Join me on this thrilling ride as I review a Webtoons comic that left me on the edge of my seat each episode.
I was browsing Webtoons for drama-filled webcomics to read when I came across Bastard. It caught my attention with its short, matter-of-fact synopsis: There’s a serial killer in my house! I was immediately enthralled, and found myself riding an emotional roller coaster jam-packed with plot twists at the peak of each climax. This webcomic made a deep impression on me, and it will likely leave one on you too.
Bastard, written and illustrated by Carnby Kim and Youngchan Hwang, is a thrilling story full of drama, and is based in a Korean setting. The first episode instantly kicks off with a gruesome murder to act as a perfect cliffhanger that keeps you reading. This is important, because the first chapter of a story is meant to grab your interest, and leave you wanting more. In this case, Bastard’s Ep. 0 (the first episode technically), does the job perfectly. I found myself reading through all 94 episodes in just a few hours. The story is deeply engaging and you will find yourself immersed in the setting.
As the story progresses we see the main character, Jin, go through major character development. I can’t praise this story enough for having such a well-thought out character. Jin is troubled, in more ways than one, yet the story is so engaging that you find yourself believing in him. Due to spoiler reasons, I won’t go into detail about Jin’s psyche, but bluntly put I think Jin is a likable character. You will discover that Jin’s father is someone you’ll hate rather fast. Then there is the everyone’s adorable favorite, Kyun, who arrives to multiple times to save the day for Jin. There’s also another major character named Manny. Manny is special in which he seems like a typical bully, yet seems to have a tsundere side. The story has you rooting for these characters as they face their past and the metaphorical demons inside them.
When reading Bastard, you will feel the emotions the characters have. Their thoughts, motives, and emotions are all portrayed excellently. How does a young child deal with the psychological impact of being exposed to the brutal murders of a serial killer? Do you lose your mind, or do you find the strength to move forward and overcome the trauma? The story revolves around how Jin has coped with such a traumatic past. Hardships and tests of friendship put the characters in a state where they not only question their ideals, but their trust in others as well. Jin often wonders if he is the person he thinks he is, or if he’s just living a facade. It captures his mindset well and even causes you to reevaluate everything you think you know.
The ending of Bastard made me get out of my seat and mentally applaud the work of the creators. There are moments that are predictable, yet reasonable. However, there were many more moments that weren’t expected. The story certainly strikes a great balance between predictable events and unexpected scenes. It has gripping suspenseful moments that leave you screaming, and begging for characters to run away from the murderer. It has an overall dark and depressing tone that submerges you in the atmosphere of a gritty setting. It keeps a steady pacing, though the end I felt was a bit rushed. However, I didn’t find the ending jarring in any way. There’s almost nothing I can complain about. I highly recommend webcomic fans to read Bastard if they haven’t already. Even if you don’t read webcomics, I suggest you check it out. If you aren’t good with horror or gore, then it may not be for you – since the story does feature some really gruesome crimes.
FINAL VERDICT: 9/10
While not necessary, I suggest making a Webtoons account so you can express you love, or dislike, for the series when you read it. You can read Bastard here.