With its graphic depictions of violence and sex, Killing Stalking is a tough manhwa to read. Discover more about it and whether it’s right for you in our review.

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Killing Stalking reviewed

In recent years, manga and its Korean equivalent, manhwa, have become increasingly popular in the West. Though similar to traditional American comics, manga and manhwa often deal with more complex issues.

“Complex” is one word you could certainly use to describe Killing Stalking. Created by writer and artist Koogi, the manhwa is published by Lezhin Comics in Korea and Seven Seas Entertainment in English-speaking countries.

Though it started life as a webcomic, Killing Stalking’s twisted depiction of love has made it a popular read for those who prefer stories dealing with life’s darker side. Here we review the comic to determine if it’s a good choice for you.

What is Killing Stalking about?

Killing Stalker falls somewhere between a psychological thriller and psychological horror. Its main character, Yoon Bum, is a mentally ill man with borderline personality disorder (BPD). He becomes infatuated with another man, named Oh Sangwoo, with whom he served time in the military.

That infatuation stems from how Oh Sangwoo saved Yoon Bum from a sexual assault by a rapist. Unable to control his feelings, Yoon Bum begins stalking Oh Sangwoo on social media, leading to him breaking into Oh Sangwoo’s home.

That alone should give you a good idea that this webcomic deals with dark themes. But what Yoon Bum discovers sends the plot in an even darker direction.

Upon entering Oh Sangwoo’s house, Yoon Bum discovers a tied-up woman with heavy bruising. Before Yoon Bum can release the woman and escape, he’s confronted by Oh Sangwoo.

This confrontation reveals that Oh Sangwoo is a serial killer, with the woman in the basement being his latest victim. Instead of releasing Yoon Bum, Oh Sangwoo breaks Yoon Bum’s ankles and keeps him at his home.

Meanwhile, the whole time this toxic relationship develops, a police officer named Yang Seungbae is hot on Oh Sangwoo’s trail.

From there, the manhwa’s plot focuses on the abusive relationship that develops between a captor and the man who loves him. It deals with complex issues, such as mental illness and Stockholm Syndrome.

Many of the comic’s fans read the manhwa as a twisted take on the yaoi, or boys’ love, genre. However, Koogi states that her intention isn’t to depict love between two men. It’s to show the extremes a true psychopath will go to when he has a victim who is in love with him.

Our Killing Stalking manhwa review

From our synopsis, you can probably tell that Killing Stalking may not be a good choice for those dipping into manhwa for the first time. The webtoon features graphic depictions of violence. As such, you may not wish to read Killing Stalking if any of its themes resonate with your real-life experiences.

That said, Killing Stalking is a fascinating depiction of dependency in a relationship. The story line shows the extremes to which this dependency can go.

Yoon Bum, in particular, is an interesting character. It’s hard to say that the comic depicts true love between two men in any sense of the word. Yoon Bum’s infatuation makes him easy to manipulate. As a true psychopath, Oh Sangwoo takes advantage of these feelings to serve his own ends.

But ultimately, there is nothing romantic about the relationship. What starts as a relatable story, at least in its early stages, soon goes berserk as the true depths of Oh Sangwoo’s sadism are revealed.

The manhwa also has a distinctive art style. Backgrounds appear to be rendered in 3D. Characters are hand-drawn, though also appear to be based on 3D models. The result is an attractive art style that offers realistic visuals, with some exaggeration.

Without delivering any spoilers, what’s depicted in these visuals may make or break your decision to read this manhwa. Killing Stalking deals with some graphic themes. As beautiful as the visuals may be artistically, that beauty often contrasts with the scenes the art depicts.

So, who will enjoy Killing Stalking?

The manhwa was trending amongst fans for good reasons during its two-year run. Its fascinating story, though dark, is well told. Koogi does a great job of creating the right amount of sympathy for two characters who would otherwise be deplorable.

And yet, the subject matter makes Killing Stalking challenging to recommend. You need to have a strong stomach to overcome its complicated themes. Some readers may find that the plot too extreme for them, which is an understandable reaction.

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Is Killing Stalking a BL anime?

It depends on who you ask. Many in the fandom consider Killing Stalking a BL (Boys’ Love) manhwa. But its creator, Koogi, states she never intended it to fall into that genre.

Is Killing Stalking a romance story?

In a sense, Killing Stalking can be viewed as a twisted romance story. However, it’s more accurately a depiction of abuse and mental illness within a relationship.

Is Killing Stalking appropriate for children to read?

No, Killing Stalking’s graphic themes mean it is not appropriate for children. In fact, even many adults may find the manhwa difficult to stomach.

What is the length of Killing Stalking?

Killing Stalking has four volumes, each being a graphic novel that you can read in an hour or two.

What is the protagonist’s name in Killing Stalking?

Yoon Bum is the main protagonist of Killing Stalking. However, you could argue he serves as a dual protagonist with Oh Sangwoo once their relationship develops.

Is Koogi still writing Killing Stalking?

Koogi completed the Killing Stalking series in 2019. According to her Twitter, she is taking a break from writing and drawing.

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