Shin

Gadirok: Requiem Chorus volume 1


Alternative Title: N/A
Written by: Jeong-Ho Hwang
Publiser: ADV Manga
Released Date: July 27 2004
Genre: Action/Mystery

Additional Notes:

  • Black and White
  • 192 Page Count
  • Age Group: 16+
  • Gadirok: Requiem Chorus is a manhwa. You would read it as you would an English book: Left to Right. Manhwas are Korean, whereas mangas is Japanese. Same style and format, no major difference other than the way you read it. Manga you read Right to Left. Manhwa you read Left to Right
  • This series is a combination of both history and Korean folk-lore. Some of the characters are based after actual historical ones.

First Volume Review:
The Jew-Shin Empire is in great turmoil: the emperor and empress are dead, and their son Chi-Woo (the prince) had a mental break down. With the empire in ruins it was easy for General Hae-Mo-Soo to come in and take over. The general assumes power over the empire since the prince was in no shape to run the country. Hae-Mo-Soo locked the prince away, so that Chi-Woo wouldn’t pose a problem to his hunger for power. Unfortunately for Hae-Mo-Soo his plans won’t go as expected.

The story opens up with Gat, a swordsman from the lowest class of society. However even for a peasant, Gat is amazing with a sword. After easily taking care of the pitiful guards Gat opens the cell door to find a prince Chi-Woo in a fetal position in the corner. After the mellow dramatic rescue Gat becomes a wanted for ‘kidnapping’ the prince.

Gat takes prince Chi-Woo to a temple for rest and relaxation, hoping that giving enough tender loving care the prince will return to his former self, and take back control of the empire. Poor Prince Chi-Woo isn’t allowed to enjoy that peace and quite for long, not only is he suffering from the memories of his friends that Mae-Mo-Soo assassinated; Mae-Mo-Soo sends a group of bandits to kill the broken prince. They’ll have to go through Gat first. General Hae-Mo-Soo knows that pitiful bandits won’t last long against Gat and his sword, so in addition he sends Bahron a professional assassin. Bahron and Gat seem to have some sort of past together; Gat calls him a conniving traitor, and then the battle begins. While Gat is busy taking on Bahron; the bandits seem to have the upper hand and are about to kill Prince Chi-Woo, So-Ah (grand daughter to the temple’s care-taker) jumps in to try to defend the prince. So-Ah knows that she alone cannot defeat all of the bandits, but it is her mission to protect the prince at all cost. Luckily for her, her grandfather steps in with a few spells to dish out.

The monk (So-Ah’s grandfather) is actually the great general Tai-Gong-Wang. Tai-Gong-Wang left the military and became a monk for mysterious reasons, keeping only to himself. He is apparently famous in the Jew-Shin Empire, and has become part of his history and legend since his ‘disappearance’.

A noble (a high ranking official in the Jew-Shin Empire) by the name of Mari from the Soo-Ra family recognizes Tai-Gong-Wang; it seems that they too seem to have a past together. Mari—who now works for General Hae-Mo-Soo—despises the fact that Tai-Gong-Wang makes the prince his priority is life, and puts it before everything else. You see Mari is Tai-Gong-Wang’s son, and has always been put second—if not forgotten—to the prince. The young noble doesn’t put up much of a fight against The Great General Tai-Gong-Wang; however, when the battle seems to have been won. Bahron sneaks up from behind and strikes Tai-Gong-Wang and kills the general. Gat and company are able to escape and run to near by town to hide.

The group (Gat, So-Ah, and Prince Chi-Woo) decided to keep prince Chi-Woo up-stairs in a room to be safe from anyone recognizing him. Yerina: a friend of Gat’s, her father owns the inn, will stay up-stairs and tend to the prince.

Unknown to our group, a peasant saw Gat enter and sent for reinforcements.

Gat seems to attract trouble wherever he goes; soon after they reach at a tavern, Gat is challenged by some loud mouth. This loud mouth apparently has a score to settle with Gat, he accuses Gat of giving him a scar across his face. Gat knows this guy isn’t going to trouble, but he needs something to do; so he decides to follow the brute to his location for the fight.

After Gat left with the brute, the reinforcements come—go figure, perfect timing. Duke Geh-Ru with his army storms the tavern; both Yerina and So-ah have already been captured by the Duke. When Chi-Woo was about to captured it was easily pointed out that he was the former ‘kidnapped’ prince. Something tells me Geh-Ru doesn’t as much respect for the prince like he should.

Meanwhile Gat reaches the battlefield where he is supposed to take on the brute. It turns out it’s actually a trap set up by one of Gat’s former allies: Shi-Wool. Shi-Wool has a bone to pick with Gat. Shu-Wool loves Yerina, but Yerina has feelings for Gat and he loves her too—the typical love triangle; some time in the past Yerina took the place of Gat so that Gat could be free, but Yerina was sold to a abusive master that raped and beat her. Shi-Wool blames Gat for it and vowed revenge. They battle! They reach a compromise…sort of. Anyway Gat heads back to the tavern—which took a lot less time to reach. When he arrives he sees that Yerina, So-Ah, and Chi-Woo have all been captured. Geh-Ru taunts Gat by using Yerina as a hostape. Gat swears to kill Geh-Ru for even touching Yerina. Will Gat be able to defeat Geh-Ru and rescue the prince? Will the prince ever return to normal? So many questions.

Opinion:
If you do pick up this manga you’ll be confused from the start. As I started reading this, I found myself constantly checking the cover making sure that I bought the first installment. The book takes medias res to a whole new level. It starts off in the middle of a story, with no reference about any before it. You’ll start to have questions not about the characters, but what’s the story is about. It fills up little pieces of the story as it goes on, but not enough to let you know why Gat is even helping the Prince. It’s like watching a movie you’ve never seen before right in the middle. It gets annoying at times, because all the characters the meet they’ve seen before, so you’re lost at page one. There aren’t any holes in the manga it’s self everything flows perfectly; it’s just that volume 1 feels more like a volume 2 than anything else. This would turn you off some other mangas; however, I’m still holding out for this series. The story seems good, and I could tell that the characters will get more and more in-dept as time goes on. I’m hoping that as the series continues they’ll fill up on the back story. It’s well written—and you learn Korean History—the characters are interesting, and the art work is pretty intense. I’m going to have to give this installment a 7 only because it starts off with back story, other wise it would be getting a solid 8. This manga this spite it’s one major flaw is very intense and if you like action to action scenes you’ll like this. You’ll enjoy the manga, but you’ll be lost. I suggest buying volume 1 & 2 at the same time so that you might grasp the story a bit better.

Score:
7.0/9.0

By Cherubim

Work in progress... not home!
Trying to get all/most of the new code working before I start on the eyecandy.