Skip to content

Manhwa Review | Dine With a Vampire by PANGIN

Warning:

There will be spoilers for the manhwa series Dine With a Vampire.

Trigger Warning: There may be references to rape, sextortion/blackmail, domestic abuse, violence, blood, capital punishment, stalking, kidnapping, homophobia, cheating, torture, homophobic slurs, PTSD, self-harm, cannibalism, suicidal ideation, and murder, as it appears in the manhwa.

Synopsis:

Sooin spends every day living in utter hell. He lives in a world stuck between guilt and rage, love and vengeance, and complacency and revenge. The best he can do on a day-to-day basis is to try not to anger his roommate Sungha. Why Sungha? Because Sungha spends every day torturing and beating Sooin because Sooin fell in love with him. Sooin could leave, but his guilt won’t allow him to, as he feels his love for Sungha has turned him into a monster. So he endures Sungha’s cruelty, but not without hoping that someday he can escape.

Then, while at work, Sooin meets another kind of monster. He runs into the owner of the restaurant he works at, Chi-hwan, because of a cut on Sooin’s finger. It turns out that Chi-hwan is a vampire, but not just any vampire. Instead, he is a vampire that can’t drink human blood and must subsist off the hearts of his fellow vampire brethren. But for some reason, he is drawn to Sooin’s blood, and when he gets a taste of it, he finds it perfectly palatable when human blood hasn’t been for so long.

Desperate to ensure Sooin stays alive and well so he can partake in his blood, Chi-hwan makes him an offer Sooin can’t refuse. Chi-hwan will kill for Sooin, including Sungha. All Sooin has to do is give him blood.

Review:

Let’s start with the artwork. It’s sometimes really, really beautiful, but sometimes it’s unfortunate to look at. The style is very inconsistent, and a bit flat with the coloring style, and one of the major issues is definitely Sooin’s hair. He has a wavy hair texture, but due to the flat style and the inconsistencies, it sometimes turns into playdoh. Chi-hwan isn’t all that attractive to me, either. He’s one of the few male leads in existence that I’m not immediately attracted to. I have to say, though, when Sooin is drawn well, he looks breathtakingly beautiful. There are some panels that are some of the prettiest in existence, but there are so many inconsistencies throughout that I’m not sure they are worth it.

Cover art for Dine With a Vampire on Lezhin Comics

For this to be as dark as it is, it has some extremely fluffy moments to counteract the horrors we see at the very beginning. Just a warning, this pulls no punches when it comes to the dark stuff. In the first few episodes, we see Sooin being raped and tormented by Sungha. On the other side of things, Chi-hwan is sweet and loving to Sooin, though he is pretty controlling, and the fact that their connection is predicated on Chi-hwan taking advantage of Sooin living with his rapist makes it hard to like Chi-hwan. Chi-hwan doesn’t rape or abuse Sooin, but he does leverage Sooin’s weak mental state and desperate need for love to get what he wants.

There’s a very telling part where Sungha impersonates a bodyguard to get close to Sooin while trying to win Sooin’s trust. Sungha presumes Chi-hwan and Sooin are lovers since they kiss and have sex, but Sooin says otherwise. This makes Sooin wonder what the difference is between what Sungha did to him versus what Chi-hwan did to him. The difference is that he wants Chi-hwan and Chi-hwan is kind to him. The fact that he has to compare them shows just how warped Sooin’s view of love and relationships is. He is always on the weak side of any power dynamic, whether with Chi-hwan or Sungha. This is why he has to question what the difference is between his relationship with Chi-hwan and his relationship with Sungha. Sooin’s concepts of love and relationships are muddled in sex, ownership, and worth. Though Chi-hwan does treat Sooin better, it has an undercurrent of manipulation and control, which taints the fluff.

I feel like I’ve been pretty negative thus far, so I want to be clear. I actually do like this one. It’s definitely toxic but sweet and fluffy, and it has a fun, dynamic switch. I really like that Sooin becomes the vampire and Chi-hwan becomes his link, which puts most of the power in Sooin’s hands. I love when a person who is typically the weaker person in the relationship(s) suddenly gets more power on their side. I think how we got there is pretty weak, but it was still highly satisfying to see in the end.

Results:

This is a dark, sexy, and fluffy romp. It isn’t the prettiest thing you will see in the world, and the narrative isn’t terribly strong with its superficial rules and unexplained caveats, but it’s fun and different from other manhwa. It’s also an interesting take on the vampire archetype that I haven’t seen. I think it’s worth a read, especially if you just want lots of sex with a very pretty bottom. However, if art and narrative are essential to you, this one may be a miss.

Have you read Dine With a Vampire? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!

Click here to read it for yourself!

Would you rather watch/listen than read? Check out the YouTube version of this review:

Published inBL RomanceManhwa ReviewsMatureReviews

Subscribe Today

Join 7 other subscribers

Add My Books on Goodreads

Support This Site

Sign up for a membership and receive additional, tiered benefits.

Be First to Comment

Comment Below!

©2022 - 2023 Eve Healy. All Rights Reserved.