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Who is the lovely Mr. K. in Beta Off Not Dating? The answer seems to be quite simple, right? Anyone will reply that it’s Kim Juhyeok, the protagonist. Yes, it is correct, but actually there exists another Mister K. who plays an important role in this story. 😮 That’s the reason why this analysis is about these two characters. First, I would like to add new observations about Kim Juhyeok. In the composition „I‘m a beta“, I had tried to explain why the main lead was refusing to date anyone. However, since then, the author gave us more clues about his reasons, while confirming my previous interpretation too. Then in the second part, I will reveal the identity of the second lovely Mister K. and his role.
1. Kim Juhyeok β: A normal life
1. 1. The gorilla and love
What caught my attention is this quote from the cute figure (chapter 16) What does he mean with this statement? In order to grasp his words, it is necessary to contextualize his assertion. In that scene, the main lead was mentioning his sister Kim Juyeong and her poor health. (Chapter 16) It is clear that he loves her a lot, though he calls her gorilla and doesn’t consider her as adorable. (Chapter 16) The reason for such a description is actually to mask his affection. For me, he has always tried to diminish his love for her through words, while in reality he is spoiling her. Why? It‘s his attempt to protect his heart, because he has always been scared to lose her. (Chapter 16) The hand on his gaze was not random. He wished to hide his vulnerability, heartache and anxieties. As the manhwalovers can detect, the main character has long associated love to fear and pain. (Chapter 16) Thus I am deducing that he wishes to keep his distance from people in order to protect himself and his heart. He doesn’t want to go through agony and the loss of a loved one, his future companion. Under this new light, the manhwaphiles understand the signification of a normal life for Kim Juhyeok. It is a life without pain, but it also implies the absence of human interaction. This coincides with his wish to leave South Korea. By leaving everything behind, he also cuts off ties with his family and friends. Striking is that when the artist wrote his statement, she used a lot of colorful bubbles, but she ended his confession with a white zone. (Chapter 16) For me, the panel has a metaphorical meaning. His definition of a normal life is like death. There is no emotion at all and as such no event. By avoiding love and people, Kim Juhyeok is actually burying himself alive. Therefore it is not surprising that his dream is to go to a sunny place. Hence it is not random that the main character is often put in painful but comical situations. It forces him to become emotional and to interact with others. At the same time, it is to confront him with his bias and prejudices. Since he views omegas and alphas as „categories“, his punishment is to be mistaken for an alpha or an omega. (Chapter 6) That way, he is encouraged to question his knowledge and perception about humans.
1. 2. Seol Gido and norms
But this doesn‘t end here. Normal life implies the existence of social norms. This means that Kim Juhyeok doesn‘t want to create a ruckus or scandal. He wants to move within social standards. This brings me to the following observation. The young man seems to have trouble to accept homosexuality. Yes, you are reading it correctly. For him, only a relationship between two men is acceptable, as long as they are an alpha and omega. Since such a couple can conceive, it is accepted among the population. However, a male beta with an male omega or alpha can not have a child together, hence it looks like a violation of nature and indirectly of social norms. And we have the proof of this interpretation in chapter 20. Why did he feel the need to point out their gender to his friend? (Chapter 20) It is because he viewed it as an exception, as something unusual. Let’s not forget that he informed himself about alpha and omega through books and videos. (Chapter 1) Nonetheless, there is a certain danger by such a research. Since the books and movies are only focusing on the relationship between omegas and alphas, society is somehow occulting the interactions between betas and the other categories. Sexuality between a beta and an alpha or omega is neglected. For it is not studied or even brought up, it is not considered as a norm, rather as an anomaly. On the other hand, it becomes quite clear that Kim Juhyeok has always been attracted to men, just like he caught the attention of men, (chapter 19) and in particular alphas or omegas felt enamored by the protagonist.
And that’s where his friend Seol Gido comes in. He played a huge role in the birth of this terrible mind-set. (Chapter 20) When the protagonist detected an attraction with someone, Seol Gido deceived his friend by letting him believe that he was delusional. Imagination implies the disregard for normality. Creativity stands for exception which is an antonym for norms. Because of his lies and his ignorance, Kim Juhyeok came to internalize that a relationship between an alpha and beta can only exist as a friendship. However, there is no ambiguity that Seol Gido was marking his friend as his possession. Thus he spreads his pheromones on him while giving the fake excuse that he was just drunk.
