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Trivia And Questions About The Frost Giants (Ragnarok Manhwa)

Monday, December 30, 2013 No comments:
Ragnarok: Into The Abyss introduces us to Frost Giants as part of the manhwa's character lineup. Just what interesting trivia is there about these beings and what questions can we ask about them?
frost giants, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
The very first volume of the aforementioned graphic novel introduces us to the Frost Giants as the Valkyrie named Sara Irine shows up to confront Fenris Fenrir with these beings in tow to help her. When I first saw these huge weird-looking creatures and the comic just told us that these guys were actually Frost Giants, one of the first questions that I had was what exactly was going on?

Why are Frost Giants helping the Valkyries? Are they working for Freya (since Sara is apparently working for said goddess)? If so, then why? These are valid questions to ponder and wonder about because the manhwa says that it is loosely based on Norse Mythology.

As such, it is important to know the differences between the comic and mythology so that those who know about the Norse myths and legends will not be confused at seeing that things aren't exactly the same as how they are supposed to be. It's not that it's wrong for the comic to be different from how it is in Norse Mythology. That's actually perfectly fine.

But it would be much better if the graphic novel actually told us about these differences and explained why things are different so that we don't have to be confused. This is exactly why there are so many confusing things (and why we have way too many questions) about Ragnarok's Frost Giants because they are very much different from how they really are in mythology.

frost giants, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
In Norse Mythology, the Frost Giants are also known as the Jotuns. They lived in Jotunheim, one of the many worlds (the others include Asgard, the realm of the gods, and Midgard, the human realm).

It is usually said or known that the Frost Giants are not exactly on good terms with the Aesir (what you would call the Norse gods and goddesses).

To illustrate, let's take a look at the story about the Frost Giant called Geirrod. Since this guy hated the god Thor, he got Loki (when he succeeded in capturing him) to promise that the latter will bring Thor to him so the giant could kill him.

To make a long story short, Thor is somehow warned about Geirrod's plan, so, instead of Geirrod killing him, the god is the one who succeeds in murdering the aforementioned Jotun, his daughters and the other Frost Giants in the near vicinity.

This and some other stories show that the Jotuns aren't exactly on good terms with the Aesir. Those who know about this will thus wonder why it is that the giants in the Ragnarok manhwa appear to be working for and helping the gods since they seem to have no problems obeying the Valkyries.

frost giants, valkyries, sara irine, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
It's fine if this is really the case (that the Jotuns are really on the side of Freya and her followers), but it's not fine that we didn't get any explanation as to why this is the way things are.

Without any explanations, this just doesn't seem believable especially when you take into consideration that the Frost Giants from Norse Mythology aren't exactly all friendly and helpful and some of them even hate the Aesir (Geirrod is one prime example of that).

Regrettably, the graphic novel doesn't seem inclined to explain any of this anytime soon. As the comic progresses, it looks like we might never get an explanation and will just have to accept this (somehow) as fact.

This is becoming more and more likely as we get to Chapter 8 of Volume 2 wherein Matthew says, upon seeing the arrival of the Jotuns led by Sara Irine, that the Frost Giants haven't been seen in a thousand years and that all of them were believed to be dead already.

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, sara irine, valkyrie, fenris fenrir, frost giants
This statement brings forth a lot more questions regarding the Jotuns:

  • Matthew's statement implies that the giants have been to Midgard (since the city of Fayon is located in that realm) before so, if that's the case, why would the Jotuns be in that world?
  • What reason would they have to be in the human realm?
  • How often are they there?
  • How come they weren't seen for a thousand years?
  • What happened to them?
  • Why did people think they died?
  • Did some of them die (because clearly some are still alive)?

Unfortunately, we don't get answers to any of these and no other character from the manhwa seems interested in asking on our behalf. *Sigh* It's rather frustrating, isn't it? So, what do you think of the Frost Giants from Ragnarok: Into The Abyss? Do you find them believable? Do you think the comic should have explained more things about them?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by Louis Huard (Public Domain) from Wikimedia Commons
- Said image was chosen because it depicts one of the giants from Norse Mythology
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget

Problems With Guarding Wind, Balder's Sword In Ragnarok Manhwa

Friday, December 27, 2013 No comments:
ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, guarding wind, balder, sword
The very first volume of Ragnarok: Into The Abyss tells us that Balder has a sword called Guarding Wind. What's so strange and weird about that? And what other questions can be asked about this sword?

First of all, it should be noted that, in Norse Mythology Balder does not have a sword. I searched around, to be sure, but I could not find any references of the god having a sword, much less one that is called Guarding Wind.

Why should this matter to us though? It matters because Ragnarok: Into The Abyss tells us that it is loosely based on Norse Mythology.

As such, all those who know some myths and legends about the Norse gods will want to be informed of the differences between what is said in mythology and how it is in the manhwa. So, with that said, the question now is why would Balder have a sword and why would it be called Guarding Wind?
ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, guarding wind, sword, balder
This wouldn't have mattered at all if we were talking about a different character or one who is not based on a figure from Norse Mythology. But since we're talking about Balder who isn't known to have a sword, the comic should have explained the reason for this sword's existence and the fact that it apparently belongs to said god.

Unfortunately, we get no explanation whatsoever. Instead, in Chapter 2 of Volume 1, we just get that Guarding Wind can apparently help Fenris Fenrir find Balder, which is certainly believable since the sword does belong to the guy.

Things change (that is to say that things are no longer all that believable) when we get to chapter 5 of the same volume as Fenris begins to do some sort of spell or ritual, which makes use of the sword. She soon reveals that she doesn't remember the entirety of her past as of yet and that not all of the memories of her past life have returned.

Apparently, Guarding Wind is the key to allowing her to remember everything, but the questions are why and how because none of this makes sense in the least. The sword belongs to Balder and not to her, so it would have made more sense if the weapon was the key to helping her find the reincarnation of the god or if it would help Balder recall his forgotten memories.

