Monday, June 17, 2024

Manhwa Corner: Apex Future Martial Arts.

May 26, 2024 by  
Filed under Comics, GM, News

( We’ve taken a dive into murim and cultivation manhwa, so let’s get into a newcomer to the genre in Logging in 10,000 Years in the Future or Level Up in the Future or Apex Future Martial Arts. It’s a series that has different names depending on the scanlation group. I’ve prefer Apex Future Martial Arts, so expect the series to be referred to by that name.

Manhwa Corner: Apex Future Martial Arts.

The World of Apex Future Martial Arts

This one is a manhua, which refers to comics, manga, or manhwa from China. The series is interesting in that it has a modern-future setting but is concerned with the future of humanity. Martial arts schools are all over and the main means of education. Everyone’s future is determined by their performance in martial arts school, whether they will go on to martial university, and—later on—the military.

Schools teach general studies as accompanying courses but it’s a student’s skill in physical, mental, and spirit arts that matter. They are tested on both their combat power or raw strength as well as their blood level. There is also a third test—so far, I’m 65 chapters in—which tests psychic power.

In this world, monsters—or aggressive beastly versions of animals—exist and the military as well as students are tasked with fighting them. In these series, there’s always a branch of the military which is under-financed or dealing with strain in the form of manpower. AFMA is no different and like other series, it’s the part of the military our hero joins.

It’s all a modern version of murim which is easier to grasp when it’s in an ancient or feudal setting. The domineering clans are replaced by martial families with ties to academia, the military, and industry. Instead of large war alliances, families cooperate directly.

However, murim trappings such as cultivation pills, elixirs, and baths all still exist in their times.

Enter Lu Sheng

It is 10,000 years from now when the human race is wiped out by monsters after all martial artists exhaust their powers trying to stop them.  Apex Future Martial Arts is based around 18-year-old struggling martial artists Lu Sheng who happens upon a means of training in his sleep and becoming powerful.

Now, I had to re-read the first few chapters to remember how Sheng got that gift. Apparently, it just activates after he blacks out while training. See, Lu Sheng like many other modern murim heroes, comes from an average family struggling to get by. His family’s hopes are actually on his younger sister since his own potential has only been so-so.

At 18-years-old, it’s pretty much a wrap for him if he can’t get his blood level to a certain level which opens up his potential and ability for martial arts. Think of the blood level as one measurement of what level a martial artist is.

After blacking out, Sheng goes to a post-apocalyptic world—his world 10,000 years into the future. He had been having nightmares of this place but he would find a blessing here: by fighting and defeating enemies in his dreamworld, he can become stronger. Months and years of training can be done in a couple of hours. Not only that, skills and techniques he learns in the ruined world can be used in the real world/present.

I’d liken it to being able to go into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber from Dragon Ball any time you go to sleep. It’s something of a cheat when you think of it. In training there, Lu Sheng unlocks a system which explains the history of the world and gives him access to different techniques as he becomes stronger. It also grants him access to government information about himself in the future.

While our hero Lu Sheng has ambitious goals to save the human race which is destroyed 10,000 years in the future by monsters, he still falls into the manhwa hero path of acquiring skills, wealth, connections, and pulling his family up.

There are just certain tropes that can’t be escaped despite the writer and theme.

Despite that, they’re welcome tropes. The writer could’ve been adventurous and tried some completely out-there tropes and wasted a good series, so this is fine. The artwork is very good, again Solo Leveling and Volcanic Age are the two manhwa/manhua series where the artwork simply impresses me and Apex Future Martial Arts isn’t there but it’s still very good and gets better during fight scenes.

Pacing-wise, AFMA has a mid-tempo. It’s not a speedy series like Solo Leveling and is closer to Volcanic Age in how it builds up to these big tournaments and tests with a lot of transitional and borderline filler stuff going on. I say borderline because some of it goes on for a bit but it’s all tied to some major adventure.

Overall, Apex Future Martial Arts is a murim/cultivation series worth checking out! If you’ve read it, let us know what you think of it!

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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