Manhwa Review | Knock on Wood by Ga-myeong



There will be spoilers for the series Knock on Wood.

Trigger Warning: There may be references to , excessive drinking, superstition, scams, violence, religion, classism, implied homomisia, break ups, jealousy, perceived cheating, manipulation, threats of being outed, self-deprecation, unsafe BDSM practices, invasion of privacy, attempted murder, and disordered eating, as it appears in the manhwa.


Eunchae is as superstitious as they come. He wholeheartedly believes in horoscopes and fortune tellers, and when he's offered a backscratcher made of the remnants of a tree that was struck by lightning multiple times for a premium price, he jumps at the chance. Because of the tree, the backscratcher has the power to knock away bad luck, and Eunchae plans to take full advantage. Apparently, the power of the backscratcher is made stronger when performed by someone with the word “tiger” in their name, which means his old childhood friend Jiho fits the bill.

Though hesitant, Jiho comes to Eunchae's house and proceeds to hit him with the backscratcher. After a few days of this routine, Jiho becomes curious. He asks Eunchae to hit him with the backscratcher. Eunchae hits Jiho once, and surprisingly, Jiho moans. Thinking it was just a one-off, Eunchae hits him again, and Jiho moans. But Jiho isn't the only one reacting. As Eunchae hits Jiho and he listens to his moans, Eunchae finds himself aroused. What new kinks is this situation creating for these friends?


I have to admit it: I hate this art style. I'd say the cover is the prettiest it looks, and even that isn't that great-looking. The hair looks like they haven't taken a shower in months, and the rest of their features are often very inconsistent and sketchy-looking. The eyebrows also bother me, which is nitpicky, but I'm pretty picky. It just isn't for me, art-wise. That's not to say there aren't pretty panels, because there are, but there are very, very few overall. Another issue I have is with Eunchae. He and almost every other black-haired character look identical, minus their eye color, which gets confusing in many scenes.

Cover art for Knock on Wood on Tapas

What I do like about this is the humor. The very beginning is absolutely hilarious. When they were messing around with the backscratcher, I cackled constantly. It was great. We do lose a lot of the humor as the story goes along (and the backscratcher is revealed to be a fake), focusing more on the relationship , misunderstandings, and asshole rivals. Still, we do see that humor resurface from time to time, which I liked. When we do lose that humor, we do get lots of , which my degenerate heart really liked, and it is all BDSM-heavy goodness. We get whips, cock cages, and candle wax, all fun moments of sexy time that we don't see a ton of in other titles where BDSM might occur. We also get the standard collar and bondage, which is always a fun time. Watching them explore kink, though sometimes in toxic and dangerous ways, was fun and interesting. If you're looking for 100% consensual and 100% safe BDSM play, and if you need safewords, this might not be for you, but I enjoyed it all the same.

I do think it is important to note that these two break up and get back together a lot. I kind of like that that happens, as it feels very realistic. The two are pretty young, and being new to long-term relationships, I could totally see them breaking up and getting back together as they learn boundaries, discover and work on their insecurities, and just navigate their ever-changing lives. This is one of the reasons I love college-age stories because that time of life is so turbulent, and these two embody some of the most stressful moments in life, like living with your parents through college and having to balance independence with dependence on them, the social expectations there are to drink and party, finding jobs as graduation nears, and maybe most importantly during college: grades. These things can adversely affect relationships, and they definitely do here. Unfortunately, as realistic as it is, it can be painfully annoying and upsetting to read, so if you're looking for pure, fluffy escapism, this will probably be a tough read.

But these two goofballs are super fluffy. When they're together and in a good place, they are adorable. When the big bad rival, Hyun Min, arrives in the picture, he causes discord and chaos as he tries to break them up to get to Eunchae, but my boy Eunchae believes in Jiho. On the other side, Jiho learns to establish healthy boundaries to avoid misunderstandings. These two learn and grow by leaps and bounds, and there are not many of those silly moments in misunderstandings where a character believes the rival over his partner before talking everything out, which is super satisfying. That doesn't mean they don't make many, many mistakes, but they're human, and I think their choices, though often times wrong, fit their characters well and round them out.


For a manhwa with such a comedic premise, there is tons of drama. It's not perfect by any means, and I must admit that the ending of the epilogue leaves me wanting, but this is a very realistic look at young men growing as individuals and partners, which I really like. I enjoy how realistic it is (well, as realistic as a smutty BDSM manhwa can be, that is) and how painful reality can be, but I know some people want absolute escapism. This one probably isn't for you, in that case. You will get frustrated and hurt, but you'll also get the warm fuzzies. It's a ton of goodness rolled up into a single series. I wouldn't call it a favorite, but I did really enjoy it overall.

Have you read Knock on Wood? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!

Click here to read it for yourself!

Comment Below!