Unbalance Unbalance

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Unbalance Unbalance
Cover of the first English volume of Unbalance Unbalance featuring Hae-Young Nah
언밸런스×2
Genre Romantic comedy, Drama, Slice of life, Harem
Author Dall-Young Lim
Illustrator Soo-Hyun Lee
Publisher South Korea Daewon C.I.
English publisher Canada United States Infinity Studios

Magazine South Korea Young Champ
Original run 2005 – 2012
Collected volumes 10

Unbalance Unbalance (Hangul: 언밸런스×2; RR: Eonbaelleonseu×2; MR: Ŏnbaellŏnsŭ×2; lit. Unbalance ×2) is a Korean manhwa series written by Dall-Young Lim and illustrated by Soo-Hyun Lee. The series focuses on Jin-Ho Myung, a high school senior, and his romantic relationship with his homeroom teacher, Hae-Young Nah. The manhwa began biweekly serialization in Young Champ magazine in May 2005, and the first volume was released on June 15, 2005 by Daewon C.I.. The series had a long hiatus following the release of the ninth volume, and resumed serialization in Young Champ from October 2010 to October 2011. The tenth and final volume was released by Daewon C.I. on January 13, 2012. Unbalance Unbalance was licensed in North America by Infinity Studios,[1] and released the first volume on January 11, 2007. A drama CD was released in Japan in September 2009.

Story[edit]

Jin-Ho Myung returns a wallet and cell phone to a beautiful young woman (Hae-Young Nah) in a book shop, little realizing that she would find out that he has already (rather presumptuously) taken 7000 won to buy a book he really wanted. The woman in question is understandably rather upset but decides to consider the money as a loan, which she expects to be paid back.

On the first day of the new school year, he learns, to his horror, that the very same woman is to be his new homeroom teacher. The bad news for Jin-Ho is that she remembers their previous encounter very well.

As the school year progresses, Jin-Ho and Hae-Young's relationship grows and develops despite Ji-Soo (Jin-Ho's classmate and their class president) and Jae-Kyung (Jin-Ho's old friend and former president of the Film Studies Club) having feelings toward Jin-Ho. Carrie, Hae-Young's half-sister from England, also makes her move towards Jin-Ho but she understands Jin-Ho's love to Hae-Young.

Currently, Jin-Ho denies Jae-Kyung's confession of love. Jae-Kyung regretfully accepts Jin-Ho's decision on loving Hae-Young instead of her. As Jin-Ho leaves the Film Studies Club room, Jae-Kyung cries in total depression. She soon has a mental breakdown, in which she wears her high school uniform and goes back to school, reminiscing her old days as the president of the Film Studies Club and thinking about Jin-Ho. Jin-Ho soon learns about Jae-Kyung's condition and she is rushed to the hospital. In hopes of bringing her back to normal, the doctor suggests Jin-Ho to support and love her in order for her to recover much faster. Later, Hae-Young arrives at Jin-Ho's house, telling she will do anything in Jin-Ho's desire. Jin-Ho, knowing Jae-Kyung's mental condition, becomes hesitant and suddenly did nothing which makes their relationship split apart. As Hae-Young breaks down in tears, Jin-Ho goes to the hospital, telling Jae-Kyung (who is now recovering) that he and Hae-Young had finally broke up. Jae-Kyung hears Jin-Ho's tearful confession, and relies on her hope that Jin-Ho might choose her.

Following her break-up with Jin-Ho, Hae-Young decides to resign from her post after the first semester of school. Ji-Soo later asks if Jin-Ho was aware of this fact and if Jae-Kyung was involved, but Jin-Ho denies the involvement of Jae-Kyung and claims that he no longer loves Hae-Young. Ji-Soo later goes to see Jae-Kyung where she overhears her phone call, saying that she had already recovered. After hearing the phone call, Ji-Soo confronts Jae-Kyung, who claims that she doesn't know Ji-Soo, who beats her out of anger for tricking Jin-Ho.

Hae-Young eventually goes to the airport to leave Korea, which she confesses to Caroline that she's happy to be her sister. When she arrives in the UK, she is confronted by Jin-Ho who hands her a device resembling an iPad containing a video message from Jae-Kyung.

Characters[edit]

The characters' original names are shown on the left, while their names from the Japanese version appear on the right. Only Carrie, Ami, and Mi-Na retain their names in both versions.

