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…

12 Days of Yaoi – Well Done – Yaoi Webtoon Review

webcomic review, yaoi

I have been talking a lot of boys love titles from Futekiya during this little special event here on Yaoi Playground so today’s title for review comes from the webtoon site Tapas and in tomorrow’s review I am tackling a big one from over on Lezhin! I haven’t written about a title from there since my last Killing Stalking post, but I think tomorrow’s title comes close to popularity of that one.

As for today’s review, when I first read the synopsis for Well Done by Mongya and Anco I was very much immediately reminded of the yaoi classic OVA series My Sexual Harassment, a title I consider a true classic of the genre, but as I began to read this webtoon I knew I was reading something very different.

Sangwoo Yoon had everything he wanted in life and was climbing the corporate ladder, but his arrogance got the better of him when he was caught sleeping with the boss’s daughter. Two years later he finds himself still at the bottom of yet another soulless job when he catches a higher up famous CEO Jaehyun Han in a compromising position and said CEO wants Sangwoo to work directly underneath him in more ways than one. Will this be the chance for Sangwoo to finally climb the corporate ladder or is he just being toyed with like a rat in a trap?

From a set up that had me hooked from the beginning I must confess I finished this one in one sitting, I was just that hooked! From the hilarious reactions of the characters to the gorgeous artwork this is the one BL title on Tapas I recommend over any other. The sex scenes were some of the hottest I have seen, if I had one complaint for this one it was that the pacing in the second half of the story was a little off, not enough to distract me but some moments did feel like they dragged a little too much, but the ending was a good pay off over all, after all not every boys love title needs a deep story to be enjoyable and it really was the characters that made this one.

Men Plus Monsters – Webcomic Review

bara, lgbtq+, webcomic review

Teratophilia, the sexual attraction to monsters, you know like that recent movie Shape of Water. I love that movie, by the way. I have come to terms with my weird tastes, moving onto the review!

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You know what my biggest complaint is when it comes to porn with monsters whether that be tentacle of otherwise? More often than not that porn is nonconsensual. Now one may argue that many a monster might not have the mental capacity for consent, but that is not a point I am here to argue today or any other day if I am completely honest. But what if I told you there was a hardcore bara webcomic that had consensual gay sex between a human and many other humanoid based monsters?

That is what artist Aero Zero wanted to create and their work is absolutely amazing! A very, very, very kinky human (trust me I needed to use the word very that many times for him), monstrous cat boys and even a slime monster that doubles as a tentacle monster? Then the artist goes and chucks in a robot for good measure and let’s just say that is just another tick on my checklist. I mean come on I have featured many a Transformers fanfiction over in Fanfiction Rec and my all time OTP is Skyfire x Starscream! Got off topic there but the fact of the matter is this. I freaking love this comic!

Men + Monsters is about Royal Guard Lex and his robot companion Akilas rescuing an injured monster one day and upon getting to know the monster Lex decides he can live out some of his long lusted for fantasies with a monster. Lex is one horny protagonist who seems to think sex is the answer to a lot of life problems but sleeping with a monster when part of the royal guard is very taboo and the three end up on the run. What follows is a very fun and amusing adventure with lots of fun with monsters.

MM Ch4 Pg29 copy Patreon panel

The comic can be read online through the artist’s official website and you can also purchase prints and paperback copies of this comic and another comic on the website called Ace of Beast through the sites store. and you can also support the artist himself through his Patreon. Admittedly I have not read as much of Ace of Beast as I have of Men + Monsters, I just find Akilas so amusing that every time I go to the site I end up reading Men + Monsters again.

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Is it weird that I just adore how Aero draws his characters tongues? I think I might be revealing too many personal fetishes in this post

I love finding amazing webcomics like this one and showing my support for the artists that go for their passions! Till next time I’m Mistress of Yaoi!

 

 

Sexy Yaoi Vampires with a Touch of BDSM? Yes Please!

webcomic review, yaoi

Vampires are probably the most popular monsters when it comes to the yaoi genre, but can you really blame yaoi fans for falling in love with them. From the sensual vamps in Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicle mythos to the less refine and down right cheap interpretation of these beasts in the Twilight series we will find ourselves under there spell at some point during our love of yaoi! And if you want my suggestion for a good modern read of vampires you will stay away from the sparkly kind in Twilight and check out the vampire tale of Blood Bank over on Lezhin Comics website! (and no this post is not sponsored I just really love this site!) of course if you are not sure if you want to read this vampire story feel free to check out my review!

It’s a Better Love Story than Fifty Shades – Blood Bank

 

Killing Me Softly – A Killing Stalking Analysis From a Yaoi Fans Point of View

webcomic review, yaoi

When it comes to works of fiction, I am of the strong opinion that fiction is where we as humans can explore the darkest of taboos in society. It is for this reason why for me when it comes to horror, psychological horror is the kind that fascinates me to no end. If any of you my readers have been following my Fanfic Recommendation posts you will have noticed that a lot of these well-written fanfictions explore themes of abuse, mental health, and violence. As painful as these subjects are to talk about, the fact is that they NEED to be talked about and sometimes talking about issues close to us are easier in fiction because there is a sense of dissociation with the subject matter when it is fiction, but this does not make the subject matter any less real.