Either or both of those scenarios would have been much more believable. Of course, neither happens and Fenrir doesn't contemplate any of this at all as she just focuses on finishing the weird spell or ritual that she was doing.

fenris fenrir, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, guarding wind, sword
The end of the spell or ritual showed her a path, which she decided to follow. There's nothing wrong with that, but the question now is where exactly will this path lead her?

Will it lead her to her forgotten memories or to Balder's reincarnation? By doing what she just did with the sword, was she able to remember all of her past life?

These things aren't clear at all and we're left wondering about the answers to these questions even as the graphic novel progresses.

It should be noted that the sword apparently led Fenris Fenrir to Chaos since the two will soon meet. However, there's no mention of whether or not she already remembers all of her memories. Speaking of this meeting between two of the main characters, why is it that when the two had met, Fenrir had not handed the sword over to its rightful owner?

No, seriously, did you notice that Guarding Wind just seemingly disappeared as you continue reading the comic? It was such a big deal in volume 1 of the manhwa that you'd think that it was some very important artifact that will be the key to many plot points. But the sword just vanishes seemingly without a trace. And no one mentions it anymore, not even Fenris Fenrir.

Again, I have to ask, why didn't she give the weapon to Chaos who, as Balder's reincarnation, is its rightful owner? Where did Guarding Wind disappear to? Why did it disappear? And how come no one is asking about this? What do you think happened to Balder's sword? Do you think we'll ever see this sword ever again? What's your theory on why it simply vanished without a trace?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki (CC:BY-SA) based on the image by angelfire7508 (CC:BY-SA) from deviantArt
- Said image is meant to represent the sword of Balder
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget

Why Is Skurai After Chaos (Ragnarok Manhwa)?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 No comments:
An alternate title for this post is 'the inconsistency of Skurai'. Skurai is a character from Ragnarok: Into The Abyss manhwa who is apparently after Chaos. What could be so wrong and inconsistent about that?
skurai, chaos, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
The simple answer to the post title question is that Talatsu, Skurai's cursed sword, apparently wants Chaos' blood, which would explain why the swordsman is after the guy.

"Okay, so what's the point of writing a post that can be answered by a single sentence?" you ask.

The point is that the supposed answer can't be classified as acceptable or satisfactory, not in the least and certainly not when this was never shown (note the word used is 'shown' and not 'told') in the manhwa. What does that mean exactly?

To explain, let's start with Volume 2, Chapter 10 wherein we find out that Skurai is in the city of Fayon. That in itself doesn't make sense at all because the comic never explains why the swordsman is there or how he even got there.

skurai, chaos, talatsu, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss
The last time we see the man was in Volume 1, Chapter 6 wherein we were first introduced to him. In that chapter, he was last seen about to fight with someone who was apparently after him.

Then, the next time we meet him in Chapter 10 of Volume 2, he's already in Fayon and I suppose we just have to assume that he won against that guy who challenged him back in Volume 1.

But that doesn't explain why he's in Fayon, because, really, isn't it awfully convenient of him to be in the exact same city where everyone else (meaning all the other main characters) have converged?

Our questions aren't answered though. Instead, we are brought to Chapter 12 of the same volume wherein we find out that Skurai and Talatsu can sense Sara Irine's power, though how they can smell it, I have no idea. But the cursed sword wants Sara's blood, so they go after her.

In Chapter 13, we see the swordsman flying towards the Valkyrie, intending to ram his weapon in her, but he appears to have hit Lord Irine instead. As we can see, there is nothing in this volume about Skurai even noticing Chaos or intending to go after him because of Talatsu. It was Sara that the sword wanted and even Lord Irine.

skurai, assassins guild, odin's beholders, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss
Neither of the two (weapon and wielder) paid any attention to the resident main character, so how could things suddenly and so abruptly change?

I have no idea, but things definitely changed and it doesn't seem all that believable at all. Why and what does that mean?

In Volume 3 of Ragnarok: Into The Abyss, Skurai is brought to the headquarters of the Assassins' Guild thanks to Odin's Beholders.

It's also thanks to the two that the swordsman decided to decimate the entire guild. Okay, that seems believable actually since Talatsu is apparently always thirsty for blood and Skurai is only too happy to oblige.

Things take a sudden turn for the unbelievable when we get to Volume 4's summary though. This is where we're told (yes, told and never shown, unfortunately) that Skurai is now apparently after Chaos.

To that, the only thing I can say is why? Seriously, how could Skurai be after the protagonist now when he never even took notice of him back in Fayon. Back in that city, the swordsman was busy paying attention to Sara and Lord Irine that Chaos didn't even fit in the equation.

chaos, skurai, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss
So, what changed? And, really, when did Skurai plan to destroy the Assassins' Guild and frame it all on the main character? How could this even be possible or plausible?

After all, the only reason Skurai was even at the guild headquarters was thanks to Odin's Beholders and the only reason he agreed to kill all the assassins was due to the beholders convincing him to do so.

There was no mention of the swordsman planning to frame his crimes on the protagonist or even wanting to fight Chaos and yet, now, apparently, Skurai had planned this all along.

It doesn't make sense, does it? Don't you wish the manhwa had shown all these things to us instead of just telling us that this is what happened so you better believe it and accept it as fact, even if the graphic novel itself didn't say anything about it at all?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by arifinsam (CC:BY) from deviantArt
- Said image is meant to represent Skurai since the figure looks powerful and he even has a sword
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget

What Happened 1000 Years Ago In Ragnarok Manhwa?

Saturday, December 21, 2013 No comments:
manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss
If you've read or been reading Ragnarok: Into The Abyss, then you must have wondered, even just once, what exactly happened 1000 years ago especially since the manhwa keeps alluding to this event.

