Anime Archives

What's Wrong With Frigg's Clue To Find Loki (Ragnarok Manhwa)?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 No comments:
ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, loki
The main characters of Ragnarok: Into The Abyss manhwa are tasked to find someone with their only clue being that this person is "human and not". What could possibly be wrong with said clue?

In Volume 3 of the graphic novel, the Norse queen of the gods and the mother of Balder, the goddess Frigg, shows up to talk to both Chaos and Fenris Fenrir.

As the trio talk, we find out that, apparently, the fate of the world rests on Chaos' shoulders and that he's the only one capable of saving said world.

Why this is the case, I have no idea. But, apparently and supposedly, this is his destiny. Yeah, right (insert eye-roll here?). Let's just forget that for now and get back to what this post is about.
ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, frigg
So, Frigg then says that before the main characters can get started with their quest, they first need to "find the one who is both human and not". The protagonists have no idea who this could possibly be. But the readers know that this statement refers to Loki thanks to the very helpful image of said assassin that appears right beside those words.

However, even if we know who the words refer to, we still don't know exactly how and why this is the case. Why is he considered the one who is human and not? How can he be both human and not? I suppose we'll just have to wait to find out when we get to that part of the story.

Well, that's what I would like to say, but, unfortunately, we got to the part of the plot where this should have been explained (when Loki meets up with Chaos and the others and ends up joining their party and it's revealed that he's the one they're looking for) and there is no explanation at all.

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, chaos, frigg, fenris fenrir, goddess
This point is simply overlooked and glossed over, practically forgotten as no one bothers to question Loki.

Let's just go back to the trio's conversation before this baffles us further.

Frigg adds that they need to find this person because he's necessary for their success and survival, implying that the heroes will fail in their quest without this guy.

Frigg then says that she wishes she can say more, but, apparently, for some unknown reason, she just can't. Yeah, very believable, no?

Chaos then asks his mother how they can possibly find the one who is human and not. Frigg's answer is simply the word 'west'. Very helpful, no?

With Frigg's departure, the only thing our heroes are left with are the clues that they're supposed to head west. And therein lies the problem. Seriously, look at those supposed clues.

How can anyone even classify those as clues, much less helpful and useful clues? Let's start with the 'head west' clue. While it's good that the main characters don't have to search the entire world, the west isn't exactly a small area.

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, loki, odin, frigg, asgard. norse mythology, gods, goddess
Frigg didn't even give them an address, just a general direction. How can that help them?

They could traverse the entirety of the western area of the world, but if they don't know exactly who they're looking for, well, how can they find that person then?

And that brings us to the 'human and not' clue. This might be the worst clue of them all. How are they expected to find Loki with such a clue?

It's not like the guy will be walking around with a sign helpfully informing our heroes who he is. What, are the protagonists going to walk around and ask everyone that they come across if said person is the one who is human and not?

Even if they get a response from people with such a question, how will they know that that person is telling the truth? You know that there's something really wrong with the clues and that said clues are really useless when you have one of the main characters agreeing with you.

In Volume 4 of the manhwa, Chaos, Fenris Fenrir and Iris Irine arrive in the city of Prontera. The trio have no idea how or even where to start looking for the one who is human and not. Fenris herself says, "I wish Frigg could have given us more of a clue" and "we don't even know what he looks like". That is exactly the point and the problem.

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, fenris fenrir
So, with such clues, how did you think they were going to find Loki? What did you think was going to happen? To say the next scene was rather disappointing would be putting it mildly, to say the least.

With such less-than-helpful clues, it's no wonder that we had to have a deus ex machina in order to have the trio meet up with Loki. Perhaps that's the only term that can be used to describe what happened next. Why, you ask?

It's because the protagonists didn't even have a hard time finding the guy. You think they would have had a hard time especially considering the clues (if you could even call them that) they've been given.

But no. Instead of having a hard time, the person they're looking for is practically handed to them in a silver platter. That's how easily they were able to find him. And the whole 'human and not' clue didn't even factor into it. Or, to be more precise, that's how easily Loki found them.

