Publisher: LINE Webtoon
Pub. Date: 6 Nov. 2017 – 17 Sep. 2018
Genres: Romance, Contemporary Realistic Fiction, Webcomic
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
I’ve been trying to find comics on Webtoons to suck me in, but I hadn’t had much success until I watched The Anime Man’s promotion of Let’s Play. I was intrigued by two statements: that it was realistic to life as a YouTuber (ViewTuber in the webcomic) and that two chapters had music to accompany the story. He seems to be right about it being good.
The protagonist of Let’s Play, by Mongié, is Sam Young, who is an aspiring indie game developer. She is an introvert and has social anxiety. She designs a puzzle game that she posts for free download on the Internet, and people rated it highly until the famous ViewTuber Marshall Law plays it. He plays it wrong and rates it low, which causes his fans to mass attack her game and give her the lowest rating on Indigineer. While she’s reeling from this backlash, Marshall Law moves in next door. Sam is relatable with the Emote-Kuns, who are symbolic emotions-made-people who show what is happening with her emotions and her conflicts, and her sudden realizations about what a romantic relationship would mean with some of these people. I like that she is trying to confront her anxiety, growing some confidence, and working on recognizing love interest. I also love her fangirling about gaming and puzzles.
Sam has three potential love interests: Marshall Law, Link, and her supervisor. Because the story has a premise that starts with Marshall, he is an obvious love interest. I like that he notices things about her, like when she is experiencing social anxiety. Marshall has to deal with his depression and the reality of having a large, devoted fan base. Link seems like a nice guy. He fits the childhood friend trope for romance. I don’t care for her supervisor that much because he and the power difference strike me as more of an abuse of power than anything romantic, even if the story tries to avoid the sexual assault zone. His behavior is off, like Prince Hans from Frozen. For where the story stands, I see his interest in her, but he is a creep. Overall, I like the slow burn for each potential relationship.
Because this is a romance, I have to acknowledge that there are several aspects that screams romance genre. She has at least one major love interest from the beginning. I’m a little annoyed that all of the guys are shown as hot and having abs, but I am aware that romance does this. It also boosts the reverse harem for all of her potential love interests, though I would prefer the men to be more distinct from each other in personality.
Of all of the side characters and their apparent backstories, I want to know more about Dallas, who is Link’s little brother, and Abe. There is a moment early on where Dallas starts smoking and Abe puts a stop to it. He was worried about what his family’s reaction would be if they found out, and I want to see more of that side to him because he is pig the rest of the time. And I want to see how Abe plays in to it. Serialized works do have a problem with not always continuing a train of thought about a character, but this one struck me as important since it involves Link.
The art in this webcomic are digitally drawn and looks skilled. Mongié’s style looks akin to the general anime style, though she gets detailed with her shading, the clothing choices and design, and the background scenes. The comedy portions use a more simplified drawing of the characters to emphasize the difference. There is also some fan service.
In this section of chapters, there are only two that have a musical accompaniment. While these were unexpected as they came up, I’m still not sure how well they helped convey the appropriate emotions for those chapters. The first time it happened, I knew it was supposed to convey some sadness and remorse, but it felt a little too upbeat for the mood. The second time the music happened was better chosen, partly because it was a little cameo for one character and his day. With Mongie incorporating this music, I’m more interested in seeing this type of experimentation in writing.
- The landlady is a wonderful, meddling, old lady. I also like that she can spark fear in others when necessary.
- I didn’t expect to like the presence of the Emote-Kuns. They really make it clear when there’s warring emotions and can have an overbearing presence in some instances. I also like that they appear for other characters, like Marshall Law.
- Bowser is a sweet little dog. I love that Bowser has his own chapter (with music). He has a special relationship with his Princess Peach-esque doll. Now that I think about it, of course Bowser likes the princess doll. His interactions with the rude squirrels are funny. He is such a cute dog.
- While Sam’s father is flat, I love the moments where he gets hyper-protective of her. My favorite is that he created a locator app to find his daughter. It’s called the Peachy-Pumpkin-Pooh Protection Protocol, or P.P.P.P.P. for short. It’s not just that these overprotective father types wouldn’t use this, but he has the software company to produce it.
The primary things that fuel my interest to keep reading:
- I want to see her get into a good relationship with Link or Marshall. I see that it’s going to be a slow burn, so I’ll enjoy watching her freak out over anything that screams potential date or misunderstanding of feelings.
- I want Marshall to play Ruminate again, and I hope he understands and loves it.
- Sam’s interest in gaming keeps me interested in wanting to see her actually play a game with her guild or develop another awesome indie game. By the way, what ever happened to her proposal to Indigineer to fix the rating system? What happened to Marshall’s email?
- I hope to see Link and the supervisor a little more fleshed out.
Up to Chapter 45, Let’s Play has been an interesting and funny story. If you want a funny webcomic set in the real world with some bits of fan service, you should try Mongié’s webcomic. I’m going to subscribe to and follow this webtoon for now and watch how things develop.
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