Always Human Review

  • Author: Ari North
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Romance/Sci-fi
  • No. of pages: 1260
  • Dates read: 11.08.2021 – 15.08.21
  • Star Rating: 3 stars
  • Challenge: Not a Novel Challenge

Plot: In the near-future, people use technology to give the illusion of all kinds of body modifications—but some people have “Egan’s Syndrome,” a highly sensitive immune system that rejects these “mods” and are unable to use them. Those who are affected maintain a “natural” appearance, reliant on cosmetics and hair dye at most to help them play with their looks. Sunati is attracted to Austen the first time she sees her and is drawn to what she assumes is Austen’s bravery and confidence to live life unmodded. When Sunati learns the truth, she’s still attracted to Austen and asks her on a date. Gradually, their relationship unfolds as they deal with friends, family, and the emotional conflicts that come with every romance. Together, they will learn and grow in a story that reminds us no matter how technology evolves, we will remain . . . always human.

So, I wanted to read more completed webcomics on WebToon and I saw this one being promoted and I decided to give it a go. I have recently learned that while I am still not a massive fan of purely romance stories I tend to enjoy them more through comics and graphic novels. Going into this I had no expectations at all I was just excited to learn more about the world and the characters.

The art work was beautiful. I loved the character design and the colour palette and I really enjoyed all the sections of scenery or city life. The more pastel colour palette that was chosen for this comic was so very very beautiful! This world is set in the future so the artist was able to draw such variety when it came to her characters. Through these ‘mods’ the character use, the author could give her characters whatever hair colour she wanted or give one of her characters eyes of a cat. The opportunities were endless and the author made some really fun decisions. One thing that I loved with this WebToon which I wish other comics did more of, but I understand it’s hard to do, is creating bespoke music to go along side the episode. It really helped set the scene and the atmosphere and the music in general was just really good!

The WebToon itself is split into two parts. Season 1 and Season 2. Season 1 focused on the development of Austen and Sunati’s relationship and was more character focused while Season 2 focused more of an inciting incident for one of the characters and became more plot focused. I, by far, preferred Season 2. As a lot of you will know by now, I am more of a plot-based reader so Season 2 just worked a lot better for me. Season 1 at times felt really slow paced and I wanted more to happen, plot wise, because while I liked Sunati and Austen I wasn’t super invested in their relationship so at times I found Season 1 to be boring.

I really liked the character Austen and her personal struggles within the story and I saw myself a little bit within her character especially when it came to her struggle with her studies and knowing what to do in life. I personally wasn’t as warm to Sunati. I feel like she made some stupid decisions in this comic that started off nice enough but then got annoying as the comic went on. Things like not telling characters about birthday’s or not including them initially in important decisions that involved both of them. I felt there was a naivety about her character which sadly I struggled to warm to. I just wanted to grab her shoulders and say, “Get a grip girl!”

I also struggled initially with the relationship as a whole. For me personally, I liked to watch the characters meet and then the build up of them getting together and then their life once they are together. I felt that the relationship in this comic was really rushed. We were just sort of told, “Oh yeah, there is chemistry here and it’s great.” But I struggled to see where their chemistry was at times. They argued sometimes over things I didn’t really get, their communication wasn’t good and honestly I just wasn’t invested in it. When Season 2 happened and they worked together on their relationship after the events of Season 1 then did I start enjoying their relationship but at first I was unsure.

Overall, this was a sweet story but I just wish I liked the couple better than I did. I think this came down to weird character decisions and the miscommunication trope which I really don’t like. Season 2 saved the comic for me but the art and music were beautiful.

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