The story begins with an eradication of Qingcheng by a group of martial art fanatic from Wudong, whose master and disciples only has one belief – to become the strongest. In order to maintain the supremacy, it takes over all the other martial arts group and kill those refuse to yield themselves to it.
Yan Heng, a young swordman in Qingcheng, was saved by ‘Wudang Hunter' Jing Lie, who also lost his fellows because of Wudong. Being the only remnant of their groups, the two allied and start their journey of revenge.
Story - Not sure exactly where this is going but, so far, the plot has been moving at a quick but steady pace. From what I can tell it seems like a typical wuxia story. There is definitely a direction that this is going, although I haven't quite discerned an overarching theme yet.
Art - Absolutely amazing. The character's faces are drawn very well, you can see the structure clearly. The action itself is also depicted quite well, which is important because, well, this is an action series.
Character - The character dialogue had me literally laugh out loud. Not saying that it's bad, just
that it conformed to my expectations of how warriors in ancient China behaved. The manga shows you the thoughts of the characters in detail, which is a good feature because otherwise we would have little to go on in understanding what the characters are thinking, since the dialogue is so typical!
Enjoyment - I was thrilled by the array of martial techniques portrayed in the manga, even if some of them (such as the sword-spinning-in-hand technique) did not seem very plausible. The dialogue and thoughts of the characters were absolutely hilarious to me, especially the whole martial-arts-school-rivalry thing.
Overall - Great manga, amazing action and hilarious dialogue but slightly lacking in the intellectual aspect. If you like martial arts (especially Chinese martial arts) you will love this.
I think this is a wonderful timepiece story. The characters are believable but some of their talents may be a little far fetched. As of right now it is my most anticipated manga. I love this genre plus I am a history buff who studies martial arts. I love the way that the action bits are not lined with magic but seem magical when pulled off. I guess what I am saying is that it seems believable to an extent.
Along with the believable characters the art is also on the side of these are real people. It does not give you the feeling of
a cartoony manga. The art makes the characters look more on the end of real characters and therefore the seriousness of the manga is portrayed. I am really looking forward to the next chapter.
This is my second attempt to do so. The first had me dropped it at chapter 26 and now I managed to get as far as 60 (and I had skipped two chapters) which was near the latest chapters, but I simply couldn’t like it.
Still, let me talk about the best aspect of this manhua first. The best aspect of Blood and Steel (B&S) is undoubtedly the action.
The action aspect is one I actually find surprising. B&S has a pretty basic story of revenge and a Wuxia theme wherein people are constantly being hyped, have weapons with names,
shout out the names of their attacks, etc. Often, fights would end up getting dragged out and being overly long. It would have been fine for major fights, but it is often the case that EVERY single fight would go like this. B&S manages to avoid this for the most part.
Most of its fights are brisk thus allowing for much more interesting fights. There are times when it begins to drag out, especially when a lot of famous people come around and they must all have their special scenes, but luckily, it seems to be rare. So for the most part, action is done well by the manhua.
Now then, what is the worst aspect of Blood and Steel? No doubt the characters.
Characters I dislike are probably among the top reasons I stop reading and disliking the MC increases that exponentially. In the case of B&S, I dislike the MC and a whole bunch of other characters. Primarily because they act in ways I find ridiculous.
The whole manhua is about how this martial arts faction rose up and is now going around slaughtering/ending other factions. They are supposedly acting ‘unrighteously’ and the introduction of the story certainly them in that light. Thus the MC – Yang Heng – is on this journey for revenge for the murder of nearly his entire community. I understood and supported that.
What I understood less is when the hero (and other people too) repeatedly allow members of this evil faction to escape from fights because it wasn’t started on ‘fair footing’ (that is they were not equally ready to fight). It frustrated me and, ultimately, caused me to gradually dislike the characters.
After the end of another major battle where everyone was let go again and even given a massive reprieve, I decided to stop reading.
Truth is that I probably should have expected this. Wuxia theme manhua acts very much like this and I should have come to realize that the characters would inevitably do the same. Nonetheless, I simply couldn’t come to like it or overlook it as a character flaw.
If you’re a fan of the battle shounen genre or simply don’t mind the things I describe above, I think Blood and Steel would be an excellent manhua to read, but for me, I just couldn’t bring myself to like it.