I’ve been really lazy with the blog, haven’t I? I’ll give you one life update and then get onto the post.
Life update: I finally applied to law school, and the whole application process sucked my soul out. I only applied to one law school, and if I get in, then I get in. If not, then I can try again this year because I’ve already spent more than $1500 on this whole process (i.e. LSAT books, online course, LSAT itself, the CAS report). I’m lucky I even got an application fee waiver.
Moral of the story: If you plan on going to law school, save up a ton of money or else your wallet will be crying.
In the meantime, I picked up on my webtoon reading and found a few that are actually worth reading and investing your time on.
The webtoons that I will be recommending and preliminarily reviewing are available for free on Line Webtoon.
“True Beauty” by Yaongyi
Synopsis: Jug-yeong is currently Gangnam’s “It girl.” She’s an Instagram star with *effortlessly* beautiful looks and an amazing body. She laments about the number of guys who pay attention to her and ask for her number daily. But, it’s not easy being drop-dead gorgeous. To assert her “It girl” status, she must work hard to keep up appearances even if it means caking her face with 10 pounds of makeup to achieve a beautiful illusion and suppressing your real interests.
This Webtoon is the origin story of an average girl with not-so-mainstream interests transforming herself physically and socially to fit into a prescribed notion of femininity. Through romance and comedy, we get to see Jug-yeong’s development from a self-conscious wannabe to a (hopefully) confident and self-assured young woman.
My impressions: I’m sure that y’all have seen the YouTube ads for this Webtoon because truth be told, that is how I found it. The art is beautiful, very clean, delicate, and expressive. My only complaint is that some of the characters *cough* Sujin *cough* look extremely disproportional, but hey, it’s fiction, and I believe the author intentionally drew her proportions that way to represent unrealistic body types.
What are these proportions?!? Where do her internal organs fit in that tiny gap between her breasts and hips??
I’m also 100% sure that this webtoon was at least partly inspired by those viral “Asian Beauty Makeup Hacks” where girls transform themselves into entirely different people using makeup. This transformative effect is exactly what Jug-yeong achieves in her story, and it sets the foundation for the struggles of essentially being a “fake.”
The first episode rubbed me the wrong way because this girl came off as an extremely superficial and arrogant baby complaining about unwanted attention, but at the same time, not feeling fulfilled or validated without it. Still, I continued reading it because in some ways, the story felt relatable. I’m definitely not the first or last person to have changed my appearance to seek approval and attention from others, so I was genuinely interested in how Jug-yeong overcomes (or doesn’t) Korea’s beauty oriented society. Also, having grown up in the (very) early days of makeup gurus (like Michelle Phan, Bubz, JuicyStar, Loepsie, LuxyHair, etc…), I felt some nostalgia that I wanted to relive through Jug-yeong.
Updates every Wednesday.
Age Matters by Enjelicious
Synopsis: Rose is a 29-year-old experiencing her first serious existential crisis. She left her job, family, friends, and used up her savings to prepare for her wedding to her long-term fiance just for him to dump her through a messaging app called Lime. Meanwhile, Daniel, a young man struggling with trust issues and an unhealthy dose of immaturity (the whole “Oh, the world hates me… Woe is me”), is the 23-year-old billionaire founder and CEO of Lime. What will happen when fate makes this *old* lady and this *baby* butt heads when they begin working together?
My impressions: The art style reminds me of “We’re so over or not…” by Goeun, which I raved about in a very old review of that webtoon. Unfortunately, I just can’t get over Rose’s mullet hairstyle. Her design reminds me of Misaki Ayuzawa’s hair in Maid Sama!.
Anyways, I hesitated on picking this one up for ages. This webtoon was always featured on the front page, but I’m not about age gap stories. However, yesterday, I was so bored with my old soul that I decided to give it a try. I ended up binge-reading up to the very last episode that has been uploaded.
It loosely reminded me of the 2017 K-drama Because this is my first life starring (goddess) Jung So-min because of the stigma surrounding being a 30-year-old unmarried woman with responsibilities to her family and the feeling of missing out on life because of an (unfulfilled) desire to become ‘successful.’
Me… reflecting at the end of every year.
So far, the story is comedic and engaging, but the pacing will definitely be slow. Despite there being 40 episodes, we still haven’t been introduced to the main villains of the story since the author has appeared to take a day by day approach in telling this story. My main issue with this story, however, is that Rose appears to act more like a mother to Daniel than an actual woman, you know, his romantic interest. I think Rose is better matched with Andrew, who is the same age as her and closer to her maturity level than Daniel will ever be. But I guess I’ll have to bite my tongue for now and see how the author plans to develop their eventual romance…
Updates every Saturday.
