That Which Flows by is a historical romance manhwa that tells the story of Dani, a Jurchen girl who has to hide her identity and serve tea for General Gyeol Seo, a man who is rumored to kill Jurchen people without mercy. The manhwa is a webtoon series that is available on LINE WEBTOON and has gained popularity and praise from readers and critics alike. In this article, we will explore the history, background, creators, plot, characters, and reception of this manhwa.
Overview of That Which Flows by
History and background
That Which Flows by is set in the Joseon dynasty, a period of Korean history that lasted from 1392 to 1897. The Joseon dynasty was marked by political, social, and cultural changes, as well as conflicts with neighboring countries such as China, Japan, and the Jurchen tribes. The Jurchen were a nomadic people who lived in the northeastern part of Asia and were often at war with the Joseon kingdom. The Jurchen were also the ancestors of the Manchu people, who later founded the Qing dynasty in China.
The manhwa depicts the historical events and figures that shaped the Joseon dynasty, such as the Imjin War, the Japanese invasions of Korea, the Ming-Qing transition, the Manchu invasions of Korea, and the Donghak Peasant Revolution. The manhwa also portrays the culture, customs, and beliefs of the Joseon people and the Jurchen people, as well as the interactions and conflicts between them.
About the creators
That Which Flows by is written and illustrated by softcorn and Eunbi Lee, two Korean artists who have collaborated on several webtoon projects. Softcorn is the pen name of Heo Ni-bi, a female artist who is known for her historical and fantasy works, such as The Moon that Rises in the Day, The Pale Horse, and The Red King. Eunbi Lee is a male artist who is known for his realistic and detailed art style, as well as his works such as The Scholar’s Reincarnation, The Sword Interval, and The Great Mage Returns After 4000 Years.
The two artists have been working together since 2018, when they started their first webtoon series, The Red King, which is a historical fantasy manhwa about a young king who is possessed by a demon. That Which Flows by is their second webtoon series, which they started in 2023 and is still ongoing.
Comics and translation process
That Which Flows by is a webtoon series that is published on LINE WEBTOON, a global digital comics platform that offers free access to thousands of webtoons in various genres and languages. The webtoon is updated every Friday and has 31 episodes as of January 2024. The webtoon is originally written in Korean, but it is translated into English, Indonesian, and other languages by LINE WEBTOON’s official translators. The webtoon also has fan translations in other languages, such as Spanish, French, and Arabic, which are available on other websites and apps.
Plot and Characters
Overview of the story
The story of That Which Flows by follows Dani, a Jurchen girl who was saved by General Gyeol Seo during a bandit attack. Dani is grateful to Gyeol Seo, but she has to hide her true identity and pretend to be from Joseon, due to the rumors that the general slaughters Jurchen people, regardless of gender or age. Dani becomes a tea server for Gyeol Seo in his house in Hanyang, the capital of Joseon, and tries to avoid attracting attention. However, she soon finds herself in the middle of political intrigues, conspiracies, and secrets, as well as developing feelings for Gyeol Seo, who has his own past and problems.
Gyeol Seo is a general who is respected and feared for his military achievements and skills. He is loyal to the king and the country, but he has many enemies who want to kill him or use him for their own agendas. Gyeol Seo cannot drink clear water because of a tragic incident that happened when he was young, and he has a lot of guilt and anger inside him. He is cold and distant to most people, but he gradually opens up to Dani, who reminds him of his lost sister.
The manhwa also features other characters who are involved in the story, such as Gyeol Seo’s loyal subordinates, Dani’s fellow tea servers, the king and the royal family, the ministers and the nobles, the rebels and the traitors, the Jurchen and the Manchu leaders, and the foreign powers and the invaders.
Introduction of main characters
- Dani: The female protagonist of the manhwa. She is a Jurchen girl who was orphaned and sold as a slave. She was rescued by Gyeol Seo and became his tea server. She is kind, brave, and curious, but she also has a strong sense of justice and loyalty. She has a special ability to see the flow of energy in living things, which she calls “that which flows by”.
