King of Hell


King of Hell

Infobox manhwa
name = King of Hell


imagesize=200
caption = Cover of "King of Hell", volume 1 (Tokyopop version)
ko_hangul = 마제
romanized = Majeh
genre =
multigenre=y
Adventure = y
Fantasy = y
author = Ra In-soo
illustrator = Kim Jae-hwan
publisher = flagicon|South Korea Daiwon C.I. Inc.
publisher_en = flagicon|USA Tokyopop
flagicon|Australia flagicon|New Zealand Madman Entertainment
publisher_other = flagicon|Spain Ediciones La Cúpula
flagicon|Germany Tokyopop
flagicon|France Tokebi
flagicon|Malaysia Tora Aman
deomgraphic =
magazine = flagicon|South Korea Comic Champ
first = 2001
last = ongoing
volumes = 29
subcat = Tokyopop
sort = PAGENAME
ko=y

"King of Hell" (마제 "Majeh") is a Korean manhwa written by Ra In-soo and illustrated by Kim Jae-hwan. In the United States, "King of Hell" is published by TOKYOPOP.

Plot

Majeh was a great swordsman in life but in death he is merely an envoy to the next world for the King of Hell: an old man who bosses him around and throws things at him. It is later discovered that he is a legendary swordsman who was placed in a magical realm where the fiercest warriors stayed, killing those who dared to attack him in one fell swoop. The magical realm in which Majeh was sent is a place where martial artists who have honed their skills to incredible levels through horrendous or inhumane tactics are sent. As such that realm is legendary for the inhabitants' prowess in battle as well as their cruelty and delight in death and destruction. Majeh used his incredible martial arts abilities to easily defeat the inhabitants of the sealed realm with his trademark "Heaven's Arrows of Judgement" technique which he is still able to perform in his teenage form, albeit to a lesser degree.

Teenage Form

(Spoiler warning!!)

Aware of his incredible power, the council of the Next World declared he was too dangerous and placed a seal on him, causing Majeh to revert to his teenage form and suppressing the vast majority of his powers. However, even in his teenage form, Majeh is still an incredible martial artists who has no trouble in defeating most of his opponents as well as any martial artists he may come across in the living world.A ninja, Samhuk, who is spying on his movements as ordered by the King of Hell, is caught by Majeh and forced to be his slave or die! Samhuk, being told of Majeh's power, reluctantly agrees and ends up the slave and punching bag for Majeh. Majeh discovers a rift between worlds letting demons in and he has to travel all over the eastern territories to hunt them down.

We find that he is a mysterious character who make a lot of silly jokes. In retrospect, Majeh's personality is that of a teenager but is also serious and often scary as his darker, more sinister side is released when he is actually fighting.After he returned to Hell another disaster occurred and Hell's most wicked Demons escaped into the world of Mortals to find host bodies. However because the escaped fiends are malignant spirits and evil they must find the body of a recently deceased martial artist to fully utilize their lethal martial arts. Majeh's task, as a beast of burden, was to arrest these formidable enemies. He refused to go back to the mortal world.

The King of Hell tricked poor Majeh into going back to his preserved body. For a surprise the Gold mark which locked most of the greatest power of Majeh was still fully at its task.Majeh's mature human body shrunk into a teenager size which also decreased his power. So what you think happens when he meets a top demon fighter?

Back in his body he met a fearful boy with name Chung Poong and Dohwa, a female fighter who specialized in the art of poisonous needles.Just for fun Majeh decides to go with them to a martial arts contest and ends up entering the contest with Chung Poong. Dohwa, being older, is unable to participate due to the fact that the contest for martial artists over the age of fifteen had finished its registry already. Majeh, his natural state being suppressed to that of a teenage boy, entered the contest where the five martial arts prodigies of the country were also entered.These martial art prodigies are as follows: Crazy Dog, a 6 year old hellion from a remote mountain village that specializes in clubs, Young, a member of the Mooyoung Moon Sect of assassins possessing incredible speed and sword skills, Dohak, a 15 year old monk affiliated with the Soorim Temple in the Soong mountains whose specialty if staff weaponry, Poong Chun, a 12 year old expert with the broad sword affiliated with the Shaman Sect, and Baby, a seemingly weak and innocent 15 year old warrior affiliated with the Blood Sect whose specialty is the Snake Hand Fist. However, only four of the five child prodigies are mentioned or even seen in later chapters with Dohak and Crazy Dog being killed and turned into living puppets. Young joins Majeh in his quest due to his curiosity of the truth behind the mysterious Majeh, while we learn the innocent Baby suffers from a split personality disorder.Apparently, Baby controls the body most of the time but when Baby or the body is in danger, Hyur comes out. Unlike Baby, who is adverse to fighting, Hyur has no qualms about killing someone just for the heck of it and can easily kill those who get in his way. However, we discover in one of the later volumes that a third personality known as Kwang also resides in Baby who is much more powerful than Hyur and as a result comes out even more rarely.As the contest continues, things get worse when one of the wrathful demons Majeh was sent after joins in and inflicts a fatal wound on Majeh. Things turn when the Gold Mark weakens and the formidable demon meets a mature Majeh with full power. The Outcome is easy.

