Hard to Make a Romantic Cartoon (순정만화가 너무 어려워) BL Game Review

Steam is a treasure trove of hidden gems, but their search feature is absolute trash, so finding anything new can be impossible on the platform. While browsing the Steam Visual Novel Fest listings I discovered the Korean boys love game, Hard to Make a Romantic Cartoon! (순정만화가 너무 어려워) and this game is everything!

College student Yunjae is transported into the body of a side character in a romantic webcomic and forced to fulfill his intended role in the story. But when Yunjae inadvertently changes the story, he must deal with some unexpected consequences… an isekai adventure with a boys love twist~

Game Details

  • Genre: Boys Love | Isekai | Drama | Comedy
  • Developer & Publisher: Indigo & AK Communications
  • Rating: Safe for Work (16+)
  • Where to Play: Steam


When college student, Yunjae isn’t studying, he spends most of his free time reading the romantic webcomics, his favorite being, No Forgiveness. One night after falling asleep while reading he wakes up in the body of one of the side characters, Doyeong, the sicky twin brother of the comic’s heroine. In the original comic Doyeong commits suicide after being bullied by his classmates. The tragic event pushes his sister, Dohui, to pretend to be a boy and enroll at his school to get revenge against those responsible for his death.

However, Yunjae has other plans and he flips the script on the comic—as Doyeong he makes a few changes to turn No Forgiveness from gritty drama to pure romance. But, things completely derail when Yunjae/Doyeong attracts the affections of the comic’s love interests, Gang Hyeon and Lee Jinha. Now Doyeong is the main character in his very own boys love rom-com story.

Of course, Yunjae’s changes don’t go unnoticed by the comic’s writer, who is determined to get her story back on track, by any means necessary. Will Yunjae survive the deranged antics of the writer and the romantic advances of two love struck suitors to find his own happily ever after?

Hard to Make a Romantic Cartoon! Review

Hard to Make a Romantic Cartoon reads like the messiest webtoon you’ve ever seen—outrageous plot twists, cliché characters, crazy love triangles, the whole nine, this game is WILD in all the best ways! And if that wasn’t enough, the art in this game is absolutely gorgeous, like, my god, the visuals are some of the prettiest I’ve seen in a game. But, the pièce de résistance of How to Make a Romantic Cartoon is the unintentional comedy of an English translation that’s hilariously awful. This game is the perfect hot mess.

Everything starts simply enough, Yunjae gets transported into the body of a side character in a webtoon and he has to figure out how to get home while avoiding changing the plot of the story too much. So he does his best to act out his role as Doyeong by getting his ass handed to him by bullies on the regular. But, being the hot blooded dude that he is, Yunjae gets tired of the daily beatdowns real quick so he completely turns the tables and starts lashing out at his tormentors. On top of that, Yunjae/Doyeong has made friends with the male love interests of the story, rich student council president, Gang Hyeon and loveable puppy dog, Lee Jinha.

Unfortunately this changes the story just enough to completely derail the plot—much to the frustration of the comic’s readers. Which attracts the attention of the comic’s creator. So, she makes it her mission to set things straight by employing the use of some “carefully” executed plot devices. Read: she straight up tries to assassinate Doyeong. But, when that fails, she completely changes the genre of the story from romance drama to boys love rom-com and makes Doyeong the star! Now Yunjae as Doyeong, has to put up with an unwanted love triangle, a deranged bully with a crush, and random plot attacks from the creator of the comic, all while trying to figure out how he’ll get home to the real world.

In a meta twist, whenever Yunjae makes a change that is detrimental to the story, he gets a system error that will either correct the issue by omitting the offending dialogue/action or force him to replay the scene until he fixes the error (read: does what the author wants). Which leads to some hilarious moments, like when Yunjae being aware that a bully is setting a trap for him refuses to fall for it. Only for the author to replay the scene on an infinite loop until Yunjae begrudgingly gives up and does what she wants by following through with the cliché plot point.

Yunjae can also read comments from the comic’s readers as text messages in real time to see how his changes to the story go over with the readers (spoiler alert: they’re hard to please). And, from time to time, Yunjae can communicate with the comic’s creator from within the story. But, she is just as stubborn as Yunjae, so this usually results in them arguing over plot points or the writer straight up changing the story to make his life more miserable.

Of course, this is a “romance” and what rom-com is complete without its very own love triangle?! *frustrated sigh* Usually, I hate love triangles, but IDK, it was kind of fun watching two hot guys fight over the reluctant Yunjae/Doyeong (at first). It definitely gives, Anzu in Romantic Killer vibes. But, as fun as a love triangle can be, if it drags on, it kind of loses its punch. The back and forth for Doyeong’s affections went on for way too long, and while you do get to spend time with both suitors, the game forces Doyeong to spend equal time with Hyeon and Jinha, regardless of which character you’re actively pursuing.

