If I haven’t mentioned this before, I’m definitely not a fan of the horror genre. As a matter of fact, it’s one of my biggest fears. Call me a wimp but I just about avoid anything to do with horror – films, books, posters, adverts, music; I just can’t seem to conquer that fear. However, there is a tiny percentage (probably 0.5%) where I can deal with blood, gore and villains that come in the form of demons, with fang-like teeth and that feast on humans.
Or in this month’s Manhwa Chronicles’ case, the ‘demans‘ in manhwa writer and artist POGO’s webtoon ‘LESSA’ (레사).
‘LESSA’ is horror, fantasy and action story that follows protagonists Raynold Berger, his friend and roommate Dr. Jin Young-sam and the mysterious yet powerful Lessa. The story is set in Hexagon City and unravels the aftermath of a ‘deman‘ attack that took place five years ago. During the attack, Raynold loses his mother after witnessing her brutal murder and his younger sister Lucy goes missing.
Vowing to find his sister, no matter what it takes, Raynold along with Dr. Jin Young-sam become deman hunters. During one of their hunts, Raynold crosses path with Lessa, a human-looking individual who has incredible power and seems to be the leader of the deman tribe. To Raynold, Lessa is ‘a crazy lunatic’ but it seems that Lessa holds a deeper connection to him than he knows…
What I liked about it
The portrayal of Raynold is that he’s not your typical good guy. His image comes across more like an anti-hero, someone who has fallen into becoming a potential saviour/guard for civilians however it is never favoured upon him to be seen as anything but an average guy. He is even ridiculed on the internet (with his only fan being a child) and his ‘ruthless’ behaviour often puts him almost on the brink of death each time he meets demans.
The little bites of humour now and again really gave me a good laugh as I read through this story! Humour can help bring the personality of a character out more and can also ease the readers in before a major event.
I read a reader’s comment that no one had showed any appreciation to the way POGO illustrates the story but that is all about to change right here on ATK. Not only do I really like POGO’s design for each character – they bring a whole new meaning to ‘cool’, honestly! But the choice of using monochrome colours (expect a lot of grey, black and brown) doesn’t put a damper on the plot at all. It only heightens and empathizes the emotions in each scene and character.
Although it is clear who the protagonists are, everyone has their own motive in this story. This idea really lives up to the phrase of “everyone has a reason to live” and the twist is that everybody faces questions between life and death each time they are put in a ‘hanging off the edge of your seats’ type of situation. Whether they are led by greed or someone else’s greed, all of the motives are strongly shown and clear to see.
What I disliked about it
The prologue/prelude’s length: if you can withstand 21 chapters of prologue before you reach the main story then this story is for you! But for me personally, I felt that it was just a little too long for my liking and at times became tedious because some parts didn’t feel like it added to the backstory.
This also is just be me being picky but goodness, the amount of teeth shown in this title is insane! I get that they’re monstrous but if the intention was to creep me out, it worked. There is probably enough teeth in this story to make a house filled with dentists happy!
‘LESSA’ is a lot darker than most manhwa titles that I have come across, including the action ones that I have reviewed previously. Nonetheless, that didn’t put me off from continuing on with it. It often led me to questioning out of curiosity about what the fate of some of the characters would be, especially Lucy! Of course, you would have to test your own curiosity if you wanted to know what I meant by that.
If most horror titles was like this, then maybe I could consider conquering my fear of horror again. It didn’t scare me or make me regret reading it because I lost sleep over it. F.Y.I – yes, that’s the main consequence of my fear of horror and no, I did not have any nightmares about it and I slept perfectly fine after reading!
You can catch the completed series of ‘LESSA’ on Line Webtoons and if you have already or are currently reading it, why not let us know your thoughts on the comment section below? Perhaps you may even want to recommend another manhwa/webtoon title to us, which again you can do so by leaving your recommendations on this page!