First Published: 2016-2019
Genres: Horror, Psychological, Thriller
Format: Mobile App
Yoon Bum, a scrawny, quiet boy, has a crush on one of the most popular and handsome guys in school, Sangwoo. One day, with Yoon Bum's obsession toward Sangwoo reaching its peak, Yoon Bum decides to enter Sangwoo's home. But what he sees inside is not the Sangwoo he had dreamed of.
This manhwa was like a car that was driving wildly out of control toward tragedy and I felt like a bystander that couldn’t look away. Killing Stalking is perhaps one of the best psychological horror-thriller series I have ever read that is really plotted well. The plot moves at a startling pace, like an engine on full throttle up to the very end and it is an incredibly thrilling ride.
The main trio of characters—Yoon Bum, Oh Sangwoo, and Yang Seungbae—are all complex characters with strong moral grey areas in their personalities. I really enjoyed seeing each of these characters clash and unravel as the story goes deeper and deeper into their pasts and the way that their paths intersect.
“Do you know…? How to kill someone without killing them…?”
From the first chapter, I was hooked and I binge read this series, I was in so deep during the latter two volumes that I read each one in a single sitting, I just could not get enough of this series. The series is gruesome and tackles some very taboo subjects displayed in graphic detail due to Koogi’s phenomenal art, so I would not recommend it for the faint of heart. I felt genuine unease whenever Oh Sangwoo was in the scene, especially during the cat and mouse games that he and Yang Seungbae play. Sangwoo was genuinely a memorable and charismatic serial killer that reminded me of some of my favorite literary killers—Patrick Bateman from American Psycho or Harper Curtis from The Shining Girls. Charming devils that are almost pitiful in their relentless quest for power.
Mild spoilers ahead, but I feel that the romantic aspects of the story need to be addressed. There is debate as to whether this series constitutes as a boy’s love series due to the content and the nature of Sangwoo and Yoon Bum’s relationship. I’m personally in the camp that feels that it does not qualify as a boy’s love although there is a lot of romantic and sexual aspects to the story. Sangwoo states point blank that he is not homosexual, and his attraction to Bum is complicated and it is not just because of the abuse. I can’t delve deeper without going into major spoilers, but I caution anyone going in to not set up any expectations of a healthy romance in any capacity.
- Pros: Dark and traumatic thriller with complicated abuser-victim dynamics, complex characters.
- Cons: Romance that is extremely abusive, will turn off many readers, the yaoi shippers.
- Warnings: Language, Gaslighting, Verbal abuse, Physical abuse, Child abuse, Death, Gore, Sex, Rape, Sexual assault