Author: Woo SooJung
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: November 2010
Synopsis: “Painfully aware of the fate that lies ahead of Eun-Gyo should either the Shaman or the Bulkirin succeed in their respective goals involving the Seven-Blade-Sword, No-Ah asks Eun-Gyo to run away with him to a place where they can never be found. But Eun-Gyo refuses to allow the world to be destroyed because of her cowardice.”
This final volume of Legend unfortunately compounded all the elements I’ve had issue with for the past few volumes. While in this book many of the recently introduced characters are already gone, or swiftly dealt with, there’s still the leftover resonance of too many characters and most poignantly, too many bad guys. Note: Review contains spoilers for the series
The Shaman and the Bulkirin are confusing, their goals colliding and mixing. Even up to the end I still wasn’t completely sure who was doing what for what (or who). It was always easiest to just focus on Eun-Gyo and her goals – getting home, saving her friends, and now protecting the world – but in this volume it was very evident that she was no longer the star of her own show.
No-Ah is the big player in this finale, out to stop the baddies and save Eun-Gyo from her fate. The volume waffles around with his intentions for a while but his resolution of his feelings towards Eun-Gyo are ever-present. For someone who has always been the brooding, my-show-my-way sort of guy, it’s nice to see him focus so much on one thing we can all actually see. Plus I think for all her annoying tendencies sometimes, Eun-Gyo deserves some saving by this point as she remains a prisoner, awaiting her own death as a sacrifice.
I’m still surprised about Ho-Dong – he was one of my favourite characters earlier on – back when he was still a ‘kid’ – and I was honestly surprised to see him go against the others when it happened. It was successfully depressing when he died here in the last volume and certainly milked all the dramatics it could.
Usually I’m not a fan of the kind of endings utilized here in Legend – total rewind and a fresh memory wipe to allow the characters to start over with one another. But here I actually liked it – it fit and it worked. For whatever reason I didn’t feel cheated by the quick-fix ending, perhaps in part because I was never really rooting for No-Ah and Eun-Gyo as a couple in the first place. Plus, I’ve always thought this was going to get an Escaflowne-style ending anyway, where the two lovebirds were left to stare longingly into a sky that separates them. I much prefer this open-ended but still satisfyingly final ending.
So ten volumes later and here it ends – a magical journey that didn’t always make the most sense, but it had some fun characters and each volume always had individual scenes that were entertaining or suspenseful. Unfortunately the story has gotten more and more convoluted as it’s gone on, starting out as a fairly standard girl-from-another-world-character-fetch-quest and trying to stand out by layering elements of plot it didn’t need. At least in its final moments Legend did what it’s needed to do for a few volumes now, offered up a nice clean slate to leave readers feeling refreshed over suffocated.