Final punch

Kasper is a very caring person. Befriend him and he’ll take care of you in every way, managing your love-life included. For better or worse ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Welcome in 2018! I hope you guys will stay with me this year and that many others will come! I’m super grateful for all the support this comic receives, it’s really pushing me forward. So far, I’m proud to say that I haven’t missed a single update and that diligence is fueled by your enthusiasm! So thank you! Replay couldn’t have had better audience (°◡°♡)

I didn’t make any summary for 2017 hah, that was a weird year for me. I moved to Japan, found a job there, got engaged, boy, so much has happened… There’s still a lot I want to accomplish but I feel quite satisfied with this year. And I gotta tell you, this doesn’t happen often. Usually, I’m just super upset with myself around the New Years. I suppose I can forgive myself this time around, I really did a lot this year. I hope you guys feel similarly satisfied!

And now I’m excited about this brand new year… Patreon patrons can already see the first page of the next scene and it’s a very important one. I’ve been sketching it out during weekends for two months now, planning everything, changing, rewriting, yes, it’s just so important. I hope you’ll enjoy. And that you’ll come to love this comic even more (ღ˘⌣˘ღ)

Well, have a new page and go cure your hangover! See you guys next week! No note about Japan this time around because I’m too lazy. And hey, feel free to ask me questions about living in Japan if you have any, I’ll try to answer! For the most pressing one: yes, there are no fireworks at midnight in Japan. Fireworks are a summer thing!

75 comments on “Final punch”

    • JW Reply

      Oh, we wish.

      Though I also kind of hope she pours that cement on him and then stoically starts mixing another batch.

      • antrik Reply

        You really think he deserves it? Or you just like to see people suffer?… 😉

        Is it likely to happen, though? I doubt she meant it as an actual threat in the first place — that wouldn’t even make sense. (It’s not like he is going to unsay the things that angered her…) I’m pretty sure it was just a fancy way of saying, “you are not my friend right now!”… So if she decided to go through now, I think it would amount to: “Oh, you think I’m not serious? Well, true, I wasn’t… But how dare you brush of my non-serious threat?! Now I have to prove it to you!” [BLOSH]

        I’m sure *some* people might react like that… But is Sofia one of them? 🙂

        (Also, frankly, I would hope that she is at least mature enough to understand that, no matter her current sentiments, pouring cement over someone’s face is not really a laughing matter…)

        Am I over-analysing this perhaps?… 😉

        • JW Reply

          You really think he deserves it? Or you just like to see people suffer?…

          Mostly I just think it would be funny. Though I do think he deserves it a little bit for daring her to do it (not for anything else). I mean, it’s quite literally asking for it, ain’t it?
          I don’t think he’d suffer terribly for it, though having to make another batch of cement might cause some suffering for Sofia; but then, if she dumps the cement on Kasper, she deserves to suffer that extra work.

          pouring cement over someone’s face is not really a laughing matter…

          Hmm. Is it dangerous? I wasn’t really considering that. I was kind of looking at it as pretty much a bucket of sandy mud, and it’s not like it’ll set on his face an suffocate him the moment she pours it on him. But reconsidering, it is a chemically active substance, so I’m not sure what adverse effects it might have on a person.
          I guess it’s better to just use it for what it’s meant.

          • antrik

            Well, I’m too lazy to research it — but I think that even if it turns out not to dangerous chemically at all, getting the stuff in the eyes or respiratory tract could be rather bad on purely mechanical grounds… Also, just getting it washed off in these conditions wouldn’t exactly be funny I imagine. Plus, Sofia most likely doesn’t know the actual danger level either, so she’d better be careful…

            (On the other hand, if it was seriously dangerous, I guess Kasper wouldn’t be quite as cocky about it? Unless he is very confident in his judgement of Sofia’s character, and/or his ability to dodge… The latter in fact seems very likely. A bucket of cement has considerable inertia after all, and a competent soldier should be able to dodge such an attack easily I’d say 🙂 )

          • NotImportant

            Quick research: “he hazards of wet cement are due to its caustic, abrasive, and drying properties.

            Wet concrete contacting the skin for a short period and then thoroughly washed off causes little irritation. But continuous contact between skin and wet concrete allows alkaline compounds to penetrate and burn the skin.

            When wet concrete or mortar is trapped against the skin—for instance, by falling inside a worker’s boots or gloves or by soaking through protective clothing—the result may be first, second, or third degree burns or skin ulcers. These injuries can take several months to heal and may involve hospitalization and skin grafts.”

