We’re back with another Webtoon feature! This time we’re reading ‘Surviving Romance‘, an isekai* horror (yes, you read that right) series by Lee Yone. Starting today and for our next couple of features, we’re going to be putting new series in the spotlight. Not ‘5-episodes-out’ new, gotta have a bigger sample before recommending stuff; just series that have only been running for a few months but have already shown they’re on the path to greatness.
*isekai is a subgenre of fantasy in which a character is transported from their world into a new or unfamiliar one
Imagine waking up as the protagonist of a romance novel. All you have to do is wait for the plot to happen, and boom, happy ending. Right? Wrong.
When Chaerin Eun gets her isekai break into the romance novel she’s reading, she realizes things are not going the way they’re supposed to. For one thing, there’s a sudden zombie apocalypse that was definitely not in the book. In order to survive, she needs to figure out a way to defy this new storyline and reach a happy ending. Every time she dies, the same day resets, and she has to start all over again. She has to work with her classmates, and find an ‘uknown extra’ who might be the key in solving this mess. Tiny problem- she can’t clearly see any person the writer didn’t flesh out as a character in the book.
This looks like it’s gonna be your run-of-the-mill isekai romance fix, for about 2 minutes before the horror kicks in. Don’t get me wrong, I love my isekai romance fix, but I am so here for this twist. It breaks out from the usual pattern and the pacing so far has been great at keeping the interest up.
I love the idea of background characters with little to no descriptions being ‘blank’ to start with. It makes it all the more vivid when Chaerin eventually gains the ability to see them, one by one. Which she achieves by actually getting to know them and talking to them. Who knew, talking to people will make you realise they’re real people too. It’s an obvious but brilliant, beautifully handled metaphor.
Our girl Chaerin starts off slightly annoying; She was super set on the whole easygoing plot working out for her, and was struggling a bit. A zombie apocalypse can do that to a person. With every reset we see her trying to change her approach, and eventually her entire mindset. Her character progression has been great so far, and I’m really excited to see how she tackles any upcoming challenges.
‘Surviving Romance’ started off super strong, and I am already subscribed and diligently reading updates each week. So far, unlike the poor background extras, the series seems really well rounded and thought out. Especially if you enjoyed series like ‘Extraordinary You’ and are not averse to the horror part of the plot, dive in.