Love is a very multi-faceted thing. Sometimes it develops quietly, sneaking into our lives so subtlety we don’t realize how deep it is until something challenges it.
The Thai BL My Only 12% challenges that kind of love. Starring actors Santa Pongsapak and Earth Katsamonnat, it tells the story of two lifelong, deeply connected best friends, Cake (Santa) and Seeiw (Earth). Seeiw is an antisocial introvert with few friends who struggles with unrequited feelings for Cake, while Cake is the polar opposite.
When I started My Only 12%, I wasn’t sure how I felt about Seeiw’s character. He has a very childlike, clingy personality despite how responsible he is. But then I realized he gets under my skin because he reminds me of myself, especially when I was younger. As a teenager, I was incredibly closed-off, keeping my circle of friends small and the people I was genuinely close to even smaller. I was the person whose homework people copied, the person people bullied in secret but never messed with in front of their friends because they needed me. I was the person that didn’t fit in, not because I was unique, but because I actively kept myself excluded. Seeiw is this type of character, and I relate to him in a painful way.
I grew beyond the boundaries I set for myself back then. I’m still an introvert, but I’m an active one, pursuing the things I want to pursue and making friendships I can depend on rather than avoiding everything. Now, I don’t fit in simply because I exclude myself. I don’t fit in because I refuse to be anything other than myself. And surprisingly, people are drawn to that now rather than repelled by it. Confidence is an eye-opening and freeing skin to step into.
Because of this, I fully relate to Seeiw’s need and desire for Cake. There are few people in our lives we can trust and depend on, especially those who close themselves off from society. For Seeiw, Cake is a beacon of light that draws Seeiw to him. Cake is a kind and compassionate extrovert who needs Seeiw as deeply as Seeiw needs him, but unlike Seeiw, he doesn’t recognize how deeply yet. He doesn’t see how much the subtle love that has grown between them through the years inexplicably connects them.
But, oh, how you can feel it.
One of the best things about My Only 12% is the chemistry between the characters. It helps tremendously that Santa and Earth’s offscreen relationship and chemistry are so strong, lending themselves to the characters they portray.
The first two episodes focus a lot on Seeiw and his unrequited feelings for Cake, taking us deeply into his introverted world and his dependency on their private friendship. This focus connects viewers to Seeiw and the pain he feels as he realizes his romantic feelings may never be reciprocated, that he may not be as important to Cake as Cake is to him. This connection makes it easy to question how Cake doesn’t see his own apparent feelings, especially during the sick scene when he’s caring for an ill Seeiw. But I get Cake. There are important people in our lives that we’re so afraid to lose we make a concerted effort to keep our relationship with them the same. We also take them for granted without realizing it.
I feel like there are a lot of heartaches coming. There’s nothing more painful or eye-opening than a broken heart. It takes being broken to be put back together in a new insightful way. As much as being broken hurts, it teaches us a lot about ourselves and the people around us. People don’t realize how much we think we know about the world until that same world breaks us. It’s then we learn how much we don’t actually know. It’s then we mature. It’s then we pull our heads up from the ground we looked at before to truly see what surrounds us.
Although there are a few repetitive moments that could be shortened and remain effective, such as Seeiw trying to wake Cake up, I feel like My Only 12% is going to become one of those dramas that take many of us back to a time when we thought we knew life and precisely who we were only to discover later we didn’t fully understand anything.
I’m looking forward to the rest of Cake and Seeiw’s journey, to the things they learn about themselves and each other, and the flaming fire the subtle love we’ve already gotten glimpses of will become. Santa Pongsapak and Earth Katsamonnat are a joy to watch on screen together.
For a drama about friendship and youthful unrequited love and what it can become, check out My Only 12% now on the Studio Wabi Sabi official Youtube Channel or on iQiyi.
Rating- 3.5 out of 5