In a world with gods having everlasting lives, suras who possess unrivaled power, and humans who caught helplessly in between, a girl with a god's name, Kubera, is born—a girl who is prophesied to bring great change into the world.
When Kubera's peaceful village meets its fiery end, a mysterious magician named Asha comes to her rescue. Together they begin a journey in search of answers and revenge.
Time and time again I try to get my feelings and thoughts about Kubera across, but each and every time I feel I haven't done the manhwa justice. So here I go, once again.
You've most probably heard the proverb: "Don't judge a book by its cover." I didn't judge Kubera based on its cover, but I did on its art. I by chance heard about Kubera and decided to give it a shot one boring night. When I did, the first thing that bothered me was the art. The overall art was poor and just cheap-looking—the colors were too bright for my taste, I didn't
like the "thick and pasty" coloring style, there was a lack of decent backgrounds, and both the characters and the backgrounds lacked detail. (Despite this, though, I gave the art a thumbs-up for its consistency—something I find very important.) As a result, I didn't take Kubera seriously because of its poor art.
My first impression of Kubera, after having read a couple of chapters, was "a funny, silly fantasy story"—far from being something I'd call good, but still fun to read. When I returned to Kubera several days later, and read many more chapters of it, that's when I started to realize there was more to this series than met the eye.
Currygom, the author of Kubera, is an exceptional writer. She is without a doubt my favorite author. Plot and characters aside, the world of Kubera is one of great intricacy and, because it is one, must have taken her a long time to create. The thing I like most about the intriguing world of Kubera is that it's logical. We see in so many fantasies that aspects of their world are simply blamed on the fact that the story is a fantasy, or on some other fantastical element of that story—most of the time, without a plausible explanation. This is one thing that is different about Kubera. Its world, despite being purely fantastical, makes sense. The magic system, the three major species, the universe—all of it makes sense.
Perhaps the thing I like the most about Kubera is its unique narrative. It combines flashbacks of the past with events happening in the present with "insights" of the future. Unlike many other series, flashbacks hold great importance in Kubera. In the beginning of Kubera, it was like I was thrown into the middle of the story—I didn't know what was going on. Slowly, as I read on, the mysteries of the past started to unravel and things started to make more sense. I started to understand why certain events took place and what roles the characters played in everything. However, it didn't stop there. Piecing together the information obtained from the flashbacks and insights is solely up to you. I have always viewed Kubera as a sort of puzzle. The middle of the puzzle has already been pieced together, but the beginning and end have not. I view the middle of the puzzle as the foundation of the story—the part you begin reading—and the missing puzzle pieces as the information you must obtain through the flashbacks, insights, and progression of the story, in order to see the bigger picture. I really enjoy piecing together the story.
Now that I've explained two important aspects of Kubera, let me tell you about another important aspect of this series: the plot. I won't give you a summary of the plot, since you can just read the synopsis (however bad it is), and also because the plot isn't something I can easily summarize, but I will tell you what to expect. This manhwa is incredibly plot-driven. If I had to describe the plot in one word, it would be "grand". The plot really is grand—it's by far not simple, and it involves so many different things. Though it's seemingly simple and straightforward in the beginning, things change—sometimes so quickly and sometimes so drastically—and the plot just seems to get more and more complicated the further you read. One thing is sure in Kubera: nothing is sure. This series is really unpredictable. When you think everything is starting to make sense and things are starting to calm down, Currygom will surprise you with a plot twist hiding right around the corner—leaving everything in a bigger mess than it originally was, and leaving you with more questions than you originally had. This story has so many plot twists and, on top of that, it has pretty unbearable cliffhangers to support them (which I actually really like).
Now for the fourth and final important aspect of this series: the characters, of course. If the manhwa didn't already shine, the characters definitely do the part. I've always been a fan of big casts, but it is true that a big cast can make the story lose its focus. However, this is not at all the case with Kubera. With a cast of about ten main characters (that may increase or decrease over time), it also has numerous supporting characters. There are two things I really like about the character department of Kubera: one, how every character is important to some degree and plays a notable part in the story (Main cast aside, the supporting cast, though obviously not as important as the main cast, does play a significant role in the story—sometimes a supporting character even plays a very major role in the overall plot); and, two, how every character is somehow related to each other—whether by circumstances, persons, or something else. (The complex relationship web is one very fascinating aspect of the characters. It always surprises me when I find out that a certain character is unexpectedly connected to another certain character.) Moreover, most of the characters (namely the important ones) are, of course, well written and developed.
