AKA “Hannune Banhada” which is basically how the original Korean title (한눈에 반하다) sounds in English.
I am going to review season 1 and season 2 separately because trying to bundle the two seasons together is going to be a trainwreck partially because the two seasons are pretty much entirely different from one another.
And, for the record, I’ve fully scanlated both season 1 & 2 fully.
Then why am I reviewing this? Why not? I’ve never actually reviewed it.
The story begins as a woman tells our protagonist “Three men for you” on her middle school graduation day. And this is pretty much her playful life begins.
In case you are not aware, Korean education system works like this.
Elementary (5-6) ⮞ Middle school (3) ⮞ High school (3) ⮞ College/Uni (Optional)
Our protagonist is a 17 year-old girl named Ban Ha-Da. In western naming system, her name would be Ha-Da Ban. However, it’s important that we keep her name as is because Ban Ha-Da literally means falling in love. If you move her last name to back, it loses its meaning.
Her sidekick is a 18-year old guy named Kang Ha-Se.
He does not have a strong role in season 1 although you do get glimpse of what he really is from here and there.
Both Ban Ha-Da and Kang Han-Se get around. “By get around,” I mean that sexually. The girl is a playgirl, and the dude is also a playboy. But they get around for different reasons. Though Ban Ha-Da does not lose her virginity.
They’ve known each other since they were babies, and naturally they’ve been together for their entire lives. There is no wall between them that they also sleep together. I do not mean sexually. They just sleep together after hanging around together after school. In other words, they are more like siblings than a couple.
Indeed, they feel disgusted at the mere thought of being together as in married.
Initially, Ba Ha-Da starts off as quite tomboyish. She does have some femininity but it’s nothing shining in season 1.
She also has some traces of shamanic powers which is why she is seen wearing an eye-patch sometimes in order to restrain her powers. She apparently has an ability to see people’s true nature. It doesn’t seem to work on everyone though.
As her high school days begin, she gets to meet the “three men”. The season 1 covers the three boys. The first one as seen above is a lego alongside a pinocchio. The second one is a cat man. The third one is a half man.
Their true shapes seen by Ban Ha-Da is, as you can easily guess, a symbolism.
There are a lot of fan services in this manwha and they are aimed at females rather than males, meaning you are going to see hot and half-naked guys. That is unless you are a gay of course.
Season 1 lasts for about a year during which Ban Ha-Da has dated and subsequently dumped or got dumped by three guys.
By near end of volume 4 which is the last volume for season 1, we now get to see slightly more grown-up Ban Ha-Da who is looking fair bit more feminine.
Actually, for the majority of season 1, she has had a body of a toddler: A big head and a chubby body. Now, she looks like a proper girl. Not sure how that works out metabolism wise in a single year, but it is what it is.
So, you may now wonder, if you haven’t read the scanlation that is, what now? She has dated three guys.
Well, she meets a fourth guy, a wolf boy, and the season 1 ends.
Back in 2007 or so, when I picked up this manwha, I very much enjoyed it. At least, I certainly enjoyed season 1. Season 2 not so much but that’s for another blog post.
The first reason I did enjoy it was the pleasant atmosphere between Ban Ha-Da and Kang Han-Se. Conversations between them bounce off each other very, very, naturally. At least in season 1, it does.
Believe or not, it’s hard to see characters bouncing off each other this well.
Another aspect I liked about this season 1 was that this manwha basically deals with a whore. It’s a harsh way to address Ban Ha-Da, but that is what she would be called in Korean society if she existed in real world.
I mean she meets a guy, and pretty much immediately cuddles with them (kiss, hugs), and then moves onto another guy.
The reason we, readers, accept her behavior is because she is told at the very first page that she is fated to meet three guys. If it is fate, then it is alright is the gist.
So, I liked the setting because it was fresh at that time. Not so fresh now though.
It is quite a rare thing that a main character is somewhat of a whore. Trying to recall any other manga or manwha that features a whore as a main character…, I do recall some manga series. Not in manwha though. Of course, I am talking about early years of manwha between 1990 to 2010.
In year 2020, there are plenty of webtoons that feature a whore as a main character. If you think about it, that’s quite a shocking change of culture in just few decades. It may perhaps be like wild west in comic, but Korean society remains to be fairly conservative regardless. We do not hug. We do not kiss. Hand shaking remains to be a male thing still.
Finally, the art is stylish. Compare the art with today’s manga or manwha. The art in this manwha is fairly distinctive. One could say the art is too rough.
Art is really subjective thing to compare, so I am not going to convince you that the art is good. It is stylish compared to today’s generic style (or trash I personally call).
So, there you have it, a review of Love at first sight season 1. I will bring out a review of season 2 one day.