Chiwoo Vol. #04 (

By:Patricia Beard
Review Date: Monday, August 18, 2008
Release Date: Saturday, May 31, 2008

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist: Park KangHo / Lee HaNa
Translated by:S ukHyee Ryu
Adapted by: James Lucas Jones

What They Say
Chiwoo trains with Ju-Ah to become a better mangnani. Although Chiwoo struggles, Ju-Ah promise Seol-Ha that he will become a great warrior in the end. Later, while Seol-Ha continues his search for Bi-Hyun, Chiwoo and company face Yi-Yun, to rescue Uncle Wol-Baek. Will both missions succeed? Will everyone find what they're looking for? Or is there more trouble in store for these heroes?

The Review

Chiwoo, who has now attained executioner (mangnani) status, trains with the SSaul-Abi, Ju-Ah, to reach the level he needs to attain to free his uncle, Wol-Bek.  Wol-Bek has been taken prisoner by Yi-Yun in the hopes of luring out Chiwoo's father, Bi-hyun, who has given up his role as executioner, yet is still hunted by the forces of the Emperor. 

Chiwoo forsakes the search for the father he has never seen, leaving that to his uncle, Seol-Ha, in order to save Wol-Bek.  Chiwoo, along with friends, Ju-An and Ma-No, confront Yi-Yun and his  minions in a series of confrontations that are diverse and dynamic, and supported by great looking art that packs a visual punch. The fights here are often more gestalt or impressionistic rather than cinematic or linear, but dramatic and effective just the same.

The confrontation between the forces of Yi-Yun and Chiwoo is the focus of this volume and Yen Press has given this penultimate volume very nice production.  The print quality supports the drawing, distinguished by exceptionally balanced design, showing it crisp and clean. Yen has also included a color insert of the cover picture of Ju-An.  The volume reads well and it free of any glaring errors in grammar, spelling or punctuation.  The only blight is that there is occasional printing that runs into the spine, making it difficult to read without cracking into the binding.

Heavenly Executioner Chiwoo, originally published by Ice Kunion and continued in publication by Yen Press, is an action title that borrows from Korean mythology and culture.  While the authors have provided generalized reference material interspersed throughout the book, look for its influence in the fighting styles and stances demonstrated throughout, and in mask master aspirant Ma Na's use of the fighting mask and the conditions for its use, defined here as a type of power up when used properly. 

Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Yen Press
MSRP: 10.99
Pages: 192
ISBN: 978-0-7595-2881-9
Size: B6
Orientation: Left to Right
Series: Chiwoo