Today we’ll be talking a bit more outside the Naruto area, heheh. So, as I’ve written a bit on my Tumblr, I started reading a new manga, made by my dear friend CasualMisfit. For those of you who don’t know Cas by his real name Sean Lee, let me tell you a bit about him from my own experience with him haha.
Of course, we were united by out love for Naruto. How? Simple… Few years back, when I first decided to come more into contact with other Naruto fans, I joined the all-known to us, Narutobase (currently Animebase). Cas was a moderator there. Guess which one? Yup, the Design Moderator, so if you ever wondered who drew that cool skin for Narutobase, you’ll have to thank him, haha!
At first, we didn’t talk that much, hehe, that until later on, I became a moderator myself there and got more and more into talking and sharing opinions and whatnot. We slowly built this nice friendship and started sharing many things. Between those things, Cas was telling me at that time the fact that he’s planning on making his own manga. “Cool!”, I thought to myself. And I still think.
After a while longer, around the time I did, Cas also announced his retreat from the Moderator team and packed with great dreams and talent, started working on his own manga more and more.
On his DeviantArt, Cas was already teasing us with character concepts that looked out of this world and made the ones of us, who have been following his progress, extremely curious about what was to come.
Given the appearance of the characters, Cas made us all believe that this manga will be something out of this world maybe or something wrapped in magic tales and whatnot. He made sure probably to let us all boil, haha! I remember the times when we were talking on Skype and he gave me a little gift: the very first page of Legion: King of Kings! Of course, his request was not to leak it and I followed through, although I felt like telling the world what was about! But thinking back now, what I was supposed to say? I had no info more than the design for the characters and the first page, which totally caught my attention!
So, from there on… I waited and waited. Until the day that Cas finally made the announcement: Legion: King of Kings had its first release! So, of course, as soon as he told me that, I went running – metaphorically speaking – to read it.
Now, this is where the fun begins. As I’ve said earlier and you’ve seen for yourselves, the character designs are quite unique and out of this world, which would make one think we’d have something to do with a magical world or something, but… surprise!
What do I mean by that? Well, let me tell you a bit about Legion and its plot, from what we know up until now.
First, we are introduced in rather unknown world, where a battle happens, while two apparent unknown characters after winning the respective fight, recite a rather controversial line that makes us curious and wanting to know what move they’re ready to make, when the scene quickly moves to our everyday normal world.
In that everyday normal world, we get a location: Queensgate Foundation School. We can observe there elements of our contemporary world: youngsters with smartphones, design details that makes us think about London’s Underground train system, a lock with our nowadays acronym “YOLO”, and last but not the least the contemporary teen relaxing at his desk, checking his Facebook profile, while from the drawing details, aka the posters on his room’s walls, we can observe what’s to be, probably, Cas’s own tribute to the wonderful manga by Masashi Kishimoto, Naruto and some other unidentified (at least to me) character, probably from another manga. If it were to be my guess, the “Queen” on the poster would be none other than Unohana Retsu, from Tite Kubo’s Bleach. Right, Cas?
Speaking of the contemporary teen, we are then introduced to one of the protagonists of the series: Amadous!
Who is Amadous? It’s you, me and everyday teenage person that, from what we can observe, is rather a “can’t be bothered” person, which to be honest, reminds me a bit of Shikamaru Nara from Naruto, who is passionate about mangas and apparently, MMORPG’s and he’s living with his mother. And this is where things get a turnaround!
As bored as Amadous is, he sees an advertisement on one of the websites he was browsing – which we can observe is yet another contemporary element that Cas has introduced in his manga -, and decided that despite the fact that in the advertisement it is mentioned that the said game is free for play for life, Amadous has a rather interesting view over things offered for free, but as he says, it wouldn’t do any harm in looking what things are about.
In his first appearance, we can see that Amadous, as I said, has a rather interesting view over things offered for free, as indicated by the usage of naigo or, as we know it, inner voice/thoughts, which says “The only thing free in life is air… And I’m sure there’s even a hidden tax on that!”. What we can tell from here? That despite Amadous’s careless overall look, which as I said reminds me of Shikamaru Nara, even his body language, as he falls over his chair’s backrest, that would make people nowadays think that he’s probably just a “geek” with no future ahead of him, irresponsible and doesn’t think about real-life first-world problems, he is rather a thinker in the back of his mind and it’s very well aware of the world’s economics and things go around, given his inner thoughts about the world’s nowadays usage of taxes.
So, from what we can see, Cas already laid some basic traits of its protagonist: at first-look careless and non-caring about nowadays world problems, irresponsible teen. But, if we look past that, we see a rather self-aware person, who even if doesn’t poke at these things everyday, it’s not unaware of them and how these things affect the everyday human being. Interesting combination there, Cas!
