There will be spoilers for the manhwa series Sweet Dream.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to dubious consent (dubcon), imbalanced power dynamics, violence, toxic relationships, child neglect, toxic masculinity, slut-shaming, sexism, and gossiping as it appears in the manhwa.
Jaehee has been having some stimulating dreams, to say the least, starring her very own boss, Mr. Seo. Of course, that wouldn't be so bad if those dreams weren't making it near impossible to act normally at work and do her job well. What makes matters worse is that it seems like Mr. Seo is more than happy to make Jaehee's dreams a reality. Unfortunately, Jaehee knows just what can happen when you mix business with pleasure. But for some reason, no matter how she tries to distance herself, she just gets pulled right back in.
It's almost like he's got this supernatural power to draw her in, but that isn't humanly possible… unless Mr. Seo is more than a human.
This review is specific to the mature version. There is an all-ages edition, which I have not read, so I can't speak to it. First off, the artwork. It's a bit inconsistent. The main issue is the proportions of the faces. Sometimes, the faces are enormous, much bigger than is suitable for the neck sizes or bodies. There are other proportion issues beyond that, especially with small hands, but the heads and faces are the most consistently inconsistent. Beyond that, though, there are also some hilarious issues with the size of props or the background. In the first story, with Jaehee and Mr. Seo, Mr. Seo seems to be driving a car made for giants. When he holds the steering wheel, and his hand can't even really wrap around it… hilarious. It's not all bad, though. There are times when the art is just fine, but it's wholly unremarkable, and I'm not fond of the boxy, wide look they give to the faces. There is much prettier and even more consistent manhwa art out there. I will say the second season's art is slightly better, but not by much.
The first and second seasons are two separate stories, tied together by the fact that an incubus was pursuing the main character in the first one, and the main character in the second one is a succubus. The first story isn't nearly as strong as the second. We're thrown right into the thick of it, which makes for an exciting start, but it doesn't leave much room to go anywhere with it. What we learn of our leads Jaehee and Mr. Seo are very surface-level, and their romance is even more so. The only reason either of them seems to like the other is that they have sex a lot. I guess that is as good a reason as any to fall in love with someone, but it felt very superficial, especially since we don't learn much about their backgrounds. It's all very fluffy and sweet once they do decide to be together, but there just isn't much meat behind it. After finishing the entire series, it seems the first couple really only exists to help further the second couple's relationship.
On the flip side, the second season really digs deep into our leads' lives, which really builds out their characters and motivations. They also have to work for their romance, much more than Jaehee and Mr. Seo, which helps the reader buy into it. Hyeseong builds up a brick wall around himself that Taeyi has to slowly but surely break down, and in doing so, we learn why he is so hellbent on avoiding her. Similarly, once he grows closer to her, she runs away, which leads us to learn more about why she does what she does. There's much more tension and effort, and the art is better, so it is a much more satisfying narrative. I also find the designs of the two characters much more attractive, which makes the sex during this section much more pleasing overall.
I do want to talk about the sex because I imagine many people only wanted to read this because of it, and while there is a ton of it, the quality is questionable. The boobs look odd to me in this, which I imagine goes back to the proportion issues. The quality does get better as it goes along, and admittedly, the last chapter has the prettiest panel in the entire series, and it is a sex panel, which is great. The first season is 98% sex, but it's lower quality. The second season is probably closer to 60 – 50% sex but is much higher quality, and Taeyi is a sex dynamo, which is awesome. I mean, this is a story about incubi and succubi. The more sex, the better.
This is another one that lives on my “ok” shelf. It's not amazing, and it's not terrible. It's not good enough that I find myself wanting to come back to it, but it's not bad enough that it was a slog to have to reread for this review. There is better smut manhwa out there, but this is super short, which means it's pretty cheap, and it's an excellent in-between while you're waiting on your longer faves to update. Don't expect anything revolutionary here, and I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Have you read Sweet Dream? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!