Jin Seon lives in a nightmare. His only light is new student Kyun who becomes his first friend. Now she’s caught the eye of an insatiable murderer. To save her Jin will have to cut a deal with a demon.
My Review (a Warning)
I am accustomed to violence in manga but Bastard has a lot of violence. This is not violence like in Tokyo Ghoul, Parasyte etc where readers know this world stands alone from there own. Bastard’s violence is on a human level where disturbing s*** like this happens. There are a lot of sickos in this world who do this stuff so if you are looking for after Christmas fluff this is not going to be the read for you. Now that I’ve done my duty…
Jin Seon– Controlled by his father he is a loner who can be incredibly naïve. Jin has an almost split personality from dealing with his father’s horrors to becoming ‘human’ with his feelings for Kyun. Jin is undyingly loyal to his friends but hesitant to trust any person’s motives. He lacks any normal parental feelings with his father.
DongSoo Seon– CEO of the popular G company. The world views him as a charming kind-hearted man who goes out of his way to help old ladies cross the street. The only person aware of his real self is his son. Supposedly he is a busy man but his days contain more manipulation then paperwork.
Kyun Yoon is strong willed. She holds a passion for those she loves even taking on an extra night job just to care for her sick grandfather. Kyun is both amused and frustrated by Jin’s actions. She is embarrassed over her situation and gets offended at Jin’s misguided gifts of ‘charity’ which hurt her pride.
Initially the art was a bit on the basic side with Jin being far to close to Ciel Phantomhive from Kuroshitsuji to not leave one wondering if Sebastian would appear in the next panel. The hair hanging over one side of the face becomes even more shady after learning it is to cover up an unusual eye. Luckily for uniqueness factor Jin has a glass eye and not one sporting the mark of a demon like Ciel’s. The doppelganger features are also separated by the distortion in Jin when he is feeling ruthless. Especially when his other side plays devil’s advocate with his decisions.
The beauty of the webtoon (for me) is not in how the character looks on a normal basis. The fascination lies in the way in which the darkness behind the normal face appears. The resemblance is enough to know it is the character but the distortions scream this is not human. Part of me would feel a hint of The Scream in some of the expressions. There’s a disconcerting element to it brought on by the color change in the entire panel.
Lest it be thought Bastard is all shadows, there are many moments which the artist makes beautiful. Those scenes (like this) are an intriguing contrast to a webtoon often muted in colors.
My Review (Part 2)
Describing the plot in depth of Bastard is almost impossible. If one describes it the reader would miss out on one of the greatest plot twisted webtoons I have ever experienced. This is an experience. I was blown away before episode five when the first true evil fully emerged on the scene. Each episode added to the tiers of Bastard weaving together a horrific tale which leaves one wondering about true intentions, what lies at the heart of each character. Nothing is in the webtoon without reason even if the answer is not immediate.
Of course there are aspects which the reader foresees like Jin’s feelings for Kyun. Though both characters are more than a boy from a nice family trying to navigate teenage feelings with a girl from a normal life. Seeing the growth between the two is never boring. There are mangas (and mangakas and webtoons) where I’ve been tempted to skip through the mushy does she/doesn’t she/triangle relationship tensions to get back to the wider plot. Not so with Bastard. I haven’t read anything recently which had me addicted to it like this webtoon did. Bastard was a ‘must-spend half the night finishing this because I cannot stop’ escape.
Bastard is still ongoing with updates every Monday to keep its readers awaiting the next episode! The final episode may be near as every character is on the verge of a plot twisting climax. This sh*t is real because right now so much in the story is at stake.
To the Reader
Bastard is a fast-paced horror psychological webtoon thriller. Those genre fans are in for something disturbing. Comedy fans face major disappointment unless sadistic murderers tickle your funny bones. Romance addicts would be wise to understand you face a lot of darkness and numerous episodes before fan-girling appears. Don’t expect all out good feelings as the sweet times are usually followed by the cloud overhanging one of the most twisted individuals you find yourself going ‘aww’ over then thinking if this were someone you knew could you accept it? If you are looking for a romance with substance try Orange Marmalade or go fluffy with a oneshot like Hajimete Ageru.
Final Rating: 9.6
Author(s): Carnby Kim
Artist(s): Youngchang Hwang
Status: Korean release (Complete); English Release (Ongoing)
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Psychological
*My apologies for the months between reviews. I meant to finish this one weeks ago but am struggling with pneumonia. They are trying to knock it out with strong stuff but so far it seems the treatment just knocks me out.