Table of contents of analyzed/mentioned manhwas (updated March 30th 2023) The 2nd essay about Beta Off Not Dating /the 19th analysis about Jinx

  1. A Painter Behind The Curtain:
    1. The difficult life of painters
    2. Revolution and Art
  2. BJ Alex
    1. “Who are you?”, the significance of masks in manhwas
  3. Dine With A Vampire:
    1. What defines being a human?
    2. Master and Monster
    3. Liberation
    4. Yoon Seungho’s obsession and its origins
    5. “Who are you?”, the significance of masks in manhwas 👺 (second version)
  4. Doctor Frost (used as reference for Painter Of The Night):
    1. Home (second version)
    2. The birth of the zombie
    3. Season 3, the breaking of shackles
    4. “Who are you?”, the significance of masks in manhwas 👺 (second version)
    5. “Happiness”
    6. “Hate crime”
    7. Revenge
    8. Wishes
    9. Jihwa’s Third eye
    10. Love and hatred in the winter forest ☃️ 🌳” (Second version)
    11. The loyal deserter 🙇 (soon only accessible with a password)🙇♂%EF%B8%8F/
    12. Joo Jaekyung a heinous 😈 child 👶?
  5. Legs That Won’t walk:
    1. Illusion and reality 🥊
    2. First impressions 🥊
    3. Who is this Kwon Soo-Young? – part 1 🥊
    4. “Who are you?”, the significance of masks in manhwas 👺 (second version)
  6. My Suha:
    1. Freedom
    2. “Who are you?”, the significance of masks in manhwas 👺 (second version)
  7. Painter Of The Night:
    1. The Table of Contents, since I wrote more than 440 essays
  8. Pearl Boy:
    1. Curse or Blessing?
    2. Choi Pilwon’s true face
    3. Preys and predators
  9. The Beast Must Die:
    1. The Joker – part 3 (second version)
    2. “Who are you?”, the significance of masks in manhwas 👺 (second version)
  10. The Pawn’s Revenge:
    1. Revolution or revenge? (second version)
    2. The goldfish and the lamb – part 1 (second version)
    3. The goldfish and the lamb – part 2 (second version)
    4. “Who are you?”, the significance of masks in manhwas 👺 (second version)
    5. “Femme fatale”
    6. “Janggi and life”
    7. “Hope”
    8. A perfect Plan?(second version)
    9. The witch and the lustful spell (part 1)
    10. Promising break and broken promises
  11. Under The Green Light:
    1. “Who are you?”, the significance of masks in manhwas 👺 (second version)
    2. “The end of the monochrome world?” 🦠
    3. “Sweet Potato?” 🥔
  12. Unintentional Love Story:
    1. The Heart versus The Mind
  13. Serene Bird:
    1. Traces of Beauty and the beast in the manhwas
    2. The phoenix, the crane and the butterfly (second version)
  14. ENNEAD
    1. “Who are you?”, the significance of masks in manhwas 👺 (second version)
  15. Mad Place:
    1. Smiling ghost👻 and sinful priest:
    2. Contrition of the pure sinner ⛪👨‍❤️‍👨
  16. Bongchon Bride:
    1. The terrible fate of slaves”
  17. Steel Under Silk:
    1. Lost in translation:
    2. The lotus 🌸 and the snake🐍 :
    3. The Power of the Dog ⚔️
    4. A dagger 🗡hidden by a smile😊
  18. Payback:
    1. Innocent or not guilty?⚖️ (combined with Painter Of The Night)
    2. Portrait of a wacko 🤪
  19. A Sip Of Poison:
    1. A Question Of Perspective: The loss Of the topknot (analysis combined with Painter Of The night)
  20. Jinx:
    1. Bewitched (full version) (locked)
    2. Bewitched (only 10 pictures)
    3. Precious punk 😉and wimp😍
    4. My hero 🤠(full version) (second version) (locked)
    5. My hero 🤠(only 10 pictures) (second version)
    6. Why Kim Dan? 🍭 (full version, locked)🍭-full-version/
    7. Why Kim Dan? 🍭 (only 10 pictures)
    8. Hot Boys! 🥊😎 (full version) (locked)
    9. Hot Boys! 🥊😎 (10 pictures)
    10. Lucky 🍀 loser and jinxed winner 🏆 (full version)
    11. Lucky 🍀 loser and jinxed winner 🏆 (10 pictures)
    12. 🌏 Two Worlds 🌎
    13. Joo Jaekyung, the strongest man in the world 💪💪
    14. Toxic ☠️ sweet 🍬 or Sweet 🍬jerk 🤬?☠-sweet-🍬-or-sweet🍬-jerk-🤬/
    15. Joo Jaekyung a heinous 😈 child 👶? (Second version) (full version, locked)
    16. Joo Jaekyung a heinous 😈 child 👶? (10 pictures)😈-child-👶-10-pictures/
    17. “I … hate it!” 😤😡
    18. “In real bad shape!” 🤕🤒
    19. Shocking discoveries!!” 😘😲 (Full version) (locked)
    20. Shocking discoveries!!” 😘😲 (10 pictures)
    21. “Tell me something I don’t know.”💬 ❗
    22. Caught in the act! 🎬🎬/
    23. Painful awakening of Sleeping Beauty🤼‍♂️💕 (locked)
    24. ☠️ Death match or mock battle 🤼‍♂️ ? (locked)
    25. Thundering ⚡️Poker Face 😐 (locked soon)⚡-poker-face-😐/
    26. The missing Teddy bear🧸 (locked soon)
  21. The Ghost’s Nocturne:
    1. The mysterious Jae Shin 🐶👻
    2. The fragile but powerful prince 🤴💖
    3. Devoted 💓🖤 curses 🧙‍♂️
  22. Beta Off Not Dating:

Painter Of The Night: The phoenix, the crane and the butterfly (Serene Bird) – third version

This is where you can read the manhwas. But be aware that these manhwas are mature Yaois, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. If you want to read more essays, here is the link to the table of contents: Here is the link, if you are interested in more analyses about other manhwas:

Thanks to comments from readers, I realized that I had overlooked certain aspects. And now, you understand why I keep asking my readers to give me some feedback. The remarks can definitely help me to improve the quality of my analyses.

After reading chapter 64, I have to admit that I needed a break to heal my broken heart. This chapter was the most painful to read. Because of this, I couldn’t help myself thinking of the work from Marquis de Sades again, Justine or the Misfortunes of Virtue. On the one hand, I was happy to see that my association to this work was correct, which I had sensed very early on.

1. Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho’s misfortunes

On the other hand, this means that the manhwaphiles have to prepare their heart, as the misfortunes and agony are definitely a part of this manhwa. However this doesn’t mean that I consider Yoon Seungho’s love for the painter as doomed. It is just that they will have to overcome many obstacles and as such enemies. And now you are wondering why I was reminded of this novel from the 18th Century in episode 64? First, the author displays such a violence linked to sex. Then the brutality during the sex makes the main lead suffer so much. Furthermore the sex in episode 64 is linked to immorality, shame and shock. The manhwaphiles will detect the absence of love and warmth in the intercourse, as there is no fire and light in that episode. The pleasure is only connected to pain and humiliation.

Here, sex is connected to perversion and corruption, while the painter symbolizes purity. And now you know the origin from the idiom “sadist”. The French author from the Enlightenment has become “famous” due to his grotesque sexual scenes, very similar to the sex scenes in chapter 64. Here, the lord shows indeed sadistic tendencies. He takes pleasure that the painter ejaculates, when he is in an embarrassing position. He feels no guilt and remorse, when he sees Kim’s presence and shocked face. Hence this episode confirms my theory of father Yoon’s rules and the indoctrination Yoon Seungho was exposed to. Here, the lord wants to submit the painter sexually. In other words, the former would like to wreck the painter, reverse the situation from chapter 58. He wants to eliminate the painter’s purity with this huge amount of sex. The more he has sex, the more he will destroy Baek Na-Kyum’s virtue and innocence and as such obtain his submission. He has the impression that by acting like that, he will get what he desires, not realizing that he is achieving the opposite.

And now you understand why the night in the storage room is a combination of the rape at the pavilion, the sex marathon and the sex session in the painter’s study in chapter 41-42.Here, the painter expressed the wish that the penetration should be deeper, he even asked for more roughness. All these sex scenes oozed sadness and violence. While in chapter 63, love was still present, the opening of the door marked a turning point. Kim’s presence triggers a memory deeply buried in the lord’s unconscious: Yoon Seungho’s first rape and the butler’s betrayal and abandonment. While all the readers, including myself, loathed Yoon Seungho for that terrible behavior, I only recognized afterwards why the lord changed one more time. He became even crueler and more brutal in that episode due to the valet’s appearance and presence. (chapter 64). This actually displays how wounded and betrayed the young master experienced the whole situation. He loved the butler so much, so that he must have felt his betrayal and abandonment as the worst he ever had lived. He was so shocked that he repressed it.