If he hadn't found them, they most likely never would have been able to find him, not with such useless clues. But, if you really look at it, even the way the assassin found Chaos and the others could be said to be questionable and bordering on deus ex machina (actually, maybe it is really deus ex machina).

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, loki, norse mythology
This is because of how easily he found the main characters; he didn't have reliable clues either. But that's discussed in another post, so, if you're interested, just check out the tags below and/or this post.

Anyway, Loki easily found Chaos just by seeing the symbol on the back of the latter's shirt. So, how ridiculous does that sound? After all, anyone could wear shirts with that symbol, no?

Besides, for all Loki knew, maybe Chaos just bought that shirt somewhere or maybe Chaos borrowed that from someone or something.

What do you think? Do you think that Frigg should have given the main characters useful and reliable clues in order to find Loki? Were you disappointed at how Chaos and the others met up with the assassin? What do you think is the meaning of the clue that Loki is both human and not?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki (CC:BY-SA) based on the image by MizuSasori, CC:BY-SA from deviantArt
- Image is meant to represent the mystery of the identity of the one who is human and not because the figure in said image is wearing a mask
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget
- Last image is also from Amazon.com; link shown above

Who Is Himmelmez In Ragnarok: Into The Abyss Manhwa?

Thursday, April 24, 2014 No comments:
ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, himmelmez, valkyrie, necromancer
This post is also known as the 'real and true identity of Himmelmez' and 'make up your mind already'. What exactly is so confusing about this character from Ragnarok: Into The Abyss manhwa?

Himmelmez is first mentioned in the preview for Volume 5, which appears at the end of Volume 4 of the graphic novel.

Yes, this is where we are introduced to a new character since Himmelmez was never even mentioned, much less alluded to, before this particular preview.

Why she couldn't be properly introduced to us in the story itself, I suppose we'll never know. Anyway, the Volume 5 preview tells us that Himmelmez is apparently both a necromancer and a Valkyrie. She's also one of the goddess Freya's followers. Said goddess sent her to Prontera to get the shard of Ymir's Heart. But how exactly does that work? How can you be both at the same time?
ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, himmelmez
It doesn't even seem like the two jobs are compatible with each other considering how different they are. What adds to the confusion is how we are told that Himmelmez apparently commands the armies of Niflheim. How and why are the most important questions to ask about that supposed fact because it doesn't make sense at all.

In Norse Mythology, Niflheim is one of the Nine Worlds that is connected to Yggdrasil, the World Tree. This place is the equivalent of the underworld, hell or afterlife in other mythologies.

The goddess called Hel is the ruler of Niflheim. She's the Norse equivalent of the Greek god Hades. So, if anyone is to be the commander of the armies of Niflheim, it couldn't possibly be anyone else but its ruler, Hel.

freya, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, norse mythology, goddess
If Himmelmez is Hel and has command
over the armies of Niflheim, then why
would she work for Freya?
Himmelmez couldn't and shouldn't have been able to command the armies of a realm she has no control or power over.

In the first place, we don't even know who this woman really is. Could she possibly be Hel? That would explain why she can control the armies of Niflheim.

But, if she is Hel, then why would she work for Freya? Hel is the ruler and commander of Niflheim. She doesn't work for anyone.

She is the one who makes all the rules and decisions regarding the dead and her realm. No one else but her has jurisdiction over the place she governs.

Even the other Norse gods and goddesses have to adhere to her decisions when it concerns her abode and those who are brought there. For example, when the god Balder (or Baldr) died, Frigg, his mother and the queen of the gods, sent someone to Niflheim to speak to Hel and ask her to let Balder return to them.

They couldn't just take Balder back, not without Hel's permission because he was in her abode and it was her decision on what to do. Hel eventually agreed to let Balder return to Asgard, the realm of the gods, but only if everyone and everything in the world will shed tears for him.

