I was disappointed when I started reading the Breaker and found out that Shi Woon was the main character instead of Chun Woo… It’s never a good sign when you think of Shinji Ikari from the original Evangelion anime. Shi Woon was a wreck. He was beat up in school by a Chang Ho and his group, quite frequently.
His mother was too busy for his problems and his father was out of the picture. His childhood friend, Saehee was also a tad dense and unaware that these people fighting him in a four against one fight were not his friends whom he had a falling out with.
Eventually Chang Ho overplays his hand by demanding Shi Woon pimp out Saehee to him. Shi Woon even optimistically pondered that he might not do anything to her on the same school grounds where he and his group beat him up with no interference. But when it came down to it the answer was no. In fact, that was the last straw.
From that time he decided he was done being stepped on by Chang Ho and his groupies and that he was going to have to do what had to be done and after fighting back and losing, blackmailing His temporary English teacher Chun Woo into teaching him how to fight with some inconvenient footage of him in a bar fight seemed like a great option.
Chun Woo warns him several times that he doesn’t want what he’s asking for. I don’t think he became a substitute teacher at that school just to get in that other lady teacher’s pants.
But despite the obvious red flags Shi Woon follows Chun Woo anyway because he’s at the lowest point of his life he’s ever been in and he’s not thinking like a person in a normal state of mind. He just wants what he wants. This was not an easy process even with “dying will” in the form of a horse pill called the “Illwallsindan.”
Shi Woon has a surprising amount of nerve and he just gets bolder and bolder and he has to be. He has less room to let his guard down even after he learns how to fight.
Chun Woo was really vague about what the Murim was (as in didn’t tell him until after the fact) so Shi Woon got in a lot of trouble in a town that was practically crawling with Murim people. It doesn’t help that some people can’t keep a secret. I mean when your coworkers jump up all “Nine Arts Dragon! How are ya?” and no one wants to say why you’re called that, it gets suspicious… except to Shi Woon because he has to learn the hard way not to be so trusting of people.
But it’s hard to teach him. He has his own will and he is very stubborn. Even with the times he’s told “If you do that, you’re going to die,” or “there’s no way you can…” he does it anyway and even if he loses the dialogue in some variation of the following.
“I’ve been doing martial arts my whole life. This kid who’s been training less than a year and flattened an army of people with more training than him has no chance.”
“He blocked that! How could he with (Insert handicap here?)”
“I can’t believe I must use (Insert secret technique here) against a mere kid. “
“There’s no way he survived…”
“How did he?”
“Phew! I nearly got my butt handed to me by a novice!”
Now as the reader I don’t even pat attention to the “Warnings” he gets. He’s already weighed his decision of “I know there’s a high probability of death but nobody lives forever and a coward dies a thousand times before their death.”
Besides, he recovers really quickly from injuries that would otherwise be crippling. He seems quite aware of this. What does he have to fear?
I like that they made being the nice guy work for him when he lives in a dog-eat-dog world that steps on people like him. He’s not a character I can relate to or understand well but I respect him as a main character for being out to do the right thing when there are so many easy ways out. Doing the right thing is what a hero needs to be about. If you don’t care what the right thing is, you’re not a hero. You’re just the main character.
This was actually the most difficult one to write. I guess it’s because of how long the series has been running and I’m trying not to spoil anything either. Unlike Zelda where if you click on something about Midna, chances are you know who she is and you beat the game. That’s how us Zelda players are sometimes.
Next week’s character Spotlight is Jack Carter from Eureka. I don’t watch much TV but I liked that show.