By now it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of WebToons. What started as a stress buster during university exams back in 2018, has now become one of my favorite hobbies. I was already a big anime and graphic novel aficionado, and WebToon was more easily accessible than downloading third-party manga readers. And with that, I’ve gotten more familiar with writers and artists that had their beginnings on the app.
The content library in those early days wasn’t as varied, with some original works and mostly translated manhwa. Amongst those originals you had Lore Olympus, a reimagining of the Tale of Persephone, by UsedBandAid, Let’s Play, a gamer romance by Mongie, and True Beauty by Yaongyi. Some, like Lore Olympus, continue to dominate the ranks on WebToon due to a genuinely engaging story and likable characters while others, like True Beauty, run their course with no resolution in sight and stop being entertaining. My contempt over how True Beauty is a can of worms for another day. But that’s exactly why I appreciate it when an author knows to end a story when the time comes.
Therefore, I was grateful when one of the WebToons I followed, Siren’s Lament by InstantMiso, ended. The story was an enjoyable read about a girl named Lyra and her connection to the ocean with mermaids, a love triangle between two really gorgeous guys, and pretty art – what’s not to love there? I had also enjoyed her soft but sweet high school comic called When Tangents Meet so it’s safe to say I’m a fan of her work.
When I learned that the same artist was coming out with a new WebToon, I was intrigued. And this time, she pulled from her roots to give us a romance that shows just how much she’s grown as a storyteller from her days prior. Today, we will be looking at Eaternal Nocturnal by InstantMiso.
The Dive Into Eaternal Nocturnal
Eaternal Nocturnal is an urban fantasy that involves Eve, a chronic insomniac who is barely surviving through life, and her chance encounter with Dae, a dream eater. It almost seems as if the two are meant to be, since Dae helps Eve get some well-needed rest while he can feast on her dreams as sustenance, especially considering dreams from other people don’t seem to satisfy him anymore. And he thought it’d be a no-strings-attached situation except when he ends up getting involved with her in real life. Oh, and she can’t recognize him outside of his dream eater form. Fun.
The dive into Eve’s subconscious and the dream mythology on its own is intriguing. Dae isn’t the only dream eater around and apparently; you can choose to either live normally or forgo all earthly bonds and become an apparition.
The subplot revolves around Eve and her letting a friend, the viral star Cherri, steal her voice to become more popular because she can’t keep a normal job, thanks to the insomnia-induced exhaustion. Of course, things get even more complicated when the one orchestrating this entire fiasco is Dae’s estranged older brother, Jaeson aka Cherri’s manager. Talk about drama!
Should You Read Eaternal Nocturnal?
Honestly, I am enjoying this story so much! I think it’s the only WebToon I have notifications on for because I don’t want to miss an update. The characters are instantly likable and lovingly flawed. And while the art style is very pretty and dreamy(forgive the pun!), the story is a little darker than it appears. It introduces heavier themes like controlling parents, toxic friends, and fatigue-induced depression in an extremely nuanced and organic way.
Honestly, I love Eve. She is such a well-written character, guarded but with a ton of sass hidden underneath. As someone with similar insecurities, her struggles feel so relatable. The side characters introduced are similarly grounded and add more than just filler to the backstory. Even the antagonistic forces seem more human and less ‘evil’ or exaggerated. After all, who hasn’t had a friend or two that crossed boundaries without understanding? I appreciate just how down-to-earth the plot is with something as paranormal as dream realms and flying piglets.
And the chemistry between our leads is phenomenal! Dae is cocky, laid back but considerate. Whereas Eve is more subdued but a lot more open and brash around his dream eater form. The two play off each others’ strengths so well, that with only a few chapters in you’re already invested in their budding relationship. The dynamic between them is so fun that you can’t help rooting for them!
I would highly recommend this series if you enjoy a good, solid supernatural romance. Since it’s ongoing, you can anticipate a new chapter every week!