This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhin.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.
In the first part, I had associated lord Min to The Joker and elaborated why both characters were similar. And for that, I had used the definition of the joker, which I am quoting again:
- a special playing card that can be given any value and is used in some card games instead of any other card
- someone who likes telling funny stories or doing stupid things in order to make people laugh
- a person who has done something that annoys you https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/joker
While comparing Min’s words and behavior to the definition, I came to realize that the manhwa Painter Of The Night had another Joker. And now, the manhwaphiles have already guessed the identity of the second Joker: Nameless.
If you look carefully at his role, you’ll notice that he is indeed an entertainer. (chapter 43) So his job corresponds to the second definition. That’s why he is wearing a mask. Striking is that his mask is very similar to The American Joker:
- The thick eyebrows
- The open mouth
- Both give the impression that the face is frozen (mask versus make-up)
Furthermore, Nameless is indeed someone who annoys others, as he is a criminal. (definition 3) He commits wrongdoings for his clients who are all nobles. He is even quite famous among the aristocracy, as Min even described the commoner as ruthless, greedy and unscrupulous. But most importantly, Nameless acts exactly like a special playing card (definition 1), since his function is very similar to Black Heart’s. First, he breaks laws (trespassing, abduction, murder, hiring spies), because the joker is not supposed to follow the game rules. Secondly, the Korean jester is an extremely beneficial and harmful card to the figures in Painter Of The night. Observe, that Nameless’ interventions have a devastating and beneficial impact on Jihwa and the main couple. While the characters had to suffer due his actions, the latter helped the protagonists to realize their true feelings and face reality. Nameless noticed right away that Jihwa was not the type to order the murder of a person. He noticed the noble’s nervousness with his bad habit: biting his fingernails. (chapter 50) Therefore he chose to mislead the red-haired client, because he hoped that with time, the aristocrat would change his mind. However, in order to give Jihwa the impression that he was taken seriously, he gave a false excuse and explained that he needed some time. As you can see, exactly like Min, the commoner manipulated the instigator. Later, when the latter criticized the criminal for his inaction, the latter was the one who reminded the red-haired lord of the gravity of the crime: he intended to kill a person. The irony is that the assassin, a symbol for immorality, was actually playing the role of consciousness: (chapter 51) In my point of view, it is very important, because it shows that Nameless has a huge sense of justice and morality. He can distinguish from right and wrong, and is well aware that killing someone is in truth a terrible crime. And thanks to his intervention, he stopped Jihwa from committing a grave sin. He forced the lord to face reality, by describing in the most horrible but real way possible the things he would do to the painter, so that Jihwa would truly see the consequences of his choice. Nameless brought pain to the red-haired master, but at the end, Jihwa could finally admit his mistake and regret his actions. He was responsible for ruining his relationship with his childhood friend. What caught my attention is that Nameless’ words had such an effect on the lord that the latter even vomited. It was, as though Nameless’ words had such power that they could remove the poison from Jihwa’s heart. His words and actions worked like an antidote, which reminds us of the words used by the noble with the mole: As you can observe, Nameless embodies truth and Min lies, and Black Heart’s lies were the reason why Jihwa had been “poisoned” and deceived. Only reality could make him perceive the truth. Striking is that Nameless had already planned that Jihwa would never give the final hit order, therefore he had already envisioned to return the painter to Yoon Seungho. Min might have suggested the plan, but since Nameless executed it, he is also responsible for their misery and liberation. Consequently, the abduction made the painter realize his feelings for the main lead. The latter would have never recognized it, if he hadn’t been facing death. In front of death, social gap and social status didn’t matter any longer. What is truly important were the persons’ actions that moved the person facing his imminent end. The manhwaphiles should remember that Yoon Seungho’s smile was the last thought Baek Na-Kyum had, revealing that the lord’s smile must have touched his heart back then, giving him some hope. That’s why at the end, he screamed for Yoon Seungho’s help and the way he called the main lead showed a certain intimacy: lord Seungho. The result of the abduction on the main lead is clear. He recognized his powerlessness and recognized that he couldn’t bear the thought of being separated from Baek Na-Kyum. Furthermore, the chapter 66 displays how the main lead is no longer denying his affection for the painter in front of witnesses. Don’t forget that Yoon Seungho is carrying the artist in front of Min and his staff during the day, which contrasts so much to the incident of the broken door with Min. Back then, only Min saw it and the protagonists denied both the main lead’s love for the commoner. Simultaneously, this panel stands in opposition to the incident in chapter 45, because the lord is not naked, a sign for his obsession with sex, but he is not even hiding the identity of his lover. The abduction destroyed the relationship between the two protagonists which was only based on sex, yet simultaneously the kidnapping helped them to change the nature of their relationship, to come to a spiritual love, something the noble had been longing all this time. And this explains why there won’t be any dichotomy later: sex or love. In the future, sex will become one of their ways to express their love for each other. Yet, I am quite sure, both will reveal their affection through other actions: painting, poetry and teaching. As you can conclude, Nameless has a similar effect than Min in the end. Both bring misery and pain, yet they help the characters to perceive truth and accept reality. And now you understand why I had this revelation: Nameless is also a Joker.