Main characters[edit]

Jin-Ho Myung (Hangul: 명진호; RR: Myeong Jin-ho; MR: Myŏng Chin-ho) / Kenichi Kando (神門 健一 Kando Ken'ichi?)
Voiced by: Tomokazu Sugita (Drama CD)
The male protagonist of the series. He is a student in his final year at Arim High School and finds himself a student in Hae-Young's class. Seemingly caring little for schoolwork, he has been known to go to the nurse's office to sleep, watch erotic movies in school, and complete mathematics tests (generally unsuccessfully) using pure guesswork. In middle school, it appears he was something of a delinquent who got into many fights, becoming quite skilled along the way. When it comes to his teachers, friends, or family, he takes their physical abuse and, in most cases, takes the blame and punishments simply because he can (especially early on in the story). This has been a source of concern to his family, or at the very least for his aunt who usually acts more like an older sister than a parent figure. However, he can also become focused if something interests him, like film, which caused him to be the co-founder and eventually the president of the school's Film Studies Club.
He lives with his aunt and father and there are suggestions in the story that he is estranged or separated from his mother, a possible cause for some of his rather more reckless behavior.[2] His sometimes rather cavalier attitude leads him into a number of compromising situations with his teacher. These instances have led Hae-Young to fall in love with him.
Hae-Young Nah (Hangul: 나해영; RR: Na Hae-yeong; MR: Na Hae-yŏng) / Elina Takanashi (高梨 エリナ Takanashi Erina?)
Voiced by: Kikuko Inoue (Drama CD)
The female protagonist of the series. A beautiful young woman in her mid-20's, Hae-Young teaches mathematics at Arim High and also acts as the homeroom teacher for class 3-2. She lives with her sister and niece in an apartment block quite close to Jin-Ho's. Her father's unexpected departure from her life when she was young has had a huge impact on her. Even though she is extremely attractive and was apparently popular (and pursued) throughout her school life, she has become very guarded around men, feeling unable to trust or form relationships with them. Consequently, she is still a virgin and even shares her first kiss with Jin-Ho during the course of the story.[3] She also seems to be following her mother's career path: she was also a teacher and became the district superintendent before retirement.[4] There have been several instances where she acts rather childishly. In one instance, she takes out her (misplaced) anger on Jin-Ho after being reminded of her absentee father by a news article, and she repeatedly slapped him hard enough to give him a nosebleed because he didn't think he should apologize for a prior incident. Despite Hae-Young trying to be strict and meticulous in her work and home life, she has found herself in increasingly compromising and desperate situations with Jin-Ho. Much to her own initial displeasure and continuing discomfort, she finds herself developing increasingly romantic feelings for him, so much that during the course of the MT trip, they kissed several times.

Recurring characters[edit]

