Winter Woods!

This week I’m going to do something a little different. It’s still going to be a review, but instead of a book, it’s going to be a webtoon. (gasp) A webtoon? How can anyone do a review on a webtoon? Well, it is really not challenging, especially when it is one as INCREDIBLE and HEART-WARMING as the one that I read. So I warn you guys, grab your tissues because this webtoon takes you on such a rollercoaster of emotions, you’ll find yourself wiping your eyes a couple hundred times.

Have you ever read something so truly pure, properly construed, with the ability to generate such powerful emotions in you that you can’t help but think about it long after you have finished it? Such was the impact of “Winter Woods.” The moment I started it, I just couldn’t put it down and I had a sleepless night and day because of how hooked I was to this webtoon. So many times I had to stop and bawl my eyes out, wipe the tears and resume reading. It was just so beautiful and poetic. I could literally find no fault with it. Let me break it down for you guys.

By now I’m sure you all know the story of Frankenstein’s monster. How he was created and brought to life, all of that. Winter Woods take that classic tale, with a twist, very well thought out plot too, I might add. Winter is a creation of an Alchemist that lived a couple thousands of years ago but died, leaving Winter, who had no idea what death was, alone in the castle where he lived. Fast forward to the present and a squadron of soldiers who were searching for Nazi hideouts found Winter and Roy (a parrot that was also a creation of the old Alchemist) and handed them over to a group of scientists. For years they ran tests on both Roy and Winter (who was called El-01) trying to crack the code of immortality for which they believed these two were the key. Frustrated with not getting results, the director, Sarah, decided to employ another tactic. She planned on using her friend, Jane, who was a writer, as an observatory experiment with the then-named El-01. Under the pretence that he was being granted his freedom, Hubert, one of the scientists from the lab, drove Winter to Jane’s flat and gave him a coded message which said that he should not trust anyone, not even Hubert himself.

When we first see Winter, he very much looks like a corpse. His skin is pale with obvious dark circles around his eyes. His lips are black and the sewings that join his right arm to his body as well as the sewings that were done to close the area covering his heart, are also visible. Th most striking thing about him is his bright blue eyes which are large and have this childlike innocence to them. Sticking a pin, I’d like to point out that the artist (Van Ji) did such an AMAZING job that the characters just jump off the screen. You can register every emotion, every thought, it’s as though they are alive and not 2-D characters. The art style and colouring are phenomenal. It was just beautiful. I am still in awe of this and have currently saved a couple scenes to be my wallpaper.

I will try not to reveal any spoilers while I tell you guys about how amazing this webtoon is. Winter and Jane managed to stick a deal that involves Winter staying until spring after he and Roy have told Jane all about where he came from and how he came to be [immortal/inhuman]. As each day progresses, Jane is able to teach Winter how to be a human and we start to see his corpse-like appearance changing into a human one. His lips are not black anymore and the dark circles under his eyes are completely gone. It is shown that Winter is like a small child, despite being thousands of years old and is susceptible to child0like wonder and innocence. A scene where he started throwing things at Adora (another fantastic character) who is blind) because he saw a group of boys doing it showed that he did not know the difference between wrong or right. Having heard Jane mention despair the previous night, he hid Adora’s walking cane to see her become despaired because he wanted to fully understand the emotion. This led o him and Adora becoming good friends.

Speaking of friends, the webtoon is made of a bevvy of unforgettable characters that all had their parts to play to move the story along. From Claude, Zoe, Larry, Smith and Sarah. I have hardly ever seen such a strong group of characters that were not the usual cliched bunch that was just to fill a void. Nope, each character has their own drama, moral conflict and growth as the story progressed. Let’s talk about growth and development. First of all, this story was well thought out, that much is obvious. The author (Cosmos) took the time to properly write a story and populate it with strong, likeable and relatable characters (You guys already know I like characters I can relate to). Even those characters that gave you every reason to hate them (*cough* Roy) when you were given insight into their background, you understood why they were the way they were. (Even you Sarah but I still hate your guts).

I love how the changes in Winter and Jane’s relationship weren’t an immediate hit me over the head kind of thing but was constant and gradual. Winter grew and Sarah grew into her affection for him until she could admit it, first to herself, then to Sarah. It was BEAUTIFUL. Another of the major relationships in this webtoon that I was equally interested in was between Adora and Zoe. These two made me cry almost as much as Winter and Jane. Adora, though blind, was no weak-willed woman and she was determined to focus all her energy on saving Zoe because she wanted to be with him. She is perhaps the strongest character in the webtoon and I loved her quiet strength. She took all that was thrown at her and came out stronger than before and trust me, she had to endure a lot. Even from Zoe himself who couldn’t admit that he loved her.

The scene when Jane and Winter made love for the first time was pure magic. It was done so tastefully that you just couldn’t help but cry. You could feel the emotions of love jump off the page right into your living room or wherever you read this. The scene just came alive and like Winter, you wished that they could remain that way forever.

When Winter found out he was dying and tried to hide it from Jane in order to spend his remaining moments with her-happy- my heart was smashed into a million pieces and I just had to put this on pause, bawl my eyes and dry them before continuing. He was in so much pain and Jane had no clue of any of it. (still crying at the memory). The author is especially skilled in ripping my heart from my chest and did so throughout the entire read. No one could convince him to give up Jane in order to save himself, because, “What is his life without Jane in it?”

The ending was bittersweet because while I loved how it ended, I was sad it ended and I wanted MORE. so much more, yet, I could not think of a more suitable ending.

My Rating…

It has to be obvious at this point that this webtoon is a 5/5. I can find no fault with it. It progresses at a lovely pace, not too slow or hastened. The characters are fully fleshed out and develop as the story advances and there is a common theme of love and friendship throughout its entirety.  I will be reading and re-reading and re-re-reading!

To read this webtoon, you can click the link


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