Tomb Raider King Vol 1 [Manhwa] Review - A Mediocre Dungeon Crawl
Mangaka : SAN.G, Yuns (Story), 3B2S, REDICE Studio (Art)
Publisher : Ize Press
Genre : Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Shounen
Published : November 2022
Western readers are getting spoiled with the number of manhwa coming to physical print these days, all lovingly edited to fit on our shelves. Ize Press, the new print line from Yen Press, has taken charge with some brilliant manhwa to introduce to new readers in 2022.
One such release is Tomb Raider King, a manhwa based on the Korean web novel of the same name--a story about vengeance, time-traveling, and governments racing to control powerful relics from the gods. Unfortunately, Tomb Raider King can't quite escape the shadow of more popular manhwa, and let us down with an angry and cocky main character who's difficult to connect with.
Join us today on Honey's Anime as we review Tomb Raider King, Volume 1!
In the year 2025, mysterious "tombs" begin appearing all over the world, each haboring a powerful relic from history or myth. As governments and corporations race to acquire these powers, the "tomb raider" Jooheon Suh (no, not the one played by Angelina Jolie) finds a unique artifact that details all of the available tombs and relics.
Jooheon's relic earns the attention of Chairman Kwon, CEO of TKBM--a corporation that specializes in relic hunting. When Kwon becomes distrustful of his own raiders, he sets a deadly trap for Jooheon...but through the intervention of a relic, Jooheon avoids this fate and is instead transported 15 years into the past.
Returning to his younger body with knowledge of the future, Jooheon finds that his unnamed benefactor has given him RPG-style stat windows only he can see. Determined to get the jump on Chairman Kwon, Jooheon sets out to seize the best relics as tombs begin to appear for the first time.
This time around, Jooheon knows exactly what to look for--but he isn't the only one investigating the newly-appearing tombs. Agents from the American CIA and the Japanese JSDF are both pursuing the relics, while TKBM makes its first move from the shadows. The JSDF is also helped by a future-telling relic that predicts Jooheon's movements--so now he'll need to outwit his opponents and his own future to come out on top!
Artistically, Tomb Raider King looks great, and Ize Press have once again done a fantastic job of converting a vertical webcomic to a traditional paneled format. The action is easy to follow, and the special effects feel like they've splashed out of an anime and straight onto the pages.
1. Action-packed Shounen Goodness
If you're not too fussy about your main character, then Tomb Raider King is a really enjoyable read, with fast-paced action and great world-building about the relics and their abilities. The frantic competition between governments and corporations could've come from a spy thriller, and the series doesn't shy away from blood and gore when it needs to make an impact.
1. An Unbearable Main Character
Although we completely understand Jooheon's need for vengeance, that doesn't stop him from being a totally unlikeable main character. His overt edginess and cockiness make every line of dialogue feel like he's mocking both the reader and his enemies at the same time.
Tomb Raider King feels like it's trying too hard to make a "badass" main character, but gives Jooheon no redeeming qualities, resulting in a one-dimensional protagonist who's almost impossible to like.
If you love action-packed adventures, then you might really love Tomb Raider King, but it's a little hard not to feel like the series is the poor man's Solo Leveling. Tomb Raider King's best parts are weighed down by an unlikeable character who's too edgy and cocky for his own good.
Are you going to check out Tomb Raider King, Vol 1? Let us know down in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading!
Author: Brett Michael Orr
I'm a writer, gamer, and reviewer of manga & light novels, from Melbourne, Australia. When I'm not creating a new world, I'll be absorbed in a good JRPG, watching some anime, or reading up a storm!
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