Gangryong is a high schooler unlike others. He has always had a dream of being the strongest. One day he meets Yoochun, who teaches him a powerful skill. One year later, people come to see him and announce that his "master" is dead. Because he was his only student, Gangryong has to follow them and go to a school where everybody has supernatural powers.
With the exception of a few comedies, like Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, or Cromartie High School, manga and anime primarily set in high school absolutely suck.
The reason for this is simple enough; of all the exciting, interesting places to base a story, high school is just about the worst. Choosing this as a setting is simply pandering to one's audience, nothing more.
However, despite so much working against it, "Veritas" manages to pull this off. This is no ordinary school; it's a place for instructing exceptional fighters, set up by an organization called Reunion, which has mastered biotechnology and robotics at
a level far beyond anything in the real world.
None of the main action occurs in the classroom either; instead, the manga is a series of tremendous fights interspersed with political intrigue and mystery.
At the center of all this is the hero, Gangryong, the typical, strong-willed, never give up, never back down street fighter. While at first just an ordinary juvenile delinquent, his life changes when he comes across Lightning Tiger, a tremendous warrior who begrudgingly takes Gangryong on as a pupil.
After Tiger's supposed death, Gangryong is recruited into the school as his late master's only student.
While this could easily turn into a non-stop fight manga, (not that there's anything wrong with those!) there is a great deal of exposition and mystery connected with Gangryong's sponsors, the struggle between traditional martial artists like Lightning Tiger and Reunion's own brand of synthesized, bio-engineered martial arts, and the battle for the title of the head of Heaven's Riches that includes the school's student council as well as its adult sponsors.
While the story is well done, and the fights are brutal, gorgeous, and exciting, the manga manages to include a number of funny, humorous moments as well. It never takes itself too seriously, which just makes it that much more fun to read.
The place where this work really stands out most is the style of the characters. They just look cool. Gold chains and pendants around their necks, bracelets all over their arms, beanies over their heads, (in one case) a tribal tattoo, and a generally cool, trendy vibe are a hallmark of every significant character.
The guys all have hard, chiseled facial features and a moderate, well-defined amount of muscle. The female characters have soft faces, slim bodies, disproportionately large breasts and ass, and a similar trendy, up-to-date sense of style.
All of this might seem besides the point, but it's not. Having the characters look interesting, appealing, and (gasp) like a bunch of trendy high school youths makes the illustration more entertaining and the story more palatable.
While it undoubtedly alienates a portion of its readers, who won't be able to identify strongly with most of its cast, it's a fine decision on the part of Veritas's creators.
In terms of weaknesses, Veritas suffers from some predictable fights and scenarios. They're done well, but on several occasions, the creators had a chance to change it up, but opted to go for the more familiar route.
2018 EDIT FOR THE 3/10 REVIEW BELOW MINE-
Yes, I read the entire manhwa. It continuously gets better and more interesting, and while the final ending is rushed due to being canceled, it's far from bad. For a series that is all about playing with and subverting the cliches of the high school shounen fight genre, such a plot twist isn't out of place. Moreover, it's sensible, given the story arc and nature of the character in question.
SLIGHTLY OFF-TOPIC RESPONSE BELOW, IGNORE IF YOU ONLY CARE ABOUT VERITAS-
Also, I don't mind anyone disagreeing with my review, but if you're going to specifically call out my score, how the hell do you then justify giving The Breaker 10/10? It's the same genre as Veritas except utterly generic, blindly adhering to the high school shounen fight conventions which Veritas was all about innovating upon.
Moreover, The Breaker ALSO had a rushed, last-second ending. Except in that case, it made zero sense, and was nothing more than a "reset" of the plot and main characters for the new series. In other words, none of the shit in The Breaker matters, and read The Breaker: New Waves to see how everything progresses from square one. Again.
So this is my first manga review, and I only felt compelled to write one because I wanted to give potential readers a different opinion of the OVERALL series than the Top Reviews do. Honestly, I have no idea how they would rate it so highly, if they actually finished it.
I decided to read this series since I thought it would be similar to The Breaker, and was well rated by the Top Reviews. As you can tell by my score, I did not like it and hope to spare other readers from wasting their
time. Actually the manga was quite decent ..... up to a certain point. I'll briefly list what I thought was good, and what was not.
