Yi "Shioon" Shi-Woon's everyday life at Nine Dragons High School—which consists of beatings from fellow student Ho Chang and his gang—is far from ideal. But one day, a mysterious man named Han Chun Woo spots one of these beatings and instead of offering support, brands Shioon a coward for refusing to fight back, adding insult to injury. To Shioon's surprise, he finds out that Chun Woo is the new substitute English teacher at his school.
Tired of the daily abuse, Shioon decides to enroll at a martial arts academy to learn how to defend himself. On the way there, he stumbles upon Chun Woo in a predicament—cornered in an alley by a group of angry men! Provoked, Chun Woo suddenly dispatches them using martial arts techniques, which Shioon covertly records. Later, he uses this recording to blackmail Chun Woo into teaching him to defend himself. Reluctantly, Chun Woo agrees, and Shioon is soon thrust into the world of martial arts, known as Murim. However, Shioon is naive and unaware of his master's shady past and the unseen underbelly of society. How will Chun Woo manage to teach Shioon and help him survive in the world of Murim?
I have this tendency to read the first chapter of a manga / Manwha i find interesting from the synopsis and cover art and if I'm not intrigued by the first chapter i move on, but do not fear The Breaker was not something that i "moved on" after the first chapter. This Manwha had me up from 11:30pm all the way to 6:00am!. I'm sure you have all had some sort of anime or manga that has kept you up through the night, making your eyes betray you forcing your eye lids to close as if your eyes were pulling the curtains down,
shutting out the light telling you to sleep. BUT!, all of a sudden a new character or plot develops snapping those eyes back into action. The Breaker is one of those things.
From the very first chapter the story had my eyes glued to my Ipod ( Yes i read manga / Manwha before i go to sleep on my Ipod. ) making my brain force my fingers to swipe the screen down to advance the story, and i gotta say during the entire time i was reading "The Breaker" i had a smile plastered on my face. I'm not a Veteran when it comes to judging stories, considering i haven't read much Manga / Manwha but i can't deny that i enjoyed the story immensely.
The Artwork can be described in just one word. A Masterpiece. Well...Two words >.> and it only gets better and better as the Artist grows familiar with the Protagonist and the antagonists of the story.
The protagonist Yi, Shi-woon goes through amazing character development and there is absolutely 0 dull moments when following the Protagonist and same with his fellow companions. The synopsis already tells you the basis of the story ( If you are reading this review without reading the synopsis, Read the synopsis then come back -_- ) and Chun-Woo is exactly the same 0 dull moments with him. Same can be said for Lee Shiho.
Look i read about 50 chapters from 11:30pm - 6:00am and i gotta say the entire time i just had a smile plastered on my face and even while waiting for the bus to go to school i was smiling remembering all the hardships the Characters went through and no anime or Manga / Manwha has done that to me before, so yeah 10/10 for enjoyment and when i finished all the 72 chapters i had an even bigger smile on my face knowing that there was a Sequel.
I'm gonna keep it simple. 10/10 by far my favorite Manga / Manwha and i know i cant compare a Manwha / Manga to a anime but in terms of enjoyment it surpasses a lot of anime, if not all.
Thank you for reading my First review ill be doing a review on The Breaker: New waves ( The Breaker's Sequel ). Once Again thank you for reading my first review and i promise to improve on my writing >.>.
So for those that don't know I like to learn something every time I read a manga or watch an anime. Case in point 'The Breaker' is a Manwha which is a Korean manga and a Manhua is a Chinese manga, just so you know what those mean, now TO THE REVIEW.
The Breaker, at first, looks like it's going to be one of those bully revenge stories, but thank Christ it wasn't, it's about (correct me if I'm wrong) the world of underground martial arts and what happens when people who have apparent monstrous amount of Ki fight. I only thought Ki was the fundamental
part of Buddhist medicine and that one martial art I've forgot (Good job brain), But if you can manifest Ki the way they do in the manga.... I want right now.
To the art, it's really fucking good, the time and effort that someone put into it is evident, from the comedy moments where everyone looks like those chibbi vinyl figures you can buy, to the moments when the person speaking is getting serious, and when someone gets REALLY. FUCKING. ANGRY. At the end, the art just brings home the same feeling that those in the actual manga would be feeling, the sense of "I really do want to be near this guy right now."
The characters, okay at first I thought the teacher was a dick but he turned out to be alright, the student filled the role of "Guy who has potential and doesn't know when to quit." really well and that nurse chick was also kinda fun.
I am willing to say that The Breaker is probably my favorite manga to date, above even Tokyo Ghoul and people who know me know I LOVE Tokyo Ghoul. Also this manga probably has one of the single best ending arc's ever, wrapping up most of the problems presented while setting up for the sequel The Breaker: New Waves (Go read it if just as good if not better). If I had to nit-pick the one thing I didn't like was the fact that the student didn't really have a love interest, I mean there was a girl that he obviously cared for but the lad didn't even get a kiss, a minor thing compared to the rest of the manga though.
