Trigger warning: suicide
The World After the Fall is one of the latest manhwa launched by the newly founded Ize Press, publisher of Korean comics in the West. So, here we are with another manhwa where the hero gets into a game-like world where he needs to climb to the top to save humanity. Of course, I couldn’t NOT read it.
Jaehwan is your average Korean guy. Basically, a John Doe. Until one day towers appear in every country and some humans find themselves in front of a game-like screen asking if they would like to become players and enter the tower. Well, there is a reason behind the saying ‘curiosity killed the cat’. Many humans from all over the world accept and are teleported inside the towers. However, that’s only the beginning.
Jaehwan and his fellow Tower Walkers (the tower climbers’ nickname) find themselves having to climb floor after floor to reach the top, because if they don’t, humanity will be gone forever. When some walkers find a mysterious stone that supposedly takes them back to a pre-tower time, many can’t avoid the temptation. After all, it’s that or dying. Or the small possibility of reaching the top. Many leave until Jaehwan is the last one standing. All of his comrades dreaming to reach the top have been killed by monsters or because they couldn’t take it anymore and decided to end it themselves.
As the last man standing before a human catastrophe, Jaehwan doesn’t give up. He fights and he fights and fights until the last boss of the 99th floor is destroyed. No matter how many years it takes. But when he finally reaches the 100th floor, he realises the hidden secret of the tower and of the being—demon—that controls it.
Well, too bad for the demon; Jaehwan won’t follow the demon’s wishes and the path created for him. He’ll make his own path and get revenge on the beings who put him in the tower. He’ll destroy the system.
As you can imagine, The World After the Fall is full of action from page 1. You can’t stop cheering for Jaehwan and his comrades to reach the top, only to weep when he’s all alone. I think the author and artists do a great job in showcasing Jaehwan’s emotions on his journey. This manhwa is also quite gory and depicts suicide, so if any of these are triggers for you, please reading avoid it.
I didn’t have any issues with the story until the last couple of chapters when the reading flow got interrupted for me. A couple of scenes are repeated and there is an abrupt change in the dialogue, making you wonder if some parts are missing. But no, they aren’t. The dialogue is picked up later on again, but with my mind already in the new scene setting, I found it slightly awkward. Other than that, it’s pretty good and has a catchy start.
The World After the Fall is a full-colour manhwa with matt pages taking away the paper shine so that it doesn’t look like a cookbook. Cover-wise, we actually get an illustration that is also part of a scene. Hurray. That almost never happens. And we also get a second cover on the inside. Kudos to Ize Press for making this manhwa all pretty for us. They also used some spot UV (the shiny parts) on the cover, but they had an interesting approach—they used it in the background, leaving the image of the main character with a matt-touch feeling.
Although there aren’t many Ize Press front-list titles, what I noticed is that a lot of them involve an isekai/game-like theme. Think of Solo Leveling, Villainess Are Destined to Die and The World After the Fall. While this genre has been quite popular in the East, it seems like it’s catching interest in the West too. For fans of Webtoon and Tapas, there are many serialised manhwa in this genre, and we can only keep our fingers crossed that Ize Press will license even more.
The World After the Fall written by singNsong, illustrated by Undead Gamja and adapted by S-Cynan has been brought to print by Ize Press, while the English online serialisation is done by Webtoon. Volume 2 is supposed to be released in Spring 2023.