Although art isn't a very big concern of mine (if the rest of the story is good), I have to say, although it started very weak, the art improves greatly over time. I really like how the art turned out. To name some changes, the toning and shading changed immensely, more detail was added to specific things, the backgrounds look better (though I still wouldn't call them good per se), and some things—such as the hands—are drawn much better. Even my brother, who read the first chapter in the past, remarked, "Wow. The art is pretty now." He couldn't, however, put his finger on what changed, because the characters still look very much the same—which, to me, is a good thing. (I just hate it when the characters change to look almost nothing like they did when the series started—even if they come to look a lot better.)
So far, I've probably described Kubera as an overly serious manhwa, haven't I? Well, it's true that Kubera's plot has dark undertones (Tragedy is one of its genres, after all), but it's also filled with comical moments that will have you laughing out loud—especially in the beginning (Another reason I didn't take Kubera very seriously at first). Though there aren't that many action scenes in this series, it has some pretty intense battles—and, to my liking, they don't span out for chapters and chapters. In addition, Kubera may not be flooded with romance, nor do I think it's lacking any (considering what the series is about), but the author did say its core is a love story, so that speaks for itself.
Although Kubera started slow and maybe even weak, it is now my number one favorite comic and is the first series I've given the score of 10 to. I believe it deserves it. Currygom has written and outstanding story and both Currygom and her series definitely deserve praise. Kubera is truly a hidden gem. If you're even a little interested in Kubera, I urge you to read it. It's not filled with (mindless) battles every chapter nor is it a very easy story to follow, but if you're interested in a good mystery with a great plot and cast of characters, then Kubera is definitely the thing for you. I'd recommend this series to anyone looking for a well-written story.
My favourite ongoing series. It's basically an epic mystery set in epic fantasy settings.
The story begins as an apparently straightforward fantasy story, as Kubera Leez sets off on a journey of survival and revenge when her village is instantly destroyed. But it soon unfolds as a mystery that brings together a diverse cast of characters, each with their own backgrounds, motivations and values, yet all connected across generations and races through a complex web of friendship, family and deceit.
Through them the story slowly reveals the events that transpired over several centuries, across multiple planets and even realms. Whether it is to protect or reunite with
one's loved ones, to seek revenge, to redeem oneself or to save one's declining race, each character, from humans to powerful Sura to the immortal Gods, is targeting the holder of the "Power of the Name." In a billion-year-old world where powerful races have existed since the beginning of the Universe, what is the truth behind the events that sent all the races into chaos?
Meanwhile, Kubera Leez tries to form new bonds, unaware that she's become the center chess piece in this "war with no villains, only victims."
[x] A diverse and endearing set of characters, where "each character is the protagonist of his own life." All the characters bring their own piece to the plot and evolve throughout the series, with surprising interactions with other characters. And yes, it has great female characters.
[x] A vast, interesting world, with complex dynamics between the races (8 Sura races, the Gods and the humans, each with their own alliances and enemies, and individuals with their own conflicting agendas). The truth about the cataclysmic events that occurred in the past is still slowly being revealed.
[x] Complex plot told through an unusual narrative model that mixes the present, past events and even glimpses of the future. With each new revelation however, more questions are raised than answered. You'll think you know the whole plot by Chapter 2, but by Chapter 100 you'll be struggling to guess the true motivations of the characters.
[x] Yet the cohesive writing never falls into retcon or plot holes: the story was originally planned as a novel, and the consistency of the trail of clues shows that the author knows where this is going. There will be dozens of instances where you'll want to go back dozens, or even over 100 chapters back to find back the clues relating to the ongoing events (I have the equivalent of a 25-page document just to keep track of what was revealed, and in which chapter, lol).