Unfortunately for Balder, all but one cried for him and so he was unable to return. This is why it would never make sense for Himmelmez to have power over Niflheim's armies unless she is actually Hel, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

If this is something that is actually not based in Norse Mythology (since the comic is only loosely based on said mythology), then this should have been clarified to the readers so that those who know about mythology will not end up getting confused with statements that don't seem to make any sense at all.

norse mythology, Valkyries, chooser of the slain, Valhalla, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, sara irine, himmelmez
Anyway, let's just move on to Volume 5, not that this part is any better or less confusing than the aforementioned scene.

In the part of the manhwa wherein we see Sara Irine and Himmelmez talking, the Valkyrie refers to Himmelmez as a life-eater.

But what does that mean? Does it mean anything or is this just some sort of nickname that Sara decides to call Himmelmez?

And what happened to Himmelmez being a necromancer and Valkyrie? Why is she only referred to as a life-eater here? What adds to the confusion and strangeness of the matter is how this is the first and last time we hear the term life-eater.

After that statement from Sara, we never hear this being said ever again. It's almost as if it had never even been said in the first place because no one makes mention of this again. Odd, strange and confusing don't even begin to cover or properly describe that particular scene, so let's just move on to the next scene in Volume 5 that makes us ask a multitude of questions.

This part is where we see one of Himmelmez's followers referring to her as the Dark Valkyrie. What does that mean exactly? So, are there Light Valkyries now? What's the difference between the 2 then? If that term doesn't mean anything, then why bother saying it? And what happened to Himmelmez also being a necromancer?

How come she's only referred to as a Valkyrie now and not a necromancer? Things get even more confusing when we get to the summary at the back of Volume 6 as Himmelmez is now referred to solely as a necromancer as well as being one of Freya's generals. There's no mention of her being a Valkyrie, but why not?

himmelmez, valkyrie, necromancer, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Even the story so far of Volume 6 and Volume 7 refer to her as only being a necromancer. What happened to her also being a Valkyrie? What exactly is she supposed to be?

First, she's both a necromancer and a Valkyrie. Then she's a life-eater. Then she becomes a Dark Valkyrie. Now, she's just a necromancer. Why can't this graphic novel make up its mind?

Not confused or miffed enough yet? Take another look at Volume 7 then, specifically the fight scene between Chaos and Himmelmez.

Let's not talk about how this scene lasted way too long and how Himmelmez took way too long to get rid of Chaos even though it was clear that she was more powerful, considering how the main character's attacks easily kept getting deflected as that would just frustrate us more because, honestly, what was Himmelmez waiting for? Why is she taking so much time in trying to off Chaos? It's like she's waiting to lose or something.

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, chaos, himmelmez, fight scene
Himmelmez's words to Chaos is probably more than enough frustration for one post. She says, "I am the daughter of death in living form."

What does that even mean? And how exactly does that work? Why does death have a daughter? Even if death has a daughter, why would the child be mortal? Shouldn't the child be like death?

Himmelmez apparently has aspects of mortal life, but, with the heart of Ymir, she can apparently become immortal. How that is supposed to work, we don't know as the woman never bothers to tell us.

She even says that there's no earthly weapon that can harm her. She also apparently devours the souls of others, what she calls their life force and this is supposedly where she gets her strength, not that any of that makes any sense at all.

But all of that is yet another indication that Himelmez is much, much more powerful than Chaos, so much so that it really makes one wonder exactly what she is waiting for. Why hasn't she defeated the protagonist yet when it's really clear that she can easily do this? What do you think? What's your theory on who and what Himmelmez really is?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki (CC:BY-SA) based on the image by hayashinomura, CC:BY-SA from deviantArt
- Image is meant to represent the mysteriousness surrounding the identity of Himmelmez - because the figure in said image is facing away, no one can tell who she might be
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget
- Last image is also from Amazon.com; link shown above

Who Exactly Is Freya In Ragnarok Manhwa?

Saturday, April 19, 2014 No comments:
freya, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, norse mythology, goddess
This post is also known as "why is Freya the villain / antagonist / bad guy in Ragnarok: Into The Abyss manhwa?" What could be wrong with the aforementioned being the case?

Aside from being the name of a character in the comic, Freya is also the name of a goddess in Norse Mythology.