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Before I continue this review I want to make one thing clear right now, I don’t believe this work glorifies an abusive relationship. There are many kinds of ‘love’ stories out there and not all of these stories are sunshine, rainbows, and smiles. I am strongly against abuse in any kind of relationship of any kind from any partner, but at the same time, I am happy that this story is being told because relationships like this do happen and just pretending that they don’t is pure stupidity and ignorance which is also something I can not stand.

When I announced on Twitter that I would be reading this Manhwa, I was warned by many that this would not be an easy read. To be completely honest, I have read stuff that has made me a lot more uncomfortable. Soylent Green and Lolita are works of classic literature that came to mind and if I was to name a more uncomfortable but brilliant manga; the manga adaptation of Battle Royale is pretty out there with graphic imagery of violence, abuse, and sexuality. (note to self-review Battle Royale at some point)

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That being said I can see why this sort of story is not for everyone and this is one instance where the term ‘Trigger Warning’ actually does apply. The term to me at the very least feels overused even when used as a joke, but then again in this day and age of the SJWs, it can be hard to tell when said warning is a joke or not. I have already made it clear that I am not a fan of SJWs and I am sure that by the end of this review they will have yet another reason not to be a fan of mine, I am past the point of caring what these kinds of people think of my opinion. Ok, rant over… for now I guess I have a review to write and for you to read.

yoonYoon Bum see’s himself as nothing more than pathetic. He has a history of stalking as well as a brief stint in the military that has left mental scars on top of that which was already beneath the surface. How he would have passed a psych exam to become a soldier I honestly cannot figure out and as more of his past is revealed in the ongoing story it becomes clear that the only reason he is still alive is that he fears death and that fear might be the only thing keeping him alive.

f5215a2cecc8726a39bd3627c02c135eSangwoo on the outside is perfect in the eyes of Yoon Bum. He is handsome, popular and even a hero to Bum at one point. However behind that handsome face and popular visage hides a monster that has learned to adapt to the ways of the world so he can hunt for what he wants, and he will get what he wants.

To put it bluntly he is a socially well-adjusted Psychopath, however, don’t quote me on this one as I have never studied psychology formally but have read up upon many subjects of psychology in my own time to improve my own writing with realistic character development.

It becomes very clear with the actions between the two characters that Sangwoo has very little if any empathy for others even Bum. This detachment becomes even more obvious in scenes where he talks of loving a person in a sentence in which he ends with how he killed them.

One of the more infamous scenes of torture in the manhwa shows just how disjointed from reality Sangwoo is and that is when he puts a rope around Bum’s neck, at first he shows joy and fascination from the moment but then something else happens.

Sangwoo suffers from Sexual Sadism Disorder, a disturbing mental illness where the person reaches sexual gratification from the pain and or torture of others, again I emphasize that I have no background in psychology.

This is a disturbing read, there is no doubt about that. But then again it reminds me of an old saying… see it’s like when you go past a car crash, you know you should not look especially if there is a tarp up, but in the back of your mind, your own curiosity wants that tarp to fall. Deep down you want to see that which they say you must not.

aliwnThis is why stories like these fascinate those like myself. It’s why gore and shock websites, the quarantined parts of Reddit and the /b/ board on 4chan are constantly updated and watched. It’s why we google something when we are told not to.

There is a dark curiosity within us all and the world can be a very dark place. Every day we make choices on what we choose to look for in this world, we choose to learn about that which that disturbs us so that we can better understand it.

15802520_1206318936070429_7292664579513909248_nIn that sense, we continue reading ‘Killing Stalking’ because we want to understand the actions of Yoon Bum, Sungwoo and those around them. I cannot in good conscious recommend this Manhwa to everyone, but if you are not easily disturbed, curious about the extreme another side of the spectrum that is boys love/yaoi and have an open mind, by all means, read this story.

This is their story, it is not meant to glorify abuse or be admired but it is their story and there are stories like theirs out there in this world. They might not all be this extreme but abuse can happen to anyone and if you or anyone you know are in an abusive relationship know that if you ask for help it will come.

 

What I’m Reading: The Young Protectors: Engaging the Enemy

webcomic review, yaoi

I’m so happy I’m finally writing about my favorite webcomic – The Young Protectors: Engaging the Enemy is a webcomic I have loved for a couple of years now and is a series that really needs more attention than what it gets. If you are a lover of classic superhero comics from both Marvel and DC and you are a yaoi fan believe me this is a match made in heaven for you.

The Young Protectors follows a Teen Titans like a ragtag group of young heroes under the supervision of an Adult Hero as a sort of Hero training ground, but it is the characters and their interactions that make this series. This is a story that through simple on the surface and could have easily been a simple good guy vs bad guy, black and white perspective it instead has more shades of grey than a certain novel series.

The line between good guy and bad guy are both dangerous boundaries but also blurred lines on the playing field, bad guys are capable of kindness and heroes capable of great evil. At its heart, the story begins with a coming out story for a young superhero and deals with this kind of story with the respect it deserves with enough slice of life comedy as well as social commentary on the issue.

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Characters throughout the story share there own stories of growth and perspectives of societies very beliefs on such matter and these range from acceptance to outright disgust.

This is a web series that does not sugar coat the story it is trying to tell and is the kind of story that I think might actually help those going through these issues themselves, plus it’s also a really cool kick-butt superhero story!!!