Let’s Play by Mongie
Synopsis: Sam Young is a young computer programmer who dreams of being a prolific and successful game designer. Marshall Lee is the Pewdiepie/Markiplier of this Webtoon’s universe. After he negatively reviews Sam’s first ever puzzle game, his vicious fans spam her game’s download page with negative reviews as well, which effectively ruins her reputation in the gaming industry. Little does she know that Marshall will soon become her next-door neighbor. What will happen next?
My impressions: Again, this was another Webtoon I found through those YouTube ads. I wasn’t fond of Sam’s design because her hair reminded me of Coconut Head from Ned’s Declassified, but at the time, I needed a distraction from my life, so I pushed aside my incredibly high artistic standards and started reading it.
The story has a strong premise and lots of room for solid main character development, but a lot of it is getting lost by introducing too many side characters and their backstories (all of which embody some mental health issue). It has gotten to the point that many fans are fervently against the main ship of the story because the reality is that Sam and Marshall are extremely incompatible. Or… at least, at this point, the author hasn’t given me any reason to believe these two would make a great couple.
And the thing about characters embodying mental health issues… Yes, I believe it is important to show that everyone is broken to a certain degree. This brokenness is what colleges and graduate schools use to claim they are “diverse.” In this Webtoon, it’s overused and over-complicating what should be a fairly straightforward romance webtoon.
The only characters who have a solid grip on reality until now are Monica, Vikki, the mute girl, and the owner of the cafe… and they’re all supporting/minor characters.
However, I did enjoy the first/second arc a lot. The story was well-paced with a great balance of humor, gaming references, maturity, friendship, and romance. This second/third arc that the author is currently publishing is meh for all the reasons stated above. I’m hoping that by the third/fourth arc, the story will pick up where it left off at the end of the first/second arc. (Note on the number of arcs discrepancy: The hearts fill up by a half every time there is major progression in the story, hence the number of hearts.)
Look at the first heart.
You see how the first heart is full now??
Sexual content warning: There is sexual content in this Webtoon. It’s not in any way hentai, but there are cringe-inducing porn-watching scenes.
Updates every Tuesday.
Midnight Rain by Panikune
Synopsis: Lots of family drama after a poor girl, Noemi, enters the Valstrom family as the daughter of one of the maids and chauffeurs.
My impressions: I gave you a very short synopsis because the truth is that I have no clue what this story is actually about when you overlook the incredibly complicated family drama. Illegitimate sons… Sibling rivalries… Cheating scandals… Bullying… Murder… Teen pregnancies… Cancer… Old, controlling mothers… Love triangles at 12… (Really) Weird age-gap romance… There’s something for everyone and everything… The story is essentially a mixture of The Heirs and Boys Over Flowers, two dramas which I actually didn’t finish because the characters were too childish for my own childish self.
In this Webtoon, the reader experiences the joys and pains of growing up in a wealthy family. If I remember correctly, the characters are 11 when they are first introduced, and after 100+ chapters, they’re only 13 (?) now. The author claims to have a solid idea of where the plot is heading, and I completely believe that she has the basic plot details fully developed. However, I don’t think she knows how to connect the plot details seamlessly. The result is a messy story, where the readers struggle to keep up with the endless character introductions and meaningless subplot details and chapters. For example, I could care less if Noemi and Soren baked cookies or made a snowman with friends.
I don’t care, but her art improved. 🙂
The author has an inconsistent upload schedule and whenever she’s not done with a chapter or has run out of ideas for the next chapter, she’ll post fan-art compilations instead. I can’t judge her on the inconsistency of her uploads because… I… suck… at that. However, it’s frustrating for readers who have devotedly followed the story for over a year to get notified of a new upload that is unrelated to the story.
Still, I believe it has potential. The author just needs to reorganize and restructure her ideas more clearly. Plus, her art style has steadily improved throughout the year, and for that alone, I commend her dedication and efforts.
This was from the first few chapters. The bread scene above from a later chapter is looking more sophisticated.
As you may have noticed, these webtoons aren’t excellent by any means, but they’re good enough to keep someone who has read the mainstream webtoons entertained for some time. The order in which I presented the webtoons demonstrates how I have ranked them, from best to worst.
Also, is anybody else still adapting to the new WordPress text editor?
Well, I hope this short list was helpful to those of you looking for good webtoons to read. 🙂
Always, thank you so much for reading. ❤