Have you ever felt that as you grow older, you tend to like the things you hated when you were younger? This is me with sports. I never liked it when I was young, I hated the idea of it because sports = exercise and I hated exercise too. Any form of physical activity when I was young felt soul destroying. However, after re-kindling my love for wrestling a few years ago, I developed a new found respect for sports and sportsmen/athletes. Basketball is another sport that I enjoy watching from time to time and of course playing when the weather is nice!
The sports genre in comics and animation has also expanded a bit of my knowledge in various sports (but don’t quiz me on that please), and has increased my like and general interest in sports too. So for April’s edition of Manhwa Chronicles, I’m going to look at Jo Yongseok (조용석)’s cycling webtoon ‘Wind Breaker‘ (윈드브레이커)!
‘Wind Breaker’ (윈드브레이커)
This particular sports manhwa is situated around a young male high school student named Jay. Jay also happens to be the student president of his year, and to everyone else he does not do anything but study. He also seems to be private and chooses not to be sociable with his classmates. However like a Clark Kent/Superman stereotype without being exactly a superhero, he is someone completely different away from his studies. He is an incredibly talented cyclist.
After attempting and successfully owning a very dangerous hill on his bike, which is seen by his fellow high school students including junior Minu Yoon. Jay is approached shortly after by Minu who asks him to join his bike riding crew and after his first attempt is rejected, Minu offers Jay an opportunity to have a ‘ride off’ with someone else. This is the starting point in not only the story but Jay’s life to learn more about his love for cycling and be introduced to the world of the sport properly. The race itself between Jay and another male cyclist TJ is where things begin to really get exciting!
What I liked about it
First and foremost, the art style is completely my style! It’s slick and really showcases the beauty of this sport. The sport itself comes with a lot of complex tricks and speed which Jo definitely creates from each sound a bike can make to the design of an individual part of a bike.
I also loved how modern this story is. Although it is a fictional piece, the settings and how character is designed (especially with fashionable name brands that a reader can easily recognise) was very relatable to me. I felt like I was in the present moment while reading each chapter. I could see this as another reason why teenagers of this generation would be enticed by this series.
Another thing I could relate to was the idea of having a passion that is also your escapism. When I was Jay’s age (we won’t talk about how long ago that was), I was seen as someone who was a good student but back at home, that was far from the truth. I wasn’t exactly the studious or academic type. I hated studying at that age and I barely scraped by with my grades and exam results, which my parents wasn’t exactly thrilled about at the time. All I knew was that I only cared about one thing and that was music. Music is what I turned to during every phase and emotion in my life – for example, when I was going through tough times or when I was bored. Like Jay, I had friends, teachers and other peers who believed I had potential to develop my music but I guess the difference between Jay and me, is that he decided to pursue it while he was still young. Despite the age difference though, I believe that this story holds a powerful message. It teaches its readers that no matter what your passion or hobby might be, it is always good to push yourself because we, as people are capable of absolutely anything as long as we put our mind to it.
What I disliked about it
This is more on a personal note but I can’t actually ride a bike or rather I don’t know how to, so I was very jealous to see the characters ride their bikes because it made me really want to go for a cycle! I guess I couldn’t imagine the feel of cycling properly because I don’t have any experience so I never felt as cool as the characters when they rode on their bike. But like I said, that is more of a personal matter, there is nothing specifically that I disliked about this title especially when it has cool characters such a rather hip looking principal!
If I had to compare it to another well-known franchise/fictional story, ‘Wind Breaker‘ is pretty much the bike version of ‘The Fast and Furious‘. It is the epitome of ‘cool’ and really is ideal for when a reader wants to feel a sense of freedom. This is an absolute recommend if you need to have a break from when life gets too busy or if you just rather go for a ride using a different route this time.
Like most of the titles I have already reviewed, you can read ‘Wind Breaker‘ on Line Webtoons here.
Are you a fan of sports webtoons? Did you like ‘Wind Breaker‘ or do you have any other sports titles that you would like to suggest to ATK Magazine? Let us know through the comments section below!