Young-Gi Cha (Hangul: 차영기; RR: Cha Yeong-gi; MR: Ch'a Yŏng-gi) / Hiro Hanai (花井 尋 Hanai Hiro?)
Voiced by: Hiroaki Miura (Drama CD)
Jin-Ho's friend and classmate. They have been placed together in the same class for the previous six years. Like his friend, he is skilled at fighting. It has been implied that he likes Ji-Soo; he is very protective of her and careful of how she perceives him. Young-Gi also has a strong sense of justice and, despite his tall, athletic build, prefers to find the most peaceful resolutions to otherwise violent confrontations. His first encounter with Jin-Ho was back in middle school when Jin-Ho, who was a notable delinquent at the time, was harassing another student; the two fought and soon afterwards became close friends.
Ji-Soo Ha (Hangul: 하지수; RR: Ha Ji-su; MR: Ha Chi-su) / Mai Sugihara (杉原 麻衣 Sugihara Mai?, English manhwa: Ji-Sue)
Voiced by: Mai Nakahara (Drama CD)
The senior class president as well as now being the president of the Student Council. She is hardworking, studious, performs well and is also popular. She appears to have liked Jin-Ho ever since her freshmen year of high school, when he helped her make origami flowers. He does not feel the same way towards her, though at one point he does suddenly notice that she is attractive.
Ami Eun (Hangul: 은아미; RR: Eun A-mi; MR: Ŭn A-mi) / Ami Nagumo (南雲 亜美 Nagumo Ami?)
Voiced by: Mai Goto (Drama CD)
She is a senior and a friend of Ji-Soo. She is shy and quiet at school, where she often reads yaoi manhwa. She is one of the first to find out about Hae-Young and Jin-Ho's complicated out-of-school relationship. When Jin-Ho learns that she is the one who told Ji-Soo about his situation with Hae-Young, he attempts to confront her. During this face-off, she threatens to publicly reveal the relationship, which would be likely to get Jin-Ho suspended and, even worse for him, ruin Hae-Young’s career. She even forces Jin-Ho to kneel in front of her without a second thought so as to exert her power over him, and gets pleasure out of it. She seems to not like men in general, and also appears to dislike Jin-Ho in particular. It transpires that this was an empty threat on Ami's part, since she herself is also in love with Hae-Young; she even tries to force herself on her teacher, who then turns her down.
Caroline Pendleton Hangul: 캐롤라인[clarification needed]; RR: Kaerollain; MR: K'aerollain) / Caroline Takanashi (キャロライン 高梨 Kyarorain Takanashi?)
Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (Drama CD)
Nicknamed "Carrie", she is an Eurasian (half Korean/half British) woman who has recently arrived in Korea. She has lived in the United States for a while, learning the French martial art of savate. She has come to Korea because she is curious about her father's homeland and her siblings, who turn out to be Hae-Young and Hae-Jung. When she first arrives, she lives in a temporarily motel while her father arranges for her to stay with her half-sisters for about a month. She has been employed at Arim High as an English teacher and an assistant homeroom teacher under Hae-Young. It is revealed by Hae-Jung that her Korean name is Hae-Eun Nah. Whether she changed her name while living in America or while living in Britain remains unknown.[5]
Her first encounter with Jin-Ho, like her half-sister's, is not entirely without its troubles, ending in a fight and injury (which she somehow gave herself as Jin-Ho did not actually hit her) for her. Her opinion of Jin-Ho changes however when he escorts her back to her motel room and shows concern for her well-being. As she has no full siblings, she appears to harbor a strong desire for a warm relationship with her half-sisters, though this is complicated somewhat by their rather cold and distant relationship with their father. She expresses great romantic interest in Jin-Ho and has challenged Hae-Young Nah to see who can first win his heart. Although this was originally just a ploy to provoke her half-sister, Jin-Ho's rather chivalrous inner nature made her realize she might actually fall for him.
Jae-Kyung Park (Hangul: 박재경; RR: Bak Jae-gyeong; MR: Pak Chae-gyŏng) / Akane Honda (本多 茜 Honda Akane?)
Voiced by: Omi Minami (Drama CD)
She is a college freshman and a friend of Jin-Ho's. In her high school days (where it is revealed she had short hair), she was the co-founder and former president of the Film Studies Club (now passed on to Jin-Ho) as well as the former president of the Student Council (which is now succeeded by Ji-Soo). Even though she flirts with him, Jin-Ho feels comfortable enough with her to confide his girl problems to her. There are also hints that Jin-Ho may have had rather deeper feelings for her while she was in high school,[6] and seems that Jin-Ho has been rather more distant with girls since she left.[7] There are implications that Jae-Kyung has romantic inclinations towards Jin-Ho, most prominent when she breaks up with her boyfriend and seeking out Jin-Ho for comfort, and acts very coldly towards Hae-Young after she finds out he was waiting for her. Caroline even states that Jae-Kyung is one of Hae-Young's rivals.
It is later revealed that she was originally afraid of engaging with Jin-Ho in a romantic relationship and that she secretly believed he would still like her when she left, displaying regret that she never advanced beyond a friend with him. During these times, she has shown a certain level of deviousness, stating that she would sabatoge whatever relationship Jin-Ho has with Hae-Young as she claims she truly loves him, which meant she had to stop him from making the wrong choice. She has shown subtle manipulation of both Hae-Young and Ji-Soo and some amount of ruthlessness, intending to seduce Jin-Ho and even willing to have sex with him to make him hers. Her plan fails as Jin-Ho turns her down, Jae-Kyung realizing she missed her chance to be with Jin-Ho encourages him to go to the woman he loves, and shows her true feelings by crying after he leaves. However, this rejection, coupled with all the stress she is under, causes her to break down mentally, though she eventually recovers in chapter 79 not before hearing Jin-Ho announce his break-up with Hae-Young.

Arim High School students and faculty[edit]

Sul-Hee Chu / Ayaka
Hae-Young's colleague.
Myung-Hee Kim / Miho Sakurai
A sophomore student at Arim High who is a member of the Film Studies Club
Yong-Ik Lee / Shigenori Nara
A sophomore student at Arim High who is a member of the Film Studies Club.
Hee-Chul Yang / Mitsuro Kanzaki
Jung-Hwa Bae / Miki
Min-Suk Jang / Masashi
Sang-Hoo Han
Seo-Young Yoon / Sayuri Sakagami
Hee-Won Lee / Kanzaki
The chairman of Arim High, as well as an alumnus of the school. While he appears to be a strict and stern man inside school, he has shown an overly concerned side when he accidentally bumped into Hae-Young Nah in a minor traffic accident. He was a former student of Sook-Hee Jung, Hae-Young's mother, during his high school years at Arim, and claims it was her influence that inspired him to become chairman to make a better school. It is revealed he is the older brother of Hee-Chul Yang.[8]

Other characters[edit]

