Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru – Manga

Betrayal Knows My Name

“Betrayal Knows my Name” is a manga with beautiful artwork, though it seems to hold more of the Korean style than the standard Japanese. By this, I mean the characters are dressed very trendy and with jewelry which doesn’t typically find it’s way in manga. Also, there seems to be a lot more detail in hair and the clothing in general, which is more common in Korean manhwa.

This story is boarder-line gender bender/shounen-ai but hasn’t really crossed into the BL department yet in the series, though it does come close. The only reason why it would even be considered shounen-ai is because the main character, Yuki, was reincarnated as a male when she/he has a female soul and all throughout his past lives was a girl. In both the anime (yes, there is an anime) and the manga thus far though, nothing romantic has happened between him and his past life partner.

If you’re curious about the anime, it only goes about midway of the English Volume 2 books. I have to differentiate between the English and the Japanese, because in order for them to catch up to the current release, they combined 2 volumes into each English release until Volume 6.

You get the impression that the Yuki in past lives was a bit more anti-social and meek, and that this is perhaps the reason she decided to be born male. And though current Yuki in the beginning does seem to kick a bit of ass, I am a disappointed that as you get further in the manga his martial arts and fighting capabilities stop being used and appears to have a bit less of a fighting spirit.

The main story revolves around a group of teenagers and young adults who work in pairs. Together, they exorcist those infected by evil spirits by first having one push them out of people’s bodies, and the other forming a cage. Basically the two work together as offensive and defensive; attack and entrap. Their powers have religious names, such as “Hand of God” and “Light of God,” but from what I understand of the story, the powers don’t come from any deity.

Between the battles of the “trash mobs” the secret of this long, drawn-out battle emerges. I don’t want to give too much away, and much of it still remains a mystery, but what you do eventually learn is that this millennium long battle is the struggle of basic human existence. Pretty standard in most shounens. While their souls are tired of constantly being reborn into battle, they continue to do so in the hope of victory and finally being able to rest.

For me personally, the main thing that grabs your attention is the artwork, which remains constant throughout the books. It looks as good as the cover art. The storyline does have some slow moments, but it is very captivating and detailed, which is probably why there are times when all that is going on is talking. The mangaka,¬†Odagiri Hotaru, adds a lot of backstabbing, plot twists, and sorrow between the characters. This of course could be assumed from the title, but it’s nice to actually see it throughout the work.

If you are interested in the manga, you can read it here. Sadly, it hasn’t had any English release in a year, and I haven’t seen any scanlations in almost two. However, no research has been found by me indicating a drop in the series. The anime is a bit more difficult to obtain, and though I have seen YouTube posts of it, the quality leaves you wanting. I do have the downloads of though, so if asked nicely and truly interested, I am sure those can be shared.

Black Haze – Manhwa

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Following a new trend of publishing online, Black Haze is currently being produced weekly and is released every Wednesday. The translation group, B.A.P (not the band), sticks to a strict routine of a 24 hour translation update, which can be viewed on ManagHere.

This is a currently new Manhwa that I recently came across with a highly addictive storyline, assuming you are the type of person that loves the young main character that acts a bit reserved but comical at the same time.

Magicians in this world aren’t like the typical spell casting ones commonly found in fantasy books and movies. They are a special elite class of people gifted with the powers bestowed to them by “god” to fight and destroy demons. These powers are all based on defending and attacking. Nothing will be appearing from anyone’s hat in this Manhwa. Along with the magic being based on combat, the wielders first must call upon their magician’s true name which invokes them to change form and allows them to cast their spells. These magical alterations don’t typically look much different from the character’s normal form, except for obviously the magician this story follows.

Rood is the main character who is roughly the age of 14 and possesses extraordinary magical powers and talent. Thus far in the store (Chapter 74) how he has obtained those powers has only been hinted at and nothing specific has been mentioned. You do have the sneaking suspicion that they aren’t exactly ordinary, and possibly even were obtained through some dark methods. The prologue chapter hints that Rood himself doesn’t remember anything before waking up from this possible dark ritual. After reading to Chapter 55 or so, it may be good to revisit the prologue so that the hints and teasers about his powers come into light.

For the first ten or so chapters the story moves a bit slow, taking you through the introduction of the value of Rood and his Magician abilities, while at the same time showing you how the organization he works for is trying to keep him out of trouble and away from the spotlight. While these attempts obviously fail, the manhwa introduces it’s light humor consistently throughout the slow moving chapters that help build Rood’s personality. After the 1st full mission is completed, the storyline then proceeds to build momentum as it takes you to it’s main location of the Magician’s School Helios. Here Rood is to learn how to socialize with kids his own age for once, and hopefully make a few friends.

The school life shows how overly distant Rood’s life has been from people outside of his organization, Opion. As Rood navigates the school and tries to fulfill his mission, the story begins to build it’s true intentions of the magician’s training. Demons. From roughly Chapter 35 on, more combat is seen and the plot begins to thicken as multiple Magician Organizations are revealed and who is on who’s side is established.

If you can get past the poor art style of the first chapters and the slow beginning as the author sets the scene for Rood to enter the Magician’s School, the story will captivate you. Black Haze’s author makes every chapter a cliffhanger, which can be irritating but has you constantly looking forward to the next release. They do a fantastic job of giving just enough to excite you, and pull back before giving away too much. I only wish that this online manhwa had the author’s name available, because all you’ll find is that it was created by someone named “Dydyddl7” Yong Yong.