Just what can be so frustrating about finding the answer to the post title? To start with, I seriously contemplated titling this post, "Where's Odin (in Norse Mythology, he's the king of the gods)?"

Why? It's because I found myself asking that way too many times as I read Ragnarok: Into The Abyss and saw many of the Norse Mythology characters (like Frigg and Fenris Fenrir), but no Odin. Clearly, this had something to do with whatever happened 1000 years ago since the goddess Freya is apparently the supreme ruler of Asgard now.
ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
With this post, I aim to present the things I've found out regarding the events of a thousand years ago. I still haven't finished reading the manhwa and the information given regarding the aforementioned event is sparse enough as it is, so we still don't know all the details of what really happened.

We first find out that Freya is apparently the ruler of Asgard (the realm of the gods) now (in the present timeline of the comic). The most important question is why? How could she be the ruler of Asgard when, in Norse Mythology, that position is supposed to be held by Odin with his wife, Frigg, as his queen (yeah, I was asking, "Where's Odin?" at this point too)?

Even with the manhwa being loosely based on Norse Mythology, this still warrants an explanation especially since we later find out that Frigg had been the queen of the gods. Why is Freya the enemy anyway? We keep hearing about her, but, so far, I've never seen her and she's never been formally introduced. What is the resident antagonist or evil villain up to? What is she planning?

In Volume 1, Chapter 4 of Ragnarok, we find out that Fenris Fenrir had been reincarnated and that her memories had been sealed. It was only now that the seal had been broken, which was why she only started looking for Balder now and not before.

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
She apparently died since she was reincarnated. Why did she die then? This clearly has something to do with whatever happened a thousand years ago, but we don't know any of the details.

In Volume 2, Chapter 7, Chaos and Fenris meet up and the latter explains everything to the former. Unfortunately, this explanation isn't shared with the readers, which is really too bad.

It would have been very nice to finally know exactly what was going on. Instead, we have to content ourselves with the summary that Chaos gives.

Apparently, Balder and Fenris fought with Freya a thousand years ago. Why? What reason would those two have to fight with the goddess? Is this fight 2 against 1?

The main protagonist also adds that Balder had been killed and that his body and soul were separated, but he was reborn as Chaos. In Chapter 8 of the same volume, Fenris clarifies that the god wasn't truly dead precisely because his body and soul had been separated.

Is this what happened with her as well? How could the 2 main characters lose to Freya if they were working side-by-side? Did the antagonist have an army to help her win? Didn't the 2 have their own followers and supporters to help them beat the goddess?

frigg, odin, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, norse mythology, balder
In Volume 2, Chapter 14, we are told about yet another event that happened 1000 years ago, which appears to have nothing to do with Fenris, Balder and Freya.

Apparently, 1000 years ago, fire demons wanted to destroy Midgard, but they lost. This was known as the War of the Gods, though why, I don't know.

Midgard is, after all, the mortal realm and the fire demons should have been from Muspelheim (a realm of fire that is one of the many worlds in Norse Mythology).

Surt (or Surtr. He actually appears in Norse Mythology as the ruler of the aforementioned Muspelheim) is the name of the one who wanted to destroy Midgard, but this guy called Tanat shows up to fight him and (surprise, surprise. Did anyone actually expect Surt to win?) the hero wins.

Who is this Tanat? I searched around, but it seems that he isn't a figure from Norse Mythology. Is he a mortal or a god? How was he able to beat the fire lord Surt? Unfortunately, this appears to be the last time we'll be hearing about this fire thing because volume 3 of Ragnarok brings us back to the events surrounding Balder and Fenris with the mention of Frigg.

Chapter 21 from that volume says that Frigg disappeared a thousand years ago, though why, we don't know. And, yes, there's still no mention of Odin even with Frigg's mention or her subsequent appearance (just how likely is it that the very person you're talking about will suddenly show up in front of you?).

So Frigg shows up, and, in Chapter 22 of Volume 3, she explains a number of things to our resident protagonists that is no doubt also for the benefit of the readers. She says that, 1000 years ago, when Fenris Fenrir and Balder were dying-

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, goddess, freya, norse mythology
Here, I had to interrupt whatever she was saying to ask some essential questions. Why were those two dying? Should they even be able to die? They're both gods, aren't they?

If they were fighting against Freya, then why were they losing? And why were they fighting against her in the first place (yeah, I said something like this before already, but it really bears repeating especially since the manhwa itself says this again and yet offers no satisfactory explanation whatsoever)?

Anyway, Frigg continues her explanation to say that she made a deal in order to save the dying Fenris and Balder from Hel. Let's ignore that deal for now (it really warrants its own post or at least it should go with a post about Frigg) and move on to the comic's next reference to the events that happened a thousand years ago.

That next reference brings us to Volume 4 of Ragnarok, specifically in the story so far portion. Most unfortunately, there is yet more telling in this section of the manhwa and this one just might be the worst yet. Why, you ask? It's because this is where we find some of what happened one thousand years ago.

Apparently, Ragnarok happened at the aforementioned time, which would thus explain all the fighting that appeared to have taken place, but which doesn't explain why Balder and Fenris fought with Freya. So, the gods, men and demons fought, but, according to the story so far, Asgard did not fall.

We don't really get what happened though (which is beyond unfortunate and even highly frustrating and annoying. Really, if we're just being told anyway, why can't we be properly told or at least shown?) since it just says that Fenris and Balder died fighting (even though previously, it had been established that they didn't exactly die. Consistency, where could you be?) on the side of those who want to end the age of the gods.

Even that little tidbit warrants a few questions, foremost of which is why? After all, Balder himself is a god, so why would he want to end the age of the gods?

Just as to be expected, our questions are left unanswered as the only thing we get is that Fenris and Balder have been reborn and that Freya is now the ruler of Asgard (yeah, we knew that already, but apparently the story so far just has to tell us yet again. At least it's telling us about things we already know and not revealing entire plot points to us, which we should have been shown by way of reading the graphic novel).

