Updated: Oct 7, 2022
Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
"To others, Sooho might appear a little strange. But to Sooho, there's much more to "life" than the average person may ever know. And that's because Sooho sees spirits. At first he thought his "abilities" were limited to seeing the average ghost here and there, but one day he witnesses a real life angel floating in midair and staring at him. He then promptly breaks said angel's wing by accident. Sooho's had many a ghost follow him around in his short life, but he's never had to take care of an angel...nor a spirit quite so handsome as Taker."
Angel Buddy is a completed supernatural BL manhwa written by MasterGin and Illustrated by Chungnyun. You can read it here on Lezhin, but note that only the first episode is free to read. Also, note that any images in this review are credited to the author.
I knew going into this that I was bound to enjoy this at least a little bit as 'guy who can see ghosts' plus an angel love interest is a recipe for success. And, overall, I did end up rather enjoying reading this.
Now, let's get into the details.
I don't really have much to say about the art other than that it worked for me and served its purpose. I will say though that some of the panels were rather beautiful. Like the one below, where Suho and Taker are separated by a pane of glass, just stunning.
The beginning of the story was a bit weird, starting with an almost spicy scene between the main characters, to going back to when they met. The set-up wasn't my favourite thing ever either, as they meet when Taker, in bird form, steals Suho's wallet and Suho ends up accidentally breaking his wing trying to get it back.
This story dials more into the comedic/lighthearted side, but at the end, it got suddenly very intense (to the point where you may need some trigger warnings). Although it was rather sudden, I did like how the story ramped up and got more complicated as you went on and things were revealed about the characters. I also think the sudden change even made my rating go up. After finishing the story I felt a bit giddy which was nice.
While reading this though, I found myself in a weird place emotionally because I was divided about how I felt about the theme of mortality. Without getting into spoilers, as this does deal with ghosts and angels, half of me has to hand it over to the characters who have spent literal years fighting off death. The other half thinks that it is natural in life to die, and when it's time it's time.
Some moments did make me, and many more people, pause. Take the several cases of foot licking which, not to judge anyone with a foot fetish, was nasty only because Suho's feet were most certainly not clean. I also had some minor issues with the passage of time since, as the reader, you are unaware of how much time goes by. It makes it a bit hard to grasp how long Suho and Taker have known each other, which is crucial for me when it comes to a romance.
I also wonder about the magic system, if that is the right word, of this world. The more souls you harvest, the stronger you get if you consume them. Eventually, you can become a demi-god, and then a god. There was no mention of actual God at all in this so I wonder what kind of religion this took after if there were angels but no God.
I liked pretty much all of the characters in this story. Suho, while a sweetheart, was a bit too trusting and oblivious to many red flags. Suho and Taker's relationship, thankfully, was healthy and consensual. The only other character with a major role was Dojin. I liked Dojin (for the most part as he does do some questionable stuff) and thought that he was an interesting character, but his story went in the total opposite direction I was expecting which threw me off. I would have liked to know more about him though.
There were a wide cast of angels who made random appearances, and added more comedic elements to the story but didn't play much of a role otherwise. Other than them, there were some other creatures who played more of a crucial role to the story, such as pea who was the best boy ever.
I enjoyed this, not as much as I was hoping to, but this was a fun read. As I said, if a story involved a character who can see ghosts, I am automatically here for it. If you are reading this hoping for some spicy scenes, then sorry to disappoint as there was nothing really happening on page. If you want a cute romance between a ghost whisperer and an angel, then check this out (but check the trigger warnings just in case).