In a fantasy world resembling the Middle Ages, Grey is a commoner who fights battle after battle until he becomes the ruler of the kingdom he’s fighting for. However, when there is finally peace, he dies, killed by someone close to him. But his life is not over. He wakes up in a different world as Arthur Leywin, the newborn son of Alice and Reynolds. Grey, now Arthur, needs to learn everything about this new world—including magic – but first he needs to learn how to walk.
Although still a newborn, Arthur’s mind is well beyond that age. He absorbs everything he sees and hears. In the battles he fought in his past life, Arthur learned how to use ‘ki’ to strengthen his body and weapon, and he can apply the same principles that he used to learn ‘ki’ to mana, the force one has to use magic. Thanks to this knowledge, Arthur speeds up his learning of magic so much that his parents are quite shocked by his ability.
Due to this, after a few years they decide to travel to Xyrus, the capital of the human kingdom where they live, in search of a teacher for Arthur. On this journey, the family is accompanied by his parents’ friends who also happen to be part of an adventurer group, the Twin Horns. So now four-year-old Arthur is ready to start his first trip outside his village to discover the wonders of this new world. If only bandits didn’t interrupt his idyllic adventure.
The Beginning After the End, whose fans will also know it as TBATE, was one of the first manhwa I read. Together with Solo Leveling, these two manhwa are what introduced me to this genre and to the world of web comics.
I’m a huge fan of isekai and being reborn into a fantasy world stories, and this series meets all my expectations. What are they? Being sucked into the story until I reach the last page and then counting down the days until the next volume is out.
There were so many instances where I couldn’t stop laughing. Arthur is a “genius” in this world, thanks to the memory of his past life, but he certainly can’t tell his parents that. He needs to adapt his knowledge of the world he comes from to the one he is currently living in, while also dealing with a lack of control over his bodily functions (e.g., he has to use diapers). Arthur is a cute baby, and the people around him can’t deny it either. He has a lot of confidence and knows his worth already.
This volume has a lot of information about this new world and about Arthur’s life, and the authors use monologues to let the readers understand how this world works alongside Arthur as he discovers it himself. That’s how we find out that humans are not the only beings living on the continent of Dicathen—there are also elves and dwarves.
We don’t know yet what path Arthur is going to take, so we can only make conjectures. Will he become the strongest mage in this new life just as he was the strongest swordsman in his previous one? I can’t wait to find out.
The illustrations are simple but impactful. There are a lot of curves and soft lines, and not many details to represent the characters. This drawing style is reminiscent of old manga and anime such as DragonBall and Naruto, giving its reader almost a nostalgic feeling. The only part I was not a big fan of was that sometimes the lines of the illustrations looked blurry, but I don’t know if it’s due to this drawing style or just a printing issue.
The cover shows a slightly older Arthur, sitting on a throne referencing his past life as a king, and with a dragon at his side… A dragon?! We don’t know yet who this dragon is and why it is with Arthur, but maybe humans, elves and dwarves are not the only creatures of Dicathen. I can’t wait to find out what other fantasy beings there are.
The only criticism I have for this first volume is that it is quite short with only 190 pages compared to other printed webtoons, which often run much longer.
The Beginning After the End is written by TurtleMe with illustrations by Fuyuki23. It started as a novel, and because of its huge success, it was turned into a webcomic on Tapas. It’s released in print format by Yen Press, and so far there are three volumes out. Volume 4 is slated for release in November.
***This is a revised and expanded version of a review first written for BookDepository in 2022.***