihilistic cruelty. I generally have a severe hatred of ambiguous endings but this one didn't trouble me too much. I'm not sure how I feel about the guy in the cabin. Part of me feels that really was Dai despite his denial. Either way Dai definitely seems to be telling Jaehee, with his characteristic lack of straighforwardness, that it's Jaehee's turn to save the wandering Dai. And even though there are no answers given I got a very strong feeling from the last page that Jaehee finds him. Dai swore to him that he'd never betray him. To hide from Jaehee for the rest of their lives, forcing them both to suffer, would be a tremendous betrayal and I don't believe Dai would do that.
I read the manhwa Let Dai again today. I first read it the during the height of my shonen-ai obsession back in 2008. I even downloaded the full volumes which I decided to delete later on because some of the zip files turned out corrupted. I've been meaning to read it again a long time ago but I kept putting it off because it is quite a long series (around 15 volumes at least). I still am in love with it. And I still am amazed with the manhwa author Moon Soo-Yeon who's surprisingly also the manhwa-ka of "Full House" which I've never read but the korean live action series if which I have watched (and adored). The narrative, the art style, the fashion, the perspective, all the issues... Moon-sama is a genius I bow down to. Why she didn't write another shonen-ai story I can pore over is what I would ask her if I'm ever given a chance to do so. I remembered I cried at one part of the manga the first time I read it though I don't remember anymore which part it was. Today I cried at volume 10. I just love how Moon-sama is able to tug at my heart strings with just a few lyrical words. I would forever give this manhwa the highest rating possible. Love just is. Hope someday I'll also find my immortal lover. >.<