Writing this after reading the chapter 22, as correctly said by many reviewers that it is a little slow paced in the beginning but the growth of the MC (for us and not from his point of view) is what I like about these types of manhwas. How to use the knowledge of knowing what will happen is what makes you continue this manhwa. The scenario and art are similar to other dungeon related manhwas but I really have high expectations from this.
This looks very promising as of now, I’m currently writing this after reading the latest chp (chp7) it’s a little slow paced in the beginning which i don’t necessarily dislike for this manhwa, and I like that mc has a little bit of twisted personality. Overall I have really high expectations for this Manhwa, and I’m really looking forward for future chapters
After reading 100+ chapters of this manhwa, I definitely want to recommend it to everyone, I usually do a review when the work is done or when I drop the manhwa in question, but in this case I feel I can say right now that this manhwa is a masterpiece.
History: I admit that at the beginning the story is a bit of a struggle to mesh, but after you have read about 40 chapters it will all be a climb, the story will become more and more interesting and articulated, with various twists, changes of perspective and unexpected scenarios, you will never know what will really happen. I am very curious to know how it will go on, as each chapter I read becomes more and more beautiful and interesting.
Art: Fantastic, the designs are very cool, I really like the character design and the fights are also great to watch, I can say it is on par with just leveling in terms of designs.
Characters: (attention may contain spoilers) well what about all very well characterized, maybe some characters stand out less than the others, but for sure the cast is well done.
Dokja Kim: A real surprise as a protagonist, usually the overpowered protagonists of these stories tend to be annoying or unbearable, but he for sure I can say that he is one of the best protagonists I have ever seen, although sometimes I think he is too op, I really liked his way of thinking and acting, he immediately shows that he is very human and despite trying to do the right thing for sure he is not a hero who tries to save everyone regardless, but a person who sometimes has to making choices that are not always correct in order to move forward. He is pretty much the same as Jin woo yes just leveling in appearance, but they are very different temperamentally.
Sangah Yoo: very beautiful and good, but she also knows how to be ruthless when she serves, I am very happy that she has not become a maiden to be saved, as usually happens in these stories. Her evolution I can say that it hurt me a bit for how she has become, considering that before the character was very sweet and kind, seeing her ruthless and cold surprised me not a little, but in the end I like the fact that yes realizes that he is now in a world where he must try to survive, although he tries to keep his humanity all the same.
Huiwon Jung: although sometimes I don't agree with her way of thinking about her, I like how she has been characterized, she is a beautiful character.
Gilyeong LEE: a child that I would define normal as a character, he does not stand out, but he certainly knows how to be useful when needed, also I appreciated how it was one of the few who clearly told Dokja how things were, when he and others were more of a burden than a help to the protagonist.
Junghyeok YU: an asshole, but an honest asshole I have to say, I still can't understand him well, but of course there are still many things to discover about him
Suyeong HAN: my favorite girl, I love her, as well as being beautiful and cunning and also one of the few who does not entirely depend on the protagonist to be able to move forward, I appreciated her character and way of acting very much. I want to see it more in action in the future.
Conclusion: well I really recommend everyone to read this manhwa, you will not regret it, at first it might be a bit slow but then it will be all a climb, if it continues in this way it could easily become a masterpiece.
The story and plot is really interesting so far and it's unique but also kinda familiar because like another reviewer said it reminds you of dungeon reset and other shounen survival game mangas. The characters are cool too and the "protagonist" in the phone is also hot so uh that's a plus and the art is really pretty and clean. I'm only on ch 11 right now so the story seems to be moving a bit slow for me but that'll probably speed up later. The only reason why it's not a perfect score is because the MC doesn't have any strong developments so far because he already knows what's going on and only has to think but I can't really complain because that's the whole plot.
If there's anything I could describe about webtoon it's that it is incredibly frustrating. It has a premise that could go very far but lacks the cleverness needed to push it to something great. To not be overly negative, I'll start with the pros.