            Other than this, dry cement is more dangerous as it can get into your eyes and it’s easy to inhale it.

          • JW

            Well, sounds like it’s not a good idea to dump cement on someone.

          • Speedy

            I’m missing part of a fingerprints has a smooth area in it, where 30 years ago wet concrete soaked through my glove and got into a small scrape on my finger, and chemically burned the part of the skin where the ridges are formed.

            Also, don’t wipe your face with the back of your arm, if you’ve been working with concrete. Your arm might look clean, but even a tiny trace of concrete can feel like lava, if it gets in your eye.

            (Where is Soticoto’s usual comment about naked faces? Sofia and Kasper should both be wearing eye protection!)

    • antrik Reply

      That makes me wonder: does this ever actually happen in real life, that two people realise mid-argument they are in fact into each other? Or is that firmly in the realm of fairly tales?… I seriously have no idea.

      • JW Reply

        I think it could happen in real life. It certainly happens one-sidedly (considering I have once or twice while arguing with a girl realized I found her really attractive). Naively I’d say that chance of it being two-sided is the square of the probability it’s one-sided, but there’s also a good chance the probabilities aren’t equal for men and women (for example speed-dating shows that men are much less picky).
        Of course to end up kissing they also need to realize it’s two-sided (or have the guts to test the waters regardless), so if it happens it’s bound to be exceedingly rare.

        • antrik Reply

          I think it’s a little more complicated than that. Assuming mutual attraction in the first place, I think the probability of mutual discovery mid-argument is actually larger than the product of the individual probabilities. (Since once either of them discovers it, it would change their demeanour in a way that would likely affect the other side’s perception too…)

          The other important factor to consider is the probability of mutual attraction. Beyond the asymmetry you brought up, there is also the question of correlation. While attraction has many aspects that are probably not correlated at all, there is also the rather important aspect of literal chemistry, which should have quite a strong correlation in my understanding…

          In short: while there might be nothing romantic in statistics, there is certainly a lot of statistics in romance 😉

  1. antrik Reply

    LOL… So Kasper is an Robert x Ada shipper too!

    … Maybe he is reading too many sappy novels? 😛

    Well then, Kasper, welcome to our circle! Here’s a hanky; take a seat — we have enough room for everyone 😉

    • Klorix Camp dweller Reply

      Luckily, the Internet is kind of similar to the Room or Requirement, there’s always enough space, seats, handkerchiefs and popcorn for erveryone 🙂

    • antrik Reply

      This opens quite a new angle on though: why was Kasper prolonging the hug there, in spite of Robert’s obvious jealousy? Jealously is not an attractive trait; so if he wanted to see them together, why was he provoking it?… Was he trying to force Robert to properly stake a claim? Was he just testing Robert’s reaction, because he was not sure yet about his true stance towards her?…

      • JW Reply

        I don’t think Kasper was prolonging the hug there. Ada was sniffing up his minty freshness, and I think that prolonged the hug.

        • antrik Reply

          Doesn’t look that way to me…

          For one, the way I read the speech bubbles, Robert started fuming even before Ada mentioned the mintiness?

          More importantly though, Kasper had his arms around her, and not the other way around. It was up to him to let go at any time; while she kinda would have had to actively pull herself free…

          I imagine her thoughts went something like: “Well, I’m kinda stuck this way. Now what? It’s kinda awkward… Huh, is that mint? Weird… Well, while I’m stuck, I may just as well ask about that — any distraction is good I guess…”

          • JW

            The way it looks to me is that he’s only really hugging her in the third panel (as in arms around her and pulling her to him). In the fourth panel he’s only holding his hand lightly on her backpack because she hasn’t disengaged., but she could step back any time without impediment.

            As for Robert, he’s just jealous they’re hugging at all and any second of apparent hugging is a second too much.

  2. antrik Reply

    On a slightly more serious note, I think Kasper is probably wrong. Since the ship is clearly stuck, anything that makes some waves can only help to get things moving between them I’d say?…

    But then again, if his understanding of relationships is based on sappy novels, we probably shouldn’t hope for much deep insight from him 😛

    I like his retort to the bucket threat, though.

    • JW Reply

      Since the ship is clearly stuck, anything that makes some waves can only help to get things moving between them I’d say?…

      Or it could sink the ship and kill everyone on board.

