Trigger Warning: There may be references to homophobia, sexual assault, dubious consent (dubcon), rape, confinement, bullying, self-loathing, violence, suicidal ideation, self-harm, religion, blood, and death, as it appears in the manhwa.
Ingyu is an incubus. He survives off of the vitality of all manner of beings by having sex with them. Unfortunately, due to the barrier created by the divine beings around humanity's world, Ingyu is limited to the beasts and monsters that live in Devildom to get vitality. It's often gross, painful, and dangerous, and Ingyu longs to get vitality from humans. So one day, he finally takes the plunge. He ends up getting a chance from the ruler of Devildom to break through the barrier and live among the humans. Thanks to the fallen divine being Taegyu, able to move through the barrier and protect Ingyu.
Once in the human world, Ingyu wastes no time getting his vitality buffet going by opening up a late-night café. He charms the coffee lids, so when unsuspecting customers take a sip, he can take the form of the one they want the most and take his time sampling them before sending them off as if they had just woken from a dream. All of this is routine until Ingyu encounters Kangin. Kangin is a tired and overworked office drone, and one of his few comforts is coffee. He is precisely Ingyu's type.
Unfortunately, Kangin isn't that easily charmed, as every attempt Ingyu makes to charm him fails. Sure, Ingyu could just move on and charm the next passerby, but he doesn't want just anyone anymore. He wants Kangin, and he's determined to get him. Even if he gets a taste, though, will that be enough? And if it's not, what happens to a human that gets targeted again and again by an incubus?
The art style is very sketchy. It's inconsistent and super cartoony… but I love it. I am usually super picky about my artwork, but there's something so charming and down-to-earth about it. This is very smutty and comedic, with dark moments all held by the unique art style. It's very flexible and enhances the funny moments just as well as the sad, dark, and sometimes scary points. It's not going to be the prettiest thing you've ever seen, and some parts look wonky, but it's still very pleasing to the eye in its own way, and I think the content really overpowers any nitpicks I might have about the art.
On the topic of the content, I really loved this story far more than I would have expected from the onset. The first episodes are relatively superficial, with very little interaction between Ingyu and Kangin and little explanation of either of their motivations. Still, once they start interacting more directly, everything really starts moving. Ingyu is so warm and open, and I love how he desperately longs for someone to love him for who he is rather than who the charm forces them to see. Since Kangin has walled himself off from people and love for so long, all he can see is Ingyu, and Ingyu has no problem jumping over those walls and forcing himself into Kangin's life.
Admittedly, I didn't care for either Kangin or Ingyu, to begin with. Ingyu is bubbly, but I found him a little annoying. On the other side of the spectrum, Kangin seems like a dull, angry storm cloud, but when they come together, it's magic. Ingyu helps pull out the person who wants to love and be intimate with someone from Kangin, revealing this sensitive, loving, and sensual being. Kangin helps ground Ingyu and helps give him purpose and direction where before he was prone to flitting about on a whim. They end up being two pieces of a puzzle that fit perfectly together. I really enjoyed watching them grow together, but I especially loved it when it was revealed that Ingyu is an incubus. Rather than not believing it or being afraid, Kangin is all the more loving and supportive.
However, my favorite part might just be the bonus stories at the end which feature the hinted side couple. Jiho is such a cool dude and an excellent friend despite Kangin and Ingyu getting together when it all started because Jiho said he fell in love with Ingyu at first sight. He still supports them with no arguments. Similarly, Taegyu has stuck around despite doing everything he could before to drag Ingyu back to Devildom. Jiho really helps Taegyu learn about love and lust, and their misunderstanding is totally understandable, and nice to watch them work through it. This is all just a super cohesive love story.
This probably goes without saying, but I really loved this. I wouldn't say it's revolutionary, nor would I call it a classic, but it is a strong, romantic BL entry. It is a must-read for anyone getting into BL or manhwa in general because it's a solid representation of all the best parts of those. It's got all the smut you could want, with a decent plot to boot. It doesn't get much better than this.
Have you read Welcome to the Café of Love? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!