There will be spoilers for the manhua series Offering My Neck To You.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to murder, death, violence, blood, bullying, self-harm, pseudo-incest, chronic illness, confinement/imprisonment, kidnapping, child abandonment, PTSD, gun violence, human trafficking, prejudice, manipulation, homelessness, corruption, and drink spiking, as it appears in the manhua.
Yanchen has been living an odd life for the last decade. It's already strange enough that he is a vampire, but he's also raising a child that he never should have. After killing a werewolf, he discovered the werewolf he killed had a half-werewolf child. Feeling immense guilt for his actions, he takes in the child named Luoan. Werewolves and vampires are natural enemies, and having a half-werewolf around is even more dangerous since their blood has unique properties that empower vampires. Regardless, Yanchen does everything he can to raise Luoan to be an upstanding and strong young man.
Things are a bit complicated. Because Yanchen is immortal, his appearance never changes. To protect his family, they have to move every three to four years to avoid suspicion, but as Luoan gets older and older, it's harder and harder for Yanchen to be able to play his guardian. Things come to a head when the new school Luoan moves to happens to also have other werewolves attending, and they recognize Luoan as one of their own immediately. While Luoan wants to learn more about himself and where he came from, he doesn't want to be separated from Yanchen.
But Yanchen, seeing Luoan among his kind, wonders if it wouldn't be better for the half-werewolf to be with them. While Yanchen and Luoan struggle to come to terms with their family foundation weakening, a deadly threat lurks in the darkness. Half-werewolves are ideal for vampires, and with more eyes on Luoan, it's only a matter of time before the other vampires come out to get a taste of that power. Can Yanchen protect Luoan? Or will he have to give up Luoan to ensure his safety, even if it means living life alone once more?
I have to talk about how beautiful this manhua is. Manhua isn't often my first choice since I am a degenerate. Most manhua is heavily censored to the point that you can't even see two men kissing without conveniently placed leaves or something blocking us from seeing their lips touching, often to hilarious effect. Those I have read (including those I haven't reviewed yet, as manhua is also notoriously longwinded and known to be ongoing forever) aren't the best art-wise. This one isn't perfect, but it is still gorgeous and really unique in comparison to all of the manhua, which often has identical styles. It's also fairly consistent, which is a huge win, and I must admit I enjoyed looking at this manhua.
While this is advertised as BL on every platform it is listed on, I would hesitate to call it such. There are implications of something, as in subtext, and there are suspicions from side characters, but there is zero romance within the main story. The only indication that the two main characters are intended to be a couple is the little bonus stories at the end of most episodes. Since it isn't part of the main story or canon, I can't say that makes this BL. Granted, even if I did include them, I would hardly call that BL. Again, it's just more implications with no confirmation that they are in a romantic relationship of any kind. As most of the complaints regarding this series say: BL must stand for brotherly love in this case, which is super disappointing.
What I was impressed with, though, was the story. Since most manhua I've read is long-winded and goes on forever, the stories usually start strong, only to fall apart as they try to up the ante and carry on the plot while loosely hanging onto the rules of the world they've created. This one held pretty firm on that front. That doesn't mean this is perfect by any means, but it has a steady plot that doesn't go too off the rails. The fight scenes are also really enjoyable. I'm not typically big on action, but this was pretty well done. Seeing the werewolves transform and learning about the vampires' special abilities was fun.
Speaking of the vampires and their abilities, I would be remiss if I didn't bring up all of the references in this series. There are some key similarities between this and Fullmetal Alchemist (FMA). The vampires with special abilities have abilities based on the seven deadly sins. That in itself doesn't make it similar, but then greed dies. Apparently, greed is the deadliest of sins because greed dies in FMA, too. That's where the similarities end, though, and I wouldn't call this a copy or anything. I just found it interesting how much they aligned on that front. Beyond that subtle similarity, there are a ton of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure references, which was so fun. They gave me a good giggle whenever I saw them, and it sort of became a game to see how many references I could find. It's clear that the creator is really fun, and it was nice to see so much of their personality through their work.
The one major downside regarding the storyline is the ending, which goes from the end of the major battle only to then jump to a time skip to show everyone adulting without much insight into their lives beyond that. I was expecting a kiss between Yanchen and Luoan, finally confirming that their feelings go beyond familial ties, but nope. They just show up together, happy, and then it ends. Super disappointing. It really isn't BL, even in the shounen-ai sense, so it might be best to look elsewhere if you're looking for BL.
This was super disappointing. If it had been advertised as anything other than BL, I probably would have really enjoyed it. However, with it being advertised as such, I was looking for some romance or confirming moment between the two main characters, and there just wasn't any. I'll tag this as BL just because that is how it is advertised but be warned that it is significantly lacking in that department. I will not be tagging it as a romance, though, because there is no question it is anything but that. If you aren't looking for a BL, but something more action and drama based with BL subtext, then this is most certainly one you should give a shot.
Have you read Offering My Neck To You? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!