TLDR: Return of the Blossoming Blade has a Strong MC who happens to naturally spur a chuckle here and a laugh there. Read it. Or don’t.
Welcome to WebToon of the Week, where I’ll read various WebToons, Mangas, Manhwas, and Manhuas and provide my honest and entirely non-expert opinions!
If you’re anything like me, you love Webtoons (which I will be incorrectly using to refer to most all Asian comics: manga, manhwa, and manhuas alike, sue me). You find yourself reading every new story you can dig up, scouring even the less reputable scanlation sites, hoping for a new mass release to scratch your insatiable itch. Sometimes, you start reading something that you swear you’ve read before and have to triple-check that the series is, in fact, new. If you haven’t reached this level of addiction yet, buckle up because the further you dive, the harder it will be to stop.
A Captivating Protagonist
So, let me ask. Does a story revolving around a strong MC appeal to you? One who isn’t afraid to express their emotions, show true vulnerability, allow themselves to feel, make mistakes, and show that even though they may be OP, they are still human (for the most part). Do foreign worlds filled with fantastical, magical systems, martial arts, cultivation, suspenseful yet well-paced fights, and well-thought-out stories that sometimes begin with an errant bus beckoning you to read more, fighting the ever-increasing weight of your tiring eyelids as the early morning lights creep through your window? On top of all that, do you enjoy a well-timed laugh? If so, then keep reading! If not, feel free to keep chugging on with a grain of salt…my opinions might not hold much weight with you!
A Recipe for Failure
Comedy + Webtoon = Disappointment-Jason Perlman (…me)
Disagree? Comment below and let me know why!
From my POV, in the current landscape of boundless comics, some would say a saturated field, there are only a handful of stories that effectively employ comedy to enhance their stories and deepen their characters. The vast majority reuse the same five jokes, strained expressions, and tropes to the point where I want to pull my hair out, often pushing me to drop a series altogether. Do I blame lazy, unfunny authors? TikTok? Our society’s decreasing attention span? Maybe. But I’m not here to rant about that today. To me, it’s simply a fact that the comedy tag transformed itself into a harbinger of mediocrity. A beacon, a lighthouse that howls:
Beware! Disappointing Plot Ahead
Return of the Blossoming Blade
Still reading? Awesome! You’ll likely enjoy reading Return of the Blossoming Blade, a wuxia-esque Manhwa. No Spoilers (maybe a few from the first chapter…but that’s all, I promise).
In the story, we follow the reincarnation of Cheongmyeong. He was the 13th disciple of Mount Hua and one of the world’s strongest warriors. However, in a war with the Heavenly Demon, he stands as the lone survivor on the battlefield before succumbing to his numerous wounds. When he wakes, Cheongmyeong finds himself in a new body and his beloved sect in shambles, a mere shadow of its former glory. With the memories of his Senior and Junior brothers, Cheongmyeong makes it his mission to spread the glory of his once-great sect so that all will know and respect the name Mount Hua again.
So—sounds like plenty of other reincarnation stories. Another murim brat is returning to greatness with decades of knowledge and experience on those around them. You’d be right if that’s what you were thinking. While Return of the Blossoming Blade is by no means a pioneer in the plot, it respects the reader. It develops Cheongmyeong into a genuine character, flaws and all, who remains true to his ambitions and morals (or lack thereof).
In this otherwise action-filled story, a great rift appears between Cheongmyeong’s desire to restore glory to his sect and the way in which he treats the current leaders and disciples. He harbors anger and disappointment towards the members who allowed the sect to fall into ruin through poorly managed finances, unregimented training strategies, the loss of secret manuals, and a general lack of understanding of the tenets of the Mount Hua sect. In this disconnect, the comedy shines through.
Cheongmyeong displays a borderline sadistic personality in his handling of the sect’s disciples, forcing them through inhumane, torturous training rituals, including personal beatings for those who slack off. He takes this a step further for those who cross him or disrespect Mount Hua, dolling out punishment with an even heavier hand.
If you’re looking for another action-packed reincarnation manhwa to pick up and want a healthy dose of comedy sprinkled alongside the action, do go ahead and give Return of the Blossoming Blade a try! With currently seventy-two chapters in season one and five chapters so far in season two, you can find weekly releases every Friday on webtoons.com