Hello, and I welcome you once more to my Friday BL corner where I haphazardly talk about a series I love. While I feel like I keep saying more or less the same stuff about every title I’m reviewing, the most fun part of these reviews is writing a synopsis from scratch. And attempt at being funny while I’m at it. My main goal in doing this is, of course, having fun. The side quest is to get people to read the synopsis even if they have read the piece I’m reviewing beforehand. Here’s to hoping I’m managing it. More or less.
Today, I’m talking about a series that’s well-known and dearly loved in my little circle of online friends. Let’s see if I can get you to hop on the hype train as well.
Title: Swing Baby
Author & Artist: Mudan
Status: Ongoing, 35 chapters + extras.
Where to read: On Tapas!
Baby is a determined man. He might be having trouble going up the ranks in the company he’s been working for four years. Even some of his colleagues who have started after him might be ahead of him, but he has his tenacity to get things going. Don’t be fooled, though. He doesn’t plan on working harder or smarter. He’s decided to suck up big time to his new team leader to get ahead. You know, desperate times call for desperate measures.
One night, Baby meets a developer friend over dinner, and she asks him to test run a new mobile game she’s developing, a dating sim. Baby has every right to do a double-take when he sees the game. The 2D boss on the screen he’s supposed to swoon is awfully similar to the new team leader, Johnson, who is just his type and a big softie. Even certain events and choices Baby has to make in real life align with the in-game options. Will Baby manage to get on the good side of his boss and snag that promotion he’s been dying to get? Or does the universe have different plans for him?
Before I go into my review, I’m bad with names. And this fictional company uses English nicknames picked by the people themselves instead of their given names or honorifics. Throughout the series, both the given Korean names and the company names are used depending on the occasion and it was 2 times harder for me to keep track. That’s why I’m going to stick to the English ones for clarity. Don’t make fun of me but I even thought of making a chart of some sort.
Anyways, Swing Baby has been on my to-review radar, and recently the first season has ended. I thought today might be a good time to recommend it because there’s a lot to love in this series. The biggest strength of Swing Baby is the occasionally thinning line between the real and surreal in its narration. This dreamlike air is also supported by the expressive art style with soft pastel palettes and interesting panel transitions. I have to admit that it confused me at times, making me go back and forth between the updated chapters to make sure I didn’t skip anything because I failed to make sense of things. But I’m guessing this would be less of a matter if I could read it in one go instead of weekly. That said, after you get used to the stylistic choices, the characters, and the circumstances, the story flows smoothly.
Another aspect that stood out in Swing Baby, is Baby himself. I do love variety, but nowadays prefer bottoms who are go-getters, more experienced in sexual matters, if not on the same level, generally characters who are more proactive in the relationship. Johnson is not stupidly naive either; he has a delightful tenderness to him yet he still stands his ground when it matters. They balance each other out. To sum it up, none of the characters are simple caricatures of their archetypes, and Swing Baby manages to bring a wonderful twist and three-dimensional authenticity to the otherwise run-of-the-mill office romance.
I’m keeping up with Swing Baby ever since its release and it’s been such a fun and emotional ride. I’d recommend it to just about anyone who is even remotely interested in romance, or if any of the points I highlighted above sounds intriguing to you. It’s a grounded, modern-day fairytale with refreshing twists, has pretty panels to look at, and overall, I’m confident that you’ll have a good time reading it as well.
As always, thank you so much for tuning in and reading my posts, let me know if you’d want to pitch in with a BL series yourself, or want me to review a certain series/platform in the comments below. Otherwise, I’ll see you tomorrow night with my hot takes on Argento Soma. Until then ~
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