Shades and shadows

Shades and shadows [Recommendation]

Shades And Shadows is a story surrounding coming of age, romance and art. If you’re looking for fast-paced romance, this is not for you!

Alt Titlesえんぴつの角度, 연필의 각도, yeonpil-ui gagdo, Enpitsu no kakudo
CreatorsHongJa  [홍자, Hong Ja] (Author & Artist)
LicensedYes – Official English Translation, Official Japanese Translation
GenreDramaPsychologicalRomanceSchool LifeSlice of Life

Shades And Shadows Summary

Hye-in is a quiet, introspective high school senior. As an aspiring art major, she hones her skills in the art club. When a handsome new T.A. named Mr. Lee starts at the club, Hye-in’s curiosity awakens.

Mr. Lee’s talented, popular and sensitive. So why on earth has he taken such an interest in her? In the complex world of high school, things are never how they appear.

It all depends on how you look at them…

Shades And Shadows
Without a doubt, Shades And Shadows is not going to suit everyone. It’s very slow in the process of telling a story. It takes the time to develop characters, relationships and misunderstandings.

Hye-in is an introverted person, usually content in her own bubble. It’s not that she dislikes people, it’s just that she’s struggling to find her place alongside them.

She feels like a stranger looking in, like she doesn’t belong in the group. It’s hardly the truth, but if you feel that way it’s hard to imagine it some way else.

I suppose you can really call this manhwa more of a character study. We’re introduced to characters surrounding Hye-in and we develop a sense of community with the characters present. They’re all very different from each other, which is good.

One person has a crush on Hye-in and his mother works long hours, so despite he may get in trouble with school… he doesn’t want to bother her. Another one says she wants to do arts as her major, but when she’s flunking her classes she gets more demotivated.

Very rarely is Hye-in let in with these people and their struggles. Yet she is comforting them in the best ways she can, which I believe many are appreciating.

Shades And Shadows
She may look quiet and collected, but she’s definitely not someone who is cold or mean to others.

The school world is a battlefield, with injustices allowed by some teachers. Even some of the teaching assistants are forced to do work the original teacher should do, simply because she’s easier to push over than the males.

Despite it not seeing that way, this story brings up some good points about the injustices we may face in the world. We may wish for comeuppance, but it’s not always possible. Somehow, we may actually get worse luck if we stand up for each other.

There’s romance interlaced in the story but it’s hardly in your face. Mr. Lee is another T.A who seemed interested in Hye-in but later on she assumes it’s everyone who is receiving his attention. I’m not honestly sure if that’s the case or not, but it’s once again an interesting observation from our protagonist.

Recommendation: If you like slow-paced, relatively realistic stories set in school environment you may like this.

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