TGIF Heroes and Travelers, it’s Friday and that means it’s time for another Fangirl Moment, the series of posts where I spotlight media I think you guys should check out! This week I’m covering a Korean webcomic I discovered a little while ago, Roommates (aka Can’t Confess) by Seok Young, translated by Han. This is a fun comic about two friends that secretly harbor feelings for one another, things only get a bit more complicated when they suddenly become roommates… It’s just as awkward and hilarious as you’d imagine!
The series was originally published digitally by Mr. Blue back in 2015, but was eventually picked up by Spottoon.com for an English language release.
This is a paid release, but you can read the first five chapters for free and by creating an account with the site you can also earn keys that will unlock additional episodes for free. Spottoon also has weekly/monthly free episode rotations, so if you plan accordingly, you can read the whole thing for free. The comic is now available on TappyToon.
If you aren’t in the mood for BL, I highly recommend checking out one of my other Fangirl Moment posts (there are a ton to choose from) by clicking right, HERE, I cover a range of topics so I’m sure you’ll find something worthwhile over there!! For everyone else, let’s get this show on the road shall we?
“Jinwoo has that friend, Kisub. That friend who wants to sleep on your couch for a night, a week, and before you know, he is your roommate. Needless to say, life is hard for Jinwoo. Needless to say, his life would be easier if he weren’t in love with that couch potato.”
When I started reading this webcomic, I did not expect to get hooked on this quirky 48 episode rom-com. It didn’t take me long to lose myself in the complicated relationship of college friends, Jinwoo and Kisub, I know what it’s like to crush on someone… heck, I know what it’s like to be rejected by said crush, so to say that the fear and apprehension both men feel throughout the comic is relatable, is perhaps one of the biggest understatements of my life.
But, what I like about this comic is that neither man treats their love for the other as something deviant or strange, if anything most of their hesitation comes from their fear of losing the other person as a friend. Very few BL titles treat same sex relationships with such care and I for one, really appreciated how naturally everything was handled, rather than focusing on the fact that both Jinwoo and Kisub were men, the author’s underlying message of the comic was that, “the heart wants, what the heart wants…” Kisub is in love with Jinwoo, vice versa. Whether that makes them gay or not isn’t really an important part of the narrative, as with all affairs of the heart, it’s a persons feelings not their gender that really matters.
While the cast of Roommates is rather small, consisting of just the main pairs and their immediate family and friends, each character plays an integral role in both Jinwoo’s and Kisub’s lives, both as a couple and as individuals. There are times when we see the couple hanging out with friends and family on their own, either to get advice about something or in a purely social context. The characters have lives outside of each other, and it was nice to see that play out from time to time. Especially the friendship between Ray and Kisub, Ray is a bro for real, whenever Kisub needs to vent about his relationship woes or just someone to hang out with, Ray is there. And when Ray starts having his own relationship drama, Kisub is there with a bit of tough love.
As for the romantic relationships in the comic, there are two main pairs, though admittedly Jinwoo’s and Kisub’s relationship is the focal point of the story. Their relationship is sweet and more than a bit awkward at times given that they are both unwilling to tell the other about their feelings. But, there is an intimacy to their relationship that comes from having been friends prior to falling for one another, however that is also the reason for many of their problems. Then there’s Ray and his relationship with his high school classmate Inho. I usually don’t care for secondary pairings in comics, but in Roommates, the author does a great job of integrating Ray and Inho’s side story into the plot. Rather than being a distraction from the main pair and their “issues”, the beta couple serves as an equally important narrative within the comic, at times stealing a bit of the spotlight away from Jinwoo and Kisub! By the halfway mark I was rooting for both couples to get their happy endings!!
This was a fun read, with a nice blend of comedy, romance, and slice-of-life elements. The characters were fantastic, and while not everyone will appreciate the BL aspects of the plot, they aren’t as overt as some of the other BL titles I’ve covered in the past. In fact, I really enjoyed how at times the relationship wasn’t at the forefront of the story, allowing the reader to really spend time with the characters themselves. So, definitely read this comic, whether you’re a BL fan or not, this is a relatable story that will have you laughing and cheering from the first episode all the way to the very last!