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Manhwa / Angel Diary

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Angel Diary (천행기, or Heavenly Chronicles) is a manhwa by the artist/writer team of Kara and Yun Hee Lee, more famously known by their previous collaboration, Demon Diary. Largely taking place in modern-day Seoul, it is an Urban Fantasy that chronicles the story of Hwang Dong-Young, the runaway Princess of Heaven, and her quest to escape her Arranged Marriage to the mysterious King of Hell. In order to facilitate her flight, she disguises herself as a boy and attends high school, where she finds herself being hit on by Bi-Wal, a fellow classmate, who is very, very male.

Reader gender confusion abounds. Unsettling Gender Reveals are abundant. Watch out for traps. You have been warned.

Angel Diary has been completed in Korea, with 13 volumes released. It was formerly licensed by ICE Kunion, but is now being released by Yen Press.

Angel Diary provides examples of:

  • Big Brother Worship: Bi-Wal is younger than Ryung by three hours, and thinks it's horribly unfair that the throne's going to him instead of Ryung. He outright states that Ryung means more to him than the kingship.
  • Blow You Away: While not the only power at Bi-Wal's disposal, it's one that gets used pretty often.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Doh-Hyun definitely has feelings for Dong-Young.
  • Chunky Updraft: Happens a fair bit. Especially if someone ticks off Bi-Wal by, say, trying to harm Dong-Young.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Cho-Ryun the tree spirit. Even a couple of the Guardians mistake him for a her.
  • Fantastic Racism: The noble families of both Heaven and Hell tend to hold a rather low opinion of demons.
  • The Four Gods: The Four Guardians, natch. Roll call:
    • Kim Ah-Hin, the White Tiger.
    • Kim Ee-jung, the Red Phoenix.
    • Yun Doh-Hyun, the Black Turtle.
    • Yun Woo-Hyun, the Blue Dragon.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Se-In, a demon, has black-feathered wings.
  • An Ice Person: Dong-Young would have been the "Winter General" if she hadn't been chosen to marry the King of Hell. Despite her changed role, she can still wield the Ice Snow Sword (a literal Cool Sword as well as a Double Weapon).
  • Older Than They Look: A very common phenomenon among the denizens of Heaven and Hell.
  • Pair the Spares: Doh-Hyun and Mi-Hyang.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: Dong-Young's short, boyish hairstyle grows out to long, flowing tresses when the seal on her power is released.
  • She Is the King: Dong-Young wants to change the "spirit system". To that end, she decides she needs to be the King of Heaven. She doesn't see any problems with this, because there's no law that actually says a princess or a married woman, for that matter, can't become king. (It helps that her older brothers are a bunch of lazy-asses who wholeheartedly support her idea, since it means none of them will have to take the job.)
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: Subverted. Bi-Wal seems to see through Dong-Young's disguise but in fact they met long before the story began.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • Se-In is devoted to Ryung Jin, and acts as his servant even though Se-In is the king of the demons.
    • Hee-Young is Bi-Wal's faithful follower. (Not that he started out that way. Hee-Young's sister lost him in a bet to the regent of Hell.)
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Several fellow students are passionate supporters of the "romance" between Dong-Young and Bi-Wal. Dong-Young is disconcerted, while Bi-Wal plays along quite gleefully. Of course, he knows Dong-Young's not a boy.