[x] It has a great sense of humor. By now you must think that this series is overly dark, but the author's masterful use of comedy keeps the journey fresh and entertaining.
[x] The art starts out weak, but improves greatly over time. The characters have great visual designs, and the diverse facial expressions are hilarious.
[x] Slow pacing, especially at the beginning. The story is about 80% plot and characters, and 20% action, moreso since it takes the time to gradually reveal the past of the characters. This is made worse by...
[x] Weekly cliffhangers. They burn. I'm not even joking...
[x] You may be disappointed with how little the main character does in Part I, as the story introduces the other characters. According to the author, this story is apparently quite long, so the first 100 chapters serve as a sort of introduction. A lot happens in those 100 chapters, but it's easy to miss most of the story if you're not paying attention. (if you don't believe me, re-read it.)
[x] Story can be confusing to read. If you just plan to spend a few minutes reading it every week, you'll likely get lost pretty soon. If you enjoy piecing together pieces of the puzzle together, however, this series is for you.
[x] Art-wise, background art is the author's weakness.
The story has amazing characters all around, and does an amazing job of including them into the plot, instead of using them once or twice then confining them to the fodder bin (I'm looking at you, Naruto).
The way the characters all interact with one another just brings out many more sides to them, giving them depth and making you like them even more. There must be half a dozen sides to Gandharva alone (as a friend, as a father, as a husband, as a King, as a mentor, now as a victim, but also someone with a conscience, etc.).
With that many likable characters, no matter who's the focus at the moment, one of them will nearly always be someone you like (if not initially, then eventually as they get more development). Thanks to that, you're not stuck in a situation where you're waiting dozens, or even hundreds of chapters waiting for the few characters you do like to do something or at least show up (again, I'm looking at you, Naruto). And when the characters you like do show up, they're doing something important to the plot, not participating in filler battles.
Overall, Kubera offers a blend of genres that I don't think I've ever seen in any other series. This was so novel that I initially didn't even know what it was about the series that I liked so much. Because its strengths are so different than typical manga stories, it can be easy to miss them: readers who approach it expecting to read a traditional journey of a hero's ascendancy will soon walk away confused and disappointed, not realizing that the meat of the true story lies (initially at least) in the mystery aspects that he's likely skimmed over. (Basically, it'd be like trying to read a crime novel like an action series.)
For readers that persist, however, they will be rewarded with an amazing reading experience, where each new re-reads yield new pieces of the puzzle, hinting at huge and incredible events leading up to the current story (this is a story where planets have blown up). I could tell you more about what makes the characters and world so interesting, but it'd be full of spoilers, lol. Too many series treat the non-main characters as add-ons, and I really, really love how this is not the case with Currygom.
As for magic in Kubera, I admit I also really like the magic system here. It's based on math. Finally, a magic system that makes sense! BD [/biased ex-Maths student]
The plot development does Seem slow, but as I said, that's not the case at all if you read it like a mystery, not your typical fantasy story. If you read a crime novel like an action comic, then yeah, itwill seem like nothing is happening: there's just one guy walking around asking people stuff! But Kubera reveals one or several clues about the many interconnecting plot threads nearly every chapter. Because most Shounen series treat their flashbacks as fillers used for just dramatic effect, it's easy to dismiss their importance at first, but boy the flashbacks are essential components of the plot in Kubera.
Read it if you like a good mystery. Don't read it if you're looking for weekly action.
I won't bother giving a synopsis, as the story is too complex for a short paragraph to do it justice.
But what I will say is this:
Most manga authors do not plan out their stories from start to end. If you've every read bakuman, you can see how reviews and ratings often affect decisions the writer makes, causing them to change things on the fly. This often causes plot lines to be dropped, sometimes causing the story to be jerky and inconsistent.
However, currygom is different. Every week, you see readers whining about things, making requests, asking him to insert the main characters back into the
plot. But currygom doesn't give a ****. He sticks to his plan, and writes out a beautifully complex, yet consistent story. Sure, readers aren't happy in the short run, but the build up, the foreshadowing, all make for a great story over time.
If a good, well planned fantasy book was written as a manga/ manhwa instead, this would be it. The foreshadowing, build up, and character development is stellar.
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