There will be spoilers for the manhwa series See You Again.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to rape, assault, sexual coercion, slut-shaming, abuse, torture, drugs, eating disorders, suicidal ideation, abduction, and PTSD as it appears in the manhwa.
Shiwoo is an actor, constantly surrounded by adoring fans and admirers, some more welcome than others. Even with all this love around him, though, he’s only ever had one special person, Yujin. However, the day Shiwoo graduated high school, Yujin confessed that he loved Shiwoo as more than a friend, upperclassman, or even brother figure. Unfortunately, Shiwoo could not reciprocate Yujin’s feelings. Yujin, of course, was heartbroken, and Shiwoo did what he thought was best and disappeared from Yujin’s life.
Eight years have passed, and Shiwoo, now in the dregs of the entertainment industry, is on the market for a new manager and a new partner. When he hears his manager is a girl, he hopes that she might be able to fill both roles. Thankfully, she is exactly his type, and he spares no time trying to woo her. While out to drink, Shiwoo gets blackout drunk and embarrassingly propositions his manager. While the manager isn’t necessarily pleased, she doesn’t say no. When Shiwoo regains his senses, though, it turns out the pretty girl manager is a pretty boy manager… a boy that he happens to know very well.
Let me start with a warning: this is super dark, and 98% of this is smut. There is also a heart-wrenching story, but if you’re looking for more story over ooh la la time, you are looking at the wrong manhwa. This isn’t for the innocent or the faint of heart, but it is good if you can handle everything listed in the trigger warnings and don’t mind chapters upon chapters of gratuitous sex. I think this is worth reading. It is one of those comics I can’t seem to forget for good and terrible reasons. Also, just to be clear, there are very few sexy sex scenes in this. Sex is a weapon in this. I don’t want to misconstrue that this is a sexy story or anything like that because it most certainly isn’t.
Now that we got that out of the way, this is gorgeous. Shiwoo and Yujin, in particular, are beautiful. I wish I could find more from this artist because I am pretty sure I would buy anything they put out at this point. Yujin, in particular, looks like an angel or something. They’re both beautiful and are a feast for the eyes. This whole thing is gorgeous, so you won’t be disappointed if you are really into pretty art with very pretty boys. The beautiful artwork is a perfect contrast to the dark and painful story. There is so much ugliness that gets dredged up throughout this tale the art is almost deceiving. The violence, the pain, and the suffering alongside angelic faces and beautiful people are disorienting and jarring, which I loved.
Now let’s talk about Yujin as a character. He is the best top among the options. He’s a little spitfire with the face of an angel, which I love. Once again, I am reminded of my favorite bottom Hye-sung from Love is an Illusion!, but Yujin is actually the top. We have a small top, and I love that. I am not sure why I am so obsessed with the idea of the bottom being taller or bigger than the top, but I am living for it. Don’t get me wrong, though, Yujin is not a perfect gentleman at all; sometimes, I find him worse than the others just because he is so vindictive toward someone who is clearly a victim. He claims he is being an ass because he doesn’t know what Shiwoo is going through, but I don’t know that anyone could be so stupid not to recognize that Shiwoo has gone through something terrible and shouldn’t be taunted or poked at. No one in this is that great of a person, especially when talking about, speaking to, or interacting with Shiwoo. Shiwoo deserves to be protected, but pretty, petty assholes surround him.
If you haven’t read this yet and are still on the fence because you are worried this has a sad ending, I am here to tell you this has a happy ending. Hyun, the ultimate asshole and enemy #1, gets delicious retribution, which was nice. I am so glad the villain didn’t get any redemption. That was beyond satisfying. However, though it is a happy ending, part of me wishes this had ended with Shiwoo going it alone. I think he deserved to find happiness within himself, outside of all the jerks who used sex as a weapon against him. He wasn’t perfect either, and just because he has experienced immense trauma doesn’t mean he can just treat people any which way. Even so, though, the way people retaliated against a clearly suffering person was the lowest of the low. I am glad Shiwoo ultimately found happiness, but I wish he had found more happiness within himself rather than with the assholes who hurt him along the way.
This is a painful read. I will never recommend this to anyone simply because it is so dark and extremely explicit, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t like this. It’s depraved, disgusting, and violent, and I cried a few times while reading it, but it is beautiful and has a story worth reading. I wish it did have a more substantial ending for the sake of Shiwoo, but overall it was a cohesive story.
Have you read See You Again? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!