Feb 26, 2023
The Other Side of the Mirror isn’t worth your time.
I will be honest, I'd seen the positive reviews for it, but after I read it I had… no words. If you want a story about love persisting through hardship and an unlikely but beautiful romance, look somewhere else. This isn’t it.
I won’t even deign to rate the art on this one– it’s good, sure, but that is completely irrelevant in the face of the shallow story and oh, how could I forget, the blatant racism. Yeah. Yeah that’s right. But no, that’s not the only reason this manhua isn’t worth your time.
is bland and trite. “Oh everything sucks and I hate life and we live in squalor but at least I have you and no one else! I’ll die without you now lets kiss and get married!” Sorry, maybe this is a personal opinion, but I need more substance.
This story follows Lou and Sunny, two down on their luck southerners who had moved from their hometowns to try their luck in NYC. Lou sleeps with Sunny, a prostitute who really honestly doesn’t know how to do her job, and blah blah they see each other here and there and Lou gets injured by a black man and then Sunny and Lou run away from NYC together and they get jobs and Sunny gets shot by a black man at her cashier gig– do you. Do you see why I’m displeased? Did you notice?
Not only are they drawn two degrees away from caricature, but the first black man doesn’t even speak a single line. What is he to this manhua? A plot device, a boogeyman of crime to push the story along. What about the black men who injure Sunny later? They get some lines at least, but again! What are they? Crime boogeymen! A slap in the face. I’m truly appalled.
I would say reading this was like listening to Bring Me to Life by Evanescence, but that’s an insult to an emo icon. I would never do that to Evanescence. Maybe it’s just me, but I am utterly exhausted by the co-dependent sob story that this manhua puts forward. Everything sucks but I have you. Could be sweet, if executed well, but The Other Side of the Mirror is not the mahua to do it. Melodramatic and overplayed, every plot beat was at once painfully overdone and boring and lifeless.
Oh, before I forget, this mahua had a few companion pieces: 99 roses was alright, not standout. Peggy was insulting, honestly, and I can’t prove it but it felt homophobic. The Funeral Procession of Stars was a disappointing, unoriginal goth ghost story (not gothic, just a shallow veneer of the goth aesthetic).
Yeah! That’s all. Don’t give this manhua the time of day and do something better with your time.
Reviewer’s Rating: 2
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