There will be spoilers for the manhwa series Oh! My Assistant.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to suicide, homophobia, and assault as it appears in the manhwa.
Seonho is a talented adult webtoon artist. Unfortunately, though, he cannot get it up because he spends all of his time drawing naked people. If this isn’t distressing enough, he finds himself overwhelmed by all deadlines and work associated with the life of a webtoon artist. To alleviate at least one of his problems, he hires an assistant named Muyeong. Not only is this guy astute, talented, and makes work more manageable, but he unexpectedly fixes another of Seonho’s problems. Muyeong turns Seonho on!
Unfortunately, it seems Muyeong is the only thing that turns on Seonho. Still, Seonho can’t approach him because Muyeong made it clear in his interview: he is not interested in forging any personal or intimate relationships at work. That boundary doesn’t seem to hold up, though, when one evening, after drinking together, Muyeong and Seonho end up kissing. Naturally, Seonho counts this as a win, but big surprise when Muyeong brushes it off as if nothing happened. What’s worse, though, is Muyeong already has a boyfriend! So what did their kiss mean?
Seonho wants Muyeong, but he also doesn’t want to lose his amazing assistant. So can the two find the balance and become more than just coworkers? Or will Seonho’s pushing ultimately push Muyeong away as both his assistant and potential partner?
You might as well go ahead and add this to your must-read list if you are a fan of BL romance manhwa. This is an amazing one, and there is a censored version if you aren’t a fan of mature comics. Note that this review is specifically for the mature version (I haven’t read the censored version, so I can’t comment on its quality in comparison) and may differ slightly from the censored version. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful story and thankfully leaves out many tropes we see in many BL manhwa while adding some interesting twists of its own to the familiar tropes we usually see.
One thing I have to get out of the way just because I was so pumped when I saw it: no lightsabers! If you are not familiar with mature manhwa, particularly BL manhwa, the genitals are often replaced with bright white lights in the shape of said genitals. That is not the case with this particular manhwa. I nearly dropped my phone when I didn’t see the standard lightsaber I’ve grown accustomed to. It is a really nice change and makes this feel much more down-to-earth and wholesome. It didn’t make it feel dirty at all.
Another treat we get is a nice bit of self-reflection from Seonho. I find that one trope we get is that one of the two male protagonists just can’t accept the fact that he might be gay or bisexual. While Seonho does do some questioning, he ultimately accepts his identity and is proud of it in a way, which is super refreshing. This is especially nice since some of the trauma Muyeong has to work through is that his first love and first physical relationship was with a man who couldn’t accept that he liked being with other men and, as a result, mentally and physically abused Muyeong. Seonho is a proud shining ball of light that is happy to be with Muyeong, and Muyeong desperately needs that reassurance. Add Seonho to the pile of “precious beans we must protect” because he deserves it and then some.
Now, something I both love and hate about this is the “villain” of the series: Junseok. He is this super weird side character that is obsessed with Muyeong. Though he claims not to be gay from the beginning, he realizes that he is “in love” with Muyeong. Now, I say “in love” in quotes because what he may think is love manifests in this creepy, controlling, stalker kind of thing. There is a point where he gets into an unfortunate accident and might not be able to walk again, which he uses to monopolize and guilt Muyeong into spending all of his time with him even though Muyeong is in a committed relationship with Seonho by this point.
I say I love him because he really is a villain. He’s so weird and creepy that you have to hate him, but he is brought down to earth by this unfortunate accident, so as much as you don’t want to, you do ultimately feel bad for him in a way. However, I hate him because he is such a crappy person. There is a point where he fakes a suicide attempt just to keep Muyeong from leaving with Seonho on a trip, and that is just unforgivable as it is. The worst part, though, is that Muyeong just goes along with it and doesn’t care once it is revealed that Junseok lied about the suicide attempt! I was absolutely disgusted by both Junseok and Muyeong because they continue to carry on this disgusting friendship when it is clearly not healthy for either of them (and it only hurts my sweet Seonho, which is unforgivable in itself).
Something else that I have to bring up is the good old standard trope of needless miscommunication and misunderstandings. Their whole issue from the very beginning is that neither wants to talk about anything, which is beyond frustrating. 99% of their problems would have been solved if they just sat down and asked “how,” “what,” and “why,” but then the story would be much shorter than it already is. We also wouldn’t have gotten some of the cuter and sexier segments of them fantasizing about each other, which I am grateful for. I did want to bring this up, though, as misunderstandings are a common trope that some people try to actively avoid, so if you aren’t a fan of that, you may want to skip this one, though I would say it is worth it in this case.
Before I wrap up, I would be doing this excellent little series a massive disservice if I didn’t talk about the art. It is adorable. Seonho, in particular, really stands out in this style and looks absolutely adorable. It is wholly unique, and I have yet to find anything even remotely similar in style. It is a bit rough around the edges, but that just gives it more character, in my opinion. If you are a fan of cute art styles, then you will love this because it doesn’t get much cuter.
If you are looking for a refreshing, pretty, and lovey-dovey BL manhwa, then look no further. This checks all those boxes and then some. I think it goes without saying that I absolutely adore this comic. Much like I do with all of the comics I read, I have a folder dedicated to screenshots from this that I frequently find myself returning to just to relive the beautiful and sweet moments in this one. I can’t recommend it enough, and I think you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you pass on this.
Have you read Oh! My Assistant? 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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