Gwen Recommends: “It Would Be Great If You Did Not Exist”

Image via Manga Rock

(MODERATE SPOILERS AHEAD!)

It Would Be Great If You Did Not Exist (in its na­tive lan­guage, ti­tled “네가 없었으면 좋겠어”) is a man­hwa (Korean com­ic) by Carbonara. It hasn’t up­dat­ed in about a year, but the main re­la­tion­ship arc has fin­ished.

The main char­ac­ters are Guk‐Hwa, an ag­gres­sive woman, and Jang‐Mi, a haughty woman. Both work in the fash­ion in­dus­try.

One of the things I dis­like most in many yuri man­ga is how the re­la­tion­ships are teased, leav­ing the read­er to won­der whether or not their ro­mance will work out. Or worse, the en­tire plot con­sist­ing of that very ques­tion of whether it will or won’t. This de­vice, I feel, is patent­ly overused; it seems to have be­come a lit­er­ary crutch used by yuri man­ga artists to cre­ate some sem­blance of dra­ma. However, this man­hwa (Korea’s equiv­a­lent of man­ga) that I’ve been read­ing re­cent­ly shakes that up, and does so well, to my great de­light.

I re­al­ly ap­pre­ci­ate how the sto­ry starts with telling you the girls are a cou­ple, and then launch­es into the sto­ry of how they wound up that way. There’s no “will they, won’t they”, “is this go­ing to be a tease?”, or any­thing of that na­ture. The dan­ger of this is that the ten­sion could be en­tire­ly re­moved if you know it’s go­ing to be a hap­py end­ing, but in the case of this man­hwa, the in­cred­i­bly in­tense sto­ry line is that much bet­ter for al­ready know­ing that they’re go­ing to end up to­geth­er. It’s not a spoil­er, it’s a fea­ture!

How they meet each oth­er is pret­ty neat too. Guk‐Hwa has a cheat­ing boyfriend — she finds this on his se­cret date with Jang‐Mi. However, upon her catch­ing the pair, the two girls fall in love at first sight, in spite of how they “should” be en­e­mies over the guy. From that point, they then have to ex­plore how much they ac­tu­al­ly like each oth­er.

Literally pret­ty much this

I re­al­ly like how the girls’ per­son­al­i­ties are both kind of al­pha and hot‐headed, and yet they both still do some of the more tra­di­tion­al “girly” things like paint their nails and mak­ing sure they look de­cent — it’s a nice break from the typ­i­cal “butch‐femme” dy­nam­ic. Though, it is my as­sess­ment that Jang‐Mi is the more dom­i­nant per­son­al­i­ty in the re­la­tion­ship. While ob­serv­ing their in­ter­ac­tions, and how they ini­tial­ly deal with their un­rec­og­nized feel­ings for each oth­er with such hos­tile de­nial, I would some­times say to my­self, “Tsun‐tsun!” But that starts to stop once they fi­nal­ly get to­geth­er. The boyfriend is a los­er with no job; he owes his girl­friend mon­ey, and he’s re­al­ly just a no‐life, use­less kind of per­son. But these pale in com­par­i­son to the abu­sive jerk he be­comes as the sto­ry pro­gress­es. It’s in­ter­est­ing see­ing what he does, and how his friends treat him, and how every­one changes as time goes on. There’s an­oth­er, sec­ondary cou­ple to watch as their re­la­tion­ship blooms, as well.

It Would Be Great If You Did Not Exist was my very first yuri sto­ry out of Korea, and while I wouldn’t have ex­pect­ed it, I think it’s kind of nice to be able to say that South Korea, de­spite its prob­lems with LGBT ac­cep­tance, has a good sto­ry about les­bian char­ac­ters. The sto­ry is un­fin­ished as of yet, but since I know the girls are go­ing to end up with a hap­py end­ing to­geth­er, I don’t mind that it’s not com­plete. It helps so much to know that this isn’t some sort of tease or what­ev­er and that they will in­deed to get to­geth­er and lock all four lips. Because this is get­ting trans­lat­ed from Korean, the re­lease sched­ule for the English trans­la­tion is stag­gered, but it’s worth the read nonethe­less. If you can read Korean I’m sure you will have much less of a wait time. If you like yuri that breaks the mold, I re­al­ly rec­om­mend giv­ing it a try.

Edited by Indigo Alteria

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GwenBlanketKnight
Gwen a long time am­a­teur game de­sign­er, bud­ding into stream­ing and video pro­duc­tion. Loves mak­ing free games for peo­ple to en­joy. Giver of un­lim­it­ed hugs.
GwenBlanketKnight

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