What will happen next when we die? How is death? What will we see next? Is it a light to get out of the tunnel or will we meet again with people that gone forever? No one knows what death is, what we will face next and how it proceeds. This Manhwa will bring us in the process of death. About Death is a manhwa I've been reading in the webtoon for a long time. Reading this manhwa seems to have its own sensation because there will be BGM that can evoke this comic atmosphere when reading it.
It is actually quite difficult to tell how the contents of this manhwa. In essence, "god" speaks with a human gripe about why he died and what his response to life was. Sometimes, the reader will begin to understand how this comic works in part and sometimes also be difficult to understand. This manhwa gives us the emotion we have to accept. Moreover, reading this manhwa with BGM makes us feel like we are also inside. This comic will teach the readers how we should be grateful for what we already have, thankful to Almighty God that we are alive today because no one knows when death will pick us up. In each story, we will be shown characters who have experienced death and reincarnated again to face "god." In his conversation with "god", sometimes we see humans as beings who never grateful for what has done in his life. They sometimes don't accept about what just happened. Some stories also sometimes bring a very grateful character about what is given by "god". What is clear, this comic brought its readers with mixed emotions. Sometimes bring happiness and sometimes bring sadness.
The art that presents this manhwa is very different for Japanese manga. There are two perspectives that exist in this art. First, the encounter between man and God is described as black and white as if in another world. And secondly, the life experienced by man before his death is described as colorful art. It's like we are also in it and very much felt when reading it. What is clear, I love how the author is working on art that is very simple but charming to look at. One of the uniqueness of reading a comic in webtoon is sometimes available BGM is there so, the atmosphere to read comics is felt. The BGM in this Manhwa is very interesting ears for the readers. Its atmosphere is built so softly by the readers that will fit with what is told about in this manhwa. With the story combined with its BGM, this manhwa seemed to mix up our emotions slowly.
Reading this manhwa as we will understand about what life is. Sometimes humans are never grateful for what they already have. What is clear, About Death is a comic that is perfect for everyone to read.
About Death is a bit of a mix. On one hand I can't deny the artist's creativity, and the amount of thought he's put into this. It's a breath of a fresh air compared to most of the generic crap that's being produced nowadays. I also like the economic and minimalistic approach to both the art and the story telling. One needs to pay close attention to the dialog and the dynamics of the narrative to see through the different layers at work here.
On the other hand, the idea could have been developed SO much more; and I don't mean length-wise. In the span of 22 chapters, not even ONCE does anyone challenge the " God " dude in any serious way, shape or form. Out of all of humanity, aren't there at least a few who'd have asked questions like: "Why have you created us?", "Why are you allowing so much evil to prevail in the world?", “Why is life so unfair?”etc. At least you'd expect that one guy who kept dropping Confucius quotes left and right to hint at some of these questions. And NONE of the deceased are atheists? Why? Maybe because the ensuing dialog would have been to philosophically charged for the author or the readers to be able to handle? Why not showing someone like a corrupt politician's encounter with God? Someone who’s decisions and actions has affected millions, if not billions of people? And in one of the chapters, this God says I give EVERYONE equal help! REALLY?!? Could you say that to a kid born in Syria or Yemen? Oh yeah, why not an encounter with one of those souls? Can we seriously be content with the fact that the artist has opted to tell this tale in a way that the majority of the dead’s most pressing concern is their failure in saying goodbye or making amends to their wives or kids or husbands or friends? Give me a break! There’s also an over reliance on tear jerkers and pulling on the readers' heartstrings to cover up for lack of such developments. I don't like invoking the sympathy of the audience in order to cover up artistic shortcomings.
This is not the MASTERPIECE so many claim it to be. A masterpiece, at least in my book, is a work that comes SO close to perfection that you can’t come up with ANY ideas on how to better it. On that front, this series looks more like a MASSIVE missed opportunity to me. There’s immense amounts of untapped potential here. But credit where credit's due. It's definitely worth a read and better than most of the stuff that's out there right now.
P.S: I'd have liked leave the character score box empty. This is not a character driven work. It's a situational narrative based piece. but Anime Planet won't allow me to do that so I'm gonna leave it as one.
Also, the art score is not reflective of the skills of the mangaka as a visual artist, it's a measure of how fitting the visual approach is to the structural cohesion and intra-logic of this piece. And in that regard, I believe it's very fitting.
About Death is one of those amazing webtoons that I tend to go back to every once in a while to check if it's still as good as I remembered it to be. After going back 3 times, I can still say that it's as great as on my first time experiencing it.
Story and characters
The greatness of this series is built around a simple premise, which might sound familiar to those who have watched Death Parade: people who died, and remember or talk about their lives. When you die, you meet God, who will lead you to your reincarnation. On the way there, he will talk to you, to judge you or just to hear your story, he will inflict pain or give you a second chance... God is a whimsical being in this manhwa, with mood swings like humans. And that same God is a being that guides people, showing the way in life and death alike. This makes him one of the most interesting characters in the series, even without hearing his story.
Most of the stories are quite simple, and they're all short: every episode brings new characters, and thus new stories - although there are some exceptions, where a character is shown twice. Some will argue that this makes them less strong - they would be wrong. The stories in About Death are all so consistently powerful, packed with emotions (get those tissues ready!) and thought-provoking that it would be absurd to lower the score "because it's episodic".
The simplicity of the stories makes them easily recognizable, and the characters who star in them relatable: even if you only "meet" them once, they are interesting, and you will easily recognise their emotions. However, it should be noted that lots of the stories have deeper meanings to them: the author has thought very well about the place death has in our lives, about the consequences of death, about the way people deal with loss, and about the regrets people have at the end of their lives. Some of them also have some unique twists, to stop the recipe from getting stale.
As for the stories being too short: some will say that you a certain "length" is needed to create a bridge between characters and readers. I'd reply to that by saying that this manhwa perfectly uses the principles of "show, don't tell" and "a picture is worth a thousand words" - length is unnecessary when the story is handled by capable people.
The last thing I'd like to say about the stories is that they're not always sad. There are also happy endings, where people accept their second chances in their old or new lives. If you're going to read this, be prepared to get thrown from one emotion to the next.
The art is quite simplistic, but I liked the style a lot - you can tell a lot about the personality of the characters by just looking at them, while they don't have generic looks.
The way "the afterlife" and "the world of the living" are portrayed in different manners is a nice touch too
This might be a header you don't expect in a review for a comic, but it does belong here: on the official website there's background music to accompany the webtoon. It's a nice touch, and helps strengthen the atmosphere - even if it's not strictly necessary for the manhwa to be enjoyable.
This is a nice, rather short webtoon about life and death, which can be read for free at the official website - with some nice background music as a bonus! In other words, there's no reason not to read this, and I strongly recommend About Death to everyone here!