"I am a human, but a doll...
Feelings are not needed. Physically alive, but not mentally.
I am a painting trapped inside rusted frame.
The cold skin of a statue.
Life a stuffed bird-
killed and set for display
I wonder on whose display I will be put on..."
Suzette, a young girl, is regarded as a ‘living painting’ and comes from owner to owner. One day a young aristocrat, Ian McPolt buys her as a new item for his huge antics collection. But will Suzzete always be regarded as an item or will they develop some deeper feelings for each other?
I was reluctant to read this manhwa at first because the cover gave me the impression that it was a lolicon, which is not to my liking. The ambiguous title did not help to draw me in either. But the high ratings and the intriguing discussions about it made me curious. I was not disappointed. It didn’t turn out to be cheap and smutty, but a tastefully told story.
Although the theme is mature, it never gets offensive. The romance is subtle and mostly hinted at, but still manages to enthral. Set in what seems to be the early 19th century, a rich young capitalist buys
at an auction a doll-like girl, who is actually a living painting. He takes her home to add to his art collection, but later decides to raise her as her guardian.
On the surface, the story touches on the intrigues, scandals and the gap between the social classes of the period. As you read on, however, you find that it focuses more on the growing feelings of the main characters toward each other, as the girl transforms into a lady.
The two main characters are both likeable even though they show very little emotion. Suzette is a taciturn, dainty and delicate girl, while Ian is reserved, rigid, but headstrong. He is first introduced as a mysterious man whose intention for buying a girl for a ridiculously high price is quite baffling. Despite his ‘bourgeois’ reputation among the upper-class, he is actually very gentlemanly. And the big age gap between him and Suzette will not put you off as their romance slowly builds.
The character designs may not appeal to everyone’s taste because of the overly protruding noses and mouths of the characters. But overall, the art is exquisitely drawn -- the background is often very detailed and the clothes are elaborately designed. The lavishness of the art even adds grace to the more mature scenes.
The story is not without corniness or clichés; neither is it unpredictable nor original. Nevertheless, it is still romantically charming and enjoyable to read.
I devoured this manga in one sitting. It's a very nice shoujo story, with good art, a good characters, and a good story, though a little hard to follow at times. I love the setting (even if the outfits, etc. aren't quite historically accurate) but it's still a very fun period read and plenty of romance and mature scenes to boot.
The premise is typical in its "protective older male taking care of younger girl" situation, but unique in the details - Suzette's condition as a "living painting" was really intriguing. All the other characters are fun to read too, even if missing a little backstory.
art is very nice, especially in the large detailed panels. Nothing extraordinary but it serves its purpose for this story very well - it definitely helps the story become clearer.
Overall, a dramatic and quick shoujo read, good for a lazy Saturday afternoon.