But since the graphic novel is loosely based on Norse Mythology, it's not such a surprise to know about this. It's just like how the characters of Loki, Balder, Fenris Fenrir and Frigg, among many others in the manhwa, also share the names of mythological figures.

However, the keyword here is 'loosely,' so it's only to be expected that there are many differences between these characters regardless of the fact that they share the same name. In some cases, the only similarity between these people are the names they share. The same can be said for the two Freyas in question.
freya, norse mythology, goddes, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
In Norse Mythology, Freya is associated with many things including being the goddess of love and beauty. For this reason, she can be said to be the counterpart of the Greek goddess Aphrodite and the Roman goddess Venus. She is also known as Freyja and she's got a brother named Freyr.

In contrast to all that, in the Ragnarok manhwa series, Freya is said to be the bad guy, the antagonist, the villain. When I first heard that that was the case, I had to wonder exactly why it had to be that way because there doesn't seem to be anything at all in mythology that would indicate or paint said goddess as an antagonist.

In fact, there are some sources that paint her or view her as a good person who protects the weak, who helps out the humans who seek it from her, etc. She was even said to have taught the other gods, like Odin (king of the Norse gods), magic, which is all the more reason to wonder why her counterpart in the comic would hate Odin enough to usurp him and take his position as the ruler of Asgard.

More than that though, it's not like the Freya in mythology doesn't already have a place that she presides over. She is actually the ruler of a heavenly afterlife field known as Fólkvangr, which is located somewhere in the realm of the gods (Asgard). Within this place is a hall known as Sessrúmnir. Half of the people who die in battle go to this place while the other half goes to Valhalla.

But, perhaps, one reason why Freya has been made the new ruler of Asgard in the graphic novel is because, in Norse Mythology, she can actually easily be mistaken to be Frigg or Frigga, the queen of the Norse gods and the wife of Odin because their names are rather similar, among some other reasons.

frigg, frigga, balder, chaos, odin, norse mythology, gods, goddesses, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
There are even some sources which say that Freya was married to Odin.

However, while she is also sometimes seen as a warrior and death goddess, there doesn't seem to be any mention of her being portrayed as a dark and malevolent entity.

She is even described in a flattering way (some say she is very beautiful and that she is blonde and blue-eyed).

Anyway, the main point is that it doesn't really make all that much sense for Freya to be shown as the bad guy, considering how she really is in Norse Mythology. In fact, it would have made much more sense if some other figure was portrayed as the evil villain.

For instance, if we were told that the main antagonist was actually Hel, then that would have been more believable. This is because, in Norse Mythology, Hel is the name of the ruler of Niflheim, the Underworld. You can say that she's like the counterpart of the Greek god Hades and the Roman god Pluto.

Honestly, even Loki himself could pull off being the supreme evil overlord much better than Freya ever could especially since there's basis for this in Norse Mythology. Loki is actually a trickster and he has done a number of evil things such as cause the death of Balder (now, would you say it's kind of odd to see Chaos and Loki in the comic getting along pretty well?).

loki, norse mythology, balder, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Of course, it's okay for things to be different especially since the aforementioned graphic novel is only supposed to be loosely based on Norse Mythology anyway.

However, for those that are familiar with the name Freya and what she is and how she is, it's rather inevitable that when those people hear her name, they will think about the goddess in question even if this isn't the person that is being referred to.

Anyway, aside from the utter confusion and puzzlement as to why Freya just happens to be the main bad guy, there's also the question of exactly what her motives are? Why would she want to usurp Odin? Why does she want to rule Asgard and the rest of the world? In Volume 5, Chapter 44, we find out that Freya wants the shards of Ymir's Heart in order to recreate the world in her image.

That's nice and all, but, seriously, why would she want to do that? What's her motive and her reason for wanting to do something like that? What does she hope to gain by doing that? People should have a reason (believable, realistic and logical) as to why they would want to do whatever they're trying to do.

The same can be said for Freya. She can't just want to do this just because. She can't just be the villain just because. She can't just take on the role of the antagonist just because there isn't anyone else to fill that part. There should be a reason as to why, otherwise all this just falls flat and ends up becoming unbelievable and even contrived.

balder, norse mythology, god, baldr, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, chaos
For example, Sara Irine didn't just hate the city of Fayon and Lord Irine for the sake of hating them. She actually has a good reason as to why she would want to destroy the city and the people in it.

