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Manhwa / King Of Hell

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Known as "Majeh" (lit. Demon Emperor) in Korea, King of Hell is about Majeh, a legendary swordsman, one of many whose skill was so great that his soul was deemed unable to be judged by normal means, and so was condemned to spend the afterlife in a special limbo for eternity.

Then he defeated all the others.

Now he's been put to work by the bad-tempered King of Hell to do the chores of the afterlife.

First working as an envoy to the spirit world, Majeh is soon returned to the land of the living to hunt down the monsters and souls of evil warriors who have escaped from Hell.


Hilarity ensues!

Or not, as things start getting increasingly complicated and it turns out all those people he randomly joined up with have more at stake than originally revealed. Not to mention, there are hints of a dark conspiracy against the King of Hell himself and there are plenty of plotters in the human world willing to make things much more complicated than originally Majeh thought it would be...


This comic provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Dohwa, both of them.
    • Later on a lady named Soso (no, really) shows up and shows she's perfectly capable of kicking ass.
  • ...And That Little Girl Was Me: Not full out stated, but when Majeh is telling Chung Poong about a boy who conquered his fears and thus was able to conquer the world, it's heavily hinted that he's talking about himself. With the revelation of the beginning of his Dark and Troubled Past in volumes 17 and 18, this is looking more likely.
  • Anti-Hero: Majeh is a Type 3 (Pragmatic Hero) while Chung Poong is a Type 1 (Classical Anti-Hero). Hyur is either a Type 4 (Unscrupulous Hero) or a Type 5 (Nominal Hero) depending how you see it.
  • An Ice Person: One of the escaped fiends uses ice abilities to fight and that same arc also revealed that Majeh has an ice technique of his own.
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  • Artistic Age: Anyone trying to guess the ages of the main cast will be stymied, as the art style has things like a six year old boy having the body of a 20 year old.
  • Asshole Victim: A very long list. Would you like it in chronological or alphabetical order?
  • Awesome McCoolname: As noted above Majeh literally means Demon Emperor.
  • Ax-Crazy: Crazy Dog, Hyur and even Majeh at times.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Majeh says this to an escapee who's been looking forwards to fighting Majeh at full strength and has now had his seal temporily broken. He immediately gets curb stomped.
  • Beware the Nice Ones and Beware the Silly Ones: Despite his rought attitude, Majeh is nice. Not to mention probably the most goofy of the main cast. Piss him off and you won't have long to regret it.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Majeh to Chung Poong.
    • Also shows shades of this to Young.
  • Bishōnen Line: An inverted version, as it's a good guy who falls under it. Cerebus's true and thus strongest form? A dark skinned, pointy eared Pretty Boy.
  • Blessed with Suck: Majeh is one of the few dead who remember their original life. But, as he points out to Samhuk, when the memories are terrible or sad, remembering them is more of a curse than a blessing.
  • Blood Knight: Majeh, among many others
  • Brought Down to Badass: The seal on Majeh reduces his power...and he's still capable of kicking a lot of ass.
    • Later on it is revealed that Cerebus had a seal on him all that time!
  • Butt-Monkey: Everyone at some point, but Samhuk deserves special mention for the amount of abuse Majeh heaps on him in the first part. As do the Insane Hounds who are literal Iron Butt Monkeys!
  • Calling Your Attacks: Of course! But, luckily, only for really impressive moves.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The young lady Majeh encountered early on with Ajeta's Eyes? Becomes very important later on. As does that Sura demon; turns out, he's the King of Sura.
  • Child Prodigy: A few, alongside Teen Genius comrades, all of the martial arts kind.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Chung Poong goes through this early on in the story and by the time of the Raven Ghost Isle Arc he's definitely "come of age".
  • Dark Action Girl: The Sa Gok have a few of these and one of the seven escaped fiends is a woman. The Trade Spirit and the other Specters also count.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Majeh, Dohwa (poison user), Baby, Cerebus...the list goes on.
  • Deal with the Devil: On Mt. Girin there's a Trade Spirit who will grant your request for a price. The amnesiac Majeh ends up having to (unwittingly) trick her to gain his memories back.
  • Dirty Coward —> Lovable Coward: The Insane Hounds are the definitely the first in their first few appearances, but eventually develop into the latter - this is helped by the fact that now they are "Heroes of the Martial Arts World" they believe they have to live up to it.
