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Manhwa / The Scholars Reincarnation

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The Scholar's Reincarnation is a Korean fantasy Manhwa written by Soo Yu Hyun and drawn by Yum Jack Jack. The first thing we see is our hero, a nameless, angry red-headed warrior, murdering his way through a group of fighters that he has a grudge against. The second thing we see is that same man being killed in a suicide attack by a Buddhist monk. They apparently knew each other, and the last wish of the monk is that the red-headed man find peace in his next life.


The next thing the red-headed warrior knows, he is being reborn as the infant Hwang Jung-Woo, the son of a wealthy noble and the heir to a vast estate. Life couldn't be better... and yet, Jung-Woo wonders whether there is some greater reason he was reborn.

This series contains examples of the following tropes:

  • The Ace: Jung-woo is this in spades. Not only does he have the mastery of martial arts he obtained in his previous life, but (as the title implies) he also becomes an exceptional scholar to boot.
    • His sister, Seo Yeon, is just as talented as Jung-woo, at least at combat, but unlike Jung-woo she doesn't benefit from the memories of a previous lifetime.
  • Adult Fear: Having your children kidnapped is certainly pretty high on most parents' list of fears, although Jung-woo's father handles it somewhat differently than most.
  • The Ageless: Although it's not clear exactly how, Baek-kyo, Jung-woo's tutor, doesn't seem to age a day throughout the story, despite having taught him from his early childhood all the way through his final examinations to become recognized as a scholar.
  • And I Must Scream: A relatively mild version- when Jung-woo was reincarnated, he came back as a newborn baby, except with his mind from his past life intact. That meant he was, psychologically, a fully grown adult, trapped inside a body that couldn't move, speak, or care for itself in any real way. It's mild because it was, ultimately, temporary, and he seems to have gotten over it pretty well.
    • Ironically, he seemed far more bothered at the prospect of breast-feeding than any of the other uncomfortable aspects of being a baby.
  • Animal Motifs: Baek-kyo's nickname is "the White Hound," and, as the name suggests, he is often associated with dog and wolf imagery.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The leader of the group that kidnapped Jung-woo and Seo Yeon tries to leave the restaurant after everyone else does, only for the chef to lodge his knife in the wall next to his head. Initially, the leader thinks the chef overheard their conversation about the kidnapping, but really he was just mad that they Forgot to Pay the Bill.
  • Batman Gambit: So how do you negotiate with a lord with a powerful army and a notoriously bad temper? Fill up the meeting room with incredibly expensive furniture and art, and make him foot the bill for everything he breaks.
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  • Beleaguered Assistant: Poor Kyung-ho does his best to attend to Jung-woo and keep the boy in line, to varying levels of success.
  • Beneath the Mask: Jung-woo has accidentally let slip information that hints at his true nature a few times. The first was when he claimed to have last gone to the market eight years previously... when he was seven.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Baek-Kyo is a learned scholar who is hired to train Jung-Woo in writing and literature, after a gambit to get out of tutoring backfired spectacularly. He has a perpetual smile on his face, and always maintains perfect etiquette. He's also a notoriously dedicated and difficult teacher, and is going to make Jung-Woo into a proper scholar, even if it winds up killing him.
    • Jung-Woo qualifies to an extent, as well. He may be far weaker, and kinder, than he once was, but he still has a (literal) lifetime of experience behind him, and even as a child he is more dangerous than most.
    • Jung-Woo's father also apparently has a dark side to him, showing a willingness to kill at the drop of a hat, so long as it means protecting his family.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Jung-Woo is incredibly protective of his younger sister, Hwang Seo Yeon, and it's only when she's threatened that his old self comes to the fore.
  • Big Eater: Jung-Woo rarely, if ever, had a chance to eat good food in his past life, and has decided to make up for lost time.
  • Birthday Episode: Actually an entire Birthday Arc. For reasons that aren't adequately explained- at least at first- Jung-woo's eleventh birthday is given far more gravity than any he's had previously, with a large banquet prepared and a massive number of guests including the Emperor and his family invited to his party.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Kyung-Ho eventually has a minor breakdown when he realizes how useless he is as a bodyguard compared to Jung-Woo's ridiculous strength.
    • Not that Kyung-Ho is weak by any stretch of the imagination, as he proves when he takes out a group of assassins all by himself. It's just that Jung-woo is that ridiculously strong.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: When Jung-woo and Seo Yeon are kidnapped, Lord Hwong sends several loyal retainers to go "fix" the situation. By the time they get there, though, Jung-woo had already defeated the kidnappers himself.
  • Child Prodigy: Jung-woo, thanks in no small part to his previous lifetime's experiences. He's pretty bright even when it comes to things he has no prior knowledge of, though.
    • It seems Seo Yeon shares her brother's extraordinary talent for the martial arts, despite not having the benefit of Past-Life Memories to help her (as far as we know).
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Joo Yeon-Ha has an unusually old-fashioned style of speech, and has a tendency to speak in overly vague riddles that only she understands. She also seems to imply that she was the monk who killed Jung-woo's previous incarnation in her past life, and that she retained her memories exactly as Jung-woo did.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The inevitable result of Jung-woo fighting almost anyone with any degree of seriousness.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Jung-woo is happy to let his enemies live and let live... provided they have useful skills and won't stab him in the back. They're usually just happy to have Jung-woo no longer attempting to kill them.
