A Painter Behind the Curtain - Reviews

Alt title: Daelihwaga

A Painter Behind the Curtain
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getou's avatar
Jun 6, 2021

Ima keep it real with u chief, this was the most frustrating manhwa I've read in a while. I'm writing this review because I've seen an incredible amount of positive reviews of the manhwa on various sites which, in my opinion, is quite undeserved. The plot itself is refreshing (for a manhwa) but the tropes are not. Ian, the painter is an extremely talented and extremely traumatized character who experiences a deep lack of self esteem and Raymond is an extremely cunning and selfish character who also suffers from trauma, they are both interesting characters and they are both a bad match for each other. Given the lengthy span of the manhwa the author expands on multiple POVs and does a very good job of making their motives understandable and that's the catch, I usually would never make myself sit through a 70+ chapter manhwa for the "meek uke x asshole/selfish seme" trope (for lack of a better term) but the writing was so convincing because I understood the drive of the main character that at some point I started hate-reading this manhwa from how maddening it got and also because I was so invested in how the author was going to tie it all together. The ending, plot wise was satisfying but on the romance front? Not so much. The literal lines from Raymond's last monologue are "[...] I will keep lying to you for the rest of my life, so it doesn't matter right? [...]" and that's so FRUSTRATING there's no communication or reassurance in their partnership, Raymond is still hiding things from Ian and Ian is still walking on eggshells around Raymond after 75 chapters this is not an ending I'd call satisfactory.

Edit: it's been almost a year since I've read this trainwreck of a manhwa and I still grind my teeth whenever I'm reminded of the two days I spent reading it. Downgrading this manhwa from over all score of 2 to 1 fuck this manhwa. it owes me dental care.

4/10 story
4/10 art
8/10 characters
1/10 overall
Ponyo18's avatar
Jul 21, 2020

I am surprised that that'll be the manga's first review. It's a depressing manga that tests the main character's endurance in the first 6-7 chapters. The seme is a bit odd and I feel like the main character, Ian should be cautious around him.

And I seriously want to punch that damn family for doing such a thing to Ian. I do have another problem with this manga. It makes me very, very anxious.

8/10 story
6/10 art
7/10 characters
7/10 overall
pekoyama's avatar
Jan 24, 2022

I'm not gonna lie this is gonna be kinda cliche but also an emotional ride on a roller coaster. the characters are really frustrating and I understand the other reviews, however, the other reviews don't justify how good this one is. This manhwa was just added to the ones ill always remember. I really enjoyed it and it's not full of sex scenes but it is good.  

10/10 story
10/10 art
9/10 characters
10/10 overall
kkimczyra's avatar
Oct 31, 2021

This was a true masterpiece; gorgeous art, a smooth and natural and well-written plot, and a soulful love story. It was a slow-burning romance with seemingly one-sided longing, driven painfully sad by Munamu's effort to have us connect with the characters before we ever see any glimpse of a relationship. Ian goes on several journeys and is introduced to a completely new world, far from the tiny room where he was previously imprisoned and I'm delighted he's growing to grasp the concept of a home.

Raymond is ambitious and saves Ian for his own reasons, so seeing him slowly soften for Ian was the best part of their romance. It was painful as they were both aware of the risks that came with their relationship, but they chose to pursue it after all. I really love hove this manhwa shows how much a person's emotions can affect them. Ian gave Raymond unconditional love, and Raymond gave Ian freedom. And beyond the romance aspect of the story, there's also a complicated web of politics, classism, art history, and revolution that Munamu took a moment to explain. They get their happy ending in the end. The fact that Raymond and Ian are so preoccupied with minor matters implies that they can finally enjoy a comfortable life.

10/10 story
10/10 art
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
Curiousmadra's avatar
Jun 9, 2021

Nice enough story about a painter Ian who was abused by the menacingly Bardi family who “bought” him and then eventually gets rescued by the dashing uke merchant himself, Raymond. I will admit though it did drag on like it is 75 chapters but nonetheless, it’s a pretty alright read to waste time on for the happy ending..

?/10 story
?/10 art
?/10 characters
6/10 overall