Shweta, New Delhi
“…But I’m ready to make my decision from now.” – Seol Hong, Cheese in the Trap
Cheese in the Trap (치즈인더트랩) is a South Korean webtoon series written and illustrated by Soonkki. The webtoon was first released in Korea in 2010 and ran till 2017, on the internet portal Naver Webtoon. It spanned 15 volumes. But what most of us are familiar with is the Cheese in the Trap from the Line Webtoon app or website which has the English translation of the Korean original. The English translation of the webtoon started on July 1st, 2014 when a prologue and three consecutive episodes of the webtoon were released. Since, then the webtoon has been a part of the lives of a lot of webtoon readers. The English translation of Cheese in the Trap has 301 episodes which spread over 4 seasons, the first season being the shortest with 46 episodes. The webtoon concluded on March 8th, 2020. The webtoon has also been developed into a K-Drama and movie with the same title starring actors like Park Hae-jin (Yoo Jung), who is the male lead in both the movie and the drama the other drama cast includes Kim Go-eun (Hong Seol), Lee Sung-kyung, Seo Kang-joon, Nam Joo-hyuk, etc.
The webtoon follows the story of Hong Seol, a returning college student who just wants to attend college, study, and get scholarships to study further. We all have a best friend in college/school, so does Seol. Her best friends are Jang Bo-ra and Kwon Eun-Taek. Her family consists of her mother, father, and younger brother. Her life follows a routine and is pretty dry until two men enter her life and bring in changes, fun, and difficulties that Seol never would have imagined. One of the men being Yoo Jung, her cool, popular, polite, generous, hot, rich, and almost perfect senior, who later becomes her boyfriend and the other one being the wild, childish, handsome, hot, impulsive, short-tempered yet helpful Baek In-ho. We can see Seol in a scene thinking to herself about Jung and In-ho, “…I think they were a mirage of an oasis in my dry and tough daily life.”
Why you should read?
When one reads this webtoon, they can not help but think how most of the characters they read about can be found in their daily lives too. Yes, the webtoon is that relatable and realistic! Those who may have not read it will ask what makes it so realistic? The growth of all the characters, their multi-dimensional personality, their backstories telling us how they turned up the way they are, the stories having incidents which we all must have faced or will face, the romance, the problems faced by characters and a lot of things which I will leave for you to know when you read it because Cheese in the Trap will be recommended to you by almost all of the webtoon readers! Also, if you watched the drama based on the webtoon and are very disappointed by the ending then I’m sure you will love to see how the webtoon ends!
Coming back to the story, one will see that the webtoon focuses more on the characters’ growth, as it should than on the romance between various couples of the webtoon. What people loved about this webtoon is that every toxic element about characters and their relationships was well addressed. What makes this webtoon so amazingly relatable to the point that we almost feel “that’s so me”, “that’s so xyz” is those real-life things like groups in group projects letting you down, ex-friends changing so much, stalkers making one’s life hell, toxic families and relationships, manipulative people, parents’ high expectations, the mental burden from the academic pressure and overall pressures in life, a person’s dark side/habits/pasts, etc. are addressed and talked about in the webtoon.
The best thing about the webtoon is not only its art where every character has unique features and styles and looks completely different, or how easy it is to read and understand even when it has a lot of flashbacks, the good-looking 2-D boys, the relatable story, the characters, or how emotional every character makes us that we even end up pitying the ‘bad’ characters. The best thing is the growth and development of each character, be it Seol, Jung, In-ho, Seol’s family, even In-ha has a very good development in the webtoon. If we see Seol, the main protagonist, we will see how in the start she was not assertive, didn’t talk or fight back, let people walk over her, and was seen as quiet and a pushover. But we see her changing for good and becoming feisty, assertive, a little manipulative, and expressing herself more.
Cheese in the Trap has minor characters playing major parts and all the characters show layers of complexity which help us understand them better and beyond the first impression that they gave us. We also see the webtoon from Jung’s point in the later stages of the story and see flashbacks from the other characters ‘perspectives which completely changes the narration and also the way we see characters. We see most of the characters facing their inner demons which teaches one that not everyone is what they seem to be. The Cheese in the Trap is one of the best-written webtoons with a rating of 9.71 on the Webtoon app.
What are your thoughts about the Cheese in the Trap webtoon? You can read it here if you haven’t already-