Furthermore, I am even suspecting that the actor is the one who has a problem with such a relationship. Why do I think so? In the restaurant, the main lead admitted that this decision not to date anyone was not his idea. (chapter 20) Secondly, the actor keeps reminding the main lead of his „decision“. (chapter 20) He was stating it as a fact, yet contrary to the past, Juhyeok felt the need to make a rectification. In addition, when the protagonist narrated to his friend that he had received two confessions, the alpha thought that the two persons must have been betas. (chapter 20) Why? It is because for Seol Gido no alpha or omega would ever confess to a beta directly. He was totally relaxed, when he heard about it first. He was smiling with closed eyes, a sign that he never suspected a danger. However, this changed immediately, when he discovered the identity of the rivals: an alpha and omega. The nature of his gaze switched instantly. That’s the reason why the main lead had to defend himself. (chapter 20) He had already experienced such a stare. Observe that Seol Gido had to state that his friend would not date an alpha or an omega. It was, as if he was giving him an order. Furthermore, from alpha or omega it became anyone! (chapter 20) I believe that the actor already knows about his friend’s attraction for alphas and omegas. He is well aware that Kim Juhyeok will never date a beta, and since he is not allowed to be with an alpha or omega, this signifies that he should end up alone. Finally, the authors and artist left in this panel another clue that for Seol Gido a relationship between a beta and omega is a taboo: (chapter 20) Why is the actor covered by the white? It is because he embodies the values Kim Juhyeok is advocating. However, there is no ambiguity that the alpha is interested and even attracted to Kim Juhyeok! Let’s not forget that Seol Gido is an actor, and as such his success is based on his fame and reputation. Secondly, in the k-dramas he is acting as an alpha falling in love with omegas! From my point of view, he has somehow internalized such values and fears that if he were the main lead’s partner, his career could suffer. That’s the reason why I am assuming that the departure to a foreign country is also influenced by his friend. No one would pay attention to the actor Seol Gido abroad.
But like I had mentioned in my previous analysis, the main character is a huge romantic! He believes in fated love (chapter 20) which explains why he is not rejecting Lee Sihyeon, Seol Gido or Ha Weonyi as friends. Friendship stands in opposition to destiny and fated love. However, in the last image, the character was imagining Lee Sihyeon’s reaction, when he would see his “loved one” disregarding dress code. This vision pained him a lot… And my readers can already sense the importance of social norms in this dream. He thought that the director would come to reject him, for he had caused a ruckus with his strange attire. But what the main lead doesn’t realize is that director Lee is someone who doesn’t fear social norms! He likes the protagonist for his extraordinary behavior. He didn’t mind being seen courting the beta. Thus the whole office knows about his affection for Juhyeok. The latter is confident, but also naïve, thus he makes the boss laugh. He embodies exception and rarity, because betas are supposed to represent the norm and normality. Consequently, I deduce that the meeting between Lee Sihyeon and Seol Gido will serve as a huge wake-up call for the actor. He thought, he could mislead his friend, while waiting for the right time to confess to him. In my eyes, the actor wanted him to wait for his departure and seclusion before making a move on him. He didn’t want to jeopardize his life in the end. And this contrasts so much to the main lead’s vision. No matter what, they will end up together. And the moment, the beta discovers the truth, he can only reply that their love was not fated. But actually, the actor has another rival, and he is not even aware of his influence and existence, the second Mister K.
2. The strong omega Ω: Mister Kang
Mister Kang is the main lead’s coworker. They sit next to each other. (chapter 4) Mister Kang is an omega (chapter 2) who already has a partner. He represents the biggest threat to the alpha actor, for he embodies the opposite values. He stands for honesty and open-mindedness. He doesn’t view people based on their “sex” (chapter 18), he treats them all equally, for in his eyes, they are all human beings.
