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Tag: Mental Illness/Mental Health Condition

These works feature a main character or multiple leads with mental health conditions. It may not be identified within the story and is simply a vague set of mental health symptoms that the characters must deal with throughout the story.

Manhwa Review | Escape into Oblivion by Gawee

Title: Escape into Oblivion
Author: Gawee
Artist: Gawee


Woojin is willing to do anything to escape. Escape from what? His family, school, his lovers, and life in general. He’ll do whatever it takes to escape, whether through sex, alcohol, moving away, hiding from school, or anything else. It’s almost like a game to Woojin, and it’s one that he wins often. That is until he meets Hwon.

Hwon does anything Woojin asks, even when Woojin does everything he can to either run from Hwon or hurt him. This intensity of love is new to Woojin, and it scares him. What scares him even more, though, is who Hwon might be. Part of why Woojin feels the need to escape is that when he was a child, his friend was beaten by a homeless boy they would occasionally pick on and who Woojin would confide in. Rather than save his friend, Woojin ran away, never to see the friend again.

Could Hwon be that friend seeking revenge? Or could he be the homeless boy, finally back to take what belongs to him, Woojin? Woojin’s not sure which he would prefer, but he knows one thing for sure. No matter who Hwon ends up being, Woojin has fallen hopelessly in love with him, which is something he can’t escape.

Manhwa Review | Dine With a Vampire by PANGIN

Title: Dine With a Vampire
Author: PANGIN
Artist: PINKO


Sooin spends every day living in utter hell. He lives in a world stuck between guilt and rage, love and vengeance, and complacency and revenge. The best he can do on a day-to-day basis is to try not to anger his roommate Sungha. Why Sungha? Because Sungha spends every day torturing and beating Sooin because Sooin fell in love with him. Sooin could leave, but his guilt won’t allow him to, as he feels his love for Sungha has turned him into a monster. So he endures Sungha’s cruelty, but not without hoping that someday he can escape.

Then, while at work, Sooin meets another kind of monster. He runs into the owner of the restaurant he works at, Chi-hwan, because of a cut on Sooin’s finger. It turns out that Chi-hwan is a vampire, but not just any vampire. Instead, he is a vampire that can’t drink human blood and must subsist off the hearts of his fellow vampire brethren. But for some reason, he is drawn to Sooin’s blood, and when he gets a taste of it, he finds it perfectly palatable when human blood hasn’t been for so long.

Desperate to ensure Sooin stays alive and well so he can partake in his blood, Chi-hwan makes him an offer Sooin can’t refuse. Chi-hwan will kill for Sooin, including Sungha. All Sooin has to do is give him blood.

Manhwa Review | May Belongs to Me by eol

Title: May Belongs to Me
Author: eol (formerly cereal)
Artist: Gaesalgu


May has terrible taste in men. His latest boyfriend tended to hit him whenever he was upset, then blamed May for “liking it.” May is pretty quick to leave when things go sour, but due to his homeless status, he’s quick to get with the next man for a place to stay. He’s already got Youngjin, a kind bar owner, in his sights when his abusive boyfriend comes back one evening since he’s also an employee at the bar. The ex-boyfriend attacks May, choking him, but just before May passes out, a mysterious man appears and takes care of the ex before stealing away May in the middle of the night.

When May wakes, he finds him naked, in bed, in an unfamiliar, stark white bedroom. While that is strange enough on its own, he also finds a collar locked around his neck, connected to a chain. May has been in some shitty situations before, but this takes the cake. While trying to determine if this is an ex or just a psychopath, May meets his captor: Jooin. While Jooin doesn’t seem like some fanatical psychopath, he also doesn’t seem like one of May’s exes, but Jooin acts like they know each other.

Jooin is kind and sweet (besides being a kidnapper, of course), but he has the odd inclination to treat May as if he were a cat. He feeds him cat treats, buys him cat toys… and he wants to neuter May? What is going on? Who is this guy?

Manga Review | Until I Meet My Husband by Ryousuke Nanasaki

Title: Until I Meet My Husband
Author: Ryousuke Nanasaki
Artist: Yoshi Tsukizuki


Based on a novel of the same name by Ryousuke Nanasaki.

This is the story of Ryousuke Nanasaki. From the time he was small, he always knew he was different. Whether it was the way he spoke, the way he walked, or the things he enjoyed, he never could mesh with what the world expected him to be as a little boy. This only became all the more apparent when he began going to school and was incessantly bullied for being a “girly-boy.” Whether it was by adults or his peers, he was always treated as an “other” until he met Tsukasa. Of course, Tsukasa was Ryousuke’s best friend, but more than that, he was his unrequited first love.

This starts a journey of self-acceptance, self-love, and the journey for true love for Ryousuke Nanasaki. Ryousuke has never been what the world perceived as normal, but that would never stop him. He wants true happiness with the one he loves and wants that for everyone, no matter who you choose to love.

Manga Review | Metro by Chika Hongo

Title: Metro
Author: Chika Hongo
Artist: Chika Hongo


Mizuki spends his days under the watchful and paranoid eyes of his mother. It was of no fault of his own that he is monitored so carefully, but it is instead due to his father’s infidelity. Because his father ended up having a scandalous affair and left both Mizuki and his mother behind, Mizuki’s mother now views everything sexual as evil. To prevent her son from following the same path as his father, she makes him write out every hour of his day, monitors the media he consumes, and controls every aspect of his life that she can so he never encounters anything she deems as immoral.

This causes Mizuki’s life to become rather hollow, especially since, due to an illness, he could not graduate high school and is forced to attend his final year again as somewhat of a social pariah among the strangers in his class. The only spark in his life is the few times he rides the metro. There, on the train, a faceless man assaults him. For someone else, this would be traumatic and horrific, and though it does scare Mizuki, he finds it thrilling and the only intimate connection he’s ever had with another person.

This happens nearly every day like clockwork, with the man touching Mizuki for a while only to disappear without a word, until one day while touching Mizuki, the man tells Mizuki that if he gets off the train with him, he’ll give Mizuki more. Having been isolated and sheltered for so long, Mizuki finds himself unable to refuse this offer. But is what he finds on the other side worth risking his simple and routine life for?

Manhwa Review | Siren’s Song by Clarju

Title: Siren's Song
Author: Clarju
Artist: Clarju


Yul has lived his entire life hopelessly strung along by others. “Lived” is a generous term. With his life never fully in his control, he has always been forced to follow the whims and commands of those around him. Even as an adult, that hasn’t changed. He currently lives in an apartment owned by his adopted brother, who has an unhealthy obsession with him that goes beyond a sibling relationship. In that home, alone and unable to leave, Yul spends his day under surveillance and composing music that is presented to the world under his brother’s name. His only solace is out on the apartment balcony, where he can sing and smoke to his heart’s content.

Yul’s small world is rocked, though, when one evening on the balcony, his singing is overheard by a neighbor on the balcony above. The neighbor Luan is immediately drawn to Yul for an inexplicable reason. However, Yul allows Luan to begin his plan for revenge against everyone who made his life hell, even if he has to destroy Yul in the process. Luan doesn’t expect that as he grows closer to Yul and begins to uncover the history behind his existence, Luan not only wants revenge for himself but for Yul as well. But what he fears more than anything now is losing or hurting Yul amid his vengeful warpath.

Manhwa Review | Home Alone Together by Shin Yuri

Title: Home Alone Together
Author: Shin Yuri
Artist: Shin Yuri


Junwoo is a hikikomori – a young adult who has become a recluse. For the past five years, since graduating high school and after the death of his parents, he has holed himself up in his childhood home, where he spends his days in idle existence. The only thing he has to look forward to is the occasional visit from his neighbor Hanbit, a guy he’s had a crush on since he was a kid. Otherwise, his days are filled with severe loneliness and the self-loathing he hasn’t been able to shake.

One day, Hanbit comes by, implying that he might be moving in with Junwoo. This lights a fire under Junwoo, and he immediately assumes this is his chance to win over Hanbit. However, when Hanbit comes over, he brings along a stranger: Wooyeon. It turns out that Hanbit isn’t planning to move in. On the contrary, he is moving away to be with his longtime girlfriend. However, in fear of Junwoo being left alone unsupervised, Hanbit has the great idea that Wooyeon should move in with Junwoo.

Neither Junwoo nor Wooyeon seems jazzed about the idea, but both seem compelled to go along with it because of their affection for Hanbit. So begins the awkward orbiting the two have as they live together. Despite their disdain for each other’s company, slowly but surely, they grow to tolerate one another. And soon, that tolerance evolves into something more, something neither of them expected it would be. But these two have a lot of old wounds that threaten the peace they have created with each other. Will they be able to move forward, or are they destined to drown amid their surging trauma?

Manhwa Review | A Thousand Cranes by Jung Seokchan

Title: A Thousand Cranes
Author: Jung Seokchan
Artist: Jung Seokchan


Craig’s life has always been challenging. He’s always played the role of a parent to his younger sibling and had to be a punching bag to their father. So when his father disappears, Craig momentarily believes this is the relief he and his sibling desperately need. Unfortunately, though, debt collectors come knocking once their father is gone. It turns out that Craig’s father has accumulated a massive amount of debt and listed Craig as the guarantor for all of it. Craig sticks around, unable to leave his sibling behind and unwilling to throw away all of the responsibility his father did. He quits school, takes on as many jobs as possible, and starts the neverending task of paying off his father’s debts.

Over time, though, the responsibility is only getting heavier and heavier, and as time goes on, the debt never seems to let up no matter how much he pays off. Life is beginning to seem not worth the effort. Then, on an evening when those dark thoughts are incredibly taxing, Craig comes upon a scene one would only expect to see in gangster films. In the shadows of a dark alley, there is a dead body, and standing above the dead body is a killer. Craig runs off but is soon captured by the killer. At first, the killer, whose name turns out to be Dean, is fully intent on silencing Craig forever, but there is something about Craig that Dean can’t seem to let go of. So, instead of killing Craig, Dean decides to hire him and take on all of Craig’s debt, so Dean is the only creditor.

With some of his stress lifted, Craig finds himself lighter and freer, even when tied exclusively to Dean. As they continue to work and learn more about each other’s pains and struggles, the superficial line between debtor and creditor begins to blur. Can these two broken and struggling people find solace in each other? Even as Dean’s job in the dark underbelly threatens to tear everything they’ve built apart?

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