We’re back with another WebToon feature, and this week we’re reading ‘unOrdinary‘ by uru-chan. This fantasy – superhero series launched in 2016, and has kept readers on their toes since the very first episode.
In a world where superpowers is common, nobody pays too much attention to the guy at the absolute bottom of the pecking order. And that’s precisely where we find John Doe. Maybe that’s also where he wants to remain…
John has no ability of his own, so he gets picked on a lot. Unlike you might expect, instead of keeping his head down and staying out f the way, he isn’t afraid to stand up to bullies and fight. Following a cafeteria chocolate cake-heist, he starts hanging out with Seraphina, one of the top ranking students in the school. Rankings in the elite Wellston Academy are based on the ability tier and level of each student. Seraphina is what you’d call ‘God-Tier’.
The social elite, both inside and outside the school, are those with strong abilities, and those who are weak are either ignored or bullied. But John has a secret that could unravel the whole order of the school, and much more.
Unfortunately I cannot give away anything more about the plot without going straight into spoiler territory, so I’ll leave you with this teaser.
If you read ‘superpowers are common’ and thought ‘so, like My Hero Academia?’, let me stop you right there. That’s about where the similarities stop. Super-powered folks in ‘My Hero Academia’ generally try to become heroes, and train specifically to that aim. But in ‘unOrdinary‘, abilities are just a tool for the strong to gain social standing and more power. At the core of their quest to be the strongest is not some lofty idealism, only the need to be on top.
In fact, the cast slowly growing and realizing their powers could be used for something other than beating others down is one of the best plot threads in unOrdinary. I especially appreciate how we get closer looks at all of their journeys and character development. It makes for engrossing and balanced storytelling. I also love how the character arcs fit into each other while in fact playing out in mostly different subplots. The writer is doing a great job of providing a well rounded perspective, by slowly adding more points of view into the narrator’s side.
The manga-styled art is colorful and crisp and is evolving organically as the series progresses. The plot is well-paced without dragging, and with over 200 episodes already out, there’s a ton to binge and keep you occupied.
And while John’s hair gel may be the truest villain of the story by popular agreement, I do have my own concerns about something entirely else. The fandom. You know how there’s people who legit root for the serial killer in some TV shows (eg. ‘You‘)? Well, there are certain vocal groups in the unOrdinary fandom who seem to be missing the point so damn completely that it makes one wonder. So, pro tip: read the series, but keep clear of the Fb groups and Webtoon comment sections. I say this with a heavy heart because I love the Webtoon comment sections, but this one is uncharacteristically messed up.
Do you want more superheroes in your reading list? Look no further. It’s no surprise this is one of Webtoon’s most successful action – fantasy series. The popularity is well earned and well deserved, and I am really excited to find out how this story will eventually conclude.