12Days of Yaoi – Painter in the Night – Season 1 Review

manhwa, webcomic review, yaoi

I have been wanting to write about this manhwa for a while now, but then I fell behind in reading the end of the first season (that’s chapter 1 – 44) due to volunteer work but now that I have had time to finish the first season I know this would be one of my big posts for the 12 Days of Yaoi, after all to say this manhwa from Lezhin has taken the yaoi fandom by storm is a huge understatement. There is no part of the fandom not talking about this manhwa and like I wrote in yesterday’s post I have not seen this much hype around a title from Lezhin since Killing Stalking!

Before beginning this review however, if you are not familiar with manhwa and are not a fan of dub con or abusive relationships this is not the manhwa for you and this will be the only warning I give.

First previewed on Lezhin July 10, 2019 and then officially released almost two months later Painter in the Night by Byeonduck, this manhwa tells the story of two individuals from opposite ends of society that never should have met, if not for one of them having an obsession with the erotic art of the other to the point where he orders his underlings to find him the artist so they can work personally for him and become his own private painter.

If you have been anywhere in the yaoi fandom this year you have seen this smug face, but don’t let that handsome face fool you… unless you are one hell of a masochists’

Yoon Seungho is the apittimy of a spoiled rich brat who because of his power as a noble can do whatever he wants without consequence. He is an impatient man with an insatiable apatite for sex with men and a violent streak for when he does not get his way. There are a lot of similarities between him and Sangwoo from Killing Stalking, except where Sangwoo is calculating and sneaky with his predatory ways, Seungho knows he can get away with what ever he wants so sees no need to hide who he is, so in a way he is a much more dangerous man than Sangwoo. If you are interested in a deeper dive into the type of psychopath Seungho is I highly recommend reading the article Yoon Seungho’s Psychopathy analysis. Painter of the Night, 2020’s most captivating webtoon by bkty5181. In the article they write about what makes is a psycopath and why Seungho could be classified as a high functioning psycopath. I found it to be a fascinating read while I waited for updates back in July.

And don’t be fooled by this innocent face either…

Baek Na-kyum would be considered by most the lowest of the low in society. Orphaned as a child and left of the steps of a Kisaeng, which is pretty much the ancient Korean equivelent of a brothel he at a young age showed an aptitude for art. Unfortunately the subject of his drawings was male one male sexual acts in particularly sodomy. As he grew older he would sell collections of these sexually explicit images under a pseudonym before becoming nothing more than a traveling drunk. But when Yoon Seungho wants the artist behind his favourite erotic pictures found he is pulled out of hiding and forced to work in the palace as a painter while watching the nobleman partake in these acts.

Seeing as the nobleman Seungho is paying attention to this young artist, jealousy begins to rear its head in other noblemen who enjoy there activities with Seungho so of course this is where the drama begins. From acts of jealousy to try and get the young artist banned from the house to other deeds the life of luxury is not at all kind Baek Na-kyum but because Seungho wants him to stay and paint for him he will do anything to make the man stay.

Now I can not talk about the relationship between these two without talking about the biggest thing that will keep some away from this manhwa. There is a lot of rape, non-con, dubious consent and out right abuse in this manhwa and it even a few times made me uncomfortable for the level of cruelty. That being said at no times during my reading of the first season did it ever feel like those elements were being romanticized, it came close a few times but it was treading a very fine line. So fine in fact I’m still on the fence even by the end of this season whether I consider this even a romantic relationship or just sex for the sake of sex. There is an obvious connection growing between the two, it is just not a very healthy one in my opinion.

As I wrote this is a series that has amassed a lot of popularity this year in and even out of the yaoi community. From reactions and reviews of the series on YouTube to some damn stunning cosplays on Instagram and even boys love TikTok (which I did not even know until a month ago was a thing because I do not use TikTok) to say that this series has taken over is an understatement.

Be warned headphone warning

But why the sudden popularity? I think a lot of it has to do with timing, after all this series came out around the same time Killing Stalking was coming to an end, plus a lot of people have been home to read thanks to this year. I am happy to see this community growing and loving new works. There has been however, one small tiny detail about the fandom surrounding this series that has me just a little concerned and it once again goes back to my post about minors in the fandom. Like Killing Stalking before it this series has and continues to cover some dark and heavy themes and is in no way suitable for younger boys love fans to read, I don’t care how pretty you find the art this is not content for minors. Call me a gatekeeper if you must, but 18+ fucking means 18+ for a reason at the end of the day.

