Mar 7, 2015
Heads up before you read: A Cat and a Bird (or just Cat and Bird) is a Korean manhwa, which are read left to right instead of right to left like most manga fans are used to.
Story (6): The story of Cat and Bird is nothing spectacular. Unless you're into teen angst I wouldn't recommend it. It may be a bit deeper than your average shoujo or slice of life, but not by much, and at times it shows its age (there's no date on this thing, but I'm guessing it's a mid to late nineties piece.) Things like character relationships and time frames
are often confusing and muddled. The bad art (which you can read more about below) often took me out of the serious tone the story was trying to create. Still, it's a short read, which I see as a plus, and was one of the main reasons I picked it up.
Art (3): Oh god my eyes! The art in this is horrendous as far as characters go! Everyone constantly looks stiff. Any time a character is holding something, or doing any sort of movement they look terrible. Faces look inhuman and fish like (yes I know this is a common complaint for manga but I swear this manhwa takes the cake in creating inhuman, ugly fish people.) Character design wise this manhwa definitely shows its age. I imagine the fashion choices in this would get a chortle even during the time it came out (again, I'm guessing the nineties.) In particular Hye Jung had me cringing at her outfits in at least half of the frames she was in! I didn't notice anything too bad about the backgrounds, but oh god the people!
Character (6):Outside of the complaints I listed above, there's nothing too offensive about the characters. I actually kind of liked Jin Young's character. Her trauma was understandable, though a bit melodramatic. Hye Jung fell into the standard "genki girl" trope, but she was a bit more fleshed out than most and nowhere near as annoying. The male characters were both pretty bland and had a minimal impact on the story as a whole, though the cram school teacher was at times a bit too invested in the lives of his students.
Enjoyment (6): I found myself enjoying this more in it's latter half, after I had adjusted to the bad art and the story began heating up. It never lit my world on fire, but I've definitely read worse manga and manhwa. It sometimes succeeded at creating the melancholy and thoughtful tone it aimed for, but more often than not it failed.
Overall (5): I'd say skip it unless you can stand terrible, dated art and are desperate for a short read with decent characters and teen angst. And if you are I'd recommend checking out River's Edge by Kyoko Okazaki, a manga that does a much better job of pulling off similar themes, before going anywhere near this manhwa.
What did you think of this review?