      • antrik Reply

        There is a mantra about failing fast… 😉

        If some small waves are going to break it apart, they frankly, it was a hopeless case anyway. Better to get it over with than prolonging the starvation…

  3. Tzaphqiel Reply

    I like how Kasper doesn’t even care if he gets covered in cement. A nice call on any bluff Sophia might be making.
    Also, Happy New Year, and thank you again for all of your hard work on this comic.

  4. Mionikoi Camp dweller Reply

    Happy New Years! …. Yeah… They kinda need the bucket and contents of it.

  5. Refugnic Reply

    Happy new year to all of you.

    May it be better than the last. 😛

    Alright, new page, arriving on time…NI, you should consider working for the ‘Deutsche Bahn’ company, they REALLY need some advice on how to be reliable and punctual. 😀

    And you make it easy for us to be enthusiastic about your story, though I do know the feeling all too well.
    During my prime (and…I feel old and partially obsolete again :D), I got myself swept along with a similar wave, albeit much smaller in dimensions and it really helped me finish the story in just a fraction of the time it would usually take…cause you know, people were actually looking forward as to what might happen next and stuff.

    A shame that this never happened again…ah well, can’t win if I don’t keep trying, am I right?

    Alright, enough wallowing in self-pity, back to the page.

    Heh…Kasper’s right on quite a number of accounts, but also dead wrong in some others.
    For one, what does he mean by ‘better off with Ada’?
    Does he have some insightful background information about Rob and Ada we have yet to learn?

    As far as I can know, he only knows that they have magical swords that can kill demons, that Ada is a witch of some sort and that Rob is sort of trying to get with Ada, but she’s (sort off) blocking him off for reasons unknown.

    The swords could be confiscated if push comes to shove, his own sister has the gift as well, so those two have lost much of their importance to the camp (which is and should be his primary concern), meaning that he could care less about Rob’s happiness.

    Ada on the other hand could easily become a threat to the camp and jealousy has driven quite a number of good people to do terrible things…as long as the witch is happy (or at least content), everyone else can be happy too.
    Screw the happiness of a few individuals, it’s all about the greater good. 😀
    That may be his line of thinking.

    I liked the exchange of Sofia and Kasper, albeit I didn’t think Sofia had it in her…you know, being all timid and stuff.
    Sure seems like Kasper struck a nerve or two there…and I return to the question, “Just who are you really, Sofia?”

    But then again, we all have our layers of self…it all depends on the buttons being pushed, which layer gets surfaced.

    • JW Reply

      For one, what does he mean by ‘better off with Ada’?

      At the very least Ada can, and has protected his life. I haven’t detected any skill or ability in Sofia aside from mixing cement 😛
      Of course the question is more who he’s better off romantically; in which case it’s whatever option is least likely to piss off the person most likely to safe his life. Maybe not pursuing any relationship is the best option for now.

      [..] he only knows that they have magical swords that can kill demons, that Ada is a witch [..]
      The swords could be confiscated if push comes to shove, his own sister has the gift as well, so those two have lost much of their importance to the camp [..]

      I wouldn’t say that having a backup witch makes having the other one any less important. You run a lot less risk of suddenly being defenseless if you have someone that can take over in case accident strikes, or disease.
      We also don’t know yet if other people could wield those magic swords, nor if anyone else has any ability or willingness. (The visions/flashbacks suggest Ada and Robert having been sparring/training for a while and probably have some skill that a first-time sword-waver doesn’t. Sure, in theory “stick the pointy bit in the enemy” sounds simple enough, but doing so without cutting your own limbs off is harder than it sounds.)

      Ada on the other hand could easily become a threat to the camp

      So can anyone, though. Anyone with an axe to grind can put some poison mushrooms in someone’s (or everyone’s) soup. Or stab them in their sleep. Or destroy the barrier.
      Admittedly Ada would have a better chance of surviving such short-sighted actions afterwards.

  6. Sir Bismarck Reply

    Did we just start a Team Ada and Team Sofia? because in that case I’m on team Kasper! Because Robert and Kasper would be a epic match! all kidding asides I want the Author to decide what they think it should be. instead of listening to peer preasure

    • Klorix Camp dweller Reply

      Well, based on the cover page, there might even be a Team Julia at some point…

    • NotImportant Reply

      No worries, I shall not be swayed! But I do enjoy the exchanges so please continue 😀

    • antrik Reply

      What about the nameless punk girl? She was into him too! Is no one shipping the punk girl?

