Totally Captivated (a.k.a. sorry Japan, but Korea is always sexier)

I caved and read this earlier than expected (the anticipation was too much for poor lil' me), and it is the best shit ever. Well okay, it really isn't, but I'm still on a post-series high (a full 30-ish hours after finishing this and I'm still thinking about it constantly!). So for now, I think it is the best shit ever. You can read the synopsis over at MAL, but when stripping it bare, this manwha is really about two incredibly messed up people who fling themselves into, then desperately try to hold onto their relationship. That Mookyul is a mafia boss is a relatively extraneous aspect of the story; not only is the Korean underworld merely the setting (as opposed to something truly necessary for the "plot"), but it also partly functions as a ploy to make Mookyul appear to be the most kickass, aggressive (but still lovey-dovey!) seme evar.

This series is far from flawless: many plot developments are super cliche, the leads make a lot of dumbass decisions throughout that had me facepalming every few pages, the last two volumes are total maudlin k-drama shit, the plot becomes really convoluted in the last five chapters, and to be honest, Mookyul isn't even all that well-developed of a character. But this is one of the rare instances in which I can guiltlessly say that, no matter how much the critical side of me protests, I really, really don't give a shit. This series is basically the equivalent of a very long and very addictive fanfic; it's supremely entertaining in such a way that you *know* the author understands the target audience well and is catering to that audience perfectly. I can't even say this is a guilty pleasure because it's so good at being entertaining that I feel no reason to be embarrassed about liking it. As far as I'm concerned, this manwha is brilliant and Mookyul is one badass mo'.

Of course, that the two leads are stupid gorgeous and wear stupid gorgeous clothing just adds to the brilliance. This series is practically a fucking fashion show half the time, what with Ewon constantly strutting around in DKNY-esque clothes even though he's poor as hell, and Mookyul's wardrobe almost entirely consisting of the nicest 2D suits and jackets I have ever seen. The boys alone are eyecandy enough, but the clothing is the icing on the cake. Or even better, it's the ice cream that turns a mere cake into a much tastier ice cream cake. <3 <3

read: left --> right

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And did I mention that Ewon & Mookyul use the most absolutely hilarious insults on each other? And that the whole thing is really just hilarious in general, yet still sometimes surprisingly touching? :D

Random points:
1) People who liked Hana Yori Dango or maybe the Mars manga (and are BL fans) prob. have a good chance of liking this. I think these three series are entertaining for pretty similar reasons.

2) Mookyul has such an amazing potty mouth. Of course, this only serves to somehow make him hotter.

3) Ewon shops the exact same way I do:
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4) At one point, Ewon fantasizes about Mookyul wearing SS guard-esque clothing. Needless to say, I was drooling right along with him.

5) Missed Moment(s) of Awesome: violentgangsta!Mookyul wasn't whored out and taken advantage of nearly as much as he should've been. It's a shame that he's only shown seriously wailing on people a few times throughout the series, as opposed to *all the damn time* like it should've been.

6) There's a side story doujinshi, which is actually just a huge excuse for the author to draw shameless Mookyul/Ewon smut. (Since the main series was "only" 16+. Explicit sex scenes were thusly replaced by facial closeups, panel fade outs, and the obligatory "last night was AWESOME!!" morning-after talks.) Features over-the-office-desk sex and Ewon gasping, "Hyungnim!" a lot.

7) There's a to-be-translated 2nd side story doujin. BUT someone had mistaken it to be a sequel series, and when I read their post, I was flailing and silently squeeing on my bed like an absolute retard. MISLEADING BASTARDS. But ah well, a 2nd perverse doujin is good enough for me.

8) If you can't tell already, I *love* Mookyul, even though half the things he does make no rational sense. <33
So much love. Like. I DON'T EVEN. *incoherent*

And most of all, I like how this manwha has proven to me just how utterly shallow and superficial I really am, that I would be more than overjoyed to read a sequel series that doesn't even pretend to have a plot this time around and consists of absolutely nothing other than Mookyul & Ewon flirting, making out a lot, and wearing really nice outfits.