That’s why the concentration of these chapters was painful for the readers too. Therefore we can definitely say that Baek Na-Kyum’s fate resembles a lot to Justine’s. But since he is going through the same experiences than the noble, it signifies that Yoon Seungho suffered the same fate. I would even say, he went through worse situations, as his torment lasted for many years. The innocent protagonist experiences one misery after another one like Yoon Seungho, but in a much shorter time. The other divergence is that despite the suffered physical and sexual abuse, the painter is able to remain pure because of love. And now you are wondering how it is possible that the main lead can remain so pure after this new sex marathon. It is related to the lord’s confession in the shed. It looked like rape, but in reality it was difference. The painter was not really pushing Yoon Seungho away.

However, there are two huge differences between these two works. First, I think, we have two “Justines” in Painter Of The Night: the commoner and the noble Yoon Seungho. We could even say, that even Jihwa and Nameless are Justine too. Nevertheless, I would like to point out that Yoon Seungho and Lee Jihwa represent Justine’s sister, Juliette, too. The latter chose to drop virtues and used sex to climb the social ladders. In the French novel, the sister never made bad experiences (rape, torture, etc.), because she chose the easy way out. She wasn’t bothered to sell her body. But as I pointed out earlier, Yoon Seungho was exposed to violence and sexual abuse, therefore it is totally comprehensible why at the end he surrendered and chose to live like “Juliette”. Let’s not forget that in the French novel, Justine dies at the end, but through her death, her sister chooses to change her way of life. She becomes a reformed woman, a nun and dedicates her life to virtue. Now, you can see the parallels between the two works: Yoon Seungho died as Justine and became Juliette, until he met the painter Baek Na-Kyum. Because of the new Justine, the lord was slowly transformed, until he chose to abandon everything and become the artist’s domestic, in other words, the Joseon Justine’s worshipper.

2. The cranes

And it is the same for Jihwa as well. Let’s not forget that the two ukes are connected to the crane: (chapter 45) (chapter 43) While Baek Na-Kyum’s problem is sex, Jihwa’s struggle will be crime, like trespassing, abduction and murder. Like I had already mentioned it in another analysis, crane is connected to happiness, honor, longevity and good fortune. However, this doesn’t signify that the person embodied by the crane encounters good fortune. Due to Baek Na-Kyum, the second Justine, the red-haired aristocrat is forced to change and Nameless becomes his guide.

Let’s not forget that in the manhwa “Serene bird” the main lead Yoo Chung makes a similar experience. He also meets tragedies, one after another. That’s why Jihwa will play a different role than the commoner. Jihwa’s fate will be connected to justice, but he will suffer and his tormenter and liberator will be Nameless. The red-haired aristocrat is ignoring true moral values like charity, selflessness and justice, while his unconscious has not forgotten it. This will be his inner struggle, while Baek Na-Kyum was rejecting sex, connecting it to something dirty. Furthermore, unlike in the French novel from the 18th Century, where evilness and injustice win at the end, as the heroine dies, the manhwaphiles witness in the manhwa the spiritual death of the culprit, Yoon Seungho. This is represented by the following panel:

There’s no light, only darkness. The lord is no longer represented by the white candle, but again with the yellow bougie on a chandelier like at the beginning. (chapter 5) This marks the return of his older self, but a worse version, as there is no light. The yellow bougie on the candelabra is a symbol for coldness, frigidity and selfishness. Yet, since there is no light in chapter 64, the absence of light is a metaphor for the non-existence of life. In other words, we are witnessing the death of the phoenix. When I say that this is his spiritual death, it signifies that the lord’s heart is no longer beating for the painter. He closed his heart, and since the heart was in possession of his mind, this means that neither his heart nor his mind are alive. Yet, the manhwaphiles shouldn’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that Yoon Seungho’s love for Baek Na-Kyum vanished for good. It’s just that his self-hatred has taken over his mind and heart, therefore he is not able to give any love and warmth to his lover.

3. Yoon Seungho as Juliette

But let’s go back to our comparison to the French novel. Since Yoon Seungho torments the painter, we could think, he is a villain like the surgeon Rodin. However, this is just a deception, like I exposed above. The main lead is now Juliette, the sister who chose to live the opposite way of Justine after their separation. She became a libertine and used sex in order to climb the social ladder. She became rich and powerful. However, after meeting Justine again by chance, Juliette discovers her sister’s tragic fate, which affects her so much. When the libertine even witnesses Justine’s terrible death, the latter gets struck by lightning, Juliette decides to become virtuous and enters a nunnery, where she becomes a very famous nun, receiving the admiration from many ladies. Out of love for her sister, she decided to dedicate herself to virtues. And now, you comprehend why I believe that Yoon Seungho will have a similar reaction in the end. He will change for the better and fight for commoners, which was already visible in chapter 6. Now, you understand the signification of chapter 64. The latter doesn’t reveal his true personality, the violent and obsessed side to the painter, but the violence and betrayal he was exposed to, which led to his murderous and suicidal tendencies. His behavior is the result of the sexual abuse and the coercive persuasion. For me, it is clear that the lord actually reveals his self-hatred, therefore he is so rough and brutal towards the artist. He is reliving the past, and more precisely the first rape which marked the start of his suffering. And due to the brutality and the words of the rapist and his accomplice (chapter 65), he came to hate himself. That’s why the disappearance of the light shouldn’t be judged as something negative in the end. The lord has finally shown his actual mental disposition: a man full of insecurities and self-hatred, which the painter could hear and see. On the other hand, like I said, this is not his true personality, as he was forced to change and abandon all virtues.

4. Kim and the scandal in town

For the first time, the main lead confronts the butler with his past actions. He let him see what he went through during that night, when Kim chose not to open the door. That’s why Kim is so shocked and ashamed. But instead of assuming his responsibility, he acts exactly like in the past. He acts, as if nothing was happening and runs away. The only difference is that he can not make the painter feel guilty. This is important, because Baek Na-Kyum is not pushed to repress the incident. The painter won’t forget his behavior… exactly like during the night of the rape at the pavilion. Back then, he only reproached that he never revealed the truth. Yet during that night, he experienced his cowardice and abandonment. The painter is very sensitive concerning abandonment.

In my opinion, Kim always reflected to his master the following image: He was just a poor lord due to his tragic past, hence he was misunderstood. He could use memories to his advantage, hence the noble could only trust his butler. There’s no doubt that Kim had not forgotten the sensitive and kind teenager. He was willing to use his brutal behavior to his benefit. He could divert attention from his own misdeeds in the past. Yet in episode 64, he is confronted with the lord’s darkness directly for the first time, a heritage from father Yoon: he witnesses the true consequences of the lord’s hypersexuality. This time, he is affected, because he sees it himself.

Moreover, I would even say that the lord’s self-destruction is palpable, not only in front of the barn and in the painter’s study, but also in the town. The inhabitants are discovering the truth: Jihwa’s words became reality and as such truth. That’s how the town folks will judge it too. They will condemn the lord Yoon like Jihwa, because they became the victims of lord’s fury and despair. Due to his obsession with the painter, his domestics behaved like ruffians towards the inhabitants. This is quite similar to the scene in chapter 30, where his staff had to experience the lord’s brutality. We have to understand them. They were desperate to please their master, as they feared his brutality. They didn’t want to experience another huge beating. And the tailor plays a huge role in the birth of the huge scandal. With his small action, he will trigger a huge storm, so that the lord’s reputation as alpha and king will be literally destroyed. Therefore from my point of view, we are witnessing the lord’s gradual death. Despite his bad reputation, the inhabitants never avoided Yoon Seungho in the past, as he had money and connections. However, we shouldn’t forget the incident in chapter 54, where he evicted the nobles. The latter will no longer respect the powerful lord, and the chapter 64 announces that the protagonist will first lose the inhabitants’ support. He will truly become an outcast. One might argue that he already had a bad reputation as hell-raiser, yet with this scandal, there’s no ambiguity that no officials and no merchants will like to be connected with him. But this situation is just short-lived, because after the scandal, the main lead becomes tranquil again. The absence of a new scandal for 2 weeks and his attitude towards the painter in chapter 76 display that Yoon Seungho is able to get the town folks’ support like in the beginning. They definitely judge him as a reformed man. This explicates why the shop owner is still showing respect towards the master. (chapter 76)

5. The candle and painting

However, I believe that in chapter 64 Yoon Seungho has not reached the bottom yet. Why? First, he has not realized the consequences of his action yet. He literally destroyed the painter, and not with sex, but with his refusal of kissing the painter: What caught my attention is the absence of the painter’s blushing and the disappearance of tears. These two panels represent the final blow to the painter. And he will remember this gesture, just like he could recall the embrace and kiss from chapter 42. That’s why the yellow candle is also a metaphor for the painter. I believe that he didn’t cry after that night. And the manhwaphiles can note the vanishing of the painter’s physical reactions, if you compare it to the sex scene in the barn or in front of the storage room. The painter is still blushing and ejaculates. And the interpretation from my previous analysis was correct. The scene with the storage room is a combination of the sex marathon and the chapters 40-41-42. Here, the absence of the kiss is similar to the scholar’s words: However, there are two contrasts. First, the outcome will be different. Secondly, the lord treats the painter as his plaything now, and not as a prostitute. Notice the parallels. We have the return of the yellow candle on a candlestick, then the treatment is similar to the first chapter, where Baek Na-Kyum was kept captive in the barn. In chapter 1, the room was bright contrasting to the darkness in the storage room in chapter 62-63. Back then the main character was intelligent and cunning, as he was not aware of the influence of his heart. From chapter 62 on, the lord is no longer in possession of his smart and bright mind, as the darkness of his heart has taken possession of his mind. Yet, since the painter was able to hear and see the lord’s love on two occasions, the artist will recover from the wound afflicted during that night. Unlike the scholar, who never declared his love for him and just hoped that he would change into a person without a sex life, the noble expressed his wish to be the cause of the painter’s happiness. Therefore the new version of chapter 40 will have the opposite outcome. The painter’s spirit won’t be so devastated like before. He has already experienced the noble’s love. On the other hand, the painter stopped painting after that night. From my point of view, this second marathon has affected his creativity. He couldn’t paint due to his injury, but he remembered the orchid from Yoon Seungho. In my opinion, the lord’s words from that night must have left a deep impression on him so that he won’t be able to paint erotic paintings. I am more inclined to believe that Baek Na-Kyum’s new picture in the third season will be a different topic. Remember my theory that Yoon Seungho was a painter in the beginning, but his father ruined his talent. In my opinion, we should expect a similar phenomenon. Due to the sex marathon, the painter will be encouraged to paint something else. Since the orchid from Yoon Seungho caught his attention and he drew himself an inauguration painting, I come to the conclusion that the painter will choose a different topic for his works. That’s how he will shine as a phoenix. This would explain why the sheet of paper remained white during that night. (chapter 64)

After that night, the low-born’s love for the noble is affected. Baek Na-Kyum has discovered his own huge sexual appetite. Based to my interpretation, the painter serves as the aristocrat’s mirror. By making the painter suffer the same fate, so that the latter becomes a new version of Yoon Seungho, the protagonist will perceive his own reflection. Hence he has the impression that he is a man consumed by lust, and in his denial he tries to blame his lover. (chapter 75) And now, you grasp why the author is tormenting our main lead. His function is to liberate Yoon Seungho, but for that, he needs to go through the same pain and wounds. By destroying the artist, he kills himself in the end. This explicates why the yellow bougie represent the two protagonists in chapter 64: Hence we could say that the painter is a phoenix as well. And by turning the artist into a zombie, Yoon Seungho will be cornered to accept the reality. He is indeed a man obsessed by sex. This interpretation was confirmed with chapter 66. (chapter 66). There’s no ambiguity that in that moment, Yoon Seungho blamed himself for the artist’s flashback, until the abduction was unveiled. But the artist experiences a rebirth… as a painter. He won’t create any erotic painting in my opinion forcing the noble to create erotic pictures. But naturally this is just a theory. The reason for this is that we have the presence of the brushes under Yoon Seungho’s head. (chapter 64) It was, as if Baek Na-Kyum was passing his task to the main lead.

6. The crane’s vision

By announcing the presence of a zombie, I couldn’t help myself to connecting it to Jihwa’s nightmare. His dream became real. I perceive this scene as the evidence that Jihwa’s role is quite similar to the artist’s. The latter’s dreams always turned into reality. But there’s more to it. Now, I comprehend the meaning of the following images differently. The painter’s dead gaze is the reason for the main character to have dark eyes. Observe that the noble’s hand is holding the painter’s head, indicating that the lord is responsible for the artist’s spiritual death. The darkness of Yoon Seungho’s heart was brought to the surface due to Jihwa’s action. Due to his misdeed, he caused the noble to become oblivious of the truth, his gaze is covered by a shadow. As you can observe, the new episode gives us the opportunity to perceive Jihwa’s prediction under a new light. That’s why Baek Na-Kyum is able to move on from the scholar.

7. Yoon Seungho’s indoctrinations: the cause of his death

And you all know the reason why the master is so determined to deny, that he is a man consumed by sex and believes that he is not worthy to be loved. He has been brainwashed by his father, just like the painter. Yet their path was different. Whereas the artist was forced to abstinence and to reject his own sexual orientation, the aristocrat was forced to prostitution for his father’s sake. The latter turned his mansion into a brothel, since he was such a prude hypocrite. When the purge occurred, the father saved his own skin by betraying and abandoning his son. For the first time, Yoon Seungho was confronted with reality and as such his own reflection. The father never loved him, in fact he despised him, hence the latter developed self-hatred and a phobia of his own reflection. But he adopted his father’s point of view due to Kim’s influence, just like Baek Na-Kyum did after the low noble told him that he only considered the low-born as a prostitute. That’s why he kept fooling around with men. And the chapter 64 was another revelation: the lord’s hypersexuality. It became really visible in this picture. It was, as if the artist was asked to paint an erotic picture, while having sex, because the sexual act was not even enough for the lord’s libido. This sexual disorder is the result of the father’s coercive persuasion. If you look up, you will discover that sexual trauma can definitely lead to hypersexuality.

“There are several causes that can explain hypersexual behaviour: a psychological trauma related to affection, love or desire, but also an emotional shock such as depression, etc.” (translated by me),%C3%A9motionnel%20comme%20une%20d%C3%A9pression%2C%20etc.

With this quote, it becomes obvious why the lord is so convinced that he can’t be loved. Imagine that just by reading the title of this article “Hyposexuality and Hypersexuality Secondary to Childhood Trauma and Dissociation” I can link the other psychological disorder I had diagnosed in the master with hypersexuality And now, we know why the main lead needed stimuli all this time and why he chose to live in debauchery in the end, which his physician had criticized. He had to in order to mask his mental issues. However, I believe that after the public disgrace, the main character, misguided by his “mentor” Kim, thought that he could take revenge on his father by becoming the exact image his father hated. In his mind, he would hurt and humiliate his father, at the same time, this control about the rumors gave him the impression that he was indeed a spirit. The reality was totally different. Father Yoon might have lived in exile, yet his reputation was still intact, whereas Yoon Seungho was treated like a head-kisaeng.

Due to the second sex marathon, Yoon Seungho is forced to admit that he was wrong. That’s why after realizing his huge mistake, he gives up on all the doctrines taught by his two fathers. Simultaneously, he realizes that he can only make love to the painter, if the latter desires it. He can no longer impose his will onto Baek Na-Kyum. The irony is that by acting so, he is definitely breaking a taboo. He is not hiding his love for another man, and not hiding it behind social norms, like: sex is a battle. Once the fight is won, there’s an exchange of favors.

As a conclusion, after that night, Yoon Seungho is no longer confusing sex and love. He has adopted the painter’s original point of view. Sex is an expression of love. That’s why he will shine as a phoenix. He will represent Baek Na-Kyum’s philosophy and fight for these virtues: hard work, dedication, forgiveness, empathy, equity and liberty.

7. The butterfly

And now, you are wondering why the title is referring to the butterfly, as so far, I only talked about the phoenix and the crane. Why did I come up with such an association, when the second season happens during the winter? My reason is quite simple. The image of the butterfly is present in the manhwa under two aspects, first we have one panel with a butterfly in the special episode: Secondly, I couldn’t restrain myself thinking about the butterfly effect. While many readers were mad at Yoon Seungho for his brutality and ruthlessness in chapter 64, they seemed to have forgotten that everything happened because of Jihwa’s action. The latter let the painter kidnapped. Nonetheless since he was returned, in Nameless and the red-haired aristocrat’s mind, nothing had happened. A small change, and yet it destroys the fragile relationship between the two protagonists, affects the bond between Yoon Seungho and Kim and ruins the lord’s image in the town. Jihwa’s greed and jealousy led to the main lead’s self-destruction. Sure, the lord is not innocent either. Therefore he will be punished. The main lead loses everything: Baek Na-Kyum’s trust, his “life” and even his position as lord of the mansion. Their “spiritual” death is his punishment. That’s why I believe that Jihwa has not met his karma yet. He will definitely suffer just the painter and will be punished. So far, he has not been exposed to physical and sexual violence, that’s why I am now predicting this. The relationship between Jihwa and Nameless won’t be romantic. Jihwa will see the butcher’s true face at some point.

And now, if you recall the whole story, you’ll observe a certain pattern: the butterfly effect is always linked to the painter and Jihwa. The main lead is affected thanks to Baek Na-Kyum’s works and once they meet, the artist affects him and his life. A small creature, like the butterfly, brings huge transformation to the people around him: Jung In-Hun, the valet Kim, the servants, Deok-Jae, the nobles and Jihwa. Note that in chapter 8, Min met the artist for the time and awoke lust and desires in him. That’s why he started challenging the main lead. And since Jihwa is the noble version of the painter, we can conclude that Jihwa plays a similar function in the end. He brings transformation, positive and negative, just like Baek Na-Kyum, but to Nameless and Yoon Seungho. And this is no coincidence that the butterfly is a symbol for transformation and temporality.

Butterflies are deep and powerful representations of life. Butterflies are not only beautiful, but also have mystery, symbolism and meaning and are a metaphor representing spiritual rebirth, transformation, change, hope and life. The magnificent, yet short life of the butterfly closely mirrors the process of spiritual transformation and serves to remind us that life is short.,%2C%20change%2C%20hope%20and%20life.

This explains why the beautiful insect is associated to death in the end. There’s this belief that the butterfly represents the soul of deceased people, the loved ones. That’s why some people think that butterflies are messengers from the afterlife, the souls are communicating to them through butterflies. Let’s not forget that butterflies are attracted to light and fire, and we all know that one of the main lead’s element is fire. However, fire can kill a butterfly, if the latter becomes too close to the flame. And now, you understand why I connected this candle with the one from the special episode. This bougie represents the true form of the painter: white because of purity and innocence and the butterfly as a sign of his true power. He is the one who brings transformation and rebirth! The butterfly is the cause for the rebirth of the phoenix. His selflessness causes him to lose his “spiritual” life. He follows the lord till the end, never rebelling which contrasts to the painter’s behavior during the first season. He won’t even try to run away after that night, as he will keep his promise. However, this new vow is not without consequence.

This time, someone will have to abduct him in order to free him from this hell, and this prediction seems to become true. (chapter 69) Due to this panel, it becomes obvious that Heena noona will behave the same way than Jihwa in the end, though the roles have been switched. Her brother has been seduced by a witch and he needs assistance. She will do anything in order to save her brother, unaware that she will be the cause for her brother’s misery. While I thought in the past that Kim embodied the saying “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”, I came to recognize that this bible quote fits Heena noona’s personality. And this would definitely reinforce my interpretation that the kisaeng is a Christian.

So while the readers envisioned that the kisaeng introduced at the end of the episode would become Baek Na-Kyum’s savior, (chapter 64), she played a different role in the end. She instigated fear in the painter and confronted him with a negative reflection so that the artist stopped opening up. He never revealed his true emotions and thoughts in front of Yoon Seungho. Even the influence of the wine didn’t push him to confess his affection, contrary to chapter 21. In other words, Heena noona is no emancipator, just like Kim. Note the pattern, the butler’s stans hoped that he would become the painter’s helping hand, but he never did. When he encouraged the painter to leave the mansion, he was well aware that Black Heart was waiting for him at the kisaeng house.

The chapter 64 announced a huge turning point in the noble’s life, his death. In other words, it forced him to face reality. The master was no longer a boy with a tragic past, but a monster. And let’s not forget that the tailor revealed the identity of Baek Na-Kyum in chapter 64. He made an allusion, that the low-born was the anonymous artist who became famous with his erotic paintings. And due to this final panel, I come to the conclusion that Baek Na-Kyum’s departure from the brothel was linked to the success of his career as a painter and his homosexuality. They chose Jung In-Hun, as he was a low noble with no wealth and connections. From my point of view, the adoptive mother or sister wanted Baek Na-Kyum to remain in the shadow. We can assume that she imagined, by living with the scholar, the painter would keep painting, but he wouldn’t be able to outlive his sexual orientation. There’s no doubt that Heena noona imagined that he would be abused. And the appearance of the kisaeng with two guards signifies that Baek Na-Kyum is indeed connected to power in the end. Since I consider him as a phoenix, this could be an indication that he could be more than just a filthy low-born, like Jihwa and Jung In-Hun imagined.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My reddit-Instagram- tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: Animals and predictions

This is where you can read the manhwa.  But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.

This is not an analysis but again a new prediction. There’s a reason why I suddenly came up with this idea. It all started with a tweet created by @YourMorbidMoot where the wolf symbolizing Yoon Seungho is tamed by Baek Na-Kyum, the innocent rabbit. When I saw this very cute story, it made me smile because it illustrates the taming of the main protagonist.

Simultaneously, I couldn’t help myself thinking about my essay called “Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum as animals” [] where I had explained that for me, the eagle and the lamb would represent much better Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum respectively. The readers must know that as soon as I wrote the essay mentioned above, I started associating the characters with animals. The weirdest thing is that I couldn’t restrain myself noticing that the nobles were always represented by birds (or flying animals), while the commoners like Baek Na-Kyum, Deok-Jae or valet Kim were rather domestic animals. With this expression, I mean these animals are part of a mansion. This is what I had found so far:

Yoon SeunghoEagle
Jung In-HunPeacock (snake-chameleon)
MinMagpie – crow (snake)
Father Yoon„Dragon“ (snake)
Lee JihwaPheasant – crane
Yoon Seung-WonDuck
Baek Na-KyumLamb
Valet KimDog
Deok-JaeRat (greedy, materialistic, rats out his master)

This is not surprising that the dog symbolizes valet Kim, as he is loyal, strong, caring but also protective and defensive. He follows his master everywhere and is able to find him very quickly, like in the chapter 57. Let’s not forget how he yelled at Deok-Jae for his so-called prank. It was as if he was barking at the vicious domestic.

But then, I realized that I had actually made a mistake. Yoon Seungho was indeed a bird, not an eagle. In fact, he was a phoenix, hence we see him wearing this robe during that fateful night. The next morning, he is no longer wearing it. He gave his robe to the painter as cover. It definitely marks the moment of his “death” and announces his rebirth. It has not occurred yet, since he is still feverish but we should consider it as a part of his rebirth: he rises from the ashes. It becomes clear that the rebirth of a phoenix is related to fire and you all know the expressions “to burn a fever” or “to burn out a fever”. As you can observe, fever is indeed linked to fire. That’s why I came to the realization that Yoon Seungho is in reality a phoenix which would explain why father Yoon was so jealous of his son. How can a dragon exist next to a phoenix? Both are mystical animals, yet let me remind my readers that father Yoon has only the eyes of a dragon, he’s not a real dragon. Nonetheless, my association to a bird for Yoon Seungho was actually correct , it’s just the choice of the bird was wrong.

Then I had explained that Jihwa considered himself as a crane and thought, he would bring good fortune to Yoon Seungho, hence he dressed up with such beautiful clothes. However, my perception was that he was misjudging himself, he was just a gold pheasant. That’s why I feared for his life after reading the first season. Since the start of the new season, I had to review my prediction and now I believe that he will get terribly hurt. My thoughts were that he would either lose his title or get a scar… due to a big injury. I came to this belief after recognizing that this character is very similar to Baek Na-Kyum. Since the latter got raped in the first season, I am anticipating that the noble will suffer a lot as well. It will take him a while before he becomes a true crane and that’s only because of his fateful encounter with Nameless. But as Jihwa is the mirror of Baek Na-Kyum, this means that the painter is actually a crane too. And this is definitely no coincidence that in the chapter 45, Baek Na-Kyum is covered with a cloth where the pattern contains cranes. That’s why I came to the conclusion, Baek Na-Kyum is actually a crane but due to his social status, he was a lamb. I have to admit that in the manhwa “Serene Bird” which is very similar to “Painter Of The night”, the pure and innocent Yoo Chung is called a crane by the seme which can only reinforce my interpretation. Baek Na-Kyum is the one who will bring good fortune, freedom, honor, royalty, happiness, balance, grace, prestige and love to our protagonist Yoon Seungho.

But based on my observations, if the painter is a crane, this means that he has to become a noble. For me, Baek Na-Kyum will turn into a crane thanks to Yoon Seungho’s aura and support. Therefore I came up with this idea. What if Yoon Seungho decides to ennoble the painter after the first attempted assassination? You might ask why. The reason is simple. There’s a first attempted assassination and the valet Kim becomes the victim, while he protects the artist. Let’s not forget that he is a dog, very protective and determined. But since he ‘s a low-born, no one can get punished. Yoon Seungho might have power but since this is a norm among nobles not to go after the nobles responsible for a commoner’s death, the protagonist can’t use officials in order to get justice. They might suffer some inconveniences but they won’t be punished harshly, like losing their title. However, this incident makes the main character realize that in order to protect his lover, he needs to elevate his social status.

