While it seems that majority of the ATK Magazine team are attending awesome concerts, I’m sitting at home on a rainy Friday (the usual and typical British weather) with old school wrestling on in the background, while I write the next instalment of Manhwa Chronicles! I sound like I’m jealous of my fellow writers, but I’m totally not. Okay maybe I am a little…but hey, it could be worse, I could be outside in that rain!
As I’m a natural sucker for romance, I decided to revisit that route and pick a web comic from that genre that goes by the name of:
Salty Studio (스튜디오 짭쪼롬)
From the very first page, creator of Salty Studio (스튜디오 짭쪼롬), Omyo (오묘) quickly puts the reader into the end of a past event for main character Togeun. Togeun has made an abrupt decision to leave his comfortable job at his father’s company as well as move out of his parents’ home. This quickly summarizes that he was not happy in that situation and therefore made the conscious decision in the first place.
Of course like most things in life, the path to Togeun’s happiness is not easy. His girlfriend breaks up with him, he cannot afford rent due to the fact that he now has no source of income and his ultimate dream is to draw but it comes with one realistic problem – he can’t actually draw!
Through a school reunion, Togeun comes across his old classmate Sonagi, a very talented artist and it is Togeun’s drunken antics that lead him to wake up to Sonagi being his new roommate! From there on, unravels the relationship between the two who have met after ten years and just to warn you, hilarity and all kinds of fluffy cuteness ensues.
What I liked about it
I can really relate to Togeun’s character, because I too, made the same move of leaving a job I was unhappy at, with no source of income to fall back on. I also definitely think happiness comes first in people’s lives and although I knew people who believed money is the key to finding happiness and didn’t support me in my decision, branding it “rash” and “inconsiderate to myself”, I did not and still have not given up on chasing my dream. I felt like a part of me and many others are reflected in Togeun’s voice and it really hit me at home. Although, this story is primarily not based on just the male lead, I think it is very sweet that Sonagi and him cross paths again in which I feel readers can tell instantly that Sonagi is most likely the answer to all of Togeun’s problems.
What I disliked about it
Unless you are like me, where you like the romance genre or are open to reading any genre of manhwa, I don’t think this story is suitable for every reader. At times, the chapters go very slow which means the development of characters and events take their time to follow after one another. The chapters also usually end with another short scenario, which signals the only movement in the lives of the characters. For example it isn’t until chapter (episode) six where new characters are introduced and that is Togeun and Sonagi’s neighbours!
The female characters’ sense of humour is awesome, however I think that the humour is brought on through their obsessive traits in their personalities, which could evidently present them as weak and indecisive characters. For example, Sonagi goes from playing cute to constantly teasing Togeun to over-thinking about one of his comments that struck one of her nerves. When episode 6 introduces the character of Willow Yoon; one half of the siblings that live underneath the main characters’ apartment, you see that she has this huge infatuation on Togeun and that presents the crazy scenarios in her mind. Because of these points, both of these female protagonists are very confusing! I found myself questioning whether Sonagi was real or a figure of Togeun’s imagination and whether Willow was building up to be a creep or stalker, neither of these ideas I would like to see progress further!
I genuinely think this is the first Korean web comic I’ve ever read where I am torn 50/50 in whether I like it or don’t. However, I have chosen to not read any more chapters because I feel that it is lacking something. It doesn’t excite me like a fresh, new romance should do. Each chapter seems plainly written and has no real context to it, which makes it harder for me to continue reading and even if each chapter (episode) is short, the slow and steady pace of it overall can be off-putting. I guess I’ll never find out why this particular comic is titled Salty Studio, after all!
If you are curious about Salty Studio, you can read the translated chapters here.
Do you read Salty Studio on a regular basis? What are your thoughts on the comic? Let ATK Magazine knows your thoughts through the comments section below!