      • Klorix Camp dweller Reply

        Kinda forgot about her. But she and he pals were mean to Ada, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        • antrik Reply

          Indeed she was no saint… But on the other hand, how many people can truthfully say that they never ever tried to assert power that way? Especially if you consider that they were seeing themselves as a bunch of rebellious kids standing up to authority…

          Also, she *did* apologise.

          (Though admittedly that was under the influence of her crush on Robert; so we don’t know how honest she was about it…)

          Everything considered, I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, for now.

  7. Klorix Camp dweller Reply

    Happy new year to you too, NotImortant! Here’s to another successful year in your life and the Replay comic.

  8. bitflipper Camp dweller Reply

    Before you get too eager to dump that bucket, Sofia, think on this: Kasper seems to have no-one making a claim on him, and he’s a soldier who’s good enough to have survived these demon attacks, which makes him high-status among the survivors, and probably a little smarter than Robert who is hung up on a tsundere friend he can’t convince to firmly stake her claim. You might not like what Kasper’s saying at this moment, but, calm down a bit and look again; he might actually be a little more attractive, in a calmer light. He obviously cares something for your happiness, or he wouldn’t be offering unwanted love advice.

    (Hey, I can jump on the Kasper x Sofia ship if I want to; anything to amuse our charming story-teller. ;-p )

    • JW Reply

      I think if we consider the laws of romantic comedy, dumping that bucket on him now gives the best chance they’ll end up together.

      • bitflipper Camp dweller Reply

        Yep. If nothing else, it will stick them to each other, resulting in much rom-com hilarity!

        • antrik Reply

          I remember that movie!

          (Though I don’t remember the title.)

          PS. Is it wrong to use an Americanism like “movie” while sticking with British spelling?…

      • bitflipper Camp dweller Reply

        Frankly, I’ve read so much literature from British, Canadian, and Australian authors, and the like, that I don’t even notice the spelling, anymore. I think I’ve developed a slightly French view — we’re all Anglophones, and very few of us speak any civilized languages. ;-p

        Besides, at least you didn’t call it a “flick”, right?

    • antrik Reply

      Well, there is also the matter of chemistry… And compatibility.

      But yeah, that ship totally has my approval 🙂

      If Kasper is actually as confident as he seems to be, he *might* just be strong enough to deal with her insecurity…

    • antrik Reply

      Also, I’m in total agreement about Alpha Wolf Kasper looking like a good catch right now. More so than the other male protagonists I’d say.

      (Well, Stefen has his own charm as an independent I’m sure… If he wasn’t a bitter old man 😉 )

  9. Zenanii Reply

    Happy new year to you as well!

    Wait, you disn’t miss a single update the entire 2017? That is seeiously impressive, and slightly worrisome. You’re aware we’ll forgive you for a few missed updates when life gets in the way, right? 😛

    While I agree with Kasper that Ada is a better partner for Robert, I think Sophie is needed to make Ada stop taking Robert for granted and actually make a move. (Although I question how smart it is to try and steal away the guy from the camps only official Witch. If she gets too bold Sophie might wake up turned into a frog 😛 (or getting eaten by deamons ._.’l

    • antrik Reply

      Waking up as a frog would certainly be devastating for Sofia… None of her pretty clothes would fit! 😉

      This makes me wonder, what exactly makes Ada a good partner for Robert? What we have seen so far certainly makes is look like they kinda just belong together — but why is that really? And does it make for a good romantic match?…

      • JW Reply

        Waking up as a frog would certainly be devastating for Sofia… None of her pretty clothes would fit!

        On the bright side, maybe prince Robert would kiss her to turn her back into a princess. 😛

        This makes me wonder, what exactly makes Ada a good partner for Robert? What we have seen so far certainly makes is look like they kinda just belong together — but why is that really?

        Well, they’ve spent years getting attuned to each other. So that certainly bodes well for spending the rest of their lives together. (Much more so than, say, falling at love at first side and breaking up angrily two or three years later.)

        And does it make for a good romantic match?…

        That’s a good question. Not in itself, they might just be best friends forever. But if they have more than just friendly feeling for each other, it could be a better romantic match than anything less tested by time.

        • JW Reply

          [..] falling at love at first side [..]

          Good grief, the only way I could have misspelled that worse if I had went with “failing”. I of course meant “falling in love at first sight“.

