The Breaker: A fantastic manwha about martial arts!

I’ve read this manwha and its sequel manwha; The Breaker New Waves twice now. When I recently found out that not only another sequel started on the Webtoon app, but there’s also physical translated volumes published by Ablaze, I was very happy. I’ve ordered the first three volumes and as of writing this I’ve made my way through two of them. They’re omnibus sized so they’re thick volumes as well which I’m very pleased with. Seeing as it’s a manwha, which does  tend to be lesser known sometimes than manga from Japan, and it’s never received an anime as far as I’m aware, I figured with the new season starting up now would be a great time to review it and let people know my thoughts. So let’s dive into the manwha by Jeon Guek-Jin and Park Jin-Hwan: The Breaker.

Shiwoon is a high school student who is being bullied really badly. He’s also our main character and a complete weakling. One day a strange substitute teacher shows up; Chunwoo Han. Chunwoo is also known as the Nine Arts Dragon (Nine Doors Dragon in the official translation) or Goo Moon Ryong. It’s a martial artist of the highest regard and someone feared in the world of martial arts, Murim. The story follows Shiwoon as he gets taught by Chunwoo, who is by no means a good person or a good teacher, as well as gets help from the new school nurse Shiho Lee, who is also involved with the same people that Chunwoo is involved with. Shiho feeds Shiwoon a strange pill that gives him almost unlimited Qi. With his weak body he needs a lot of help controlling this power and it’s extremely self-destructive early on. The story follows his growth as he slowly gets sucked into the world of Murim that is a lot more complicated than you’d think.

Shiho and Chunwoo

This manwha shines on three fronts, in my opinion. Firstly, the art style is fantastic. The artists for this manwha were talented from day one, but as they gained experience it kept getting better and better. Their other work that they recently did while they were on a break from The Breaker; Trinity Wonder, has some gorgeous artwork that could be a wallpaper. The second thing that I like about this manwha ties into the first one. The character designs are amazing. Although some of the characters, which includes the main character, are a bunch of high school kids, some of the side characters are adults and some of them are extremely attractive. I love Shiho’s design, for example, and although I’m not into men so I’m a bad judge of this, I think Chunwoo looks attractive too. There’s a variety of well designed characters like this, and their outfits are often cool too. 

The third thing I like about this manwha, and it’s something that a lot of my favorite long running series have in common, is the worldbuilding. There are many families within the world of Murim and they all have different rules, codes and ways they work with other families. There are alliances and hostilities and there’s even organizations completely separate from the Murim. It’s a complicated mess of people and it’s fascinating to watch the politics behind the scenes as well as this inexperienced kid that knows nothing about all of this and just goes at his own pace. The Breaker is captivating from the first panel to the last, and the same can be said about the sequel. With the physical edition available now I highly recommend getting into this manwha series. If you do catch up, you can even read the latest season on the webtoon app! I haven’t read this yet, so no spoilers please, I want to re-read all the old seasons first, since it’s been a little while and it’s incredibly fun. Let me know if you’ve already read The Breaker or if you got into it after this post. I’d love to send people towards cool stories like this. As always, thanks for reading!

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