Under the Oak Tree is a Korean webtoon written by Kim Suji, illustrated by P and adapted by Namu. I actually started reading it by accident as I browsed through a Facebook advertisement. Lo and behold, I got hooked from the first chapter and while its on a break, I’ve started reading the web novels as well.
Under the Oak Tree is the story of Riftan Calypse, a former mercenary turned captain of the Rembrandt Knights, and Maximillian Croix, the abused first daughter of the ruthless Duke of Croix. The pair get married by circumstance but end up falling in love as they slowly discover the truth about each other.
From the get go, I loved the webtoon because of the great artwork and translation. Forgive me for I can only go by the translation since I can’t read a word of the original text. I was a fan of Maxi from the beginning and my heart truly broke for her, knowing how poorly she was treated by her own father. Her emotional scars were too deep and ingrained in her character after the Duke systematically stripped her of dignity and confidence that she would every find somebody who would love and cherish her. The fact that she stuttered and lacked the social skills to articulate her feelings made it more difficult for the kindhearted woman to say what is on her mind.
On the flipside, we have Riftan, who obviously sees Maxi as much more than his wife of convenience. The problem was, even though Riftan was a handsome and powerful knight, he was pretty much an oaf when it came to women.
They’re pretty much the same person on the opposite side of the spectre, both inexperienced in relationships, both insecure about the other person’s feelings but both having the same values in life. The fact that they are too afraid to communicate is one of the webtoon’s main issues, but even a blind person can see they they’re the perfect match.
Sure, there are times it gets frustrating, but at the same time, its what gets readers hooked to the series. Fans are cheering on the sidelines for Riftan and Maxi to get a clue, all while enjoying how this romance is playing out. Because of their innocence, their love seems so pure it makes readers want to cry.
Now, just because its sweet doesn’t mean its not hot. This series has a lot of sizzling scenes between Riftan and Maxi that will make readers blush and swoon at the same time. The dialogue sometimes borders on cheesy but it still works because of the characters.
Riftan and Maxi look so perfect together and the way that Riftan is so protective of Maxi and want to give her the world is just too beautiful. Maxi is slowly trying to fit into her role as the Lady of Anatol but her fears often make her unsure of her position in Riftan’s life (no matter how he shows her how much she means to him).
I love the side characters as well. Ruth is adorable and his flippant attitude is always a joy to behold. The way he does not coddle Maxi and treats her like a worthy mate for his bestie is also major plus points for the wizard. I also like how loyal the knights are to Riftan and how the Anatol staff have come to love their new mistress.
I get kind of nervous because the first season is only focused on Maxi’s life in Anatol but with hints of brewing war, politics and potential third parties, I get a feeling that the upcoming seasons will be more intense.
All in all, I loved the story of Under the Oak Tree, the art and the characters. I’m actually reading the novel on Riftan’s POV, which I discovered from the threads. I’m going to read the novel on Maxi’s perspective after I’m done. This is how good this series is. I just can’t get enough of this couple. For some reason though, I don’t want this to get adapted into a drama. I love it just the way it is already.