I was looking through old reviews when I found out something shocking; I hadn’t done a review on one of my most recommended Webtoons of all time. Wow. So here I am, rectifying my mistake!
Status: Complete (28 episodes)
Summary: Yun Ai wanted to be a magician when she was little. But now in reality, she is a high school student who cannot even afford new stockings. Since the day she met a real magician at a fair, she desperately wants to follow her dream.
Story: 4.5/5: It may seem like a typical story, but as reality seeps into the fantastic, dream like world, the plot becomes amazing. It’s beautiful, strange, unique, sad, bittersweet, and overall, magical. I can’t describe this story to give it justice.
Characters: 5/5: There are only three characters who truly are developed, but they’re so well written. And two side characters are also given some development too. Ai Yun is the main character; she starts off as cynical and dispassionate, yet it’s for an actually good reason; she and her sister, Yui, have been left alone. So Ai is desperate to grow up as soon as possible. The Magician, or L, is amazingly detailed; he isn’t portrayed as good or bad, but as human. It’s sometimes painful to read about him, he’s so complex. Ildeung may have the best character development, however; he starts off as being so irritating, but eventually becomes incredibly sympathetic and likable. Beauty, L’s parrot, causes laughs and tears, and even Yui, Ai’s little sister, is an enjoyable character.
Writing: 5/5: The writing is beautiful. Each line, each twist, is amazing. The lines have a certain magical, fairy tale vibe about them without sounding corny or contrived, which is an impressive feat alone. But it’s the way it develops that makes this some of the best writing I’ve seen: it begins as a fairytale, like a Disney movie. But reality creeps up as it progresses; it feels incredibly real. But as sad and painful and moving as it becomes, Annarasumanara never becomes depressing or hopeless. It still has a sense of hope and beauty throughout. That’s what makes it so magical; it’s bittersweet, yet incredibly inspiring.
Art: 5/5: I would give this a 100/5 if I could. The art was stunning and innovative, totally different than most Webtoons. The author incorporates real objects, like paper, cotton balls, and the occasional photo into the drawings. The occasional bursts of color also help make an impact in the story. Basically, this is something I think everyone should read if not for the art.
World Building: 4/5: This takes place in the real world. And it is captured so well! It feels very realistic. As Annarasumanara largely focuses on society and its impact on people, this rings incredibly true.
- Twists with value: The twists are amazingly well placed. Each character has a huge revelation about them, and yet they are never contrived. These characters feel like real people. They each have impact and add a layer of reality to the world.
- Realistic: This starts off with a Disney vibe. It feels like magic, but reality shows up. Once that happens, it actually feels like how the real world would react to these events.
- The overall presentation: The way mental health was portrayed, society’s reactions to different people, and how society affects each person differently was effectively portrayed. It was very realistic and relatable. People and society and pressure were all realistically portrayed…all while feeling magical. It’s sort of reminiscent of a Ghibli movie in that regard.
- Short: This was really short. At only 28 episodes, I wish there was more content. I wanted more of these characters, the art, and the world. But unlike most short stories, this managed to be power and had amazing development.
- Too many metaphors?: This was incredibly symbolic, but some of the symbolism could go over people’s heads. I know some did for me. It could be a little much for some.
- Ambiguous ending: The ending was a little confusing. Again, it could be the symbolism/metaphors, but it was just a bit unclear. I sort of wish the ending had been longer; I needed more closure. But it was still very impactful.
Grading: 5/5. A very rare five out five for me. But this was one of the few Webtoons I would call a masterpiece. It was stunning and breathtaking. It’s drama, but has elements of magic, psychology, and social drama/commentary. I highly recommend this.