I don’t get isekai. Outside of Inu Yasha, the genre has been a hard one for me to enjoy or even understand as something other than surface-level nerdy boy goes to something like a video game and gets girls. And while I know the genre has come a long way, and that sometimes power fantasies are fine even if I’m not the target audience, it’s been hard to give them a chance. Then I started reading digital manhwa, Korean webcomics, and I’ve started to “get” why isekai, being transported to another world works. One of these manhwa is The World After The Fall, a series currently published on WEBTOON, adapted from a novel of the same name. Originally written by singNsong, the manhwa is adapted by S-Cynan and features art by Undead Gamja. The World After The Fall is published physically and translated in English by Yen Press. Volume 1 of the series is translated by WEBTOON and lettered by Phil Christie.
The World After The Fall has the basics of an isekai, a guy gets sent to somewhere else and is put into a game-like world. It’s in the details where this series and the debut volume get interesting. The series takes place in Korea, where a tower appeared one day in the skies. Ominous and looming, the towers quickly become a beacon of chaos and apocalypse, with demons flocking from it and destroying humanity, the chaotic nightmare can only be ended by the Walkers. Faced with imminent death or a call to save humanity by entering the towers, Walkers chose the latter.
Hoping to save humanity from the Nightmares, Walkers battle up each and every floor of the tower, that is, until they encounter “regression stones.” Instead of battling and dying, a Walker can choose to use the item to return to the day that they were summoned to the tour, with all of their memories intact. And slowly, Walkers took that out, leaving the brave few who remained formed Carpe Diem, a group of people who refused to abandon the world and represented humanity’s last hope as the last line of defense. As each die, only Jaehwan is left, and floor 100 is within his reach.
While the synopsis is long, and there are many moving parts in the series, The World After The Fall manages to get all of the lore across without going too deeply into unnecessary exposition. Instead, we learn about how the Tower works as the story grows. We see how the game reacts to choices, how information about items are given, and ultimately what the Tower and the game itself mean.
That said, The World After The Fall has some of the best art I’ve seen all year. Undead Gamja’s artwork is saturated and features such crisp line work that you can see every small bit of each dynamic fight sequence. The nightmares, particularly the ice dragon in the middle of Volume 1 and Jaehwan’s fight against it are dynamic in both staging and design. Not to mention that even with so much investment in lore building, there is a striking amount of action. In this one volume, you get a clear vision of who Jaehwan is, even if there is enough mystery to keep you latched on and his complete shunning of the past.
The World After The Fall is shaping up to be a fantastic series and is doing so with a lot of attention to action and world-building details. If you’re looking for a gripping story that starts one way and winds up somewhere completely different in just one volume, this is for you. High stakes, twists, and an underlying fantastical mystery all work to make The World After The Fall a stellar take on the isekai genre. Not to mention, the quality of this physical full-color print is phenomenal.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime.