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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.

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.

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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…

Yaoi Playground is not going Anywhere

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Last month I wrote a post about the latest update to censorship laws here in Australia and how they are affecting the anime community and especially those who enjoy the adult side of the fandom. I jut want to give a big thankyou to everyone who supported my post Yaoi Could Soon Be Banned In Australia and I want to answer a question that was made to me a few days a go.

If everything is banned in your country will Yaoi Playground come to an end?

If it becomes illegal will I stop? No, I will be standing by my views on what I love and will still review yaoi and anime. As it stands at the moment it is looking it will only be illegal to own physical copies of certain works, it does not pertain to digital copies which will just get more support from me for the foreseeable future.

Liking yaoi, hentai and anime does not make a person a danger to others, I am living proof of that. This censorship saga here in Australia is a dangerous moral panic that will not end with anime I can guarantee that one. Once they start down the road of censorship like this, who knows what will be next and it is for this reason why I have decided what my next review here on Yaoi Playground will be, as for this situation it feels oh so appropriate for social commentary right now. Plus it’s one of my all time favourite anime!

G’Day – Horror Webtoon Review

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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?

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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. 

BJ Alex – First Impression

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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.

 

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

First Impression – Make Me Bark

first impression, manhwa, yaoi

Sungjoon was pretty happy with his new life in the city. He has just bought his first apartment and has a job at a convenience store to cover his rent, things were looking up for him and his new life. Till one day at work he is warned by a workmate that there is a fire nearby and upon leaving work for the day he finds out that fire is at the apartment complex where is living. To make matters worse he doesn’t know anyone that well in the city… no wait that’s not true he does know one person. A rich kid he went to university with, with nowhere left to go he calls him and then things start getting weird for him.

I have been binge reading quite a few more BL manhwa on Lezhin over the last month and I was looking for other stuff to read while I have been reading Killing Stalking, which I must confess is where all my coins I purchased on the site have gone to. I have loved supporting the artist Koogi for her work on the site and have been looking for other BL titles to read and Make me Bark caught my attention for its gorgeous art style. I have so far only read the first four episodes of this story, which are the free ones available and will be most definitely be reading more of this story once I get some more coins.

21042122_136428033635739_99774452518092800_nAs a yaoi fan who enjoys stories with a touch and sometimes a bit more elements of BDSM I was intrigued by this manwha due to images I have seen floating around the net of this series, but it was very different to what I expected. I was expecting this rich friend to be some arrogant asshole looking for a roommate to have as some sort of ‘pet’ with a title like Make me Bark. What I got so far is a story about two very socially awkward young men that is escalating into something more interesting at a slow burn. There wasn’t even any action until the fourth episode. The art for this one is also very gorgeous and is something any fujoshi could fall for so I can understand why it is so popular and I am very much looking forward to seeing where this series will go and will definitely give this one a proper review once I am done.

Also, I must ask to any of you who have read further along with this story… please avoid spoilers in the comments below, please.