Other than that though I have been enjoying my time in this fandom and have also been enjoying the latest chapters over on Lezhin, and though I do not enjoy this series as much as Killing Stalking or BJ Alex it has still been a fun journey I don’t intend to get off of any time soon…

G’Day – Horror Webtoon Review


Sometimes the scariest of horror stories don’t involve supernatural phenomenon, sometimes the scariest of stories are those that have an air of reality to them that sense of ‘oh shit, this could really happen.’ It’s these kinds of stories that slither their way into your psyche as you read or watch them that I enjoy most. What can I say when it comes to horror I will take a good mind fuck over a clumsy jump scare any day and if there is one story that gives me the chills the most it is the little known webtoon published on Lezhin called G’day by Yong Sung Choi.

As an Australian I always find it intriguing how other cultures interpret my country. The wide open spaces of our country towns are so calming to me not being too close to any big city its peaceful, but to someone who has lived their whole life in cities surrounded by people I can see how moving to an area like that featured in this manhwa can seem isolating and even foreboding after all your someone so different to what you are use to add to that that Shion is looking for answers about his missing sister and you have a pretty standard set up for a good crime mystery story. Only the story is not quite that simple.

Of course I can not talk about this amazing webtoon without mentioning the amazing art style of it. It is very unique and eye catching and the exaggerated designs of the characters gives the story an extra creepy vibe, especially when it comes to a certain character. Indeed it is the design of the character Hans that grabs a lot of peoples attention when they first see this webtoon. All the characters within this story are unique in their own ways and as you go through the story and learn their quirks you will come to love and hate them, with some of them you might even feel both by the end, yeah its that kind of story you are getting into with this one.

The story of this webtoon is not told in a completely straight forward way, some answers are given straight away to what is going on, or are they? When you only have part of the answer without knowing the question can you really understand what is going on? There is also multiple point of views to this story shared. It is divided into three separate narratives all that tell their own stories with their own conflicts but there is an over arching theme between them all that I really do not want to spoil in this review. Just know that if you are sensitive to stories involving themes of murder, depression and prostitution then maybe this will not be the story for you. This is a dark story much like Killing Stalking, though maybe not that dark at least it was not for me and if my review has not convinced you to give this one a go perhaps the official trailer will.

I know I have been very sparse with information on this title with this review, but I will say this before I end this review. This right here, is my favourite horror Webtoon and I really want more people to read this and talk about it, but at the same time I want to keep spoilers to a minimum because this is a story you want to go in as blind as possible, like any good mystery story it is best to go in knowing very little.

A Killing Stalking Animated Series?


I have been following the turbulent history of Killing Stalking since almost the beginning of its run over on Lezhin Comics. I have reviewed all three seasons of the manhwa in and have written pieces on its growing fandom and controversy around the contents found within its dark and deadly tale. The tale of Killing Stalking ended over a year ago, but even now new controversy still follows this infamous and popular manhwa as new fans and haters find there way into the fandom. It is something that I believe will follow this fandom for some time to come given the nature of the kind of story Killing Stalking is.

Then on May 22, 2020, YouTube channel mOss released a teaser trailer for a Killing Stalking animated project, which has been the subject of many discussions around both Killing Stalking fan groups and yaoi groups around the net, bringing back the question the story has faced since it’s first growth in popularity. Does it romanticize an abusive relationship?

This was not the first video I had seen from mOss’s channel as I had seen their previous animated trailers for Killing Stalking, both of which I found chillingly amazing. Though now I understand why after originally discovering these videos why I had so much trouble finding them the next day. It would seem that the creator had their Youtube channel was terminated for violating the Youtube terms of service. Believe me, there is worse stuff than a Killing Stalking fan video on Youtube and what and who seems to get terminated for actions or non-actions seems about as random as a flip of the coin.

Through the trailer of this new project, however, I rediscovered this amazing creator and learned more about their history within the fandom through their site. For example, I had no idea that the previous videos I had loved so much were part of an official Killing Stalking fan competition or that Koogi herself had chosen their work as the winning entry. These two previous videos had been in 2D, so I found myself surprised when I read the description for the upcoming project to be in 3D. The series is planned for 17 epsiodes at an hour run time each and will be released under the horror studio chAosOPUS Studio.

Now I know a lot of people are very hesitant when it comes to 3D animations because some can look downright awful and can be seen as a cheaper way of getting a product out. It does not look that way for this project though. There are already quite a few progress updates on the site which shows ongoing progress of the project and I must say I am very much looking forward to seeing where this project goes in the future. 

