LET'S BE PERVERTS is an awesome manhwa (Korean comics) series and the subject of the first installment of a new feature I'm doing.
I've been reading a lot of manhwa lately after rediscovering a couple older titles I read when TokyoPop was still a thing and I thought I'd share a few thoughts on them. As with my "Stuff I Like" series, these won't be reviews, per se, just me talking about stuff cuz I can.
So, LET'S BE PERVERTS.
The story's main character is Perverto (Byeontae in the original Korean, which means "transformation", but sounds identical to the Korean transliteration of the Japanese hentai, meaning "pervert") and everyone he knows, of course, knows what "pervert" means in English.
Contrary to his name, however, Perverto is actually a very shy, considerate kid, but when a series of innocent accidents occurs at his school, he's branded the local pervert and his family chooses to move to another city to allow him a fresh start. On his very first day at his new school, however--in fact, on his way to school--he's framed for groping a girl on the subway... by none other than his new math teacher, starting the cycle he tried to escape all over again.
What follows over the course of four volumes is really a story about growing up and making a place for yourself not only in the world, but inside your own head. Perverto is absolutely determined to live a "normal" life, without bothering anyone and without being bothered in turn, but discovers that sort of life isn't really worth living and the more he tries to keep out of situations where he might find undue trouble, the more they keep occurring.
Along the way, he makes friends, gets involved in the problems of a few people who make his own issues look trivial and occasionally falls off the path of the straight and narrow. In fact, the title of the series comes from a particularly revealing story arc in which, sick of being constantly accused of things he hasn't done just because of his name, Perverto decides to live up to the title of "pervert" - only to discover just how dehumanizing and soul-crushing such a life can be. I won't spoil exactly what happens, because it really is the crux of the series in a way, but it's got a power to it that goes beyond what you'd expect of a comic like this.
Aside from the story, the art is decent. It's not amazing, but it's competent for the style needed here, fitting into a niche somewhere between the heavily-manga-influenced manhwa that is typically the bulk of what gets translated into English (often publishers don't even mention that stuff IS Korean and try to simply pass it off as more manga... but I digress) and more western styles. Unusual and expressive faces are what Lee seems to excel at and he puts it to good use more often than not. Some of my favorites are the secret faces Perverto's father (who is, in fact, a pervert) often makes when he's gotten away with something - especially if Perverto or his younger brother Pervergu have taken the blame.
Overall, it's a short, very good read, the kind of story you'd not usually find in western comics and if you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary, check it out.