Love So Pure | Season 2 Review
Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2
"It's easy to get laid when you're a pretty, sassy bartender working at a popular gay bar. This lifestyle suits Jihyun just fine since he loves casual hookups without any intimacy… That is until he meets Yohan—his big, scary-looking classmate who's actually a pure-hearted softie. Can Yohan's simple love help commitment-phobic Jihyun heal from the traumas of his past?"
Love So Pure, otherwise known as 지고지순 (meaning Highest Order) in the original Korean, is a BL manhwa written and illustrated by PlanB.
Ignoring the synopsis at the beginning, because there was no official synopsis for Season 2, this season follows the story of Daeshik and Yosef, and their developing relationship, who were side characters in the first season.
I've been slowly reading this since the season started a year ago. I am someone who liked to binge-read, so reading episode by episode was a bit torturous. It is finally done though so, here I am finally writing my review.
I really enjoyed this season, way more than the first season as well. Season 1 was okay, but I wasn't overly invested in Jihyun and Yohan's story. Yosef and Daeshik though, I think I and every other reader were waiting to get their side of the story as soon as they both interacted with each other.
Let's get into the details.
Admittedly, the story does get confusing at times only because of the period this is set. Rather than this taking place after Season 1, it takes place concurrent to it. Everything is happening at the same time, we are just getting their perspective rather than Jihyun and Yohan. This does cause some overlap though because the characters end up interacting with each other as they did in Season 1.
The writing, on the whole, was pretty good and standard for your typical manhwa/webcomic. Despite the fast pacing in regard to the romance, the story moved along pretty steadily. That is up until the end though, as the pace picks up exponentially. This caused the writing to be a bit all over the place, but I will talk more about that in the next section.
Moving onto the art, I do prefer both of their character designs over Jihyun and Yohan. Jihyun was more of a sensual and confident character, while Daeshik is a complete nerd who wears his heart on his sleeve which I love. And I mean literally because he sure does have a lot of rainbow clothes post-sexuality awakening.
Yosef I find, on the other hand, looks miles better than Yohan. Yohan I found to be a bit odd looking for a male lead, at least comparing him to other male leads. While I do find that interesting, Yosef's long hair and tattoos are a winner. Give me a character with roguish vibes and I am here for it. This is especially the case when there is a panel showing Yosef's back and his entire tattoo, because it looks amazing.
The use of lines and blurred effects used when Daeshik is being passionate about something are also fantastic. Yosef's face as well, every time you can see him internally going 'oh no, here we go'. Daeshik though is oftentimes drawn more cartoonish, which does add some humour into the story but, I rather like his character design so it was a bit of a shame that he was drawn that way so often.
One weird thing I noticed though, and this is common in BL, is that nipples like to pull a disappearing act. Sometimes they're there, sometimes they're not. Consistency would be nice though. There were also a lot of panels featuring Daeshik ugly crying which...
Going into this, as I have already stated, I had high expectations. That is because I had been waiting and hoping for Daeshik and Yosef to have their own story. I wasn't sure though what the tone was going to be like considering Yosef's backstory, and it did in fact get a bit darker than Season 1, but this was still mostly filled with the two interacting and getting to know each other.
The romance, and story in general, are rather fast-paced in this. Daeshik and Yosef come together pretty much immediately, and I wish some more time was spent with them getting to know each other more before that. Despite that though, I don't think it impacted my enjoyment too much, which is surprising because I don't like fastburns much. That is probably though because there was enough build-up just waiting for this season that I didn't care about it...
Like the romance, the story does end up really picking up the pace towards the end. It could be because I was reading this one chapter at a time over a long period of time, but once it starts ramping up to the climax I found that it was moving maybe a bit too fast. The progress felt very sudden like the author was trying to wrap things up immediately. I also wasn't 100% satisfied with the direction the ending went in, but there is a Season 3 currently ongoing, so the story will continue from there.
If anyone is wondering what the ratio of plot to, well, porn, the story focuses more on the former (in the mature version). There are some steamy scenes, though they are censored via lightsabers, but not that many really. Same as Season 1, the story focuses more on building the romantic connection between the two as well as the overarching story happening in the background.
