discussion, manwha

Discussion: Why do People Ship Sangwoo x Yoonbum/Is it Love?

I know Killing Stalking is more of a yaoi manWHA not a manga so I shouldn’t really talk about it but because it became so big with the Yuri!!! on Ice fandom more specifically the fujoshi community, I had to talk about it.

Disclaimer: HEAVY SPOILERS (From chapters 1-20)

1So if you don’t know the story of Killing Stalking, it’s a psychological horror story with some yaoi content, it follows a boy named Yoonbum who is obsessed with a boy named Oh Sangwoo, to the extent of stalking him. Yoonbum’s obsession with Sangwoo escalates when Yoonbum breaks into Sangwoo’s house only discover that the charming and friendly man he’s infatuated with is a murderer, in result Yoonbum is held captive in Sangwoo’s home.

Now obviously one of the genres Killing Stalking falls under is yaoi, attracting a lot of fujoshis but what separates Killing Stalking from any typical yaoi is that the relationship between Sangwoo and Yoonbum is beyond abusive and unhealthy. But the thing is there are three types of fans of Killing Stalking;
1. The ones who don’t ship Sangwoo and Yoonbum and ship Sangwoo x Prison and Yoonbum x Happiness (or any ship like that)
2. The fans who fully support the relationship between Sangwoo and Yoonbum some to the extent of calling them “relationship goals”
3. The ones that don’t know if they do or don’t ship Sangwoo and Yoonbum


If you didn’t know, I am apart of the third group; I don’t know if I do or don’t shipIMG_8084 Sangwoo x Yoonbum, however for me I am leaning towards the second group. Someone has already explained that Killing Stalking’s intention is to only scare yet entertain it’s readers and that it never romanticized the dysfunctional relationship between Sangwoo and Yoonbum, the problem lies with the fujoshi’s who are willing to fetishize any gay relationship. Although this is true for many fujoshis, I don’t think this is the case for fans like myself, as I didn’t feel comfortable with many bad relationships in yaoi, like in the first episode of Maiden Rose, I didn’t like the romance in it. Also in a one shot manga I read, Glamorous Lip, I don’t like the relationship between Kira and Letty because it took a dark and more violent turn when it started off quite adorable. So I don’t think all fujoshis who support Sangwoo x Yoonbum fall into this statement.

I looked into Killing Stalking a lot and I don’t think it’s right to say Sangwoo DEFINITELY does love Yoonbum, at least for now. Because what makes there relationship so fascinating is both them are incredibly unstable. Sangwoo, not only being a murderer, but also clearly having a split personality and Yoonbum in general is emotionally unstable and can barely even think straight; in other words, they’re both very unpredictable, especially Sangwoo. Sangwoo’s intentions don’t seem clear, at least as of Chapter 22. Because there is a possibility he is using Bum for an end goal, but honestly I have doubts this is the case.

My doubts on Sangwoo using Bum actually leads me and many other fans to believe that what Sangwoo feels for Bum is actually more than lust, rather it may be love but a rather disturbing and creepy type of love instead of the kind of love we’re used to hearing about. Though most fans justify Sangwoo’s love for Bum based on the fact he hasn’t killed Bum yet, I believe what truly shows this is the scene where Sangwoo can’t find Yoonbum

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In this scene Sangwoo is shocked and quite angry but when he finds Yoonbum at his house he is completely relieved and embraces him tightly, in a way that says, “don’t ever leave” “stay with me”. I think what made Sangwoo feel this way about Yoonbum is that Sangwoo hasn’t felt loved since the death of his mother, think about it, every time Sangwoo lures in and murders a woman, she is screaming at him (which is obviously a natural thing to do), this is a pure example when Jieun, who had romantic feelings for the Sangwoo that she thought she knew, came to Sangwoo’s house, they have sex and then Sangwoo exposes his true self to her and she displays pure anger, fear and disgust towards him (which again is completely natural). Compare this to when Yoonbum broke in. Despite Sangwoo breaking Yoonbum’s image of a gentle Sangwoo, Yoonbum still confesses his love to Sangwoo and shows obedience even in the chapter where Sangwoo was talking about his mother and said out loud “I love you” and Yoonbum responded by saying “I love you too” and  this happens after like a week of being with Sangwoo. This obviously must’ve made Sangwoo grow to like Yoonbum and the idea of being loved unconditionally.

As for Yoonbum, his obviously afraid for his life. I mean everyday he is scared that Sangwoo will snap and kill him which to him seems inevitable. However throughout the manwha, Yoonbum still shows that he has feelings for Sangwoo despite his image of him being destroyed. One scene that proves that Yoonbum loves Sangwoo is when in Chapter 19 when Sangwoo tells Yoonbum to leave if he no longer needs Sangwoo… HE HAD A CHANCE TO ESCAPE! But Yoonbum chose to stay. Furthermore adding to my point about Sangwoo, Sangwoo could’ve easily killed Yoonbum rather then just kicking him out.

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So in conclusion, I do think the two love each other, but in a more unmutual way and in a more creepy way that we are not generally use to even from yaoi. I see Killing Stalking as a psychological horror, it is a romance but a very unsettling type of romance, which is exactly what makes the horror in the manwha stand out more. The love shared between Sangwoo and Yoonbum is more disturbing and creepy rather than cute and “lovey-dovey”. But to answer the question, the reason why other fans support this relationship is not because we fetishize all types of yaoi relationships, even abusive ones, rather all we want is for something more to come of this relationship. Sangwoo seems to displays feelings for Yoonbum and although it’s slightly diffferent, Yoonbum does display feelings to Sangwoo. The two are just as bad with each other as they are without each other. Yoonbum obviously is the only one making Sangwoo feel loved and Sangwoo does do something for Yoonbum which I can’t exactly point my finger at. For me personally, that is the reason why I’m in the middle and maybe why other fans ship these two. But again it’s too soon to properly clarify everything, so eventually when more chapter are out, I can make a better analysis.

Thank you for reading this detailed discussion. I tried making it as brief as possible but that didn’t go so well but hopefully you can understand what I’m trying to say. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Let me know what you think about the whole topic. Till next time 🙂



2 thoughts on “Discussion: Why do People Ship Sangwoo x Yoonbum/Is it Love?

  1. i have to agree with you. While the characters experience romantic feelings (weird and twisted ones at times), the story itself isn’t a romance. The romantic feelings in various situations actually add to the horror or uneasiness of the scene. It’s a weird feeling at times reading it, but also kind of compelling.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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