Sweetness and light
Just how much cuteness can you realistically handle? That is the question you have to ask yourself before cracking the pages of “One Fine Day,” the latest manhwa (Korean comic) collection from Yen Press.
Because cuteness is what you are going to get here. And not a little bit. “One Fine Day” is a total cuteness immersion. There is not a page, not a line, not a word appears in this comic that is not designed to elevate the cuteness. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find out that you could lick the pages and have them dissolve in your mouth like sugar. You might think I am exaggerating. I am not.
Check out this premise. A novice magician (so we are told…he never seems to do any magic.) shares his home with three animals, a mouse, a cat and a dog. The three animals can talk, and have two different forms; their normal cute animal form and a human form where they look like little kids dressed in those floppy animal pajamas popular in Asia. (The cat and the dog change outfits from time to time, always retaining their cute little ears when in human form). This friendly foursome gets together for all sorts of hijinks and adventures, for example baking cookies and doing the laundry.
“One Fine Day” was originally serialized in Yen Press’ Yen Plus magazine, and is almost more like a series of newspaper comic strips than a typical comic book. Each adventure last 8-10 pages or so, and consists of action-packed scenes such as baking cookies together and having the mouse run across the dough to make footprints. The other two animals get jealous, so the magician has them all run across the dough, then bakes special cookies for each animal with their own footprint in it! Another adventure has them hosting a tea party for some fairies, and dressing up the mouse in a cute frilly girly dress instead of the usual pajamas.
Because “One Fine Day” is a manhwa it reads left-to-right in the English style rather than the reversed right-to-left typical of Japanese manga. The book is slightly oversized, being a bit larger than a Japanese manga but not as large as an American comic. The artwork balances between being overtly stylistic (such as the magician’s cute fuzzy hair, which is basically a collection of marker scratchings) and the traditional “manga style” of big eyes and small mouths. The artist uses a very loose line, focusing on the characters rather than complicated backgrounds.
I found I could only take “One Fine Day” is short doses. When I tried reading it straight through the cuteness was just too much for me to take, and I got overloaded. However, because it is a series of unconnected mini-adventures, there is no problem reading a few stories here and there.
“One Fine Day” is listed as “All Ages,” and that is absolutely true. This would be a great comic for a young child who has some decent reading skills. Especially if that child likes cute things such as a mouse, cat and dog all dressed up in cute clothes having adventures.