Don't you wish we would get a proper flashback on what exactly happened 1000 years ago so that it's crystal clear for us? Where do you think Odin is? Do you think we'll ever get the answers to all our questions? What else can you say about what happened 1000 years ago in the Ragnarok manhwa?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by Friedrich Wilhelm Heine (Public Domain) from Wikimedia Commons
- Said image was chosen because it actually depicts a scene from Ragnarok in Norse Mythology
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget

Initial Thoughts About The Magic System Of Ragnarok Manhwa

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 No comments:
What can you say about the magic system of Ragnarok: Into The Abyss manhwa? One thing I can say is that it's pretty cool (Oops, that's actually 2 words, but, oh well). What else can be said about this topic? And what might be the problem with it?
magic system, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Yes, I'll say it again: I think the magic system of Ragnarok: Into The Abyss is pretty cool and interesting from what I've seen so far (since I'm still not done reading this manhwa, hence the word "initial" as part of the title of this post). Really, how could it not be interesting or cool when we see such things as magical items and impressive abilities and powerful weapons and the like?

However, there were many other things regarding the magic system to take note of, foremost of which is how does all this work exactly? What does that mean, you ask? I'm talking about the limitations and constraints of the magic system in the world of this graphic novel.

When we read fiction, especially the kind that involves magic and fantasy, there is what is known as suspension of disbelief wherein we don't question why magic exists in the world of whatever we're reading. Instead, we accept that magic is real and that it exists in that world even if it isn't real in our own world.

The same can be said with this comic. So I'm not questioning why there is magic in this world or why they have magical items, cool powers, abilities and weapons. Really, that's all well and good, very much so, actually. So, what is the problem then? The problem is we are, so far, never told how things really work in this manhwa.

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
We don't know the constraints and limits of the magical abilities of the characters or how powerful their weapons and items really are.

It's not only that I am interested in knowing these things (because this stuff is really cool), it's also how, even if we accept that magic is real and that it exists in the world of whatever we're reading, there still needs to be a method as to how these things can work instead of just telling us that it works because it works.

In other words, even a world where magic exists should still have laws and rules as to how these things work. Besides, if everyone can do pretty much whatever they want, then the characters can appear super powered and as if they can do anything.

If that's the case, then what's the point of the story? Just have the good guys beat the bad guys with their magical super powers that can do anything and everything. With all that out of the way, let's take a look at some of the instances that magic, spells, weapons and the like were used in Ragnarok: Into The Abyss:

Weapons

Many of the characters in this comic have such interesting and powerful weapons, but, don't you wonder where these items came from? Who made these things? Also, some weapons, like Talatsu, appear to be able to speak, but how? And, speaking of Talatsu, is it that the spirit or soul of a person was locked or imprisoned inside the sword that Skurai carries?

skurai, talatsu, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Is that why it can speak? Or is it that the weapon can just talk, but it wasn't human before? Furthermore, how are cursed swords made? How did Skurai's weapon become one? Why does it want blood?

And why is the swordsman following his weapon around and listening to it? Is it because he has no choice in the matter or is it that he actually wants to kill all these people?

Even Chaos has a magic sword called Vision, but it doesn't appear to be able to talk. Fenris Fenrir has this staff too and this one appears to be able to talk.

So, what's the criteria in order for a weapon to be able to talk? Why is it that some of them can talk while others can't?

Spells / Rituals

This is one of the more confusing aspects of the magic system in Ragnarok. A lot of the characters seem to be able to effortlessly cast spells or do rituals, but we never really find out exactly how this is done as well as what the constraints and limitations are. To illustrate, let's talk about what some of the characters have done so far with regards to casting spells or rituals:

Fenris Fenrir

In Chapter 1 of Volume 1, she casts some sort of spell in order to get rid of the gargoyles attacking her. She does this by uttering some words. So, is it that spells can be cast simply by chanting some words? Did she make up the chant to the spell she's casting or is this known by other people? Is this the standard spell used to get rid of gargoyles?

fenris fenrir, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Later on, we see Fenris Fenrir slashing at her hands with a dagger and she appears to be doing some sort of magic ritual or something.

So, it seems that not all spells require the mere chanting of words since the woman had to slash at herself and chant words before she could do this spell or ritual.

How does she know how to do this anyway? Exactly how much blood is needed for her to be able to cast this spell?

When we get to Chapter 5 of the same volume, we see her doing some sort of weird ritual or spell with Balder's sword (known as Guarding Wind). She sets up stuff for this, makes use of the sword and even starts chanting, but how does this work exactly?

Iris Irine

In Volume 1, Chapter 3, Iris Irine says that she will infuse Chaos' sword with the Aesir's powers, but how exactly can she do this? She chants something while moving around and then, seemingly all of the sudden, Vision transforms into a sword of magic. Where did she learn all the things that she knows?

Abilities

Many different abilities can be found in this manhwa, and, while they are certainly cool, they also bring a whole lot of unanswered questions. Let's take a look at some of these abilities:

Flying

Some Ragnarok characters can apparently fly like Lord Irine and even Sara Irine. The question is, can everyone else fly or is it only select characters? How did these characters learn how to fly? Can people fly for long periods of time or is there a limit to how long they can do this?

Teleportation

In Volume 1, Chapter 2, Fenris Fenrir was able to teleport (wind teleportation, she called it) away from the Valkyrie and the Frost Giants. Can everyone else teleport? Can't Sara teleport too? If she can, then why didn't she follow Fenris? What stopped her from following the woman if she can also teleport? If she can't teleport, then why not?

skurai, talatsu, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss

Magical Items

The magical items in this graphic novel are really cool, but they would have been much, much cooler if we knew exactly how these things worked. Let's take a look at some of these stuff:

In Volume 1, Chapter 2, Sara Irine uses what she calls a talisman, but how do these things work in the world of Ragnarok? Where did these items come from? Who made them?

