Legs That Won’t Walk: First impressions 🥊

This is where you can read this manhwa. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/legsthatwontwalk But be aware that this manhwa is mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. Here is the link, if you are interested in more analyses about this manhwa and others https://bebebisous33analyses.com/2021/06/06/table-of-contents-of-analyzed-mentioned-manhwas/

Now, you might be a little surprised that my focus is only on the manhwa created by Black Apricot. There is a simple reason for that. I wanted to treat the topic first impressions and its negative or positive impacts. “Legs That Won’t Walk” is really suited for this topic because the manhwa has just started and we are meeting all the characters for the first time. Hence first impressions play a huge role for the readers of this manhwa. First impressions are generally important that’s why the American actor Will Rogers once said

You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.

The American film director Miranda July explained the reason for the significance of first impressions

“People tend to hold on to their first impressions that’s why those first descriptions can be so important. You don’t necessarily look at people that carefully after a while, you just hold on to that early impression.”

Now, you can understand why first impressions play a huge role in people’s life, they help to judge people quickly and serve as an orientation. However, they can be deceiving, especially if someone is making sure to leave a good impression. Therefore many authors condemned first impressions as it is connected to appearance and illusion. Hence Frank Kafka, a German speaking author (1883-1924), wrote

“First impressions are always unreliable”

and even the American comedian Daniel Tosh expressed a harsher opinion about these

“You know who makes a great first impression? Liars.”

In other words, these persons are pointing out that people should always question first impressions as these don’t necessarily reflect being or better said, the true nature of a person and of an action. They can even be fake, just an illusion. Yet we have to remember that first impressions are truly related to our experiences. What the person saw and felt before will lead him/her to perceive people differently later.

So now, let’s take a closer look at the different characters under the perspective of “first impressions”. We have for example Kwon Soo-Young’s employer expressing empathy and pity for the main character.

First, the reader think that he is a nice person because he is not indifferent to the former boxer Kwon Soo-Young. However, what follows is actually that the man is firing our protagonist with the excuse that he can’t bear to see the handicapped man working under these conditions. He explains that he couldn’t find him a desk job at his company hence he doesn’t want him here any longer. He thinks that this kind of job is too tiring and hard for a disabled man. So the supposed good man is forcing the main lead to resign, while the latter never complained about his job conditions. The first impressions of his words can be deceiving, in fact the employer is lying to himself thinking that he is doing a good deed.

chapter 1

He thinks so because he would give Kwon Soo-Young some compensation so that the latter would get money without working. What the boss fails to see is that he is worsening Kwon Soo-Young’s life conditions. Even a benevolent man is not willing to let an injured man work. How can Kwon Soo-Young find a job then? The former employer is treating our protagonist not as a real person because he only perceives the former boxer as a disabled person. All the persons Kwon Soo-Young meets only view his crutch and his weird walking. It was as if his disability had taken over his identity and his existence that’s why the former boxer is so infuriated with their “sorry attitude”. Strictly speaking, first impressions scar the unfortunate man even more.

But the readers have a different impression of our main character because the first thing we see is his fighting spirit as a boxer.

chapter 1

He is a very brave and strong-willed person for although he lost all his fights, he never gave up and kept fighting until he got injured. And this is what defines Kwon Soo-Young. He might be disabled now but he still hasn’t lost his spirit to live and fight. He was willing to work as a package lifter and he still wants to remain independent. The causes for his need of independence and for remaining strong is the abuse he suffered in his childhood.

His father was an alcoholic and abusive parent hence Soo-Young learned through the hard way how to become independent and strong. That’s why he is on his own and has no family. Due to his traumatic childhood related to his father, he learned how to recognize a dangerous person. It is written on person’s face and behavior.

Due to this experience, he fell into Song Si-Jun’s trap, the latter appeared in his life with such a smiling face. He was nice, gentle and caring. However, he never got to see the double personality of his admired hyung, his dark and violent side because the first impressions were deeply engraved in his memory. I haven’t read much of this manhwa but I have the feeling that the constant defeat of Soo-Young’s fights were actually no coincidence and his hyung was behind it. The more the main lead wanted to unleash his anger and fury due to the unfairness in his life, the more he punched into the air because hyung wanted him to rely more and more on him. The offer proposed at the end of the first chapter looks good on the surface.

Hyung seems caring and is willing to sacrifice himself for the protagonist’s sake. Hence we can say that when the hyung appears in the first chapter, the readers are a little fooled by the author. Yet, there are certain signs showing a certain aggressiveness behind Song Si-Jung’s actions. He is kissing Soo-Young, though the latter doesn’t want to and keeps asking the hyung to stop. The latter is ignoring his complains.