But let’s return our attention to our initial observation: Nameless’ role as dancer and clown. What caught my attention is that although Min and Nameless act like entertainers, Nameless distinguishes himself from Black Heart, because he is not doing it to distract himself (chapter 66), but to make people happy. In other words, that’s his job. Therefore, we can say that he is doing it in order to survive, contrasting so much to Min who considers fun as hobby. This is understandable, as the noble is not forced to work, he lives on his wealth and status. Whereas the noble is doing everything for fun, the other is actually living from fun. At the same time, I can’t help myself sensing that Nameless’ work as clown and dancer exudes a certain selflessness, as entertaining the public means making people happy, even if the performers are earning some money through their show. Their performance is rewarded by donations. As a first conclusion, while Black Heart stands for leisure, lightness and selfishness, the other embodies survival/work, seriousness and a certain selflessness. Another divergence is that while Black Heart is using other nobles to pressure Yoon Seungho (chapter 33) and hide his true wish (taste the painter), the clown is working with musicians and another dancer. This exposes that Nameless is actually team-oriented. Moreover, we know for sure that Nameless has a good relationship with his workers, since they gave info to Jihwa. And now, you can understand while examining Black Heart, I had the following revelation: Nameless stands in opposition to Black Heart.
|loyal||Disloyal – traitor|
The criminal is not greedy, as he doesn’t even accept the money offered by Jihwa at the end. He is compassionate, as he feels pity for Jihwa’s situation. Moreover, he decides not to mutilate the artist, although it signifies that he is taking some risk. Sure, he is here not soft-hearted, quite ruthless. Yet, let’s not forget that he is here wearing his mask. In that scene, the criminal scares the victim so much for a reason: he is trying to ensure that this incident remains a secret and that no one gets hurt in the end. He is loyal towards his client, since he is acting for Jihwa’s best interest (not dirty his hands by murdering a person), willing to get rid of a possible thread.
Thanks to the observation of one of my readers, I came to the realization that Black Heart lives through the anger and pain from others, because if he didn’t, he wouldn’t feel alive, whereas the other is just living through the pain of others in order to survive. Yet, he has a heart despite his crimes. He is in fact an disillusioned man due to his past and bad experiences, and this can be sensed in the following panel: He knows the brutality and hypocrisy of aristocracy. And this leads me to the next deduction: when Min described Nameless in chapter 43 , he was in truth portraying the nobles. The butcher’s actions were reflecting their own attitude: immoral, manipulative, greedy and ruthless. And now, the manhwaphiles can grasp why Nameless behaved differently in front of Jihwa. Since the latter was different, he had to act differently. In other words, he has a similar function than the painter: the mirror. He gives a true reflection of the red-haired noble’s personality. Hence the pain Nameless afflicted on others had a different cause. He was just doing it in order to protect himself. Yet, unlike the noble, the criminal has never given up on his consciousness and righteousness. He might be brutal and frightening, yet in his mind he does it for a good reason: protect himself or in the last case protect an innocent noble. Since the latter is not a coldblooded person, Nameless feels the need to stop that person from dirtying his hands, as he is well aware that he will be plagued with huge pangs of conscience.
