Title:Dark Air a.k.a. 다크에어
Genres: Manwha, Shounen, Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Historical
Author: Park Min-seo
Artist: Park Min-seo
Publication: Daewon Culture Industry; serialized in Comic Champ
Start Date: 2010
End Date: N/A
Number of chapters at review: 10
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 10
In the midst of battle, in a time of need, the source of magic, blue air, instantly disappeared. Up in the mountains, Mustain was able to witness a pillar of wind that no regular human could see. Off to his side lain an injured lad. After that day, a new age dawned for magic users, an age of dark air.
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
Park Min-seo's art style is very good. He knows how to present his story well. The body proportions and postures seems really good. The line art is good. The art asset is just fantastic. Park Min-seo's illustrative abilities makes each and every character unique and different.
That would mean that his ability to design and create characters is top notch. Of course it must be a laborious work to design such a work with such level of details. The art asset is top notch.
The source of magic in the world of Dark Air is a very unique one. Each and every world has some sort of magical spring/source that magicians draw from. In Dark Air's case, the source of magic is drawn from something called "blue air."
Now, we all know that there are rods and specific items that could help a mage amplify their magic. Dark Air's explaination of such method is very intriguing. Gemstones are used to amplify blue air
By manipulating blue air, mana is created. As we all should know, mana is the drivng energy that a magic user would use to conjure up spells. So, in a world like Dark Air where all the blue air has disappeared, magic is rendered null or at the very least, extremely difficult to conjure.
This dilemma has caused all the mages to stumble. It seems like non-mages are quite happy with that. One reason is that magic made mages quite arrogant. One could say that the age of non-mages has finally arrived.
So on the day that blue air disappeared, an injured Melose was discovered by Mustain near the place a vortex or whirlwind of some sort appeared. There's a 3 year time skip and the journey continues of trying to solve what happened exactly to the blue air?
This manwha is interesting in how it presented its' characters. Not only are they present with names so that the reader could easily identify each one, the role of each character is also identified. It's almost RPG-esque.
From what I've seen, the skill of each one is determined on a fairly easy level for certain classes. For a mage, the ability to cast differing elements at the same time will determine mastery level. There seems to be fire, water, wind and vegetation or plantae.
For a buffer, the ability to cast defensive and offensive types at the same type would also determine the mastery level. I'm also sure that the strength of each buff would be considered.
For a scout, the ability to stalk, attack target before they notice, and the ability to sense those around or radar skill determined level of mastery.
As for swordsman, I'm not so sure about the proper way to determine mastery level. Shenandoah, the woman with bad ass sword skills seems to rank as a master by her usage of sword techniques. From the looks of it, she utilizes three swords. One broadsword, one longsword or claymore and Cloud's buster blade. Yea, okay, I really have no idea what that last one is called. Shenandoah seems to play her poker face well. She doesn't exactly show emotions well, but I'm assume she has this thing for fine delicacies. Serious and punctual is what I got.
In all of this trouble, there seems to be two person who could even use magic to much astonishment of others: Vincent Jaffar and Melose. I'm thinking why pick a name like Jaffar?! Doing a quick baby name search, it seems like Vincent Jaffar could be translated into "prevailing/ to conquer/conquering stream." Melose? Is it really Melose or Merose? That's always a though one. Or perhaps, it's Melrose? Honey of roses or barren moor/heath. rom what I've read so far, I'm not so sure.
Vincent Jaffar seems to be a pretty strong guy. Strangely, Park Min-seo seems to be place much focus on Jaffar's staff. I could only speculate but not here. One could tell that Jaffar is a one helluva mage by his demeanor.
Melose is a pervert. A weak, pathetic man that likes cross dressing. Then again, he has a penchant for magic. The air he gives off is extremely unique in a literal sense. As a cross dresser, he's quite beautiful. So beautiful in fact, he causes men to question their sexual orientation. Probably one reason why I had to force myself to stop watching those crazy Japanese shows like Josou Paradise.
Lastly, there's Mustain. I do wonder if it's Mustang like a wild horse. Of course, Mustain might be a reference to Dave Mustain of Megadeath fame. I suppose reference to Dave Mustain would probably more correct. Mustain does have this air of superiority about him and a dash of arrogance to boot. Only a talented sunnava-gun could only have such an air about himself. That's not even mentioning the electric guitar Mustain pulls out of his case.
You know what? I forgot the mascot of the team. He's a forest creature from the Baobab Tribe. He's a feline humanoid and his class is a scout. I don't think he's name was shown. Forest creatures don't trust outsiders and winning their trust is hard.
Mustain is gathering together quite a team together all for the sake of Melose and Melose connection to Vincent Jaffar and the disappearance of blue air.
Don't take things for granted. I'm sure the mages learned that one well. Having lost the ability to use magic overnight must've hit hard. It seemed like it put them in their places.
The idea presented in Dark Air is most intriguing. Mana is created from most likely blue air. Without blue air, no mana could be created thus rendering magic void. Being without blue air has created a very tough global environment for mages.
What really made me curious in reading this manwha was while I was reading "In Full Bloom" a web comic, I saw a picture of Katie in the end credits. She was gorgeous and noticed that she was from a manga called Dark Air which was colored by Esemzy.
At first, I thought it was a manga but realized that the way I was reading didn't make much sense. So. I changed reading from manga to manwha. The dialogue then started to make more sense. Then again, stupid me should've noticed the Hangul.
Dark Air is another example of an excellent manwha in my opinion. Those that like action, adventure, and humor, I would recommend this for a read. Of course those that appreciate good art work with a workable storyline, this is a suggested read.