Douluo Dalu

Alt titles: Combat Continent, Soul Land

Ch: 335+
2011 - ?
4.185 out of 5 from 2,183 votes
Rank #964
Douluo Dalu

Towns spent his prelife in the Tang Clan. He stole the secret from the Inner Clan to reach the peak of martial arts. In the end, he had to commit suicide for such action. Then he was reborn in a different world-Soul Land. This world is filled with powerful soul masters. Each master has their own martial souls. The martial soul of Towns is a useless Blue Silver Grass. Can he bring the glory of the Tang Clan into this new world?

Source: Qidian

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note: I didn't read the LN, but apparently it's more mature and better explained - dropped at 36 chapters So "Douluo Dalu", or for people who actually want to understand, "Soul land"/"Combat continent" is a manhua that at first looks really promising, but then goes ahead and does everything wrong. Story: The story follows Tang San, a guy who was a prodigy martial artist of the Tang Sect of Hidden Weapons (so he was basically a ninja), who jumps of Hell's Peak to kill himself. After that, he is reincarnated in the "soul land", but he kept his memories  of his previous life. Ths is of course a wonderful idea to create an OP character, because he still remembers all his ninja-techniques, which he begins to train again at the ripe age of 3 years ._.  After this, the author starts turning "soul land" into an RPG-world. Everybody in "soul land" can transform their soul into a unique tool called "spirit essence" (eg. a knife, a hammer, but also ridiculous things like carrots. Physical transformation into a beast is also possible). All 6 year olds are tested to see what their "spirit essence" is, and the level at which they can control it (max = level 10). Of course, the MC has level 10 control, although he has a "junk spirit", which is grass. After that, he reveals to his father that he has a 2nd spirit, a hammer (which is an OP weapon + the fact that he has 2 makes him even more OP). After this his father disappears, but later it is revealed that he (spoiler) is one of the strongest people on the continent (end of spoiler). Because he's lv 10, he's sent to an academy to train, which is also where he meets his love interest Xiao Wu (with whom he becomes sworn siblings, because that's not done before *cough*OnePiece*cough*) and his first master (the Grandmaster), who helps him to make his grass useful by using poison. How to train spirits? Well, kill a monster and absorb his soul. That totally doesn't look like gaining exp in games. There's even a power level system from 0 to 100. After a few years in the academy, Tang San and Xiao Wu join a new academy, the "shrek academy" for monsters (yeah, no kidding). When entering, Tang San show his OPness by being only lv 29 and making a lv 76 guy go all-out. In all, shrek academy has only 7 students. This because team matches at the colosseum (where they fight other humans) are with 7 people, and because our feeble minds can't take too many characters at once. From those 7 people, 2 are support class fighters (told you it's like an RPG), and of course they're all geniuses, because we all love OP characters in our stories. With those students, they go into a forest to fight monsters and train. This is also where Tang San gets a rare power-up (the external spirit bone), because he wasn't OP enough already. After that we get some more training, and some colosseum fights, but nothing special ever happens. Art: the art works nice in sync with some other elements from the story and the characters to make the manhua as attractive as possible... to 10-year olds. Both the character designs as their personalities are so childish, it's hard to keep reading it.  Characters: as said above, they are all really childish. of course, they are really children of about 12 in most of what I've read, but they're still annoyingly childish, while at moments they're supposed to seem mature. Apart from being childish, the characters also have no depth at all. We know who they are on the surface, and something about their basic personalities. But apart from that? They're all just paper cardboards. Another problem I have with both characters and story as a whole is that there is no motivation for anything. These people train to become strong, but what are they aiming for? You need to use your strength for SOMETHING, right? It's quite annoying to see them train, without having a real reason. Overall: OP characters destroy the story, the tone is really immature (strengthened by the art style), and none of the characters have any depth or motivation at all. I would not recommend this manhua. If you really want to read the story, maybe you should try the LN.


The story: Douluo Dalu (Soul land, Combat Continent) is the story of Tang San, a man who mastered all Tang Clan's techniques, and even learnt some hidden/forbidden technique, who jumped into hell's peak to end his life, having learnt everything from the tang sect. However he finds himself reincarnated into the world of Douluo Dalu, while retaining his memories of his past life. When he's 6yo, he leaves his home to join a spirit master academy where he'll learn about the new powers of this world, and start his new adventure. The plot is not "original" at all, but god, is it fun, the manhua follows the life of Tang san, so far there's 3 distinct parts, when he's 6, then when he's 12ish, then 20yo. The kid gets strong, gets lots of friend, and ... well read and you'll see! But he's OP af, as if god put his hand on his shoulder while saying "you, yes you, will become the one" xD that kind of bs. but it's a lot of fun. Art: It's definitively not the "most beautiful manhua ever" if you compare it to manhwas like nobless/ToG etc it's a bit garbage... that being said the quality does improve drastically over time, and is still quite enjoyable (the very start is a bit hard to digest, but it gets better really fast). The characters are really well drawn, the only thing i think could be better is the landscapes/backgrounds. but w/e Characters: I really loved all the characters in Douluo Dalu, all are quite easy to get attached to, and their stories are well put together... although one would argue that too many of them get OP, but once you've accepted that Douluo Dalu is about "OP characters doing op things" you're ok accepting w/e is thrown at you, and yet it still manages to catch you off guard most of the time. Overall: One thing you should get used to right away is : yes, Tang San & co are OP, and while the story takes its time to introduce "the big badass ennemies", once things get started, shit hits the fan and goes all over ! The relationship between Xiao Wu and Tang San is priceless, and the bounds with Shrek academy's students is just the stuff of legends. I really loved this manhua, and if you too feel like it, there's also Douluo Dalu II, the story has a different protagonist, and happens 10000 yrs after Douluo Dalu I, there are minor spoilers if you've read like the first  50 chapters, some of the things you learn are not going to surprise you at all xD. (oh and the kid in DD2 gets even more OP than Tang San...) tl;dr : read it, good shonen very well done.

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