Title: The Ravages of Time
Genres: Seinen, Action, Historical
Artist: Chen Mou (as far as I know, correct me if I am wrong)
Publication: New Youth (Tong Li) (weekly)
Start Date: 2001
End Date: on-going
Number of chapters at review: 170
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 242
General Overview: This manhua (Chinese comic) retells the epic story, Romance of the three Kingdoms. This tale is told through the angle of views of the Sima clan and the assassination group, Crippled Legion, and their involvement in all the major events.
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
Chen Mou’s art is top notch, and his designs for each characters are unique and very entertaining. The fight are usually very bloody and realistic. The background art is also fantastic (ancient Chinese palace, battle scene full of flying arrows, etc) will simmer your blood.
This series is very very very well written. Chen Mou is really put the “Romance” in this epic. Most of the major plots are the same in the classic, but events that lead to these plots are however often unexpected and well dramatized. Though, a background of Romance of the three Kingdoms may be needed to increase your appreciation to this tale and your understanding to the mind games and ploys within this tale.
There are way many characters in the story, but Chen Mou managed quite well to keep each characters unique. Main characters and secondary characters have unique backgrounds and facial designs. Not to give anything away, but some characters are not away what they really are at first.
The theme is about the three kingdoms era of China. But each chapters basically has their own theme from teaching Mencius and Confucius. It spread the theme of Romance (similar in One Piece = adventure) of warriors (honor and excitement of battle). Some theme may need mature mind to better the understanding and appreciation.
Well though the three kingdoms story is retell countless time in different media but this one probably is the best of them all. It keep me reading even though the English scanlation group only at volume 10 and I trying to read the raws (I don’t even know Chinese) to well up to volume 20.
To sum up, this is a great read for those who are fan of the three kingdoms story. Though, for western audiences may find it troublesome to remember all these strange names and places. And may have trouble understanding Chinese idioms, some plots, and mind games. But if you overlook this, and really get into it, reading chapters over and over again may better your understanding and appreciation.
PS. The fight scenes are great. Zhao Yun, Sun Ce, Lu Bu, etc… are all bad asses… ^^