If you read the blog last month, you might be familiar with my list of Webtoon comics that I suggested. My friend Kit read the list, loved it, then more or less demanded that I read this Webtoon called Winter Moon. I’ve seen this comic on the top lists for Webtoon and hadn’t read it, but it was on the long list I’m checking out. Kit encouraged (read: SPAM) me with a myriad of messages on Facebook IM telling/demanding me to read it. We’ve been friends for about ten years and she has yet to recommend a bad story, so I gave into her demand and read this comic. Needless to say, I fell in love with it and have to admit that Kit is right once again.
So what makes this Webtoon so fascinating? Read on to find out
A SPOILER ALERT is now in effect.
Introduction to Winter Moon
Written by Merryweather
Art by MAYUI
Reading the synopsis on Webtoon is…interesting to say the lease. For it being one line, it definitely intrigued me and made my imagination go wild.
A homosexual sorcerer and a seductive priestess cross paths in an Online RPG.
– Winter Moon synopsis on Webtoon
Yes, that is the whole synopsis for Winter Moon. Short, sweet, and simple. Nothing more needs to be said because the story isn’t linear and follows the characters as they have fun in a game and cause some chaos, but also dealing with some real life problems.
The Main Characters
Florence: the “homosexual sorcerer” that the synopsis refers to. Oh boy, where do I start with him? At the beginning of the story, he seems like an sassy, sadistic, arrogant and self-absorbed player that is too strong, knows he can beat almost everyone who fights him, with little to no redeeming qualities…and you would be right. If any player looks at him weird, he won’t hesitate to call them names and set them on fire. Not much is known about his real life other than that he is best friends with Gideon and comes from a wealthy family.
Risa: the “seductive priestess” of the story. Bratty, gold-digging, attention-seeking, and just as sadistic as Florence. It’s no wonder these two fight so much to the point that they get along. Unashamedly uses her feminine charm to seduce straight guys into fighting for her, buying stuff for her, and giving her gold. In real life, Risa is a very shy girl in high school and her older brother verbally abuses her for playing the game.
Gideon: the “mom” of the group. While he can’t keep Florence and Risa from being destructive all the time, he’s still the voice of reason in the group. More analytical, practical, and logical compared to Florence and Risa. In the real world, Gideon is Florence’s best friend and has two younger sisters that occasionally appear throughout the story. Like in the game, he is more or less the “mom” to them and Florence, and takes care of all of them.
The Supporting Characters
Easen: A young boy that runs into the guild by chance and travels with Bob. Special talent is lagging at the right moment before someone or something attacks him and somehow his enemies end up defeated while he remains unharmed. He’s so sweet that even Risa can’t be mad at him, but he’s also not to be messed with since he and Florence tend to argue when they’re together. Not much is known about his real life other than that he is a kid and his mom worked for the creator of the game.
Bob: Yes, there’s someone named Bob…just Bob. He’s bald, beautiful, tall, muscular, and has a mustache that is so manly it should have its own profile. Bob is a player that almost never has armor on and dies a lot because of it, but eventually becomes a powerful fighter as he levels up. He can normally be found traveling in the game with Easen. In the real world, Bob is a female student who has an obsession with body builder-esque male figures.
Valera: A young girl about Risa’s age that is hospitalized because of an unknown illness. She becomes addicted to the game because she is unable to leave her hospital room and sees this as her only way to escape reality and make friends. While she doesn’t appear as much as Bob and Easen, she has made a lasting impression on readers and they’re very eager to see where her story goes.
What is Winter Moon about?
Reading this comic is great for anyone who doesn’t want to spend more than five minutes reading a chapter, but still having good quality. The artist and writer make up for this by posting two chapters a week so readers don’t have to worry about waiting too long for updates since a good number of comics update only once a week. Reading a chapter in this comic takes maybe two minutes at most, but each one is great and leaves readers waiting in anticipation for the next one.