So if you have a spot for a action-martial-art-finding-oneself manga The Breaker will most definitely scratch that itch.
Following our protagonist, we are taken through the vast world of a secret martial arts society, the Murim; where the top of the food chain are the strongest practitioners of martial arts. The general plot of this manwha seems to be linear, hero vs villain, hero pulls through in the end; yet there are many surprises. The art and character development are lacking in finesse, but are made up with strong emotion and iron-clad wills. Overall I would rate 10/10 for this based on how easily you get sucked into the story, wanting to see more of our heroes war on evil.
This is a Korean "Manhwa," meaning it is created in the style of a Manga, but it is not a Japanese series. The names are Korean in large part, but the main character's master is actually named after a famous school of Muay Thay martial arts, which is a style popular in Thailand.
Story - 10/10
The Breaker was a total breath of fresh air for me. It starts out like a typical shonen, with a young high-school boy being thrown into a dangerous world of super-human warriors, but the story takes many unexpected turns.
The point-of-view shifts between the master and his apprentice,
each with their own unique story, and each being equally pushed to their limits. I loved this format, and it made much more sense than ignoring the master and having the apprentice somehow out-shine a godly martial artist in less than one year of training.
The story is dark at times, darker in fact than the most popular shonen around today, and I really loved the tension this created. We knew that good guys could actually get seriously injured or die in this series. The writer wasn't willing to give anyone a "plot shield," and this made everything much more dramatic.
The love stories in this series are actually rather good, especially considering the limited panel time, and I never felt like it was fake or rushed when two characters showed that they had formed a connection. That isn't a critical element for a shonen series, but it did make some of the fights more emotional, especially the finale.
Finally, this story directly connects to the sequel, The Breaker: New Waves, which has been great so far. I recommend checking out the sequel after The Breaker.
Art - 9/10
The fighting is really interesting in this series. It's mostly hand-to-hand, but the artist keeps it fresh between each fight by introducing new moves or new styles. The choreography is just amazing, and never got stale. Every new fight had a new feel to it, even rematches between the same fighters.
Unique martial artists have their own styles, and people from the same house/clan have similarities. This is very well-done in general, and I was always excited by the action.
The backgrounds are decent, nothing special in that regard, but adequate. I've seen better, but also much worse.
The character designs were excellent though. Everyone looked completely different, there were no generic guys, even among the fodder. I loved this attention to detail. The design of Shi-Ho Lee is just spectacular, and it matches her personality perfectly.
Characters - 10/10
I think the characters are much deeper than what you see in shonen series most times. We have 4 key characters.
Shi-Woon Yi is the perfect "coward to hero" archetype. I wish more stories had boys like this. He's your typical shonen hero, but his fear and deep anger are much more believable than what I usually experience in shonen series. The story is mostly about his growth into manhood, but other stories emerge as he explores the martial arts world, and the story becomes about something much bigger than one boy's life.
Chun-Woo Han is the perfect warrior, a monster feared by even the greatest masters in the martial arts world, but he's left that all behind to foolishly pursue a teaching career. Inevitably he gets lured back in as his story intertwines with that of Shi-Woon Yi. He's not just a mere mentor, and Chun-Woo Han plays an enormous role in the story. At times, he feels like the true main character.
Jin-Ie Kwon is a great character. She's a strong girl that doesn't need to be saved all the time, but at the same time she is far from totally free. Her suffering stems from her position within the Sun-Woo Clan, one of the strongest martial arts houses in the martial arts world. Because of her obligations to her father, she often does what teenagers do, running away from their parents and living rebelliously. She saves Shi-Woon Yi many times, and is a serious bad-ass when angered, but no match for Chun-Woo or any of the true masters of the martial arts world.
Shi-Ho Lee is an elegant warrior, not quite on the level of Chun-Woo Han, but a serious elite capable of fighting nearly anyone in the martial arts world without so much as breaking a sweat. Shi-Ho Lee is a stunning beauty, she has a great sense or humor, and a strong aura of confidence surrounds her. I particularly loved her relationship with Chun-Woo Han, and she is an unforgettable character.
Enjoyment - 10/10
I loved this story. It had everything you could possibly ask for in an action series, and then some.
Every arc was emotional, every character felt unique, and the fights were all absolutely thrilling.
Overall - 10/10
This is an emotional story, and you will be moved by the events that unfold.
If you want a light-hearted series that simply makes you feel good every week then you should look elsewhere, because The Breaker is a roller-coaster ride.
I am currently reading the sequel, which has been very different so far, but has improved greatly and may eventually rival the original.