Manhwa-ga: Kara/Woo SooJung
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: October 2009
Synopsis: “As No-Ah battles on with Toh, Eun-Gyo’s past life resurfaces and she emerges from the pagodas as Joo-Ji, the central blade of the Seven Blade Sword. Having chosen to abandon the balde and be reborn as a human, Joo-Ji (in Eun-Gyo’s body) is eager to reunite with her lover once again. But though he loved her in his past life, No-Ah is hesitant. If he accepts Joo-Ji, will he loose Eun-Gyo forever?”
Eun-Gyo awakes after being kidnapped but she doesn’t seem to be herself and No-Ah fights to protect her while confronting some harsh truths about their quest to collect the blade of the sword – shockers abound! Meanwhile Hu-Dong is going through some changes of his own though he doesn’t seem to be the only one on whom age has played a game. Yet on top of that, what perhaps seems most important in the long-run is that Eun-Gyo questions the often unquestionable by many a shoujo heroine – why has she accepted all this crazy magical, other-worldly stuff that keeps happening to her without question until now?
This volume starts out pretty slow, for the most part because it’s not very easy to follow what’s going on with scene shifting and character exposition without first having a memory refresher of older volumes. Despite this when the plot really kicks in, it kicks in hard and with plenty of new information to counter anything you may not remember from before. The revelations in this volume turn almost everything on its head – revealing true forms of more than one character and reincarnation status of most with no lead character left irrelevant in this oddly unexpected upheaval of plot.
While all this information is certainly interesting, there’s still a certain level of hokiness by the convenience of it all being revealed in one go. The revelation of a giant demon capable of destroying the world is certainly cause for action but the majority of the motives behind characters comes down to past love affairs and the hope to rekindle them now in a new life. For better or worse what’s created is the feeling that everyone’s now just in it for the potential love interests, affairs and attraction but at least it comes with the potential for expectedly messy, and thus hopefully entertaining, results. Now we have several love triangles forming, one of which given more plausible life since Ho-Dong returns from his short disappearance with his spell broken, now an attractive young man instead of a child. In terms of the pre-existing, No-Ah is finally being more open about his feelings towards Eun-Gyo, naturally just in time for the aforementioned past lovers to appear.
Perhaps most surprising plot-wise is return mention of No-Ah’s missing sister. Granted there’s now a level of incestuous potential that one would never have surmised before (based on her being five years old) but in one sense you can’t complain about more drama in a series that often gets a little too tied up in underlying plots that never expose enough of their underbelly to be truly compelling. Now that a lot of different elements are coming together, or at least being revealed, it certainly piques some curiousity to see what direction the series will go now that readers have a better idea of the characters’ motives.
Honestly these plot twists showed up right when they needed to, distracting from some of the more flawed parts of the story – including No-Ah’s next to no personality for the majority of his page time and Eun-Gyo’s almost impressively consistent need to run away for no apparent reason at any given moment. But there’s always been a certain charm to their in-the-moment interactions and now that they have some more potentially dramatic plot-tails to follow-up their standard collection-journey, there’s reinvigorated reason to look forward to the next volume of Legend.