Killing Stalking – Season 3 First Impression

manhwa, yaoi

Sangwoo’s recent kindness in the opening chapters to the latest season of Killing Stalking could be his cruelest acts towards Bum so far, but I am seeing a lot of criticism from within the Killing Stalking fandom because of recent events. The story is going all lovey dovey and the author is giving into fans and going the romance route. The thing is Killing Stalking has always been it’s own twisted romance story, it just happens as I have said before be a very abusive relationship.

Abuse is not just emotionally or physically beating a person down. Abuse can also be moments of kindness used to control the victim in the relationship. One thing has become clear with the relationship between the two, Bum never reacted in the way that Sangwoo expected him too. This on some level I believe has made Bum a curiosity to the man and has also turned Bum into his new favourite toy. In learning more about Bum, Sangwoo is learning how he can hurt Bum more. He wants to keep pushing and pushing until something else breaks, but as he is doing so it seems something is changing within Sangwoo at the same time. Of course this is all speculation on my part at this point. I look forward to finding out what happens next in Killing Stalking, especially after that final line from Sangwoo in chapter 38…


BJ Alex – First Impression

manhwa, yaoi

The following review for BJ Alex will cover up to chapter 24 and I will most likely make more posts on this ongoing series in the future.

Cool, confident and maybe a little bit arrogant about his sexual conquests, that is how BJ Alex comes across to his fans. He is the complete opposites of one of his most devoted fans Dong-Gyun who could be described as a pathetic little pushover who let’s those around him push him around, but a chance meeting with an upperclassman at school has Dong-Gyun coming face to face with the man he has spent nights fantasizing about. But fantasies never really live up in real life. Is there a spark between these two complete opposites?



I find myself in a bit of a pickle my readers I must admit, before continuing this review. There is some amazing boys love and yaoi titles available on Lezhin, but I am at a moral impasse. I am still boycotting Lezhin for their treatment of their artists, but at the same time I have been asked over the last few months, Mistress when are you going to do a full review of BJ Alex? I will admit right here and now, I have been keeping up with the manhwa I fell in love with over on Lezhin but I have not been purchasing them through the website, I have been reading them elsewhere on the internet. I want to support the artists, so I feel I can do this by giving them feedback and reviews of their work through right here on Yaoi Playground and then let you my readers and possibly their readers who come here make the choice whether or not to support Lezhin or not. With that out the way, what do I think of BJ Alex by Mingwa?


I must confess, I am in love with this story of sexual awakening, exploration, and self-discovery because as the story moves forward these themes are becoming more prevalent for both leads. From Dong-Gyun’s inexperience and curiosity to Alex beginning to learn that there may be more to sexuality than just well the sex side of it and that there may be something else out there he finds himself craving it is a story that leaves this fujoshi wanting to come back for more and the latest introduction and learning about our BJ’s past well, I’m probably not the only one who got a slight reminder of Christian Grey though I really hope that if the author is going to go down the and with recent chapters it seems they are going to go down into the world of BDSM that they do so in a more respectful and intelligent way than Fifty Shades of fucked up. I am not a fan of the Fifty Shades of Grey series, perhaps that is yet another post as to why in the future. I will admit I am a fan of reading stories based on this subculture.


BJ Alex is quickly becoming a modern classic of the yaoi genre within the manhwa industry much like Killing Stalking and it is so great to see these in-depth yaoi stories and as much as I love my light and fluffy yaoi like Small WorldSmall World, let’s face it a lot of us modern fujoshi are leaning more towards the more in-depth storylines within the genre.


Lezhin Comics Exposed


This has been a hard post for me to write as I have been an avid supporter of Lezhin for almost a year now, but as more and more of the recent news came to light about the company’s practices and treatment of the artists, there is a part of me that does not want to believe that these allegations against them are true. I even shared their public statement on the matter, but then I went digging myself and this is what I have found out. Before I start however I will need to clear up one thing. This is not the reason why Lezhin Month was cut short. That was due to technical difficulties on my end. Namely my blogging laptop dying. However if I had known at the beginning of last month what I know now, I would have most likely have not done Lezhin Month at all.

October 2017 Lezhin shut down the web novel side of the business in order to focus more on webtoons because that is where the money is for them, however upon making this decision they did not fully inform the authors of webnovels on their service of this upcoming closure.

January 11th 2018 Authors, Artists and Writers protest outside the office building where the company is located over an unfair payment system that has the company pocketing 70% of the earnings for the work the publish, but digging even more into this I found infomation about a petition that was started by a former writer who worked for Lezhin.


image from thelilycat.com

From what I could understand of the petition, (I say understand because it was in Korean and the only way I had to translate it was through google translate) writing about their treatment by the company in being poorly paid as well as suspicion of tax inconsistencies for the company especially when it comes to their overseas service sales. This petition ended up with 81,315 people participating in it.