In Chapter 4 of the same volume, Iris makes use of some sort of talisman too and she chants some things while using these items and the effect is different from what Sara did so what are these things then?

We also find out that Fenris Fenrir has what is called a Prophet Medallion, but what is this thing? What can it do? How did it help her find Balder? Later, we also find that there are these things called Rune Cards, which appear to be able to cause explosions or something. But what are Rune Cards?

Extras

It appears that there are portals in this manhwa too since the Valkyrie and her Frost Giants appeared to have arrived in Fayon by way of a portal. But how do portals work? Who can make them? How do you make one? So, can these be used to travel between worlds? Can you go anywhere by way of a portal, regardless of how far your destination is?

What kind of power or ability does Arkana have (other appropriate questions would be who is she and where did she come from)? She suddenly materialized a pitcher from out of nowhere and then proceeded to fill a glass with water just so she can drink. That's cool and all, but how was she able to do that?

So, what do you think about the magic system of Ragnarok: Into The Abyss so far? Do you pay attention to these things? Should people just accept whatever it is the characters can do even if it doesn't seem to make sense anymore?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by Rusembell (CC:BY) from deviantArt
- Said image is meant to represent the magic system in the comic as the figure is doing some pretty cool magical stuff, which we know nothing about
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget

Questions About Lord Irine (Ragnarok Manhwa)

Sunday, December 15, 2013 No comments:
lord irine, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Lord Irine is a character from Ragnarok: Into The Abyss manhwa. He's the father of Iris Irine and the ruler of the city of Fayon.

What do you think about him? And what are some of the questions that we should be asking him or that we can ask about him?

The truth is that we didn't really get to know Lord Irine much since he only appears for a short period of time in the manhwa and then he soon dies.

And that's before he could explain much of anything to his daughter, Iris, and to us, the readers.

All we really know is that, 12 years ago, he apparently made some sort of mistake regarding his other daughter, Sara Irine, and that he killed his own wife, Sara's mother. But we don't know exactly what he did to his eldest child or why he did it.

Hopefully, the manhwa will tell us about all of this soon (update: the Ragnarok comic was never finished and, unfortunately, we never get an explanation about any of this). In the meantime, let's take a look at some questions regarding Lord Irine.

In Chapter 9, Volume 2 of Ragnarok: Into The Abyss, Lord Irine tells Iris that she has an older sister.

  • The question is why is he telling her about this now?
  • Why didn't or why couldn't he tell her about this before?
  • Why does he even bother telling her about this when he didn't see the need to tell her before?
  • Doesn't this seem awfully convenient since, after all, a few pages later, Lord Irine will be confronting the very person he was telling Iris about?

lord irine, peony irine, sara irine, iris irine, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss
In the same chapter and volume, Lord Irine also tells his daughter that he knows she will be meeting her sister soon. How does he know that?

Of course, he was right and it did happen (Iris and Sara did meet, a few pages later, in fact). But that doesn't explain how and why the ruler of Fayon knew that the sisters will be meeting soon.

Is it right for him to be able to know these things? It doesn't seem believable and it doesn't seem to make sense either. Could Lord Irine have the ability to see into the future or something?

Iris, naturally, asks her father questions, but, before her father can properly explain, they are interrupted by explosions (naturally and conveniently timed or so it seems). The two then fly (don't ask me how they can fly, the magic system in this manhwa is really confusing, to say the least) to where all the commotion is.

Don't you wonder why Lord Irine took his daughter with him when he went to confront Sara? Wouldn't Iris be much safer where they had been since they were currently far away from where all the fighting was? He could have left her there and gone to help out Matthew and the others in dealing with the Valkyrie and the Frost Giants.

Then, when he arrived at the place where all the fighting was, he could have decided to send some of his guards and soldiers to where Iris is, just to make doubly sure that she really will be safe. Doesn't that sound like the much better (not to mention more logical and believable) option?

sara irine, valkyrie, lord irine, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss
Why didn't he do that then? Why did he have to bring his child with him? Why couldn't he have just left her there?

What was the reason that she just had to accompany him? After all, it wasn't like Iris Irine was of any help even when they got there.

While the manhwa showed us how Lord Irine fought with Sara and the Frost Giants, it also showed us how Iris was pretty much just watching the ongoing fight without really doing anything at all except getting in the way.

We saw how she was attacked by Sara and subsequently injured, which also showed her father's concern, care and love for his beloved child.

Later on, we find out that Peony Irine is apparently the mother of Iris. So, that would mean that she is Lord Irine's second wife (since Sara's mother would thus be the first) then, right? Why does Peony refer to her husband as "Lord Irine" then?

What do you think of these questions about Lord Irine? Do you think these questions should have been answered? If you were in Lord Irine's shoes, would you have done things differently (such as leaving Iris where she is when going to confront Sara)?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by Rusembell (CC:BY) from deviantArt
- Pic is meant to represent Lord Irine since the figure in said image looks like a lord and a warrior
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget

Valkyrie Sara Irine's Attack On Fayon (Ragnarok Manhwa)

Thursday, December 12, 2013 No comments:
The Valkyrie named Sara Irine is a character from Ragnarok: Into The Abyss. In volume 2 of said manhwa, she attacked the city of Fayon. What are some of the questions that we should ponder regarding this incident?
valkyrie, sara irine, fayon, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Volume 2 of the Ragnarok manhwa reveals many things about Sara Irine, but it can also be rather confusing (read: really, honestly, it could have been so much clearer than what was presented to us).

Sara Irine in the city of Fayon

In Ragnarok: Into The Abyss Volume 2, the aforementioned Valkyrie heads to the city of Fayon. The most important question regarding this is why. What is the reason why she went to this city? This is something that warrants thinking about because she didn't go to Fayon by herself. She brought Frost Giants with her and she's clearly here to pick a fight.