In contrast to that, we know pretty much nothing about Freya's motives and reasons. It's not just that though. Did you notice that we never actually got to see her, as in, at all, ever?

We've never met her. We've never been introduced to her. We don't even know how she looks like. Is she blonde and blue-eyed like how the goddess Freya in Norse Mythology is said to look like?

More than that though, the main question is why haven't we seen her? Why can't we see her? How come she is never shown to us? What's wrong with revealing herself to us, the readers?

After all, we've even seen other characters (for example, we met Arkana even before Chaos and the others met her) that our heroes haven't met, so it shouldn't be a problem to show Freya to us.

Even if the comic wants to keep Freya's identity and look a secret to create an air of mystery around her, we could, at the very least, be told about her reasons and motives. We could have been given just a bit more information about her.

After all, we already know her name and the fact that she's apparently evil and wants to find the heart shards. But why can't we be told the reasons for this? Without knowing much of anything, it just seems like Freya's actions don't make any sense and they don't come across as believable at all.

What do you think of the character of Freya in the Ragnarok manhwa? Does she fit the role of the villain? Does it make sense for her to be the main antagonist? Do you wish that we had been able to see how she looks like?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki (CC:BY-SA) based on the image by hayashinomura, CC:BY-SA from deviantArt
- Image is meant to represent the goddess Freya in Norse Mythology because she is said to be blonde
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget

Is There Ever A Valid Reason For A Character Makeover (Ragnarok Manhwa)?

Monday, April 14, 2014 No comments:
ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, fenris fenrir, iris irine
What is the reason why some of the characters in Ragnarok: Into The Abyss manhwa changed their outfits and looks? Is this a valid or pointless reason?

We first see some of the characters of the graphic novel change their outfits in Volume 8.

This seemed to have come from out of the blue and completely without rhyme or reason because we've already spent about 7 volumes getting used to how these characters look.

We're practically in the middle of the series already (especially considering that the manhwa abruptly ends in volume 10), so, if one or some of them was going to change their look, then it should have happened much earlier. What's wrong and what could possibly be the problem with this change in the getup of some of the characters?
ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
First of all, upon initially being introduced to a character, readers start getting to know this person. Readers will begin to get used to the character's outfit, looks, hairstyle, weapons and the like, so much so that, when this person shows up, there is no question or doubt as to his or her identity because it's easy to tell right away who this person is.

However, if things abruptly change and seemingly without reason, then this just comes across as extremely unbelievable. Let's take a look at a good example of a believable character makeover.

card captor sakura, cardcaptor, sakura kinomoto, clamp, anime, manga
We can see this in the anime and manga series called Card Captor Sakura by CLAMP.

In the aforementioned series, we see the main character, Sakura Kinomoto, is pretty much always changing her resident outfit though she does have a few regular staples.

But why is this not a problem? Why is it that people wouldn't and shouldn't mind if Sakura wears a different costume every time she goes off to capture the Clow Cards?

This is because we are given a valid and believable reason as to why she has to wear different costumes all the time. Furthermore, this costume change doesn't happen in the middle of the series. We see this occurring even in the early parts of the show, so we've come to expect that this is how it goes in this particular anime.

Moreover, even though Sakura's outfits constantly change, her look remains the same, ensuring that readers of the manga and viewers of the anime will always recognize her. This is especially so since her hairstyle doesn't really change and she pretty much looks the same as always, only with a different outfit in each episode.

In contrast to that, let's take a look at Iris Irine and Fenris Fenrir who both undergo a complete and total makeover. With regards to these 2, there is such a drastic change not just in their choice of clothing, but even in their hair style that it makes it difficult to recognize these 2 at first. With how they look right now, it almost seems as if they're new characters.

The question now is why? Why is it necessary for these 2 to change their outfit and looks? Why do they have to look different? What was wrong with how they used to look? Did they have to change their outfits because their fight with Bijou and her troll caused much damage to their old clothing?