So what does this all exactly mean for us fans in the west? I support Lezhin Comics to support the authors they say they are working with and helping. If they are not supporting their authors then I’m sorry I do not want to support them. From this point on moving forward I have for the time being decided that I will no longer be purchasing coins or supporting there site. I will be joining the Lezhin Comics boycott until further notice. But I want to make one thing very clear with this decision. This is against the company itself not the authors whose work I love very much. All the artists, writers and authors whose work I have enjoyed are the ones who are hurting the most right now and that is why I want to help them get a fairer go in their workplace.

Out of Control – Manhwa Review

manhwa, yaoi

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.

2018-01-20 (2)

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!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

First Impression – BJ Alex

first impression, manhwa, yaoi

One of the newest Manhwa to catch my attention on Lezhin Comics has been the recently released BJ Alex by Mingwa. Also BJ does not stand for blowjob my fellow yaoi lovers but Broadcast Jockey. So please get your minds out of the yaoi filled gutter for a moment, don’t worry you can jump right back in when you read this manhwa, you got Mistress of Yaoi’s promise on that one. Most famous in the west for the phenomenon known as Mok Bang there is more to the world of Broadcast Jockey’s in South Korea and it makes sense that a story about one would be told through the medium of manhwa. It’s kind of similar to seeing something very Japanese in a manga like shrine maidens.

BJ Alex tells the story of timid Dong-gyun a lonely collage student who every night at 10pm locks the door to his bedroom, grabs a box tissues and watches his favorite live cam show hosted by BJ Alex. He is in love with the BJ’s ripped body and his openess to talk about all sorts of sexual experiences with his audience, Alex has all the confidence Dong-gyun wishes he had and a chance encounter at school leads to going out to drinks and possibly finding out the true identity of the mysterious and sexy Alex. Will this creep the BJ out or will this be a meeting of fate?


So far this manhwa for me has been very sweet and seductive without coming across as sleazy which can be a nice change when reading a good yaoi story. I love slow burns and I’m kind of hoping for that with this one. The art style is also very enticing especially those piercing yellow eyes. (If my review of Wolf in the House is anything to go by you should know by now that I love character designs with intense eyes) i look forward to reading more of this manhwa and I hope this first impression has given you enough incentive to give this manhwa a go as well.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Wolf in the House – Manwha Review

first impression, manhwa, yaoi

What we want and what we get in life is constantly changing, but there are some things we find in life that we want to keep a hold of. The things we don’t want to change in life are the most precious of all and we would do anything to protect them. I started reading Wolf in the House mostly because I thought the blue-eyed guy on the cover was hot, that is what drew me in but the story I got was an amazing and emotional journey.

2018-01-13 (3).png

Don’t worry it’s not ‘that kind’ of romance

After being ghosted by his off again, on again partner of ten years Munsik on impulse upon seeing an advertisement online to foster a husky at the local shelter, but when he leaves the husky at his apartment to go buy the dog some food he returns to find a handsome man in his apartment and his dog missing! The man who shares the name of his new dog Baxon tries to convince Munisk that he is a werewolf. Human by night and a husky in the day, and so begins a story of self-acceptance, acceptance from others and the hard choices life throws at us.

One of the things I love most about this manwha as well as the characters in the world building and lore that goes into this world and one of the most amusing conversation at the beginning of the story when Baxon is trying to explain why he believes other werewolves exist where he is going ends in a hilarious punchline about of all things kangaroos.

2018-01-13 (1)

Wolf in the House is the first manhwa on Lezhin that has stuck with me emotionally and is the first BL story in a long time to bring a tear to my eye. If you are a fan of unconventional love stories and yaoi you are going to love this manhwa. The main pairing of Munsik and Baxon are beyond adorable whether Baxon is inhuman or dog form and as a Husky, he is downright adorable. I also really love the simple art style of the manhwa the minimal color pallet make the times where intense color is used a lot more mesmerizing, like Baxon’s beautiful blue eyes. If you need a break from the darker side of the BL on Lezhin because you have been reading Killing Stalking I would recommend giving Wolf in the House a read to balance things out with a little fluff and some really hot yaoi scenes.


Killing Stalking Season 2 Review or So You Thought the First Season was Dark?


Throughout my first review of the manhwa I wrote about what about this story draws us in and the importance of stories like this being a part of the modern fiction. This is because they open dialogue for these issues in real life. After everything that happened in the second season, I still stand by this. The dark themes continued throughout the second season that was for sure. With an ending that was a perfect climax to the story of the second season, it left me wondering how I was going to tackle the dark rabbit hole that is Killing Stalking once again.

