Manhwa Review | The Origin of Species by Harusari



There will be spoilers for the series The Origin of Species.

Trigger Warning: There may be references to rape (including gang rape), nonconsenting porn, manipulation, death, male , mentions of infertility, exploitation, theft, sextortion, blackmail, murder, drug trafficking, hacking, violence, gun violence, self-deprecation, confinement, corruption, gang activity, blood, dubcon/noncon, , relationship between boss and employee, power imbalance, sex work, child abandonment, disordered eating, body-shaming, drugging, attempted abduction, PTSD, fake identities, attempted assassination, human trafficking, fraud, and grooming, as it appears in the manhwa.


Youngjin is a faulty omega. Though he's part of the extraordinary species, due to being born from an ordinary species and an extraordinary species pairing, he's effectively infertile. Not to mention, he's missing the superhuman strength, speed, and other superior qualities found in full-blooded extraordinary species. That wouldn't be so terrible if not for the lonely and dangerous life he's forced to lead. After his grandfather passed, Youngjin was left entirely alone on the island he grew up on, everyone else having moved to the mainland. It isn't until Youngjin is taken in by “sir” that he is given a new purpose. Sir steadily grooms Youngjin, tying him to him with immense debt and helping him become an unstoppable hacker, but oppressing all other aspects of his life.

During an intense mission where Youngjin must hack into a safe at an auction to steal a mysterious, encrypted item, he and his teammates are captured. Youngjin is tied up and presented to an alpha, the item's buyer. He is Seo Seunghyun, president of a large company and a man who has every intention of getting what he wants, no matter what it takes. He has the item, but it's encrypted, and his team just isn't well-equipped to break into it. Having seen Youngjin's skills firsthand, he's sure Youngjin is just what he needs. Youngjin is willing to work with Seunghyun only under a few conditions.

The first is to free his teammates.

Easy enough, but then there's the second condition:

Make a sex tape with Youngjin.

Seunghyun is shocked but even more intrigued, and after a night with Youngjin in bed, he finds himself intensely drawn to the strange omega. If Seunghyun wants Youngjin, he'll get him, and he's willing to do anything to win Youngjin over.


This is one of the most inconsistent art styles I've seen. The characters change constantly, particularly our top's shoulders (and occasionally his neck). This man has shoulders that endlessly grow from chapter to chapter. It's wild. Some of the designs are also almost identical, once again mainly affecting our top and Executive Director Kwon, who I mixed up several times throughout the series. Don't get me wrong, it has some exquisite panels, but they are intermixed with some of the weirdest, inconsistent panels I've seen. I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention Youngjin's nipples. They look detachable and make me so uncomfortable. I'd also say this is one of the few series where the art worsens as it goes on, particularly in the latter half. It's interesting. I'll just say this: you will not be bored by this art style. There is always something to look at, good or bad.

Cover art for The Origin of Species on TappyToon

I also wasn't too fond of the overarching story. This deals with international crime, drug smuggling, market manipulation, and deception on all fronts. This leads to pretty intense segments discussing various locations, auctions, stocks, ciphers, international police agencies, and the like. Admittedly, a lot of it went right over my head. I appreciate how detailed it was, as it did feel authentic, but I found myself glazing over as I read through certain sections. This is likely due to my lack of interest in crime dramas, espionage, and things like that, which this feels like to me, so if you like that kind of thing, this might be a plus. Unfortunately, it wasn't for me, and while it is a vehicle for the main focus, the , it carries a lot of weight and takes up a lot of time, which I would've preferred to have been spent elsewhere. Thankfully, after the “item” plot, we get lots of fluffy romance, including marriage and brief child-rearing, which I love in omegaverse. I just wish there had been more.

