Title: A Thousand Cranes
Author: Jung Seokchan
Artist: Jung Seokchan
Craig’s life has always been challenging. He’s always played the role of a parent to his younger sibling and had to be a punching bag to their father. So when his father disappears, Craig momentarily believes this is the relief he and his sibling desperately need. Unfortunately, though, debt collectors come knocking once their father is gone. It turns out that Craig’s father has accumulated a massive amount of debt and listed Craig as the guarantor for all of it. Craig sticks around, unable to leave his sibling behind and unwilling to throw away all of the responsibility his father did. He quits school, takes on as many jobs as possible, and starts the neverending task of paying off his father’s debts.
Over time, though, the responsibility is only getting heavier and heavier, and as time goes on, the debt never seems to let up no matter how much he pays off. Life is beginning to seem not worth the effort. Then, on an evening when those dark thoughts are incredibly taxing, Craig comes upon a scene one would only expect to see in gangster films. In the shadows of a dark alley, there is a dead body, and standing above the dead body is a killer. Craig runs off but is soon captured by the killer. At first, the killer, whose name turns out to be Dean, is fully intent on silencing Craig forever, but there is something about Craig that Dean can’t seem to let go of. So, instead of killing Craig, Dean decides to hire him and take on all of Craig’s debt, so Dean is the only creditor.
With some of his stress lifted, Craig finds himself lighter and freer, even when tied exclusively to Dean. As they continue to work and learn more about each other’s pains and struggles, the superficial line between debtor and creditor begins to blur. Can these two broken and struggling people find solace in each other? Even as Dean’s job in the dark underbelly threatens to tear everything they’ve built apart?