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Much has been said about this manhwa already. After Melo Holic, Carnby has produced another fantastic work. The only things I want to highlight are: 1) The character development of the main cast. There aren't many characters, but every single one of them develops meaningfully. 2) The ending is genuinely surprising, given the overall theme of the manhwa. There are several remarkable revelations that put the entire preceding story into a new light. And the conclusion is completely satisfying.
IIRC I had a few minor complaints about the story, but I mostly recall feeling glad I read it.
REALLY GOOD manhwa
There's something about the UGLINESS of the artwork that makes this manhwa such a GOOD read. The artist isn't afraid to make characters ugly and sinister to make them appear evil or ghastly (as that is the point to a creepy psychological story). The story tends to drag a bit here and there, especially in the final arc but worth the wait to read towards the next scene of events. The plot doesn't have awkward transition and surprisingly, the flashbacks make a lot of sense due to its relevancy of the present situation. Color palette of the artwork is limited but effective and speaks well to the mood that the artist/author is trying to portray and tell.
The ending is unexpected, and at first a little disappointing, but when you think about the overall traumatic and psychologically damaging effect it has on the MC, it's actually not too bad after all.
... Last updated on April 2nd, 2017, 7:22pm
I'm sorry, but this was just a hot mess, I'm past the 3/4 way through it and can't even make myself finish it.
Frankly, it was a fairly ambitious concept from a believability standpoint to begin with.....and then I'll be darned if the author didn't keep adding even more unlikely elements to it one after the other. I'll just say right now, my suspension of disbelief was beyond sorely tested not even a 1/4 of the way through, and I just forced myself to read the next forty-ish chapters out of pure spite and meanness to try to get to the end.
Yeah, couldn't do it, this work couldn't have even been believable if it were in a science fiction setting, it just defied all normal human common sense..........or to even want to read it with the promise of nothing but failure to be able to do anything with such profoundly flawed characters when the author wasn't even making any kind of effort to paint them in any sort of redeeming light.
I'll recuse myself from rating it, frankly I don't see doing it since there's not a zero rating, which, yeah, this is just too bad given what kind of story this is to really be able to find any redeeming value in it.
Honestly THIS webtoon was one of THE BEST Psychological Thriller webtoon EVER!! Props to the author for making such an amazing and obviously Carnby from Team Getname was phenomenal. Also the art was bone chilling and suited the series perfectly. And now for the characters.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
The character development was so beautifully done! You actually feel the pain and anguish of Jin and his struggles are made even harder by the obstacles faced. In the end, he is and was and will be my favorite character. Also kyun was adorable and lovable and a strong support so no surprise there but the people who surprised me were manny and jin's dad. Like I felt so bad for both of them and many turned out to be a true friend and Jin's dad......wow I can't talk about him without feeling a crushing sadness. No matter how twisted he got, he loved his family. And it was cute to see that even if he was nut crazed criminal. Also the people who didn't like the end lemme tell you this: This Web toon wasn't about Jin marrying Kyun or about him leading a happy life but it was about overcoming problems and obstacles that he faced and how to stop his dad. Sure the ending was open but the author''s intention was to show that people can rise above their childhood trauma and try to live normal lives again.So don't be disappointed by the end.
Also my final thoughts after reading this: It would definitely make you think about a whole lot of things that you probably rarely think about and that's what's wonderful about this. GO ON! READ THIS ASAP!
One of the Best Horror Series
When I started reading this manga, I was pleasantly surprised by how well done the suspense and mystery elements were done. It's scary, cool, and pretty epic. Best of all, it appeals to all genders. Even if horror isn't your typical genre, you'll definitely want to give the web comic a chance. I
...yet somehow not nihilistic -- quite the opposite, actually. Despite the horrors (both visceral and psychological) that these young characters undergo, they're still hopeful, and that's what ultimately makes this story so heartbreaking. More than anything, Bastard is a dark human drama, and that's where it succeeds brilliantly. Suspense is tied so tightly to the emotions and actions of the characters that it can be, at times, stressful to read. But there is no shortage of quiet moments that, to use an old cliche, tug at the heartstrings, and these two moods work well off each other to bring together this emotional thriller. As expected of Carnby, this webtoon, while by no means gratuitous, is brutal in its depictions of violence -- it's probably not for the faint of heart, though I can't help but recommend it to them anyway for its beautifully done psychological side. Because beyond all the violence of its premise, there's a uniquely human story being told that transcends it. If you'd prefer to go in blind without spoiling the chapter 3 reveal, then don't read the rest of this review.