But in order to make its possible, he uses Jung In-Hun, the noble he sponsored. Let’s not forget that he promised him a position in exchange for a favor. Imagine the humiliation for Jung In-Hun. He is indeed used by the powerful seme and has to confirm that Baek Na-Kyum is a noble in exchange for the sponsorship. We shouldn’t forget that the painter’s origins are unknown and the head gisaeng handed over the artist to the low noble, implying that the latter had become his official guardian. In other words, Jung In-Hun is forced to admit that the artist is a noble, even worse, he might be even related to him. The manhwalovers are well aware that no one knows about the painter’s origins, except the scholar. The servant who investigated the identity of the unknown creator has been killed. As for the women from the brothel, they would never reveal his true origins since they are well aware of the negative repercussions.

And that’s how the painter becomes a noble. But in order to appear and act like a noble, he needs to be educated, hence the seme becomes his real teacher. The artist starts wearing a topknot and is now treated like a real noble. Let’s not forget that in the chapter 38, the painter claimed in front of the staff, he was not a servant. Secondly, the scholar arrived at the mansion shortly after the painter’s occurrence. Third, when his study was always next to the lord’s chamber and he was sleeping in a bed reserved for a master. Even the doctor got confused because the painter was dressed like a low-born but he was sleeping in a nice bed, when he examined him for the first time.

Imagine how Jung In-Hun must feel, when he witnesses Baek Na-Kyum’s elevation of status and he becomes the helping hand. He must be infuriated. The question is if Jung In-Hun really gets his position like Yoon Seungho had once told him. It’s definitely possible that the lord decides to keep his promise under the condition that Jung In-Hun admits to be related or be a witness that Baek Na-Kyum is a noble. The jealous man can only resent the protagonist even more than before and decides to join hands with father Yoon. Both want to get revenge on the main lead for not acknowledging them as superior. That’s why they start working together and since the father used prostitution to have connections, he might use the same strategy but this time, Jung In-Hun is the pawn. I still maintain this idea that the low noble will experience a downfall (total loss of integrity), too blinded by his arrogance, desire of revenge and his worldview.

By turning the painter into a noble, Yoon Seungho ensures that his lover is protected, however I doubt that Min decides to give up on him. Besides, it’s definitely possible that this ennobling happens afterwards so that Min can’t escape a punishment. I think, everything will be more difficult for Min to get his hands on the painter after the attempted assassination. And this leads me to think that Min might join forces with father Yoon and Jung In-Hun.

Since we have a transformation of the main lead, the rebirth of a phoenix, it is definitely possible that the painter metamorphoses into a crane. He was a lamb and becomes a crane. With a title, the artist is now allowed to visit the Royal Academy. I also believe that we could also witness a transformation with Jihwa but first he will have to suffer a lot before losing completely his innocence and changing into a real man with a good heart.

Let’s take a look at the table again but this time, with the new discoveries:

Yoon SeunghoPhoenix
Jung In-HunPeacock
MinMagpie – crow
Father Yoon„Dragon“
Lee JihwaPheasant – crane
Baek Na-KyumCrane
Valet KimDog
 Nameless Wolf

As you can observe, I added Nameless and connected him to the wolf. This animal lives in a pack, where there’s a leader, the alpha. We know for sure that Nameless is not acting on his own, he has minions. The wolf has a very fearsome reputation, can be ruthless and brutal, just like Nameless. Simultaneously, a wolf can leave the pack for a while and act on his own. At the same time, a wolf is very loyal and protective which the criminal does, when it comes to Jihwa. A wolf can definitely be tamed too, yet it still keeps his dangerous aura.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night/Serene Bird: traces of Beauty and the Beast in the manhwas

This is where you can read the manhwas. Painter Of The Night:  Serene Bird: But be aware that these manhwas are mature Yaois, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.

As you can imagine, this is going to be a very long essay! So now you’re warned.

This essay was suggested by one of my readers, Sol Lopez. She noticed many parallels between Painter Of The Night and the fairy tale “La Belle et la Bête” written by Madame Leprince de Beaumont in the 18th Century. The irony is that shortly after, I started reading Serene Bird, created by Brothers without a tomorrow, and noticed so many similarities between the two manhwas. Not only the plot and characters contain so many affinities but also the stories in their realization have many common denominators. That’s the reason why this analysis will focus on two aspects. First, I’ll study the fairy tale and examine their parallels with the famous fairy tale and later I’ll compare both Korean works with the story from the 18th Century. Just a reminder, I will use the original fairy tale as basis, since I’ve always used classic novels and original fairy tales (Rapunzel, Snow White) for comparisons. I have to admit that the other purpose of this analysis is to incite people to read Serene Bird, especially if they love Painter Of The Night so much.

First, I have to summarize the fairy tale in order to avoid any confusion with modernized adaptions (Jean Cocteau, Disney etc.) and to outline the important elements of this story. In this famous story, Belle has 3 brothers and two sisters. Since her father is a rich merchant, we could say that Belle’s family belongs to the bourgeoisie. The protagonist is admired by many people for her gentle, selfless and pure nature. She likes reading books, while her two sisters prefers living in high style. The latter have many suitors but they dream to get a title. Strictly speaking, they wished to marry nobles. Consequently they keep rejecting proposals.

However, one day their father suddenly loses his wealth and the whole family is forced to abandon their house in the city and return to the countryside. They have to live like peasants. The irony is that the moment the family loses their fortune, the two sisters have no longer any admirer, whereas Belle is still asked for her hand. Yet the latter refuses out of filial piety. She wants to share her father’s burden and fate. In other words, the sisters are forced to follow the family and resent Belle even more than before. There, the main lead starts helping her family in the household, while her sisters continue living like rich people. The latter act as if Belle was their servant. One day, the father receives some news that a boat with his merchandise has just arrived to the port so that everyone in the family has the impression, their misfortune has come to an end. Before their father leaves for the city, the two sisters ask for jewels and robes, whereas Belle, modest as ever, would like to receive only a rose. She believes that her gift won’t cost much to her beloved father. However, what happens is the father is just as poor as before because he needed to pay taxes with his trade. Consequently on his way home, he has no present for his family.

Because he is chased by wolves while traveling during the evening, he finds refuge in a huge mansion middle in the woods. There he’s well treated because he can eat delicious dishes and has a comfortable bed. Yet at no moment, he meets the host. Everything goes well, until he takes a rose from a bush, as the father is reminded of Belle’s wish. At that moment, the beast appears and threatens to kill the man, yet the latter explains the cause for his action. Thus the beast proposes a deal: if one of his daughters is willing to sacrifice herself for his sake, he is saved and if none of them agrees to this proposition, then the man has to return after 3 months and accept his death sentence. After his return, the poor father can’t hide his misfortune, hence Belle decides to sacrifice herself. I would like to point out that before the former merchant’s departure, the beast offers him a large chest filled with gold coins. So Belle goes to the beast’s house with her father and after one evening spent together, her beloved relative is sent away.

Each evening, the beast appears and asks for her hand in marriage. The latter refuses but since she is treated like the wife of the house, she notices that the beast, despite his ugliness and lack of knowledge and intelligence, has a good heart. She starts getting fond of the beast and believes to see in him a friend. After 3 months, she asks the beast if she could visit her father. The latter has been ill since their separation. Belle is aware of the situation of her family because she could see her relatives through a magical mirror. The beast accepts her request under the condition that she returns to his side after 8 days. Belle is sent to her father’s place with a magical ring.

She meets her sisters again who are now married. Yet they are both unhappy in their respective marriage as one spouse is too vain and self-centered due to his handsome face and the other is so arrogant due to his knowledge that he irritates people with his remarks. The sisters can only get mad and jealous towards Belle who seems to have a better fate. Therefore they decide to plot against her and begs her to remain longer than 8 days. Their true intention is that once Belle returns to the beast’s mansion, the latter kills her for breaking her promise. However, Belle witnesses in the magical mirror how the beast is letting himself die. She uses the magical ring and comes back only to find the beast dying next to the lake. Just before he dies, the pure woman agrees to marry him and expresses her regret for not realizing sooner her love for him. She even admits that she can no longer live without him. As soon as she pronounces this, the beast transforms into a beautiful prince. He explains that a witch had cursed him to live like a beast, until a woman would agree to marry him. He couldn’t use his handsomeness or his intelligence and knowledge in order to woo a woman. He had to rely on his good heart. With his kindness, he was able to move Belle’s heart. With her vow, a fairy appears and congratulates the heroine and at the same time, she condemns her two sisters for their jealousy and misdeeds. As punishment, they are turned into statues and have to witness Belle’s happiness. Their curse will only end the moment they recognize their wrongdoings and their own flaws.

