Saturday, September 22, 2012

Rosy's scrawled manhwa recommendation: Black Wind by Jay-guun

Black Wind

Dana is an archaeologist, who has discovered an artifact, which according to her confirms the presence of witches in this world. It also proves that 'witch hunts' were not all lies.

Alternative names


Black Wind Pandora

(40 volumes complete in Korea)

Sites for reading online (free)
Manga Fox, Manga Reader

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

Rosy's scrawlings on Black Wind
There were two things in this manga that pointed to a new author but neither could be said to be complete failings. To be perfectly honest I'm really hoping Jay-guun continues as there are plenty of ideas bubbling away in the story so  far. I'll note the two things so that you can see it and look past it to more important matter. In the first volume there is a tendency for that with is not the focus of the image to be made blurry. This annoyed me a little as what is the focus of the story isn't always what I want to look at once I've gleaned what's going on. The blurriness is mostly discarded as the second volume starts up, with only a few dashes of it to keep the style. The second things didn't annoy me at all but rather just told of someone starting out as a writer. In such cases, yes, it might annoy those who are used to well polished works only but have a little patience. This is what discovering authors is all about. The thing is the sometimes repetition of words or phrases, for instance :"idiot" or "predator of". Part of this is because of the manhwa/manga story structure of upping the ante of each battle and part due to either translations or the original text. Either way, this is a bit of nitpicking so you can ignore me and read on thinking, "she's a little picky" - that's fine with me.
So, issues aside, why do I recommend this? As I said, there are plenty of ideas bubbling away and I do love a witch story that breaks your expectations. In this story there are humans, witches and Templars. Witches are another species, Templars seems to be part human and part something else caused by evolution while plain old humans are what they are. Deadly only when there's a weapon about and a cause to fight for. So in Black Wind you dont' just get witch goodness but Templar goodness. Two for one! That'll make anyone happy. Plus there's a guy who becomes the walking dead but isn't modern zombie while there might be a case for old time enslaved zombie if the magic is used just a little more - you'll understand this sentence when you read the story. Three for one! Yippee! Put simply, hitches aside, this manhwa is shaping up to be quite enjoyable. Plus there's the traditional escalation of violence and "I'm better/more evolved than you"-ing once the first battle is done. That's enough to make most of use manhwa/manga readers happy.
The art is pretty and brightly coloured, the fight scenes well depicted and the all-important facial expressions shifting between classic manhwa/manga stylings and realism. The illustrations are spaced out amongst short pieces of text, except in the prologue where there's more text that illustrations - this being so because the prologue is essentially a letter from Dana to her friend. The blurriness of the original images gives way to clearer depictions and I assume settles further as the series continues. There's more to be uploaded so I have to guess here considering the material I have available. All in all, this manhwa is visually pretty.

I'd recommend this manga to: anyone who loves a witch or zombie story, men and women (protagonist is male but the other subjects are quite often female) and teens.

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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