Protagonist Jin Seon is the child of a serial killer -- and his forced accomplice. His body is weak from a traumatic childhood "accident," he has no friends and is the victim of bullying and harassment from his classmates despite being the son of a millionaire, and his mind is close to being in shambles from the severe psychological abuse inflicted on him by his father (and what his father makes him do). We later find out that while he's quite familiar with women's bodies in the most literal sense of the word, he has absolutely no idea what sex and porn are, and while he's seen more of the world's evil in his short life than the average person will ever see in a lifetime, he's incredibly naive culturally and socially. Honestly, it's fascinating and refreshing to follow the development of such a seemingly contradictory character who completely makes sense in his own context. For that reason alone, I would recommend this webtoon.
The secondary characters are no less intriguing. Kyun Yoon, the peppy but secretly destitute and struggling romantic lead, is a great foil for Jin. Unlike him, she had a father who meant everything to her and whose untimely passing she's still struggling to cope with. She lives in squalor with her grandfather, whose dementia renders him entirely dependent on her. Without knowing his circumstances, she chides Jin for not appreciating the father he still has and for being a "naive rich kid." She's strong-willed but also sensitive and motherly, and her interactions with Jin, when not playing out as lightly tsundere comedy routines, are genuine and heartfelt.
On the other side of the spectrum is Manny Kim, influential school bully and son of the CEO of Jin's father's rival company. While at first seeming to be a generic antagonistic force against Jin, Manny slowly but surely develops as a well-rounded character in his own right, displaying a realistic love-hate tug-of-war in his relationship with Jin. Once he develops an interest and a tentative friendship with him, he doesn't drop his bitter, belligerent lifestyle for his more sensitive and socially conscious one but rather oscillates between the two until they can't coexist any longer. The way his character growth is handled is as moving as it is painfully realistic.
In regards to the plot, it begins fairly scattered, laying the groundwork for the story and giving us glimpses into the shared double life of this very disturbed (in different ways) father and son duo. A more focused and linear plot line emerges out of this foundation while also continuing to build on it, creating a solid, engaging, and immersive story world, a perfectly successful backdrop for these characters. And since this is a psychological thriller, the story and characters are so inextricably bound to each other that in a way, the gloomy, muddled darkness of the plot takes on a sort of brooding, antagonistic character itself. Everything feels very cohesive and fluid while also managing to keep you on the edge of your seat without feeling convoluted or underdeveloped.
The art is both heavily stylized at times and drearily realistic, to great effect. The nightmare faces Jin's father frequently makes contrast wildly with the peaceful softness of Kyun holding a fearful or crying Jin. Simply stated, the art enriches the varying moods of the story without being distracting or out of place. Hwang opts for more neutral and subdued shades in his palette, relying primarily on grays and muted browns. Far from detracting from the overall quality of the work or exuding the pretension of "real is brown," I think the color choice really brings out the moody grittiness of the story without looking washed out, and by contrast, it makes moments of lightness stand out all the better. It's certainly beautiful in its own subtle, Gothic way.
[There aren't many chapters of this webtoon out in English yet, but I've been reading it from the start (sixteen weeks at the time of this writing), and it's continued to impress me with its depth and scope. So while I won't rate it for now, I very heartily recommend it and will continue to follow it avidly.]
Review expanded forty weeks after the initial writing. I'm giving it a 9 out of 10 for now, which I'll be more than happy to bump up to a 10 if it concludes in a satisfying manner. As of right now, Bastard still stands highly recommended by me.
... Last updated on April 25th, 2016, 7:23pm
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