And now, if the manhwalovers observe the way Nameless uses his mask, they will note that he only wears it, when he is acting as a criminal. Naturally, I am excluding the scene, where he acts as a real entertainer. Let me give you examples:
- On the roof top, he is actually trespassing the property and taking a look at the mansion.
- When he abducts the painter (a memory from the painter, chapter 61), he is wearing the mask.
- When he threatens the artist before releasing him (chapter 65):
- But the most decisive clue occurs in chapter 54: When he realizes that Deok-Jae will use his knowledge in order to blackmail Jihwa, the “butcher” puts on his mask, when he decides to get rid of the vicious servant. Slowly, his face disappears behind the mask. Hence I come to the deduction that the mask symbolizes his role as criminal, yet at the same time, it exposes that this doesn’t represent Nameless’ true identity and personality. There’s a different person behind the mask, whereas it is different for Black Heart. Min’s face is the mask itself, the symbol for his hypocrisy.
As you can detect, the more I analyze Nameless, the more it reveals how different he is from the noble. That’s why I had the following revelation: Nameless is Min’s real nemesis. Because of this deduction, I came to the conclusion: Nameless is Batman in the manhwa. Why? First, just like Batman, Nameless has two identities: the entertainer and the “ruthless butcher”. And note that the commoner often acts like Batman during the night: (chapter 50) (chapter 66) Secondly, he is wearing a mask, when he acts like a criminal, hiding his identity. At the same time, he is hiding his true personality (thoughts and emotions) behind the mask as a way to protect himself, very similar to the American Hero, who is full of doubts. One might argue that this association is incorrect. Batman can’t be considered as a criminal, since he fights villains. However, if you pay attention to Batman’s actions, you’ll notice that he breaks laws and rules, he is not working with police, he acts on his own. And if you include the movies from Christopher Nolan, Batman refuses to work with his friend Rachel Dawes, since he doesn’t trust prosecution office and Gotham justice. Finally, let’s not forget that at some point, Batman is even considered as a criminal by authorities, as he is blamed for the death of many people. And both have indeed a tragic past, suffering from a trauma, which is perceptible through the tattoos. Furthermore, Nameless does have a sense of justice…. like I pointed out earlier: he is well aware of the painter’s innocence. Yet, there’s no doubt that there are divergences between Nameless and Batman, as the former belongs to the commoners, whereas Bruce Wayne is really rich. The criminal is not powerful, unlike the American hero who can use his wealth and connection to fight against villains. But since the low-born stands in opposition to Min and I considered the latter as a new version of The Joker due to the similarity of their mentality, I can only perceive Nameless as Batman, the one who will be able to defeat Min. And in chapter 66, their antagonism is already palpable.
What caught my attention is the following panel: Why did Byeonduck decide to show us the roof, when the guardian gave us an explanation about the commotion? It is important, as it represents Nameless’ deception. When I saw this panel, I was immediately reminded of this image: . The roof top is associated to Nameless, which is also a place linked to Batman. Then my follower @BlackPearl1301 noticed that the new guardian looked a lot like the servant serving Jihwa before: (chapter 50). The color of the clothes are the same. Thanks to her, I could finally put the puzzle together. It looks like Nameless planted a spy in Jihwa’s mansion in order to know how the lord would behave after giving the hit order. And this is not surprising why Nameless would know that Jihwa had been drinking all this time, even before removing the veil from the hat. Sure, he noticed the trembling hand, but this could be caused by nervousness and anxiety.
