September 27, 2022

Bernieh

Art and Entertainment

Today’s Webtoon: Episodes 7-8 | Dramabeans




Today’s Webtoon: Episodes 7-8

The path to achieving one’s dream can be a long and arduous one. This week, long-time webtoon authors grapple with disillusionment and burnout, while our producers do their best to instill hope in them again.

 
EPISODES 7-8 WEECAP

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

While on a jog at the Han River, Ma-eum runs into webtoon assistant Dong-hee. He’s here to take reference photos for his webtoon, and he asks Ma-eum to look over his draft before he submits it to a webtoon contest. Ma-eum tries her best, but she misunderstands that it’s a love story between an AI and a human, much to Dong-hee’s disappointment.

Back at Writer Baek’s estate, Dong-hee advises Dae-ryuk to redraw his draft and amend the depth and perspective to make it more realistic. However, Dae-ryuk defends his choice, explaining that he shifted the focus to the pursuers in order to heighten the tension.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

It sinks in that Dae-ryuk truly has an innate talent for staging his webtoon panels, despite never having any formal art training, and Dong-hee’s jealousy grows. When he fails to make the cut for the webtoon contest yet again, it’s the last straw.

Dong-hee reads Dae-ryuk’s webtoon draft out of desperation, and the monster in it takes on a life of its own, emerging from the laptop screen and baring its teeth at Dong-hee. It’s a jarring scene that’s tonally dissonant, even discordant, with the rest of the drama.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

The next morning, Dae-ryuk arrives to find his laptop damaged beyond repair. It sends him into a panic, since he has no back-ups whatsoever. Luckily, Ma-eum backed up the files he emailed to her, which only leaves a few for Dae-ryuk to redraw.

That’s a relief, but the more pressing issue is the matter of who broke Dae-ryuk’s laptop. Ma-eum can’t imagine Dong-hee ever doing anything of the sort, but Joon-young reminds her that she can’t know for sure what kind of thoughts someone harbors within.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

Having known Dong-hee for a decade, Writer Baek sees right through him, and he invites him out for a drink. Dong-hee has been feeling guilty over his impulsive actions, and he finally admits that he’s terribly jealous of Dae-ryuk’s talent. In comparison, he feels like he’s wasted his youth.

Reading Dae-ryuk’s webtoon made him confront the truth about himself that he never wanted to acknowledge — he was simply running away from his inner demons. By constantly cracking self-deprecating jokes at his own expense, Dong-hee was preemptively defending himself from others’ judgment. Yet that very mindset was keeping him stagnant, unable to fully commit to pursuing his dream.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8 Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

Dong-hee finally musters up the courage to break out of his shell and take a step forward. He sincerely thanks Writer Baek for all that he’s done for him; though his journey thus far was fraught with uncertainty, he was happy to work under Writer Baek’s guidance.

Ma-eum visits Dong-hee with feedback on his webtoon draft, but he informs her that he’s not going to draw webtoons anymore. Having realized that he was afraid of debuting as a professional writer and receiving criticism regarding his work, Dong-hee has decided to overcome his fear of judgment and carry forward with his life. It’s a bittersweet moment, as Ma-eum wishes him well in his future endeavors, and he encourages her to keep producing webtoons.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

Afterwards, Ma-eum returns home with a heavy heart. She admits to her mom that she wanted to dissuade Dong-hee from giving up, since all his years of effort would go to waste. However, she couldn’t, because she was reminded of how much her dad wanted her to continue as a judo athlete.

Ma-eum’s mom reassures her that her dad will come around eventually; he just needs time to accept her decision. She pulls Ma-eum into a hug, and Ma-eum cries in her mother’s comforting embrace.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

The next day, Dong-hee leaves Writer Baek’s estate. Dae-ryuk is stunned, and when the other assistant notes that Dong-hee left his tablet behind, Dae-ryuk immediately rushes out to hand it back to him.

Aw, Dong-hee left it behind for Dae-ryuk to use. Tentatively, Dae-ryuk asks if Dong-hee’s leaving because he was too much of a nuisance. Oh, Dae-ryuk. Despite how blunt he is on the surface, it’s clear that Dae-ryuk is sensitive and thoughtful; he just doesn’t know how to express it.

