Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rosy's scrawled manhwa recommendation: Archlord by Park Jin-Hwan

Park Jin-Hwan

The great warrior Leon Manas, son of the legendary Nathan Manas, now carries the powerful sword Brumhart. Though this blade is coveted by many, only the heirs to the House of Manas can wield it. But that doesn’t stop the sinister from trying. Ernan, once trusted knight of the House of Manas, murders his commander, robs him of Brumhart and orders the death of Leon’s only son, Zian. But the men sent to perform this infanticide come up against a mysterious figure in a dark cloak who defeats them only to disappear with the child into the thick of the Tass Forest. Sixteen years later, Ernan has become a feared tyrant, but still has not been able to unsheathe Brumhart. Thus begins the tale of this desperate king and the young boy who would become one.

Alternative title

Sites for reading online (free)
Manga Anime, Manga Eden

In short, a Korean version of a Manga. There are many similarities in the writing style and art but different cultural references do apply.


Rosy's scawlings on Achlord
The plot is pure classic fantasy with dragons, magic, knights, a brave young man with a destiny, a side-kick wise woman, a power hungry and pompous knight, mages, swords and murdered family. But that is all by the by for this story.
The reason you'd want to read this story is less for the classic fantasy, or even the classic manga/manhwa stylings of big swords, big boobs (however chastely covered and vaguely realistic) and body horror, and more for the fact that the young hero is thoroughly undignified and irreverent to the point of picking his nose in front of a beautiful girl, unconcernedly joking about robbing the dead and completely unwilling to lead his companions or be a hero at all. He reminds me of City Hunter in this respect, although Zian is a man from classic fantasy.
Oh, that and you'd want to read it for the brilliant illustrations, not to mention story additions, of orcs, goblins, lycanthropes, dragons and all manner of other fantasy races like moon elves with 'dog ears'. Humans aren't the only ones involved in the politics of the day.
While the scans available aren't the best and the pages need to be expanded to the point the text blurs (for the most part), it is well worth the effort for a fun fantasy read.
On that note, there is nothing serious about this story except the usual morals of don't get too cocky about yourself or demand too much or you'll wind up in a very bad place or dead. Also, being weak of heart isn't good for survival either. Also, it never bloody ends now does it.

Best line in this manhwa: Said to a floating psychotic mage "Quit floating around like a wussy dandelion puff!".

I'd suggest this manhwa to: teenage boys as they will love this manhwa. With that said, there are likely few interested in fantasy who wouldn't enjoy reading this. 
Also, a note to the female fantasy fans: the half orc Ugdrasil! Eeee! Those eyes are gorgeous... Now if only he was real.

Notes on manga reader sites
The quality of manga readers can vary. The uploads are often done cheaply or as a serious hobby by a collective. Be aware that sometimes licence hasn't been given but the sites noted above, Manga Fox in particular, are extremely careful about adding and pulling mangas according to license agreements. So you shouldn't have to worry too much about the material being pirated. There are also translated works and non-translated. Amongst the translated works you will find that the quality of translation may vary according to the skills of the translators. Usually the works are perfectly readable anyway, with only a few added or dropped words or a word in the incorrect tense or with/out plurals. But sometimes the text becomes gobbledygook. In which case, either seek another version or give up and buy an official copy once a printed translation comes out. The other issue of note is you may need to expand the screen to read the text easily as sometimes the scans are minimised a little.
I find that if a page doesn't download properly or some other issue occurs (too slow or someone ordered the pages incorrectly etc.) with one reader then skipping across to another reader and picking up where I was is quite easy and rarely annoying.
Otherwise, enjoy and watch out you don't get too addicted you forget about the necessary things in life.

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