Now, the character handbook a few pages or so ago mentioned (though, really, perhaps it would have been better to show these things to us instead of outright telling us about it) that Sara wanted revenge on the city where she was born because it apparently abandoned her.

Thus, it seems pretty obvious that this city is Fayon even though the handbook didn't mention or specify a name. After all, if Fayon wasn't the city where Sara was born, why else would she be here then?

sara irine, fayon, balder, fenris fenrir, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss

The reason Sara is in Fayon

Speaking of the reason why Sara would even be in Fayon, this could be one of two things. The first is that she could have been here to take revenge on the people that have somehow wronged her, just like the handbook says.

The second is what Fenris Fenrir later says. She claims to sense Sara Irine and assumes that the Valkyrie must have come for her and Balder.

Her reasoning makes sense, however, there is no evidence in the manhwa to prove that this is really the case. Why not, you ask? To answer this, let's take a look at what Sara did as soon as she got to Fayon:

  • She had her Frost Giants attack everyone in the city practically as soon as they got there
  • She was busy watching as her Frost Giants fought with Matthew and the rest of the soldiers of Fayon
  • Neither Fenris nor Balder (Chaos) were anywhere near where Sara currently was, so, if she was really looking for them, then why is she attacking the wrong people?
  • She didn't even mention or think about either Fenris or Balder the whole time she was watching the ongoing fight between her Frost Giants and her enemies
  • Instead, she was busy gloating

With this, it appears that Fenris was mistaken in her assumption and that the Valkyrie hadn't come to Fayon to track her and Balder down. Well, that's good news for both her and Chaos, but, if we thus operate under the idea that Sara was in this city for the purpose of revenge, this opens a whole new set of questions for us to ponder and think about.

chooser of the slain, sara irine, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, valkyrie
The most noteworthy question to ask is why is the Valkyrie only just now attacking the city of Fayon? Why didn't she attack it before? Why does she have to attack it now?

After all, whatever she was mad about happened 12 years ago, so what stopped her from going to Fayon and destroying everyone and everything there a few years ago?

Couldn't she attack the city years before the manhwa started? If she couldn't, then why not? Also, shouldn't she be reporting to Freya about her failure in stopping Fenris from obtaining Guarding Wind, Balder's sword?

Does she really have time to be taking her revenge on Fayon right now? Surely, Freya didn't authorize this? And if the goddess actually did, the question, of course, is why? Perhaps we might have a better and clearer understanding of things if we knew what exactly happened to Sara 12 years ago. But that's just the problem. We don't know.

What happened to Sara Irine 12 years ago?

Events that happened 12 years ago, particularly with regards to her past and childhood, keep being alluded to, but we never get a clear explanation on what exactly happened. Whatever happened back then sounds interesting enough, but it would have been so much better if we got more of an explanation regarding these events.

sara irine, iris irine, lord irine, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss
True, we did get flashbacks, but these hardly told us anything of use at all.

Lord Irine tells Iris Irine that he made a mistake or that the choice he made was a mistake 12 years ago, but he never gets around to explaining exactly what it was that he did due to a convenient interruption in the form of an explosion, which effectively ended his conversation with his daughter.

But, seriously, what did he and the rest of Fayon try to do to Sara exactly?

A few pages later, it becomes apparent that Lord Irine attempted to kill his child and that he'd even killed Sara's mother, but that just brings us to the question of why. Why did he kill Sara's mother who is supposed to be his wife? Why did he want to kill his daughter?

The flashbacks we were shown indicated that he and the Valkyrie used to be close and that his daughter had a pretty good childhood with loving and caring parents before it all mysteriously changed one day. The question is, of course, what changed and why did it change? What reason did Lord Irine have to want to kill his own daughter when parts of the flashback we were shown illustrated him being fond of Sara?

It doesn't make sense, does it? It also appears confusing, very much so. What do you think? Do you find that none of this makes sense and that it's all very confusing? What can you say about the Valkyrie Sara Irine's attack on the city of Fayon?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by Rusembell (CC:BY) from deviantArt
- Said image is meant to symbolize the Valkyrie Sara Irine
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget

Initial Thoughts About Ragnarok Manhwa - Show, Don't Tell

Monday, December 09, 2013 No comments:
chaos, balder, fenris fenrir, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss
I'm currently still reading Ragnarok: Into The Abyss, but I decided to write about some things that I've noticed about this manhwa, particularly regarding its tendency to tell instead of show.

But what exactly does this mean? The phrase "show, don't tell" is something that most will have heard of especially if they are into reading and writing.

This is a very good advice and rule to follow because it keeps readers interested in whatever story you're telling and prevents them from becoming bored with the blandness of merely being told things.

Of course, there's more to "show, don't tell" than that, but this is not a writing lesson, so let's get to the main point of this post, which is that there are several instances in the Ragnarok manhwa wherein I've observed that there was definitely a lot of telling instead of showing. So, what are some of these instances? And why can they be said to be telling instead of showing?
ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, show, don't tell
One of the first instances where I noticed a whole lot of telling rather than showing was in Ragnarok Volume 2, specifically in the very beginning of said volume. Before we get to that though, let's recap the information that we know or learned from reading volume 1:

  • We are introduced to a number of characters
  • We know Iris' last name is Irine because it was mentioned in this volume
  • We know that Iris and Chaos are apparently friends since they are traveling together
  • We know they killed that monster for the reward money
  • We know that Sara Irine has been ordered by Freya to stop Fenris Fenrir from getting Guarding Wind, Balder's sword
  • We have an idea that Sara and Iris might be related to each other because they share the same last name and they appear to look alike
  • We know that Skurai is apparently wanted and he appears to have the tendency to talk to his sword
  • We saw two shadows watching Fenris Fenrir
  • We know that Lidia tried to steal from Iris and Chaos

Of course, a lot more things happen than the aforementioned, but let's focus on those for now. Now, when we get to volume 2 of the manhwa, we find that there's this character player handbook of sorts with some information about the Ragnarok characters. There is also a summary of the story so far.