Taking the chance, Dae-ryuk tells Dong-hee that he was very moved by his webtoon’s story of an AI finding its own identity. Omg, he understood it! Stunned speechless for a moment, Dong-hee breaks out into a delighted laugh.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8 Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

Thanking Dae-ryuk for being the first to recognize the essence of his webtoon, Dong-hee comes clean about breaking his laptop. He apologizes sincerely, then tells Dae-ryuk to work hard on his behalf — to which Dae-ryuk points out that he can’t, since he’s not him. Haha, he’s endearingly blunt as ever.

It’s actually a very poignant line; Dong-hee spent way too long resenting himself for not being like other people, and harboring jealousy towards others for not struggling like he did. Dong-hee truly seems a lot brighter now that he’s let go of his bitter resentment and come to terms with his circumstances, and I’m glad to see him take that first step towards affirming his own self-worth.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

Joon-young’s given his first big job, and it’s to write a report justifying why the webtoon section ought to stay on Neon’s main homepage. For a second, he recalls Chief Heo’s instructions to sabotage the team from within, and it almost seems like Joon-young might waver.

Still, Joon-young’s ethics win out, and he types up an excellent report that succeeds in convincing Neon’s CEO YOON TAE-HEE (Baek Joo-hee). The webtoon section will stay on the front page until the date of the team’s evaluation rolls around. Of course, this incurs Chief Heo’s ire, but CEO Yoon is firm about her decision.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

While going about her daily routine, Pomme notices that the CCTVs in her apartment are tracking her movements. It dawns on her that she’s being spied on via hidden cameras, and she calls Joon-young in a panic. He rushes over to affix tape onto every device with a camera, blocking the creep’s view.

Still, it’s only a stopgap measure, and Joon-young asks Pomme if she knows anyone who could be the culprit — but she claims that only he and Young-bae know her address. That is, until Joon-young notices a photo that Pomme posted on her Instagram, with a delivery parcel clearly captured in the shot. Well, that’s certainly one way to reveal your address to everyone.

Unfortunately, Joon-young and Pomme don’t have many leads to go on. The creep that’s been stealing Pomme’s parcels was careful to conceal his identity, and they can’t make out any distinguishing features beneath his cap and mask.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

This week, we learn that Hye-mi is the assistant editor of Youngtoon, the second largest webtoon platform (and the platform that Chief Heo is planning to acquire after disbanding our team). She and Ji-hyung used to date many years ago, but they’ve since broken up.

Not only does Hye-mi keep playing coy around Ji-hyung, inserting herself into his life despite it being clear he’s uncomfortable with her presence, but she also oversteps professional boundaries. She tries to poach Kang-nam over to Youngtoon, slyly enticing him with the promise that he can write the genre he truly enjoys instead of his popular gumiho webtoon.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8 Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

Ji-hyung and Ma-eum conveniently stumble upon their dinner meeting, and Ji-hyung quickly realizes that they may lose Kang-nam to Youngtoon. That would spell the doom of their team, since Kang-nam is Neon Webtoons’ main moneymaker.

Ma-eum is anxious and disheartened, and since she wears her heart on her sleeve, her distress is palpable. Aw, Joon-young offers her snacks and encourages her to stay strong — the very words she likes to hear. It touches Ma-eum’s heart, since she knows how much Joon-young doesn’t like those words.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

Ji-hyung and Ma-eum both try their best to convince Kang-nam to stay; Ji-hyung does so by treating Kang-nam to lunch, and Ma-eum does so by impulsively calling Kang-nam and telling him how much his gumiho protagonist San-ha means to her.

Ma-eum describes San-ha as her role model who gave her a lot of strength during her judo and college days. She’s certain that just like her, there must be many young girls who also look up to San-ha, and she hopes that Kang-nam will continue the gumiho webtoon for a long time.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

Her sincerity moves Kang-nam, but it doesn’t solve the root of the problem — Kang-nam only began drawing the gumiho webtoon in accordance with Ji-hyung’s advice. Though he much prefers darker plots, Ji-hyung noted that his art style suited bright and cheerful storylines more. He’d convinced Kang-nam to give it a shot, and it had earned Kang-nam his current success.

Wanting to draw something different at last, Kang-nam contemplates wrapping up the gumiho webtoon quickly and jumping ship to Youngtoon. However, his mind reveals his true feelings; Kang-nam begins hallucinating his gumiho protagonist everywhere.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8 Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

Kang-nam just can’t shake his visions of San-ha, and every time she appears, he instinctively chases after her as if in a trance. Eventually, it dawns on him just how much he’s grown to treasure San-ha.

