My Joy (2013)

A Korean Manhwa taking place in an all girls high school.

I know I said I probably wouldn’t review anything other than Japanese Manga, but I haven’t written in a year, I’m running out, and this is close enough.

They are available to download as images here:

Link 1: My Joy – Chapters Seperated (100 MB)

Link 2: My Joy – Continuous (100 MB)

Or, the PDF I’ve made so  you can continuously read it:

PDF Link: My Joy – PDF (114 MB)

NOTE: All my links keep getting DMCA’d, but I think it’s spread enough that someone else (who suspiciously enough, has the same structure and vocab I use in THEIR review…..hmmm……) uploaded it on a Google Drive. Let me know if that gets taken down too….


The story is about a girl named “Joy” in a Korean all girl’s high school who suddenly has two girls after her. Namsu, the popular high school track star, and Hyeyeon, her childhood friend who has returned from studying abroad. The story goes through Joy’s relationship with both and the struggles of balancing love and friendship.

In terms of Yuri content, no male/female relationships exist, and any mention of its existence doesn’t last longer than a panel. This is heavily shoujo-ai/yuri.

The overall journey of the story is not bad, but it could be better. Much, much, much MUCH MUCH better.

The art is nice though. Background detail minimal, not that it matters. Story line can be funny, but overall quality I have to dock major points as the plot is not great.

Art: 7/10

Yuri: 10/10

Overall: 4/10



Namsu, one of the main love interests

Before I go into what was wrong with the manga. Let’s discuss what went right.

What I enjoyed was the different perspectives of each character. Initially, I was on Joy’s side. Then Namsu, and then Hyeyeon. It was hard to pick between Hyeyeon and Namsu. Who do you choose? A childhood friend who has loved you ever since, or Namsu who has loved you since high school, and both equally deep love. It was a hard choice.

I also enjoyed the humor. Namsu’s giddiness when Joy confesses to her put a smile on my face as well.

It’s also odd that the high school gossip columnist is the one moving the plot forward (whenever she speaks to a character….what’s in it for her?) but…OK I guess.

As I read further though, I did want Namsu to win. After all, Joy had chosen her. I thought the rest of the story was going to see how Namsu and Joy overcome conflict together. Show how much their love progresses. And how friendship blossoms between all three with Hyeyeon gracefully letting Joy go to Namsu.


When the ending hit, and it was revealed that Joy actually CHOSE BOTH and had been cheating on Namsu with Hyeyeon, and Hyeyeon fully knowing this but not Namsu…











And worst of all, when joy visits the hospital with Namsu, she just continues a relationship with Hyoyeon, see’s a picture of Namsu for her exhibit, cries, Hyeyeon comforts her.


So many unanswered questions. Like what happened to Namsu after transferring schools? DID SHE FIND LOVE AGAIN? DID SHE FIND SOMEONE BETTER THAN JOY? And what about Hyeyeon? Did she eventually realize what Joy did to her was NOT COOL? Or did they get married in the distance? Does Joy end up alone? Or does she do the same thing?

So many unanswered questions.

The journey was honestly OK. And so was the last chapter. I guess in the end, you’re supposed to hate Joy. But just leaving it at the end just ruins the whole story, angst or no angst aside.


Art: 7/10

Yuri: 10/10

Overall: 4/10

11 thoughts on “My Joy (2013)

  1. Yeah that huge plot twist surprised me a lot at the end! I think the school gossip columnist girl also had a crush on Joy… that’s also why she was so angry at the end, hitting Joy.
    I think Joy always felt guilty about what was happening throughout from the expressions she made and her reactions. I think she liked both of them[ as friends] and to her it was either both or none.
    Hye-yeon: intimate, Namsu: Pure.
    It’s sad that Namsu ended up leaving but as one of the girls Hye-yeon was with said “Out of sight, out of mind”. I think it was never in her favour, they were just headed in two different directions and the timing wasn’t right. Whereas Joy was always with Hye-yeon. Back to Joy, I think she could have found happiness with either of them, as I don’t feel her feelings of “love” is too deep and[ after Namsu leaves] although she cares for Hye-yeon, it’s either be lovers or strangers as I believe she feels that there’s no going back to ‘friends’. Hye-yeon picks up on how she acts as she says “The joy I wanted… was it this..?” and furthers on to question if Joy truly likes her.

