Manhwa Review | Tenth Time’s the Charm by gom



There will be spoilers for the series Tenth Time's the Charm.

Trigger Warning: There may be references to sexual assault, devastating car accidents, , chronic health issues, child abuse, child neglect, violence, assault, death, misuse of medication, , kidnapping, PTSD, sexism, homomisia (including use of the f-slur), slut-shaming, child abandonment, extortion/blackmail, fraud, bullying, false imprisonment, homelessness, confinement, and , as it appears in the manhwa.


Hyunwoo is doing everything he can to get by. As a poor student with chronic health issues, including amnesia and fainting spells, it's hard to make ends meet, much less to keep a job. Unfortunately, his situation comes to a head when he returns home to find his door locked, his stuff sitting outside, and a note from the landlord kicking him out. With nowhere else to go, Hyunwoo heads out to the street with his few belongings, trying to determine his next course of action.

While out on the street, Hyunwoo comes upon a flyer looking to hire someone with room and board provided at a garden-themed cafe named The Flower Garden of Memory. As a lover of flowers and plants and needing a home, Hyunwoo has no intention of letting the opportunity pass him by. He heads straight to the cafe, only to discover the owner is someone he already knows. The night before, while at a bar, Hyunwoo saw the owner, Hansung, kissing another man in the alleyway. They both are stunned to see each other again. As if his chances of getting the job aren't already bad enough, he passes out after smelling what Hyunwoo can only assume is Hansung.

Needless to say, when he wakes up, he's pretty sure he's lost the job. But after Hyunwoo begs, and coincidentally after he mentions his love of hydrangeas, Hansung gives him a chance. So begins Hyunwoo's new job at the cafe. But it's not all flowers and coffee; the longer he works there, the more he learns about his past and how Hansung might have been part of it. His memory seems to be intrinsically tied to this garden of memory.


Unfortunately, the cover art is as pretty as this series gets. The art is very, very inconsistent and much more flat than I had anticipated. There were many moments when the anatomy made me laugh, particularly when we saw flashbacks to when our main couple were children. The child versions of them have giant heads, and when side-by-side with their adult counterparts, it's hilarious seeing the children's heads and really even the width of their bodies being wider than the adult versions. That's not to say it's as bad from the beginning as it is at the end. It does get better, but ultimately, this just wasn't my taste. I'd say the cover art is actually a bit deceptive in that way.

Cover art for Tenth Time's the Charm on Lezhin Comics

Unfortunately, the story isn't that much better. It feels piecemeal together, using very melodramatic stereotypical tropes such as memory loss, the super evil “stepfamily,” and an abusive father, to name a few. These tropes can be used successfully and in refreshing ways, but that wasn't the case this time around. Particularly, the element of Hyunwoo's family is excessively evil with no background or explanation. The mother and son bully and abuse Hyunwoo to such a degree that it's almost comical in its absurdity, which I assume is probably not the intended reaction. In all honesty, the art probably doesn't help on that front, particularly the character designs. Since they are evil, the son has piercings, red eyes, and bright orange hair, while the mother has inky black hair and red eyes. They are the stereotypical “evil” family, and it's kind of hilarious.

Similarly, Hansung's abusive father is pretty laughable, too. He's, of course, a wealthy, bigoted father with unrelenting expectations for his heir. However, the way he achieves this is by preventing his son from… sleeping? He frequently says that if Hansung has time to sleep, he has time to study. It makes absolutely no sense and is used as an excuse to explain away Hansung's insomnia, which, of course, Hyunwoo's presence miraculously cures. Why such an abusive and illogical father would let his heir go off on the weekends to play with some commoner kid when he could be using that time to study makes even less sense, in my opinion. On the topic of Hansung, Hansung, for whatever reason, gives off pheromones? But randomly? And they initially make Hyunwoo pass out, but then comfort him? It just feels like the author couldn't decide what they wanted to achieve from this story or couldn't figure out how to parse it all out, so they just started throwing these elements in until they hobbled their way to the end. It's funny, but again, I don't think that was the intent, which is unfortunate.

I've been very tough on this series, so I do want to end on a positive note. There is a segment at the end where Hyunwoo is coming to terms with his past and his remaining memory loss. Hansung keeps trying to show Hyunwoo mementos and moments from their past, making Hyunwoo feel self-conscious about their relationship. Does Hansung only love the past Hyunwoo? Will Hyunwoo always be compared to his past self? This was an interesting bit of tension and story. It was a refreshing take on the memory loss trope, especially since Hyunwoo never regains all of his memories. I wish we could've gotten rid of the abusive families and instead focused on Hyunwoo coming to terms with his life separated from his past, maybe even life being orphaned, then leading into Hansung and Hyunwoo navigating a relationship with a past only one remembers. I think that would've been much more interesting and more successful overall.


It probably goes without saying, but this is a miss. The story feels disjointed and rushed, the art isn't great, and because of the art, the is stiff and just isn't worth the money spent. Smut can make up for a lot, but there was too much wrong in this, for me, for the smut to make up for. It has elements I would've liked to have seen more time and attention on, but ultimately, it just didn't deliver. I wouldn't recommend this unless you're desperate for something new.

Have you read Tenth Time's the Charm? 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!