It’s always good to see Nepal or Nepali characters in international productions — whether films, series, songs or well, comic books. So of course, I was excited to read this Manhwa, meaning webtoon or simply Korea’s manga, that had Kumari as its leading character.
It was in 2014 and I was in Korea when the country’s most popular online platform, Naver, released this short Manhwa on its webtoon publishing portal Line Webtoon. It was first published in Korean and later came out in English as well, and it was called ‘For the Sake of Sita’.
Honestly, I don’t really remember what did I think of it back then. But now, six years later when it is being adapted into anime series, I know this for sure — it’s sure to offend Nepalis.
Before we move on, you might want to read the webtoon yourself as it’s absolutely free and is less than a 20-minute read as there are going to be spoilers ahead. You would probably have to read it twice, though. It’s a little confusing and seems rushed when you read it the first time but when you go for it the second time, you’re like, “Ohhhh!”
Read it HERE.
Get back here once you’re done with it. I’ll be right here, waiting for you.
Oh, you’re back already? So, what do you think of it?
The manhwa is now making a comeback but this time, as an anime series, produced by SYOK Studio. A preview for the series was released on YouTube earlier this year in February with the announcement that all the episodes will be out in the second half of the year — which means it might be out after three weeks in July or it might just take another six months.
If you actually read the comic (when I asked you to earlier), you must have guessed already why I think the anime might piss Nepalis off. But if you’re one of those naughty boys and girls who don’t obey anyone and didn’t bother reading it, here’s what happens. Last warning – spoilers are coming!
Long story short, the manhwa by artist Haga follows the story of a girl named Sita Jaruna who becomes Kumari at age six because her mother thinks that’s the only way to be able to provide for the family. But when Sita starts menstruating, she is thrown out of the temple because she is now considered to be impure. Nope, don’t get mad at me. I am not exaggerating this, she’s literally thrown out. And to make things worse, her family has now abandoned her because they think her presence might kill her brother. They leave her a letter saying, “You know very well that if we stay with someone impure, it curses the whole family.”
She now has nowhere to go and has nothing to eat. Also, people are mean to her. So the only way she sees in front of her is to get into prostitution. Didn’t see that coming, right? That’s definitely not going to go down well with a lot of people.
And Baglung is portrayed as the red light district of Nepal, saying, “There are many brothels gathered in this place.”
So, one day she meets this Korean guy who has come to Nepal to volunteer. They get married and move to Korea where she dies after a year. And now in order to bring her back to life and see her happy, he has to let go of something that he loves the most — her. And this time, he saves her — saves her from getting into prostitution and from dying.
Remember the Kumar filter? Man, people were furious about it. I can only imagine what happens when this anime comes out. If only it didn’t have the prostitution part, it would have been great.
What do you think? Comment below, may be.
Images: Line Webtoon/Haga