Princess [1996]

Ah, Princess.

The manwha, Princess, is about women’s ordeals. That is the easiest way to describe how the series is. And it is something I will talk about personally at the end of this entry.

The first volume of this series was released in 1996. The last published volume was 31 released in 2008. It continued on as a webtoon later on. More on that later.

The story begins as we are told that Ramira is a small but prosperous nation. The nation is politically stable at the beginning of the comic. Within Ramira, we see the main cast.
There are about 8 main characters and numerous side characters. Given the scale of this manwha, the amount of characters is adequate.

The grand story begins peacefully at first with jokes here and there. We see mid-teen main characters introduced one after another. Remember and cherish their smiles because you will never see them again.

This series is quite pessimistic indeed. Actually, I don’t recall any positive events once things start to go down, and we are talking about a story that spans over 30 books.

Ramira’s political stability is shaken when the current king dies of an illness , and his young son takes over. The young lad wants his love of life to be his wife.

And that’s where everything starts to crumble. You see, in nobility, the higher they go, the less choices they have in marriage candidates. For a king, choosing his wife has never really been his own choice. This is true historically. There are some exceptions but exceptions don’t make norm.

Before the king’s death, it was understood that his son would take a daughter of a powerful vassal. This way, the vassal would remain content and not conspire anything. Alas, the king passes away too soon before the deal is officially sealed.

The young king eventually marriages his love of life which makes the vassal in question angry, and he eventually sells his country out to a neighboring nation by executing a civil uproar as well as providing a safe passage for enemies to pass through his domain.

I’ve summed it up in few paragraphs but this is a painful progress that spans over 10 volumes.

I’ve scanlated this up to volume 31 and would have gone on to finish if it wasn’t the author’s illness and her subsequent hiatus. The author eventually came back a decade later but she had no publisher and chose to continue the series as webtoon.

And I did not pick it up. Many had messaged me to pick it up but I did not. I’ve had my reasons, and I am going to state it here.

⚠️ Now, read on only if you want my brutally honest take on it.
⚠️⚠️SPOLER WARNING

Princess has an issue. Well, it is an issue which almost every Korean mainstream dramas have. I believe I brought this up a few times in the past.

It is that the heroine always ends up in an endless spiral of pain. In almost every single Korean soap opera aired on TV, it’s the same. And it’s always the heroine. It’s not the men. It’s women.

It is also the reason I just refuse to watch any Korean drama. In fact, I haven’t even watched any Korean drama for more than 2 decades. I just couldn’t take it. I have occasionally checked to see whether that sickening trend has changed.

Nope. Not one bit. In fact, I think they are doubling down on the trend.

In Princess, it’s worse because Bii (The love of life for the young king) fucking gets killed, Another woman, Lala, who was forced to love a man who kept on raping her also dies in very early age. I apologize for swearing but that both women deserved some peace in their lives. There are more cases like those two.

It’s safe to say that both women died because of their men. The former (Bii) dies because her husband is a spoiled brat. The latter (Lala) dies because of her man’s brutality.

What really irkes me was that Bii’s daughter inherits the endless spiral of pain. As a princess of a fallen nation, her life is never going to be easy.

It’s not just her. Every single woman in Princess suffers the same fate. They are men’s toys and thrown away when not needed. Granted, this is historically accurate but it didn’t have to be everyone. The author could have given someone a break. But, nah, that does not happen.

Sigh … 😔 You have absolutely no idea what I had to go through while scanlating this series. My anger boiled literally inside of me.

You see, just reading and translating is two entirely different things. When you read, you can skip some parts you don’t want, but by translating, you have to read everything, understand, and put that into another language. In other words, I could not skip parts I did not wish to read. It was stressing me.

This is precisely why I don’t get why K-drama (soap opera) is popular overseas. I do not enjoy mental torture. Therefore, I refuse to watch Korean soap opera.

The exact same trend can also be seen in Love at first sight I reviewed. Again, it’s always women, not men.
Where has such mentality come from?

This was why I began to seek other entertainment in my younger days and ended up with Japanese anime and drama because, in Japanese TV, both men and women suffer equally at least, and there are generally more happier stories overall.

Even then, I stopped watching Japanese TV shows some years back due to stories becoming painfully too short. That sickening trend has infected anime industry as well with season thingy. As of 2021, Japanese drama hardly gets 12 episodes per series. It’s usually 8 ~ 10. Only very popular ones will get extra seasons. Basically, the current trend has no place for late bloomers, and in my book, late bloomers generally end up becoming better in the end.

Sigh … 😔

Bonus material: Two extra pictures I took but had no place to insert them.

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