I believe to be honest that, what Amadous portrays is easily the teens nowadays. Many people overlook them as irresponsible or non-caring but, the fact is that while not all of them are like that of course, some do care and are self-aware of the things that happen around them. I believe that anyone could easily identify themselves with him.
Going further, we see that Amadous decides, still, to play the game. What game? Surprise or no surprise there: Legion: King of Kings! So we find here, that the manga’s name is actually, the game’s name and that the world we imagined at first given the characters, is nothing but a computer-based dream world.
As Amadous constructs his character from a various set of character types (Mage, Priest .etc) , next sequence of scenes takes us inside the world of Legion: King of Kings, in Croi City that is inhabited by the Psyonia Nation. The design of the place has mixed different design inspirations that makes you think both about the old world, where technology didn’t exist while at the same time, as well as the nowadays world filled with technological materials, so to speak.
We find out that he decided to be a Mage, who is now at Level 1 and has found himself in a world he has no idea about. He wanders around confused over there as he asks himself if this is the way a MMORPG looks, which gives us an insight that despite the fact that he seemed passionate about MMORPG’s, he actually has no idea and has never played one, and he has no clue on what to do around there, as he seems lost.
Other roam around there, looking at the newbie, as Amadous discovers the things he has to do as a player, while mumbling about the so-called gratuitousness of the game.
After he gets the knack of what he’s supposed to do, Amadous receives his first mission and is excited about it, other characters comment about his actions around the camp, looking down on him while calling him a noob, a joke etc. So, as we can see, Amadous is looked down upon, which makes us think about every manga’s protagonist underdog status in conjunction to other characters.
So the hero starts his first quest. He is ordered that for the mission to be complete, he has to bring leather from these “muukoos”, which’s location is unknown to him, but fortunately, he doesn’t have to look that much for them, as they quickly find themselves behind him. Questioning what he’s supposed to do, given that he has no clue and the muukoos – which seem to be some kind of biped centaur monsters -, seem to very much ignore him, Amadous reminds himself about a the actions character he saw in town and decides to attack the muukoo monster with… a simple punch. Still careless in his nature, while he does gain HP points – yet another element of our nowadays world – he forgets about the fact that those creatures can attack as well and quickly finds himself punched as well, while he now has to deal not only with one monster, but multiple, as they seem to gather if one of them is attacked and the others are around. Therefore, Amadous finds himself in the run, trying to hide from the herd of muukoos. As he succeeds that, Amadous devises a tactic plan on taking over the muukos with the intel he has gathered from his brief encounter with them.
In the end, he does succeed to finish his quest and we see a flash of lights surrounding Amadous as it’s announced that he’s now officially a Level 2 Mage, while he unknowingly of the game’s mechanics ask himself what is happening. I have to admit, this Mage thing, makes me think about three things: World of Worcraft / DOTA, Fairy Tail and last but not least… Diablo game series, hehe.
As he returns to the base after completing his first quest, he receives as a “gift” an armor and new weapon, when he’s approached by another player who has a gift for Amadous for his next quest. As they discuss the details of Amadous’s next mission, we see a rather interesting dynamics between Amadous and Anchor, the new character, worthy of those written by Japanese writers themselves. I gotta say I loved it, as I’m such a geek for these type of dynamics.
Soon after, Amadous is left to go forward in his next mission, using the gift Anchor gave him earlier to transport himself into a new world, where he has a new quest to complete. In this world where he finds himself now, Amadous seem to find new players that, from the look of it, are none other than “enemies” of the Psionia people. Being attacked and not knowing what to do, Amadous finds himself in a rather controversial position. What is he going to do? Well, for that, we have to wait for Cas to release his new chapter!
Speaking of release, the release schedule for the manga is, for the moment, monthly. From what I know, Cas is still in need for help with the manga, so if any of you have something you would like to help with, don’t forget to contact him and let him know on either of these places: official website, Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter. Also, don’t forget to follow him in any of these places! I promise you won’t regret it!
What else I can say about it? Well, I have to be honest, it’s rather an intriguing concept for me, given the teasers for Legion: King of Kings, where the characters seemed magical and live in that magical world. But now, we actually find out all that happens there is an actual MMORPG! Those characters live in a world bound by the technology nowadays and while at first I was shocked, I must admit the fact that it intrigues me for this sole reason!
From my own experiences with manga and anime, such concept was never touched in such a way and that is, like I said, what makes it appealing for me. I am curious to see how Cas is going to continue things further, how will he deal with the two worlds and what quest expects us further! Nevertheless, the possibilities are endless and exciting, that’s why, I personally, will be following the course of Legion thoroughly!
So why don’t you guys give it a try and tell me what you think?
Interesting, is there something you like or dislike? Does something peak your interest? How do you find the concept? Intriguing, boring, weird? Let me know what you think!
Till next time,