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Ragnarok: Into The Abyss Manhwa Review

Friday, May 30, 2014
myung jin-lee, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, chaos, fenris fenrir, review
What can be said about the Ragnarok: Into The Abyss manhwa by Myung Jin-Lee?

Should this series be recommended? What review rating can be given to this comic?

This is a review for all 10 volumes of the manhwa series. However, this will only be a collated overview of the entire series.

The things mentioned here are discussed in greater detail in the many other articles about Ragnarok: Into The Abyss, which you can find by checking out this tag. With that out of the way, let's get started with the review.
ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, myung jin-lee, review
First of all, the Ragnarok series is not that bad. It's actually a pretty okay graphic novel, but it's not perfect. It's far from perfect actually and it's not without its flaws. Let's take a look at some of the comic's pros and cons (in no particular order).

Pros:

1. Awesome Art

Seriously, the art in this manhwa is really very good. The characters are all very nicely-drawn including the sceneries and landscapes and the like. Simply put, the comic is nice to look at thanks to its awesome art.

2. Interesting Storyline / Plot

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, myung jin-lee, fenris fenrir
The woman in this image
is Fenris Fenrir, arguably one
of the best characters in the
Ragnarok manhwa
The storyline or plot of the graphic novel is quite interesting.

The fact that it's based on Norse Mythology just makes it all the more fascinating. This is especially the case for all those who find reading about Norse Mythology appealing.

For mythology fans, that's one good reason to want to read this manhwa.

But even those who aren't really into mythology or don't really know anything about said topic can still enjoy this comic if they like fantasy, magic and fight scenes.

3. Some Good Characters

There are some good characters with appealing personalities that just make readers root for them and want to get to know them more. Examples would be Fenris Fenrir, Loki, Frigg and the Norns (Urd, Verdandi, Skuld).

The aforementioned characters are all very likable that it really makes one wish there were more scenes involving or featuring these people. It also makes one wish that we got to know them even more.

4. Good Magic System

The graphic novel has a pretty cool magic system. There are a lot of different spells and rituals and weapons and the like as characters show off their moves and fight against each other. It makes those interested in these kinds of things want to find out more about the magic system in the comic and learn how it works.

Cons:

1. Pages Of Art And No Dialogue

ragnarok: into the abyss, myung jin-lee, manhwa
Pages of no dialog disrupt the
flow of the story, bringing the
plot to a stand still
Yes, I know. I just said that the manhwa's art was awesome and it is. That hasn't changed at all.

But who says that you can't enjoy both the comic's art and plot at the same time?

Readers can still appreciate the graphic novel's finely-drawn art even with dialogue blocking some of the drawings.

So there should be no reason why there has to be many pages where we see nothing but art and more art (such as sceneries and landscape shots and even fight scenes) with no words being spoken, and, sometimes, with nothing much happening at all.

All this does is bring the plot to a stand still and annoy readers who want to know what happens next already without all these unnecessary and needless interruptions.

2. Prolonged And Never-Ending Fight Scenes

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, skurai, loki, chaos, myung jin-lee
Those who like fight scenes might not see this as a con unless they also don't like prolonged fight scenes that never seem to end.

There's definitely a lot of that in the Ragnarok series. Many fight scenes take so long to end that it also brings the story to a stand still because the plot isn't advanced as we focus on nothing but fights between the characters.

This can annoy those who just want the fight to end already, so we can move on with the plot.

Examples of very long fight scenes include the one between Loki, Chaos and Skurai as well as the one between Chaos and Himmelmez.

3. Telling Instead Of Showing

There are many instances in the manhwa where there was more telling instead of showing, and, sometimes, all telling and no showing. There are times where we get told things in the previews or the summaries or the 'story so far' instead of in the comic proper itself.

For example, we are told about the shards of Ymir's Heart and how Freya wants this and how she sent Himmelmez to get this in one of the comic's previews and summaries. Things like that should be introduced and showed to us when we're reading the graphic novel itself, not told in this way because it ruins the flow of the story.

