Man, sometimes I hate how fast I binge-read WebToons. It’s like the moment I finish a cute WebToon, I have to read another, or I’m going to spontaneously combust. It’s even worse when the WebToon you’re reading is unfinished, so you’re left feeling empty after the latest update. That’s what happened to me while I was reading Age Matters.
It’s torture, when you get really into a Manhwa or Shojo Manga, only to realize that the next chapter is a cliffhanger. And then you have to wait a week or more, God forbid before you get any resolution. Especially if it’s a romance because you know just how frustrating love triangles can get without a proper conclusion! But what can I say? I’m just a sucker for cute rom-coms, like Age Matters. I can’t help myself with the feels!
Age Matters is a WebToon by Enjelicious, which has been one of the top-ranked in the romance section of the Line WebToon app. On paper, it’s a pretty stereotypical romance. You have a spunky but broke heroine, named Rose Choi, who becomes the reluctant assistant to super-rich but stoic Daniel Yoon, a CEO who is as moody as he is caring. And then there is the age gap between the two (nothing creepy folks!) which adds to their opposing personalities clashing.
It’s formulaic, for sure, but there’s a reason why the formula even exists in the first place. It’s engaging and fun! If you’re in the same boat as me and want to read similar works, here are my top 5 recommendations for love-hate romances like Age Matters!
1. Let’s Play
I think Let’s Play by Mongie was my second ever WebToon? After Lore Olympus, I remember just sinking my teeth into this rom-com following Sam Young, a very awkward Software Developer with severe anxiety but a passion for gaming.
She is left devastated after having her indie passion project, Ruminate, be slammed and review-bombed by her favorite streamer, Marshall Law, and his fans. But Sam has a solid support system in her friends, one of whom she has a crush on, named Link. Of course, there’s also her overbearing father, the CEO of Young Industries, and Charles, the company’s manager who takes a liking to her.
This webcomic is a great insight into how ridiculous game culture can get, with some cute fluff thrown in. However, it still ends up being pretty nuanced when it comes to mental health. Mongie portrays issues like panic attacks and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in a realistic manner. And as an anxious nerd myself, I greatly appreciated that.
Edith by Swansgarden is a beautiful but surprisingly mature romance that deals with complicated relationships and how we tend to romanticize things we really, really shouldn’t.
Edith, our titular protagonist, is a romance book writer with a host of insecurities. And how does she tackle these issues? Well, fake it till you make it is an option! So, she not only holds herself up to impossibly high standards but does the same to the men in her life. Those men? Dichotomies. One is too-good-to-be-true, the other a reality check with a heart of gold. Will Edith bring herself down from the stars? Or will she drift away, carried into the unknown by her own self-doubts?
Edith is messy, no questions asked. But that’s exactly what makes her story so relatable. Romance isn’t always magical, sometimes it’s about making hard decisions that give you pain and hurt. But the story is heart-warming and sassy enough to keep you hooked!
3. To Love Your Enemy
This is probably less enemies-to-lovers and more idiots-in-denial and, listen. Every bit of my YA-obsessed heart adores it.
To Love Your Enemy by Jungyoon follows Yeonhee, a former employee at a pyramid scheme that goes under. She is forced to go back to complete her university to land a decent job and a fresh start. But luck seems to be evading her completely when she accidentally bumps into Yikyung, someone who recognizes her as he was the son of someone, she tried duping before. How can she start anew, when her past follows her like a hawk?!
It gives severe second-hand embarrassment watching these two opposites awkwardly fumble around with each other. But it’s entertaining and I love Yeonhee’s breakdowns. A fun read for sure!
4. A Business Proposal
There’s a reason why everyone and their mom is obsessed with the live-action adaptation of this popular WebToon!
Shin Ha-ri is a solid friend to Jin Young-Seo, who gets roped into blind dates by her father, offering to replace her so that she can get these potential ‘husbands’ off her back. But it all goes to hell when Ha-ri has to pretend to be Young-Seo in front of Kang Tae-moo, CEO of the company Ha-Ri works at. But Tae-moo is impressed and offers a Ha-ri a deal: Pretend to be his girlfriend so he can appease his grandfather, the Chairman!
It’s misunderstandings galore but I love Ha-Ri’s guts and how she affects the uptight CEO! It’s so over-the-top, but that’s the charm of this story!
5. Maid For Hire
This gave me serious Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama vibes!
Maid For Hire by demonicblackcat is the tale of Andrea, perfect, popular, and broke as hell. But her classmates don’t need to know that! So, she secretly works odd jobs to make ends meet while restraining herself from pummelling her nemesis Alex, a rich playboy. However, upon getting hired as a maid at Alex’s residence, she realizes that she might not be the only one hiding her true self. Because whoever this lonely, sad guy in the bedroom is, it can’t be mischievous Alex she knows!
Andrea’s hot-headed and Alex loves pushing her buttons. I know that isn’t a new dynamic but it works so well here. And it doesn’t get tired or boring either, which is a plus. I’m a sucker for good enemies-to-lovers!
So, will you be trying any of these recommendations? Have you watched any of them before? Let me know in the comment section below!