N0t 4 3very1 & Th@t'$ OK
May 28, 2014
So, this past year saw a consecutive release of adaptations based on Korean comics, "manhwa", which have been growing in popularity globally thanks in part to Webtoon & similar publication sites. Not to be confused with "manhua" as those are Chinese comics, which have had adaptations for quite some time now.

Obviously, manhwa have gotten popular enough for Webtoon to make its own studio and collaborate with Crunchyroll to kick off their first foray into original content - content produced by them not necessarily source material-less IP. Within this partnership between a hub for manhwa & other comics + a hub for anime & now more familiar Western-type shows came the debut of these three:

Tower of God
I have expressed my thoughts before on Tower of God as this familiar overpowered kid miraculously changes the world with an unconventional almost deconstructive approach in which the side/support characters also genuinely feel like they have their own journeys worth investing. The show only ever divulges backstories in the shortest snippets yet the interactions, inner monologues and confrontations speak volumes to a yet to be resolved story. Hoping to see more as I may or may not decide to continue it in its webtoon format.

The God of High School was loads of fun and surprisingly heart-wrenching at times. As much as I understand how much content was adapted into 13 episodes relative to the manhwa, that was not as hard to follow as I thought it would be. Too fast-paced at points with new development and new characters, but ultimately that factored into the show's over-the-top charm whilst still having time for the slower and emotional moments with key fighters. I have seen other tournament-focused martial arts shows, but this really offered a highlight reel of how best to execute - emits the same sensations as an arcade beat 'em up.

As the oldest among these three, Noblesse wound up as being the least referential. I could have definitely seen this on a late night programming block in the noughts. It was adapted before with both an OVA and an ONA to get the basic premise out of the way and so this continues on with the main story involving a vampire having adjusted to the human world. The style change here seems just as dramatic as the last two, though in this case, it's very reminiscent of Josei (material targeted at teen girls & older), even though the content itself is another superpower fantasy with brawls aplenty. This is a weirder formatted show. It seemed like the writers completed a sufficiently dramatic arc, but had more episodes contracted so they did a prequel to then resolve a new arc in the remaining season.
The manhwa itself might have even been written that way. However, it would have been better to end the season where the end-credits first played over an epilogue and then do the separate story in another OVA / ONA.

I recently picked up some other manhwa and hope to see those adapted some day. Really didn't think Webtoon was also going to produce stories for live-action, but I would imagine Sweet Home could resurface as an anime. I actually haven't read that one yet, but I did notice the high demand it has gotten in viewership and recommendations. I instead got as up to date with Solo Leveling as much as possible. Webtoon for whatever reason cut out a lot of pertinent panels, but I managed to grasp what the craze is. Another manhwa, this time I just happened to stumble upon, Weak Hero made me question why it is that in a market oversaturated with action and highschoolers, there aren't examples of the two in the same story without some fantasy overlay. This one felt all too relatable, while at the same time it was once again fun to see how much battle shonen inspired the author.

Red Arrow

ça va nog wel
Oct 22, 2012
There used to be an old 90s manhwa in my local library. I think it was Armageddon, but I am not entirely sure. I can't find it in their catalogus anymore, maybe they have thrown it away.


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