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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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Not too bad at all!
Old review: What? The way the MU description was written, you'd have thought Let Dai would be even more melodramatic and depressing than one of Shakespeare's tragedies. In the end, what unfolded was a fascinating story about youth and their trials of life, the few(if any) tragedies that unfolded. And how lack of empathy, naivety and absence of good friends and family can turn anyone into another Dai. And I felt the story wasn't so much about love and life but rather the kind of experiences we go through and often at the expense of others.
Anyways, it was interesting: watching how Dai evolved from a heartless devil into a human, none too removed from us. Or no, should I say that his reasons for his cruelty changed? The bad thing though... was the ending which was way too abrupt.
Update! After a few years, my regret is that I overlooked the bad points of this series. First, the cast is okay but at times, the story felt kinda contrived and fake, in order to push forth the themes and messages the creator had chosen. It was like: what was the point of letting some of the characters undergo that much suffering? Other than, selling the point of the story, that is.
Second, the length! At times, it felt like the story and characters were starting to ramble. I don't mind some literal ponderings but at times, the overall themes felt too preachy, like some "moral diatribe". Herein is the difference between much of manhwa and manga: show, don't tell. Manhwa, often, forgets to "tell" the story and instead, relies heavily on narration that sometimes just doesn't flow with the story or which doesn't do much justice for the story. Of course, there is manga that does commit this offense but not too much of it.
Third, the flow of the story. At times, the story flowed very well and at other times, it just didn't. Sometimes, it felt more like peeking into selective moments of a story, than being privy to the entirety of it. The length of the series only worsened the issue.
... Last updated on March 25th, 2010, 12:45am
be prepared to be thoughtful
I've found a certain trend with the few manwhas that I've read - they are always deeply psychological and pretty angsty (vs. the atmosphere of manga). In Let Dai this angst is in no way corny, because Woon Soo-yeon is excellent at justifying everyone's feelings. Even with the amount of violence and tragedy this manwaha has, I still tend to feel more captivated by the intensity and sadness of everything than cheated out of emotional plot development.
One thing I would warn about is that this is not a love story you want to read if you're just horny. Yes, there is definitely raw sexual attraction between the two main characters, but I believe Soo-yeon means to place more emphasis on the emotional bonding/philosophical aspect of the relationship than anything physical. If you try to twist their relationship one of those "sad uke! violent seme! squeeee!!!" things, you're overlooking the true meaning.
That being said, I'm gonna go round up some good old-fashioned smut to indulge in...
Edit: I found a picture of model Boyd Holbrook that really looks like Jaehee in the later volumes (though I guess you can make up your own mind about it. maybe you'll think it's more like Dai than Jaehee) http://i41.tinypic.com/axlmwh.jpg
... Last updated on January 28th, 2009, 1:41am
Once in a lifetime read.
Let Dai is a 'Once-in-a-lifetime' read; and by 'Once in a lifetime read', I mean that you should only ever read it once. Make sure you give yourself enough time to read it from end to finish, and then never read it again. Let Dai is very emotionally draining, in both a good and bad way. It's a successful series in its own way because you can't help but love Dai and Jaehee. They're both enthralling characters, yet extremely frustrating. The frustration and immense pain these characters cause each other is intoxicating. However, not just as a reader - but as a human being, it nearly went on too much. When did the author become such a sadist? Halfway through the series, you feel almost as though you are watching someone twisting the tails of kittens, or standing over a nest of ants with a magnifying glass. The characters of Let Dai, malevolent and benevolent alike, all receive harsh treatment throughout the series. A lot of people gave this series a perfect ten, but to be honest, I didn't quite enjoy it that much. I sort of felt like I was watching a daytime soap opera. How many torments could the author put her characters through? It's all very affecting, but it's like trying to eat a whole chocolate mud cake without feeling bloated. I gave Let Dai a seven out of ten because of their intense love for one another. If the series were shorter, it would be much better. I don't think I'll ever read it again, but I'll certainly remember it.
This series is so absolutely beautiful. I finished it just right now and I just can't stop crying. Sure, the story seems to be a bit slowly pacing but...I can't remember to read about such strong emotions between two human beings. The longing which is expressed in this manhwa is just totally crazy. The personalities of the characters, even the side characters are drawn so precise and with so much love. Refreshing are the monologues. It feels like philosophical prose with pictures. Read it! One of the best stories I ever read including plays and prose. I just can't believe how the manhwaka was able to show such depth of emotion und such souls...I'm going to cry all over. And SPOILER I'm glad that it didn't end hoplessly. It's so dark and intense, like Dai...
no words could express how deep and beautiful this series is.. i was first reluctant to start it due to the not so great art and thuggish violence..
but once i got started, i truly began to appreciate how incredible it was.
it's one of those series that leaves you wanting for more- yet you feel complete anyways knowing that all in all, it was pleasing. not to mention, especially in these days, it allows one to appreciate love in a manner that's not judged upon gender or physical relations- but truly the soul. (yaoi without smut, yet still great.)
if you don't read this, you're missing out.
I dropped this comic the first time I read it due to the violent nature of the manwa (with kids!)--as well as Jaehee's girlfriend's unfortunate predicament. I tried reading this again, months later, after remembering the great word play and talking about it with my online friends. I regret stopping to read this because of my disgust.
Please read this with an open mind and get ready for a lot of realisations. The translation was beautiful, yet I can't wonder how much better it would be if I understood Korean and read it as it is--minus the language barrier.
No, I'm not unsatisfied with the ending. It's a very deep and dark work of fiction. Yet, the ending was exhilirating and full of hope--it ended right at that moment where you are as excited as the main character. What more do you want?
feels a bit incomplete
...the ending felt a bit incomplete to me...
Spoiler (highlight to view)
i would've liked to see Jaehee and Dai see each other again...them meeting up in america would've been nice >.<;;; ;_; very sad tale, wish it was continued v_v;;~ one of the darkest BL mangas i've read other than Boys Next Door...
Can't be compared
It's the first time i comment here but "Let Dai" deserved some. HE is the best manwha/manga/BD that have ever be write and draw.The story is UNIQUE, it can't be compared.Sometime I was about to cry too (ME?!), it move me and that can't be explained except to read it.There are a lot of thing about the life and how thing goes in reality and is an important subject that deserved us to think about!
I have read the complete volume and i advise you to read it and to open your mind and heart. As you can see this manwha is something that i consider really important so thanks to read my comment and this wonderfull work!
I've only read the first few chapters but big kudos to the manhwa author and translator, this story has such beautiful prose. It really rivals any manga/manhwa I've ever read, not even in just the shounen ai genre.
definitely not for a weak heart
this manhawa gave me a very bad feeling. it is a very good story, it has a plot line, character building, a detailed and deep back ground and art is pretty beautiful but it is not my type. I cant bear watching some one is getting beat up like a defend less worm and then feels some twisted pleasures from getting slapped and sliced. my advice is this: if you don't like violent love/hate relationship, better don't try this story.
never the less, this story is a beautiful piece of art and has its own dark romantic moments which are stunning and touching.