Review: “Helios:Femina” by Michelle Phan

Brief Intro: “Helios:Femina” is a comic by renown makeup artist and online creator Michelle Phan. This fantasy tale follows Rhea in a post-apocalyptic, alternate universe Earth as she uncovers secrets about her identity & magic powers.

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Praise:

  • the interactive, ambient Webtoon experience was enjoyable, new for me, & very interesting
  • lots of “Sailor Moon” nostalgia
  • some likeable characters (I LUUUVVVV BEBO!! And Red!!)

Criticism:

  • almost identical to “Sailor Moon”
  • lack of world-building
  • all-around inconsistent, & even incoherent at times
  • weak, predictable plot
  • I’m really sick & tired of girl heroes in tight/sexual clothing
  • makes smoking, drugs, alcohol look cool
  • both too mature & too childish at the same time
  • messy, imbalanced tone

Conclusion:

“Helios:Femina” is an amateur comic which can’t decide who its audience is, suffers from all-around story weaknesses, and is too similar to “Sailor Moon”. However, older adolescents looking for a quick, light read might find it entertaining.

Extras:

  • I’d read a second season, that is, if there ever is one: Next to no info exists about it online. The creators could use a good PR team. Sure, it’s a free comic, but free shouldn’t mean apathetic or disconnected, not if you actually care about your work & its fans. Judging by the lack of social interaction & info-sharing by the creators, it seems like they’re not invested in their audience.
  • Some people are absolutely ridiculous with the kind of comments they leave for Phan. They reek of jealousy & ignorance. If you have criticism, there’s a way to put it gracefully. What you say is important, but HOW you say it is equally as important. People get so nasty & inconsiderate when they can hide behind a screen. Grow the hell up.
  • Alchemy is apparently normal in the story’s alternate Earth, though it’s never mentioned until pretty late into the story, & it’s never explained.
  • Rhea’s magical powers remain mysterious and poorly explained, as well as her magical singing.
  • I love Bebo and Red.
  • Am I the only one who liked Terra better as Arret?
  • The gender switch thing during Rhea’s training was… odd. I don’t think it had the intended effect. In fact, it was almost sexist.
  • The violet-pink colour palette is so pretty.

I’m interested in knowing what others think of “Helios:Femina”, so feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks! šŸ™‚

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