Creator: eresemo (@eresemo_99)
Publisher: Lezhin (@LezhinComics_US)
WHAT IS IT?
Killer Crush is a humorous and action-packed boys’ love romcom series where a seasoned killer accidentally falls for a movie star and quickly discovers his newfound crush is really killing his vibe.
Think John Wick meets Barry.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Taeman is a cold-blooded hitman who relentlessly studies the art of assassination, aiming for perfection with every mark he completes. He's ruthless, calculated, and wise in the ways of murder. He also works part-time in the service industry to help hone his skills of hiding his emotions in stressful situations.
Dahyeok is a killer of a different breed. He’s an actor known as the “heart assassin” and he’s been typecast as the king of romcoms. Desperate to prove himself in the world of cinema, he sets his dreamy eyes on the world of noir films but can’t break out of his sweetheart style long enough to make it count.
When an accidental meeting between the two allows Dahyeok to witness Taeman’s masterful art of controlling his expressions, he makes it his mission to learn his technique and become a gritty noir superstar. Taeman, on the other hand, finds himself with his first-ever crush and he is not happy about it (his coworkers, however, find it hysterical). Dahyeok’s relentless pursuits send out mixed signals and cause the heartless assassin to go weak in the knees. Now, Taeman is desperate to break himself free from this beautiful man’s cursed kindness so he can get back to killing in peace.
The thought of a ruthless, John Wick-like killer struggling to do his job due to whacky romcom circumstances is not only a hilarious concept but a refreshing one. The gangster/hitman drama meets kawaii-romance is unique and most definitely shouldn’t work as well as it does, but eresemo’s hard work both in the story and art has definitely paid off.
eresemo found a way to expertly balance intense action movie fight scenes with fluffy, cutesy shōjo* romance with clever, self-aware writing. The way the series quickly shifts from a tense moment of bloodshed to an unexpected joke is nearly flawless.
The overall tone of the series is humorous, the comedy is well-paced and genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. The fact that the violence is shown in its entirety but the most minor of cuss words are censored showcases the tone from the get-go.
The art style falls more on the side of realism, with plenty of humorous cartoony moments thrown in. Each character has a distinct look and a lot of detail was put into their expressions and actions.
The use of textures is an integral part of this webtoon. Dahyeok’s moments of severe attractiveness are filled with pink bokeh bubbles and when Taeman struggles with his emotions, tiny repeating daggers appear behind him. They are subtle details but they add an extra flair.
Killer Crush is a series that heavily focuses on facial expressions (they are the igniting factor for the story at large, after all), and eresemo executes each and every one splendidly. It is, without a doubt, the highlight of the series. The characters are immensely expressive, balancing a classic over-the-top exaggeration with a sense of realism that loudly portrays what the characters feel in the moment.
The range of sound effects and speech bubbles used helps sell the quick tonal shifts throughout the series impressively. They are an integral part of the series and enhance the mood of the panels through colors and various fonts.
Our reluctant hero's hitman co-workers are some of the most effective and memorable supporting characters out there. Their innate need for violence and killer mindsets, especially set in their mundane day jobs, adds an extra level of ridiculous humor and bloodshed to the story.
Taeman’s natural killer instincts are never lessened due to this newfound crush, which is refreshing to see. He doesn’t fall in love and immediately lose the most important part of his life and personality, and his struggle to learn to balance these new emotions makes him an interesting protagonist amongst the countless other romcom webtoons currently available.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
CW: Intense sequences of violence/murder, blood, gangster and hitman-centered activities, a brief scene of consensual comedic torture, strong language and an excessive use of alcohol.
There’s a lack of consistency in the censorship when it comes to the cussing, as well as a few minor grammatical errors.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Drama! Action! Romance? Killer Crush is the tale of the world’s worst love-interest and the handsome actor who ruined his life. Taeman’s bitter struggle between his tenured life as a killer and the newfound lovey-dovey nonsense that’s overtaken him is wholly amusing. The action goes hard, the comedy goes even harder, and Killer Crush is bound to bring a smile to your face.
This title is perfect for fans of the hit manga/anime series The Way of the Househusband and showcases a different side of the BL genre outside of the realm of what we've come to expect. This title can easily be enjoyed by non-BL fans, too, as the ridiculous antics and clever storyline appeal to a wide audience. Though season one is still in progress, eresemo recently mentioned work had begun on season two, which means we can look forward to more brutal and comedic antics for a long time to come. This side-splitting tale of a hitman and his handsome crush will be your favorite new Sunday read.
HOW DO I READ IT?
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*shōjo is a genre of manga known for its heavy lean toward romance and cute things.