Here, he refuses to be kissed but Si-Jung manipulates Soo-Young by saying that his rejection is caused because they are outside on the street which is not correct in reality. Soo-Young doesn’t want his kiss.

Since Soo-Young was hurting his wrist by punching against the wall, I initially had the impression that the former boxer was just emotionally unstable due to his disability. We are close to think that Si-Jung is his savior, the reality differs and the forced kisses were just a small clue.

However, the second chapter already indicates the true personality of the boyfriend. He actually rapes our main character but the uke will never press charges against him because of his first impression left by the boyfriend. During the sexual encounter, Soo-Young sees glimpses of Si-Jung’s dark side

and even gets scared but because of the way they met for the first time and the way hyung seemed to treat him in the past, he can’t really judge Si-Jung correctly. Fact is that his “tempting offer” in the first chapter was just a bait, Si-Jung wanted to bind the uke to him forever. And this would mark the descent to hell. Deep down, Soo-Young felt that he needed to keep his distance from Si-Jung but he could never explain why. That’s why he is torn apart in the chapter 2. On the one hand, he declares to Si-Jung and pushes him away, whereas on the other hand, he went to the boxing club and wished that his hyung would find and help him. Deep down, Soo-Young has already sensed the danger of the offer and the violent personality but he is struggling to admit this because of the first impressions he had about Si-Jung and the experience he made through his abusive father. Bad people will never smile and be caring, they will always be violent. And this leads me to the introduction of the other protagonist: Park Tae-Sung.

chapter 1

The latter is the boss of a mafia gang and he is a loan shark. Soo-Young’s father took a loan from him and now our main character has to reimburse the huge amount of debts left by his despicable father. Striking is that when Park Tae-Sung met our former boxer for the first time, he was sitting on the ground hence he couldn’t see the handicap.

chapter 3

So for the loan shark, the main lead was just a normal citizen, a poor son who got exploited by his father. He expected that the former would beg and plead for more time, yet Soo-Young behaves the opposite to what he envisioned. He shows no fear and defies the boss.

All this incites Park Tae-Sung to beat up the man until he stops resisting. In this moment, the latter recalls his abusive father and has the impression that he has returned to his past. Hopelessness is arousing in him because it looks like he can never escape from this world of violence and abuse. He imagined that boxing would be a way to protect himself but he failed. Tae-Sung reminds him of his alcoholic and brutal father hence he has no good first impressions about him. That’s why at some point he shows no reaction to Tae-Sung’s words and punches so that the latter wonders if something is wrong. It looks like Soo-Young is finally admitting defeat. The poor man’s face is so damaged that even the boss starts showing some concern which contrasts so much to the attitude of Soo-Young’s father. He used violence because he thought he had to so that he would get back the money. Striking is that after seeing his bruised face, Tae-Sung wonders if he hasn’t met him before. And this underlines that so far, Soo-Young hadn’t made any impression on him, he expected that he would behave like the other creditors begging for more time aso. What caught the mafia boss by surprise is the sudden attack of the former boxer. Besides only when he is able to stand up, the chief gets to see Soo-Young’s handicap. As we can observe, the disability has another signification in the gangster’s eyes: he sees it as a strength. Despite his handicap and original disadvantage (position), Soo-Young didn’t fear him and was able to change his situation. The latter is even capable to overcome the mobster’s strength. At some point, he stands up in front of the gangster before going after him.

Whereas average people reduced him to his handicap and saw it as a burden, Park Sae-Tung judged it differently. He was so impressed therefore he hires him. Observe the huge contrast between the beginning of the chapter 3 and later. Soo-Young was first lying on the ground with his hands tied together, at the end his hands are freed and he stands in front of Park Tae-Sung and even assaults him. Despite the beating, Soo-Young never gave up, although he was so close to surrender. Moreover he’s taking it out on him, all his resent and hatred is directed at the boss. It was as if Tae-Sung had become his punching ball. The mobster is impressed by the man’s attitude and fighting spirit and doesn’t get angry because of his reactions.

So Tae-Sung has a very good impression of Soo-Young hence he wants to keep him by his side. On the other hand, Park Tae-Sung’s initial behavior left a negative image on the former boxer as he was reminded of his own abusive father due to the beating. No wonder, if the disabled man calls him a bastard. This explains why the main lead is not accepting any sign of kindness from Tae-Sung. That’s the reason why Tae-Sung will have to show his good will and intentions by treating him well for a long time so that Soo-Young can start trusting him.

