Manhwa Review | Love Bite by LAMYO



There will be spoilers for the series Love Bite.

Trigger Warning: There may be references to slut-shaming, homomisia, , kink-shaming, inappropriate relationship between student and teacher, pedophilia, child grooming, , violence, bullying, possibly forced childhood cross-dressing, self-hatred, and excessive drinking, as it appears in the manhwa.


Lee Shinwoo is a kept man. His boyfriend Sebin is well-off and doting, doing everything he can to make Shinwoo happy, though it doesn't necessarily align with his preferences. Unfortunately, no matter what Sebin does, he can't satisfy Shinwoo on one particular front: sex. It's not for lack of trying. Shinwoo just has a particular kink in that he wants harsh and humiliating BDSM. But no matter how much Sebin tries, he just can't make himself cruel enough to satisfy Shinwoo. Sebin loves Shinwoo, but Shinwoo just needs more than love.

This particular kink didn't just come out of nowhere. Shinwoo developed this insatiable need for BDSM from a scarring moment in . Shinwoo was in love with his best friend at the time, Taesoo. He longed for Taesoo but couldn't bring himself to confess. Unable to withhold his growing lust but unwilling to wait to be with Taesoo, Shinwoo starts an illicit relationship with his art teacher. Unfortunately, while having oral sex in the classroom, Taesoo ends up walking in on them. Seeing Shinwoo in this comprising situation, Taesoo is disgusted and ends up calling Shinwoo a whore before breaking all ties with Shinwoo.

While Shinwoo was hurt and missed Taesoo, being demeaned like that by his first love awoke this need to be put down and humiliated in bed. Unfortunately, Shinwoo has yet to find a partner to sate these needs until he runs into Taesoo at a school reunion. Shinwoo already has a committed partner, but with his first love in front of him, who also seems willing to give in to Shinwoo's preferences, Shinwoo struggles to fight against temptation.


The art in this is rough. The coloring is super smooth, but I think that actually makes this look worse. Both tops' faces are super boxy and thin toward the chin, giving them old-school manga vibes, which I am not a fan of. They are also just generally inconsistent and can often look like totally different people from panel to panel, which is unfortunate. Shinwoo isn't much better, though I think his haircut and fuller face seem more consistent and nicer to look at throughout the series. Overall, though, this isn't the nicest to look at. Even the sexy scenes are uber stiff and awkward, which takes away from those, too. If you need good art to enjoy a series, this will be a major miss on that front.

Cover art for Love Bite on Lezhin Comics

I've grown to be a bit more forgiving of art as I've gotten older, and I've found many incredible stories despite poor art. Unfortunately, this isn't one of them. I've already mentioned it in the warnings, but this does contain cheating. I've read others where cheating from one of our main characters is involved, and it's not immediately an ick for me. Still, Shinwoo is so deplorable of a character without the cheating element that adding it pushes him to a whole other level. He's probably my most disliked character of all time, and I hate that we follow the story through him almost exclusively. He's bratty and cruel to Sebin, who goes out of his way to try and appease Shinwoo. He has no motivations or goals beyond sex, which isn't always a bad thing. I've read plenty of BL where we have a character like this, but then pair that with him being a cheater who doesn't even really try to hide his cheating, and it's just all kinds of icky. Shinwoo devolves into nothing more than a dumb, cheating asshole with really no redeeming qualities.

I did enjoy that Shinwoo ultimately does not choose his first love, which I thought we were heading toward. Though he constantly goes back to Taesoo to satisfy his want for BDSM and chooses Taesoo over Sebin a few times, he never actually chooses Taesoo on an emotional level. He tells Taesoo multiple times that he likes having sex with Taesoo, but his heart belongs to Sebin. I hate that, just to be clear, but I like that he can recognize the difference between nostalgia and lust and true love. He recognizes that he is drawn to Taesoo due to their history but is only emotionally connected to Sebin. I'm glad, in the end, Sebin gets the victory because he deserves happiness for all of his self-sacrifice, though I hate that Shinwoo is the “prize.” Sebin is too kind for his own good and is most certainly the pushover he is portrayed as.

Something else I liked that ended up not actually being developed beyond a very brief glimpse is the relationship Taesoo seems to end up in. Following the final breakup between him and Shinwoo, Taesoo has a one-night stand with someone else nursing a broken heart at a bar. It seems Taesoo actually bottomed, which had me pumped for a possible switch character, which is far too rare in BL. It also shows the stranger with Taesoo on the trip he takes, which, again, hyped me up for a possibly decent , only for the series to end after that. I didn't think this series would make me want side stories or additional seasons, but seeing a couple that didn't include Shinwoo was so refreshing after all of the struggle and pain throughout the series. I was really looking forward to some redemption for this series, but it just ends with no further exploration of this new couple. It was beyond disappointing.


I'm just going to outright say it: I hate this. Our main character, who we follow exclusively for most of the series, is deplorable and not in a reasonable or understandable way. We do get a little bit of hope with Taesoo's rebound, but we're given hope only for it to be taken away with the abrupt ending of the series. This has some really nice romantic elements, particularly from Sebin's side, but it's all pointed toward someone who doesn't deserve it. This was so, so disappointing, and I highly recommend you avoid this one unless you are desperate for either a hate read or just anything new. Otherwise, it's not worth your coin.

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

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