  • Delayed "Oh, Crap!": It only occurs to Jung-woo after the fact that the girl he was with, Joo Yeon-Ha, has the same surname as the Emperor.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Although her face isn't seen, Joo Yeon-Ha, the Emperor's daughter, first appears two chapters before she's formally introduced.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Thanks to this trope, Baek-kyo is just that little bit more terrifying.
  • Fiery Redhead: Jung-Woo, in his previous incarnation, had long red hair, and is never shown openly displaying any emotion except anger.
  • Foil: Jung-woo is a Foil to his own previous incarnation. In his past life, he was an impoverished orphan trained in mystical martial arts for the purposes of exacting revenge on the people that wronged him. In his current life, he belongs to a wealthy and loving family that is far more concerned about getting him a proper education than ensuring his ability to kill his enemies. Or so it seems, initially.
  • Functional Genre Savvy: Jung-Woo teaches his sister that the three people you have to be wary of in the martial arts world are children, handsome men, and old people.
  • Gender Bender: The monk that killed Jung-woo's previous incarnation appears to have been reborn as Princess Jo Yeon-Ha. She doesn't seem particularly distraught over this, though.
  • Genius Bruiser: Although largely uneducated, the implication seems to be that Jung-Woo was quite brilliant in his previous life, on top of being able to murder a dozen men with his bare hands. It's only in his current life, where he has access to formal education, that his intelligence gets a chance to shine.
  • The Good King: Lord Hwang's subjects seem to legitimately love him, and consider him to be both a good ruler and a good person. So much so, in fact, that they collectively take the kidnapping of his children as a personal offense.
  • Happily Married: Jung-woo's parents clearly adore each other, even though their marriage was likely arranged.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The monk who killed himself to take out the red-haired warrior seems to believe he was invoking this trope. Not only for the people the red-haired man was trying to kill, but also for the man himself. As time goes on, Jung-woo wonders if the monk wasn't wrong.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Jung-Woo's attempt to get himself out of academic learning- by claiming he had memorized the "thousand character alphabet" in a mere weeknote - only got him marked as a genius, which caused his father to double down on Jung-Woo's education.
  • Killing Intent: It's fairly unsurprising that a kid who was a trained killer in a past life has a powerful murderous glare. It doesn't make it any less shocking when people actually sense it.
  • King Incognito: So, Jung-woo, maybe you should have found out exactly who that girl was before you nearly abandoned her in the middle of your estate. That way, you wouldn't be surprised to learn you spent a chunk of your evening with a Princess.
  • Morality Pet: Jung-woo's relationship with his sister appears to be the major reason that he's so much more well-adjusted in this life than he was in his previous one.
  • Mugging the Monster: There's no way they could've known it, since he was only a child, but the people who kidnapped Jung-woo and Seo Yeon made a grave error in attacking Jung-woo. And that's before their dad steps in with his Ninja...
  • Ninja: Jung-woo's family employs them to do the dirty work necessary to keep things running smoothly.
  • Old Friend: Lord Hwang was apparently a Childhood Friend of The Emperor, of all people.
  • Overprotective Dad: It's hard to tell because he's normally very calm, but Jung-woo's father has zero tolerance for anyone who endangers his children.
  • Raise Him Right This Time: The monk who killed Jung-Woo's past incarnation believed that he could become a good upstanding man, provided he was raised in a loving, supportive environment. We have yet to see if the monk will be proved right.
  • Reality Ensues: As it turns out, a lifetime of experience and training isn't of much use when you have the muscles and coordination of an infant.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Jung-woo's past life, by the looks of it, was just one long Rampage of Revenge. In his current life, he only ever had one, and that was against the people who kidnapped him and his sister.
  • Sidekick: Kyung-ho is a bit of an odd example, since: a) he technically works for Jung-woo's father, not Jung-woo himself, and b) he is at least a decade older than Jung-woo. Nevertheless, he occupies this role for Jung-woo, at least when he's not busy being The Caretaker.
  • Taking You with Me: Ultimately, Jung-Woo's previous incarnation wasn't killed by a superior combatant. Instead, a Buddhist monk launches a surprise Suicide Attack, grabbing onto Jung-Woo and overloading himself with spiritual energy, causing a massive explosion that kills both the monk and the red-haired warrior.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: The Baek-Heuk twins, a pair of ying-yang themed siblings who constantly bicker with each other in the middle of fights.
  • Time Skip: Early on, there are multiple Time Skips, quickly leaping through Jung-Woo's childhood until he reaches an age where he has at least mastered basic motor skills.
  • Training from Hell: An odd variant. Jung-Woo is perfectly fine having to go through extremely rigorous training to master martial arts. It's his literary training that seems to be his version of Hell.
    • Later on, he finds something he hates even more than his education: parties.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: One of these, a man named Man-Chong, originally wanted to make a weapon for the red-haired man. Unfortunately, he was rebuffed, with the red-haired man saying the only weapon he needed was his fists. The smith spent the next seventeen years searching for the red-haired man again, hoping to have the chance to make that legendary weapon, unaware that he had died. When the two met again in Jung-Woo's current life, Jung-Woo finally gave him the go-ahead to make his legendary weapon.
  • Undying Loyalty: Kyung-ho, Jung-woo's personal attendant, has made it clear that he takes his job seriously, and will do everything in his power to help Jung-woo.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Jung-Woo's previous incarnation was an orphan, and never knew the warmth of a loving family. This is why he's taken aback the first time he realizes he doesn't want to disappoint his father.

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