These two work so well together. Daeshik is the eternal sunshine with flaming determination, and Yosef is the calmer mafia guy. What a dynamic, and it is one that, again, works well. That is because Daeshik ends up bringing out the best in Yosef who becomes more open with him.
What really makes their romance work though, is communication. I will talk more about Daeshik in a bit, but because of their personalities, they don't shy away from talking about their feeling, or they don't brush issues aside and let them build. That is a breath of fresh air when it comes to most romances, especially BL because they sure do love miscommunication.
Moving onto the individual characters, one thing I like about Daeshik, although determination can be a bit extreme at times, is that he educates himself. In Season 1, his first interaction with Yosef wasn't overly positive. However, Daeshik recognized that, due to his environment and associating being called gay as something negative, he was unconsciously prejudiced against the LGBTQ community. Once he recognized this, he immediately educated himself and set forth on his own journey regarding his sexuality.
Despite the fastburn of the romance, Daeshik does sit down a lot to really think about what he is feeling. He is also brutally honest and unashamed at telling Yosef how he feels, which I am eternally thankful for because that meant no miscommunication.
As I briefly just mentioned though, Daeshik's ambition and determination can be a bit extreme at times. He means well, but he does go way out of his way to insert himself into someone's situation to help them. He is rather shameless in that way as he does not hesitate to set himself straight onto the path of his goal. In some way though, his personality is admirable because he is so self-confident.
Now let's talk about Yosef. The way Yosef's character is designed, as well as his backstory, makes you think that he is going to act a certain way. It's definitely not uncommon for a BL story to have main character who is violent and cruel, but that is not Yosef. Yosef is a bit on the calm and cool side, but he is in no way cruel. He is the kind of character where it is beautiful to see him open up and fall for Daeshik. Seeing him smile thinking about Daeshik, and getting flustered because of him, was so heartwarming.
I absolutely adored reading about Daeshik and Yosef. It was nice to have a BL that was in the middle ground. There was some violence and sex, but it was balanced by heartwarming moments and lots of communication.
This series was originally published on Bomtoon in Korean, but the English translation can be found on Tapas. There are two versions as well, one that is mature and one that isn't. The mature one includes sex scenes, though they are still censored to some extent.
There are some content warnings as well for violence. From what I remember, there should also be a warning for suicidal ideation as well as abuse that was not included.
Now, as I like to do with anything I review of a graphic medium, I am now going to go into spoilers to delve into the thoughts I had while reading, If you don't want to be spoiled, you can stop reading now.
WARNING - SPOILERS AHEAD - PROCEED WITH CAUTION
That cracked me up.
Oh sir, I heard they remodelled the bathroom upstairs
...You have to go don't you?
That poor guy though... gets his head plonked right into the toilet bowl...
Yosef sure is direct.
Just straight up kissed Daeshik when he said he was wondering about whether or not he could be into guys as well
The poor guy blew a gasket
Alright, following Yohan around was admittedly creepy.
I'm sure you mean well Daeshik but...maybe calm your ambition down a bit?
I thought I was running out of chapters and got worried for a sec.
There are like 30 chapters left where I am right now, so I'm just running out of sleeping time instead
For once, Daeshik was not able to take Yosef on the first try.
A lot of BL just go straight for it and someone who hasn't bottomed before is able to handle it on the first try, which, ain't that easy bud
Aww, Yosef laughing thinking about our resident sunshine boy, and then immediately going 'well shit, I'm in deep aren't I?'
Yosef turned the aircon on...oh.
He hates the cold because he was homeless at one point, but he turned it on for Daeshik
As someone who always needs to wear glasses permanently, I get ya buddy.
Okay...story is progressing real fast.
He willingly goes to jail and then there is a timeskip because of that while Daeshik goes to the military
Yosef looks really good with his hair pulled back...makes it an utter crime that he cut it all off and shaved.
So there is just a whole 2 years of separation and then it picks up after that in Season 3.