What I do enjoy from this is the character development of Youngjin. We start with something compelling: Youngjin demanding a sex tape from Seunghyun as a means of blackmail, and like Seunghyun, I was shocked, as usually the omega is sexually exploited by the alpha, not the other way around. For him to leverage that was very powerful. But as we discover over the course of the series, he has been sexually exploited, which was why he was so open to using his body and sexuality to protect himself. It's such a painful realization when we're set up to think from the beginning that Youngjin might be the sexually empowered character, only to find he's just doing what he already knows how to do from his own exploitation in order to survive. As a result, we quickly learn that Youngjin distrusts everyone, minus the extremely tight inner circle, that he loves to death. He's brilliant, and he's a true survivor. But over time, he learns to be doted on and to ask for things rather than to form some sort of deal. He learns that not every relationship is transactional, which makes my heart soar.

And Youngjin's characterization wasn't the only surprise. Seunghyun comes off as your standard red flag top, mafia-boss-behind-the-company-president-special, but we quickly discover he has a soft spot for Youngjin. He teaches Youngjin to want things, doting on him and even considering him an equal despite their massive social gap. Seunghyun is rough in bed, which I don't personally see as a negative, and I quite enjoy it since it creates a nice dichotomy between the sweet, possessive lover and the beast in bed. He might still be considered a red flag since he hunts down Youngjin and confines him for a time, but from the beginning, he seems to go out of his way to treat Youngjin kindly, so he's more of a green and red checkered flag if you will. Seunghyun had always considered Youngjin's preferences, and that only grows as their time together does. His kindness and love show Youngjin that he can trust people, so it'd be doing Seunghyun a massive disservice to call him your standard red flag. He is husband material from the jump, and I love him for that.

Admittedly, I'm already very biased towards this since it is an omegaverse. I adore omegaverse. However, what I really like about this is the unique setup between our main characters, thanks to the unique rules of this omegaverse. Youngjin and Seunghyun are “half breeds.” In this universe, the equivalent of betas are just regular humans, known as the ordinary species, and they can exclusively breed with other members of the ordinary species. Omegas and alphas, known as the extraordinary species, can only breed with each other. By some miracle, Youngjin and Seunghyun are the products of ordinary species, and extraordinary species mixes, making them presumably infertile (think mules). But as it turns out, they just can't have children with non-half breeds, as they are the beginning of a new species (thus the origin of the species), and this leads to a surprise pregnancy, which made me scream. I LOVE mpreg, and that, on top of this distinct omegaverse setting with a slight inclination toward fated mates, just scratches all of my itches. I love it.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't bring up the star of the show, the first of this new species, their baby: Jiwon. He is so freaking tiny and precious. I love how expressive (and non-expressive) he is, as it really feels like he has his own unique personality. The unfortunate part is that we only see him for a few episodes, which is a travesty. The child-rearing is minimal, and, as a greedy omegaverse consumer, I always want more; this is no exception. Jiwon is everything, and I'm so glad we got to meet him, though I'll forever long for more.


While I wouldn't call this a favorite, the gorgeous art in the beginning and interspersed throughout, the distinctive omegaverse setting, and the fantastic top make this a worthwhile read for sure. This will leave you wanting, and if you're not fond of crime or espionage plots, that might turn you away, but this is a very unique omegaverse setting that I think you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you missed out on for that point alone. I recommend this one.

Have you read The Origin of Species? 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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2 thoughts on “Manhwa Review | The Origin of Species by Harusari”

  1. I think I wanted to like this more. Like you, I love omegaverse and I saw this had a baby so I went right for it. We also share the fact the Phone Call Genre (that’s what I call most of these mafia and spy etc stuff because it feels like 90% meetings and phone calls) causes me to check out a bit. I think the whole half-omega/super-alpha part is actually what threw me off a bit as it felt a tad bit contrived. As I’m writing this out I’m not sure why this didn’t end up a 5/5 read for me, I guess it’s just vibes at this point 😂

    • PHONE CALL GENRE. I adore that.

      Vibes make a huge difference. I actually think the art was the main problem for me. It shifted so much toward the end, and that changed my perception of the characters and setting just as much. It was jarring.

      I’m so sad you didn’t like the half-breed narrative, but I totally understand it feeling contrived. It felt so refreshing to me, and I like that it calls back to the title. I like that it gave a reason for them being different from other alphas and omegas beyond the standard “I’m just broken” that I’ve seen in other titles.


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