I never felt like Doyeong was spending real intimate time with either love interest, because what he did with one he immediately did with the other. One minute, Doyeong is kissing Hyeon then two seconds later he’s kissing Jinha. So, in the end it just felt like the story was going for throuple situation only for Doyeong to be forced to pick one of love interests in the last chapter; because plot.

That said I did really like the chemistry between the characters. Hyeon is the stereotypical rich guy trope—cool and mature, but likes to tease, which leads to a fun power dynamic between him and the stubborn Yunjae. While Jinha is a loveable sweetheart with the demeanor of an overgrown puppy, and you can’t help but wanna hug him.

Yunjae is a fun lead, he’s pretty knowledgeable about webcomic, so he doesn’t fall for the usual clichés, he’s pretty much who I would be if I got isekai’d into a webtoon. He doesn’t take anything lying down and you just can’t help rooting for the guy. He genuinely cares about the characters of the webcomic and his main motivation is to ensure that they all get to have a happy ending, even if that means he doesn’t.

Hard to Make a Romantic Cartoon is far from the perfect game. Despite it’s gorgeous visuals, the English translation is not that great, even with the updated patch. I had to get used to all the times Jinha’s name get’s messed up in the text, not to mention the many many typos. Or the fact that the translation uses “cartoon” “webcomic” and “webtoon” interchangeably; sometime within the same sentence. And don’t get me started on the literal translations of Korean sayings and phrases that had me scratching my head trying to figure out the English equivalent.

Then there’s the lackluster romance and the fact that the story drags on in places. But, if you can wade through all of that, Hard to Make a Romantic Cartoon is actually pretty entertaining. Sure, it’s messy and off the walls at times. But, boy did I have fun playing it. It goes to show that even a “bad” game can be a helluva lot of fun. So, I definitely recommend giving this game a go, especially if you manage to catch it on sale.

Thank you for reading and supporting Blerdy Otome!

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7 thoughts on “Hard to Make a Romantic Cartoon (순정만화가 너무 어려워) BL Game Review

  1. Wayyyy out of the topic, but I really hope you will give Lady in Mystery a try (for I see no one talking about it) 🥹

  2. “Steam is a treasure trove of hidden gems, but their search feature is absolute trash”
    … And that’s why I’m so glad you’re out there curating these games!

    Don’t think I’ll be trying this one for myself (the iffy translation being the main reason… unless they hit that weird sweet spot were they actually enhances a game’s campiness/enjoyment I’ll usually hyperfocus on bad TLs to the point they can spoil the whole experience for me Oo) but I still loved reading this review! When reading through one of your posts about stuff I’m not into/aware of/don’t intend to experience, I always feel like you’re taking your reader by the hand and on guiding them a journey regardless – you’re just so good at communicating your enthusiasm and talking tropes 😀

    Playing a “bad” game that’s wildly entertaining is an absolute joy, and can even be more fun than a really polished but uninventive one, imho. Glad this one managed to be that for you! :))

  3. (Also unrelated, but I’m playing UUULTRA-C right now and I can’t *wait* to go read your review of it once I’m done. I want to know what you yourself thought and experienced during your own playthrough, because this game feels so special? I haven’t played Hashihime yet and from what I glanced on Steam community posts there were some people who really didn’t vibe with UUUC and had some heavy criticism -and I can see where they’re coming from- but boy, I wasn’t prepared for how much of a game-changer it would end up being for me personally. This game is making me feel things I’m not even sure I have a name for – I’m one third in and so attached to it already… And I’ve been having trouble reading other VNs lately because UUUC and its neat production tricks have me too wowed – that’s how deep the brainrot goes ^^;
    I forgot to mention it while writing my first comment and since double comments can be a hassle I hesitated to go back and submit this, but in the end I wanted to thank you _>) is how I first became aware of this company. So thank you so, so much for this! This game has been such a unique experience so far, and I’m truly grateful I was allowed to play it. When I say your curation work a blessing, this is precisely what I mean. 🙂
    I hope this blog is never too heavy to write for in your day-to-day, and that you can still derive joy from it for a long, long time! Thank you for all your efforts, Blerdy! \o/ <333)

  4. (It seems part of my comment was eaten somehow- in paragraph 2, what’s missing is “I’d have never known about UUUC without people posting about Adelta games, and iiirc skimming your Hashihime post (to know what it was about while still avoiding spoilers!) is how I first became aware of this company.”
    Really sorry for the TRIPLE post, this is a disaster, but I still mean every word! Tysm!!)

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