- Gyeol Seo: The male protagonist of the manhwa. He is a general who is renowned for his military prowess and strategy. He is loyal to the king and the country, but he has many enemies who want to harm him. He is cold and aloof, but he has a soft spot for Dani, who he treats as his sister. He has a trauma that prevents him from drinking clear water, and he has a secret that could change the fate of the nation.
- Hyeon: Gyeol Seo’s right-hand man and best friend. He is a skilled swordsman and a loyal subordinate. He is cheerful and friendly, but he also has a sharp mind and a keen sense of observation. He is protective of Gyeol Seo and Dani, and he often teases them about their relationship.
- Soo Yeon: Dani’s friend and fellow tea server. She is a Joseon girl who was sold by her stepmother to Gyeol Seo’s house. She is sweet and gentle, but she also has a strong will and a clever wit. She is supportive of Dani and Gyeol Seo, and she has a crush on Hyeon.
- King Injo: The 16th king of the Joseon dynasty. He is a weak and indecisive ruler who is easily influenced by the ministers and the nobles. He is paranoid and suspicious of Gyeol Seo, who he sees as a potential threat to his throne. He is also fearful of the Manchu invasion, which he tries to avoid by surrendering and sending hostages.
- Prince Sohyeon: The eldest son and heir of King Injo. He is a smart and charismatic prince who is popular among the people and the soldiers. He is loyal to his father, but he also has his own vision and ambition for the country. He is friendly and respectful to Gyeol Seo, who he admires and trusts.
- Kim Ja Jeom: The leader of the Western faction, a group of ministers and nobles who oppose Gyeol Seo and the king. He is a cunning and ruthless politician who schemes to overthrow the king and install Prince Sohyeon as the puppet ruler. He is also involved in various illegal and corrupt activities, such as smuggling, bribery, and assassination.
- Hong Taiji: The leader of the Manchu people and the founder of the Qing dynasty. He is a powerful and ambitious ruler who aims to conquer China and Korea. He is a skilled warrior and a cunning strategist who uses diplomacy, deception, and force to achieve his goals. He is interested in Dani, who he believes is the reincarnation of his deceased wife.
Relationships and conflicts
The manhwa explores the relationships and conflicts between the main characters, as well as the historical and political context that affects them. Some of the main themes and issues that the manhwa addresses are:
- The romance between Dani and Gyeol Seo, which is complicated by their different identities, backgrounds, and statuses, as well as the external threats and pressures that they face. The manhwa shows how they overcome their differences and difficulties, and how they grow closer and more intimate with each other.
- The friendship between Gyeol Seo and Hyeon, which is based on mutual trust, respect, and loyalty. The manhwa shows how they support each other in times of crisis and danger, and how they share their joys and sorrows. The manhwa also shows how they interact with Dani and Soo Yeon, who become their friends and family.
- The rivalry between Gyeol Seo and Kim Ja Jeom, which is fueled by their opposing political views, interests, and goals. The manhwa shows how they compete and clash with each other in various ways, such as military, diplomatic, and covert operations. The manhwa also shows how they try to manipulate and outsmart each other, and how they deal with the consequences of their actions.
- The conflict between Joseon and Manchu, which is driven by the historical events and circumstances that led to the wars and invasions between the two countries. The manhwa shows how the war affects the lives and fates of the main characters, as well as the people and the nation. The manhwa also shows how the war changes the balance of power and the course of history in East Asia.
In conclusion, “That Which Flows By” is more than just a manhwa; it’s an experience. It’s a captivating journey of self-acceptance, urging readers to embrace their authentic selves and challenge societal norms. Whether you’re seeking a poignant reflection on societal pressures or simply a beautifully crafted story, “That Which Flows By” offers a captivating immersion into the complexities of the human experience. So, dive into the narrative, explore Mia’s transformative journey, and discover the flow within yourself.