There will be spoilers for the manhwa series Pian Pian.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to sexual harassment, violence, cheating, dubious consent, BDSM (including forced and dubious consent), sex in exchange for favors, manipulation, death, child abandonment, alcoholism, drug use, age gap, power imbalance, rape, blood, slut-shaming, injured animals, car accident, theft, self-loathing, depression, and prejudice, as it appears in the manhwa.
This occurs in the nameverse, where individuals eventually manifest their soulmate's initials somewhere on their bodies. If the two ever meet and consummate their connection, they will be bound to each other forever, unable to be with anyone else for the remainder of their lives. The connection is so deep that being separated from your soulmate can cause irreparable health issues. This is a scary but romantic notion that Suha wants to live for himself desperately.
It's especially important to Suha, as he has saved himself for his soulmate since their initials manifested on his body as “GHB.” Most people get the initials on a normal body part, like their arms or legs. Maybe even their back. Suha, however, has his in a particularly unique and embarrassing spot: his genitals. That made the intensity of his need for his soulmate all the more vital, hoping that one day he'd be able to give his first time to his soulmate and have them be the first person to see their initials on his body.
While Suha's dream has always been to be with his soulmate, after seeing Chef Calix online, he also wants to become a chef. He feels so strongly about this dream, particularly about Calix, that he goes right to the restaurant where Calix works so he can learn under his tutelage. Working with Calix is just as amazing as Suha imagined, but it has an odd side effect. For some reason, Suha can't stop having wet dreams with Calix as the star of the show. As a result, working alongside the chef has been awkward, to say the least, and with Suha always imagining himself with a woman, it's even stranger that he would be so drawn to Calix like this. Can Suha refrain from giving into his lust, or will he forgo his promise to his unknown soulmate and pursue Calix instead?
The art is so pretty. It's very well done, minus some random sketchy lines and such, so what I am about to say will probably be a bit controversial… but I hate how Calix looks. His body is everything you could want and more (though his upper body can get pretty crazy anatomy-wise), but his face is just not my favorite. His jawline can be way too strong, and his eyes and nose are oddly shaped. Also, his facial features look too small for his face, making his head look huge in comparison. I'm just not fond of him, which sucks since he is the object of Suha's affection. I much prefer Sahyeon's looks, but he's not the main top (sad). Suha, on the other hand, is super cute. He has the best sex faces out there. If you loved the bottom's sex faces in Who's Your Daddy?, you will love Suha's. Even when he isn't in the throes of pleasure, though, he is very cute, and I'm so glad he's our main character because all his expressions are precious and fun.
This is based on a slew of misunderstandings and assumptions, some less understanding than others. So, this may be a tough read if you aren't into misunderstandings caused by a lack of communication. Suha is characterized as being a bit ditzy, leading to many strange leaps in logic. Both Calix and Suha make odd assumptions that lead to needless misunderstandings. It makes sense with Suha based on his characterization, but I would think Calix would be a bit more mindful. The way Calix confirms he's Suha's soulmate is bizarre and pretty childish, talking Suha into showing him his imprint as a way “to grow closer.” Then, there is a scene where Suha and Calix finally have penetrative sex for the first time, and after it's all over, Suha, still having not seen Calix's imprint, assumes he doesn't have one because his soulmate died, asks, “Have you already met your soulmate?” Rather than confirming that Suha is his soulmate, Calix just nods, leading Suha to cry, which Calix assumes is because he's sad that he is his soulmate. Why did Calix assume Suha knew they were soulmates?
As it turns out, Calix has a Korean name, Gwon Heebum, which matches Suha's imprint. It was on his knife, which he thought Suha would see and assume was his name. Why would anyone assume the name on a knife is the name of the person who owns it? Especially when the person doesn't even go by that name? Maybe I'm ditzy, too, but like Suha, I would assume it was the maker's mark or manufacturer's name before I ever thought it was the owner's name. However, I love how it's revealed that Calix is Suha's soulmate because “a name is given meaning when someone says it.” It's a beautiful concept, and the time when he gets the name and when his and Suha's imprints manifest on each other just lines up so perfectly. I wish I had written it myself.
You may have noticed that this has been tagged with omegaverse, but everything I have described thus far is very not omegaverse. Well, that's because the side stories have an omegaverse AU (cue excited squeals). This brings my heart so much joy, especially since it includes the reveal of Suha and Calix's baby, who is so precious. I wish it had been longer because I would have loved some mpreg and child-rearing, but I'll take what I can. I especially love this because Calix avoided being with Suha because Suha expressed wanting a family with his soulmate. I like to imagine that in another world, they eventually got to do just that, which is what we get to see in the omegaverse AU. I love it.
This is a really, really good one. It's such a unique concept and my first time reading something part of the nameverse. I am looking forward to more content in this universe. It's not perfect, but it's so fun, and the big reveal of them being soulmates was just so heartrending. I have to call it one of my favorites. I highly recommend it to get your feet wet in the nameverse. If that's not enough to tempt you, just know this is a smutfest.
Have you read Pian Pian? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!