Manhwa Review | Unintentional Love Story by PIBI



There will be spoilers for the series Unintentional Love Story.

Trigger Warning: There may be references to corruption, homomisia, prejudice, assault, blood, manipulation, chronic illness, cheating, self-loathing, and sex in exchange for a product, as it appears in the manhwa.


Wonyoung's successful career is put on hold after his superior gets caught in a scandal. The company, Taepyung Group, is unsure if Wonyoung played a role in the scandal, so to hedge their bets, they fire him. Needless to say, Wonyoung is heartbroken. His parents were beyond proud of him for getting a job at such a prolific company, so he can't bring himself to tell them about his situation. Rather than finding a new job, he desperately wants to get back into Taepyung Group. To gather his thoughts and wait out the ensuing investigation, with little hope that he'll be brought back, Wonyoung leaves Seoul for the countryside, where he tries to relax.

While checking out the area, Wonyoung happens upon a pottery studio and store where a potter sells all manner of bowls, cups, and the like. It just so happens that the man who owns this store is none other than Yoon Taejun, the chairman of Taepyung's favorite potter who has been missing for a long time. However, he isn't going by Taejun anymore. Instead, the name he answers to is Joohun. Is this the same guy? There's no question in Wonyoung's mind that it is, but why is he hiding out in the countryside?

Seeing this as an opportunity to win back favor with the chairman and get his job back, Wonyoung relays Taejun's location to his former coworker, who talks Wonyoung into getting close to Taejun in hopes of winning an exclusive contract with Taepyung. While Wonyoung feels this is unethical, his desperation pushes him forward.


Before we start, it is worth noting that while I did mark this as explicit, that is only due to the side stories. The main story itself does not show explicit sex (it's softcore), but the side stories do. I review the entire completed series, side stories included, and if a mature version is available legally, I will always opt for the mature version. You can read this entirely, side stories included, as softcore, but you can also choose to read the explicit side stories. The explicit side stories are listed separately on Lezhin, so you must search for them. This review is for the main story and the explicit side stories. With that being said, let's get started.

The art in this is just as cute and wholesome as the other work I've reviewed, I Have a Boyfriend. However, this is far more consistent than I Have a Boyfriend. Taejun is daddy material. His character design has to be my favorite of all the characters has designed. He's tall, has long hair, and has a cold and broody look to him… it doesn't get much more my type than that. It's also nice to see someone without the big wide PIBI eyes. That's not to say I don't enjoy the standard PIBI eye style, but it was just refreshing to see something different. Everyone is super cute, though, except maybe Hotae. Due to his super short haircut, his head shape is much more prominent, and from certain angles, it looks bizarre, but that's not a big deal.

Cover art for Unintentional Love Story on Lezhin Comics

Just as with the previous title by this creator, where this really shines is in the story. It's a very down-to-earth level of , which is always refreshing when most of the BL that becomes mainstream is fantastical or has unbelievable scenarios. Not that there is anything wrong with those. I love them just as much as everybody else, but it's nice to have something more realistic occasionally, and this one really stands out in that regard. The drama that does exist is heartwrenching. Seeing Wonyoung fall to the floor, sobbing because he regrets lying and manipulating Taejun after Taejun came clean to him about his real identity, is stunning. It makes me want to cry, but it's still stunning all the same. Definitely worth seeing.

One thing that did irritate me but is integral to the story is Wonyoung's ignorance. He's rather bigoted in his thinking toward gay people and how they are depicted in media. I'm mostly bringing this up because I know some people may be triggered by such content. It isn't discussed as problematic outwardly, but it is framed so that Wonyoung is in the wrong. It's not a joke from what I picked up from the few scenes where this happened. It does serve to establish wonderful character growth from Wonyoung as he realizes loving someone of the same sex is no different from loving the opposite sex. Seeing Wonyoung grow in that way is so lovely. I wish he had gotten a bit more of a verbal smackdown, but I still like that his ignorance wasn't treated as a joke when this kind of thing is prevalent and certainly isn't a joke to those who might be affected by it.

What I really love, though, is that Taejun doesn't just forgive Wonyoung. I find that it usually only takes a few days, some heartfelt apologies, and maybe some spice for the hurt party to forgive the other. That is not the case here. Taejun's past is fraught with betrayal from a partner who was with him just for his connections and nothing more, so his reaction to Wonyoung's lies is totally believable. I love how strong he is for himself and his ability to protect himself. I wish I were as strong as he was because, after some of Wonyoung's desperate attempts to reconcile, I have no doubt I would've given in. I, of course, did want them to get back together, but Taejun deserved to see how much Wonyoung cared for him and how he deserved to be wanted.


PIBI is so underrated. I've loved both works that I have been able to purchase. I wish there were more because they truly have a talent for storytelling, and their art just gets better and better. It's wholesome and dramatic but not overly so, and it has just the right amount of spice not to overshadow the plot. This piece is well-crafted, and I think you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't read it. Definitely one of my favorites.

