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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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Probably I would have liked this as a teenager.
I'm too old and jaded for this manhwa now. My world has taken on a grayish tone and a trifle more subtlety. My teenage self wants to give this a nine and keep reading, but my adult self is giving this a seven and stopping after the sixth volume.
I was entertained at first because I've lived through the philosophical argument Let Dai is putting forth, but the manhwa shows no signs of identifying the shaky support for the argument, applying some good critical thinking, and moving forward with a new thesis. If the author did that, this book could be very, very interesting. Instead, it just sort of stops and rolls in the angst. Now to be honest, I spent a good four years rolling in this same angst pit myself, and I had a lot of fun while doing it.
At the right point in your life, this book could be quite relevant, interesting, and moving. Dai and Jaehee also make a sexy couple, which will be reason enough for some readers. (It was enough for me for two or three volumes, at least!) Despite the lowish rating I feel the need to give, I'd say pick it up and give it a try. The feel of the book is pretty consistent throughout, so you'll know if it's right for you within a couple of chapters. More than any other manga/manhwa I've read, I feel like the quality of Let Dai really depends on where you are in your emotional and mental life. I found it at the wrong point, but I can imagine it being a great find from a different yet sympathetic perspective.
*And now, five years after writing the above, and with yet more life experience, I've been paging back through manga. I've gotta knock this down from 7 to 5. This kind of stuff just gets subtly grosser as you get older. Read it before you're 15 or better, don't.
... Last updated on November 24th, 2014, 2:33pm
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
One of the most beautiful and amazing stories I have ever come across. Shounen ai really isn't my thing but this was about so much more than 2 boys in love. The characters were fantastically unique and the trials heart-wrenchingly real. I found the art to be a great reflection of the manhwa and the story is so deep and emotional. The sheer amount of tragedy in this can seem to paraody a cliche soap but the way the lives of the characters intertwine so that the tragedy of one is the tragedy of many if not all the others keeps a definite sense of realism. The potrayal of beautiful violence and over-powering love is extremely well done, the love scenes being more touching than corny and the violence shocking but relatable. An emotional rollercoaster and compelling read. There is a lot of text but that only serves to drawn you deeper into the story in my opinion. I felt the ending was slightly rushed but nevertheless it was a fantastic way to end it.
In short one of my favourite ever reads and one I shall definitely read again and again. A must read no matter what you preference. Absolute perfection.
Worth the time you'll spend reading it.
I just finished reading this, and I immediately plunged myself into the comments section for this story, desperately seeking some sense of closure, which is rarely a good thing.
However, If I'm honest, I can think of very, very few negative things to say about this series. The author managed to keep track of a handful of well-developed characters, masterfully entwining their lives and experiences in ways that kept me turning pages all the way to the end. Her musings on the human mind, though sometimes phrased in flowery language, were often very interesting and insightful, and through her beautiful art and storytelling, I came to understand her characters' despair. I felt like I could know these characters. Not only that, I felt that they were real teenagers mad and illogical and crazy in love, where in a lot of manga and manhwa, the characters are all empty, unrealistic caricatures. I respect that, and treasure it when I find it. Some of the minor characters seemed slightly hollow or ridiculous, but that wasn't too bad.
The story was excellently crafted and the main characters especially were very well developed. The art was beautiful and expressive. I can't give the story a higher rating because of a couple of small faults (namely, some melodramatic dialogue, internal monologue, and contrived events) but I really, truly enjoyed the story and respect the author a lot. She is a masterful storyteller. If you can get past a few small bumps in the story, the character interactions are a joy to watch.
Or maybe I could also say that I just really, really enjoyed all the character analysis and the absolutely gorgeous angst and aesthetic suffering, of which I am terribly fond.
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. >.<
Okay, I don't know a word strong enought to explain my feeling for this manhwa, It's that good. So just think of the worst cursword you know and give it a positive meaning and there you have it... maybe! I gave this story a ten, but if it's true that the ending is sad and tragic then I'll change it to a one.. I hate sad endings. Give me happily ever after!!
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'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.
I've just registered to give my vote for Woon Soo-yeon's work - stunning, touching, exciting and somehow close to me. One of the best mangas I ever read ^^;; (though I haven't finished it yet.. and hope that mangaka will be good to her main characters ^^ pooh~)
Updated: it's been a long time since i've registered here on mangaupdates, and I have been reading a lot of manga since then. But this one will always stay special to me, i really love this manga ^-^ It's really strange, how all other works by Woon Soo-yeon don't resemble this one even a bit. (It's actually the same with another wonderful manga Sakura-Gari by Watase Yuu). For me, it feels like those kinds of manga are created by their authors out of some kind of afflatus #^^#
... Last updated on October 27th, 2012, 4:05am
What I enjoyed most, was this wasn't about trival "love" and teenager things. The imagry used to describe feelings was beautiful. The points the characters made about life and death and moving forward were very strong.
The ending absolutly threw me off. In the last volume, in the beginning, you find out how it will unfold---in that sense you get a sense of relief...because when the climax happends you already know the outcome. But the final page was unexpected. You'll think there will be a poetic last though, or some inspirational (or tragic) quote...but it's nothing of the sort. The biggest cliffhanger. But it's good in a way....it leaves everything up to your imagination.