          They’re all failing at love at the moment 😛

        • antrik Reply

          Would she really want a charity kiss, though?… 😉

          Good point about attuning — that’s certainly a very important part of a healthy relationship. Though I wonder how well compatibility on a platonic level translates into a more intimate one?… It brings up new situations to deal with; and even for the known ones, changed expectations might make them more problematic I think…

      • antrik Reply

        Don’t worry: the second error distracted me enough to not notice the first 😉

        The fact you wrote “at” probably indicates you were actually thinking of “failing” subconsciously?.. 😉

        • antrik Reply

          Hm… Comment ordering seems kinda weird, even when consistently using reply magic…

    • NotImportant Reply

      I didn’t miss a single update since that comic started (I’m so proud) :3 I know you guys would forgive me but I’m not working hard in fear here, I’m drawing cause I like this story and I want to push it forward as much as possible!

      As for Sofia… Oh you’ll see hahaha~

  10. Rateus Camp dweller Reply

    “If she’d wanted to be with Robert she’d have told him years ago” Thus speaks a lovely naive girl who hasn’t yet know the crippling difficultly of wanting to tell someone you love them, but being scared they don’t love you back and that in telling them you love them you make things too awkward to continue the platonic friendship you currently enjoy.

    Kasper’s advice is for your own good Sofia.

    • bitflipper Camp dweller Reply

      True, but, faint heart, fair maiden,… You know how it goes. Robert can either swallow down some of his fear and at least try letting Ada know how he feels, or get comfortable in the friend zone; she sure as heck isn’t going to try rocking the boat, after all.

      • antrik Reply

        So you think this is on Robert? It’s true that the “advances” we have seen him make were all goofy; so it *is* possible she thinks that he is not actually serious about her… But we don’t know the whole story. It seems just as likely that he is laughing it off only because she doesn’t seem to return his interest in the first place…

        Of course both could be true at the same time — thus filling the good old mutual misunderstanding cliche 😉

      • Rateus Camp dweller Reply

        It’s worked for me terribly once and successfully once, and since we’ve been together nearly half my life at this point I’d say it was a risk well taken in the end 🙂

    • antrik Reply

      Actually, I think Laura may never know this difficulty. I believe it’s only a serious problem with insecure people — and unlike Ada or Sofia, Laura doesn’t exactly seem prone to that…

        • antrik Reply

          I’d say a “crushing defeat” is only really an issue for someone who was already somewhat insecure in the first place…

          • JW

            I think it’s more an issue for someone that has never really experienced failure. It’s easy to be confident when you’ve never truly failed.
            I suppose what it mostly comes down to, is where the confidence comes from. Maybe as simple as whether it comes form experience or the lack thereof.

          • antrik

            Well, in these discussions, we are kinda conflating “secure” with “confident”… But in this case it might be necessary to make the distinction.

            Insecure people can gain some temporary confidence from success in relationships (and loose it on failure) — but they remain essentially insecure, and tend to act needy, since they depend on constant affirmation through others for their own happiness.

            Really secure people on the other hand take responsibility for their own happiness. Their confidence is considerably less affected by success or failure.

            Of course we can’t really say at this point whether Laura indeed falls into this category — but at least it seems plausible so far 🙂

  11. antrik Reply

    Soo… You think Kasper really just wants Sofia for himself, and knows it, but is too chicken to say so directly? He doesn’t seem the type… But then again, people can be kinda incongruent I guess 😉

    • antrik Reply

      Gah, reply fail 🙁

      Now I’m wondering whether I really failed to hit the right button; or it’s actually some sort of bug… I think it’s the first time it happened to me — but others have been in this situation quite often from what I’ve seen?

      • NotImportant Reply

        It’s actually veeery rare but who knows. I’ll keep an eye out for it.

  12. Timothy Bateson Reply

    I found this comic earlier today (well my time), and have just binge-read the ENTIRE archive… Quite easily one of the best webcomics I’ve come across in a long time. And the difference in the artwork from the early days to today is amazing… I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

  13. SotiCoto Reply

    Oh. This is currently the end of the story.

    Well I guess that means I made it through everything that has been written so far.

    … Still missing Renate. Bring the meganekko back from the dead, k? =3

    And maybe Sofia would have better luck if she adopted her University look. =D (Hint hint hint)

    Anyhows… off to find another archive I haven’t checked in a while.

  14. Browser Reply

    Gahhh! How many of you comic authors decided to update on New Year’s Day? I swear, I keep finding updates! I’m tempted to just go through the entire list now….

  15. Adriano Reply

    I stand with Kasper here.
    Sofia has nothing to do with Robert.
    Those are affairs between Robert and Ada. She’s needless and can take her idealized love elsewhere, thankyouverymuch, hmpf!

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