I will review solely on the webtoon and not on the book it is based upon, The Weight of our Sky by Hana Alkaf.
I would like to start off by acknowledging the gorgeous artwork by Nisrina A. N (Please notice me senpai). It is gorgeous to look at, combined with the terrific story from none other than the brilliant author Hana Alkaf. I came onto Webtoons specifically to read the Tower of God and only Tower of God. Little did I know that this platform had so much to give to their readers. Before I know it, I’m stuck reading multiple titles from this platform. I came for Tower of God and I’m pretty sure I stayed after reading The Weight of Our Sky.
The Weight of Our Sky Art style
Nisrina A. N artfully gave a vibrant colour to the world, which made it feels lively and very livable. She treats us with visuals through the webtoon which takes us back to a time from the past. Nisrina really took the time to make sure the sense of nostalgia is ever present throughout the story. We can see this through the usage of visuals like the record players, playing the tunes from the past is just one such example I can think of off the top of my head.
I’m 26 years old myself and I feel nostalgic over a time where I didn’t even exist. This misplaced nostalgia is just a testament to the skill of artfully placing various elements throughout the webtoon. This only results with the reader experiencing that feeling of nostalgia.
The other side of her art is how she can take this beautiful nostalgic world of vibrant colours and contrast that with the dark colours of the Djinn. This, along with the various deaths and calamity happening right in front of our very eyes. Nisrina manoeuvres the viewers to have various feelings with every scroll of their phones/tablets or even PC readers. Also, the Djinn still scares me even now whenever I see it.
The Weight of Our Sky Writing
Now onto the story by Hana Alkaf, and let me be honest… with over 3000 reviews on Goodreads alone averaging a 4.23 stars out of 5. There isn’t much I can say to solidify how good the story is. Right now, I’m waiting for the novel to arrive so I can compare between the book and webtoon.
Whenever one takes a novel and converts it to any other medium, be it anime, films, comics or any other medium, there will be things that will change. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worst. One Punch man’s manga is pretty good but after watching the anime, I can’t help but prefer the latter. By the way, I’m only talking about season one, let’s just ignore the second season. But on the other hand, Dragon Balls Hollywood is on the other side of the spectrum.
So regarding this aspect, I really can’t give my 2 cents until the book has arrived. So all that, just to explain that I’m judging the writing only on the webtoon and not the book itself.
In the webtoon itself, we can almost hear the voices of each character from just their dialogue delivery. How cheerful, how mellow and thoughtful, or even how creepy the voice of each character is. Yes, the visuals and the way they drew each dialogue out helps with this… a lot. But I felt the content itself is a major contributor to how they are read by us, the audience. The repeating little phrases and pauses gives each character their own personality which makes them unique. Though, expect an update to this article as soon as I get the original novel. So please subscribe to our newsletter for future updates. So, to be continued.
The Topics dealt with in the story
Now let’s get into the most terrifying territory of this story, i.e., the racism or the communal nature of the story. I feel this is something everyone likes to tiptoe around. Can’t blame them as they fear the ramifications of showing one’s views on this subject. This article is an example where I will try to address the topic while simultaneously trying to not piss off anyone.
It’s a terribly difficult topic but I love how Hana Alkaf went out guns blazing with the subject. She left no viewpoint unturned with her story. Showing both sides of the spectrum and why they came to the conclusions that they did. But also, expertly avoids offending anyone in particular. At any moment, you’d think one side is right while the other are the villains of the story. That only changes as the story progresses forward. They left us the readers to think about the story not as who is right or who is wrong but how these things happen and how they affect people at the ground level. When we see this, only then can we address the problem while treating no one as a villain.
I’m not saying both sides are villainous or are innocent; it really doesn’t matter as it does not help or ease the current problem that we are in. It can only make the chasm between the two sides grow deeper and deeper.
We can use stories like this to teach the world on how violence of these kinds helps absolutely no one. Regardless of who is right and who is wrong. We as humans, with all our intelligence and wisdom, should be able to address these problems without resorting to such barbaric ways.
Alot of times, we act like these are things of the past and have nothing to do with us. But it’s very much still everywhere. Whether it is the massacres of the Rohingyas, the Delhi riots of 2020, or even bombings of Palestinian children which happened this year itself. These things are happening and will continue happening as long as we continue to live in this Lala land of perfectness.
Also, I do want to address the Mental health aspect of the story and how the author carefully inserted it into this already condense story. The author expertly presents the Djinn in such a way where we the readers actually think what it said or does actually have a ramification in the real world of the story. So the rush and intensity from this scary Djinn at any point gave the story a boost like no other. At the same time, we do know that it is nothing but a mental health issue of the protagonists.
It really felt like it was something more than just an imagination from someone suffering from deep mental health issues. I’m just happy this aspect of the story exists which highlights people’s suffering with mental health and how it was and still is treated in today’s day and age.
Finally, I’d like to mention how I like the name of the book itself, The Weight of Our Sky. Emphasizing it is “our” Sky and how we choose to act determines the outcome of every situation. How we could approach the topics of racism, losing a love one, being lost, being abandoned, just to name a few. It feels a lot more personal and connects to each reader in a deeper sense than perhaps “The Weight of The Sky”. This is my personal opinion, so please don’t attack me for it if I’m wrong or if there is some other reason for the name.
In conclusion, the story is beautiful, accompanied by equally beautiful art. I’m sure there are more people in the production of such a beautiful webtoon, I’m sorry if I didn’t mention them and their importance. This is just a layman’s perspective into the webtoon, and I don’t mean to demean anyone or their work.
But again, I can’t recommend The Weight of Our Sky enough for everyone to read it on Webtoons. But just remember that it has a warning because it contains death, graphic violence, racism, OCD and anxiety. So read it with that knowledge in mind.
And hopefully, both the author and the webtoon artist of The Weight of Our Sky reads this… I’ll be on cloud nine if that happens. Maybe even accept to do an interview with us, who knows?
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