More than the demon hunt the mortals had to face the past for an old enemy survived :The Sa Gok.Thought to be wiped out, this group plans to rule the world by eliminating both the White and Dark Sects, they were planning new plots to go on with their task.

The sealed section of the Other World in which Majeh and the other great martial artists were trapped is called the Moorim. Majeh was released from the Moorim after the Superhuman Strength Sealing Symbol was placed on his back by seven elders. Majeh lived the first time 300 years before the manwa takes place and two people he knew from that time appear in the story, an old martial arts master that Majeh once defeated and refers to as Greenhorn, and a beautiful woman named Dohwa whom he loves. Dohwa was able to survive the centuries by sitting beside the Hanumsoo, a pool that is supposedly the source of all the world's coldness, and watching over Majeh's body until a crazy poison master stumbled upon them and killed her after she got too far away from the pools energy.The King of Hell was able to trick Majeh into going back to his body, probably by telling him Dohwa was in danger but neglecting to tell him she would die no matter what.

Majeh later met Chung Poong and then the young woman who uses poisoned needles as her weapon who also bears the name Dohwa. Later it is revealed that the younger Dohwa is the owner of a demonic whip named the Mapyun.

After the Martial Arts tournament during which Majeh defeats the first of the escaped fiends the assassin prodigy Young tags along with Majeh to find missing martial artists while Dohwa and Chung Poong go on a side mission to find a magical tablet that will help make them stronger. Majeh and Young uncover the crimes and plans of an old and thought destroyed group called the Sa Gok who had turned the missing martial artists into zombies and would use them to start a Great War between the "good" and "evil" sects in Korea.

Majeh then dragged Young out to Devil Mountain to investigate rumors of a tomb recently found there. This is where the title King of Pa Chun first comes up, a legendary swordsman from 300 years before who rocked the martial arts world. The funny thing is that Majeh happens to know exactly where the King of Pa Chun and his legendary sword was buried and it is not in Devil Mountain. Majeh eventually reveals to all of his fellow treasure hunters, including Chung Poong and Dohwa, that the rumors of a tomb and treasure were an elaborate trap.

Majeh was able to stop the Great War cold then left to continue hunting down the remaining 6 escaped fiends. He encounters one while on a side errand for the martial arts leader and helps the monk it was trying to possess destroy it completely. He encounters 2 more on Raven Ghost Ilse leaving only two more for him to find. The only problem is that to get enough power to defeat them he has to die.

Characters

*Majeh (마제): The main character of the story, Majeh is a very skilled swordsman and an extremely powerful warrior. When evil spirits started escaping into the mortal world, the King of Hell had Majeh’s spirit returned to his perfectly preserved body to hunt down these evil spirits. Majeh bears the Mark of the Super Human Sealing Symbol which seals away a great deal of Majeh’s incredible power. Upon returning to his body, his adult form regressed back to a form of a teenager thanks to the effects of the Sealing Symbol. While searching for these escape spirits he gets acquainted with Chung Poong and Dohwa Baik who joins him into finding these escape spirits. As the story progresses more new and old characters joins along with Majeh. Along with his incredible strength, expeditious speed, and his superior swordsmanship, he possesses some great and powerful techniques such as his famous Pegasus Land Mines, and his Heavens Arrows of Judgment.

*Chung Poong Namgoong: A young man from a well respected family he first meets Majeh in a forest when he tried to rob him of all of his belongings. After their confrontation Chung Poong explains to Majeh that back where he lived he was branded as a coward and ran away from home to attend the martial arts tournament to show his family and his village that he not a coward. He then joined Majeh and participated in the Martial Arts Tournament in Nakyang. Mostly in the beginning of the series Chung Poong fights his opponents while being blinded with fear. After he survived the brutal tasks at the Seuk Sang cave he becoming less of a coward and more of a fighter.
*Dohwa Baik (도화): Having the same first name as Majeh’s love, Dohwa Baik is a vibrant vixen that specializes in fighting with poison needles. When Dohwa is around Majeh and Chung Poong she acts more like an older sister and an adult figure to them. After the tournament in Nakyang, Dohwa and Chung Poong went the the Seuk Sang cave to get stronger and to gain better fighting abilities so they can aid Majeh when they have to face stronger opponents. Later in the manhwa Dohwa returned to her clan and came into possession of a powerful and evil whip called the Mapyun. Due to the whips demonic power only few that are strong enough can weld it. Those that are unable to control the whip get possessed by it and go on a killing spree. Dohwa found the strength needed to subdue the whips evil power and took control over it.

