Summary: Suihira: City of Water is the story of Wahida, one of the princesses of Iona, a town located in the midst of a barren desert. As a child, Wahida’s sister, Hadima, told her the story of Akia, the goddess of water, and of the holy war between Akia and Ignis that left their world the way that it is. She also tells her of a mystical land called Suihira, where Akia dwells and there is more than enough water for everyone. Over time, however, Wahida learns that she is Akia’s only true disciple. Many resent the goddess of water, believing she has abandoned them. A different history has been accepted as truth and the masses look to Ignis for salvation.
Story: When I initially checked out the website for Suihira, I assumed it was going to be just like Avatar: The Last Airbender. The logos were stylized similarly. The level of technology presented seemed to be about the same. While this assessment was a snap judgement, and should be taken lightly, there are some obvious similarities. The four elements seem to be key to what is happening in the story, for instance. But Suihira quickly showed itself to be a very different beast in its storytelling (though there would have been nothing wrong with this being similar to, or even set in the Avatar world). The pacing in this story is a touch slow, but it really stresses how long Wahida has been faithfully waiting, holding onto her faith without even a sign. There’s a nice build of tension. Betrayal leads to desperation for Wahida that leads to a sense of futility for the reader. The antagonists thus far in the story, primarily Wahida’s parents, are a touch one-dimensional, but it is easy to see that they aren’t evil, just stern and misguided. Wahida herself is very easy to empathize with without being flawless. Overall, it’s a great job thus far.
Art: While the story in Suihira is nothing to scoff at, the art is where it truly shines. I am a bit of a snob when it comes to comic art. I will just come right out and make that known. However webcomics, by nature of what they are (free) and how they are made (usually free), get a bit of a break in my books. These are not large budget projects managed by top publishers. They are earnest attempts by independent creators who just want to share a story. That is what I want to be understood when I say that, for a webcomic, the art in Suihira is very good. The characters have a unique style, and while, anatomically, the art isn’t the most technical, it had a youthful, Disney-esque quality to me. The pages are laid out well and flow solidly from one to another. The coloring is the most noteworthy part of the art, though; the factor that really pushes it ahead.
Conclusion: Suihira seems to update regularly, has a nice and user-friendly website, an intriguing story, lovely art, and a well-formed protagonist. I would definitely recommend this comic to my friends and I look forward to reading more myself. It isn’t reinventing the wheel, by any means, but it is a solid and enjoyable read.