This is possible since we did see how damaged and torn their clothing were. However, what was wrong with getting those clothes fixed instead or even just buying clothes that were similar to the ones they always wear? Why the need to change the way their clothes look?

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, fenris fenrir
And what about their hair style? Why would there be a need to change that as well?

If you look at it in that way, it's hard to see why there's a need for either of these women to undergo such a drastic makeover.

They were already perfectly recognizable before as readers got to know them and how they looked for the past volumes.

But now, thanks to all these changes, there is a need to get used to these characters all over again.

Could this makeover be just an excuse to give existing characters new clothes and new hairstyles for no clear reason? After all, it's not like their new outfits gave them special powers or something.

Perhaps, if the new clothes were actually special, it would make for a very good reason as to why the 2 ladies had to change their outfits. As it is though, this whole makeover just comes across as completely pointless and useless.

Moreover, even if you can somehow attribute Iris and Fenris' makeover as being due to the fact that their former outfits sustained much damage during their fight with Bijou and her troll (though that wouldn't explain the need to change their hair styles), how can anyone possibly explain Skurai's sudden and unexpected makeover?

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, skurai
Skurai was not part of the fight against Bijou and her troll or even against Sara Irine and Himmelmez.

We never see him get his clothes torn or damaged. In fact, it's more likely that he would be the one to destroy other people's outfits as opposed to getting his own destroyed.

So what's the reason for his makeover? Why the sudden need to change his hairstyle and even his clothing?

At the moment, his new look comes across as more than a bit disconcerting, disturbing and even unappealing.

Simply put, he doesn't seem to look right at all. He looks very strange and odd and weird. If there's no real good reason for him to change his hairstyle and his clothes, then why do that? What's the point of his makeover?

What do you think of the 3 aforementioned characters' makeovers? Do you like their new looks and hairstyles? Do you think there's a good reason why they had to do this or was this just an excuse for the characters to look different and sport new clothing and hair styles?

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

Why Is Sara Irine The Anti-Climax And Deus Ex Machina (Ragnarok Manhwa)?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014 No comments:
ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, sara irine, valkyrie, chooser of the slain
Why is it that we can classify Sara Irine, the Valkyrie, from Ragnarok: Into The Abyss as the anti-climax and deus ex machina of said manhwa? What did this character do to get such a label?

This post is also known as "the uselessness of the main characters," "the pointlessness of some scenes and chapters," and "why does Sara Irine get to do all the work?".

So what reason is there for anyone to want to consider the aforementioned Valkyrie as the comic's anti-climax and deus ex machina?
sara irine, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, deus ex machina, anti-climax
To answer that question, let's take a look at Volume 7, particularly the scene wherein we see Sara killing Bijou. Don't you think that this was very anti-climactic? Why, you ask?

This is because, prior to this scene, we had several chapters showing us the fight between Fenris Fenrir, Iris Irine, Bijou and her troll. After being shown all those fight scenes, who would have expected it to end in the way that it did? It could be that the good guys will win or maybe the bad guys will temporarily win. Either way would have been fine.

But having the Valkyrie be the one to finish off Bijou when they were supposed to be in the same side is very much unexpected and not in the good way. While unexpected scenes would save the graphic novel from being predictable, this particular scene just fell flat and ended up becoming so anti-climactic.

After all, what was the use of showing us all those fight scenes between the women and the troll when it's just going to end with Sara, who wasn't even part of the fight in the first place, showing up to help out the heroes?

The Valkyrie's appearance made all the long fight scenes we had to go through pointless and a complete waste of time. After all, if Sara was just going to show up to off Bijou anyway, then what's the point of having the readers see all those pages and pages of fight scenes?

deus ex machina, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, iris irine, fenris fenrir, bijou
We could have been shown more plot instead. That would have been much more preferable as compared to this.

What about the deus ex machina though? How can Sara's appearance in that scene be described as a deus ex machina?

It's quite easy to see her appearance as a deus ex machina, because, if you recall, Bijou was winning in this particular chapter in Volume 7. She was about to defeat Fenris and Iris.