Have you read Unintentional Love Story? 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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7 thoughts on “Manhwa Review | Unintentional Love Story by PIBI”

  1. ***This comment contains spoilers for those who haven’t read the entire story including the sidestory***

    I have just finished reading Unintentional Lovestory for the second time and I will probably just start over tonight.
    Loved your review and I agree wholeheartedly with everything you’ve said. The characterisation in this story is on point and the emotions portrayed are so real and relatable. PIBI wrote another short side story which was released on Korean platforms last Christmas (2022). With my very limited knowledge of the Korean language (I can read the Hangul alphabet, but struggle with vocabulary) and the help of Google translate, I was able to sort of read it. It depicts the very true to life struggles Taejun and Wonyoung face when Taejun is busy preparing for his exhibition and Wonyoung feels slightly neglected and how they work through that. The last scene seems to indicate Wonyoung’s parents know about and accept their relationship, which I thought was very pleasing to discover. I’m really hoping this additional side story will be officially translated in English as well, which will make it much easier to understand.
    Throughout this entire story, especially the later chapters and the side stories, I caught myself wanting Taejun and Wonyoung to come out as a couple. The fact that everything had to remain secret and hidden was a very strong theme in this story, but I guess it is in most BL stories, since that’s the Korean reality. I just felt this might be something this couple could actually do regardless of Korean society standards. Especially after Wonyoung was so adamant in Hawaii, saying they could easily hold hands in Korea as well. I also keep wondering about the proposal. While obviously crazy romantic, what’s the meaning of it when they can’t actually marry? Or is it just a declaration of Taejun’s love? Or, do they get married right there in Hawaii?
    I’m giving this story wayyyyy too much thought, haha!
    Either way, it was good to find such an extensive English review of this story and let out my thoughts on it, so thank you for this. ????

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review and for such a thoughtful reply. Give these stories ALL the thoughts. It’s nice to have someone else to discuss this stuff with.

      I want that side story so badly. I’m sending all the vibes out for it.

      Throughout this entire story, especially the later chapters and the side stories, I caught myself wanting Taejun and Wonyoung to come out as a couple.

      SAME. It definitely is a reality in Korea that they are forced into hiding, but I was so hoping for some reckless abandon on their part. I wish we could’ve seen the result of their engagement, too. I find that in most manhwa (and manga), that they travel abroad and get married, so I would’ve loved to have seen some sort of Hawaii-based wedding after the engagement. My heart will always wonder.

      • I did a happy dance when I read your reply, haha. I also like having someone to discuss this with.

        The second side story is short, only 3 episodes, which is why I fear it won’t be translated. I did send an email a few days ago to both Lezhin and Daewon C.I. asking about an English translation. So far no reply. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

        Lol at reckless abandon. If there were ever two characters who could do it, it’s these two. Taejun because he’s so self-confident and Wonyoung because he is so in love and since his own views on homosexuality have turned around completely. And oh yes, a Hawaiian-themed wedding, be still my heart. ❤️ They’ll always have us Western girls cheering them on, haha! ????

        • The second side story is short, only 3 episodes, which is why I fear it won’t be translated. I did send an email a few days ago to both Lezhin and Daewon C.I. asking about an English translation. So far no reply. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

          You are doing the lord’s work, my friend. I’m sending out all the good vibes that we will get it. I wish we had more PIBI work in general because everything I’ve read, thus far, (granted, it’s only two things, but still) is just so good. I want to give them all my money, haha.

          • I think she (I read somewhere PIBI is a woman) wrote about 5 stories of which Unintentional Lovestory is the most recent. And yes, it would be so good if all her stories got translated. I’d happily invest in that too. ???? #slightlyobsessed

  2. I love your review, but I want to correct something. I don’t think ignorance and bigotry are equivalent though. In fact, they’re totally different. Ignorance means lacking knowledge about something, while bigotry means intolerance towards something. Wonyoung isn’t that much knowledgeable about the LGBTQ+ community. That’s ignorance. But as he said, he isn’t prejudiced towards it, so he’s not actually intolerant. He is, however, indifferent towards LGBTQ+ because, according to him, he doesn’t encounter them that often, in his words, they’re like “people who won the lottery.” Which is why he was surprised when his ex-girlfriend brought him to a play that featured 2 men kissing, and that’s actually normal considering his lack of exposure and because he didn’t expect the play would be about that. And he did not get away with it because his girlfriend gave him a good scolding after that. When he was teasing Taejun over his previous assumption that Wonyoung might be attracted to him, and Taejun was not being that responsive (and we eventually knew why), he told Taejun not to show dislike because *cue here what he learned from his ex-girlfriend*. Note, at this point, he still thought Taejun is straight, so he thought Taejun might have taken his teasing offensive, where he inserted his ex-girlfriend’s point, “that one shouldn’t be too prejudiced.” So we can deduce he’s actually pretty open-minded to these things. He only needs someone to guide him. This point makes it understandable and not that much surprising that Wonyoung easily adjusted to the fact that he fell in love with another guy. I can say he’s pretty close to being bisexual (although an argument against this is that he didn’t seem to have developed romantic feelings towards his ex-girlfriends because it’s pretty much hinted he just went with the flow). I’m explaining the difference of the two concepts because some people become instantly preachy towards other people who are simply not informed over these things, mistaking ignorance for bigotry, and can actually turn these people off from learning more about this issue, instead of encouraging them.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts (and checking out my review)! I really appreciate it.

      You’re totally correct that ignorance and bigotry are two totally different things, but I do think ignorance can lead to bigotry, which I think Wonyoung leans into. He mentions being “not all that prejudiced,” which does suggest that he holds some level of prejudice against gay people. It is true that he doesn’t have much exposure, but saying he’s not all that prejudiced and then following it with “It has nothing to do with me, anyway” suggests that it doesn’t matter if he’s prejudiced or not, since he’s never really around gay people as they are as rare as “people who won the lottery,” all while ironically sitting next to a gay person. I appreciate that he does make comments dissuading overtly prejudiced and offensive responses, but he does participate in some level of erasure that is offensive and that even Taejun seems to react to negatively with a half-hearted “I guess so” which leads to him getting away with it.

      Of course, I’m not expecting Taejun to out himself and tell Wonyoung that it does have something to do with him, seeing as he does interact with gay people (whether he knows it or not) but I would’ve loved if he had been put in his place for assuming these things had nothing to do with him when, in fact, they do, as his community does have gay people in it.


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