The Oddities Between Semantic Error Manhwa and the Live Action

Semantic Error drama quite literally took the internet by storm. If it was not famous enough as a webtoon, which it was; it reached new heights with the live adaptation. I cried tears of joy when I saw an excellent webtoon adaptation for once. Live actions can go either way, as we all are aware, but this one was a welcome change. The plot is definitely no error, and neither are the characters. In my opinion, it is pretty unique. But today, we bring you some subtle and some big differences between the manhwa and the live adaptation.

If you’re into BL and haven’t heard about Semantic Error, then I concur that you do, in fact, live under a rock. I will though for your sake summarize the plot a bit. But I want to try something, I want to explain the plot badly and irritate the fans and confuse the newcomers. I have a few tricks under my sleeve. First one, man goes crazy over a neck and cannot decide if he’s attracted or if he wants to strangle the neck owner. Another one, a sadistic man, goes crazy for the man who spoiled his life. Human-robot falls for his captor. This is the last one I swear.

Alright so now the good stuff. Let us talk about the personalities of the characters in the series and the webtoon. The characters in the play are unquestionably less severe than those in the webtoon. Sangwoo acts less like a robot while Jaeyoung is still as bothersome and petty, but much nicer. He seems more humane and the way they explain that he follows a routine for everything makes you understand things from his perspective. You get to see how he gets anxious when things do not get his way. So you gain a better understanding of his character. Some fans even went as far as to say that the characters in the series are much less annoying. I do not agree with that, both the series and webtoon stand separately for me. But I can see why the fans think that way. One of the contributing factors for this can be the astronomical chemistry between the characters. From the first scene, you can feel the electricity. The characters feel much more relatable in the drama. But one thing that I missed a lot was the song that Sangwoo sings when he malfunctions and runs away from Jaeyoung- when he is first attracted to Jaeyoung and his body starts reacting on its own and he does not realise what happened. That scene in the webtoon is absolutely hilarious.

In the webtoon, we get some NSFW scenes, especially the scene in the car where we all got to see the famous tattoo which haunted my dreams for the next week afterwards. But it was not there in the drama. Also in the webtoon, the focus is more on Jaeyoung being confident in what he wants and making Sangwoo realise that they both want the exact same thing. The focus is more sexual. That is not the case in the series. The focus is more on the process of falling in love in the drama, which could be an attempt to make it more fitting for the k-drama category; removing the fact that the character is coming to terms with his sexuality, his internal panic and him trying to make sense of everything that his body is throwing his way. Also, how Jaeyoung helps him in realising that. We just see the naughty side of him, but not the mature one who after the scene in the car, even though gets mad at Sangwoo (a little immature of him, not going to lie) gives him time to understand and waits for him. Not just that, he takes it upon himself to understand Sangwoo a little more and a little better. Even after Sangwoo says that his feelings for JaeYoung are unnatural and the major reason he panics and rejects JaeYoung’s forward behaviour is that he believes that only men and women should date, get married, and have sex. Jaeyoung still stays and makes Sangwoo understand that there is nothing wrong with what he is feeling. I understand that the bar of consent in the BL universe is a little low, so this was a welcome change for me. That is why the Jaeyoung in the drama was preferable to the Jaeyoung in the webtoon. Because he was much more compassionate, we have to acknowledge that he wasn’t exactly in the same situation that the webtoon Jaeyoung was put in.

The scene which was amazing in both the webtoon and the drama was their first kiss in the bar. There we see that Sangwoo, for the first time, acknowledges that he felt something for Jaeyoung. We can also see that it is the point of no return for Jaeyoung. But in the drama, we get to see a good ending to the story which is still going on in the webtoon. So it is a win-win situation.

All in all, both the drama and the webtoon are good. On one hand, in the drama we get to see mesmerizing chemistry between the main characters and on the other in the webtoon there are more character developments. Not to mention that the webtoon is not over yet. Spoilers for the webtoon, in the recent chapters, they have not even gotten together yet, just kissed and are probably going to sleep with each other soon. Both the webtoon and drama are good on their own, if you want to indulge, you can go for either of them. But I would like to suggest that you do indulge in both.

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