Hello everyone, I'm thatsmapizza, resident lurker in the tay community. Today, I had the free time to goof off a bit and I thought about finally writing an article for tay since I've been lurking here for quite a while.
I felt like sharing a webtoon (basically a form of Korean comic) that I particularly enjoy with the community in this article. Also, in general, I would like to get other people's thoughts on the different things I read because I like discussing themes and speculating about what could happen in mangas and such :P
In any case…
What if suddenly your life became like an RPG video game? What would you do? Would you continue with your normal daily life or would dive full force into the new paths open to you?
In the Korean webtoon, The Gamer, many of these questions are explored.
What it's about
One day, regular high school student, Han Jee-Han, discovers that his reality has adopted some elements of rpgs. He can see titles and level floating above people's heads, he gets quest notifications when his mom wants him to a chore or two and as he levels up, he gains skill points that can affect his physical state such as strength and intelligence.
Essentially, Jee-Han's world has been opened up to many more possibilities both good and bad. Soon enough, the seems of Jee-Han's old world are peeled away to reveal a more fantastical world that isn't too friendly. So, Jee-Han must learn how to survive and succeed in this new environment.
The Gamer is very much an exploration of the mechanics of being like an RPG character in the real world, which may seem pretty tried, but The Gamer executes this premise very well. For instance, many of the abilities Jee-Han learns come from doing many simple things like learning the observe skill by observing his surroundings or learning a rip skill by tearing at a demonic slime.
Jee-Han's body also some other interesting quirks such as quantifying how much health food will restore, culminating in a silly moment where he restore his own health by eating some food in the middle of a battle.
Although, the webtoon spends a good amount of time on exploring Jee-Han's ability, it takes the time to give us an idea of who Jee-Han is and who some of his friends are and like. Though, most of the characters are interesting, the presentation of these characters can be rather lacking at times. This is mostly due to the fact that the narrative is told from Jee-Han's perspective with his internal monologue which can be grating at times.
The only problems I have with the webtoon so far are the pacing and the art. My problem with the pacing is that it can be slow at times because it the webtoon is trying to do so many things at once that some redundant information is presented. Also, my god, the art can be pretty bad at times. The character art is for the most part pretty good and simple, which fits the feel of the webtoon, but jeez the background art can be pretty awful at times.
I found The Gamer to be quite engaging because it explores what it would be like to have a body of an rpg character to a through degree. The webtoon presents us with clear mechanics and it makes you wonder what could happen in the world. I often find myself wondering what would happen if Jee-Han did "X" or "Y" and what other things could happen in the world of The Gamer.
Seeing Jee-Han discover new things about how his world has changed is also quite fun because of the ways he and his compatriots react to some of the silly things that Jee-Han's ability brings... like ogre panties...
Also, all these images come from mangareader.net. I do not claim to own any of these images.
*edit: I forgot to mention that you can read The Gamer here*