10 Really Great Manhwa That Have Rough Starts (2024)

Highlights

  • Many manhwas have a slow start but become more engaging and action-packed as they progress.
  • Examples of such manhwas include The Beginning After The End, The Star-Fostered Swordmaster, and The Lout Of The Count's Family.
  • These manhwas are worth continuing to read due to their improvement in pace and enjoyment after a certain point in the story.

Sometimes, a story can make for a great read, but can still take a while to get its plot rolling. Shonen and Martial Arts Manhwa tend to have a rough start, but they pick up the pace quickly and always satisfy their readers. Of course, that depends on if fans stick around long enough to see it come together or not.

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That's why this list features several Manwha that have a slow start but are worth the read for those who are patient enough to see their character development through, and the many plot twists that wait just at the end of that boring School Arc.

This List Contains Spoilers

10 The Beginning After The End

It Starts Slow And Painful, And Gets Good During The First Half

10 Really Great Manhwa That Have Rough Starts (2)
  • Genre: Isekai, Action, Drama
  • Author: TurtleMe
  • Artist: Fuyuki23
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Things pick up at: End of the Childhood Arc

This is the dramatic tale of a reincarnated monarch who was granted a new chance in another world with a loving family and a seemingly peaceful and happy childhood. The Beginning After The End has a slow start, becomes even slower and sugarcoated during the Childhood Arc, then suddenly, readers receive a double dose of harsh and cold reality.

The story dramatically progresses once the Childhood Arc ends, and as Arthur begins to notice this peaceful world is not as flowery as it seems, the isekai tale becomes a survival story, with tremendously gory and action-packed scenes. This manhwa definitely needs an anime adaptation.

9 The Star-Fostered Swordmaster

The Slow Pacing In The First Chapters Can Kill The Mood, But It Picks Up The Pace Fast

10 Really Great Manhwa That Have Rough Starts (3)
  • Genre: Adventure, Drama, Dark Fantasy
  • Author: Q10 - Hong Dae Ui (Adaptation)
  • Artist: juno
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Things pick up at: Chapter 12

At the beginning of Vlad of Shoara's tale, we are introduced to a ruthless yet slow-paced plot, where vengeance seems to be the main catalyst for the protagonist's growth. Things are really dull, and the plot can seem half-baked and rushed.

During Chapter 12, when Vlad begins to show promising growth, things get interesting. At this point in the story, he meets the man who will change his life forever: the Heir of the Bayezid family, and the Knight who will become his mentor, Sir Jayar. Things get really interesting after that.

8 The Lout Of The Count's Family

Tremendously Boring At First, But Keep Reading And You'll Be Surprised

10 Really Great Manhwa That Have Rough Starts (4)
  • Genre: Isekai, Drama, Comedy, Fantasy
  • Author: Elegant (Yoo Ryeo Han)
  • Artist: Elegant (Yoo Ryeo Han)
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Things pick up at: Journey to the Capital Arc

The Lout Of The Count's Family might sound like the typical isekai with a reincarnated as a noble trope, but its story progression is so slow and boring at first, that it's fair to seriously start doubting if it is worth the read. Luckily, when Cain decides to travel to the Capital in order to prevent a Coup D' Etat, things begin to pick up speed, and not a moment too soon.

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Afterward, there are a couple of semi-Arcs that might seem boring, but the story progression snowballs until it reaches several tipping points that turn this story about a lazy noble into the tale of a hero who is just too kindhearted to pass for an entitled lout.

7 Reality Quest

The Starting Arc Makes No Sense, But After It Ends, The Fun Begins

10 Really Great Manhwa That Have Rough Starts (6)
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Martial Arts, Drama
  • Author: Lee Joo-woon
  • Artist: Lee Joo-woon
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Things pick up at: Chapter 22 (2nd Arc)

There's a vice among manhwa writers that build their stories around "game-like systems," and that is: To take too long to explain how the system works so the reader can understand every aspect of it. This, what some might call the "Tutorial Arc" and it seems to be a must-have in every similar manhwa.

Reality Quest is no exception to that rule, and after the First Arc finishes, the story finally begins to make sense. We meet several "love interests," the main character grows a backbone, and we learn about his raison d'être, which all help to begin driving the plot forward.

6 Overgeared

Keep Reading And Suddenly, Bam! The Fun Stuff Begins

10 Really Great Manhwa That Have Rough Starts (7)
  • Genre: VR-Gaming, Shonen, Action, Comedy
  • Author: Park Saenal
  • Artist: Monohumbug
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Things pick up at: Chapter 46 (Malagus Raid Arc)

As in every VR game-based manhwa, Overgeared has an introductory Arc presenting the reasons why the main character hates his "real life" and wants to live in the game. In this case, we have two Arcs solely dedicated to watching how a player builds a production-based legendary class into his Golden Egg Geese to avoid working IRL.

