There will be spoilers for the manhwa series Make Me Bark.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to sexual coercion as it appears in the manhwa.
Sungjoon's life is finally coming together. After toiling away and saving every penny, he finally has enough for a deposit on a new apartment. “New” is a generous word to describe the rundown facilities, but Sungjoon worked hard for it, so it's good enough for him. However, all his luck soon turns for the worst when he finds that his apartment caught fire on his way home from work. With no money to his name and no home to go to, Sungjoon is at the end of his rope. Out of desperation, he goes through his phone to see if there is anyone who could possibly help him.
As much as he doesn't want to, he calls Hyo-in, a classmate from high school and now in college. He doesn't know him well, but he does know one thing: this guy is filthy rich. Surely he can help Sungjoon. As expected, Hyo-in has no problem helping out, but he does have one request. In exchange for a place to stay and for pay, Hyo-in wants Sunjoon to be his puppy. It is an odd request, but all Sungjoon has to do is wear a collar, go on walks, and greet Hyo-in when he gets home. Surely Sungjoon can handle that. Right?
Let me just go ahead and say if you have never seen any of Sagold‘s work, then I beg you to check this one out. This is the first thing I read from Sagold, and I was hooked. They are a fabulous artist, and they are easily in my top three as far as art styles are concerned. They are an instant buy for me whenever I see something released from them. It is worth noting this is early Sagold, so it isn't perfect, but I am telling you it gets better as it goes on, and their other titles are chef's kiss. They draw some of the hottest and prettiest guys of all time, so don't miss out on this one. I also love the backstory for this comic, that Sagold almost gave up on webtoons and put this out as a hail mary, much like Sungjoon buying his lottery ticket as his. It's nice to see a creator's reality surface in their art. It just adds that extra layer of meaning.
Not only is Sagold‘s art the best, but we get treated to some hilarious moments. When this touts itself as a comedy, it doesn't lie. That is par for the course when it comes to Sagold. I know this just sounds like a Sagold love fest… and honestly, it kind of is. I should have started this with my standard “just so you know, I am biased” spiel, but I guess better late than never. If you do end up liking this, I highly encourage you to check out Sagold‘s other ongoing work. I definitely plan on reviewing them once they finish up.
Back to Make Me Bark, specifically. Unfortunately, this is very, very short, but it does what it sets out to do. This was definitely meant to be a sexy time story. It is not super deep and has a very basic setup: the poor guy ends up falling on hard times and ends up in the lap of a rich guy, and the rich guy uses that to his advantage to eventually have sex with the poor guy. There is a side couple that I actually liked better than the main couple. They have a similar trope-y backstory with the younger guy falling in love with the older guy, but the older guy sees him as just a kid until one day they decide to give it a go and end up loving it, but I personally liked their designs better, and I preferred the humor. However, I have to point out that Sungjoon is taller and bigger than Hyo-in, and I have been absolutely obsessed with bigger bottoms, though Yeonsoo has long hair, which I adore on men.
I don't mean to imply that the main couple isn't sexy and funny, but I think the side couple actually had a stronger setup, and I like that the side couple got together with pretty much no issues. The main couple has to go through the whole “I don't want to tell him I like him because we might lose what we have” issue that drives them apart for a short time. I also really like that when they reconcile, Sungjoon doesn't immediately move back in with Hyo-in because he doesn't want to rely on him for his money. It was a really lovely touch of self-reflection that I don't usually see in these. If you want yummy smut mixed with comedy, then this is a fun one, and it is a great introduction to an incredible artist. However, if you want a deep story with lots of character development, it is best to avoid this one. It's a fun time, but not a long time.
I really like this one. It has some fun BDSM, super cute character designs, and a decent enough story to further the smutty fun. It's super short, which is the worst part, but I wouldn't necessarily say that is bad. If nothing else, I highly encourage you to try this out to get a sense of Sagold‘s work before you dedicate yourself to their longer, ongoing work. It's a great introduction, and it has introduced me to a whole new world of yummy BL.
Have you read Make Me Bark? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!