Series : Deep Scar, 2 volumes
Author/Artist : Rossella Sergi
Year Published : 2018, France
Release Date : English language version comes out August 20th, 2019.
Genre : Manga, Romance, Contemporary
Edition : Digital (also available in Paperback, and Kindle eBook)
# of Pages : 308 pages
Sofia is a quiet young woman who longs for more independence. When she moves to Turin for school, it’s her first time away from her family and her boyfriend Luca. But her new roommate, Veronica, leads a life very different from hers: she prefers evenings in the company of beautiful boys! Luca dreads the influence of Veronica and her entourage on Sofia, and especially the presence of the enigmatic Lorenzo, who seems to be a little too interested in his girlfriend…
**Many thanks to Netgalley and Tokyopop for providing an e-ARC of this title for review.**
I’m overjoyed at the return of Tokyopop! I went into this manga blind, having no idea what to expect. I am really surprised at how likable it is so far since I usually only read manga-style comics by Japanese or Korean artists, so this being a manga of French origin is a bit of a change of pace! The English translation is very well polished, perfectly easy to understand.
The first thing I want to mention is how much the storyline resembles romances in the New Adult novels genre, but dodges the annoying things that put me off from many of that genre. I think for people who’ve never read manga-style comics before but enjoy contemporary romances, this could be a decent entry point.
Lets start with the main character, Sofia. She is the wholesome and virginal, “good girl” type. But she doesn’t feel superior to other girls and seems open to cultivating friendships with them. Also, her family situation seems complex- her parents give me bad vibes, they’re smothering and overprotective even though Sofia is entering college. There are definitely negative elements to her being as naive as she comes across, its not flaunted or set up as a way to make her “better” than other girls and she strikes me as someone who wants to evolve and grow. I definitely want to find out more about her.
She has a roommate, Veronica. This girl is the classic bad girl archetype and Sofia’s opposite. She comes off as prickly at first but given the effort put toward her character design and dialogue I am hoping that there will be decent character development for her. Seems to be leading that way.
Sofia has a boyfriend named Luca. They seem to have a long history and he is protective over her. He comes off as pushy and needy. I’m getting signals that they will probably break up at some point but so far I kind of like him despite his shortcomings. Maybe it’s the character design. The guys all look incredible and one isn’t favored over another in drawing style, and unfortunately, Luca is the most aesthetically my type. That’s kind of my curse though, to like the guy who probably won’t be chosen, lol.
Lorenzo – The tall, dark, handsome, brooding type. It’s very evident that he has some type of dark past and/or trauma. At first I thought he was going to be a sort of bad boy archetype but he’s really not that easy to pigeonhole and has some surprising moments of thoughtfulness. For example, he seems to be trying to avoid Sofia because he considers himself a bad guy. He gives me insta-love vibes, which I usually don’t care much for but if it’s one-sided that’s a little fresh and different. I hope they have some type of history together (childhood friends I hope, since I love the childhood friends-to-lovers trope.)
So far I’m pretty interested in the characterization and am curious to see how it will go. There is the mystery of why Sofia’s family has sheltered her so severely. I really hope there won’t be cheating as an element in future volumes but things could really go anywhere. There is a lot of room for the storyline to blossom in different ways.
But at its core this is a romance, leaning toward a love triangle.
So onto the art style. I LOVE IT. It’s just beautiful in a very classic girly manga way, but I’m already a huge fan of shoujo (girls) manga art style. The lines are clean, details like eyes and hair are given to prettily excessive design. The characters are distinct (the stark differences in shading and hair colors for the main cast helps with that though) and subtle emotions are well-conveyed. For example, there is a scene where Sofia is uncomfortable about something but feigning being fine about it and you can tell this quite easily from a few little added lines to her expression.
I also want to make note of the panels and pacing. This volume was super fast-paced with uncluttered panels. I zipped through this very fast, and felt like there was sufficient dialogue nonetheless.
All in all I am really quite pleased with this first volume and it did pretty much everything it was trying to do, rightly. I’m curious about the characters, their back stories, and what directions the romance is going to go. I know there’s at least a second volume and really hoping there will be more than that. I already have things I hope will happen and characters that I favor, and the art is lovable.
Overall Rating – 9/10
Why You Should Try It – If you’ve ever liked manga for female audiences (shoujo manga, josei manga) and are totally up for some nice polished art of that style or a romantic contemporary comic in general. The storyline seems traditional but has a lot of areas where deeper development might be made. It’s just fun.
Why You Might Not Like It – The heroine is passive and meek, you might prefer a different series if looking for a more vibrantly ambitious type of heroine. If you’re very well-versed in manga, this title might come off as nothing too special.Deep Scar, Vol. 01 (Amazon Link)
Have you read any romance-centered comics before or do you want to? Feel free to comment, I always appreciate your likes and comments.