Set in a time when vampires are ubiquitous in society, treated as outcasts, and forced to keep their identities hidden—despite having signed a peace treaty two hundred years ago, following which they have satisfied their hunger with merely pig's blood—Orange Marmalade tells the story of Ma Ri Baek, a young vampire who has faced great difficulty due to her nature. Feared and hated, the girl has been driven away from several neighborhoods and is eager to settle down with her family in their current city. The endless prejudice has left her disillusioned about friendship and love; however, the sweet-scented blood of Jae Min Jung stirs something within her and renders her unable to resist biting into the neck of the charming man. Ma Ri must now cope with her life after this encounter, as her victim begins to fall in love with her.
Let’s just get to the review.....
STORY - 8/10
Orange Marmalade is a story about a vampire girl living in vampire-hating world that catches the eye of the most popular guy in school. Sounds like an overused plot? Well its not.
You see the thing is, the element that enhances this cliche-sounding story to the heights of a great one, is the execution of the story itself. Look at the very first page of the the first chapter and you'll know what I mean. While reading, I, personally loved the atmosphere it created, made me feel at ease. The pacing of the story is just perfect.
It lets the reader soak it all in before moving on. Good story-telling really.
The mangaka managed to set his work apart from the rest with the help of beautiful art and interesting characters.
ART - 10/10
The art is what first captured my attention and brought me to this sweet piece-of-a-work. The characters, shadows, shades, backgrounds (ohhh the backgrounds ^.^) were all outstanding! Beautiful & elegant. Since it is a webtoon, it is in a long, full-color format, kinda like a comic strip. While reading as you scroll down, its like watching an anime with the exception of sound. The author did a great job with making the emotions and expressions of the characters clear to the reader. Arguably, among the best manga artwork out there.
CHARACTERS – 8/10
Characters are pretty believable and come close to being realistic. The chemistry between the leads is real good and the supporting characters do their jobs well. There is enough character development, mostly in Ma Ri’s character.
Ma Ri – Baek Ma Ri is definitely one of the most likable female protagonists in the romance/drama genre. She isn’t the usual whimpering shoujo lead who always falls for the hot-popular guy for no reason at all. Quite opposite actually. In fact, she’s been named the “Ice Princess” by the guys of her school since she rejects them even before they are done confessing. Since people hate vampires, her family moves to new places often. She’s been struggling with being alone for so long that she’s not ready to trust any human at all. It was quite fun watching her come out of her shell.
Jae Min – Jung Jae Min, our male lead, is good at his job of melting the ice princess and helping her out of her shell. He’s NOT a conceited bastard or egoist, which seems to be a trend these days in romance manga. He’s the nice guy! He's great at basketball and plays drums. Interestingly, oblivious to the fact that Ma Ri is a vampire, he doesn’t seem to be a vampire optimist himself.
Side Characters – 1.) A pair of supporting gals who help Ma Ri take her mind off things when life seems way too heavy to bear. CHECK!
2.) An Alpha-bitch who keeps throwing herself at Jae Min & continues being ignored like hell. CHECK!
3.) A "third-wheel" guy who.....well you know what a third wheel is....so CHECK!
ENJOYMENT – 9/10
I read all the chapters that were out at the time in one go, without feeling like taking a break even once. Enjoyed reading it for sure!
OVERALL – 9/10
Good romance, great art & characters, lovely subtle humor with some drama. All in all, it’s a good read and recommended for anyone who wants something emotional and heart warming.
(P.S. this series has 120 chapters.. don't know why MAL keeps showing 66.)
Nothing about this is fun, meaningful, sweet, or tragic.
The main plot setting is that humans are irrationally, wildly racist against vampires to an extent that is unfathomably unrealistic. The "love interest" is a pushy stalker. The main character is a gutless, bland loser. Since the art is average, it leaves the work with no redeeming factors.
This could have been an interesting work despite the flawed premise if any of the characters were particularly fun or unique, but nobody offers anything. Instead it is nothing but a slow paced abomination. "OMG being vampire is suffering" is not an interesting story.
On the surface this seems like your typical high school vampire romance—and make no mistake, it is true to its shoujo nature, but the execution of the plot is utterly flawless. Orange Marmalade plays out like a simple but effective allegory, dealing with the unfair treatment and oppression of vampires, who have now turned to pig blood rather than human blood to try to acclimate and adjust to modern human society. Despite their efforts and a three-hundred year peace treaty, vampires have been forced to hide their true nature lest they face discrimination and harassment by their human neighbors.
What is so exceptional about this series
is the characters and how much development they receive. In the beginning, Ma-Ri is jaded and cynical. She is accustomed to her family's constant moving as a result of their nature being discovered, so moving schools is nothing new to her—and having friends is almost a foreign notion given her past experiences. Yet throughout the series she not only makes friends, but comes to trust and rely upon them as well. Soon, rather than doubting the humans and wondering if they can ever live peacefully together, she starts to desperately believe and want that to be the case—contrary to her initial apathetic and apprehensive nature.
Jae-Min and the supporting cast receive their own measure of fleshed out back stories and development through the course of the series. Even the antagonists are given a dose of humanism, wavering from completely incapable of inducing sympathy to relatable characters with legitimate motives for their actions.
