Manga Review | The Mountain Bird Cries at Dawn by amam

Title: The Mountain Bird Cries at Dawn



Yamato Edogawa is set to become the fifth head of the Edogawa family, a prestigious crime organization that has maintained their territory for generations. Unfortunately for student Yamato, his position in the crime family has made his social life nonexistent. For this reason, among many others, Yamato has no intention or drive to become the next head. The only thing (or person) keeping him tied to his mafia family is the love of his life, his attendant Yoshiteru Fujiwara (aka Yoru).

As the head of the family, Yamato's father is relatively absent, and after his mother leaves them, Yamato is often on his own. From the time he was very small, where his parents should have been, a young Yoru was there instead. This connection to Yoru has grown from an innocent crush to an insatiable lust that Yamato has no idea how to sate. One day, after running away from home to prove his resolve not to follow in his father's footsteps, Yamato ends up alone in a hotel room with Yoru. Not wanting to miss this chance, Yamato makes a deal with Yoru:

I'll go back if you have sex with me.

And to his surprise, Yoru agrees. Will this ensure that Yamato becomes the mafia's next head as he's meant to be? Or will it only irreparably change their relationship forever?

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Manhwa Review | Breathing the Same Air by YUUJI

Title: Breathing the Same Air



Haeshin lives alone, and he prefers it that way. Having grown up being raised by a womanizing single father, Haeshin was used to people coming in and out of his life on a whim, and rather than deal with the same thing in his adulthood, Haeshin would prefer the solace of singledom. This also befits his sexual preference for solo anal stimulation, which he does frequently just before bed to ensure he gets a good night's rest. Unfortunately, his peaceful, homebody lifestyle ends when his former stepbrother comes to live with him.

Haeshin never wanted to live with Sangheon, but after his father, who still pays part of his rent, comes to Haeshin with Sangheon's mother in tow, Haeshin can't help but enthusiastically agree. It probably wouldn't be such a bad living arrangement if Sangheon and Haeshin didn't hate each other due to their strained relationship as children. It's even worse as adults, with Sangheon being messy, a smoker, and prone to destruction, which is entirely counter to Haeshin. Will Haeshin be able to regain his peace, or will he be stuck fighting against Sangheon for the rest of his life?

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Manhwa Review | A Painter Behind the Curtain by MUNAMU

Title: A Painter Behind the Curtain



Ian is a prolific artist, but no one knows it. His artwork is sold for high prices, prized in exhibitions, and hanging on the walls of some of the most powerful nobles in the kingdom. Yet, Ian lives in squalor, starved and frail. He is a prolific artist, but he doesn't even know it. Ian has had a talent for art since childhood but was forbidden from pursuing his passion due to his family's low standing and poverty. Unfortunately, his work is noticed by a noble, the head of the Bardi family, a family of prolific artists. Bardi wants Ian and is willing to pay a premium for the child.

Unable to decline his offer, Ian's family sells him off to the Bardi family; all the while, Ian is being lured with promises of being able to paint to his heart's content. Ian sees this as a dream come true until the reality of his situation comes crashing down on top of him. Ian has been enslaved. He's kept in a closet where he is broken and beaten, trained relentlessly in the techniques of painting until he can do so without any reference. Once he's completed a painting, the second son of the Bardi family, without any talent for the arts, signs his name to the piece, passing it off as one of his own.

Ian can't even dream of anything beyond this torturous he's trapped in, the only comfort being that he can still paint. That is until a mysterious and eager merchant named Raymond comes by, requesting a portrait from the Bardi family. Raymond's coin is all the Bardi family cares about, but once Raymond sees Ian, Ian is all Raymond seems to care about.

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Manhwa Review | Bound to Be Fools by gahyun

Title: Bound to Be Fools



Kangjin Cha was on the cusp of taking his own life in . He was ready to jump off the top of a building at school, hoping to embarrass his overbearing and cruel father as well as escape his suffering. Before he can go through with his plan, Jungkwon Jang, another student, rushes to the rooftop and snatches Kangjin down back to the safety of the roof. Having been rescued by a stranger, Kangjin is desperate to learn more about his savior and, to do so demands that Jungkwon take responsibility for the life he saved. Jungkwon reluctantly agrees.

