Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint

Alt title: Jeonjijeok Dokja Sijeom

Ch: 60+
2020 - ?
4.586 out of 5 from 4,423 votes
Rank #60
Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint

Back then, Dokja had no idea. He had no idea his favorite web novel 'Three Ways to Survive the Apocalypse' was going to come to life, and that he would become the only person to know how the world was going to end. He also had no idea he would end up becoming the protagonist of this novel-turned-reality. Now, Dokja will go on a journey to change the course of the story and save humankind once and for all.

Source: Webtoon

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Reviews

mchensan
6

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. 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. CONS 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. 

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