Their realism comes through the fact that they all make mistakes and poor decisions that result in severe repercussions. It is their own actions that produce their suffering—and it gives the impression that everyone has some measure of control over their own misery.
The plot itself does a good job of keeping some suspense, introducing new supporting characters, new obstacles, and culminating to an exciting final climax that is satisfactorily resolved by the end. It's simplistic in its premise and the introduction of it, but the way the story moves through each arc is at just the right pacing to let everything sink in before introducing something novel to reel you back in.
The color palette for the art, the shading, the expressions, everything is rich with the appropriate emotion and tone for the characters and the story. Each panel is clean and clear, a unique experience especially for most people reading shoujo as its in webtoon format and flows perfectly.
Despite being conventional with many of its elements, Orange Marmalade manages to pull everything together in a way that most of its peers are unable to. In every category possible it exceeds expectations, and while it may not be a masterpiece, it comes awfully close.
Vampire romances are from rare, so what makes Orange Marmalade so good? The execution. In vampire shoujos, more often than not, the vampires are perceived as cool or alluring by the humans. Orange Marmalade, on the other hand, decides to take a realistic shot at the relationship between vampires and humans. When reality is suddenly invaded by the supernatural, you shouldn't be thinking along the lines of "Oh, he's so cool" or "Dude, I wanna be the friend of that vampire/werewolf/ghost." The characters of Orange Marmalade act just like how we would; we follow stereotypes and don't take action when others are ostracized due
to the fear of also being ostracized.
Furthermore, the main source of conflict aren't the cheesy & angsty love triangles. Instead, it revolves around the relationship between vampires and humans, not boys and girls.
The manhwa has its fair share of heartwarming romantic moments. The romance starts somewhat early, so you won't just be left with 1 confession a chapter before the last chapter. You get your hugs, kisses, and what not.
Like all stories though, Orange Marmalade has its flaws.
I, for one, think the drama is a bit too excessive and sometimes over the top. There appears to be more drama and rage moments than happy ones. Most of the problems could be resolved through being rational and talking it out, but hey, if you wanna get technical, I guess the exaggerated drama contributes to the story's realism. Humans aren't exactly the most rational species.
Secondly, while the story ends on a happy note, you are left wanting more. The conflict itself was wrapped up quite nicely, but within that lies a problem. Now that the main female lead doesn't have to hide her identity anymore. You want to see her take advantage of that. Anyone would want a really cute moment or a final kiss after all that's happened. Also, the final line is one of those "I can't wait for the future" kind of lines, which I think is a bad way to end a story. This is one of those times, where you should definitely "show, not tell."
In short, Orange Marmalade is a vampire romance with a different and realistic take on the view of vampires which in turn, results in quite a big amount of drama. There are plenty of nice romantic scenes for romance lovers, but the ending could've been better in that regard.
It's pretty hard to find a manhwa these days that doesn't have good art. Luckily for us, Orange Marmalade is in the majority. The characters and the scenery are appealing. I have no complaints in the art department.
The characters feel like actual people. None of them are perfect or crazy altruistic. They're mindset is just like ours. For example, in order to fit in, people are willing to whatever it takes even if it means joining the others in bullying someone. No one likes that kind of person, but you have to admit that it's a real thing. The characters take similar if not the same action as just described. They all do redeem themselves at one point or another. They took some time to reflect and realized what they did was wrong. If you don't end up forgiving them though, well your loss. You can't completely blame them for their actions considering reality took a dive into the supernatural, something which people would definitely be wary of. I'll go a little bit more in-depth, but only with the 2 main protagonists.
Our first character is Ma Ri Baek, the female protagonist as well as the vampire of the story. She's initially cold at first, but that's just because she's afraid of being hated. She'd rather have them think of her as an ice queen than get close to them, just for them to call her a monster when they find out. However, because of Jae-Min and other new found friends, she slowly starts to open up. At that point, you find out deep down, she's a sweet and caring girl. You just can't help, but feel bad for her when things take a turn for the worst.
The male protagonist of the story is Jae-Min, a human. He's a good-looking guy who in the beginning, had absolutely no interest in women. Right in the first few chapters, he develops feelings for Ma Ri Baek. He may come off as annoying sometimes, but he's certainly different than the male protagonists we have today. He's not a perfect prince nor is he a complete jerk. He simply has good qualities and bad qualities, which we all have. Also again, considering the circumstances of the story, certain actions aren't completely unjustifiable. In the end, he becomes someone mature and understanding.
Orange Marmalade is a unique story that manages to perfectly utilize a mainstream topic, vampire romance. Rather than being a generic story about which vampire guy the girl will end up with, it explores the idea of how human societies treat vampires and vice versa. Of course, it also breaks it down to the relationship between a vampire girl and a human boy, which results in a nice romance.
While the ending could've certainly been better in the romance department, the story did have romantic moments, a good realistic environment, and a happy ending.
Initially a form of comic strip designed to be easily read on mobiles, Webtoons quickly evolved to incorporate elements of Manwha(Korean Manga). The result has been a rich, vibrant form of art, and storytelling that frequently surpasses the quality of popular Anime and manga.