Growing up in the digital era means we are no strangers to the now curated world of Web Comics and Light Novels. With the dawn of content treasure troves such as WebToon, Tapas, and Naver, it’s become easier than ever to access new stories and binge-read to our heart’s content.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve indulged in reading online, thanks in part to the pandemic slump. But even before that, graphic novels have been a hobby of mine. The real OGs remember how iconic Scott Pilgrim Vs The World was in the early 2010s. And now we have titles like Lore Olympus and Tower Of God, which had a humble beginning but became absolute mammoths in the comic industry.
These novels and comics are just as hyped as any TV show, getting trailers and previews that are consumed by millions. Western or East Asian, it doesn’t matter. You have translators working tirelessly to provide hungry fans with a new chapter every week. There’s an entire fandom for these stories. Hell, even DC Comics decided to cash in on the fun, with a quirky Batman webcomic called Batman: Wayne Family Adventures being a WebToon Original with weekly updates.
Webcomics and light novels are clearly here to stay, becoming just as ubiquitous as manga/manhwa in the book stratosphere. And the one I’d like to talk about today is The Beginning After The End.
TBATE: How Is The Story?
The Beginning After The End is an ongoing Tapas original, with illustrations done by Fuyuki23 and TurtleMe on the storyboard. Currently, the webcomic has over 140 chapters, so you can bet on the bingeability factor. It is a fantasy-action epic, following the story of reincarnation and the bonds you make on a journey of self-discovery.
The story revolves around Arthur Leywin, an average kid that remembers his past life as the great King Grey. Grey had unrivaled strength and prestige, holding great power in his hands. But being on the top gets lonely, especially when you have to trample on your loved ones to rise to that spot. Beneath the glitz and glamor of a powerful monarch lurk a hollowed man, a shell with no will or devotion. And so, King Grey meets a lonely end when he is assassinated in his past life.
And then he wakes up as Arthur, reborn on a continent known as Dicathen. However, King Grey views this as redemption. He can finally live his life differently as Arthur, surrounded by friends and familial love, something he didn’t have a chance to experience before. And so, we join Arthur on his journey through this new world and see him develop as a character when he faces conflict, challenges, and new relationships.
Is The Beginning After The End Worth Reading?
Growth is an integral part of enjoying this novel. Arthur’s story of being a kid armed with infinite knowledge from a prior life means he unlocks his powers early and his new parents, decorated veteran adventurers, train him well. While that can veer into the Mary Sue/Gary Stu territory, the author makes sure to keep things well-rounded instead of them becoming pretentious and boring. Like when during the very first chapters of the story, Arthur gets separated from his family during a move. The young Arthur loses his way in a forest and encounters a being who decides to train him, the interactions helping him become a more well-rounded character.
As Arthur grows older, he faces more and more powerful opponents. Sometimes, that opponent is his own blind-sightedness, where he is left questioning exactly what role he plays in this new world and his reason for being reincarnated. But well-placed comedic timing and heartfelt interactions keep things easygoing and balanced.
And the fight scenes are insane. The art is super detailed and dynamic, bringing the story to life. The plot flows beautifully from one arc to the other. While the art reflects the prosperity of the new world Arthur lives in, you can sense there is a force that is waiting to come forth and destroy all that he holds dear.
I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys fantastical settings that lean more action-heavy. The webcomic is still ongoing so there is a ton to look forward to and it’s easily available on the Tapas app. If there are any more comics or light novels you’d like a review for, let us know!