Hong Yubin or Vinny Hong. One of the remarkable names in the sports manhwa Wind Breaker by Yongseok Jo. A name that garnered the attention of Wind Breaker fans.
I am one of those who eyed Vinny throughout the series. In fact, he is the reason why I read Wind Breaker in the first place and eventually got hooked to it. At first glance, there is into the character that makes him interesting and worth stanning.
Vinny’s unique features
Just like what I mentioned, I find Vinny Hong an interesting character. His enigmatic and mysterious presence could be the reason why. His distinct physique and aura adds up to the air of mysteriousness. Him designed as having a red, unruly, wavy hair, pale skin, and heterochromia eyes with two beauty marks underneath his left eye. I find these features unique and captivating. These are what makes him recognizable and sets him differently among other characters. For me, Vinny Hong’s character design is not just meant to look appealing for readers.
Despite not being the main character in Wind Breaker, there is still much more to look for in Vinny Hong. It’s not just his appearance but the character itself. Vinny Hong’s personality is described as timid, laconic, and reserved. You won’t expect much of him being vocal because of his introversion.
Since he rarely expresses himself through words, he relies on observing those around him, including his teammates on Humming Bird Bike Crew (the main bike crew the story follows). It’s also uncommon for him to rely onto others during hard times, ending up bottling his emotions and problems. Although he is perceived as cold and indifferent, he still cares and willing to go out on a limb to those who he values the most. Vinny Hong just seemed apathetic but he is a softie inside.
(TW: Depictions of bullying, violence, and strong language)
Poignant back story
Aside from his appearance and personality, what also made Vinny Hong as my fave is his back story. On the early chapters of Wind Breaker, Vinny is introduced with a “bad boy bully” image. A delinquent chain smoker who has no direction in life. What’s even worse is he is a notorious bully at Gunn High School. Him mauling and assaulting the weak is where he shaped his skills in fighting and violence.
However, unknown to many the bully was once a victim. Vinny was often picked on in middle school because of his looks. Shamed by his peculiar crimson features, he is described as a freak. Sadly, even his own father agrees with the bullies. His social standing is another reason why he received such lowly and cruel treatment. Raised in poverty solely by his mom is enough to be treated as crap. Unfortunately, violence became his only defenses He chose violence to appear mighty and grand.
Discovering Vinny’s brute and violent tendencies, it’s easy to hate him. Yet, knowing his rough childhood can’t help in keeping the hate on him. There are reasons why others chose to be cruel instead of being vulnerable.
Thought that I’m blind and problematic for choosing Vinny as my favorite. Good thing he didn’t disappoint due to his character development. He is one of the figures with an unexpected progression.
The worst days in his life become pivotal and turned a whole 360. Finding out his mom’s ailment in the shittiest way possible is a wake up call. Just as when he was about to give up his love in cycling, he held onto it to save his mom. He started pulling his life together. Attended school, refrained from bullying and picking fights, worked several jobs, and trained persistently with the rest of Humming Bird. He even quit his vice to prepare and condition him for tournament. The cold tsundere slowly warms up with others around him.
I find these aspects on Vinny admirable, and he’s just one of the few who will go lengths for what and who’s special to them. His character is a reminder that all of us still have a shot in life. We must not be held back by our past no matter how dark it may be.
Mad skills in cycling
Moreover, another factor that drove me from liking Vinny Hong is his skills in cycling. To be clear, I am no expert in cycling and can’t even ride a bicycle. My belief is only based on how he performed in the webcomic. He is one of the less recognized as per skills.
Vinny is considered as an all-rounder and unconventional rider. His unexpected tactics are the reason for spectators amusement. However, what hinders him to be at his best is probably the specs and gears of his fixie (fixed gear bicycle) and unnecessary competition with his teammate Jay Jo (character in Wind Breaker). This unhealthy competition with Jay motivates him to improve but at the same time, his ulterior motive is to only beat Jay.
In general, Vinny Hong has ups and downs. Vinny is angsty, feisty, gentle, and calm. He is the personification—at least as a Webtoon character—of the good and bad. This push and pull of his convinced me to pick him amongst others. Also, his circumstances in life made it easier to relate to him more. Indeed, he is a dynamic figure that makes Wind Breaker more than a story of teen cyclists.
What do you think of Vinny? Do you have any comfort character like him? See more of my stories on this link.
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