Our two heroes are finally coming to the end of their journey, but things are never as simple as they might seem.
Story: JinJun Park
Art: Jin Jun Park
Translation/Adaptation: Jamie S. Rich
What They Say
Chris succeeds in getting the information he needs about Crossline from Area 51, but he is trapped in an underground bunker when an EMP shuts down its electrical systems. While he struggles to escape before the oxygen runs out, Irel and Lamia dive deeper into their search of the Blood of Christ… but the answer they have been looking for might not bring the results they’d hoped.
Story and art by JinJun Park.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
After searching long and far, Irel and Lamia believe they have finally tracked down one of the remaining bottles of the Blood of Christ in the North Pole, meaning Lamia’s long quest to rid herself of her undead curse might be finally over. Meanwhile, in the US, Chris has managed to fully infiltrate Area 51, discovering the truth of the experimentation happening there and putting the final pieces of the puzzle together as to the goals of Crossline and the reason for the undead curse. With just the one attainable bottle of Christ’s Blood left, it’s a question as to who will get there first, and what they will do with it once they have it.
Raiders is a manhwa that I hadn’t heard of before this volume landed in my mailbox. Being so near the end, I checked out some of the material previous to this just to familiarize myself with some of the characters. While I haven’t read everything up to this point, I’m glad that I did because there are a lot of moving pieces to this storyline, and this volume starts to bring them all together. To be honest, going in, I wasn’t too excited about another zombie storyline, but Raiders takes it in a different direction than most, and much of what happens seems to be more about revealing the “truths” behind the origins of Christian mythology than it just being a zombie apocalypse story. Besides, from what I’ve seen, there haven’t really been any “Braaaaaaaaains!” zombies, so it doesn’t have the same feel that other zombie stories might.
I would like to go back and check out what I’ve missed, though, because both early on and in this volume, I’m really interested in the relationship between Irel and Lamia, as I feel like they play well together, especially with Irel’s potential flame Grace now in the mix travelling with them. Early on, Lamia is very introverted and dedicated to her goal; I don’t necessarily want to suggest that she is a sociopath, but it is very true that she doesn’t care about anything than accomplishing her task. By this volume, she has come out from her shell more; it’s obvious that is because Irel is the first person in her 600 year existence to not shun her when he learns the truth about her, and I’d really be interested in seeing this develop.
All-in-all, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far of Raiders. I like the characters, and I’m always fascinated when manga or manhwa authors use Christian myth as the basis of their supernatural tales, as they always seem to have an interesting take on it. I’m not going to say that it’s been perfect so far, because the writing is fairly clunky in places—almost like Park has an idea of where he wants to go but isn’t sure how to get there—but the overall idea is solid.
But I have to say that I do find the art to be distracting. On a general level, I do like the character designs, and Raiders has a nice visual flow. But I also find the art to be too busy during scenes of heavy action, and it’s hard to follow what’s going on. If it was in color, it might not be as big a deal, but in black and white, it is confusing. Some of the characters, such as Irel and Chris, have similar designs too, so when the action is up, I found it often tough to tell who I was looking at.
Raiders has an interesting take on Christian mythology and uses it well to craft its own supernatural identity. Though I haven’t read everything up to this point, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read. The characters and themes are well developed, even if the plot hasn’t always been. The only downside to me has been a bit too much noise in the artwork, but I can get around that. I certainly wouldn’t pick up the series at Volume 8 since there’s a lot coming together at this stage of the game, but it might be worth picking up the series earlier on if you like supernatural horror and haven’t yet done so.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: C+
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: September 25, 2012