read the yaoi manhwa that went "viral" on twitter
february 18, 2023

this is a "review" based on my twitter live tweet thread! this review is also on anilist!

warning: this manhwa contains sex, rape, abuse and violence. this review also describes such scenes in (some) detail.

finished reading everything that is out so far from the manhwa called "Trapped in the Dark" by Numu. this particular manhwa gathered a bit of attention from people because of  this tweet, pointing out how... absurd the art style is. and i, who does enjoy a bit of hate reading And ridiculous yaoi, got really curious about it.

i was extremely curious to see such art style in the year of our lord 2023, and wondered if the art style also carried the same type of plot that would would see in mangas back in the day. and well, it sort of does. 

the story is about hae-on, a kpop idol who never made it big because of a gay dating scandal between a member of his group. but suddenly his career gets a fresh new start because of a secret new sponsor... while terrible things happen to him. he's being stalked, his house is broken in. suddenly, he gets a new manager, a "handsome", tall, broad man, with huge hands and huge dick. the guy makes him feel safe, they fall in love and the attacks towards hae-on stop happening. the guy even chases away hae-on's abusive ex-boyfriend. but... "suddenly"... his new boyfriend starts being abusive as well. 

it's revealed the guy with black hair (can't be bothered to remember his name, sorry) started by stalking him before his debut, installed cameras on his apartment (which the hae-on's ex boyfriend did too), made the him trust him by faking a house invasion, making him feel "safe" by start living with him. 

when they start dating, it gets worse. he rapes him, gaslights him, manipulates him, even goes so far to stab himself in public while hae-on was talking to another actor on set. 

season one ends with the protagonist wanting to break up with him due to all the abuse and being upset that his relationships are always abusive, and the guy beats he shit out of him. hae-on is unconscious. it's revealed that the boyfriend has been building a " basement", and the manhwa ends with hae-on unconscious, bleeding and being taken somewhere by his manager/stalker boyfriend.

so yeah. its not them being presented in a good light like junjou romantica, where rape and abuse is great and only strengthens the bond in a relationship, it's really just this twink being absolutely miserable and suffering in the hands of these men, specially his new boyfriend. it's just a depressing manhwa about a really awful and abusive relationship.

the art style is, of course, the most attention grabbing part of the manhwa. it really brings you back to the cheap 2000s bl with huge hands and huge dicks and awful anatomy all around. i sincerely have no idea if this was a deliberate choice by the artist or... not. because they're clearly talented, their shading is amazing, but the only real flaw in the art is the anatomy and proportions of the characters.

that being said, would i recommend it? hmmm... not really. only if you really, really want to read something extremely depressive and can stomach the art style. it's not  exactly super well written either, the story is just okay, and it went by pretty fast.. but so many bad things happen its just really depressing.

personally, i wouldn't even recommend hate reading it because its just really violent and the only parts that makes it funny are the style.

would i continue reading it? yeah, probably. like i said, i do enjoy reading bad yaoi, or yaoi that is just plainly ridiculous, just for the fun of it. but this one isn't that fun and really sad, but i do want to know how this all will end, if the guy somehow has a redemption arc, or if hae-on will be dead, or if his boyfriend will be dead, or they will both die. i really want to know for some reason. i actually want to read more...

also, towards the end, while the boyfriend has a bunch of psychotic break downs, it shows a bit of his past, that he was likely abused and/or has a severe mental disorder that made him like this. of all the options that was listed, i really hope he doesn't get a redemption arc or gets away (easily) with what he has done, because sincerely, it would be the most boring one of all.

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