Guild Adventure

Creator/s: Alejandro Ricondo, Alex de la Fuente
Run: 9/11-current
Section/s: Ch. 2, "Potoka Village"

Website: The comic's simple black-and-brown layout looks decent, although it's very plain and could probably use a little sprucing up to give it more personality.

The main page has a few typos that would get picked up by a spellchecker, such as "yourney" instead of journey, and "concent art" instead of concept art. Also, the character page has strings of garbled symbols in the descriptions where apostrophes are supposed to be. I don't know how these weird symbols got there, but they're fairly obvious and should've been noticed and corrected by now. There's also a stray < p > tag at the end of the character page, and all of the pages say " alt='{Guild Adventure " in the < title > part of the browser window.

On the bright side, it's nice that Guild Adventure has a few supplemental pages (a lot of webcomics don't have any), and the comic even has its own DeviantArt site with concept artwork and other miscellaneous drawings. The creators have also been fairly prolific so far this year, averaging about seven pages a month, although a more regular update schedule would be ideal. The comic's banner at the top of the website says, "Updated on Mondays," but only two out of the six April updates so far have been on Mondays.

Writing: This chapter serves as the webcomic's exposition-heavy introduction, explaining the monster hunter concept and the twin sisters' backstory. The video-gamey aspects and the creator's comments indicate that the story's heavily influenced by the Monster Hunter game series, although the site doesn't clarify if the story's set in the Monster Hunter world, or if it's just inspired by it. Some of the monsters hunted by the characters, including a "velocibell," a "basilikoko," and a "saberage," seem to be original creations, while others, like a "keraken", are obviously classic monsters the creators chose to insert in the comic.

The twins' progression from amateurs to veteran monster hunters is generally well-conveyed, showing them fighting increasingly dangerous monsters and obtaining better gear, just like any character in a role-playing game would do. I would've liked to see their motivation for risking their lives fighting monsters explained a little more, though, 'cause "When we were close to the 18, a sudden urge to hunt grow inside our bodies" is kind of a flimsy pretext for such a life-changing endeavor. I understand that killing powerful monsters is an important status symbol in this comic's setting, but the characters come across as one-dimensional at times, like they belong in a role-playing game more than in a proper fantasy story. The "karaken" scene could've also been handled better, as it's very clumsy how the twins are just about to have an epic battle with a karaken, and then the monologue immediately goes to, "After killing a karaken...." The creator explains the fight's absence in the comments under the comic, writing, "You'll have to wait until we release it in an extra story coming in the future for a special event," and while that's a reasonable decision, it's a pretty important moment in the story, and this absence really needs to be explained within the actual pages of the story.

The chapter's big pervy moment seems very forced to me, as it doesn't seem realistic that Rago would say, "You really have nice bodys" out loud in that situation. It seems like the creators were looking for an excuse to include the overblown "sex fantasy" panel, which the comic would probably be better off without anyways -- something like that can be left to the reader's imagination. The pervy cover is also problematic, as it doesn't have anything to do with the chapter, and it presents the characters in a false way (i.e., Rago isn't portrayed in the chapter as being a pervert). There are many visually interesting scenes in the chapter, so basing the cover entirely on one random panel that doesn't really belong in the comic anyways doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

I don't usually complain about titles, but this comic's titles are notably generic. Guild Adventure, like the title of the Quest webcomic I reviewed a little while ago, denotes the webcomic as belonging to the fantasy genre, but doesn't convey anything interesting or unusual about it, or suggest that the comic's particularly creative. The first chapter's actually titled "The Beginning," which is totally redundant and uncreative. "Potoka Village" is also a generic chapter name, and it doesn't relate to the chapter since there aren't any villages shown or referred to. Chapter 3's title, "Village People," doesn't work well, either, since it doesn't make sense that a serious fantasy story like Guild Adventure would have a significant reference to a quirky disco group.

Lastly, reader "Risky2k" comments on page 13, "You make quite a lot of grammar and spelling errors," and he's right. The chapter's littered with misspellings, typos, words in the wrong order, improper word choices, incorrect punctuation, and other instances where the English is poorly written. These mistakes had a very negative effect on my reading, and I think it'd benefit the comic greatly if the creators sought out a native English-speaker to proofread their pages.

Art: It's pretty excellent, and the creators do a great job of conveying an elaborate and action-packed setting. Both the colored pages and the grayscale pages are very attractive, and the creators do a notably capable job of conveying both the human characters and the monsters. I noticed a few problems with the line widths, but the creator notes towards the end of the chapter, "Im making some test with inking so you may find some pages different," so I'm not that concerned about it.

The characters' weapons seem ridiculously huge to me, although I realize that giant weapons are a hallmark of manga, and I'm generally willing to suspend by disbelief for it. Still, Leika's enormous gun seems too over-the-top. I can't really imagine her actually carrying something that heavy around, and I expect the recoil from firing it would knock her to the ground, which it doesn't. But having magical items and krakens around isn't realistic, either, so the setting's physics probably don't really need to be scrutinized.

Lastly, this webcomic probably has the world's largest chibi heads.

Overall: Guild Adventure's a great-looking manga comic that does a nice job of conveying a fantastic world and the strange creatures the creators have imagined. It's cute that the creators have managed to imitate the feel of role-playing video games, but it'd be better if the characters were of a well-rounded nature more suitable for a serious story. The comic's mangled English will also likely be abrasive to even the most casual readers, and the creators urgently need to form a plan to deal with their language barrier.


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