Artist: Chan Mou
Genre: Action, Adventure, Historical, Manhua
A retelling of the events of the end of the Han Dynasty and the beginning of the Three Kingdoms in Chinese history. The story mainly follows the young Sima Yi and his rise to power, but also tells the various stories of many other historical figures. Follow each Chinese historical figure as they battle it out for conquest of China.
What you need to know about ‘The Ravages of Time’
1. The historical events, battles and deaths do follow the historical time line but the characteristics of each historical figures and their interactions with each other are different. (For instance, Lubu is not the oaf depicted in most written literature but an intelligent and powerful General.)
2. The plot and storytelling focuses more on the intrigue, strategies, politics and warfare of the Three Kingdoms period rather than the battles. As such, one of the main attractions is the mind games and tactics of each army’s strategist during the battles.
3. The Story Arc starts from Dong Zhuo’s Arc and goes through each time period of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Although told from different points of views of different characters, the story always relates to how each decision and outcomes of battles affect the main character Sima Yi.
4. Not only are there clashes of strategies but there are also debates of ethics of war between the characters and each notion is an interesting take on the historical view of the war ongoing at that time.
Trivia about ‘The Ravages of Times’
1. The manhua takes a lot from Military Doctrines like Sun Tzu’s Art of War and others before it.
2. According to the manhua, history is subjective and written history is written through the eyes of the writer instead of the facts of the event.
3. The story also centers around the “Eight Enigmas”, a group of highly intelligent and educated strategists trained by Sima Hui. They all choose their own rulers to support and have their own way of thinking and moral views.
4. The characters have distinctive designs and outfits that make it easy to tell them apart (other than the normal troops).
Verdict: Read It!
If you love historical manga/manhua like Kingdom or Vagabond, this is up your alley. Although not as action packed as the other manga/manhua, the intriguing strategies of each army will keep you interested with each read.
Personally, it felt like I was reading Game of Thrones novel, seeing how each strategy and political back-stab has its purpose to push the story forward. Even though the outcome of the Chinese history is known, it is a great read of what happened according to the writer’s point of view. Read it and you might learn some strategies that may be useful in your own life.