Webtoons have been a big part of my adult geek experience. Ever since I discovered them, all the way back in 2017, I haven’t looked back. In a way, they were my entry point back into the things I love after a hiatus, like anime and manga. While Lore Olympus was the first webtoon I ever read and still follow, another one I was fond of was Let’s Play due to its quirky charm and rom-com vibes.
Let’s Play started in 2016 and just had its 3rd season finale in September 2022. That doesn’t mean it has finished though, but that was because it had a slight delay between the 1st and 2nd season due to contractual issues. The creator, Mongie, also suffered a wrist injury in the meantime, so creating chapters for the webtoon was pushed to the back burner. But since then, these issues have been sorted through, and, well, here we are.
I used to adore this webtoon back in the day. The premise was interesting for the time, and the characters were different and sweet, with their personalities. I specifically felt a lot for the main character, Sam Young, who was a bespectacled geek with severe anxiety issues and her journey with her game, her friends, and possible love interests. And for a while, it carried all those themes pretty well. The art style was more polished and unique, and I loved the little quirky gamer references.
But somewhere down the line, around the first hiatus, things started to change. I realized that just because something started as good doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way forever. And I see this happen with a lot of long-running webtoons. No matter how interesting they are, you can’t keep a story going every week for the past five years and not experience some sort of burnout. So, let’s talk about Let’s Play and dragging stories past their prime.
Let’s Play: Prime Example Of Writer’s Fatigue?
I used to anticipate every chapter launch for Let’s Play. Like, it was something I used to look forward to because I enjoyed the story so much. But I don’t think I’ve touched the webtoon in months now because, well, it just doesn’t feel like the story I fell in love with anymore.
It had such a strong start, where Sam wasn’t just a person looking to fall in love. She was dedicated to her craft as a software engineer and game developer. Sure, she was extremely socially awkward, but the story touched on mental health while discussing how influence matters in an industry as cutthroat as gaming. It was going somewhere beyond just a love story.
And then, nothing. After the hiatus, when the story came back, people were excited, but it felt like the story had lost its essence. All it became was Sam constantly blaming herself or behaving in an extremely OOC (Out Of Character) manner that led nowhere. And don’t even get me started on the art style change, which became so heavily focused on the female body and nothing more.
I think Mongie lost a lot of love for this project that she created after issues with the Line Webtoon company and her injuries. It was a messy affair, from what I remember, but despite returning to complete the tale, there wasn’t much motivation on her part.
And honestly, I get that. Fatigue from a project that doesn’t give you joy anymore but you still need to finish, can be such a soul-sucking experience.
Why It (Alongside Many Others) Should’ve Ended Already:
Weirdly enough, Let’s Play isn’t the worst example of a webtoon being milked for all it’s worth when the story has become downright terrible. At least Let’s Play is still trying. Nope, that award goes to something like True Beauty.
I have never met an old fan of True Beauty who had nice things to say about its current arc. Or any of the arcs before it. It started as something that, realistically, could’ve ended in 200 chapters max. But the artist dragged out for a long, and it not ending became a meme. Like there is a fine line between a story requiring more chapters to tie up subplots and all, like in Lore Olympus VS whatever the heck is happening with True Beauty.
So yeah, while a ton of webtoons haven’t concluded yet, a good thing should always come to an end. Or see itself become terrible.