It would have been the end for our 2 female protagonists had it not been for the sudden and unexpected appearance of Sara Irine who comes to save the day. If she hadn't shown up, those two would have been destroyed by Bijou. How's that for a deus ex machina?

It doesn't even make sense for Sara to want to kill Bijou. When asked for a reason, she responds with, "Because I choose to," but what does that even mean? Why would she want to off Bijou when they're both working on the same side, when they're both working for Freya?

None of this makes sense and we don't even know what the Valkyrie is planning, so this really just comes across as being one anti-climactic scene topped with a deus ex machina.

It's like Bijou became so much more powerful than the main characters, so much so that there was no other way for them to win and they would have lost if a deus ex machina, in the form of Sara, hadn't shown up to help them out.

bijou, sara irine, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
That scene isn't the only time that we see Sara the anti-climax and deus ex machina though. Later on, we see her killing Himmelmez in order to help out Chaos and Loki.

Once again, all the fight scenes that readers had to endure (and those were very, very long, annoyingly so) all went to waste thanks to how anti-climactic things turned out to be.

Once again, we see how the heroes couldn't possibly win and there would be no other way out but to introduce a deus ex machina in the form of Sara to get the protagonists out of this mess. It's very dissatisfying, to say the least.

This is exacerbated by the fact that we don't get a decent reason as to why Sara would do such a thing. Why would she destroy Himmelmez when they're both working for Freya? Her lame attempts at providing us with reasons as to why she kills Himmelmez just falls flat and ends up sounding weird and even insane, not to mention absolutely ridiculous.

She says she killed Himmelmez because she didn't like the woman and because the latter was apparently an obstacle, but to what, we don't know and it's likely that we never will.

Besides, even if Sara really wanted to off the woman, why didn't she do that after Himmelmez was through fighting with Chaos and Loki? Why does it have to be at that precise moment? Why not later on or before the heroes get in trouble? It's really like the Valkyrie just had to do this, so she could be the deus ex machina for the heroes.

himmelmez, loki, chaos, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Even if we can explain that the reason she killed Bijou was because she did care about Iris who is actually her half-sister (even though that's still unbelievable since the 2 aren't even close and she has jealousy issues seeing as her father, the Lord Irine, prefers Iris to her), Sara helping out Chaos just does not make sense.

After all, Chaos is the reincarnation of Balder and she knows that already, so why would she help the guy out? In short, it's really like all those fight scenes we just read were nothing but a complete waste of time.

Instead of seeing the main characters further develop their skills and learn from their battles, we just see Sara doing all the work for them. If this is what was going to happen anyway, then we should have skipped straight to this, so we could have had more plot-related scenes.

What do you think? Do you think that Sara Irine is indeed an anti-climax and deus ex machina? Do you think she shouldn't have done all the work for the heroes especially since she's not even on their side?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki (CC:BY-SA) based on the image by hayashinomura, CC:BY-SA from deviantArt
- Image is meant to symbolize Sara Irine being the anti-climax and deus ex machina because the figure in said image appears to have come from out of nowhere
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget

Skrymir Trivia (Ragnarok: Into The Abyss Manhwa)

Friday, April 04, 2014 No comments:
Skrymir is a character or creature that appears in Ragnarok: Into The Abyss manhwa. What trivia is there about this being and what could be so interesting about him?
skrymir, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Did you know that there is also a figure called Skrymir that appears in Norse Mythology? This is not so surprising to hear when one takes into consideration that the graphic novel in question is actually loosely based on Norse Mythology.

There is definitely emphasis on 'loosely based' though because the only thing the 2 characters have in common may be their names. Let's take a closer look at both of these creatures to compare and contrast them.

frost giants, norse mythology, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
In Norse Mythology, the being called Skrymir, who is also known as Utgard-Loki, is actually the King of the Frost Giants. We see Frost Giants in the comic too, but, needless to say, the two are vastly different from each other.

The Ragnarok manhwa's version of the Frost Giants apparently don't have a leader or a king, unless you count the goddess Freya as their supreme ruler, which seems to be the case since they're all under her command.

