Webtoon, Reviews

Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint Vol. 1 Review: Surviving the Apocalypse

What if you already knew what to do when the apocalypse hits? Follow Dokja Kim, a typical office worker, as he becomes more than just a reader.

Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint print webtoon cover
Image: Ize Press, Yen Press
By: Lost Sundae Feb 23, 2024, 2:28 AM

Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint Vol 1

Review
Rating
10
Excellent
Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint print webtoon cover

Writer: Orig. author: singNsong. Adapted by: Umi(redice studio)

Artist: Sleepy-C

Publisher: Ize Press, Yen Press

Release Date: December 11, 2023

Page Count: 252

Format: Tpb-comic

When the fantastical apocalyptic storyline of Dokja Kim’s favorite webtoon comes to life in his own world, he equips that very knowledge with a little cunning to survive the end of the world.

What is Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint? A dark manhwa set in a post-apocalyptic world where chaos reigns, and humanity has lost itself to its own dark urges? Sign me up! While I am more of a sucker for romance or fantasy manhwa, I do also love my fair share of dark horror stories. That is what drew me into checking out the action-packed manhwa. It is certainly not my usual cup of tea, but the plot of a reader finding himself in the world of a web novel sounds too good to pass up. And thanks to the good folks at Yen Press/Ize Press, we got a review copy of volume 1 of this incredible series! So, continue to read on for a more in-depth review of my thoughts on Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint!

Overview

Dokja Kim is an ordinary contract worker at a large company whose hobby is reading web novels on his way home from work. His most recent read is the unpopular series Three Ways to Survive the Apocalypse, or TWSA for short. Dokja is a rather average boy who doesn’t excel in academics or work. But when his world becomes the apocalyptic hellscape from TWSA, it is up to him as the expert reader to change his fate amongst others in pursuit of surviving the apocalypse and taking down the system that threw humanity into turmoil. 

omniscient reader - 2 guys fighting

Review

From the get-go, Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint hooked me with its subversion of the typical fantasy isekai protagonist. Instead of being some morally upright superhero like many characters you see in other manhwas, Dokja feels surprisingly more human because of his willingness to do anything that it takes to keep fighting. I was pleasantly caught off guard by how quickly the story shows Dokja’s moral grayness despite his generic protagonist looks. For instance, in the very first scenario of the story, Dokja and the others get trapped in a train carriage and must kill another person to survive. While Dokja seeks a solution that avoids killing people for him and his group to move on, he approaches the test with an “everyone for themselves” mentality, proving his determination to survive using cunning and careful tactics. Moments like that in the early parts of the story do a great job of giving you a good grasp of how deep his character can be beyond what’s on the surface. 

However, I wouldn’t go as far as to call Dokja a completely callous character. His grounded and compassionate nature serves as an appealing contrast against the story’s dark world, which has turned to violence, selfishness, and wild lawlessness. The prologue of Omniscient Reader makes Dokja’s averageness apparent, shaping him as a character most older Korean readers can identify with. After all, how many of us have read a manhwa and wished we could be in the thick of things and live out our wishes and fantasies? But in Dokja’s case, being placed in an apocalyptic world is far from ideal. With its world that has a rather cute dokkaebi orchestrating challenges that involve killing, violence, and zombie attacks, there is never a dull moment in this story. While Dokja is ready to survive TWSA by any means necessary, he often proves to keep other people safe, especially the ones who see him as their de facto leader. 

omniscient reader - guy with gray hair

Speaking of, the supporting cast of Omniscient Reader is also a surprisingly big highlight of the manhwa, especially Dokja’s gang of SangAh, Hyeongseong, Gilyeong, and Huiwon. While the group first comes together for survival and camaraderie during the apocalypse, they develop an uplifting bond that strengthens as they overcome trial after trial. I can’t help but think of them having a family dynamic, with Dokja as the “father” of the ragtag group. Gilyeong, the youngest member, grows especially close to Dokja, who shares a cute guardian dynamic with the boy despite feeling unfit for the role. SangAh, on the other hand, is the most mysterious among the bunch because she is one of the few who Dokja can’t read. The story often makes it seem like she is a potential love interest, but there are plenty of hints about her being more than meets the eye. Then, there is the protagonist of TWSA itself, Junghyeok Yu, who is, to be blunt, a massive jerk. As much as the story shows how little humanity he has left from going through the world of TWSA so many times, I still find him to be an infuriating character. However, his interactions with Dokja are exciting, and I can tell their dynamic is key to the rest of the story. With so many unique interactions amongst the cast, it’s fascinating to see the characters' dynamics shift as the story progresses.

Lastly, I wanted to touch upon the manhwa’s excellent world-building. The creators succeeded in developing a post-apocalyptic world with RPG game-like elements and fantastical creatures without parts looking and feeling too generic. The author, SingnSong, does a wonderful job explaining key concepts in dedicated information boxes without complicating things for new readers. The art is also well done enough to help as a visual aid to the more complex storytelling. While it can be a bit overwhelming for readers unfamiliar with the genre, the story and art of Omniscient Reader are entertaining and easy to follow. So, don’t worry about being held up by the technical aspects of the manhwa, and enjoy the adventure.

omniscient reader - dokkaebi.png

Final Thoughts

I wholeheartedly believe that all kinds of readers should give Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint a try. As someone who fancies reading romance more than dark fantasy, this manhwa is a recommended exception to that rule. The first volume got me so hooked on the world that I am now also interested in reading the original webnovel to learn more about the world. But as a visual-oriented person, I will continue to voraciously take in the action and expressions of characters I have grown to love and be curious about from the manhwa. Where will Omniscient Reader go next? I look forward to finding out more with each new volume. 

Why You Should Read Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint

  • Carefully crafted world-building and character development (despite a large cast)
  • Experience an apocalyptic world of scary and sometimes oddly cute creatures
  • The action is beautifully done and thrilling
  • Realistic human reactions in a fantastical setting
TAGGED: Ize Press, Yen Press
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