Over time, the two become the best of friends. It isn't long after that that the two end up becoming boyfriends. They are the epitome of happiness with each other. But outside of their relationship, their individual lives are fraught with pain and suffering. Jungkwon, in particular, is struggling with the immense debt left behind by his late father, who committed suicide. The debt collectors are once again hounding his mother, and he is desperately trying to protect both his sister and his mother from the violence, only for Kangjin to come in and bear witness to one of the most embarrassing times in his life. He loves Kangjin, but he never wanted him to see him so low.

In a fit of rage, Jungkwon breaks up with Kangjin and refuses to see him ever again. Kangjin is absolutely heartbroken, Jungkwon's love being the one bright spot in his life. Kangjin's sorrow eventually swells into rage, and even years later, as an adult working as a host and sex worker, he still finds his life being directed by the trauma that abandonment caused him. When Kangjin ends up running into Jungkwon, all of those feelings come back to the surface, and Kangjin wants nothing more than to finally get revenge. As it happens, Jungkwon is still struggling with debt and desperate for a way to dig himself and his family back out, and what better way to get his vengeance than to drag Jungkwon into the same muck Kangjin is rolling in?

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Manhwa Review | Cover-up by GyaGa

Title: Cover-up



Yeon Geum-hwa is a tattoo artist and a highly sought-after one at that. Unfortunately, he learned his craft from his ex-boyfriend, an obsessive and controlling man whom Geum-hwa would love nothing more than to escape from. That opportunity arises when he gets a call about a potential client in Japan. They want to fly Geum-hwa out there to perform a cover-up for someone. While it's not explicitly stated, it's not hard to figure out that this client is part of a gang or yakuza.

It's a dangerous prospect, but if it will free Geum-hwa from his ex's influence, the danger is well worth it. So, after designing the tattoo, Geum-hwa is flown out to Japan, where he meets his client, Katamoto Seung-jae, the second son of the Katamoto family's head. Geum-hwa inadvertently ends up in the middle of a power struggle between the first son and the second son, being used as leverage by the first son when Geum-hwa and Seung-jae begin a physical relationship. While he's no longer any safer in Japan than he would be at home, Geum-hwa is hopelessly in love with Seung-jae, and while Seung-jae feels the same, he isn't willing to risk Geum-hwa's life.

Even though Geum-hwa is willing to risk everything to be with Seung-jae, Seung-jae feels compelled to let him go. Will Seung-jae be able to follow through, or will he be unable to let Geum-hwa go?

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Manhwa Review | Killing Stalking by Koogi

Title: Killing Stalking



Yoon Bum is a loner, but he doesn't want to be. Bum longs for companionship, but not just with anyone. He longs for no one other than Oh Sangwoo. Bum has been quietly stalking Sangwoo since meeting him during conscription after Sangwoo rescued him from an assault by his platoon leader. After figuring out where he lives, Bum discovers the numbers of Sangwoo's door lock and lists out every possible combination, which he decides to try so he can gain access to Sangwoo's house. Unfortunately, at the end of the list, a cop car pulls up and begins questioning why he is there. Bum is in a panic but is able to say he's Sangwoo's cousin before getting the code right and slipping inside.

While Bum sees this as a victory, he doesn't realize that the cops he spoke to know Sangwoo, and they end up telling him about the run-in with his “cousin,” prompting him to return home while Bum is lurking about. But having a stranger in his home isn't the main reason Sangwoo is in a rush to get back. While Bum is snooping about, he discovers a basement door in the floor with a lock on it. Once he opens it and heads down, Bum discovers a woman, bound and beaten. Bum tries to help her, but before he can get her free, Sangwoo finds him, knocking Bum out with a baseball bat.

Bum is now Sangwoo's newest victim. Can Bum survive this encounter? But more importantly, can he make Sangwoo love him as much as he loves him?

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Manga Review | Total Eclipse of the Eternal Heart by Syundei

Title: Total Eclipse of the Eternal Heart



Terumichi is in love with his mysterious classmate Yamada, who just appeared in his life one day. Yamada is strange and imposing but dangerously beautiful and one of the few people who have been kind to Terumichi. His unique disposition makes him all the more alluring to Terumichi, and in the end, he can't help being drawn to Yamada. After an abrupt confession, Yamada and Terumichi seem on the cusp of when a stranger with a knife appears.

