|Title: Date King 2: Mating Season|
|Author: Adrian Teo|
|Publisher: Epigram Books|
|Elements: Singapore, Graphic Novel|
|Series: Graphic Novel 2 of the Date King series|
Date King’s lifelong rival, the notorious Buaya King, has reappeared—just in time for Mating Season. Along with a merry cast of fellow single colleagues, the two go head-to-head in a bid to emerge the ultimate dating champion of the year!
Buaya King takes the first run at this Date King sequel, with a short introduction and his own set of rules to dating. Being the classic buaya, or a sleazy pick-up artist, the irony is that his rules are mostly quite applicable. There are some that cross the line to TMI territory, but overall when compared to Ah King’s rules, they are rules that are actually quite practical when it comes to dating.
We get the history of Buaya King, who’s the Joker to Ah King’s Batman, if they had been rivals since childhood. Cut to the crucial job-searching period, where Buaya King beats Ah King with a winning resume, though both won over their interviewers and got the job in the same company. This draws the parallel between Buaya King and Ah King, that for all they are competing, and for everything that Buaya King seems superior to Ah King in, both of them are pretty equal in others’ eyes.
Date King 2 beats its prequels hands down by actually having a storyline, and a pretty linear one at that. Their antics in and out of the workplace seem like petty rivalry, though both of them take it very seriously, even Buaya King. This surprised me, for I’ve read of so many antagonists who are effortlessly the ‘better’ version of the protagonist. It’s nice to know that even Buaya King had to work hard to continuously win, and this in fact makes me like him quite a bit better than Ah King.
There’s a more rounded cast of characters in DK2, and I like that we’re introduced to the colleagues and their lives. There are a lot of scenes not featuring either Buaya King or Ah King, and the fact that the author and illustrator featured characters of the other Singapore races other than the main Chinese characters is a huge plus. After all, Singapore is a multi-cultural country. While there was only one non-Chinese character that I can recall in the prequel, it didn’t bother me much, for so many Singaporean media productions have neglected the portrayal of races other than Chinese or Caucasian that after a while, I’ve just gotten used to it. I, for one, would love more portrayals of the other main Singaporean races. Kudos to the DK team for taking the first step.
If the DK series continues in this vein, I will be interested to continue it. We’ll see how things go. For now? Odds are pretty good that I’ll check out the third graphic novel.