That night, Ji-hyung gets a phone call — Kang-nam’s decided to stay with Neon Webtoons and continue drawing his gumiho webtoon, though he’ll also be publishing a short piece with Youngtoon. Omg, yay! Ji-hyung and Ma-eum rejoice, and Joon-young even cracks a small smile too.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

One webtoon author’s struggles may have been resolved, but another is still fighting his demons. We get a deeper glimpse into Dae-ryuk’s trauma this week, and it’s clear he was abused as a child. Due to his past, Dae-ryuk finds it difficult to be around women, and he flinches badly when touched. It happens twice this week, triggering him badly and sending him into panic attacks.

Dae-ryuk’s webtoon is a form of catharsis for him, since he instinctively incorporates his traumatic experiences into his webtoon. His monster, Feeb, is a weapon that preys upon humans’ fear, given that it’s an emotion which can’t be suppressed. The antagonist uses Feeb to dominate mankind, and the only person who stands up against his tyranny is the protagonist.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

Perhaps to Dae-ryuk, the protagonist is who he wishes he could be, but he’s not quite there yet. Reeling from having his repressed trauma suddenly dredged up, Dae-ryuk ends up standing at the edge of a rooftop, pushed to the brink and seeing no other way out of his misery.

That same night, Ma-eum receives a call that has her and Joon-young racing out of the office. Oh no, please let Dae-ryuk be okay… I know his character arc isn’t resolved yet, so he’ll likely survive this, but it still hurts my heart to see him in pain. He’s so strong for pushing through and trying his best to confront his fear, and I hope that he’ll receive all the support (and therapy) he needs to heal.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

This week, the drama focused on how easy it can be to get swept up in the motions and lose sight of one’s initial passion. I liked the different lenses it used to showcase this theme; it shows that no one is immune to it, and that it can creep up on you without you even realizing it.

Dong-hee’s impostor syndrome is painfully relatable, and I felt a lot of sympathy for him. His fear of never measuring up to other people’s judgment caused him to devalue himself and cut himself down to size first, so that others wouldn’t get the chance to.

As for Kang-nam, working on the same webtoon for years on end gradually chipped away at his motivation. It’s easy to grow sick and tired of something you’re constantly working on, and I think being able to work on his side project with Youngtoon will be a much-needed breather for Kang-nam.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

On that Youngtoon note — Hye-mi is awfully manipulative, and her modus operandi of constantly pushing Ji-hyung’s buttons while acting sugary sweet is frankly quite distasteful (and potentially even toxic). If this was what she was like in the past, I can see why they broke up.

Despite claiming to harbor no ill will, Hye-mi’s actions speak for themselves. Kang-nam means a lot to both Ji-hyung and Man-cheol, since he’s the only webtoon author that has been working with them ever since their Gingertoon days. Obviously, Hye-mi knows that, and if her smug smiles are anything to go by, she’s clearly satisfied that she’s getting a rise out of Ji-hyung.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

Youngtoon’s poaching doesn’t just stop at webtoon authors, though, because Ji-hyung gets an offer to become Youngtoon’s chief editor. It’s a step up from his current position as Neon Webtoons’ assistant editor, and the job at Youngtoon comes with a hefty salary.

Of course, the Ji-hyung we know isn’t the type to be swayed by materialism over sentiment, but then again we can never know for sure. Neon Webtoons may be seeing some hope thanks to our diligent rookies, but until the tide makes a decisive turn, it’s still a sinking ship.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

Last but definitely not least, I’m loving the growth that our rookies are displaying. Ma-eum already had a sensible head on her shoulders before, but her time at Neon is clearly helping her mature. Not only is she learning how to deal with setbacks, but she’s also slowly coming to accept that they’re a natural part of life — unlike in judo, she doesn’t have to fight and win every battle.

Similarly, Joon-young’s gradually finding his footing in the team, and he now genuinely enjoys his work. Yay! Though Chief Heo’s pressure is still looming over his shoulders, Joon-young’s growing increasingly reluctant to sell out his coworkers, and I hope he eventually stands up for them once and for all.

Today’s Webtoon Episodes 7-8

 
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