But we soon find that the supposed summary isn't exactly a summary or at least, it's not all a summary as both it and the handbook reveals far more information about the manhwa, which, technically, we should be finding out as we read the series instead of being told outright.

fenris fenrir, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
So, what are these things that we're told in the summary and handbook of volume 2 (none of which we ever know from reading volume 1) instead of shown?

We are told that Iris Irine is the heir of Fayon. We are told that she is being trained by Chaos and that the guy also lives in Fayon.

We are told that Sara Irine wants to take revenge on the city where she was born because it apparently abandoned her.

We are told that Skurai has a cursed sword named Talatsu and that he has a huge bounty on his head. We are introduced to Odin's Beholders and told some things about them. We are also introduced to Lord Irine and also told some things about him such as being the father of Iris.

The summary tells us that Chaos and Iris are off to Fayon for Iris' 18th birthday. Also, apparently, Lidia decided to tag along with Chaos and Iris as the two head to Fayon and they agreed to let her go with them.

We wouldn't have known about any of the aforementioned if we hadn't read the handbook and the summary because these things haven't been shown in Ragnarok Volume 1. Volume 2 (regrettably, unfortunately and even annoyingly) begins as if you already know all of this.

talatsu, skurai, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss
The question is why? Shouldn't all of this be incorporated into the story instead of simply being told to us?

For instance, in volume 1, we see the shadows of two people watching Fenris Fenrir. Thanks to the handbook, we know that these two are actually Odin's Beholders, but why couldn't these two have just been properly and formally introduced into the story itself?

It can be easy to miss their shadows in volume 1 because, as of yet, the readers don't know anything about them, much less who they are.

Besides, since they were only just shown as shadows in that first volume, most would probably not pay much attention to them since there are other characters and scenes to pay attention to.

Another question that warrants an explanation is how Lidia ended up traveling with Chaos and Iris. Volume 1 ended with her attempting to steal Iris' weapon and failing miserably. There was nothing about her joining the two on their journey.

Besides, considering how much trouble she caused them, why would Chaos and Iris even let her accompany them to the city of Fayon anyway? How did they all suddenly become friends?

If you start reading volume 2 without having read the summary and the handbook, you'd likely be lost and confused (and it may even cause you to wonder if you somehow missed some pages of the mahwa) because it starts with Iris all by herself.

Considering how it was in volume 1 with Iris and Chaos traveling together, we are immediately confused and wondering why she is alone, where she is and where Chaos is. By reading the summary and the handbook, we find out that they must have arrived in Fayon now and the raveling trio must have split up.

These are just some of the instances wherein Ragnarok: Into The Abyss did more telling instead of showing. What do you think? Do you think the manhwa would have been infinitely more interesting and intriguing if we're shown how things happened instead of being outright told?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by sinvia (CC:BY) from deviantArt
- Said image is meant to symbolize the concept of "show, don't tell" in that, with the figure's eyes closed, she can be told things, but she wouldn't be able to be shown any of these things
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget

Keroberos Card Captor Sakura Trivia

Friday, December 06, 2013 No comments:
keroberos, cardcaptor sakura, card captor sakura, anime, manga
Keroberos is a character from the Card Captor Sakura or Cardcaptor Sakura (CCS) anime and manga series by CLAMP.

He's the Guardian Beast of the Clow Cards. What interesting trivia is there about his name and his form?

Keroberos was created by Clow Reed. He's the one that had been appointed to select potential candidates that could be the next master of the Clow Cards. More often than not, Keroberos is referred to or known as Kero-chan or Kero.

kero, keorberos, sakura kinomoto, cardcaptor sakura, card captor sakura, anime, manga
Kero actually has two forms: his true form, where he appears as an impressive beast, which looks somewhat like a lion, only with wings, and his temporary or borrowed form, where he appears as a small stuffed toy with wings.

His powers and abilities are based on the Sun, which could be why the color of both his forms is that of a golden yellow hue. This is actually pretty ironic though (the fact that his color is yellow and that his powers are sun-based, that is).

The reason for that lies in the origins of his name. Keroberos was actually named after a creature from Greek Mythology. To be more precise, he was named after the three-headed dog or hell hound that guarded the entrance and exit to the Underworld.

This hell hound is more commonly known as Cerberus (this is Latin), but the creature has also been called Kerberos or Keroberos (these are the Greek versions of the Latin name). Card Captor Sakura's Keroberos may not have three heads, but his name still fits because he could certainly come across as fierce and massively impressive and even dangerous in his true form.

In the same way, Cerberus definitely looks foreboding, scary and dangerous with his large body and 3 heads. Another thing that makes Kero's name rather perfectly apt for him is the fact that he's the guardian of the Clow Cards.
yue, sakura kinomoto, kero, keroberos, cardcaptor sakura, card captor sakura, anime, manga
The beast he was named after is also a guardian of sorts though it's not cards that Cerberus is guarding. As aforementioned, the hell hound actually guarded the entrance to the Underworld. No one alive is allowed to pass by Cerberus. He only allows those who are dead to pass, and, once inside the Underworld, no one can leave.

cardcaptor sakura, card captor sakura, sakura kinomoto, kero, keroberos, anime, manga
Since Cerberus is in the Underworld, it can be said that he is the loyal guard or watch dog of the Greek god Hades, who is the ruler of the Underworld.

This can be comparable to Keroberos who is loyal to Sakura Kinomoto, the new master of the Clow Cards.

One myth or story about Cerberus is that, if you give him sweets or cakes, then you'll be allowed to enter the Underworld even if you're not dead. This can be likened to Kero who absolutely loves sweets.

