BJ Alex – Manhwa Review

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I decided at about mid way last month that all the reviews I posted this pride month on Yaoi Playground would only be titles with good LGBTQ+ representation and when I finally finished reading BJ Alex a few weeks ago by the end I came to an amazing conclusion. This is a hardcore boys love title that shows a very realistic romance between its leads as well as realistic social commentary of the ‘gay experience’ in the modern age. This alone takes this from an amazing title to a modern masterpiece in my opinion when it comes to boys love. Though sex comes quickly in this story and it is the hot scenes that will draw you in, it is the growing romance and character development throughout the series that will keep you coming back for more.

The opening chapters of this manhwa almost feel like a cautionary tale of never meeting your idols, because reality can never live up to the fantasy we have in our head, and in a way this theme continues throughout the entire series. Reality can be harsh and cruel and so can love. First love can be even more complicated when we are still learning about ourselves and who we are and this is certainly true for Nam Dong-Gyun. When it comes to sex he is very naïve at the beginning of the story, but also quietly curious. What starts as an arrangement with his idol BJ Alex as just ‘sex friends’ with the term friend used very loosely soon snowballs emotionally for him when he comes to realize he wants more than just sex and that he has broken the one rule he was given when the arrangement started, don’t fall in love.

BJ Alex, Ahn Jiwon and even the person Ahn is out in public could not be more different from each other, even though they are all the same person, just different masks worn by him. One is the online streamer personality loved by millions of fans for his raunchy livestreams and has a loving attitude towards sex and his own sexual conquest. Ahn Jiwon on the other hand seems perfect to those around him, with his gentle smile and helpful attitude to those around him; but like the mask that BJ Alex wears during his livestreams Jiwon hides the real him behind his smiling mask of perfection. Hidden underneath is a cold angry man who keeps everyone around him at a comfortable distance. As the story continues Ahn Jiwon is the character that gets the most development throughout the story. Through learning about his past, we learn why he keeps people at a distance, why he hates love and why the visage of perfection he hides behind could be doing him more harm than good.

It is the last quarter of the manhwa however that the story goes from amazing to brilliant and there will be spoilers from this point onwards. So if what you have read so far makes you want to go read this manhwa over on Lezhin then please stop here and read the manhwa because I will be spoiling a huge plotline in the later half of the story.

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Legs That Won’t Walk – Episode 1 – 20 – Manhwa Review

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Now here is a manwha that I had on my to read list for ages and finally got around to reading and can I just say, hot damn I wish I had read this one sooner. This is a series that ticks so many boxes for me when it comes to yaoi and even the stuff I normally do not like within yaoi is treated the way it should be and touches on some very dark subject matters with the needed seriousness without romanticizing it!

Legs That Won’t Walk by Black Apricot tells the story of a very broken man that has not given up, even though with his lot in life you think that he would have by this point. Suyeong has retired or more like limped away from a sport he enjoyed, but injuries mean he can no longer be a boxer, but according to his world be lover Ji-Sung it will be ok if he just let’s him look after him.

It is made very obvious from their interactions that Ji-Sung is very possessive of Suyeong, whispering sweet words of love in his ear while threatening him at the same time and this is a powerful representation of an abusive relationship. Ji-Sung forces his feelings onto his so called friend who just can not fight back so all he does is take it, because he is a broken man but there are small glimmers of Suyeong fighting off his so called friend of lover, he refuses to stay with him but at the same time he knows he has no where to go and if things could not get any worse now there are powerful criminals after him because of his father’s debt to them. Even when confronted with these impossible odds he still bares his fangs and fights back.

Seeing such a broken man fight to just keep going is a very inspiring take on this kind of character and I must confess in a lot of ways Suyeong’s character within this story very much reminds me a lot of Riki from Ai no Kusabi. Both are characters fighting to survive in a world that has just used and abused them and though constantly backed up into a corner they will still fight with a powerful fire within their eyes and much like Riki, Suyeong is given savior of sorts in the form of a powerful man. Those gangster’s that wanted to collect a debt from him, their leader is a very powerful man and at what first seems to be a fascinated pity for the young man begins to bloom into something much more powerful, but also dangerous for the both of them.

Suyeong has gone from the world of boxing into a pit of vipers, and though he may not be a snake himself he is more like a mongoose waiting to strike and willing to fight for himself, he does not want to be some kept man, he wants to walk on his own legs, they may be broken but he will keep taking it one step at a time, but like any good story this is more than just the tale of Suyeong.

The leader of the gangsters Park Taesong is an extremely intelligent but violent man, who grows very protective of Suyeong and may god have mercy on anyone who lays a finger on him without his permission whether they claim to be friend or foe. Then there are his underlings one of which has become quite infamous within the yaoi fandom. Min-Hyuk can be described as looks like a cinnamon roll but will fuck you up. He has such a sweet and innocent face and demeanor for a gangster but as the story moves forward it is hinted at that there is something very dark beneath that pretty smile and when it is revealed how sadistic this man can be you will never trust that smile again.

This is the face of a man that will fuck you up

The art for this series is gorgeous and I must confess that the scenario for this dark tale ticks a box for one of my biggest kinks, a powerful man in a suit. That’s right I find a man in a suit so much sexier than even the hottest naked of bodies. From a nicely tailored suit that shows off the best of a man’s assets to a suit and tie ripped open in a moment of passion these are some of the hottest of scenes. Those who follow me on twitter will quite often see me retweet artwork or just images of men in suits – what can I say I know what I like.

If you are looking for a dark yaoi manhwa with a very similar feel to that of Ai no Kusabi then just maybe Legs That Won’t Walk is the manwha for you, as long as you don’t mind themes of rape played out very realistically and violent characters being just that in a realistic way then perhaps this is the manhwa for you and you can read it right here over at Lezhin Comics. If you do choose to read this title, please know that this is the only site where you can read it legally and support the creator and seeing as the story is currently on hiatus now is a great time to start reading.