“Under The Oak Tree”: A Poetic And Delicate Webtoon You Need To Start Now

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Do you like stories of dragons, knights and princesses? “Under the Oak Tree” is definitely a webtoon for you! Being published from 2020, we follow the daily life of Maximilian, the daughter of a duke who married a knight of low renown at her father’s coercion. The day after their wedding, her new husband, Riftan, goes to war and does not return until three years later. We then follow the daily life of the young couple, as they get to know each other.

Before being a poetic love story, it is a story of personal acceptance and reconstruction. To date, fifty chapters have been released. Read our return here, and discover some images of Kim SooJi‘s webtoon which is causing a stir in Korea. Spoiler alert!

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“Under the Oak Tree” begins with the wedding of Maximilian and Riftan, who meet for the first time on this occasion. Very quickly, the webtoon plunges us into a colorful and whimsical universe, where the contrast of colors and personalities allows us to quickly become attached to them. Maximilian is presented as a frail young woman, fearful of the world she knows too little about because of a severe father who despises her. After spending the wedding night together, Riftan leaves in the early morning without warning, at war, to face a terrible dragon in the service of the king. Maximilian is then distraught, and has no idea when her husband will return.

Three years pass before Riftan returns. These three years, the young woman has spent them in fear and under the blows of her father who reminds her at every moment that she is a shame for the family, and that she should have died like her mother. Indeed, even if the reason for this hatred is not explicitly mentioned in these chapters, clues can make us think that the Duke hates his daughter because she is not a boy, as the eldest of the family.

"Under The Oak Tree": A Poetic And Delicate Webtoon You Need To Start Now

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When Riftan returns to the country, he is acclaimed by all, and is now the most powerful knight of the kingdom after defeating the terrible red dragon Sect. He is rich, influential, and such a handsome man that the king offers him the hand of his daughter, Princess Agnes. Maximilian is therefore convinced that a divorce awaits her, and that she will remain a prisoner in her father’s castle forever. When she sees Riftan for the first time in three years, she is therefore very surprised when he throws himself on her and kisses her, expressing his joy to see her again. Without wasting a moment, Maximilian’s luggage is closed, and there she is on her way to Riftan’s home in the city of Anatol.

The sweet young woman is troubled, and does not understand this behavior. It’s true, after all, she doesn’t know anything about the hulking, fierce-looking man she married. Besides, why doesn’t he speak in her presence, does she find her unpleasant, annoying, or even ugly? These are the kinds of thoughts that invade Maximilian’s mind, which trembles every time Riftan looks at her. To make matters worse, the proud knight reproaches her staying with her father during the war, and for not having gone to Anatol as Mrs. Calypse, wife of the great knight Riftan.

The magical universe of the webtoon is underlined by the presence of wizards, goblins, trolls, werewolves and other creatures endangering Maximilian’s life and forcing Riftan to go on regular expeditions. It may therefore seem difficult for the young couple to get to know each other, but let Maximilian be reassured: Riftan assures him that he does not want to divorce her and that on the contrary, he is everything she wants. Like a flower – a symbol that regularly surround her over the pages – the frail young woman will bloom and feel her wings grow in this new castle, alongside a not so austere husband. Riftan is gentle, caring, considerate, and he desires Maximilian with all his being and is not shy about showing it to him.

Gradually, Maximilian lowers her guard and begins to fall in love with this great knight and impose herself as the mistress of the castle of Anatol. She befriends Ruth, a magician at Riftan’s service and also a close friend who has his full confidence. Both of them try their best to keep Anatol safe with the help of Mana, the energy source regulating magic in the world. This Mana is made up of six elements: water, earth, wind, fire, light, and darkness, and Maximilian might not be insensitive to it! Would she be… special? She can’t help but remember her father’s harsh words, saying she’s just a “worthless thing”, which Riftan will eventually leave.

"Under The Oak Tree": A Poetic And Delicate Webtoon You Need To Start Now

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Although the love between Riftan and Maximilian is the popular element of this webtoon, Maximilian is also a character that is easy to relate to. Motherless, rejected by her father, she learns to fight her inner demons with the support of her husband, her friend Ruth, the other knights and the servants who all appreciate her for her kindness and the love that Riftan has for her. Over the pages, we can thus see her facial expressions evolved, going from desolation, to shyness, to affirmation when she realizes that it is up to her to decide now, and no longer her father. We are almost witnessing the passage from childhood to adulthood of a young woman who must take charge of her responsibilities.

The designs of “Under the Oak Tree” are poetic, colorful, and rich in detail. Some passages, on the contrary, have a style closer to the cartoon to bring a dose of humor. Additionally, Maximilian’s fragility is heightened when standing alongside Riftan. The young man is almost two meters tall, while she barely exceeds 1m60. She is often compared to a doll for her delicate features and long red hair that Riftan is particularly fond of. The knight imposes himself like a rock, a shoulder to cry when having a hard time, and that’s what Maximilian needs. She flourishes by his side, and manages to move forward slowly in her quest for personal healing.

Riftan also changes as his relationship with Maximilian evolves. He was not afraid of danger younger and rushed headlong into each fight but is now more cautious, in order to return as quickly as possible to his beloved’s side. He covers her with gifts, puts her happiness before his own, and is constantly concerned about her well-being. Maximilian is his family, and it is thanks to her that he considers Anatol to be his “home” now. He smiles more, is teasing and never misses an opportunity to spend the night with her. He doesn’t care about the princess and the king, what Riftan wants is Maximilian, and forever.

While the other characters aren’t as exploited as Maximilian and Riftan, they’re still endearing. Ruth is a loyal ally who, although grumpy, does not hesitate to help his friends. The other knights who did not appreciate Maximilian because of her father also end up falling under the charm of the young woman, and consider her more and more like Mrs. Calypse, a lady to be respected. Every little mark of attention between the spouses is noticed by those around them, so that we have the impression of being truly immersed in the story, with them.

The webtoon is a real success in Korea. A brief exhibition even took place in the Coex shopping center in Gangnam, allowing to highlight some paintings and decorations appearing in “Under the Oak Tree”. The site publishing it, Shooteven shared a teaser and OST about it, and it is also possible to read the love story of Maximilian and Riftan in kindle. The webtoon is starting to make itself known beyond Korean borders, since more and more sites offering scans are translating it into English, and even one site dedicated to it has been created for English speakers.

Regarding its publications, they are made every 10, 20 and 30 of each month. Its author, Kim SooJihas not yet announced an end, and it is a safe bet that the webtoon will not stop anytime soon. There are still plenty of secrets to discover, especially concerning Maximilian’s past that she dares not reveal to Riftan. As part of the genre drama, fantasy and romance, it is a webtoon not to be missed, which we highly recommend!

Don’t wait any longer to go read it, and let us know what you think of it in the comments!



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