The Art - The art is very good and competently done. The design of the characters any the world is not particularly original but it's hard to deny that it's executed beautifully.
Well, that's my only pro. It's a very strong pro though, webtoons are a visual medium and good art makes something go from middling to good.
The Ironic Subtext - This is a story that purports that it is about reading yet fails to be introspective at all about the actual "reading" part of reading. Dokja is someone who has read a work yet has somehow read it "perfectly" in the sense that his interpretation of the story has been perfectly correct. This is not how reading works, everything is filtered through some kind of lens, particularly in a fiction story. Dokja has fostered a parasocial relationship with these characters, not a real one, yet the story fails to be particularly introspective of how a puportedly flawed protagonist would react to characters in a story he loved very much. This normally wouldn't bother me but because of the central theme of the story being about... stories, it's a big weakness right out of the gate.
The RPG elements - This dovetails a bit with the criticism above but this story is hurt pretty significantly because of the RPG elements. I read a bit of the beginning and tried to mentally block out the rpg popups and it actually made the beginning a lot creepier and scary, more befitting of a story about the apocalypse. The mystery of the world is hurt significantly by the RPG elements as it gives the characters something to cling to and relays to the reader absolute truths in interactions. Without the RPG elements, it also makes Dokja's omniscience feel unearned and superficial, as if he read an encyclopedia instead of a story.
The Ironic Unoriginality - The story is very generic so far. It has all the hallmarks of a trashy knovel power fantasy with an extra edge of making fun of the trashy power fantasies as if it is not one itself. Of course there is also the tried and true Tolkien-esque (largely inspired from germanic mythology and folklore) fantasy monsters that every litrpg and isekai love to recycle. The story has plotpoints which should show more cultural variety in this fantasy aspect yet we get the same tried and true Raid Shadow Legends type of character and monster design. If you're going to borrow deities from different cultures, why is everything based on LOTR ripoff monsters?
Using Trauma as an Aesthetic - This is largely a weakness of many "dark" korean webtoons and novels but trauma is used as an aesthetic, rather than something to be explored. Characters live through their traumas in an incredibly traumatic situation and essentially come out unscathed and happy. The MC's penchant for escapism is constantly alluded to be connected to abuse yet this aspect of Dokja is something that hasn't been explored despite being alluded to dozens of times. It feels like a vacuous attempt to be a "deep" story yet it all feels superficial since the story fails to do anything but say "well some shitty stuff happened to our characters" instead of actually exploring what that might mean. One character has implied PTSD yet instead of showing the effects of PTSD, the character walks away, gets a little sad, and quickly goes back to being happy. Not in a "I'm putting on a strong face" more like a "Thanks for fixing my PTSD guys!" How do I know this? Well, that handy RPG popup happened and essentially told me.
If anything, having Dokja have a relatively peaceful childhood would feel like a sharp critique and deeper element to explore instead of him being a victim who would inevitably turn to escapism (without that penchant for escapism having any consequences for him, instead being an important asset to him.)
The Inconsistent mechanics - I won't get into too many details but this story is largely inconsistent with its world mechanics. There are times where it takes "clever" logical jumps but actually thinking about that jump doesn't make it make any sense. For example, a character is able to find a loophole in a rule but then that loophole makes no sense because accepting that loophole would be a rejection of modern science. There are also a number of loopholes like reading "the story" having Dokja learn the biology of an animal which allows him to escape a situation yet that isn't a story detail that would actually be in any story, just in a biology textbook.
Overall Despite my cons, I still think it could be a worthy read. Is it good? No, not at all. Is it entertaining? Well, eh, I've read enough of these types webtoons to be bored of the cookie-cutter story arcs and habit of just being violent for violence's sake.
Read it for the art but be ready to be frustrated by the superficial explorations of its premise. I'm dropping it but so far, the story tries so hard to be deep yet takes the most superficial route every time.