Then we have the gangster Lee Min-Hyuk with a handsome face. He stands so much in contrast to the other minion because he looks less muscular and is quite passive whereas his colleague Mr. Kim is torturing a man in order to get info about Zu You Long, their enemy. He doesn’t seem like a mobster due to his smile and his passivity. He appears at the end of the episode 4 but the readers get to know him better in the 5th episode.

What caught my attention is his admiration for his boss, Park Tae-Sung. We actually get a good introduction of Park Tae-Sung through Min-Hyuk’s perception, just like the pictures above illustrate it. Lee Min-Hyuk sees Park Tae-Sung as a hardworking boss who was able to gain respect thanks to his ruthlessness. This doesn’t bother the second character at all, it is quite the opposite. Hence behind his gentle manners, Lee Min-Hyuk should be judged as someone as ruthless and violent as his boss, since he views him as his model. He even says it himself.

“We need someone like him”.

The first impression we have is that Min-Hyuk is a trustworthy and reliable minion who listens to his boss pretty well and I must confess that this admiration makes me wonder if Lee Min-Hyuk will betray his boss at some point because of our main character Kwon Soo-Young. But this is just a speculation from my part.

After hearing about the new “employee”, Lee Min-Hyuk starts imaging the face of the new recruit. He is curious about the identity of the man who could impress his boss so much, which is really unusual for him. It is quite funny because in his mind, it is either an old but experienced minion or a woman. That’s why the handsome minion is so surprised to encounter a man with a baby face.

And for the first time, he starts doubting his chief’s decision hence he needs to test the man. The latter has not only a baby face but also is standing on a crutch. So the appearances leave a negative impression on Lee Min-Hyuk. Only after feeling the strength in the grip, he realizes the former boxer’s force.

Imagine that Min-Hyuk is not spared and his hand is hurting after the little struggle. He has to admit defeat and he never expected it from such a man. That’s the moment he wants to get to know the man.

On the other hand, what Min-Hyuk fails to recognize is that he also has a similar face, he doesn’t look so manly compared to Tae-Sung, Mr. Kim and the other minions. Furthermore, he lost the “fight” against Soo-Young while they were messing their strength. Hence for Kwon Soo-Young, Lee Min-Hyuk seems to be weak compared to him and Mr. Kim. Appearances can indeed be deceiving, because this first impression of Lee Min-Hyuk on the disabled man will affect their relationship in the future.

When angry minions barge in the room because they want to get revenge on the former boxer for punching them and humiliating their boss, Soo-Young feels the need to protect Lee Min-Hyuk.

But since the latter has worked for Park Tae-Sung for a long time, we can assume that he can definitely protect himself. Lee Min-Hyuk who had been impressed by the fist fight earlier, is definitely attracted by the man. He is already admiring him for his force and fighting spirit. That’s why he calls him “hyung” indicating that he is submitting himself. He is deeply impressed and even fascinated, just like his boss. He continues wondering what could have caught his boss’ interest. As you can see, Lee Min-Hyuk had a false image of the former boxer first but corrected it very quickly. However, it is not the same for Kwon Soo-Young. The latter perceives Lee Min-Hyuk as someone who is physically weaker and didn’t protect himself correctly, when the main character assaulted him because he thought that the angry minions were coming back. So will this first impression be corrected in the future? How much will this affect his relationship with Lee Min-Hyuk?

As a conclusion, the introduction of all the important figures in Legs That Won’t Walk were all somehow affected by first impressions. The mobsters misjudged Kwon Soo-Young, just like the latter didn’t perceive the vicious and manipulative side of his boyfriend Song Si-Jung. So what Miranda July and Kafka said was proven correct in this manhwa.

Strangely, only Park Tae-Sung was able to see Kwon Soo-Young’s true personality without any prejudice. He only discovered his disability after the former boxer had freed himself. No wonder, why he has the impression to have met him before. I suspect that the boss must have felt connected to the boxer due to his unleashed emotions (hatred, resent). I have the feeling that he must have experienced something similar in the past. Maybe they had similar childhoods. But here, these are just suppositions from my side. And we have to wonder if Will Roger’s words are correct, when it comes to Lee Min-Hyuk. Will he get a second chance to change the first impression he made on our main character?

Feel free to comment or to give any suggestion for an analysis (topic, manhwas). If you enjoyed reading it, either retweet it or push the button “like” so that this writing doesn’t become pointless. Thanks for the support.

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