So, what do you think of Keroberos? Is he one of your favorite characters in Card Captor Sakura? Do you find him cool and interesting?



*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by iukonmeou (CC:BY) from deviantArt
- Pic shows Kero in his temporary or borrowed form
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget
- Third image is also from Amazon.com; link shown above

Ragnarok Manhwa - Thoughts About The Beginning And Balder's Temple

Tuesday, December 03, 2013 No comments:
Myung-Jin Lee, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss, balder
Have you read Volume 1, Chapter 1, of Ragnarok: Into The Abyss? What did you think about it? What were the things you noticed about this manhwa that gave you several questions to ponder?

For me, there were quite a number of things that I've noticed and observed as I read the beginning parts of this comic. And these things gave me a lot of questions and things to think and wonder about.

Perhaps some of these things will be answered in the later volumes as I continue to read this graphic novel. I sure hope so as these things certainly appear to warrant answers.

Let's now take a look at these questions as well as the events and scenes that happened in the beginning of Ragnarok: Into The Abyss.
balder, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss
The manhwa begins with a woman going inside a temple and battling gargoyles and the like. A few pages later and we find out the identity of this woman to be that of Fenris Fenrir's reincarnation, which answers the question of exactly who this woman is.

Another question is why she was in this temple and what she was up to. This will be answered later on, so let's not focus on this now. Instead, let's turn our attention to one of the more important questions in this part of the comic. And that question is where exactly is Fenris Fenrir right now?

With that question, I mean which world is she at right now? Which world or realm is the temple she is at located? This question is important because of the fact that this manhwa is supposed to be loosely based on Norse Mythology.

In Norse Mythology, there are actually a lot of worlds including Midgard, the realm of the mortals, and Asgard, the realm of the gods. We already know that Fenris Fenrir has been reincarnated and that she is apparently human or mortal, which indicates that she should be in Midgard.

guarding wind, valkyrie, sara irine, balder, fenris fenrir, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss
As such, the temple she was at should have been in Midgard. However, she soon says, no doubt for the benefit of the readers, that she was actually in the temple of Balder and that it used to be the holiest place in Asgard.

This thus appeared to indicate and imply that she was currently in Asgard. But this revelation doesn't make sense at all and just serves to make things rather confusing for the readers.

Why? It's because how could she be in Asgard if she is mortal? Isn't it that only gods should be allowed in Asgard? How did she even get there anyway? Why wasn't this clarified and explained further?

There was also the question of how she would be able to get back to Midgard if she was really currently in the realm of the gods. Yeah, I wonder if anyone knows or has the answers to these questions? But, anyway, let's just move on to the next thing to ponder about before the previous matter confuses us even further.

Fenris Fenrir soon reveals that she went to Balder's Temple to get Guarding Wind, a sword which apparently belongs to Balder. She plans to use this sword to locate said god. But before we can even wonder how she's planning to do this or why Balder would even have a sword, a Valkyrie by the name of Sara Irine suddenly shows up.

It seemed like she came from out of nowhere since her appearance was rather abrupt. But the more important thing to wonder about is how exactly did Fenris know right away that Sara was a Valkyrie even before the latter revealed that she was? Is there something that indicates that she was a Valkyrie? If so, what is it?

sara irine, valkyrie, freya, goddess, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Anyway, Sara Irine tells Fenrir what she came to Balder's Temple for. The goddess Freya has apparently ordered her to make sure that Fenris is not able to get Guarding Wind.

That's all well and good, but that's not really the point here. Let's look at the many questions that the Valkyrie's statement about Freya's orders makes us ponder and think about:

  • Fenris Fenrir had only just been recently searching for Guarding Wind and so the sword had been untouched for a thousand years (since even Balder wasn't around to get to his sword)
  • This indicated that both Fenris and Balder were out of the way for quite a long time, so neither of them could protect the sword from their enemies
  • As such, why was it that their enemies didn't take advantage of the fact that the main characters were out of commission?
  • Why didn't they go to Balder's Temple to get Guarding Wind before either Fenris or Balder could get to it?
  • Way before Fenris showed up at the temple to get the sword, why is it that Freya didn't order Sara to go to there, get the sword and bring it to her?

In this way, when Fenris did get to Balder's Temple, she wouldn't find the sword and she'd have ended up coming there in vain. What was the reason why the villains had to wait for Fenris to show up at the temple before they decided to do something about the sword? It's like they were giving Fenris Fenrir a chance to get to it, but why? That doesn't make sense at all.

If they had gotten the sword long before, they would have been more than one step ahead of the protagonist. So when she did show up at the temple to find no sword, the Valkyrie could still appear and attempt to fight with her. Even if Fenris manages to escape, it wouldn't matter all that much since she wouldn't have the sword with her.

freya, goddess, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss
Besides, we'd later find out that it was actually the work of Fenris' enemies that had filled Balder's Temple with monsters to try and stop her from getting Guarding Wind.

So why couldn't they have just gone to get the sword or even just replace it with a fake one when they went to plant all those monsters there?

Another thing to ponder is how Fenris Fenrir appears to be apprehensive and worried at the arrival of Sara Irine along with a bunch of Frost Giants.

It seems that she's not quite strong enough to take Sara and the giants on and she even mentions that she is badly outnumbered. However, contrary to all that, things seem to be going extraordinarily well for her.

And she was even able to get Balder's sword with seemingly no problems at all, not to mention, she was able to succeed in escaping and even destroying the Frost Giants. But how is this so when we're also told that Sara and the Frost Giants are quite capable and powerful themselves?

So, what do you think about all of these? Did you notice these things too when you were reading this chapter and volume of the manhwa? Do you have any idea as to the possible answers to these questions?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki (CC:BY-SA) based on the image by zbyg (CC:BY-SA) from deviantArt
- Said image is meant to symbolize the temple of Balder
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget