We all know that lesson we are taught as a child, you know the one. Don’t judge a book by a cover. Well life is not as kind as an after school PSA about being kind to each other and sure does Kim Jaerim know it. He is not one of the pretty people and the way he see’s the world it seems everything is so much easier for those that are the beautiful people. In fact he is quite sure that despite his grades it is because of his face that he has lost the recent student council elections. When his complaining about this to himself he is over heard by the bishie level handsome Yuri. Oh and Yuri also hates ugly people.
Out of Control or Never Understand (I don’t know why this manhwa has two titles) is a story that it took me a while to sit down and read but after reading the first chapter I was kind of hooked, this one took me a while to get into. It is a slow burn story and that is not a bad thing but the first few chapters do feel like they drag on a bit and it at times can be a very cliche yaoi story; hate turns to pity, pity turns into real kindness and then eventually something more. Both characters have a lot of growth throughout the story and one of the biggest changes is that lesson I mentioned at the beginning of this review.
Just because someone looks ugly does not mean they are a bad person and vice versa is true as well. Just because someone looks perfect does not mean their life is perfect, if anything that perfect visage could just be a mask they wear in public after all everyone has an ugly side whether that is physical or emotional. This is a powerful lesson that we seem to need to learn over and over again in life. From being taught as a kid (well I was) that just because one of the other kid in you class looks a little different does not mean they are bad or scary. A lesson I learned later in life is that just because someone seems kind and is pretty does not mean they are a good person. Does that mean we should not trust beautiful people and automatically trust people who in our eyes are not beautiful? Fuck no, life is not black and white, good and evil. There is no one stereotype that will fit everyone who you think will fit that stereotype. That is what makes people well a person.
When stories like these go beyond the stereotypes of the characters you get characters that are more relatable, you get characters that feel real. Real characters is honestly something that is very lacking in modern media I have found, whether that be books, movies, anime or TV shows. Anime is the best place I can speak of examples of this because I watch more anime than partake in many of the others. Anime has become way too heavily reliant on fitting a quota of character types and tropes into their narratives. On one level this makes sense, you learn what your audience likes, you incorporate that into your project and with a lot of marketing and a little luck you make a profit from that show. This goes for yaoi which I went into some detail with my reviews of Close the Last Door and The Tyrant fall in Love.
Out of Control is a sweet sometimes cute, sometimes ugly and sometimes a bit of a hot mess of a boys love story that will get you invested in the boys involved and is a good read if you are looking for something with drama and a whole lot of fluff and to read over Lezhin!