Noblesse follows the story of Cadis Etrama Di Raizel (aka Rai or Raizel) who woke up after a 820 year sleep and finds himself in a whole new (current) world. Immediately after waking up, he uses his powers to change into clothes that most people are wearing on streets, uniform of a Korean High school. He follows the students and ends up meeting his loyal servant Frankenstein, who is the chairman of the said school. With the help of his loyal servant, Rai starts living a normal life but soon his normal life is threatened by a secret organization called “The Union”. Rai has now to face both the Union and the everyday life, with the later being more complex!
Noblesse is still being published, so my review will cover the first 400 chapters and any further chapters will be covered in later reviews.
Noblesse’s story might feel like a normal vampire story, and for people who are traumatized by the Twilight series and now keep a distance from anything related to vampires and werewolves, rest assured, as there are no vampires in the story. The story begins with our main Character Raizel waking up after a 820 year nap in an unknown location and soon he coincidentally meets his old comrade Frankenstien. The setting of Noblesse is pretty solid with a well established story. As for the vampires and stuff, the Nobles (one referred to as vampires) are people who live to protect humans and have their own hidden nation. They do not need blood to survive and can even walk easily under sunlight. The only difference between them and humans is that they have red eyes, exceptionally long lifespans and supernatural powers. The vampires that are mentioned in series are people who are created by some corrupt nobles or even by human beings.
The story is very interesting with plot twists at every corner. It frequently goes back into time to cover facts but still is continuous and exceptionally well written. The story focused in current world might not seem very complicated but when you combine it with past events and Noblesse’s mysterious nature, you get a fulfilling plot that keeps you guessing the reason for what all is happening. Yes there is a lot of fighting and some people do describe it as a plain repetitive cliché vampire tale but when you take a look at the big picture, you start getting the idea that what all you see is not everything as a lot of action is happening behind the scenes.
That being said, I believe Noblesse has a lot of potential and although it gets a bit predictable and repetitive sometimes, it is still enjoyable. There are a lot of mysteries in Noblesse, and they keep on growing in number. All the characters have very interesting backstories that uncover with time.
There are lots of characters in Noblesse, so I will discuss a few of them without giving any spoilers. The first noticeable character is Raizel, he is a Noblesse, the most powerful of Nobles. He disappeared suddenly and came back again after 820 years. Raizel is a quit, well mannered guy who has spent hundreds of years in complete solitude without any friends or family. It is usually difficult to guess his state of mind. He behaves like a high class gentleman and is a chick magnet (although he ignores them). With time it is revealed that he really cares for people around him and does his best to fulfill their wishes.
The second interesting character is Frankenstein. He is a human being who gained enormous power after experimentation. He serves under Raizel and holds him in high respect, to the point that he even follows the silliest of orders. Frankenstein has a twin personality. On one side he is a calm gentleman who cares a lot about his comrades and children (he runs a school) and is shown as the most rational and intelligent character in series. But that is only when he is behaving normally. Once his power seal is broken, occasionally before a fight, his true self comes out. He turns into a maniac who loves manipulating his opponents to make them fight in a predictable manner. In terms of power, he is OP as hell and can even easily overpower the Nobles. I like the way he taunts his opponents using sarcasm as the tool and then completely calms down after the fight ends.
Other than Frank and Rai, my other two favorite characters in Noblesse are Seira and Raskreia. Seira is the family leader of the Loyerd family and Raskreia is the current Lord of nobles. I like them both because they are independent and cool. Other reason might be that they reflect the type of girls I prefer in real life.
Other characters include members from Union, Noble family leaders, Shinwoo and his friends, former members of DA-5, M-21 and M-24, werewolves, the KSA and so on.
The selling point of any manga or in this case Manhwa is its art. Noblesse is a webtoon and has colored pages with nice and clean art that really helps during the fight scenes. The character designs are also beautiful with nice background and related stuff, you know what I mean.
The main reason I read Noblesse and completed 400 chapters in less than a week is due to the fact that there is no stopping point in the series. The whole story continues as one without any break or without deviating from the main setting. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad one but since it made me hungry for more, I think it was the former one. I loved the story and the characters, I think they were really badass and cool, so yeah that sums up everything.
Noblesse was good, but it had some minor setbacks. The first one being that the story starts to stagnate in between and a cycle of repetition begins. Although it regains its former glory later but some chapters are just too hard to get through. The second thing that might be disliked by some people is the main character being very over powered. Although some new characters appear later who are a match for him **spoiler alert**Muzaka**spoiler alert**.
For me Noblesse was really a surprise, although Noblesse is the second Manhwa I ever read, so I am not in a position to say that it is the best Manhwa, it has certainly raised my hopes for Korean entertainment industry. The cool vibe that Noblesse emits is selling point itself. You have a great story, a set of really cool and badass characters, colored and well done art, and some good action, what more do you want? I do believe that if Noblesse keeps up with its current quality, it will surely gain more fans in the future.
Who would read Noblesse?
Supernatural genre fans will fall head over heels for Noblesse. I have a certain feeling that fans of Baccano might also like Noblesse as I believe they have something that makes them feel similar. Although if you like a very compelling plot with psychological touch to it, Noblesse might not be the one for you.