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Narration in Seventeen
by PrincessVera on August 14th, 2008, 3:16pm

Rating - 7.4 / 10.0

User rating of this review - N/A out of 5
Story/Plot - 3 out of 5
Characters - 4 out of 5
Drawing Style - 3 out of 5
Enjoyment - 4 out of 5
Overall - 4.5 out of 5

Click here for series information

The story focuses on Se Young, a high school girl who is in love with her childhood friend Heun Uoo. However, he only sees her as a friend. Instead, he is in love with a pretty girl named Hemi whom Se Young doesn't like. In the meantime, Se Young's handsome senior, Inho Seo from the acting club, becomes friendly with her, and Se Young, who has never had good friends aside from Heun Uoo, starts becoming closer to the pretty, calm and intelligent class representative, Hyeon Jeong. The relationship between these five characters develops as the story goes on, with seventeen-year-old Se Young narrating the experience of life, love and friendship.

The ending uses the popular story of The Little Prince by Saint Exupéry, in order to reveal the feelings of Se Young. This is probably the most confusing point of the story for readers who are not familiar with this French classic.

Finally, there is no absolute resolution, but rather, a feeling that the story will continue on, beyond the year of being seventeen.

Initially, the characters seem very typical. Se Young is insecure and a little naive, Heun Uoo is clueless, and senior Seo is kind and friendly. The most interesting characters are Hyeon Jeong, who is perceptive and manipulative, and Hemi, who, despite being beautiful and talented, is somewhat isolated.

Although I don't feel like any of them are "outstanding", I do feel as though their characters are realistic and well-developed, instead of idealized; their relationships develop in similarly realistic and touching ways. The author/artist avoids many cliches in high school love stories (everyone falling in love with the main characters, romantic pratfalls, etc.) that give the characters' personalities time to shine without repetitive plot devices.

Drawing style
The art style doesn't stand out; it's actually pretty plain and typical. I do like the character designs, but none of the faces are particularly outstanding. The art, especially clothing and hair, seems to flow and blend with the page, instead of being very bold or showy. It fits the tone of the series very well.

This story is very slow-paced and leisurely. Because of that, some readers might get annoyed. I have a feeling that it will appeal more to slightly older readers who have already gone through high school and are able to understand some of the emotions and experiences behind the dramas of day-to-day high school life. Although the story is mostly calm serious, there are brief silly moments (parodies of manga/manhwa artists, for example) and refreshing moments (Se Young yelling out "I am Rambo!" in the train).

This series gives off a very calm and sedate feeling. It's also only 4 volumes long, which makes it a quick read - nothing is too rushed or forced, and new characters and plot devices aren't thrown in at the last second to make a longer story. Each element, from characters to plot to art, is not particularly "special" or notable, but the overall effect makes a very good story.
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