- The Art was good
- A MC who is sort of arrogant and enjoys fighting
- How important events that played out in the past of the school, gradually get revealed from many characters point of view. This provides some intrigue and advancement to the plot, as events gradually build up to a supposed "final fight(s)"
- MC is absent from considerable portions of story. He also does not get into as many fights as you might expect.
- Quite a few plot holes and nonsensical things throughout story
- Although it's a fighting manga, I believe that there were quite a few things that could be resolved through some conversation. It's like these characters are too stupid to talk to one another and realize that their goals are maybe not so different.
- Many characters have pretty stupid/trivial reasons for their actions throughout story. Bringing me to my next point, and why I rated this manga so poorly:
- The ENDING WAS S**T. THE WORST ENDING I HAVE EVER SEEN in manga or anime. I may have rated this manga a 6 or 7, if it wasn't for the utterly garbage ending starting from maybe CH 78-79. SPOILERS BELOW...
SPOILERS NOW: So out of nowhere, one of the main characters decides to personally kill pretty much the entire school including their friends, for some stupid reason. Not only will this nonsense rub you the wrong way, but this has the additional effect of not allowing ANY of the fights you were expecting from the "final fights" of the Reunion students vs Traditional students, that you thought was going to happen just a chapter before. And finally, the character that will fight this other character, just barely starts the fight before the manga abruptly ends. Additionally you should know that the manga was rushed near the end and cancelled. So there will not be any sequel, further locking in this garbage ending.
So I don't recommend you read this manga. I hope I have helped some people save their time.
With a premise that may sound overdone (male lead in a supernatural environment going through his high school life trying to get stronger), Veritas really separates itself from the pack (I feel that among many things, one key difference in the way Veritas attacked this genre was that it hardly ever focused on the classroom setting, while still maintaining a school atmosphere). Regardless, Veritas excels at many things us manga (or manwha) lovers enjoy.
 : Art
The artwork for Veritas is perhaps one of it's highest selling points. I feel it is far above average when it comes to things like anatomy (particularly scaling of
people's limbs / body parts), strong lines, clear action scenes, and most notably hair. Although hair might seem to be an odd specific to focus on, the hair in Veritas is perhaps the most well drawn of any piece I've read. The way the fight scenes progress makes it easy to understand what's going on, which even good manga sometimes suffer with.
 : Story
Don't let this "8" marking discourage you, Veritas is by no means just for show. The story is well written, fairly well flowing, and gives decent motivations for the majority of events. Characters weave in and out of their respective parts of the story very well, which to me is important. For example, when a character pops up into the story they are often revealed to be a certain rank, part of a certain group, or otherwise elaborated on to the point where you don't feel the power level they display is in any way unbelievable, awkward, or that their character is just thrown in for filler. Another part of the story I enjoy is that they DO have multiple "plot-twists," which are in some way alluded to before they happen, not that you would ever guess it.
 : Character
The characters in Veritas are nothing short of amazing. Backed by the exquisite artwork, and full of a wide variety of motivations and personalities, it's easy and fun to watch their interactions unfold and realize your favorites. The fighting styles in the story are mostly exclusive to each character which furthers their individual uniqueness. The main reason I don't label this aspect of the manga a 10 is because most characters despite their great design, don't have too much backstory. Childhoods and families are rarely touched on (with a few exceptions), but I don't really feel it takes away from the story overall.
 : Overall
Overall I would have to say Veritas is one of the best series I've read. The great character designs and well done fighting scenes really do the genre justice. If you're looking for a top-notch supernatural shounen, you're luckily to have found your way to Veritas.
With the exception of the main character, I found this series somewhat dull. The art is fantastic--easily my favorite in terms of artistic ability-- however the story's tendency to be repetitive with scenarios and an over-bearing focus on the female anatomy somewhat dulled my enjoyment of the series. The main character is an exception to that outlook in that he seems to be the only grounded/sane character--his honestly-selfish ambition is a necessary breather from the somewhat self-delusional ambition attributed to most of the secondary characters.
In my opinion, this series earns
a 7/10 due to the artistic excellence and a well-conceived main character.