One interesting story about Skrymir is how he was able to trick the Norse gods Thjalfi, Thor and Loki (needless to say, the Loki in Norse Mythology is beyond different from the assassin who shares his name in the graphic novel).

To make the long story short, the aforementioned trio encounter Utgard-Loki and they are challenged to contests and competitions to show and to prove their strength, prowess and skills.

Loki said that no one could possibly beat him in an eating competition, but he ended up losing to this guy called Logi who could eat everything. Thjalfi said he could beat anyone in a race because he was really fast, but that didn't stop him from losing to Hugi.

Mjolnir, thor, norse mythology, god
Thor himself boasted of several feats that he could do. First, he said that he could drink more water than anyone else.

He was thus given a drinking horn with which to drink from. He readily drank from it, but he soon discovered that, no matter how much he drank, he could never empty it.

Undeterred by this loss, Thor then proceeded to say that his strength knew no bounds, so Skrymir made him attempt to lift a cat. He tried with all his might, but it quickly became obvious that the most he could manage was lifting one of the cat's paws.

Frustrated and getting angry at this, Thor then said that he could wrestle anyone and so he was made to wrestle with an old woman named Eli. Considering he was wrestling with someone so old and with how strong the god was, it seemed that there would be absolutely no question as to who would win.

Unfortunately for Thor though, he wasn't the winner. He tried with all his might, but Eli was stronger than she looked and the old woman even managed to bring him down to one knee.

It wasn't until much later that the trio of Norse gods found out exactly why they lost the challenges that had been set before them as Utgard-Loki soon reveals how he deceived and tricked them.

loki, norse mythology, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
For starters, Loki lost because Logi was actually fire, and, as we all know, fire is fast and can consume anything and everything. Hugi was actually thought and so it was naturally faster and swifter than anyone.

The drinking horn that Thor was made to drink from was actually connected to the sea, which actually shows how impressive he was because he was able to diminish the waters of the sea even if he wasn't able to empty it.

The cat that he had attempted to lift was actually a part of the Midgard Serpent or Jormungand.

This creature is really huge and heavy and it actually encircles the entirety of the earth or Midgard. Again, we can see how good he is considering he actually managed to lift one paw.

As for Eli, she is actually old age, which explains why Thor couldn't possibly win against her. In the end, everyone will lose to old age if they don't die via accident or illness or some other way first.

It goes without saying that Thor was really furious to hear about how they'd been tricked and how he'd been outsmarted and defeated. Of course, he tried to retaliate by hurling his hammer, Mjolnir, at Skrymir. However, he failed to get his revenge as Utgard-Loki wasted no time in escaping.

In contrast to that, the Skrymir in the Ragnarok manhwa is nothing like the pretty smart and cunning king of the Frost Giants in Norse Mythology. There is actually much confusion regarding this character from the comic. But what exactly is so confusing about manhwa Skrymir?

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, skrymir, homunculus
The confusion actually stems from the fact that the graphic novel can't seem to make up its mind on exactly what Skrymir is supposed to be.

In Volume 8, we are told that Skrymir is actually a homunculus. This reminded me of the homunculus that appears in the anime and manga series known as Full Metal Alchemist.

This in turn made me wonder how similar the two beings would be to each other. Unfortunately, we never get to find out, because, in Volume 9, we are suddenly told, without rhyme or reason, that Skrymir is actually a golem.

Aside from wondering what happened to being referred to as a homunculus and why this suddenly changed, the mention of golem reminded me of the Pokémon called golem. Of course, there may be other references to golems and homunculus in other media, but that's not really the point here.

The point is how can Skrymir transform or suddenly change from being a homunculus to a golem? Why can't the graphic novel make up its mind about this? What's with the confusion? Why the sudden change? So, what do you think this means? Why do you think Skrymir's identity was changed from being a homunculus to being a golem? Why do you think he wasn't kept as a frost giant?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by Elmer Boyd Smith, Public Domain from Wikimedia Commons
- Image depicts Skrymir or Utgard-Loki, the King of the Frost 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