Aria of the Withered Branch

Alt title: Mareun Gajiui Raga

Ch: 52+
2021 - ?
3.998 out of 5 from 136 votes
Rank #10,451
Aria of the Withered Branch

Alcheris Voygianna has had enough. Enraged, purposeless, and no longer wanting to go on after years of torment, she runs away with her stepmother's ring. But when she crushes the ring and falls asleep after failing to end her own life, she dreams of five demigods, who greet her in person a week later after she awakes! Their one request to her is this: live on so that they may live forever. In return, they promise to make her life worth living, but can they uphold that promise?

Source: Tapas

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First of all I want to include a TW for emotional abuse and suicide.  With that out of the way, I love this story so far. I have read so many manhwa/manga and this has such a refreshing and unique story. It had me hooked from the beginning and before I knew it I was emotionally invested in the story. This is one of those reads where you can't help but become attached to the main character, Alkeris (Al)  It has some great comedy too that had me grinning at my phone like an idiot.  I love the designs of the characters. Each and every one of the secondary characters is wildly different in not only personality but also design. This is to the point that it feels like each character has lived in an entirely different world than the others. It provides a very diverse cast of characters and establishes that the world in this story is vast.  Some of the characters are cliche, but in an odd self aware kind of way. The story acknowledges that the characters are cliche and uses that as a comedic device. You have a tiny pink haired witch with a bubbly personality, a handsome blonde captain of the imperial guards, a wise old merchant man in asian inspired  clothing , A beautiful silver haired woman that is the leader of an assasination guild, and a suspicious gloomy looking dark magician. Regardless of personality, they all coddle, protect, and spoil Al (the MC) and it is so wholesome and heart warming.  The story is a little all over the place, but it mainly follows the daily life of Al. It has some aspects of action and adventure, but I would say the main genres it fits into are fantasy, slice of life, comedy, and drama. So far I wouldn’t really categorize it as romance, but the ‘seeds of romance’ are there.  The one thing I am very confused about is whether or not the characters know Al’s gender. I don’t know if I just read a wonky translation, but the pronouns that they use for Al seem to change a lot without being addressed. The fact that it is not addressed makes me feel like maybe it is a translation fluke but idk.  I would definitely recommend this story to anyone looking for something funny, heartwarming and full of fluff.

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