Monday, December 26, 2016

REVIEW: Aron's Absurd Armada (manhwa, vol. 2) by MiSun Kim, translated by Jackie Oh

Aron's Absurd Armada is a humorous Korean manhwa.


In some ways, this was better than the first volume. MiSun Kim cut way back on the gay and transgender jokes and instead focused on things like Aron’s stupidity, Ronnie’s love for good-looking men (not just Robin this time around), Vincent’s terrible cooking skills, and Robin’s love of money. Luther Nelson was still deeply and incestuously in love with his niece, Dorothy Nelson, but readers who skipped the first volume or read it a while back could easily forget about the incestuous aspect since there were no reminders of it in the text.

In a not-terribly-successful effort to keep the jokes from becoming too stale, Kim introduced a couple new characters: the Phantom Thief, a master thief who joined the crew in order to escape being forced to steal from the rich and give to the poor, and Wendy the Witch, a sickly woman who created medicines that were simultaneously poisons and antidotes that were also poisons.

Once again, I’d have to say that the best thing about this series is the artwork. Like the first volume, the second one featured full-color artwork and appealing character designs. I never had any trouble telling characters apart or remembering who anyone was.

My favorite moment in the volume was probably when the King found some abandoned puppies. His reaction when he learned what the Admiral planned to do with them was perfect. Although the humor never completely let up, the story turned surprisingly sweet, with Duke Cornwall offering to take the puppies because the King (for some reason) could not.

That said, this volume was excruciatingly boring, and the “plot,” such as it was, was so difficult to follow that even the characters couldn’t remember why they were doing the things they were doing. I completely lost track of what was going on during the stuff with the Sea King, which unfortunately took up half the volume.

I have no intention of reading more of this series. Two volumes were more than enough.

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