Terumichi does everything he can to protect Yamada, but in the end, Yamada is stabbed to death. Terumichi is in a panic, calling an ambulance, even though it's clear by the amount of blood that Yamada isn't going to survive. Yet, somehow, Yamada gets right up and walks away as if nothing ever happened, whispering a cryptic sentence:

“Only two left.”

Terumichi would be better off cutting his losses and moving on, but he just can't forget Yamada.

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Manhwa Review | The Warehouse by Killa+Whale

Title: The Warehouse



Dohyun Kim is just barely hanging onto life. Since graduating , Dohyun has been hopping from job to job, scraping by, with little regard for other people and personal relationships. He longs for the simpler days when he could partake in the fun and pleasures of high school without the pressures of the real world and with the forced relationships of classmates. Without that forced proximity to people, Dohyun lives a pretty lonely life, but he would prefer that to the vulnerability intimate relationships require.

While working in a scammy cell phone shop, Dohyun is again bemoaning his existence. He leaves his post to smoke in the alley nearby, but before returning, he is assaulted, knocked out, and taken away. When he wakes up, he finds himself in a strange, almost empty room. As if that wasn't odd enough, he also has a chain around his ankle, limiting how far he can move around the strange room. Why would someone take him? He has no enemies, no loans, and is just generally uninteresting.

When the kidnapper shows himself, the reason behind Dohyun's kidnapping doesn't become any clearer, but for whatever reason, this man seems to want to punish Dohyun.

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Manhwa Review | Interview with a Murderer by KJK

Title: Interview with a Murderer



Clark is a reporter. He doesn't like working all that much, but he does enjoy one aspect of his job when he can partake in it off the clock: gathering macabre and interesting stories about criminals that intrigue him. He has an extensive collection of stories stored away for his eyes only. There's a new story on the horizon that Clark is determined to get his hands on. There's a serial killer on the loose, known as the Triage Killer, who has killed three people thus far. There's no evidence of his identity, so the odds of Clark encountering him are slim to none.

That is until his friend and ex, Oliver, reaches out. Oliver is a psychiatrist, and as it turns out, his patient, Alex, is none other than the Triage Killer. Oliver wants Alex to form meaningful relationships, and he feels that being interviewed by Clark will start that process. While Clark doesn't believe his presence will help Alex, Clark is all too happy to jump at the chance to meet the one and only Triage Killer. When they do meet, the killer is much more normal than Clark would assume, and his only explanation for why he kills is a simple one: love.

In order to get more information out of Alex, Clark must give himself over to the killer. A small price to pay for what Clark craves: interesting stories. But when Alex becomes enamored by Clark, will Clark come out of it alive? Or will he become the Triage Killer's next victim?

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Manhwa Review | One-way Romance by TESIK

Title: One-way



Jae-hwan is a reporter. A broke reporter, more specifically, having lost all of his money in the stocks. Looking for a huge scoop to score a huge payday, he turns his attention to the upper crust. More specifically, he focuses on Hong Kong mogul and CEO Heo Chung. He's gotten a tip from a colleague that Heo Chung is going to be at a rooftop party, and Jae-hwan is determined to go and schmooze with Heo Chung, hoping to unearth some juicy gossip at least but to also expose his company's ties to the mafia.

Unfortunately, Jae-hwan isn't the only one looking to hang out with the hot-shot CEO. Every time Jae-hwan tries to get close, a whole gaggle of people surrounds Heo Chung, making it impossible for Jae-hwan to get in to talk to him. Add to the problem that he's been ensnared by a beautiful woman, buying round after round of drinks, and this mission has become impossible if it wasn't already. Sloshed, Jae-hwan's sense of decorum has gone out the window, and he decides to just go for it. He grabs two glasses of wine and makes his way over to Heo Chung, but he, unfortunately, bumps into someone else the media has kept their eye on: Liu Yuan, leader of the Hong Kong mafia group 13.

Jae-hwan spills all of the wine on Liu Yuan just before passing out. When he wakes up, he finds himself chained and in bed, with Liu Yuan explaining that he owes him around $90,000 for the ruined clothes. It goes without saying that Jae-hwan has gotten much more than he ever bargained for. Not only will he probably not get the scoop and subsequent payday he was hoping for, but there's a chance he doesn't make it out of this with his life, either.

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