The Mercenary Enrollment manhwa centers on Yu Ijin (Other Name: Teenage Mercenary, Ipak Yongbyeong). The plot kicks off when Ijin, a young mercenary and plane accident survivor, is finally able to see his loved ones again after being apart for ten years. Despite his best efforts, he is unable to protect the family he has not seen in years and continue his life as a typical high school student. Krav Maga is a military self-defense and fighting method established for the Israel Defense Forces, and he has demonstrated an ability to apply it.
This manhwa touches on some important and tragic topics, such as the usage of child soldiers and the plight of those who have lost a parent due to war. Issues of child maltreatment and the loss of childhood as a result of war are highlighted (see chapter 29 when Ijin is deeply thinking about being “wronged” by being made to fight for 10 years). Good examples of “STRONG should protect the WEAK” are provided by Ijin’s efforts to shield his sisters and friends from bullies, Cha Dusik’s defence of 032 from rival mercenaries, and so on. Ijin needs to defend and battle for Yu Dayun and Shin Yuna, and subsequently Shin Jihie and even Cha Seoha; this is a universal theme in the manhwa.
Mercenary Enrollment Appearance
Yu Ijin is a tall teenager with silver hair. Despite his slight frame, he is just as strong as members of the Special Military Force. In terms of the established fighting techniques, he is currently superior to everyone else. He used to be a mercenary, back when olive fatigues and a shemagh were standard issue. He is typically seen in school uniform, casual clothes, and a suit (after becoming a bodyguard trainee). His face loses all emotion when he’s angry, but his irises turn a fiery red and he’s surrounded by a chilling blue glow. One of Ijin’s most striking qualities is the intensity of his eyes. Ijin’s eyes are always closed or hidden from view if he is truly happy, serene, or worried.
Mercenary Enrollment Personality
After years of training as a mercenary, Ijin has learned to remain calm and collected under pressure. He thinks things through and acts swiftly. Although Ijin occasionally has nightmares about the plane disaster that left him an orphan, he does not suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. After reuniting with and spending time with his family, he begins to understand the meaning of love and affection and to place them above all else. Ijin is able to make friends once he enrolls in high school, and he often joins them to play Legends of League (a multiplayer online battle arena) at the local internet cafe. It’s common knowledge that he stinks at video games but has an unusual talent for real fights.
He has only shown extreme emotional distress from nightmares on two occasions, both of which show that he suppresses his memories but that his dreams are tormented at times: (1) when he remembers the plane crash he experienced with his parents when he was 9 years old, and (2) when he was ordered to kill a mother and young girl while working as a mercenary (it is not known if he actually did kill these innocent people)
He is the type who listens more than he speaks. When battling, he rarely expresses any emotion, and he spends a lot of time just listening and thinking (speech balloon with lots of dots are shown numerous times in every chapter)
Most notably, when Shin Yuna and Yu Dayun were abducted, Ijin made it clear on at least three separate occasions that he wasn’t seeking to rescue Yuna but only Yu Dayun, his own sister. Ijin comes to terms with the fact that he will not be able to enjoy the LUXURY of romantic love until he knows for sure that his grandfather and Yu Dayun are both secure. Possibly this is why he has always tried to keep a safe distance from Shin Yuna. This is why Ijin probably did fight to save both Shin Yuna and Yu Dayun, despite his desire to avoid making Shin Yuna too attached to him in the process. However, the most recent chapters hint at the possibility of a budding romance between the two characters.
Therefore, Ijin is typically portrayed in an IDEAL style, although there are instances where he is shown more realistically, complete with flaws. To Shin Yuna and Koh Sukjoo, two of his students in the first chapters, he acts almost like a distant friend (even though they had apologized for suspecting him to be an imposter posing as Yu Dayun’s brother). The only time he seems to get in touch with Sukjoo is when he wants help tracking down persons on public CCTV cameras. It’s worth noting that Ijin never fully praised Sukjoo for risking a knife attack to save Yu Dayun.
To the point that he was impolite and blunt to Shin Yuna when she ordered Koh Sukjoo to investigate his past and nearly wrecked his connection with sister Yu Dayun, Ijin is fiercely protective of his privacy and the privacy of his family and school life. Like how he’s keeping a safe distance from shin Yuna (the prettiest girl in school and daughter of a very wealthy family) after she almost destroyed his family life through rash behavior in chapters 15 and 16, Ijin is likely to take extreme measures to protect his family life and privacy from anyone else, including potential romantic interests.
He is secretive, and as a result, his answers to questions are brief and succinct. He also avoids formal dinner invites with people he may feel obligated to repay, instead to dine at PC Bangs, convenience stores, or at home with friends and family. It’s interesting that ijin’s sister and grandfather rarely if ever desire to know about his past lives, despite the fact that many others do (probably due to witnessing his fighting skills).
Despite his physical prowess, he has no interest in becoming a school “bully” or “boss,” preferring, instead, to fit in quietly. When it comes to her emotional wounds, Ijin does what most intelligent people do and keeps them hidden. At a young age, he has likely been abandoned, manipulated, trapped, or dominated by those in positions of power or riches. During his mercenary career, he may have rescued a large number of people, but Lt. Hamchan is the only one who has ever rescued him and helped him get back to his own family. Ijin’s feelings of having been “wronged” are strongly conveyed by his thoughts at the end of Chapter 29. Ijin saves Shin Jihie, a woman, from certain death in Chapter 44, but she is unenthusiastic in her gratitude. The panel depicts Ijin’s slight but palpable irritation.
Interestingly, the military is portrayed more favourably in the manga than politicians like Senator Kim and wealthy businesses. The gang leaders are portrayed negatively as well, with the exception of one character named Cha Dusik who is “kind of” friends with Ijin. However, Ijin kept Cha Dusik at arm’s length (until very recently), despite the fact that Ijin had to borrow Cha’s motorcycle on multiple occasions, such as when he rescued his sister Yu Dayun in chapter 17 and when he fought another mercenary, 006.
For this reason, he avoided Cha Dusik, as Cha Doosik had previously been on good terms with Senator Kim. When first introduced to Shin Yuna, Shin Jihie, and even Shin’s grandfather, Ijin appears to be quite wary and suspicious of them all. When he learns that Shin Yuna’s father met him back in their mercenary days and was a good guy who treated him like a son, he had a complete turnaround of heart. At first, Ijin’s distance continues even after he begins working as a bodyguard for Shin Jihie on the side.
Ijin’s casual attitude as he offered me food despite the fact that his younger, more impressionable, and reckless mercenary buddy 032 (17 years old, making him 2 years younger than Ijin) was bleeding out from gunshot wounds left me feeling uneasy. On the other hand, “since he did not wish to live with regret of not having assisted,” he risks his life to save Lieutenant Hamchan. When news of Ijin’s death spread, it actually depressed 032. Later, though, Ijin went out of his way to save 032, proving that he cares about others deeply enough to risk his own life to save them.
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