Ji-Sun Myung (Hangul: 명지선; RR: Myeong Ji-seon; MR: Myŏng Chi-sŏn / Yūko Kando
Voiced by: Chinami Nishimura (Drama CD)
Jin-Ho's screen writer aunt who lives with him and his father. She often talks to and looks out for her nephew and is not afraid of hitting him when she thinks he has gone out of line. She also acts to defuse the tension between Jin-Ho and his rather authoritarian and distant father.
Hae-Jung Nah / Marina Takanashi
Hae-Young's older full sister and roommate. She is also, therefore, Caroline's half-sister. Like Hae-Young, she has not forgiven her father for abandoning them as children. She is the mother of a four-year-old girl, Mi-Na Choi (Mina Takanashi in the Japanese version). She seems to be the most sensible of all the sisters, and also appears to have the closest relationship with their mother.
Young-Ji Cha / Nagisa Hanai
Young-Gi's younger sister.
Sung-Chul Nah / Kiyohiki Takanashi
A documentary film maker and the father of Hae-Young and Hae-Jung. He left his family to go to the United Kingdom, though there is some question as to whether he or his first wife initiated the separation (In an argument with Carrie, Hae-Young claims it was her mother who left him[9]). In the UK he fathered his third daughter, Carrie, with a British woman named Grace Pendleton.[2] Even though his eldest daughters will not forgive him for leaving them, he has asked them not to take out their frustrations on their half-sister Carrie.
Sook-Hee Jung / Sanae Tokita
Hae-Young and Hae-Jung's mother. She was a former math teacher at Arim High who worked her way to becoming the district's superintendent prior to her retirement.[4] It is later revealed by Hee-Won Lee, the chairman of Arim High, that he was once a student of hers during his high school years.[10]
Ji-Won Hong / Dr. Okamura
A doctor at a local hospital where Hae-Young got her sprained ankle checked. He and Hee-Won were acquaintances in their college years, and seems to be quite a nosy person according to the latter when asked about Hae-Young.

Media[edit]

Manhwa[edit]

Unbalance Unbalance began biweekly serialization in Daewon C.I.'s Young Champ magazine on May 30, 2005. The first bound volume was released in South Korea on June 25, 2005 under their Young Comics imprint,[11] and sold ten volumes until January 13, 2012, spanning 82 chapters throughout its run.[12] The series had a long hiatus following the release of the ninth volume, and resumed serialization in Young Champ from October 5, 2010 to October 1, 2011. The manhwa was licensed in North America by Infinity Studios, and released two volumes of the series between January 11, 2007 and December 12, 2007 prior to its closure.

Unbalance Unbalance has been licensed for international releases in a number of languages. It is licensed in France by Tokebi, in Hong Kong, Macau and in China by Asia Comics, in Russia by Comics Factory, and in Japan by Kill Time Communication, where it was serialized in Comic Valkyrie from the November 2010 issue (published on September 27, 2010) to the January 2012 issue (published on November 28, 2011).[13][14] The Japanese releases feature unique cover art designs and uncensored scenes, as well as being localized to better suit Japanese readers. In a Japanese interview with Dall-Young Lim, the author of the series, he claims the reasons for the unedited scenes is due to Korea's stricter censorship policy keeping him from doing so. He also claims he has much more freedom in terms of mature content with the Japanese version than with the Korean version.[15]

Drama CD[edit]

A drama CD produced by Indies Mega was released in Japan on September 26, 2009.[16] It featured Tomokazu Sugita and Kikuko Inoue as the voices of Kenichi Kando (Jin-Ho Myung) and Elina Takanashi (Hae-Young Nah), respectively.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Infinity Studios, LLC Explores Unbalanced Love". Anime News Network. August 10, 2006. Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Unbalance Unbalance; Volume 6, Chapter 42
  3. ^ Unbalance Unbalance; Volume 3, Chapter 24
  4. ^ a b Unbalance Unbalance; Volume 1, Chapter 8
  5. ^ Unbalance Unbalance; Volume 6, Chapter 41
  6. ^ Unbalance Unbalance; Volume 1, Chapter 7
  7. ^ Unbalance Unbalance; Volume 1, Chapter 1
  8. ^ Unbalance Unbalance; Volume 5, Chapter 36
  9. ^ Unbalance Unbalance; Volume 6, Chapter 48
  10. ^ Unbalance Unbalance; Volume 7, Chapter 51
  11. ^ "언밸런스 언밸런스 1" (in Korean). Daewon C.I. Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  12. ^ "언밸런스 언밸런스 10" (in Korean). Daewon C.I. Retrieved January 16, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Comic Valkyrie Vol.26" (in Japanese). Kill Time Communication. Retrieved December 25, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Comic Valkyrie Vol.35" (in Japanese). Kill Time Communication. Retrieved December 25, 2011. 
  15. ^ "日韓をまたにかけて活躍する韓国人漫画クリエイター・林達永先生インタビュー (Nikkan o mata ni kakete katsuyaku suru Kankokujin manga kurieitā Imu Daryon sensei intabyū)" (in Japanese). Livedoor. November 21, 2008. Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  16. ^ "アンバランス×2" (in Japanese). Amazon.com. Retrieved August 21, 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]