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Manhwa Review | Lack of Love by Okdongi

Warning:

There will be spoilers for the manhwa series Lack of Love.

Trigger Warning: There may be references to blackmail/sextortion, homophobia, sexual assault, and cheating as it appears in the manhwa.

Synopsis:

Hajin Park is trying his best to start his online fashion store, but it’s a lot more complicated than he realized. His sister, a dentist with her own business, offers to help him out and set up his store online, but only if he does her a huge favor. She is a huge stan for the idol group 89, and while she has a ticket to one of their meet and greets, she’s unable to attend due to work. So, she asks Hajin to go in her stead to get all of the member’s autographs. While Hajin isn’t looking forward to it, he agrees.

As Hajin is the only man there, he draws a lot of unwanted attention, including from the members of 89. To escape some of the crowds, he goes to the bathroom. While trying to find an open stall, he runs into Hangyum, the hottest member of 89, in quite a compromising position. After escaping the awkward encounter and the meet and greet, Hajin is all set to put all this idol business behind him when he is pulled aside by the manager of 89. The manager noticed how put together Hajin is and wants Hajin to become the personal stylist for the 89 members because their style is seriously bad.

Hajin is hesitant at first, but after discussing it with his roommate and sister about how it would eventually help his online business, Hajin calls back the manager’s number. The manager is not who answers, though. Instead, Hangyum picks up and ends up personally striking a deal with Hajin. As a result, Hajin becomes Hangyum’s stylist while also assisting the other members from time to time. But Hangyum doesn’t intend on Hajin to just help him with styling. Hangyum and Hajin have a past, and Hangyum intends to heal the wounds they share.

Review:

The art for this one is, unfortunately, not as perfect as the cover art might have you believe. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not ugly by any means, but it isn’t perfect. Their heads sometimes seem to float too far in front of their necks, their hands and fingers look too big from time to time, and their face proportions sometimes go nuts, which is unfortunate. It looks gorgeous when it does get it right, but the quality control is a bit lacking. Something else that is a bit lacking is the character designs. Almost all of the main tops look identical. Hangyum, Jaehee, and Chunghoon all look quite similar, which makes it hard to keep up with the story. Then, we discover that Hangyum has a twin, which adds another lookalike to the mix. These characters aren’t identical, but the art style doesn’t really distinguish them all that well, so it’s hard to follow.

Cover art for Lack of Love on Tapas

Then there is the story. The story relies on every trope there is: twins pretending to be each other, asshole ex-boyfriend who is dating someone else but still wants the main character, jealous coworkers who try to get revenge by stealing the main character from the main romantic interest, a couple starting as fuck buddies which causes insecurities and misunderstandings, a homophobic family that kicks out the main character for being gay, leaving notes for each other that end up getting lost, and high school romance that is snuffed out due to misunderstandings and peer pressure. This makes the story super convoluted and hard to follow, especially since they all happen simultaneously rather than being resolved or explored through arcs. Some tropes are even abandoned midway through for no apparent reason.

For example, Chunghoon ends up blackmailing Hajin after catching Hajin and Hangyum making out and discussing their sexual relationship. He wants to steal away Hajin because Hangyum ended up dating a girl that Chunghoon wanted. Chunghoon invites Hajin to the group dorm, sets up a moment where he is on top of Hajin, and then Hangyum walks in. Hangyum is surprised at first but handles it pretty well and is ultimately not all that bothered by it. Then, we just never hear about Chunghoon again. That is, until a random little throwaway run-in where Chunghoon explains to Hajin why he did that, but how he isn’t going to try anymore. That whole plotline was useless and might as well have not even happened.

The sexy time is fine, and there is a nice amount of it amid the plot, but the story isn’t all that great, which is unfortunate. I found myself putting down my phone a ton while rereading this just because there was so much to follow, and I became disinterested as we hopped from plot line to plot line. Add in the fact that we have to bounce between timelines, too, with flashbacks and the current-day plots, plus confusion on the identities of everyone due to the whole twin trope, and it quickly devolves into a hot mess. It’s a lot of mediocre stuff, which doesn’t make this that fun of a read, and I don’t think the sexy time makes up for any of it.

Results:

I really don’t think I would recommend this one. If you are interested in an entertainment industry-style BL, I think Love on My Terms is a much better-executed series. I am glad I read Lack of Love because I actually wouldn’t have found Love on My Terms without it, but I don’t think it was worth it without the advertisement for Love on My Terms at the end of it. There’s way too much content for me to say read it for the sexy time because there isn’t enough sexy time amid all of the convoluted plots. I’d say skip this one unless you just have nothing else to read.

Have you read Lack of Love? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!

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Published inBL RomanceManhwa ReviewsMatureReviews

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