ASURA (Handol)

Alt title: Ssaumgwi

Ch: 84
2016 - 2018
4.438 out of 5 from 116 votes
Rank #1,358
ASURA (Handol)

ASURA is the champion of the hot hells, but there's no one left for him to fight anymore. Then he hears Indra, the strongest being in the world,has appeared...

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Reviews

MangaGreat
9

Asura is easily one of the best manhwa and one of the best comics I read in a while. The reason for this is entirely due to the story. On its face, its fairly simple. Asura is the strongest demon of Tapana, but he has become bored and restless because he's so powerful that no one can sate his desire for battle any longer. No one is strong enough to take him on. One day, this changes when a powerful being comes along who expressed a desire to help Asura. He informs Asura that a 'supreme being with absolute power' will appear and that this person will be his opponent. This person's name is Indra. Asura, of course, is eager to meet up, but he lives in Tapana and Indra exists in the land of the living. Asura decides he is willing to pay a steep cost to travel to the land of the living -- the cost is his four external arms which is the source of all his power. Thus begins Asura's journey to retrieve his arms and face Indra. This is the synopsis to Handol's Asura and it is a relatively simple premise. What makes it different -- and Asura special as a whole -- is that perhaps this is the single most culturally different comic I've ever read. The reason is how strongly Buddhism (and aspects of Hinduism) is present within this manhwa. Almost every character, all story elements, and symbolism harkens to Asian religion. As a result, this has a strongly different feel from most Asian comics I've read. Even the way power is presented -- through enlightenment, 'arms', avatars -- is different from how I usually see it. Asura carries an ultimately positive and human-centric message, but it also feels complex as it blurs the line in presenting why negative actions can be positive and why positive actions can ultimately cause harm. It presents villains as not necessarily evil and even perhaps not those who should be gotten rid of. It presents heroes as not necessarily good or selfless. All in all, Asura is a relatively straight-forward story that still carries a surprisingly strong symbolic meaning and can be read very different upon successive reads. As a whole, I think this is easily among the best comics I've read in years.

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