Manhwa Review | The Sweet Swindler by Pppallet



There will be spoilers for the series The Sweet Swindler.

Content Warning: There may be references to homomisia (including use of the f-slur), trauma, PTSD, , bullying, , gossiping, harassment, obsession, manipulation, sick animals, power imbalance, slut-shaming, excessive drinking, , violence, self-hatred, break ups, stalking, sexual assault, rape, blood, self-harm, victim-blaming, possible sex addiction, strained familial relationships, child neglect, ableism (misuse of terms referring to mental disorders), betrayal, being outed, blackmail, torture, being disowned, classism, possessiveness, controlling behavior, and , as it appears in the manhwa.


Unyul, also known as Yul, is known as a standoffish asshole on campus. And this is not without purpose. Yul has experienced painful betrayal from his closest friends and confidants in the past, so much so that he was forced to drop out of his old and transfer to his current one. So, to avoid getting too close to anyone, he acts in such a way that everyone despises him, and that works just fine for him. His only true friend is his roommate and fucky buddy Gongju. Unfortunately, Gongju is also a bit of an insufferable asshole, but that's why they get along so well. Plus, Gongju is very talented in bed, so they have a perfectly balanced relationship.

But while attending Gongju's gardening club, he meets a freshman named Seoha. Yul is instantly attracted to him, and though he knows this will likely end up in him getting hurt, he can't help trying to forge at least a friendship with the young man. It's a big surprise for Yul when Seoha begins to reciprocate his feelings. Yul sees this as his chance to finally be in a relationship with a kind and honest guy. But Gongju doesn't seem to be willing to end their situationship. Stuck between the man he's in love with and the man he loves to bed, Yul isn't sure he can choose.

And what Yul doesn't realize is that beneath all of the sweetness, there can be a sour center, just as there can be a sweet middle to a bitter treat.


I adore 's art style. It's so clean and generally beautiful. It isn't perfect all the time, and it can be inconsistent, but it's one of those art styles that I find myself returning to over and over again because it's just so soft. One of my favorite titles, See You Again, is by this same artist, so when I saw this had come out, I was all over it. I will say the one thing I hate visually about this is the chosen font. It feels like a scanlation when it isn't. If I remember correctly, I've seen this font choice in other titles on Pocket Comics, and I'm not a fan of it. That's pretty nitpicky, though. Overall, this looks stellar, font choice be damned.

Cover art for The Sweet Swindler on Pocket Comics

However, story-wise, this is pretty lacking. This is truly a smutfest. If ever there was a title that deserved the label pornhwa, this is it in the BL world. If I had to estimate how much there is to plot, I'd say 95% smut and 5% plot, and I think I might be a bit generous on the plot side. Also, Yul seems constantly wet, and I don't mean from the front. I don't know if this suggests that Yul pre-preps all day every day or what, but it's wild. From the amount of sex Yul has between Gongju and Seoha, I'm surprised his balls haven't shriveled up to nothing. There is some plot, primarily focused on Yul overcoming his past trauma from being outed, beaten, stalked, and a myriad of other horrible things while trying to survive a neverending sex parade of a to a poly scenario. This creator loves an overly dark storyline overridden by smut. However, this is much more superficial than See You Again.

I really enjoyed reading this as it was coming out. It was a nice, horny-first read among all the more narrative-focused titles, but when I reread it for this review, I must admit, it was a bit of a slog. So much time is spent reliving the same things over and over again, particularly the rivalry between Gongju and Seoha. Gongju fucks Yul. Then Seoha fucks Yul. Then Yul refrains from having sex with one of them, only to be unable to hold back and start having sex with them again. Then they both fuck Yul. All the while, Yul agonizes over why he can't choose between the two when, in the end, he doesn't have to choose, and our two tops are willing to tolerate each other. If this series is 95% smut, it's also 95% of them fighting each other over who is going to be with Yul and Yul trying to figure out why he's so addicted to sex with both of them. Part of me wishes it had dropped the plot entirely in favor of pure smut, as I think it would be a much easier read, but maybe that's just me. The plot only served to create needless gaps between the sex scenes and dredge up more rivalry between our two rival tops.

Something I did want to discuss before ending this review is the title. I like the concept of a “sweet swindler,” which is initially presented as being Yul. He pretends to be sweet and innocent to woo Seoha, and it's simple and the most obvious meaning behind the title. But he isn't the only swindler in this trio. Seoha acts soft, but he's possessive, controlling, and even a rapist, going night after night into the club room where Yul is sleeping, trying to subconsciously win Yul back. Meanwhile, Gongju, who acts like an asshole and a major dom in bed, is actually really sweet. He admits that he's always assumed he would live the rest of his life with Yul, which is one of the vaguest but cutest marriage proposals ever. In the end, Gongju is the one that deserves better, in my opinion (Gongju supremacy in this house). I do like that they end up in a poly scenario, though, and I wish we had more titles with that ending, as love triangles would be much more satisfying that way.


I was pretty shocked that I didn't absolutely adore this title. I loved See You Again so much that I was sure this title would be no different, but it was almost too much of a good thing. Or maybe not enough? I'm still not sure if this would've been better without the pitiful attempts at a dark plot or not, but either way, by the end, I was beyond ready for it all to be over. If you just need some smutty, smutty, smutty stuff, look no further. But if you're hoping for a meaningful plot with your smut, you're in the wrong place. Either way, this is orgasms over substance, and, for once, it just wasn't for me.

Have you read The Sweet Swindler? 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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