But let’s return our attention to the new guardian. How could they hire someone so quickly? The manhwalovers should remember that only Nameless knows about Deok-Jae’s disappearance and death, therefore he was well aware that Yoon Seungho’s staff might look for a replacement. Since the criminal no longer needs a spy to observe the red-haired master’s move, he needs to plant a spy in order to know if Baek Na-Kyum will remain silent or not. Since Nameless is well aware of the nobility’ mentality, he can use it to his advantage. The aristocrats never pay attention to servants and as such commoners. The criminal is right in the end: Min doesn’t even recognize that there’s a new guardian, although he has been at the mansion before twice (8, 52) and he even saw Deok-Jae getting beaten. Besides, I would like to remind my readers that there’s no coincidence in Byeonduck’s work. She focused a great deal on the guardian and his explanations. Since he was delivering a similar explanation than Nameless had made up, I truly suspect that the domestic is informing Nameless in the end. And note that in chapter 66, Min reveals in front of Yoon Seungho Jihwa’s involvement. Kim and other servants must have heard the aristocrat’s words. And with this new revelation, Nameless’ strategy becomes obsolete. The criminal will realize that Jihwa is in danger, because he knows about Deok-Jae’s death and he is also responsible for this situation. He hired the servant on the red-haired client’s behalf. Therefore Jihwa could take the fall for this. With Min’s revelation, Yoon Seungho could decide to retaliate. Yet, in this moment, I detect Min’s arrogance and stupidity. He has the impression that since the painter was not hurt, there’s nothing to fear. However, Min didn’t notice the change of the guardian and once Deok-Jae’s death is revealed, Yoon Seungho could use it to go after the nobles. Who knew about the kidnapping? The manhwaphiles should remember the words from the noble with the mole: As you can observe, Nameless’ plan was ruined by Min’s action, who believes that he is protected. However, he doesn’t realize that his favorite weapon, a secret, could be turned against him, as he is not aware of the existence of another secret. Since Min is responsible for Jihwa’s fate and the latter will blame Nameless for the servant’s death, the criminal will feel responsible for the red-haired noble. At the same time, Min made himself a new enemy who is definitely ruthless and smart. Since Min was responsible for Jihwa’s corruption, I believe that Nameless will be the one who will fight against Min and will defeat him in the end. That’s why he reminds me of Batman. The reason why I can’t truly associate Yoon Seungho to Batman is that I have the impression, the main lead will use the legal system to go after the people involved in that conspiracy. I have the feeling that he will be responsible for a purge and no one will ever imagine that it was triggered by the painter’s kidnapping. Nevertheless, I anticipate that in the future, Nameless will come to work with Yoon Seungho. There’s a reason for that. While Nameless represents truth and secrets, Yoon Seungho stands for justice and power, like I demonstrated it before. That’s why I believe that Nameless knows a lot more about the painter and his past, though he is not aware that Baek Na-Kyum is that person. The fact that the Joseon Batman was seen with a gisaeng, makes me think that he was looking for info. Then I couldn’t help myself thinking that Nameless must have witnessed something similar in the past, when he made a very realistic description how to get rid of the painter. Let’s not forget that this story is constructed according to the principle: history repeats itself. So there must have been a painter in the past as well. Finally, Jihwa is linked to secrets either, as his favourite sentence is: I know Besides, I had explained that Jihwa seems to be involved in the past and felt guilty. Therefore I sense that both characters will discover that they have much more in common: the past and their involvement with the two main leads’ past.
And now, the manhwaworms can grasp, why I came to the idea that Nameless and Yoon Seungho will work together. The moment they are collaborating, they will definitely uncover what truly happened in the past and brought justice to the responsible ones. At the same time, we could say that Nameless is already working like the hand of justice, though he is not truly aware of it. He killed Deok-Jae who was a criminal in reality. The man never got punished for his misdeeds: the theft, the treason, the bullying, the poisoning and the trashing of Baek Na-Kyum’s place. The vicious domestic met his karma. Sure, nowadays no one would receive a death sentence for such crimes, yet in that period it is a different story.
As a conclusion, Nameless has a similar function than Min, yet unlike the noble he has kept his heart pure. The darkness of his mind has a different origins than Baek Na-Kyum’s: he must have experienced injustice and even witnessed crimes committed by nobles, but they put the blame on commoners. Back then, he must have felt powerless, exactly like the main character. That’s why he chose to become a criminal in the end. If he became the nobles’ dirty hands, then he would get protected. As for Heena, I perceive her as Rachel Dawes, the one who fights for justice, even if there’s corruption.
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