Usually, I have webtoon or manga posts on Mondays. It’s our little reading day! I have been enjoying the experience and I hope you guys like it as well. I have a sweet little early valentine’s treat for you all today with Under the Oak Tree. But I also thought I would switch things up just a smidge by talking about a new webcomic platform too!
Full disclosure, I was contacted by Manta Comics and this is a very new platform so I haven’t had a chance to thoroughly explore it yet. However, I have occasionally run out of stuff to read (which seems crazy, I know!) so a new platform was welcomed.
Most people get their online comic needs met through webtoons. It’s a fantastic platform which I enjoy a lot and will keep on using. Tapas is another frequent online reading supplier. This said, in my experience, there is a lot of crossover on these two platforms so I just end up seeing the same titles. And once in a while, I like to try something new.
This is where Manta comics comes in. Their library is original and they have titles that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Not only the titles themselves but the genres. They take some risks and I appreciate that. Keep in mind that the service is newer so naturally the library is still growing.
Another point, and this is entirely personal, is that I really like the look of Manta’s mobile app interface. I dunno, it’s the geometric shapes and dark background. It’s a thing. You can actually see it for yourself over here for apple and here for android. My big gripe at the time of writing this is that searching for specific titles is tough but apparently that is in the works.
Manta is a paid service but there is a wide variety of free chapters so that you can get a good idea of what is on offer. And unlike a lot of online comic readers, this one isn’t a by the chapter system. That’s kind of what got me cause I’m not patient and I do get pangs of pain paying one chapter at the time. Since I really go on binges, at 3 to 5$ a chapter, I can easily spend a couple of hundred dollars before noticing.
Whereas with Manta readers can gain unlimited access for $3.99/month. Which I find reasonable and mostly helps to keep my excessiveness in check! Honestly, if Crunchy made us pay by the episode I would have gone broke years ago… And if you just like to look at pictures, you can also go stalk their Instagram. I’m not proud of the fact that I choose my comics almost entirely on looks but I can’t deny who I am.
But wait, there’s more! This is a two for one post. I love to spoil you guys. OK’ so I’m talking about Manta because I figured some of you may not know about it yet and be interested but it’s more of a way to talk about Under the Oak Tree which is my first St-Valentine recommendation.
We all know that I’m not a huge romance fan so in past years I have mostly ignored February 14. And that’s kind of sad cause I love St-Valentine’s. I’m not a big romance buff but when one touches me, I tend to like it a lot. And I don’t think romantic relationships are the most important thing in a person’s life but they aren’t bad either. And I like chocolate, and heart motifs and the colour pink and flowers. Basically, I kinda love St-Valentine’s…
So this year, I made a huge effort to sprinkle in some lurve stories in time for the 14th. And it all starts with Under the Oak Tree.
The first thing you may have noticed is those beautiful Klimt inspired covers. I mean look at that, gorgeous. The pretty pretty characters don’t hurt either.
The second thing is that there is something classical about these images. Yup, we are talking good old chivalrous love story ladies and gentlemen. Some things are classics for a reason.
Under the Oak Tree is the webcomic adaptation of the novel by the same name (or Sangsurinamu Arae for the purists). In very broad strokes, it tells the story of a young noble lady named Maximilian who marries slightly under her status for various reasons. So she ends up with Riftan who is a fairly lowly knight. But then, like right away, he has to go on a knightly quest or expedition and she doesn’t see him again for years. And then BAM, he comes back. Expedition over. Stuff like that happened all the time in the olden days. Except now, he’s a superstar. He did mega good on his expedition and went from bottom to top tier in those three years. And Maximilian is still just… Maximilian. So what now?
See!?! It’s a good setup, right? Now they have to get to know each other again, not that they knew each other very well before. And Max has to reconcile her personal insecurities as well as the idea of her husband with the reality of the man. Here’s a cool little trailer that will give you a much better grasp of the story.
So if you want a classic chivalrous romance that deals with surprisingly contemporary issues, you may want to check out Under the Oak Tree. This is the title Ji Min from Manta actually contacted me about and I was thrilled to discover it.
This is neither here nor there but my email exchanges with Manta have been some of the most pleasant and just fun professional exchanges I have had in relation to my blog. It really feels like there are people who care deeply about the product behind Manta. It’s not a reason you should buy anything, of course, but I just felt like sharing cause I haven’t seen that much, yet.
Ok, so I’ve babbled a lot. I do hope those readers of mine who are hopeless romantics will enjoy this story!