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Manhwa / Chonchu

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Chonchu (Chunchu or Chunchou in some translations) is a 15 volumes South Korean Manhwa that was published from 2000 to 2004, written by Song-jae Kim and drawn by Byung-jin Kim.

A young man named Chonchu has a stone set in his chest that marks him as a demonic being. Having been abandoned by his family, he managed to survive by being taken in by a low-born warring tribe known as the Myrmidons, with whom he can quench his demon stone's thirst for battles. But even they cannot trust him due to his tendency to fly off the handle at random and thus becoming dangerous, even to them.

In a time of chaos and war, a godforsaken era, twin sons are born to an emperor. But legend states that the son of the emperor shall be born a demon! But twins? Who is the demon, and who shall reign as emperor?

Saved from death by his mother, banished by his people, hunted by his brother, and tortured by his Enemy Within, Chonchu struggles to be accepted among his peers as a human being. But something mysterious lurks within his cold exterior, something that could be awakened by the touch of a woman.


Despite its status as a classic of the Manhwa genre, Chonchu is an Orphaned Series whose second part never came into being.

The series provides examples of:

  • Absurd Cutting Power: Present with each weapon wielded by a named fighter, and taken to a ridiculous level with Shinji, who is able to do this without even unsheating his sword.
  • Action Girl: Amir is a slender girl with a crossbow as her weapon of choice. She is able to tear through a squad of city guards without breaking a sweat.
  • Affably Evil: Hyunwuk shows traces of this with his usually non-aggressive stance, despite his manipulative, uncouth ways.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted. Despite being one of the most attractive females of the series, as soon as she suspects Ulfasso's true self, Fassa becomes more and more reluctant about becoming his consort.
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  • All Love Is Unrequited: Amir likes Chonchu, who is infatuated by Fassa's calming presence, who is betrothed to Ulfasso who she doesn't love at all, having seen his true nature. The series itself says in one of its summaries that "reciprocated love is a luxury in those troubled times".
  • Anti-Hero: Is there a genuinely nice character in the Myrmidon's squad?
  • Art Shift: In later chapters, some charcters verge into Super-Deformed territory in the more light-hearted scenes.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The Leaders of the various Factions tend to be the strongest in their respective group, the exception being Chonchu who is not in Command of the Myrmidions.
  • Ax-Crazy: Most characters have their moment of this at one point or another, even non-fighters.
  • Badass Longcoat: Chonchus standard outfit, bonus for wearing no shirt underneath.
  • Bishōnen: Most of the heroes in the cast fit but Chonchu and Shinji are among the best examples.
  • Blood Knight: most of the cast
  • Cain and Abel: Chonchu and Ulfasso, full stop. Ulfasso's hatred for his brother has driven him quite mad.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: naturally. Every named character is able to cleave his path through an army of trained soldiers, even if those soldiers are the Elite Mooks of the White Brigade, who have to be able to kill 100 enemies each on their own to even apply for membership.
  • Cooldown Hug: stops Chonchu from finishing off Hyunwuk after their fight.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Chonchu and his Devilsstone. It renders him nigh unkillable, but curses him to a life filled with extreme conflict and bloodshed.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: anytime Shinji gets serious.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Hyunwuk, albeit with a very pragmatic justification for this. It's halfway between this trope and I Fight for the Strongest Side!.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Hyunwuk almost looks like a girl with his long hair, delicate features and his fine clothing.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Subverted. Shinji appears to be an example of this but he actually has unusually narrow eyes, for which he often gets taunted.
  • Femme Fatale: The Blue Fox is a spy who relies mostly on her charms and wit to trick people into giving her information.
  • Fingore: played for laughs
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Chonchu has an absurdly powerful Healing Factor. Even multible stab wounds and near decapitation only slow him down.
  • High-Pressure Blood: see Overdrawn at the Blood Bank below.
  • The High Queen: Fassa, in clear contrast to Ulfasso.
  • Hunk: On the opposite side of male attractiveness, we have Agon and Ulfasso's dragon who are handsome, tall and strongly built.
  • Human Pincushion: try to count the arrows sticking out of Shinji after his last Battle as a General of the White Brigade.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: happens a lot. With all characters Made of Iron, a fight is far from over when there's five arrows through your heart.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Most sword-wielders of the series master weapons that normally no one would wield in Real Life.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Inverted. Children get no special treatment when it comes to violence.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Hyunwuk, what's wrong?
  • Made of Iron: any fighter who is not a lowly Mook can be considered that. Shinji in his flashback sequence takes the cake, though.
  • Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: Shinji again, he even counts the arrows that hit his heart.
  • Orphaned Series: The series is stalled. There's no prospective date for the second part to be released.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: To the point of Narm sometimes, but it's apparently a constant in Byung-Jin Kim's style.
  • Real Men Hate Affection: Played with. Chonchu often acts aloof, brroding or just plain bloodthirsty. But deep inside he does long for affection and a soothing presence, someone who could alleviate his angst and his guilt. And Fassa is the only one able to do this thus far.
  • Redshirt Army: seriously, being a soldier in any major engagement involving Chonchu and his gang just sucks.
  • That Thing Is Not My Child!: poor Ulfasso. His parents fixation on Chonchu and his understandable desire to just be loved by his parents provide much of his motivation... and his Ax-Crazy madness
  • Twin Switch: Ulfasso was the one supposed to be the demon child but he seized the stone as an infant and slapped it on his twin brother.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: the Devilstone. Briefly shown with Ulfasso who partially transforms into a demon, but only implied so far with Chonchu. until the flashback in chapter 39, that is
  • Whip It Good: The Blue Fox uses an usually powerful whip that she straps onto her arm and uses to defend herself while fighting. Said weapon is not unlike that of Arshela.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Chonchu clearly doesn't, but the Devilstone will have none of that.
  • World of Badass: doubles as a Crapsack World for anyone not skilled in battle.