Season two starts off where season one left off with the aftermath of Yoon Bum’s second kill, at the amusement of Sangwoo. But the outcome of this act is not what Sangwoo wanted he realizes when he asks Yoon Bum how he feels as the young man is freaking out. His response is he feels nothing and this is where the story of the second season begins with a feeling of nothingness and then anger from Sangwoo. Anger that his capture does not feel the same thrill as him in what he loves, he wanted to share something he loves with Yoon Bum and Bum’s rejection of enjoyment at this moment is not what Sangwoo wanted. In a way, this rejection of action feels like a rejection of everything Sangwoo feels he has done to ‘help’ Bum. In anger he throws the same rejection at Bum to the point of trying to throw away Bum, to set the man free. Something that Bum had once wanted but now fears. It is a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome, for as fucked up as this life with Sangwoo is in Bum’s mind that’s not what matters. What matters is that he has a life with Sangwoo, something he has wanted and now has and does not want to let go of and later in the season Sangwoo takes full advantage of this fact to save his own ass.


What follows is a road trip and hike from hell that involves the disposing of the dead body of the girl. Though it seems around Bum Sangwoo is beginning to lower his guard as he slowly reveals more memories of his past, from eating apples with his mother to well I won’t spoil the surprise that Bum accidentally steps on. It is this mix of cruelty and kindness from Sangwoo that makes his character feel like a real abuser. When someone thinks of an abusive relationship one might think of someone who constantly mentally and physically beats a person down. Making them feel nothing more than worthless and though this is part of the cycle of abuse it is not all of it and if anything sometimes it, not even the cruelest part.

How familiar does the following scenario sound? They said they were sorry and that it will never happen again, but then it happens again and again and again. Every time the abuser apologizes they go back because they love them because you don’t see how kind they really are and that it is the victims’ fault because they upset the abuser. If I don’t get them mad then they won’t hurt me anymore. You are left wondering why they keep going back. It’s a cruel cycle of beating a person down so much that they think they don’t have anyone but the abuser and the victim thinking that those moments of kindness are signs of love from their abuser. They are not signs of love however, they are just a crueler form of abuse and emotional manipulation. Oh Sangwoo is a master manipulator that has his whole world fooled and Yoon Bum came from a world of his own where he had no self-worth, to begin with, he really did not stand a chance when it came to Sangwoo.


But Sangwoo has not got everyone fooled, there is a dog sniffing out his trail and he is getting dangerously close to revealing the truth. One thing that has been made clear from the beginning of Killing Stalking is how inept and possibly either corrupt or just lazy the police are. But there is someone amongst the police force that does not trust Oh Sangwoo and on instinct alone, he just seems to know there is something up. Throughout the beginning of the season, 2 and even confronts Sangwoo in an attempt to save Yoon Bum who he is sure is a victim of something. Will this renegade police officer outsmart Sangwoo? Well, you will have to read the second season to know because it is an amusing game of cat and mouse not worth spoiling to anyone who has not read the latest chapters.


As well as covering what I have already written about within the latest season of Killing Stalking other interesting turns have been finding out more about both Sangwoo and Yoon Bum’s past, Yoon Bum’s, in particular, was extremely hard to sit through and read for even me, it is a chapter that came with a warning for its content. It talked about being raped and abused by a family member as well as self-harm. I said it before this is not a story for everyone, as not everyone can read about stories like this and be ok with it.

The climax to the season was also another uncomfortable moment, in short, it is a rape scene between Sangwoo and Yoon Bum. Rape kind of bookends the season because there was a similar incident in the first chapter. The only difference is that the first scene involved and ‘item’ being used to abuse Bum and in the final scene well it is almost as if Sangwoo is finally claiming Bum as his own by doing the deed himself. It is a sickening act that is the culmination of everything that happens throughout the second season. I don’t know how Koogi is going to outdo the second season in the upcoming third season but you can bet that myself and many other fans are at a point with this story now where we are just in to deep to the madness that is Killing Stalking and won’t be looking back any time soon.

23434926_1290097157789372_820727902940592343_nBefore I end this review I want to share something cool with all the other Killing Stalking fans out there. A couple of months ago Koogi did an interview but sadly the interview was in Italian, I have however found a translation of this interview over on Tumblr here in English. It is a rare interview with the creator and a fascinating read for fans.

I hope you the readers have enjoyed the first review for Lezhin Month here on Yaoi Playground and Mistress of Yaoi is curious, do you have a favorite BL comic on Lezhin?