Before comparing the manhwas with the fairy tale, I believe, it is necessary to dwell on the lessons of this story. Some readers think to see a reference to “Stockholm Syndrome” since Belle is kept captive in the mansion and can only see the beast. She is excluded from society thereby she starts developing an affection for the beast, they consider it as a description of the “Stockholm Syndrome”. However, I have to admit that I am quite skeptical with this very modern interpretation for a simple reason. Based on this article

A person with Stockholm syndrome may start to identify with or form a close connection to the people who have taken him or her hostage, Norton told Live Science. The captive may begin to sympathize with the hostage takers and may also become emotionally dependent on them, he said. That’s because a victim with Stockholm syndrome may become increasingly fearful and depressed and will show a decreased ability to care for themselves. This, in turn, will make them more dependent on their captors for care, Norton said.

a victim suffering from Stockholm Syndrome starts getting depressed and neglecting herself/himself which is not the case with Belle. The later might be living in seclusion, but she sees her family through the mirror indicating that she is still very attached to her relatives. This explains why she is even willing to remain next to her sisters after the 8 days have already passed. She doesn’t become emotionally dependent on the beast, she still loves her father and is able to occupy her free time on her own. She shows no sign of depression. But I’ll still keep this aspect for the comparison.

In my opinion, it is more important to put this story into its historical context. This fairy tale was written in the 18th Century, where arranged marriages were common places. And if you read the story under the perspective of an arranged marriage, you’ll notice the resemblance. The daughter has to sacrifice herself for her family. In exchange for his daughter, the father receives some money and his financial situation improves (chest with some gold coins). Since the man is a beast, then we have to imagine that it is a metaphor for an older man. A young woman is forced to marry an older man she has never met before for her family’s sake. She might not accept him as her husband first because he is not good looking or very intelligent. But she’ll realize that her situation is not bad in the end as she is the wife of the house. She will be treated according to her status. In other words, the real historical lesson was to submit young women to their fate. They shouldn’t hope for big love and passion but see in their spouse a companion. Beauty and knowledge are not relevant in an arranged marriage, rather wealth and power but according to their respective status. On the other hand, the women shouldn’t have too high expectations, like the jealous sisters who thought, they could enter nobility due to their fortune. Far more important is that the father should be the one who decides about the future husband of his daughters. The sisters were asked in marriage by young men who were in love with them. The father never selected himself the spouses of his two other daughters. As you can observe, the story advocates arranged marriage over love marriage. Eventually, these women will discover that with time, they love their husband. As a first conclusion, this fairy tale is very conservative and is not fighting for women’s rights.

The author is even giving the feminine readers the illusion that a wife can reject the husband’s sexual advances. From my perspective, the sexual aspect is insinuated with the question the beast asks each evening: the hand in marriage is a metaphor for sex. But we can imagine that this was not the reality. It was expected that a wife submitted herself to her husband’s authority and wishes.

Because of this statement, it becomes more clear why Belle was developed like that. She should be seen as a role model for all the young women in the 18th Century. They all should be innocent, kind, honest, filial, selfless and modest. They should occupy their time with books and not focused too much on festivities and their appearances. For me, according to this book, women should live more in the background, rather secluded so that they wouldn’t spend too much money. They should also obey to their husband. Breaking her promise is similar to a crime as it almost causes the Beast’s death. The moment they are married, the daughter is no longer part of her father’s family. Let’s not forget that the author is herself a woman from the nobility hence she wanted to teach young women what they should expect in a marriage and how they should behave. This is not surprising that the new adaptations of Beauty and the Beast are modernized and convey other values (f. ex. women’s education and independency in the movie from 2017).

Now, it is time to list all the most important characteristics encountered in the fairy tale:

  1. The protagonist’s innocence, humbleness, gentleness and kindness
  2. A deal between two persons
  3. The Beast as the second main lead: he instills fear and has a negative reputation
  4. The innocent main lead saves the powerful beast from his death and releases him from his curse
  5. Blows of fate: loss of fortune and social downfall
  6. A sacrifice has to be made by the protagonist
  7. An arranged marriage, love will come gradually versus love marriage
  8. “Stockholm Syndrome”
  9. Sex: The wife can refuse her husband’s advances
  10. The rejection of superficiality and vanity
  11. Brother-sister relationship and their problem: rivalry and jealousy
  12. The presence of a mirror
  13. Conspiracy and life threatening situations
  14. Abandonment. The sisters desires Belle to replace their father as they blame her for that incident. After arriving at the beast’s mansion, Belle is left behind by her father
  15. Loneliness. She has no one she can turn to, except her husband, hence at some point she starts looking forward for their meeting
  16. The mansion as prison
  17. Live in the background and find an occupation like reading books and walking through the garden

Now, I’ll compare the manhwas Painter Of The Night and Serene Bird with the elements from the tale, however I can’t treat them separately as they are often strongly connected to others.

As you can imagine, Baek Na-Kyum resembles a lot Belle due to his personality: strong-willed, hardworking, social, humble, selfless, innocent, brave and willing to sacrifice himself for his teacher in different occasions:

  1. chapter 8, when he accepts the deal,
  2. in the hall, when he stops the noble from killing the teacher with a fellatio (chapter 26)
  3. and in the chapter 30 In the courtyard, he recognizes Seungho’s killing gaze hence he submits himself to the noble. Furthermore, he lived quietly despite the huge success of his erotic publications, until he vowed never to paint. Even after that, he becomes a drunk, until he is forced to paint for Yoon Seungho. After getting abandoned by Jung In-Hun in the chapter 40, he begins painting like a robot, however at no moment he tries to get praise for his work and to get the lord’s attention. He remains humble and prefers being in the background. Due to the high number of abandonments (he was abandoned in front of the brothel, then by the head-gisaeng and finally twice by the teacher), Baek Na-Kyum feels abandoned and very lonely. Imagine, in the chapter 46, he confesses to the head-maid that he escaped once again but returned because he had nowhere else to go. He fears loneliness and longs for a home.

And now it is time to introduce the new manhwa. In this story, Yoo Chung was a traditional Korean dancer who renounced to his career for his twin brother’s sake Yoo Hong. The hero has many reasons to do so: he feels very guilty because he was adopted without his twin brother and couldn’t keep his promise to remain by his side. Secondly, Yoo Hong got sexually abused by the director of an orphanage and Yoo Chung feels responsible. If the latter hadn’t slept too long and had gone to the director’s office like asked, then his brother wouldn’t have become the victim. The main lead embodies innocence and purity which is indicated with the crane, the color of his clothes (blue-white), the hydrangea representing him and his habit to bite his finger nails, when he is stressed . When the other main lead Sha Hu Rong appears at the café where he’s working, Chung rejects the deal to be scouted. He doesn’t want to become a famous dancer. Although he never expresses it directly, it is clear that his twin brother is the reason for this decision. Yoo Chung doesn’t desire to ruin Hong’s dream for fame. He senses that his resemblance with his brother could become problematic for his career. The other reason for his action is that he fears loneliness and has abandonment issues, just like Baek Na-Kyum. His birth mother abandoned him, he lost his twin brother for a while and his adoptive parents died in an accident. In other words, he is another Belle and Baek Na-Kyum but in another century. Since Sha Hu Rong is here describing him, this exposes how well he knows Yoo Chung’s personality and how much he admires him for his purity. This explicates why the seme doesn’t give up on Yoo Chung after the first rejection because his real purpose is to have him as his lover. That’s why later, the man with the nickname Serpent uses his company to pressure the Entertainment company where Yoo Hong works as a trainee. The CEO is postponing the signature of the deal between the two companies. Sha Hu Rong’s well aware that the twin brother will force his sincere and selfless hyung to contact him. As a result, the pure man begs Sha Hu Rong and asks for his help. That’s why Yoo Chun sleeps with the main lead after this. We could definitely say, he prostitutes himself for his brother’s sake. Despite this action, Yoo Chung remains so pure and Serpent is well aware of his real situation. Furthemore, I would like to add this is not their first sexual encounter. The hero had sex with Sha Hu Rong before and he did it on his own accord implying that he is a natural homosexual. Yet the next morning, he told Serpent that this was just an one-night stand. That’s why the seme used the deal with the Korean entertainment company in order to incite the hero to return to his side. As the manhwaphiles can detect, we have two semes using strategies to obtain results, similar to the Beast’s behavior. In order to get a wife, he manipulated the former merchant and made the offer that a daughter could take his place. He must have realized that the man must be close to a woman since he only intervened the moment the man picked up a rose. In my opinion, the rose was a signal that there existed a woman in the guest’s life. In order to get more info, he threatens the man and once he hears the whole story, then he makes the offer. As you can observe, all the Beasts are quite manipulative.

