Winter Woods

Ch: 52
2014 - 2015
4.548 out of 5 from 779 votes
Rank #415
Winter Woods

A few thousand years has passed since an alchemist created Winter. He is now living with Jane learning what it means to be alive as a human.

Source: Webtoon

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I just want to get my thoughts down while I'm reading it (shrug). The art is beautiful, with glossy-skinned characters and soft shading, as well as Winter Woods's gorgeous blue eyes. Winter Woods is basically Frankenstein's monster: A being that somehow lives and moves with the body of a human but suffers from the lack of possessing an innate understanding or connection with other people. Right away this brings about a certain question: Is he fairly emotionless and disconnected because he's not human or because his Master isolated him from the villagers for many years and did very little to teach him how to develop feelings? Nature vs Nurture in its most extreme sense. Winter Woods simply shouldn't be, but he is. He reminds me of a much more naive, amoral Ulquiorra from Bleach, both in looks and behavior, almost like an inherently gentler younger brother. Much like a non-stick pie tin, nothing that his master had taught him in the ways of the world really stuck (mostly because he didn't teach him anything to begin with). People are new to him. Emotions are new. Touching people, talking to them; the concept of someone's personal belongings, and the idea of pain. All are new experiences for him by living with Jane, a struggling writer who has agreed to house Winter on a whim and for the possibility of getting a good story out of it. All of this is fascinating to watch. I see parallels in Winter's behavior with that of a child struggling to connect to people after years of neglect have left a hole in their psyche where love and human bonding should have been. The simple joy Winter acquires when he realizes, for example, that what we call a "hug" feels good to him is very touching. In these moments the author focuses on those connections, fleeting though they are, because they're important for Woods and his understanding of how everyday human life is. A concurrent story involves a blind girl who is in love with a very shady man who seems to keep her around as a pet of sorts, and she doesn't mind in the slightest. Their relationship seems 90% her, 10% him but it's still an interesting segue from the main action of Jane and Woods. The man is a twisted bastard, I'll give him that... My only complaint about this story is the parakeet/cockatoo/whatever-bird named Roy. He is so annoying. I wish he wasn't a character or his personality was changed entirely. He constantly belittles everyone around him, is stuck-up, rude, and gets Winter into trouble. He's selfish and a smartass. If this is the author's attempt at humor, it's unnecessary and drags everything down, I find. I mean, every time I see Roy on the page I internally flinch like "Oh God what is the little shit going to say next? I don't care that you exist, please go away, for the love of all that is good." You will feel protective of these characters, though Jane just seems to be a plot device or a useful tool that gives us the opportunity to further look into Winter's life. I like her and all, but not as intensely as Winter himself. One thing that kind of put me off was that in the beginning everything was very serious and there were very rarely any "silly faces" to be made. After around half-way when Winter gets settled in, he's like Yotsuba in all the shenanigans he gets into. It's thankfully tempered by his endearing naivete (also like Yotsuba!) and his growing sense of what it means to be human, eventually a slice-of-life with a subtle conspiracy-but-not-quite under the surface regarding his past and the people that are constantly monitoring him without either Jane or Winter's knowledge. It certainly goes by fast and should be something to take a look at.

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