The Breaker

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Name: The Breaker (브레이커)
Abbreviation(s):
Creator: Jeon Geuk-Jin & Park Jin-Hwan
Date(s): 2007 - 2010 (original series)
2010 - present (New Waves)
Medium: manhwa
Country of Origin: South Korea
External Links: Official Site for The Breaker (K), Official Site for The Breaker: New Waves (K) Breaker.jpg
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The Breaker is a martial arts sonyun manhwa series written by Jeon Geuk-Jin and illustrated by Park Jin-Hwan. It follows Yi Shi-Woon, a bullied high school student, who one day witnesses his substitute English teacher beating up some thugs. He later discovers his teacher, Han Chunwoo, is in fact an infamous martial artist on a mission against the Murim, an organization of martial artists who keep their existence secret from regular society. Shi-Woon's life changes forever when he becomes the disciple of Chunwoo, also known as the Nine Arts Dragon.

As of December 2011, The Breaker consists of two series. The first series, The Breaker, was originally serialized in Young Champ and was later collected into 10 print volumes. A sequel series, The Breaker: New Waves, began a few months later and is serialized on Daum's online manhwa portal. The creative team has stated that they've begun planning the third, and final, series since they always planned for the series to have three "seasons."[1]

While The Breaker has no official English adaptation, it is licensed in France, Italy, and Russia.

English-language fandom

The fandom for The Breaker is considered small. There are no journal communities dedicated to it and the only forums with sections devoted to it are ones associated with scanlation teams and online manga readers.

Fannish Activity

The fandom is focused more around discussion than other types of fannish activity. That said, fanfiction and fanart does exist, albeit in small amounts.

Shipping

Shipping is not a big activity in the fandom. The pairings that form tend to have some basis in canon rather than crack. For example, the main het pairing is Chunwoo/Shiho[2], which develops throughout the first series and eventually becomes canon by its conclusion.

In the second series, some fans poke fun at Shi-Woon's "harem," because he's surrounded by many attractive girls.[3]

In terms of slash, Shi-Woon/So-Chun is the main pairing due to some subtext between the two in the original series.[4]

Reactions to Character Death

Spoiler Warning: This article may contain spoilers. If this bothers you, proceed with caution.

Towards the end of the original series, Chunwoo's love interest, Shiho dies. Many fans were upset by this because she was a fan favorite[1] and also because it was another example of fridging a woman to motivate male character. In New Waves, however, Shiho has made a reappearance, leaving those same fans with mixed feelings because there's now foreshadowing for her resurrection from the dead but also because it cannot mean anything good for any of the protagonists and especially the pairing of Chunwoo/Shiho.

Scanlation controversy

Like many other manhwa and manga titles, The Breaker is scanlated into English. Although the original series was serialized in Young Champ, a biweekly online manhwa anthology, groups scanlated the title using the print edition. But when The Breaker made the shift to webtoon with its second series, the main scanlation group, A-Team, decided to scanlate the title using the online releases in order to bring chapters to readers faster because of The Breaker's popularity.

While the original series scanlation was completed with little incident, that of the second series soon encountered problems. The illustrator, Park Jin-Hwan, googled The Breaker after learning of the title's popularity in countries outside of South Korea. As a result, he discovered that scanlations were being made and posted to online manga reader websites, many of which are funded by advertisements. He left a scathing note in one of the early chapters. A-Team wrote back and tried to work it out with the creators.[5]

During the conflict, A-Team asked that no one upload the scanlation to any online manga reader aggregates but there was little compliance with this request. Because of this, The A-Team briefly stopped releases but this only encouraged other people and groups to pick up the title. The A-Team began releasing scans with watermarks to discourage uploads onto online readers but again, there was little compliance. Eventually another group began to release scanlations without watermarks, which are the ones now found on the manga aggregates even though many people consider them to be of lower quality than A-Team's. A-Team, however, still scanlates the title.

Resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Entretien avec les auteurs de The Breaker (Accessed December 9, 2011)
  2. an example post from Tumblr (Accessed December 9, 2011)
  3. an example post from Tumblr showing a scan from the manhwa (Accessed December 9, 2011)
  4. a fanart example posted on Tumblr (Accessed December 9, 2011)
  5. Artist Note from The Breaker: New Waves Chapter 7 (Accessed December 9, 2011)