The irony is that the two ukes are unaware of the real personality of the persons they are trying to protect. These persons are vicious, selfish and hypocrite. One might argue that Belle’s father is different as he loves his daughter dearly. Yet, the father is not entirely innocent either. He fails as a merchant and secondly, he allows his two other daughters to act selfishly. He doesn’t stop them, when the latter use Belle as a servant and even blame her for being responsible for their father’s misfortune. So the father is also a character full of flaws and Belle is oblivious to his flaws too. Yet, in the manhwas, the negative features of the person the innocent protagonists wish to protect are enhanced. Both believe that the person they love and respect is a truly good person and deserves such a sacrifice. Belle’s father might have flaws but he’s not that mean and sneaky. All the heroes are so nice that they never complain about their sad fate. Since Yoo Chung has dropped his career as dancer, he works diligently at a café and during the night at a motel. Baek Na-Kyum was willing to give up on his work as painter in order to follow his “father’s doctrine”. Besides, he can’t even tell his learned sir that he has been forced to paint or even got raped. He always has to hide these horrible situations. The protagonist from Serene Bird doesn’t feel the need to confide to his brother that he slept with the Chinese man, since he feels that he is less important and his life should revolve around Yoo Hong. He has decided to dedicate his life to have his brother’s wishes come true.

In Painter Of The Night, Yoon Seungho has such a bad reputation, he is called an infamous hell-raiser. He shows no respect to social norms with his actions giving the impression that he is living like an animal. He even instills a certain fear due to his ruthlessness, very similar to the Beast. Besides he’s also very rich and lives alone in his mansion, another common denominator with the main lead from that fairy tale. I am not counting the staff because the lord never pays attention to them. He’s also older than Baek Na-Kyum who has just become an adult. Furthermore, since Yoon Seungho has a very traumatic past which is somehow very similar to a curse, he can no longer live normally. Until the chapter 49, he considered himself just as a spirit. And as time passes on, he shows more and more kindness towards Baek Na-Kyum, thereby even the painter starts noticing it. So deep down, the noble has a good heart but could never show it due to his terrible experience. Thus his actions are also similar: he uses threads and forces the painter to swear an oath of allegiance. Belle had to promise to return to his castle after 8 days. As the manhwaphiles could sense, he has many affinities with the beast. Let’s not forget that I even associated him to an eagle due to his behavior and gestures, like the hand looking like a claw.

In Serene Bird, the seme is actually the head of a powerful mafia clan called Kowloon Ring, hence he has this huge tattoo on his back: a snake. That’s why his nickname is Serpent. Strictly speaking, he is associated to a beast too. The Kowloon Ring consists of 9 bosses and Sha Hu Rong is the face of the Kowloon Ring. Due to his social situation, he lives on the edge of society. When he interacts with Yoo Chung, the former asks his lover if he fears him.

As you can observe, the innocent lover does find Sha Hu Rong a little frightening but it has more something to do with his sexual stamina from my point of view. The ugliness inducing fear is represented by his job: he belongs to the mafia and his life is full of danger. Interesting is that from the start, Yoo Chung never saw Serpent’s dangerous side, contrary to his friend Jun Hyung, hence he has a similar attitude like Belle. This explains why he tries to help the head of the clan, when he imagines him surrounded by dangerous thugs. Imagine the irony, the boss has to run away from his own minions, dragged by this very agile and fragile man. And just like the beast, Serpent shows his care and kindness which doesn’t escape the main lead’s notice.

Here, I see a divergence between Baek Na-Kyum, Belle and Yoo Chung in their initial interaction with their respective Beast. Unlike the other characters, the painter is somehow afraid of Yoon Seungho due to the rumor circulating about him, hence he lies about his identity. He doesn’t wish to be associated with such a person, he wants to be seen as a person with a normal sexual orientation or even worse, as an asexual person. However, this difference is explainable. His mind has been corrupted by Jung In-Hun therefore we could say that he is less pure and innocent than Belle and Yoo Chung. He has some prejudices which make him blind to the truth: his teacher is in reality the Beast.

Another interesting aspect is that all three Beasts are powerless at the same time, although they are strong financially and physically. The Beast can’t leave his mansion and can’t force Belle to return to his side. His castle is his prison. Yoon Seungho fears his own reflection and seems to be avoiding the capital. I have the impression that the gangrape must have happened there. So he is also trapped in his mansion. He might leave his house in order to visit other nobles (chapter 3, chapter 6 and 33) or to hunt (chapter 22 and 41) or to follow the painter in the town (39, 40 and 45), yet he never travels far away, he always remains in the proximity of his mansion. This exposes the function of his house: it serves as a protection but as a prison as well.

As for Sha Hu Rong, he is also vulnerable and powerless. He can’t avoid Yoo Chung’s kidnapping and his gangrape. And just like the other protagonists, he is hindered in his moves. He explains that he needs to go where the crane’s nest is. Here, the seme is referring to Yoo Chung with this metaphor because while dancing, the innocent man reminded Serpent of a crane. In other words, the mafia boss is forced to follow his lover in order to win his affection completely. As a conclusion, Shu Ha Rong shares so many features with the main lead from the fairy tale and Yoon Seungho too. His “prison” is just different, it is connected to his position as mafia boss. Besides, he’s already bound to Yoo Chung.

The role played by the hero: Both seme have the same function than Belle. They are all the savior of their respective Beast. The painter forces the main lead to abandon his philosophy (living as a spirit) and to leave his self-inflicted prison. But for that, Baek Na-Kyum had to force the noble to see his own reflection and confront his past. As for Yoo Chung, first he “rescues” Serpent from a danger, although he misunderstands the situation. Later, it becomes clearer that Serpent is feeling lonely and can only find peace and love thanks to the “crane”. Due to his dangerous “job”, he will always be reclusive hence he needs a companion next to him. He made this decision at a very young age, as he knew his future. However, his choice for Yoo Chung is not random. First, he met him, when they were both young Furthermore he fell in love with him the moment he saw his Korean dance. Notice the age gap between the two protagonists. As you can observe, the age gap is indeed a parallel to Beauty and the Beast. Sha Hu Rong is well aware that the moment the former dancer chooses him as his partner, the man will be forced to live in a cage. As you can observe, the mansion from the fairy tale as a prison becomes here a cage. However, the order has been changed. Here, the seme wants Yoo Chung to love him before he puts him in “his birdcage”, while in Beauty and the Beast, love only comes at the end and she lives in a prison first.

4. Another similarity between the manhwas and the fairy tale is the terrible fate afflicted on the heroes. There are conspiracies (murder assassination, kidnapping, rapes etc). Both “Prince Charmings”, Baek Na-Kyum and Yoo Chung, have to suffer a lot because of jealousy. In Painter Of The Night, due to the coercive persuasion, the artist rejects the lord which leads the latter to force himself on the low-born. However, none of this would have happened, if the painter had not been brainwashed. From the start, he felt attracted to the lord (the wet dreams and the mirror: chapter 2, 6 and 28). Moreover, because of Jihwa and Jung In-Hun, the painter is sentenced to the straw mat beating (chapter 11/12). Yet, we observe three persons hurting the painter due to their jealousy (Jihwa, Jung In-Hun and Min), while there are only two jealous sisters in the famous story. Yet, Jihwa represents an exception as he is not purely evil. His heart has been corrupted. Despise the different number of resentful persons, I see no real difference because when at the end of the tale the two sisters are punished, the fairy announces that their curse will end the moment they realize their flaws and wrongdoings. As you can detect, redemption is possible, although it is not revealed. The fairy implies that they will never change but since the story ends before, we don’t know for sure. Byeonduck proposes atonement either. Jihwa embodies exactly this aspect. The second season will be about his transformation and redemption. Atonement is always accompanied with suffering, hence Jihwa will suffer a lot in the second season. His mind is already in pain, he’s tormented by his huge pangs of conscience.

When we examine Serene Bird, we have indeed two jealous brothers, however the constellation diverges. The “two sisters” in this story are Sho Wang, Sha Ru Hong’s older brother, and Yoo Hong, Yoo Chung’s twin.

Sho Wang and Sha Hu Rong were adopted by Baek Ro, a woman originated from Korea but who lived in China as the head of Kowloon Ring.

So the source of the older brother’s jealousy is greed and rivalry. As the eldest, he should have become the head of Kowloon Ring but Sha Ru Hong got chosen in the end. However, I also think that his jealousy started even before. When he sees the affection Serpent has for Yoo Chung , he feels the need to retrieve the “crane” from Sha Ru Rong. He also would like to have such a relationship. However, he only views the pure man as a “precious” that he needs to take away from his younger brother. So he is the one orchestrating the abduction and the rape. And during Yoo Chung’s captivity, we have to wonder if “Stockholm Syndrome” will occur. First, the vicious Sho Wang uses an aphrodisiac so that he can have sex with Yoo Chung without meeting any resistance. Furthermore, the illustration of Serene Bird is Yoo Chun with his two shoulders covered with a tattoo. They represent the snakes Sha Ru Hong and Sho Wang have on their back. For sure, both brothers will fight each other because of Yoo Chung.

