Oct 9, 2008
Rie (All reviews)
Rather than rant about the fanatical actions I took to obtain and “read” through… till the end of the series… I just wanted to say… “Wow.” Or more like “Holy cow… What a freakin’ good manga series this turned out to be.” Well, at least for me… but, it’s a complete turn-over of interest for me. Rarely do I find myself actually enjoying Fighting-oriented manga/anime series… yet… Friends, this was certainly not an ordinary series to miss. It’s got the whole deal of a splendid series, perhaps even almost qualified as epic. Absolutely clever and creative plot and story involved, very genuine and personal characters included, and marvelous details in both art and developments (in story) incorporated within. Gah! I am still practically speechless from the pure enjoyment that I was able to feel from this series. Really, it was altogether a fantastic experience for me to encounter this series. It’s just that amazing of a series… Really, I am surprised not a lot of people have discovered its awesomeness. :P
Anyways, to the reasoning why I actually am fanatical over this particular series…

The Story~

For once, as it is a rare case for many as well as myself, I was hooked onto this series after just reading the first couple of chapters. The plot was already immensely intriguing. I could not help but see the following series of events… From the beginning of just meeting the three “main” protagonists, I just wanted to see what sorts of incidents and encounters they would have to confront later in the story.

I’m not so familiar with the original plot idea or whatever, but basically it seemed to almost revolve around something like the Mythic ages of old Mesopetamia and Mynos and whatnot… The story of Troy, however, was not a major plot factor… What’s somewhat amusing, as it is in many other series, is the usage of anachronisms throughout the plot. Who would have thought the people would dress like they were from the modern age, eh? Anyway, the story initially takes place during this tumultuous era but within a period of peace that several countries experience. Regardless, one finds that the main characters try to join up in the Mercenary squadron of the military… Although, they want to earn money from defeating wanted criminals and bandits, they confront an even more dire situation…

Anyway, from the start… The Adventure that takes place sets off the story. Then, as the plot progresses, drama becomes another complementary factor that stirs in more details and background about characters and settings. Those details along with multiple cliffhanger scenes drive the story forward. Although maybe somewhat subtle and hidden, one can see that the “Fights” and battles that take place for particular reasons. The manhwa artist truly utilizes his characters skillfully in a way to illustrate the themes and feelings which a reader can personalize with. Tension, distress, and joy are all provided with efficient and illustrative details from the art, narrations, and dialogues.
From beginning to end, I felt that nothing could replace the absolute creativeness and appeal that this series demonstrated to me.

The Art~

To be honest, I was hesitant to start this series because of the fact that I did not particularly find the cover art very attractive. Nevertheless, I sought to try it out since the plot summary was at least a bit alluring, to my tastes. And so, after I became so entangled and fascinated with the plot itself, I don’t know what exactly my reaction was to the art… I either became very accustomed to its unique and somewhat crude style… or, I just started to love it since it really was different. I mean, the details in the “sketching” part of the manhwa are quite amazing. I don’t recall reading any other sort of manga/comic that contained so much detail in Fight-scenarios. I mean like, I personally would have it so tedious to have so many “windows” (I don’t remember the exact term for each scene displayed in a manga) of repeated armor, weapon, wound, and background setting designs. But the manhwa artist actually worked quite thoroughly to make many shapes and figures symmetrical and rather precise. Then, the general layout of characters were more or less proportional and yet somewhat rigid and lanky looking… Regardless, I found that no major distortions were drawn which made the art style appropriate and genuine for reading with the story.

The Characters~

Ah… Well, outside of the art realm, the characters were almost human. I mean, c’mon, there are always exaggerations and other hyperboles that every author loves to use, and well, the manhwa author/artist is no exception. Nevertheless, for the most part, I could see why the characters reacted because of their very “personal” traits. When something really triggers you to just want to punch something or someone, you’d really go and do it, right? Well, that’s the same reaction each character possesses in this story. What truly infuriates certain characters make them go berserk. It’s quite a relief, or maybe just something “good,” to be able to actually “sense” the emotions that the characters possess at certain times. It’s not like every good book has its realistic characters, right? But, this is an exception. Each person in real life has some sort of history and or reason for why he or she does things right? Of course there are those spontaneous people, but, spontaneity is not completely motive-free. And well, in this story, those statements are also true. The character development and character revelation of history and background provide effective information to really understand and appreciate each character. Erm, I don’t mean that the author actually goes around Flash-backing left and right… but, it’s much more integrated with other people within the story.. and then, there are connections to actual events and situations that are perhaps not always relevant to the actual storyline, but at least intriguing and touching to read about. Altogether, I enjoyed reading about the transformations and progressions of characters. Each character possessed entertaining traits that I always loved to read more about.

Enjoyment Factor?

Ermm… Each chapter ended… with a major cliffhanger… I couldn’t resist to read more. Chapter after chapter… I found the plot developing… the characters revealing their personalities and histories… and well, the art style was just so enticing… Practically everything about the manhwa was amazing. Then again, my Final impression of the story left me slightly sore because of, well, the climax of the second main story… I shan’t spoil it any further… I urge you to read and find out what I mean… Each of the seemingly endless battles reaches a pinnacle point so many times that the manhwa writer finally decides to settle it at the end of the series. Really, once one’s started this series, there’s no retreating away from it.

(P.S. It’s my terrible habit to start off with my extremely random and trivial commentary when writing reviews, as perhaps seen previously… It’s just that I have to show my high interest level in a more personal way in order for me to actually get going on the actual details of why I like a series or whatever. I’m sorry for the Fluffiness, in other words. :P
P.S.S. I do not want you to feel like this load of Fluff was for nothing… Please, do give Ares a try. This is one not so well-recognized series that deserves more credit than it has been thus far granted.)