4. Some Annoying Characters

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, myung jin-lee, iris irine
Not all characters are awesome and likable, unfortunately. There are some that can be quite annoying at times and some that are not exactly likable.

For example, Iris Irine can act childish and immature at times pretty much most of the time and she can be quite really unlikable. She likes clinging to Chaos and acting like such a brat.

But then there are a few times where she shows that she's actually capable of being mature and even likable such as when she shows off her skills and abilities, making one wonder as to the reason for this inconsistency.

5. Some Confusing Parts

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, freya, goddess, norse mythology, myung jin-lee
Yes, the plot's pretty interesting, but it's also true that there are many confusing things about it.

There are many things that we wonder about and want to know about, but these things aren't explained to us clearly and some aren't explained to us at all.

For example, we know that Freya is supposed to be the bad guy, but we don't know why she has to be the villain and antagonist and why she's doing what she's doing.

The events that happened 1000 years ago keep being alluded to and there are some explanations, but it's still very much a mystery as to what exactly happened during that time. One thing is for sure though: the Freya in the Ragnarok manhwa is very much different from the goddess Freya in Norse Mythology.

Of course, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that since the comic is only loosely based on mythology anyway. It's perfectly fine even if the characters are different from their counterparts (like Freya being the villain). The problem is that Ragnarok doesn't explain anything to us like we're just expected to go with the fact that Freya's the villain and that's that.

6. Instances Of Deus Ex Machina

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, fenris fenrir, bijou, iris irine, myung jin-lee
There are quite a number of scenes in the Ragnarok series that can be classified as or said to be deus ex machina and that's not a good thing at all.

A deus ex machina makes scenes unbelievable and even contrived.

An example is when Sara Irine was the one who ended up defeating both Bijou and Himmelmez even though she was supposed to be on their side.

This seemed to have come from out of nowhere since the main characters were losing against their opponents and probably would have been soundly beaten had it not been for the appearance and interference of a deus ex machina in the form of the aforementioned Valkyrie.

7. Incomplete / Unfinished Series

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, myung jin-lee
Ragnarok: Into The Abyss consists of 10 volumes, but, even with that many volumes, the series remains incomplete and unfinished, unfortunately.

While some may not mind that the series isn't complete, others will surely want closure and will want to know how the conflict is resolved and how the story ends.

It's too bad that we get nothing but a cliffhanger because Volume 10 ends in one.

The entire series just abruptly stops and it doesn't look like it will ever be continued, at least not anytime soon. It's quite disappointing, really, no?

Review Rating

Ragnarok: Into The Abyss Manhwa
Reviewed by Freya Yuki on May 30, 2014
Rating: 2

Overall, I give the Ragnarok: Into The Abyss manhwa series a 2 out of 5 stars (below average). The comic could have been so much better, but, then again, it could have been worse. It has its pros, but it also has a lot of cons, which led to its low score.

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, myung jin-lee, loki, chaos
The fact that the series is unfinished and incomplete also added to its low rating.

Truthfully, the graphic novel had a bit of a rough start, but things seemed to go pretty well and it wasn't that bad at all as the story was quite enjoyable though its inconsistencies and flaws lessened that a bit.

However, things seemed to go downhill when the Himmelmez arc ended and some of the characters had a makeover where their clothes and even hairstyles were changed.

With that, it seemed like the comic itself underwent a makeover and it wasn't for the best.

Again, for more details, you can check out the Ragnarok tags. The rest of the articles on this series discusses everything else in great detail including what the problems might be, what could be wrong with some scenes, the instances of deus ex machina in the comics, etc. So, what about you? How would you rate this series? Do you agree with the given rating? Why or why not?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by Friedrich Wilhelm Heine (Public Domain) from Wikimedia Commons
- Pic shows Ragnarok happening in Norse Mythology, which the aforementioned manhwa series is loosely based on
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget

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