Kubera Leez wakes up on the day of her 16th birthday to the sounds of her friends outside yelling that she promised to make them lunch. She finds a gift box next to her which contains a yellow dress and a letter addressed to her by her mother, telling her daughter that it is time to choose a new name. Excited, Kubera stops by the kitchen wearing her new dress and thanks her mother, then leaves to pick mushrooms.
On her way through the village she runs into her friends, Kaz and Haas. She tells them they better have something good for her birthday, and Kaz gifts her with an elementary-level mathematics book. An angry Kubera sends him flying with inhuman strength and storms off. The brothers then decide to get her a genuine present.
As she passes the guard tower, she greets Guard Roen (with a second guard), whom she thanks for helping her mother get her birthday gift. As Kubera leaves to search for mushrooms, Roen warns her not to go too deep into the forest. Despite assuring Roen that she wouldn't, Kubera can't find any mushrooms and so she decides to stray from the path. At first it seems that there were no mushrooms growing in the deep woods, either, but as she is about to turn back she encounters a strange, blue-skinned man asleep on a bed of curry mushrooms.
Happy Chinese New Year!
■ Episode 1 has begun.
Some story changes were made from the Best Challenge version, including more details, which is the reason why I spent many red-eyed nights tearing out my hair for two months. Hehe. The guard employed by the village (in Episode 1, red-haired Roen) is a typical example of a new detail. She was presented as a guard in Best Challenge (Special Episode 2), but she didn't appear in the main story, so many readers didn't know about her. Hehe. There have been a lot of other new details added... Also, magic is used in a slightly different way than in Best Challenge. Anyway, you'll notice more fine details than you saw in Best Challenge. To those who don't want to read the same thing all over again, please relax? Hmm... You can't complain that you already know what's going to happen next... No matter what I do, I can't create art that will make everyone happy. Yeah, that's right.
■ Some of you will be surprised that the drawing style changed from that of the Prologue or Best Challenge. As I already mentioned, the drawing style didn't change that much. The sketches are the same as before. But the difference now is in the art software and the image resolution.
The Prologue and Best Challenge were done in Photoshop, which does a beautiful job, but it's mainly used for editing photos, not painting. It also lags when I work on a large image and the file size is huge. So I switched to PaintTool SAI beginning with Episode 1. The coloring and brushstrokes look a little different, but the software is designed for painting, so it feels lighter and faster compared to Photoshop. So far, so good. Hehe
As for the resolution necessary for print publication (still just a dream), to print an image at size B5, it must be drawn more than 2000 pixels wide. But sometimes I think my dream is really too big. Maybe I shouldn't even be contemplating such things and just draw it at a size suitable for a webtoon. I consider things that may or may not happen and take more time to get everything done, for reals... Hehehehehe
■ Ah, and my drawn lines and colors haven't varied much in the first three episodes. This is because I'm still not used to PaintTool SAI yet. I click on this or that feature trying to find new drawing functions... and I'm amazed at the things I find... It's fun and satisfying to play around with the software and discover new things... like discovering a new wilderness! (laughing sticker) More than anything, when I see all these online tutorials, I worry that the styles of other artists will influence my own, so I try to avoid them.
■ Happy Chinese New Year, everyone!!
I am probably going to sympathize a lot with the last scene from the The Sound of Your Heart webtoon, Episode #390. A Simple Holiday Webtoon, released February 12, 2010 (on Naver), and spend my New Year's like that. I was really sad when I read it and cried and gave it a 5-star rating. He draws not only funny webtoons but sad ones like this as well... The artist, Cho Seok, is really a genius. (There is an English translation of this webtoon on Webtoons.)
- The photo frame at the beginning of the episode shows Leez's parents in 10.10.D995. Rao Leez won the Fighters Tournament that year, and offered his medal to his girlfriend Anna Haias as a birthday present. Currygom's blog further indicates that the two were never officially married.
- The book is actually an autobiography of how Rao won the above-mentioned Fighters Tournament. It is not about the Cataclysm.
- The bottom of this book reads '-bloom Fighters Guild'. The first word is Kalibloom cut off, implying that Rao Leez used to be part of the Kalibloom Fighters Guild, which according to Currygom's blog is the best fighters guild on Willarv. In Season 2, several fighters—Zard Blaine, Clari Utas, and Parr Hael—show that they know him, and Teo Rakan also knows all of his close relatives, further supporting the claim.
- Kalibloom is located on the furthest point from Atera on planet Willarv. This may be a coincidence, but Anna may have been trying to hide her daughter by living as far away from people familiar with them as possible. In particular, Ran Sairofe, who knew Rao as well, apparently thought that his child did not survive.
- Rao Leez is absent from this episode because he left planet Willarv for planet Carte right before the Cataclysm, when Anna was still pregnant. He was sighted on the last transport ship from Carte to Willarv in N5, but he was not on it when the transport arrived, and is presumed to be dead.
- The calendar on Kubera's nightstand shows 36 days in a month, which is the length of a month in her world. It also shows the current year (N15) and month (10). See also: Calendar
- Said calendar hints at the fact that both Leez and her mother have triple-Kubera attributes (confirmed in Anna's case in the blog), since they are at least double-Kubera. Rao Leez's birthday is not shown on the calendar.
- Kaz mentions that Leez needs to go to school after leaving the village. We later learn that Leez wanted to go to school like Kaz, but the villagers prevented her since she is not allowed to tell others her real name. Throughout the series, we see Leez thinking of this a few more times.
- When Kubera punches her friend Kaz, he receives what could have been a fatal blow if he were any other human. Kaz's birth attributes (triple-Nil) possibly give him some protection from attacks. Leez is aware that Kaz is an exception; after punching Agni because he reminds him of Kaz, she immediately becomes worried since her punches can kill.
- By lucky coincidence, Kaz and Haas leave the village for Atera to find a new present for Leez. Or is it a coincidence? Kaz has two more lucky breaks later in the series, one of which even his brother finds suspicious.
- We later learn that the woman in purple who passes by in the background of one scene is a magician named Asha.
- The blue man is Gandharva, a nastika (one of the original beings of the universe) and the king of the Gandharva clan of aquatic creatures.
- ↑ Currygom's blog, Season 2 Episode 11: Blood (6)
- ↑ Currygom's blog, Supporting characters: Anna Haias / Rao Leez
- ↑ Kubera, Season 2 Episode 38: The Test of the Sword (5)
- ↑ Kubera, Season 2 Episode 40: The Test of the Sword (7)
- ↑ Kubera, Season 2 Episode 30: Reflection (4)
- ↑ Kubera, Season 1 Episode 32: The Golden Knight (6)
- ↑ Kubera, Season 1 Episode 93: Lies for You (5)
- ↑ Kubera, Season 2 Episode 11: Blood (6)
- ↑ Kubera, Season 1 Episode 41: The Past I Yearn For (6)
- ↑ Kubera, Season 2 Episode 7: Blood (2)
- ↑ Kubera, Season 2 Episode 26: Caution (6)
- ↑ Kubera, Season 1 Episode 9: The Queen and the Bum (4)
- ↑ Kubera, Season 1 Episode 66: The Night it Rained Fire (3)
- ↑ Kubera, Season 1 Episode 72: The Night it Rained Fire (9)
- ↑ Kubera, Season 1 Episode 4: A Girl with a God's Name (4)