*Young (젊은): A child prodigy from the Mooyoung Moon Clan, Young is a skilled assassin and powerful swordsmen. After seeing what happen at the martial arts tournament he was curious about Majeh’s abilities and joins Majeh’s on his quest in hunting down the escape demons. Young possesses some great abilities that includes the Full Explosion Force and his special move called the Choo Sal Sword Technique.

*Cerberus (켈베로스): A three Headed Dog that is the protector to the gates of the next world. He doesn’t have a major role in the beginning of the series until later on when the King of Hell ordered him to go to the mortal world and help Majeh sniff out and capture the rest of the escape demons. Later on in the manhwa we learn that Cerberus himself is also a demon when he had to transform back to his original form to defeat his enemy on Raven Ghost Isle. Majeh claimed that when Cerberus is in his original form it would be difficult for him, even without the Superhuman Strength Sealing Symbol restraining his powers, to defeat Cerberus in that form.

*Crazy Dog (미친 개): At the age of six, Crazy Dog is the youngest out of the five child prodigies that attended the Martial Arts Tournament. When going against enemies his main weapon he uses in combat is his club that he carries around with him. After the incident at the martial arts tournament Crazy Dogs body was taken and tested on to see if his body was capable of withstanding the Hyur Jung, a magic charm made from a monsters blood when fully bonded with a subject turns him into a demon. At the battle of the white and black sects, Majeh unknowingly broke part of the charm, if not broken would’ve later changed Crazy Dog into a true demon.

*Baby (아기): Baby is one of the five child prodigies that attended the Martial Arts Tournament. Baby is affiliated with the Blood Sect, a group of fighters that masters the art of the Snake Hand Technique. He is the only character seen in the manhwa that has multiple personality’s residing within him. The personality of Baby is a kind hearted character that only cares for others and is not much of a fighter as his two counterparts are. When Baby is in danger or becomes injured Hyur come out in Baby’s place and handles all the dirty work. Hyur is more of an experienced fighter than Baby and doesn’t hesitate in killing his enemy’s when needed. Later in the manhwa another personality named Kwang is mentioned that comes out less often as the others do. Kwang is the strongest of the three personalities and only appears when Hyur gets into a situation or a fight that he has no chance of coming out alive.

*Samhuk: Part of Hell’s Inspection Organization, Samhuk is a ninja spy who was sent by the King of Hell to watch over Majeh’s activities while in the mortal world. When Majeh discovered that Samhuk was spying on him, Majeh forced him to become his servant doing whatever Majeh orders him to do.

Volumes

Each volume includes new and old faces from the previous volumes. However, many of the characters introduced are never seen in the subsequent later volumes as they are killed off are never mentioned again. Majeh, the main character opts to travel with two specific people beginning in the timeline of volume 3 in which he meets the coward Chung Poong Namgoong and the femme fatale Dohwa Baik. As the manhwa progresses, other characters started to tag along in Majeh's group which includes Young, Cerberus, and Crazy Dog.

There are currently 20 volumes available from TOKYOPOPcite web|url= http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/manga.php?id=2800 |title=King of Hell (manhwa) - Anime News Network | publisher=Anime News Network|accessdate=2008-06-16] and 29 volumes available from Champ Comics in Korea.cite web|url= http://www.daiwon.co.kr/comic/01comic04_view.asp?seq=15205 | title=마제(Maje)| publisher=Daiwon|accessdate=2008-06-16] Volume 21 from TOKYOPOP is scheduled to be released on December 2, 2008.cite web|url= http://www.amazon.com/King-Hell-21/dp/1427801363/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1220690861&sr=8-1 | title=Amazon.com: King of Hell Volume 21 (King of Hell): In-soo Ra, Jae-Hwan Kim: Books | publisher=amazon.com|accessdate=2008-09-6]

References

External links

* [http://www.tokyopop.com/index.php TOKYOPOP's Official Site]
* [http://www.takuhaimanga.com/S-1098/ Publisher TOKYOPOPS's "King of Hell" Page]
* [http://www.daiwon.co.kr/comic/01comic04_view.asp?seq=7052 Daiwon "King of Hell" Manhwa Section] - (Korean)


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