University nerd Guy secretly loves his best friend Wal. To relieve the loneliness of one-sided love, Guy’s hobby is playing games. It's in a game that Guy meets a kind sister named Yuri who he later discovers is a handsome young mafiaso named Thiu. While Guy starts to open his heart due to Thiu's gentleness, he gets to know Thiu's mysterious and terrifying past. (Source: iQIYI) ~~ Adapted from the webtoon "The Ideal Relationship" (호형호제) written by Ken (켄) and illustrated by Nod. Edit Translation
Where to Watch My Dear Gangster Oppa
Cast & Credits
could have been amazingOverall: imagine if Muffin was actually a police officer and we saw her beat up some baddies in one of her outfits, or what if the mafia boss was actually a secret huge romantic at heart? There were so many ways the writing could have been innovative with this premise, but the cliche writing really ruined it, especially in episode 6. It is based off of "The Ideal Relationship" which I have read but I reviewed the series on its own merits. 8 episodes about 45 minutes each. Aired on iQIYI.
Content Warnings: deaths/murders, non con touching/attempted sexual assault, violence, drugging, manhandling, stalking, attempted murder, kidnapping, manipulation
What I Liked
- the intro credits style was an homage to the source material
- how Guy was set up as a queer character from the beginning
- the video gaming sequence, unfortunately we only saw 1 sequence
- cute/sweet moments
- Guy showed agency
- laughed a few times (although mostly at huge plot holes/nonsense writing)
- Wahl's girlfriend in episode 6
- (neutral) comedy noises
Room For Improvement
- cliched/nonsense writing (i.e. Tew's idiotic "plans", Guy probably had 6 bullets in his revolver but seemed to shoot waaaayyyy more than that in episode 8)
- Kenji's backstory makes zero sense, maybe if Tew had used him as a human shield then it would have made sense, they made him into a cliche cartoon villain with nonsensical actions/motivations, even episode 7 didn't make enough sense for his motivation, also way too much screentime taken by Kenji
- the voice over was a fast way to set up a character/beginning but not my favorite way to start a series
- the music was sometimes not what I would have preferred, also think they could have removed the comedy sound effects and just let the comedy come through on its own
- tropey (ie multiple accidental fall and catches)
- avoiding physical affection in episode 5 (although Guy was better by the end)
- cliche plot point in episode 6
- Wahl had way too much screen time, needed to devote some of that to Guy/Tew building their relationship
A Journey from Excitement to Disappointment.As a fervent MeenPing enthusiast and admirer of the outstanding chemistry between the actors, my initial enthusiasm for this series was at its peak. The connection they built in AilhongNhai left me emotionally invested in what seemed to be another promising installment. However, as the plot unfolded, the rollercoaster of emotions turned into a tumultuous journey with more downs than ups.
The first episodes were a delight, offering compelling moments and acceptable action scenes that held my attention. However, as we approached the conclusion, the plot seemed to lose its way, careening downhill without brakes. The figure of the "villain," Kenji, or as I prefer to call him, turned out to be a monumental letdown. Far from embodying the genuine malevolence I expected, he became a confusing and unconvincing character.
Adding to the disappointment, many of the secondary characters seemed to contribute nothing substantial to the narrative. Their presence felt extraneous, lacking the depth or development needed to enhance the overall story.
Moreover, the action scenes in the final episode were a particular low point. It appeared as though the mobsters had never handled a weapon in their lives. The choreography and execution were subpar, detracting from the intensity and realism that should accompany such crucial moments in a series of this genre. Additionally, the feeling that they attempted to hastily wrap up the last episode without care contributed to a rushed and disappointing final experience.
The combination of a lackluster villain, underdeveloped secondary characters, poorly executed action sequences, along with a rushed closure, ultimately left me with a bitter taste. In future endeavors, I hope MeenPing focuses on holistic storytelling, ensuring that every character, whether main or supporting, contributes meaningfully to the overall narrative, and that action scenes are executed with the finesse they deserve, avoiding the sense of haste in the conclusion.
postscript, I must note that I give this rating considering the first half was quite good; however, the ending significantly impacted my overall perception.