Do you like Korean nine-tailed foxes, unlikely accidental cohabitation between love interests, and blunt humor? 간 떨어지는 동거 is the webtoon that falls next on my list of favorite webtoons (after Spirit Fingers, of course) precisely due to these features.
Take Lee Dam (이담), a chicken wing-loving, self-assured, no-time-for-your-sexist-or-flirtatious-nonsense college student. Add Shin Wooyeo (신우여 – reversed this becomes 여우신 or fox god), a stupidly attractive, centuries old, chicken-avoiding-and-magic-wielding gumiho who has nearly acquired all the power he needs to become human.
Now make them collide on the street so that the gumiho’s fox orb slips from his mouth into hers.
Oh, darn. Guess they have to live together while he figures out how to retrieve his fox orb and she learns to avoid anyone and anything related to chickens (including 치맥, friends born in the Year of the Chicken, aka 닭띠, etc.). If she so much as bumps into a 닭띠, she becomes very ill, thanks to the fox orb hidden somewhere inside her.
Long live the mortal enmity of foxes and chickens!
Enter Gye Seonwoo (계선우), the quintessential antagonist-who-might-also-be-a-love-interest. He’s also stupidly attractive, though he’s a college student returning to school after his military service, not a nine-tailed fox from Korean mythology. And he’s full of himself. He makes a bet with his friends that he can make 담이 fall for him…but things go wrong when he realizes he’s falling for her.
담이 is a fantastic character, enduring ridiculous encounters with gumihos and jerks while maintaining her blunt and yet positive approach to everything. She’s always thinking about food or avoiding homework, making for a relatable character, too.
She’s also famous among the guys at her school for brushing off or sometimes downright smashing aside their attempts to win her over, which makes for many hilarious scenes.
There’s even a plot arc about when 담이 gets her period and Wooyeo tries to take care of her…and he has to pretend to be her for something important…
Basically, I’m a huge fan and I’d keep reading this webtoon just for 담이’s adventures. But the dynamic between her and the gumiho, whom she settles on calling 어르신, or elder (since 오빠 would be weird and she can’t exactly call him 할아버지), creates a story that keeps readers coming back.
But why is this webtoon called 간 떨어지는 동거? Let’s break that down.
간 떨어지다 literally means “one’s liver dropped”. Koreans uses this as an expression for when they feel terrified or freaked out. In literary English, we might describe that same feeling as “the pit of one’s stomach dropped out”.
동거 is cohabitation, where you live together with someone else. Usually it’s used when talking about roommates (동거인, or more commonly, 룸메이트) living together, although couples may also use it. You wouldn’t use it to describe living with your parents while you are dependent on them.
So, this webtoon is about a freaky living situation. Freaky? I’d say fantastic. Then again, there are some serious downsides to having a fox orb trapped inside you… You’ll have to read the webtoon on Naver to find out what those are!
읽어 주셔서 감사합니다.