Interestingly, having so many options doesn’t guarantee a title to review for Fridays and I can get indecisive. Sometimes I start reading a series and I audibly gasp because I instantly click with it and want to share that excitement with you at the speed of light. Other times, I don’t enjoy a series as much but I still have thoughts I want to convey or the redeeming points I want to share. The latter usually gets overshadowed by the former, so I end up reviewing the series I have high praises for.
Yet again I’m here with a title that I fell head over heels for in the span of chapters, but this time, reviewing it wasn’t exactly my choice. I ran a poll on Twitter and The Insatiable Man was the result. Don’t look at me, I didn’t vote for it with my secret side accounts just so I could write about it. *sweats* Anyways. Let’s roll ~
Title: The Insatiable Man
Author & Artist: Lee Huchu
Status: Ongoing, 22 chapters. All-ages only.
Where to read: On Tapas!
Ahh Jiho, my sweet, summer child. He’s a food critic who’s worked as a reporter before becoming a freelance writer. Although it’s his occupation, he’s still wildly passionate when it comes to both food and writing. So when Heeyoung, an old colleague of his, asks whether he’d accept to be a food consultant for the famous Lee Inwoo, the author Jiho’s a die-hard fan of, he doesn’t stutter when saying yes. Even when Heeyoung tries to make a point of Inwoo’s ‘challenging’ personality. In one ear and out the other her warnings float.
However, when he approaches the table Inwoo and his manager sitting and the first thing that comes out of Inwoo’s mouth is “You moron, I thought I told you to hire a female consultant!” with a cold, piercing gaze Jiho understands this isn’t going to work. But he’s not a meek person. He sits down, eats his cheesecake with gusto, retorts Inwoo’s rudeness in a professional manner, and tops it with a not-so-professional “You’re an asshole!” before leaving the cafe. Even when he gets a phone call later in the evening from Inwoo to apologize and ask him if he’d like to take the job, Jiho swears he won’t turn back on his words. Until Inwoo offers to take him out to a restaurant of his choice. Maybe he is a meek person after all.
I understand that from the summary above, it looks like the cold-hearted, wealthy but abusive man and a partner who’ll put up with his antics until he has a change of heart trope and I wanted to make it clear that it’s not. The series makes sure to let us know early on that Inwoo has lost his sense of taste when he was 5 and the reason behind him wanting a female consultant is explained as well. Although he comes off as crude, we see him try his best to apologize every time he crosses the line, fix his bad habits and try to learn. Mind you, we are only 20 chapters in and this has happened a couple of times. He’s surely a flawed character, but him taking notice of the consequences of his actions and attempting to amend them quickly turns him into a charming character.
Another marvelous feat this series manages to convey in a relatable manner is Jiho’s position as a closeted gay man. There are indeed lots of LGBTQ+ people who go through horrible or unthinkable experiences, but the systematic oppression or violence of the everyday ‘normal’ can get hard to endure as well. Having to sit at the dinner table and hear your family or friends trying to set you up with a woman, having no one that you can go for relationship advice or being there for your partner when they are sick — basically not being able to do things you could do without a problem if only you could fit into the ‘normal’, can and will chip away at you.
Jiho thankfully has one friend Chungi, who’s a close friend, but he still feels the weight of not being able to share his feelings with a family member or explicitly say he’s gay so people will stop setting him up with other women. As an LGBTQ+ person myself, seeing the everyday struggles rather than the extremely tragic ones was important. We also catch him finding other men cute in a non-committal manner, which is a detail I don’t see as often as I like to.
Jiho and Chungi have an impeccable relationship that I, again, don’t frequently come across in BL and it truly feels refreshing. At this point, I’m trying so hard not to tell you everything about them. My only wish is that they stay the way they are and nothing more develops in between because what they have now is beautiful as is. Chungi acts as the foil for Jiho’s secretive and indecisive approach to his sexuality and he’s adorable. Although the character I’m most smitten with is definitely Jiho.
You thought I was done praising the series, right? *slams fist on the table* THINK AGAIN. I can’t say goodbye before I gush about the gorgeous art style and soft color palettes. The panels literally melt like the cheesecake Jiho described in the first chapter. Everything’s smooth and pretty. Have I reread whatever was released three times while writing the review and dreamily sighed? Maybe so, but let’s keep that between us so I don’t seem crazy.
There are so many other details I wanted to mention but I’d be spoiling the story. I usually try to contain my fascination so that the posts turn out as partial as I can manage to. I know how it feels going into a series with above-average expectations due to hype and being let down because of them. But… I don’t know. I LOVED it to bits and felt like the series was created for me. I can’t wait to see how it’ll develop from here on.
Overall, The Insatiable Man is eloquent in its story-telling, has great humor, masterfully brings flawed but lovable characters together and the result is, well, I have a new favorite in town and hopefully you’ll give it a chance as well. I have, like, 2$ in my savings and I’m willing to bribe you. What do you think of the premise so far? What did you like about it most if you’ve already read it? Any details that I failed to catch but you did? Let me know in the comments and see you around!!
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