Reviews, Webtoon

See You in My 19th Life Vol. 1 Review: First and Greatest Love

Calling all hopeless romantics to come experience a whirlwind of emotions in this love story that transcends a lifetime!

See You in My 19th Life Cover
Image: Ize Press
By: Amy MouaFeb 27, 2024, 9:30 AM

See You in My 19th Life Vol. 1

Review
Rating
10
Excellent
See You in My 19th Life Cover

Writer: Lee Hey

Artist: Lee Hey

Publisher: Ize Press

Release Date: February 6, 2024

Page Count: 336

Format: Tpb-comic

“See You in My 19th Life” is an endearing tale about living, dying, and falling in love. This romance drama will have your heart pounding in anger, sadness, and glee as Jieum aims for love and happiness in her 19th life.

Since reading the novel “Reincarnation” by Suzzane Weyn years ago, I have adored stories that involve reincarnation. Beyond the usual isekai tropes used in many webtoons and manhwas, I love the concept of reborn soulmates and love surpassing time. So, of course, I was drawn into reading the manhwa “See You in My 19th Life” by Lee Hey. Having only heard great things about this comic and its live-action adaptation, which was released in the summer of 2023, I was excited to see what all the hype was about. So, without further ado, continue reading below for my thoughts on this popular romance manhwa!

See You in My 19th Life - girl with starsImage: Ize Press

Overview

Juwon Yun has a secret: she has lived 17 previous lives before her current one. After having lived many lives over the years, she had grown weary of the monotony of her daily life. That is until she meets Seoha Mun, a cute and haughty boy who brings excitement and joy into her boring world. Perhaps, this time she’ll take a chance on love. But their time together is cut short when an accident leads to Juwon dying. 

Shortly after the tragic event, Juwon is reborn again as Jieum Ban. Although she usually has a rule of not interacting with people from her past lives, she makes an exception this time around. She does everything she can to meet Seoha again. But will she be able to heal a traumatized Seoha as “Jieum,” or will the death of Juwon haunt him forever?

Review

When compared to other manhwas about reincarnated lovers, “See You in My 19th Life” does things differently by being set in modern Korea. It’s refreshing to see a comic explore the concept and not have it set during Joseon Korea or other similar historical settings. The setting and more modern character sensibilities make it easier to connect with the story and its female lead. Jieum herself is one of the more interesting characters I’ve read recently, as she is smart, sarcastic, and straight to the point. The first chapter does a great job of putting you in the shoes of someone reborn with memories from their previous lives. Jieum’s reincarnation is ultimately portrayed as a double-edged sword. While her memories and knowledge help her to get a head start in each new life, she also experiences continuous heartbreak from seeing her past relationships disappear. That sadness is central to why she is reluctant to form a deeper connection with Seoha in the early parts of the story. By revealing Jieum as a lonely and jaded character, it makes her last moments with Seoha as Juwon more meaningful, as they serve as a turning point for her perspective on life and death.

See You in My 19th Life - guy and girlImage: Ize Press

As volume one focuses more on setting up Jieum’s character story, not a lot gets revealed yet about Seoha after the time skip. Much like Jieum, readers will have to learn about a new Seoha who’s far different from the child introduced in the prologue of the manhwa. But from what volume one shows of him so far, I will say he has the qualities already of a strong manhwa male lead. While Seoha may have a bit of a childish personality for an adult, he also comes with an impressive family background and a tragic childhood backstory. These may seem like ordinary traits, but he still comes off as charming. Some of the best moments in the manhwa are the hilarious banter between him and Jieum. But more than anything, I am curious how Seoha will overcome the heartbreak from Juwon’s death. To have your first love die in your arms as a kid is simply traumatic. Death seems inescapable to some characters, as well as to the readers. 

As you can tell from the title of the manhwa, death is one of the story’s most powerful recurring themes. It is thought-provoking to see how each character is affected differently by the reality of death. Like with Jieum, while not explicitly expressed, she must face and accept her own death every time she is reborn as someone else. Then there’s the way Juwon’s death affects family and friends. From Seoha’s struggles and self-blame to Juwon’s sister’s way of remembering the person who used to be closest to her, the story shows how people approach and process death in their own ways. Creator Lee Hey masterfully tackles the sensitive subject by exploring perspectives in positive and realistic ways that benefit the characters and story. Much like the death card in tarot readings, which often symbolizes change and spiritual transformation, such is the physical death in this story and the role it plays in pushing and shaping the characters’ developments. 

See You in My 19th Life - pulling tieImage: Ize Press

Final Thoughts

Reincarnation is always an interesting concept that can lead to unpredictable story developments. As such, creator Lee Hey crafts a wonderful tale that will have you holding your breath in hopes of a happy ending. There is much more to learn about Jieum and Seoha and their love that transcends a lifetime. This manhwa is a romance story you don’t want to miss out on. Whether you are new to the series, a fan of the K-drama, or someone who’s already read the webtoon, this manhwa is a must-add to any romance reader’s collection.

Why You Should Read See You in My 19th Life

  • Lee Hey creates a captivating story with a unique spin on the reincarnation romance trope.
  • The story’s atmosphere is very mature, making it an enjoyable read for older readers.
  • The story contains many heart-fluttering dialogue and scenes.
TAGGED: Ize Press, Yen Press, Webtoon
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