This explicates why the lovely omega was the one revealing to Kim Juhyeok that director Lee had feelings for him. (chapter 4), whereas the friend did the exact opposite by denying the existence of crushes. Till episode 4, the main character had no clue why his boss would visit him each morning and put his hand on his shoulder. (chapter 1) That’s how clueless the main lead was. But we shouldn’t overlook that his perception had been manipulated by his friend alpha for years. But there is more to it. When the alpha Lee director played a trick on Juhyeok, he revealed the truth to his co-worker. (chapter 6) As you can see, his actions contrast so much to Seol Gido’s. And the reason why I described him as lovely, it is because he is playing cupid. First, he tried to pair the beta with the omega Ha. (chapter 13) But before becoming proactive, he asked for Kim’s feelings and thoughts. The readers can also detect how observant he is. He noticed that Kim Juhyeok felt comfortable with the omega. Then when he sensed no huge resistance or denial from the main character, he made such a suggestion:: (chapter 13) He had already intervened before, when he had noticed Weonyi’s interest for the beta. (chapter 13) Then at the restaurant, he told his co-worker that a guest was interested in him. (chapter 18) As you can see, for him, love between two men is nothing unusual, for the relationship between alphas and omegas is accepted. He makes no distinction in the end. And that’s how he discovered that Kim viewed Lee Sihyeon as handsome. (chapter 18) He pushed the main lead to ponder on the question why the boss was handsome. His interrogation (chapter 18) contrasts so much to Seol Gido’s who tries to impose his will onto the main lead. The huge smile on his face (chapter 18) mirrors the actor’s cold gaze. (chapter 20) Thus when they returned from lunch, Mister Kang couldn’t help himself teasing the colleague. (chapter 19) However, his true intention was to push Kim to realize that he was not immune to the boss. (chapter 19) This is important, because Mister Kang is now aware of the protagonist’s thoughts and emotions, though the latter is still in denial. This explicates why he left his colleague’s side, when director Lee proposed a walk to his love interest. He was playing cupid again. (chapter 19) This signifies that director Lee has already won an important ally in order to win the beta’s heart. Finally, observe that the alpha actor was introduced in chapter 4 , while the lovely omega started playing a bigger role in the same chapter! (chapter 4) That’s the reason why I came to love the omega so much. Not only he is funny, but he is very nice and so honest! He is definitely an overlooked hero. From my point of view, he has a better understanding of human nature than the actor, for he is taking feelings into account. For the beta, the relationship between an alpha and an omega is influenced by instincts and as such nature. That’s the reason why Kim Juhyeok thought that manager Lee would never be able to divorce Seo Heetae. (chapter 18) However, note that the cute omega is still thinking that their relationship is not over, for the manager still has feelings for his “partner”. (chapter 18) Thus I deduce that Mister Kang is going to be the beta’s counselor in his love life. And this leads me to the following question. Why does Mister Kang feel the need to pair the beta with someone? In my eyes, the young man has already sensed his loneliness and solitude. First, he knows about his dream to move to a warm country implying that he has no “attachment” here. Besides, let’s not forget that he helped Mister Kang, when the latter had some health issue. He took over his work. (chapter 2) The beta might have resented him internally (“forced to work overtime”), but he never complained to him. As you can see, Mister Kang values his colleague very much. They eat together and assist each other. If he were to leave the company, the young omega would definitely miss him. To conclude, he has every reason to meddle in Kim Juhyeok’s love life and give him advices.
3. Kim Juhyeok, the hero 😍
The protagonist views omegas like humans and not like breeding machines or as inferior human beings. He fight for their rights, hence he intervened, when manager Lee got abused by his husband. (chapter 1) And observe that unlike all the other betas, he was the only one who viewed it as a violation of human rights. (chapter 1) That shows the disregard towards the omegas. They can be “mistreated”, for it is in the alphas’ nature to demonstrate their power and strength. This explicates why manager Lee listened to the beta’s advice. He shouldn’t tolerate such a mistreatment and file for a divorce. This took his companion by surprise! (chapter 16) He never envisioned that the manager omega would cut ties with him. He used the excuse that the other omega had released his pheromones to “justify” his cheating. He couldn’t control himself. The manhwaphiles can detect the contradiction between nature and society. Since alphas and omegas are living in a civilization, they should be able to “control” their nature. This truly points out that love between omegas and alphas are not simply fated, the partners have to work together to maintain a healthy and natural relationship. And that’s what the beta taught to the arrogant Seo. He imagined that a half-commitment was enough, and the rest would be left to nature and as such “destiny”. However, he is wrong. A true couple has to respect each other. Finally, I would like to outline that though Lee Hyeonjae is an omega, he is a manager displaying his intelligence and strength. As an omega, he doesn’t want to be reduced to his function, the partner of an alpha, and as such to become a housewife. And that’s how his former companion came to recognize how different the omega was. (chapter 16) Slowly, the violent and selfish manager is realizing that his marriage was not destiny. As a conclusion, the lovely beta is also playing a huge role in the love life of Lee Hyeonjae. He showed him what he should expect from his partner or not. Thus I interpret that while Mister Kang embodies love and jokes, the other Mister K. stands for reason and norms (in a positive sense contrary to Seol Gido).. The beta is the representative of hard work, pride and reality, the dark-haired omega views fun, jokes and dream. Therefore it is no coincidence that the two workers got so close to each other. (chapter 13) Thus he is teaching his co-worker to drop his prejudices indoctrinated from his friend Seol Gido. That’s the reason why I view Mister Kang as the “antagonist” of Seol Gido. The irony is that the alpha will only consider Lee Sihyeon as a potential rival, overlooking the power from the cute omegas, Mister Kang and Mister Ha. (chapter 16). He is very protective of them.
Honestly, I am looking forward for next Friday, because according to tappytoon, two chapters will be released at once. Both alphas, Lee Sihyeon and Seol Gido, will finally meet each other.
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