  • Easy Amnesia: After the defeat of the Sa Gok and Majeh being possessed by a fragment of the Big Bad, he ends up losing his identity...but he still has a good chunk of his ability and attitude left!
    • Later on the amnesiac Majeh ends up killing the memory version of the first Dohwa; resulting in him permanently forgetting her.
  • Epileptic Trees: In universe example: Cerberus speculates at one point that the people in power in Hell are chosen based on their ability to throw objects at people. Given what usually happens when Majeh and the King of Hell interact.....
  • Evil Counterpart: Murin is this to Majeh, as both possess Heaven's Ki, but while Majeh, while rough, has morals, Murin has none.
  • Friend to All Children: The one time we see Majeh spend time with a kid, she utterly adores him. He's also quite kind and considerate to the regressed Crazy Dog.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: The Insane Hounds.
    • Achievements in Ignorance: According to the bad guys gloating on their luck finding a pool of "thousand year" water, it allowed people who bathed in it to become Made of Iron. The Insane Hounds thought it was a hot spring and relaxed in it. Sure enough, their very next appearance has them surviving the blows of a much better opponent and claiming they were always this good.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Played with after he regains his memory, Majeh gains a pair of black wings. Despite the colour, Majeh is still the hero. But played straight in the case of Murin, as, since he is another user of Heaven's Ki, he also has black wings. However, he later takes on bat wings, making this case more feathers = good and membranes = bad.
  • Go Out with a Smile: The first Dohwa, and Dohak, true to form. Chung Hae also does this after Chung Poong has to kill him.
  • Hellfire: Cerebus's signature attack.
  • Hell Hound: Oh, hi again Cerebus.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Abaek takes the blasts that the first escaped fiend sends at Chung Poong and Dohwa.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Majeh with his Golden Seal. The Golden Seal severally reduces his power and gives him the added problem of reverting to a teenage state. Not that most mooks can beat him in this weakened state
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Majeh, full stop. Generally acts like a jerk, but has constant Pet the Dog moments.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: The amnesiac Majeh has to do this to regain his memories, using the dream spider egg. There are three conditions or catches; one, he will be in a deep, unbreakable sleep while he's doing this, two; if he kills anyone in the memory world he will permanently forget them and three; if he dies int there, he dies in real life.
  • Limit Break: When Majeh's close to death, the seal is released for a small amount of time until the chances of him dying have passed. One of the Moorim contained within a martial artist's body curb stomped Majeh in his child form but was reversed curb stomped by Majeh's adult form. If he's killed in his adult form, the seal breaks completely; and if one manages to save him in time...
  • Little Miss Badass: Somi. Crazy Dog is instantly smitten.
  • Made of Iron: The Insane Hounds by accident. And the zombified martial artists as well.
    • Majeh himself is pretty tough, as are most significantly powerful martial artists.
  • Manchild: Majeh acts like one.
    • Psychopathic Man Child: This results in a few moments when he hits this trope. The regressed Crazy Dog is definitely this.
  • Mood Whiplash: Constantly. One moment you are dealing with a very serious moment, then suddenly you are thrown into a moment of pure comedy. Or the reverse...
  • Mr. Exposition: Various characters have taken this role, from Majeh to Chung Poong to even Samhuk at times.
  • Mugging the Monster: A hapless bandit leader in the Gobi Desert seems to have this has his main character trait. Aside from attacking the invulnerable Insane Hounds, he also tries to intimidate Hunter and later attacks Majeh's group. Oops.
  • Multiple Head Case: Cerebus, of course but not in his true form.
  • Name's the Same: The Dohwa that stayed by Majeh's side for 300 years, and Dohwa the poison user. Majeh, of course, notices.
  • Ninja: Samhuk
  • Not So Different: Majeh and Cerebus, lampshaded nicely by Chung Poong and Dohwa.
  • One-Man Army: Majeh. His companions eventually reach this level as well.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. There are two Dohwas.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Majeh" isn't his real name it's actually Ja Young Choi. Also, no one knows Hunter's real name and the King of Hell is just called that.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: They are an artificial Revenant Zombie type and aside from the first ones Majeh and Young fight, they are all created from highly skilled Marital Artists and thus very tough to beat, without taking into account the Made of Iron status the makers imbued them with. Later revealed to fall under Technically Living Zombie enough for the victims to be rehabilitated back into being human.