    For the end, The pictures along with the title of the exhibition which was “My Joy” were the stimulus for Joy crying and I think that’s good, It reminds us that she did care about Namsu and maybe love could have blossomed but she ruined it. Then Hye-yeon comes along and sees her crying. I think even if she isn’t loved back she’d stay with Joy, she won’t leave her like Namsu did, and Joy needs that support and reassurance. Although it has an ambiguous ending, I feel like the story was told alright and it was very understandable. From being a human point of view: “we all make mistakes”, “what would you have done?”. As for what happens after the end of the story, I can only speculate that they stay together at the very least past college. Namsu may come back, or not. Besides from our own unanswered questions the plot of the story was closed off pretty well.
    For my personal enjoyment, I’d give it a 3.5 – 4.0 out of 5.0 (That plot twist made me giddy).
    Thanks for sharing the story!

    • I also want to add my opinion on the title…. As for the title “My Joy”, I feel like the story is meant to portray what ‘joy’ is to people mainly Joy, Namsu and Hye-yeon. Joy(Ironic naming) tells us that taking pictures of happy moments [of the three of them] is her ‘Joy’ hence naming the exhibition “My Joy”. I think one of the main points of her crying is because she knows she can no longer have this ‘joy’ because there are no longer three of them. I also feel that it’s because she knows that the happy moments between the three of them won’t last long so she wants to immortalize them in pictures, as she says she can “relive them”. I’ve not got much to say for Namsu, I feel her ‘joy’ was split between running for the Nationals and Joy and in the end it crumbled. For Hye-yeon, her ‘Joy’ was to have Joy for herself. She loves Joy and being with her makes her happy, although as I said before she questions if she should be with Joy like this, but in the end still stays with her.

  2. SO here’s my thought: Hye-yeon discovered her feelings for Joy when she was living abroad. Her emotions when she heard Joy’s voice were so strong that she bursted crying. I thought that this is what you could link to the ending. Joy was never sure of who she liked more, so she just split between the two.. But in the ending she saw Namsu’s picture and it brought this stronger feelings to the surface. And she discovered she loved Namsu. Also thats why she asked if Hye-Yeon would still be by her side (if she chose Namsu), because she doesnt want to lose their friendship.

  3. It is easy to mistake an unhappy story for a bad story, and easy to mistake one with nuance and an obscured moral compass for one with a broken moral compass.

    There are four readings for that ending.

    Many readers will make the first, that poor Joy has been hurt, but has Hyeyeon to heal her. That’s a reading of the story as with a broken moral compass. That reading is wrong.

    Think on Hye-Gyung’s final words: “I… pity you too…” Hye-Gyung pities Joy (and probably Hyeyeon) because Hye-Gyung sees the truth more fully. She is not simply a misfit; she is an outsider with a the more object perspective of an outsider.

    (And, no, Hye-Gyung never loved Joy. Hye-Gyung loved love itself. That’s why she did what she could for it.)

    Both Namasu and Hyeyeon love Joy, but Namasu is the better person. Hyeyeon is not simply presented as wicked; she is a nuanced character. But she is at times calculatingly cruel towards a girl who deserves no cruelty, and tolerant of her only towards the end of defeating her, whereas Namasu works to be good, trusts Joy with Hyeyeon, and tries to be Hyeyeon’s friend because Namasu thinks this best for Joy.

    Joy is thoughtlessly cruel, and easily manipulated by Hyeyeon into utterly betraying Namasu, without Joy even having enough sense to realize what she is doing. It is only at the end that Joy has at least some sense of how much she has lost.

    Now come readings of that ending, each of which might work.

    Under the second and third readings, Joy has realized that Namasu has her heart as no one else ever can.

    Under the second, Joy is going to try to reverse herself, but still stupidly to hold onto Hyeyeon, and Hyeyeon is going to have to try to take, after all, the rôle that she and Joy pretended she had taken, that of the rejected lover pushed into the friend zone.

    Under the third, Hyeyeon will forever be the girl who comforts Joy who simply never gets over Namasu.

    Under the fourth reading, Joy just never gets it. She doesn’t see that she did anything wrong; she sees herself the victim of misfortune. And she hasn’t chosen Hyeyeon for an exclusive partner. Hyeyeon will forever have to share Joy with other girls. Hyeyeon has manipulated her way into Hell.

    This is all brutal. The second reading perhaps least so, but even it is brutal, because Namasu deserves better. But, in the real world, good people do fall for people such as Joy, and we need stories to help us understand such situations.

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