Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sword, Saber, Love

Damnit! I can't sleep until I get this out of my head.

In the little-known Hong Kong comic book Raja Wira (I don't know the original title, and the Internet also does not seem to have any info on this), which to me is the greatest translated HK comic book ever, we can see the normal depictions of sword and saber, with a twist.

There were three great warriors - Perwira Pedang (Sword Warrior), Perwira Golok (Saber Warrior) and a third element to the tale, Perwira Cinta (Love Warrior).

The triumvirate make up the components of a true hero.

Perwira Pedang became the emperor and is called Maharaja Pedang, Perwira Golok is the greatest pugilist in the land and Perwira Cinta gets the girl all three were trying to fuck.

The protagonist, Si Putih, is the son of Perwira Cinta and that chick.

What I really loved about this comic series is the fact that the main character is in no way the greatest fighter in the land. He also does not become the greatest fighter and does not wish to be one. Si Putih is merely a student of life who tries to learn how to appreciate drinking alcohol. It is said that, 'only a man who has tasted the bitterness of life can appreciate the bitterness of the drink'.

The whole series follows his exploits in trying to get himself and his friends to a higher status in Maharaja Pedang's kingdom - Kota Pedang (Sword City).

Si Putih's talent is his intelligence and charm. He can also master almost any martial arts technique perfectly, though his lack of inner qi limits the destructive power of the techniques.

You can say that in a fight, Si Putih almost never overpowers his opponent, but uses his brains to defeat them.

There is also a lot of sex in this comics series, with one of the main characters - Putera 13 - depicted as someone who wants to write the greatest perverted text in history - Almanak Baju Dalam (Underwear Canon) or something.

Raja Wira also shows a lot of political intrigue and friends as well as enemies change their roles frequently.

There was also the 10 tests, for all of Maharaja Pedang's princes to determine someone who would take over from him. There is also the great duel between Perwira Parang and a young challenger to determine the title of greatest fighter in the land.

Victory and defeat are sometimes determined by other factors than martial arts prowess.

There are also military tactics and riddles to solve.

It is truly a unique comic book in the HK manhua world.

Alas, it ended prematurely, but with a fitting conclusion.

Si Putih managed to win a majority of the challenges for Putera 13. He was also recognised by the three heroes - Maharaja Pedang, Perwira Parang and his own father Perwira Cinta - as a worthy successor for the next generation due to his cunning.

Putera 13, after becoming the emperor due to Si Putih's help, starts to get jealous of the immensely talented and good-looking Si Putih. So Si Putih, his friends Wu and Sepuluh Tahil, left the place. They broke off as each has his or her own side stories which were never resolved - such as Sepuluh Tahil's mysterious origins, as well as Wu's crush on her.

On the outskirts of the city, where the story started, Si Putih drank wine alone and appreciated the bitter tang and sweetness of the drink as well as life. Having achieved everything he ever wanted, he ultimately lost his best friends as well as everything else he worked for throughout the series.

That was a fucking great comic book. Can someone tell me the real title of this great work, written by Chris Lau?