As for the story itself, it definitely has an…interesting start. The introduction chapters of Florence and Risa are hilarious, but help set the tone of the comic which is a mix of comedy, drama, and sassiness thanks to the two of them. It starts off with Florence and Risa literally bumping into each other and insults follow when they demand the other apologize. Florence ends up defeating a man that Risa had seduced and she ends up becoming his pocket healer slave to get him through a desert and protect him from heat damage. Gideon eventually joins them and after Florence and Risa destroy a town, the three of them make a guild.
Throughout the story, the three of them do online shenanigans like beating up other players, stealing gold from another guild, and buying a guild hall. Easen and Bob run into them sometimes, mostly Easen saying hi to Risa or arguing with Florence, but readers also get to see Easen and Bob’s interactions with each other. The five of them join forces for a guild vs. guild tournament and it’s around this time we learn about Risa’s rough home life. Her older brother also plays the game and verbally abuses her outside the game that she tries to leave the guild. Florence and Gideon meet her in person and they give her the confidence she needs to fight back.
After the game gets hacked, all the characters have to start anew and find their way back to each other. Risa’s wicked ways that started before season one have come back to haunt her and she becomes an victim of doxxing (revealing someone’s personal information and identity without their consent), bullying in the real world, stalking both online and in the real world, and manipulated by the very man that stalks her, and thinks her friends abandoned her. Florence does try to explain to her what happened to him (he was trapped inside the game and couldn’t escape for a few days.), but she refuses to listen. He and Gideon team up to go see her, but she still won’t listen to what they have to say. While Gideon treasures his friendship with her, he makes it clear to her that he won’t chase after her friendship if she’s so quick to throw it away and leaves with Florence, but sends her a friend request and tells her she’s always welcomed to accept it.
After this, readers are then introduced to a girl named Valera, who lives in the hospital because of an unknown illness. She develops an addiction to the game since this has been the closest she’s ever been to making friends and works hard to do her best to stay part of the guild she’s in. We learn more about her throughout the story and see that she and Risa have cross paths before the story and that Risa was nice to her and gave her a small confidence boost. Unfortunately, similar to Risa now, Valera is manipulated by those around her with the promise to keep her around so long as she remains useful. Fearing she’ll lose them since she sees them as her only friends, Valera puts her health at risk to keep them happy in game.
Thoughts on Winter Moon
Winter Moon is a comic that certainly grabs the attention of readers, but admittedly, the characters (looking at you, Florence and Risa) can be a little extra that it might turn some readers off. Fans of the comic love them, non-fans hate them, there’s no in between. There is great character and story development and they have a nice pace that it almost gives the fans what they want, but still manages to leave them wanting more and keep coming back for it. However, while Florence and Risa do have great development and grow from their experiences, they still keep their extra-ness that made fans fall in love with them.
The story also does bring in some real life elements that make it more interesting to read. Doxxing, while it has always been a thing, but a lot of people are barely learning about it or don’t know anything about it at all. It’s recently been talked about more because of Twitch streamer, Sweet_Anita, has been a victim to it along with stalking and death threats by one individual (read more about that here). Unfortunately, it’s still pretty new that most local law enforcement don’t know how to handle it therefore they can’t do anything because they’re not equipped to do so. Risa is going through something very similar with just about everyone in her school bullying her now and her stalker watching her in real life plus manipulating in her game. The emotional manipulation that Valera goes through does a great job representing the toxicity that is seen in some guilds in MMORPGs and how easy it is to target certain individuals into doing things for them. This comic does a great job of not just being entertaining, but also bringing some online issues to light that some might not know much about or even be aware of.
So, at the end of all this: is Winter Moon worth reading? I personally say yes! It has drama, comedy, real-life problems, and a fantasy element to it thanks to it taking place in an MMORPG. Florence and Risa might be the main stars, but Gideon, Easen, Bob, and Valera make lasting impressions and fans love them just as much. The chapters might be short, but they are entertaining, well-drawn, and well-written. Character development is pretty good and readers get to see them grow, but the writer makes sure that the characters don’t lose the charm that made fans fall in love with them. If you’re looking for something with fantasy, but also wanting some real life elements mixed in, this comic is worth checking out.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (I need more Bob!)
Have you read Winter Moon? What are your thoughts on it? If not, will you read it? Let us know in the comments!