“Ranker’s Return”, also known as “Ranker’s Return (Remake)”, “랭커의 귀환”, is action series that was published starting from July 29, 2021. Created by a multitude of people which are zuno, to walk (REDICE STUDIO), and B-ram. The series is currently ongoing, entertaining readers with a potent mix of action, adventure, comedy, and fantasy elements.
Ranker’s Return charts the story of Meleegod, the world’s top ranker in the popular MMORPG called ‘Arena’. Meleegod, or Kang Hyunwoo in the real world, was a gaming enthusiast who abruptly deleted his character and gave up his hobby to complete his mandatory military service and succeed in his father’s business. However, after a business rival triggers his father’s bankruptcy, Hyunwoo’s anticipated future crumbles. His friend convinces him to re-enter ‘Arena’, earn fame as a gaming celebrity, and reclaim his lost fortune. With revenge in his heart, the former Meleegod embarks on a bloodthirsty journey back into the game, now as a beginner.
This manwha is one of the best action-focused series out there. One of the best pluses of this series is its art style. This manwha has a really clean, well-drawn art style that is a lot better in comparison to many other series. The art style itself isn’t the most unique thing about this series but fortunately, the uniqueness comes from other aspects of this manwha and that’s the visual designs of everything within the series. The characters, the system, the monsters, the equipment, etc. Everything is designed in a visually unique way that you can never feel bored just looking at the art.
Now to the meat and bone of Ranker’s Return, the fight scenes. This series is up there with one of the most well-made and choreographed fight scenes within the action genre of webtoons. The main reason why these fight scenes are so good is because of how they handle fights within this series. More often than not, many action webtoons would rely on how powerful a blow or a strike from each character is to determine the winner of that fight, however in this series, the fights are portrayed to be more focused on how each character reacts to their opponents’ techniques, and each counterattack usually is never the one-hit trump cards. It’s all about outmaneuvering and out-skilling the opponent instead of the “I have more force so I’m stronger” type of fighting. One of the offenders of those types of fights would be from the series called “The World After the Fall”. Ranker’s Return does everything in its power to create smooth and visually appealing fight scenes that are just a joy to read.
The story of this series mainly revolves around the main character and what he does. This could definitely be a turnoff for somebody who would like more characters to be active within the story but for me, it’s perfect. There’s always enough of the main character for me to enjoy. Combined with a protagonist with an actual personality, it just makes it so fun to read. The pacing of the story is also very good. Nothing ever feels like it’s staying for too long or too little. The story never feels stuck which is a good thing in my book. This manwha also isn’t scared to dip its toes into the territory of comedy. The story can be lighthearted and fun or heated and cool, and it never feels wrong. Especially when Hyunwoo is in his live-streaming persona, Alleyboss, which he spends a lot of time as.
The characters in this series, despite not having as much screen time as the main character, still manage to be very memorable and not so one-dimensional. Especially the main side character, Hyunwoo’s sidekick, Tangy the Bear. All of the characters have unique designs and personalities which is always a plus.
Verdict: This is one of my favorite series, go give it a read now!