As for the younger twin, Hong is jealous of Chung because the latter always attracts more people’s attention, although they look the same. He shows his true colors the moment his older brother appears at his company. Yoo Chung cooked lunch for him and wished to meet his younger brother. Note Yoo Hong’s coldness towards him and how he pouts the moment he hears from his colleague that Yoo Chung could replace him due to their huge resemblance. Right after, he vents his anger at his hyung in front of the other trainee which surprises the latter. He never thought, Yoo Hong could become so rude. However, I believe, there’s another cause for his fury. “Replacement” reminded him of his past. From my perspective, Yoo Chung decided to take his brother’s identity as the latter didn’t want to leave the orphanage without his hyung. Baek Seung-Hyun, the adoptive uncle of Sha Hu Rong, adopted one of the orphans. The one crying on the left is Yoo Hong, while the other smiling is his hyung. By switching their identity, it explains why it took so many years before Serpent could meet his “crane”. He must have seen Yoo Hong’s face and mistaken him for his older brother. Since Serpent speaks about the real thing, he implies that there’s a copy, a fake. And this leads me to another observation: the presence of the mirror in Serene Bird. Yoo Hong is the reflection and as such indicates the existence of a mirror, the same procedure in Painter Of The Night, where the painter’s face serves as a mirror. The other difference is that Byeonduck used in her historical manhwa much more the mirror (chapter 3, 28, 31-32, 41, 54) compared to Serene Bird. Yet I have to say that the story has less chapters so Brothers Without A Tomorrow could have already planned to utilize this important item in other chapters.

But now, let’s go back to Yoo Hong’s jealousy. I sense that the switch of place wasn’t the start of his resent and jealousy. Remember what I wrote above: Yoo Hong got raped, when initially he took his brother’s identity. For that, I need to explain how it came to this. After getting abandoned by their young mother, they had to share a pack of gum, the last present bought by their mother. The two boys always divided the gums equally, until one day, it was stolen by another child from the orphanage. Yoo Chung got so angry that he started a fight and got punished by the director. His calves were severely caned. First, this illustrates how courageous Yoo Chung is, he showed no fear to argue with the other child and he accepted his punishment without complaint. What caught my attention is that while the hyung explains that he needs to visit the director in his office in the evening, the manhwaphiles witness Hong’s gaze. It is directed at the gum on the floor. Due to these two pictures, I came to the observation that the younger brother must have been the one who stole the gum. Furthermore, if you pay attention to the colors of the clothes Yoo Hong, you’ll notice that he prefers green, orange and red. And this is no coincidence, the negative aspects associated to orange are: lie, deception, jealousy in a couple. As for red it is fury, anger and blood. Green is famous for representing envy and jealousy. So early on, Yoo Hong felt jealous and wanted to have more. He always let his brother burdened everything. Nonetheless I believe that he realized at some point that he needed his twin by his side in order to become successful. That’s why he keeps him by his side and views him as an object. Yet he doesn’t want to be seen together, thus they are barely together in the end. Their real connection is through the phone and Yoo Hong only calls him, if he wants some help. So when Yoo Hong realizes that Sha Hu Rong is trying to steal Yoo Chung from him, he immediately requests from his brother to cut ties with the CEO. He doesn’t care if he used his brother as a prostitute. The problem is that we don’t know if there will be a redemption arc in this manhwa. The story has only 31 episodes released in English, yet it shouldn’t be excluded.

Since I mentioned the “Stockholm Syndrome” in the fairy tale and already noticed that this could occur in Serene Bird, I would like to explain if we have this phenomenon in Painter Of The Night. And yes, it’s true, yet Baek Na-Kyum has developed the Stockholm Syndrome with Jung In-Hun and not with Yoon Seungho. There are many evidences for this. Let’s not forget that after the painter was abandoned by his adoptive mother, he was living with the teacher so that he was exposed to physical, emotional and mental abuse. Since he had no other place to go, he could never escape this hell. It became so terrible that his unconscious decided to repress this memory. These memories are so terrifying that he wakes up so suddenly. Imagine, his unconscious can’t bear to view these images, hence it forces the painter to wake up. The artist’s conscious is here to help the unconscious to overcome the trauma. Many readers underestimated these drawings as they are shown only once and some thought, this was an occasional punishment. However, the artist’s reaction displays shock and fear. They were deeply buried in his unconscious. The Stockholm Syndrome explains why the painter started “loving” Jung In-Hun and neglected after the first abandonment. Let’s not forget that he became a drunk! His love was associated to the mind and never to the heart. And the fact that we see how Baek Na-Kyum fantasies about Yoon Seungho in a conscious and unconscious state clearly proves that the painter is definitely attracted by Yoon Seungho’s body. The Stockholm Syndrome has no effect on the unconscious. So the Beast’s ugliness in Painter Of The Night is more related to the image Yoon Seungho has created through his rumors than his body and face. Furthermore, we shouldn’t forget that the artist was the first one to discover the main lead’s true face: his huge smiles and happiness, when he met the lord for the first time. However, just like in the fairy tale, the artist starts discovering new aspects about the master: he can be caring and kind towards him.

Like I mentioned above, I see in the fairy tale a description of an arranged marriage which turns into a love marriage. As you can anticipate, we have a similar evolution here. Baek Na-Kyum gets closer to his “husband”. As for the lord, he imagined that once he had taken the boy’s virginity, the artist had become “his wife”, although his conscious never realized the meaning of his actions. Deep down, Seungho wished to be loved. But nothing happened like expected, since it was an arranged marriage right from the beginning. Remember that it started with a deal. The surrogate father would get support in exchange for the painter’s talent. Furthermore the manhwaphiles should envision that Jung In-Hun was well aware that putting a repressed homosexual next to the biggest sodomite could only lead to one thing: sex! That’s why he accused the artist of seducing the noble and refused to believe in the low-born’s words (chapter 19), when the nature of the deal was unveiled.

However, the moment he accepted the truth, Jung In-Hun started acting as a father selling his “daughter” in exchange for his support. We have elements of arranged marriage in Painter Of The Night but Yoon Seungho’s unconscious is longing for love and as such for a marriage of love. And little by little, we are getting there, the love marriage will arrive. We have a similar evolution in Serene Bird, although it is a combination between arranged marriage and love marriage. Serpent knows that he needs Yoo Chung to fall in love with him in order to put him by his side, “his bird cage”. The uke is slowly falling in Sha Hu Rong but doesn’t realize it. On the other hand, he doesn’t know his lover very well and is not aware what awaits him: the bird cage.

After comparing both manhwas with the fairy tales and outlining that both manhwas contain all the elements listed, we have the impression that Painter Of The Night and Serene Bird are just two modern versions of Beauty and the Beast. However, it is important to remember the lessons expressed through the original story. The author was not a representative of women’s rights, quite the opposite. Moreover, we have to remember that stories always reflect the social norms of their society. And this is not different with the two manhwas. Both are also mirroring the mentality of our modern society, where freedom and individuality are in the center. Besides, homosexuality should be accepted as normality which coincides with the gradual acceptance of homosexual marriages. This explains why the protagonists are men and not a normal romance between a woman and man. In the 18th Century, it was unthinkable to write about a homosexual couple.

Furthermore, these stories reflect the sexual emancipation of women because the majority of readers of these manhwas are indeed women. The uke can be perceived as a metaphor for a woman. Note that women’s emancipation concurs with the homosexuals’ liberation (20’s and 60′). Sex is nothing embarrassing, quite natural. Women and homosexuals can outlive their sexual fantasies but at the same time quench their thirst for romance. Women are quite sensitive to beautiful love stories. Furthermore, since the authors depict gangrape and rape as violent physical assaults, they are actually condemning these which corresponds to the appearance of “Me too” movement. What was omitted in the fairy tale (sex) is clearly unveiled. However, all these works have one message in common: They expose that women are owners of their own body and can choose if they want to have sex and not.

The other message is that marriage is not just about love and sex, but the acceptance of the partner’s flaws and mistakes. Let’s not forget that nowadays marriages tend to end up in a divorce. The increasing rate of divorces all over the world shows that the definition of marriage has changed. People seem to forget that marriage is indeed about companionship too, living with someone with flaws and deals with them. That’s why I don’t see in Beatuy and the Beast an indication of Stockholm Syndrome, rather the author tried to display how a lovely marriage should be: real communication, acceptance of flaws, forgiveness and endurance. I hope, after reading this essay, you’ll read the other manhwa and you’ll try to discover what other lessons Painter Of The Night gives to its readers.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.