  • Psychopomp: Majeh first appearance is as an envoy to the afterlife. This quickly gets kicked to the wayside by the plot though.
  • Professional Killer: An entire clan of them (Mooyoung Moon) of over 500. Young is the Teen Genius member and later joins the group of heroes.
    • The Trade Spirit later sends a lesser clan of these after the amnesiac Majeh, while's he's trapped in his mind looking for his lost memories.
  • Creepy Crows: Subverted, as originally they are seen as part of Hell and thus the good guys, but also played straight in the case of one that lead an escaped fiend to Majeh. Also played straight when it comes to Murin, but also subverted again by Majeh who creates one to track down a demon.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Majeh is more than 300 years old
    • As is a rival martial artist who lost an arm to Majeh and Dohwa, Majeh's love, who stayed near his body for 300 years.
    • Samhuk counts as well, the King of Hell, not to mention all the escapees and...look, if you aren't human you fall under this trope.
  • Refusal of the Call: When the King of Hell first orders Majeh to hunt and kill the seven escaped fiends he refuses. Unfortunately...
    • The Call Knows Where You Live: The King of Hell forces him to follow his order...but too late to save the original Dohwa, who dies in the recently revived Majeh's arms.
  • Red Baron: "Majeh" counts, as a later arc reveals it was a name he was given by others due to the amount of people he has killed. Murin is mostly known as the "King of Darkness" or "Dark King".
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Sa Gok are represented by a snake and the leader even has a "pet" giant demonic snake.
  • Samurai Ponytail: "Yong" aka the amnesiac Majeh, wears a rough version of one.
  • Ship Tease: During the Memory Retrieval Arc Majeh encounters the memory versions of both Dohwas in the same place, with the swordsman one demanding to know if the other one is her replacement, hinting that Majeh might hold some attraction to the second Dohwa; not to mention guilt over it.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: One of the later volumes shows the tale of a pair of these, of the "different social class" kind. Considering the Trade Spirit (above) is involved, you can tell it doesn't end well.
  • Stepford Smiler: Majeh, full stop. Originally mentioned in the first volume, it doesn't take long to show that Majeh has issues that he does his best to hide by acting as silly as possible.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Baby has two and Dohwa is revealed to have one later on.
  • The Berserker: Crazy Dog, Majeh at times.
  • The Stoic: Young...
  • The Rival: Crazy Dog and Dohak are this to each other even after they first die.
  • The Reveal: The King of Hell didn't make Majeh into an envoy to punish him, but to save him from Murin keeping him from gaining Majeh's Heavenly Ki.
    • And then Majeh finds out that he's essentially slated to be the next King of Hell, as he needs the Power of Yama to defeat Murin.
  • Time Skip: Quite a few small ones happen, though you have to pay attention to catch them. A major (six month) one happens after the defeat of the Sa Gok and the disappearance of Majeh.
  • Title Drop: First spoken words in the mawhwa by Majeh:
    Majeh: Ahem. Yo, King of Hell!
    • That is for the English version. In the Korean version anytime someone says "Majeh" that's a title drop.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Chung Poong's main character arc involves doing this. Dohwa also does this twice.
  • Tournament Arc: The first major arc revolves around this until one of the escaped fiends interupts it. Later on, another one happens This one shorter than the last, thanks to the fact it's essentially a trap set up by the Big Bad.
  • Undying Loyalty: Interestingly, Samhuk seems to be developing this toward Majeh. Despite the fact that he originally started working for Majeh only after he caught Samhuk spying on him, later on in the series Samhuk places Majeh's interests above his own several times. The biggest instance is when Samhuk is injured to the point of having his astral body disappear, he doesn't go back to hell to recuperate; his first thought is to get information to Majeh, rather than save himself. Also seems to be a strange bit of Hero Worship with Samhuk making giant sparkly eyes whenever Majeh does something cool. This will probably only increase as Samhuk seems more than ready to pledge his allegiance to Majeh when he becomes the next King of Hell.
  • Younger Than They Look: Abaek is only thirteen, and doesn't know how to lie. He will crush you like a grape.


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