Romance Papa, Vol. 1-3
written by Youngran Lee
Romance Papa starts with a tragedy but ends up being a comedy. Junior high student Myunghae loses both her parents in a car crash and there’s talk about putting her in an orphanage. That idea changes, however, when it’s revealed the man who raised her was not her biological father.
She’s taken to meet her biological father, a plastic surgeon in his early thirties named Sangbum Hyun. No one likes him and he pretty much doesn’t like anyone, either. He’s never been in a romantic relationship and can’t understand how he could have a daughter. Well, it turns out a certain donation he made in medical school was given to a woman trying to conceive and, voilà, the result was Myunghae.
Despite being such a misanthrope at the beginning, Sangbum soon warms up and gladly takes his daughter in. They form a close, loving bond. Myunghae idolizes her father and always turns to him when she’s in need. Likewise, he dotes on her.
So part of the story revolves around the father/daughter relationship, while the rest of the story is about Myunghae’s adventures at school. “Adventures” translating to “heartbreak, confusion, and teen angst,” such as when Myunghae’s best friend decides to date the guy Myunghae likes. Or when a boy named Bokit (nicknamed “Bucket” by our heroine) gets his eyes on Myunghae and won’t leave her alone. The two storylines balance each other well and sometimes overlap.
What really stands out about Romance Papa is its great humor. Maybe Myunghae faces serious things at school, but the way it’s portrayed by Youngran Lee makes it all laugh-out-loud funny. These manhwa are full of unique and hilarious characters who keep the story going at a brisk pace. It doesn’t matter that some of the characters aren’t very realistic…they work here, and they’re fun to read.
Myunghae herself is the star of the show. She’s bossy, zippy, full of energy, and ready to tell anyone exactly what she’s thinking. Her spunky personality is pure entertainment, particularly with the other characters as backdrops. She’s someone whose personality comes out only by reading the manhwa, not reading a review about it.
Another strength of Romance Papa is its art. The cover illustrations don’t do justice to the art Youngran Lee’s capable of making. The really good art is inside. This is one of those graphic novels that take longer to read because the art looks so nice that it has to be surveyed carefully. Not only is Lee skilled at realistic and pretty art, but she’s also great at comical expressions. Myunghae is a prime example of someone with a very expressive and very comical face.
Romance Papa is labeled as 13+ and is a great choice for someone looking for laughs and warmheartedness. Readers, librarians, and teachers, take a look at this manhwa.