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Then, the fun begins when the main character is tasked with crafting a Blessed Shield, but this item is stolen, and in his quest to recover it, he ends up entangled with one of the top-ranking guilds of Satisfy. A great battle scene ensues against a Raid Boss, where the MC showcases all his might. After that, the story progresses really fast and is enjoyable.

5 Overpowered Sword

The Story Was Lacking Something Until A Wild Karen Appeared

10 Really Great Manhwa That Have Rough Starts (9)
  • Genres: Action, Fantasy, Drama, Shounen
  • Author: ELDO
  • Artist: ELDO
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Things pick up at: Chapter 34 (Cultist Extermination Arc)

Ever felt that a story was lacking something, until that something came crashing down like a wrecking ball and, suddenly, stole the spotlight from every other character? Well, in Overpowered Sword, that "something" is named Karen, and she's the best of the best.

A female lead and romantic interest that pops up from the shadows steals the heart of Leon, the main character, and of the readers as well. It is not only that she's visually well-designed, but she absolutely rocks. She plays the role of comic relief but is serious and standalone, powerful enough to keep up with the MC, and of course, they have a chemistry that rivals the strongest of power couples. Shipping for them is a must.

4 A Returner's Magic Should Be Special

When Adjest Enters The Stage, The Flow Becomes Smoother

10 Really Great Manhwa That Have Rough Starts (10)
  • Genres: Isekai, Sword & Magic, School Drama
  • Author: Wookjakga
  • Artist: Usonan
  • Status: Complete
  • Things pick up at: Academy Competition Arc End, Adjest joins Team Desir

The story of Desir Arman turning back the clock is somewhat slow and lackluster until the quirky Romantica Aru drops into the tale. Even then, readers had a hard time thinking of those two as a couple. They just don't have enough chemistry to turn the "Shipp'o'meter" on.

Then, Adjest comes sliding into the mix, right after the Academy Tournament Arc, and joins team Desir. This not only spurs Romantica's jealousy, but also motivates the entire team to train hard enough to become useful for future battles. Desir, who at this point is not the OP protagonist he should be, starts to shine a little more, and Adjest, who is at first a distant and gloomy Ice Queen, shows off as the most wholesome character, and the fourth wheel Team Desir needed to keep rolling.

3 Transcension Academy

Boring First And Second Arcs, But The Third One Is Gold

10 Really Great Manhwa That Have Rough Starts (11)
  • Genre: Shonen, Action, Comedy, Urban Fantasy
  • Author: Eojjeoda
  • Artist: Kkyujanneu
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Things pick up at: Ranking Exam Arc (3rd)

The story of Seojoon picking up an e-learning app of the Gods to become a Transcended is totally worth a read, but sadly, it has a really rough start and only becomes interesting after a couple of rounds. Every shounen manhwa has a character build/progression Arc, and Transcension Academy has two.

When the Hunter Ranking Qualification Exam Arc begins, Seojoon showcases all his hard-earned skills, and the story begins for real. The formation of the Dream Team, The National Teams competition, and the Journey to Italy Arcs come afterward, and they're all good reading material.

2 SSS-Class Suicide Hunter

Takes A While To Become Fun, But Totally Worth A Bookmark

10 Really Great Manhwa That Have Rough Starts (12)
  • Genre: Shonen, Urban Fantasy, Dystopian, Action
  • Author: Shin Noah
  • Artist: Neida, Bill K
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Things pick up at: Visit the 50th floor Arc

SSS-Rank Suicide Hunter starts out great, then falls short around the 4th Arc (Romance Arc) and starts breaking down the walls during the 5th Arc: The visit to the 50th Floor of the Tower.

There, we learn some interesting and disturbing truths from the mouth of the Tower Master, and our main character, Kim Gong-Ja, couldn't figure out all about this mysterious character at first. She smells like a dragon but is not a dragon. She kind of gives off a divine-like aura, but is not a god either. This chatty Tower Master is a puzzle worth assembling, readers just need to keep going and survive another boring part (Library Arc) until the story picks up the pace again.

1 Apotheosis

It Might Take A Long Time To Get Into Motion, But It's Still Good

10 Really Great Manhwa That Have Rough Starts (13)
  • Genre: Wuxia, Martial Arts, Action, Drama
  • Author: Free of Favours
  • Artist: Ranzai Studio (Manhwa adaptation)
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Things pick up at: Chapter 70

The story of Luo Zheng begins as a tale of Regression and a second chance for revenge. Like most of the Wuxia manhwa that involve transcendence and martial arts, Apotheosis can be slow at first. Unlike most of this genre's reads, however, it turns out that under that slow-paced first approach comes a thrilling and addictive story about a martial artist rising to godhood, beating everything in his path toward ascension, and visiting dark and bloody realms in the process.

If readers stick around through the third Arc of Apotheosis and go beyond the clumsy Harem-like romantic approach, they'll find a cool and fun-to-read action manhwa. Both the art and the story seem to improve from Chapter 70 on, but beware: There are over 1000 chapters already, so bring some reading lenses.

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10 Really Great Manhwa That Have Rough Starts (2024)
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