Thursday, August 13, 2009

Palace: Princess Hours

So long as I've been discussing monarchy in popular entertainment....

I'm a comic book nerd. It occurred to me recently that my all-time favorite comic book character, since I was a little girl, was in fact royalty. All right, so I didn't choose her with her title in mind; I chose her because she was a girl, and I didn't want to run around pretending to be Batman or Superman. They were terrific, yes, but they were (ewwww) boys. If I had pretended to be one of them, I might have gotten cooties! You can't be too careful where cooties are concerned. Luckily, I could pretend to be Princess Diana - the Amazon one.

A dear friend found me a wonderful manhwa, or Korean comic book, called Goong. From Amazon (not the one Princess Diana is from):

Monarchy ended long ago in Korea, but there are still other countries with Kings, Queens, princes and princesses. What if Korea had continued monarchism? What if all the beautiful palaces which are now only historical relics were actually filled with people?! What if the glamorous royal family still maintained the palace customs?! Welcome to a world where Korea still has the royal family living their lives! Only for this one high school girl, Che-Kyung, this is a tragedy, since she has to marry the prince who apparently is a total bastard!

It's a lightweight series for teenage girls, but intriguing for someone who likes to imagine present-day Korea as a constitutional monarchy. The authoress explained that she got the idea while touring the old palaces; she felt sad that beautifully adorned nobles no longer inhabited them, so she spun this fantasy.

It's tremendously popular in Korea, enough that a television series has been made of it. Westerners can order it, with subtitles, on DVD for a princely sum (nearly $100, depending on which site you use), but it seems Netflix is going to get it at some point. In the meantime, there are a few clips of it at Youtube; just search for "Goong".


MadMonarchist said...

That is interesting. I have been pleased with the way South Korea allows the head of the former dynasty to continue certain ceremonial functions and they do still have a changing of the guard at the old palace.

I was never *too* stuck on comic books but it might say something that my favorite was the Penguin from "Batman" who certainly seemed to have an aristocratic streak. I think I even dressed as him for Halloween once, though being skinny as a rail I'm sure I didn't quite pull it off.

American Monarchist said...

I have a soft spot for the Penguin for that very reason.