Reviews, Webtoon

The Male Lead is a Murderer Review: When a Killer Falls in Love With You

Follow this webtoon’s story of an author who gets trapped in her high school novel and tries to survive against a murderer she created.

The Male Lead is a Murderer Review Cover
Image: Tapas
By: Lost Sundae May 21, 2024, 10:07 AM

The Male Lead is a Murderer

The Male Lead is a Murderer Full Cover

Writer: nana.maruse

Artist: egativism, Hero Banana

Publisher: Tapas

Format: Webtoon

The Male Lead is a Murderer blends romance, mystery, and horror into one captivating story. I dived into this webtoon expecting to have an entertaining time, and it did not disappoint. You’ll easily fall in love with the protagonist who tries her best to outsmart the advances of her creation—a homicidal maniac.

Calling all romance and horror lovers out there! Can you imagine being the object of affection of a psychopathic yandere murderer? Not only that but one that you created yourself? That’s right. The Male Lead is a Murderer follows the tale between an author and the monster she created who falls in love with her. This webtoon, created by nana.maruse, mixes horror, romance, and crime into one captivating story that will hook you on every episode. Curious to find out more about it? Read on to hear my thoughts on this intriguing tale. 


The Male Lead is a Murderer follows Amber, a struggling author trapped inside a novel she wrote in high school. As Julie, one of the novel’s main characters, Amber experiences life as a beautiful and charming college student. A far cry from what she was really like in high school herself. In her new life in the novel, she attracts the attention of Oliver, an equally charming and handsome student. But as the story’s writer, Amber knows Oliver’s dark secret—he’s a cold-blooded murderer. That shouldn’t be a problem since she knows everything that will happen in the story, right? Wrong. Because Amber left the novel unfinished, she only knows and remembers so much about it. Can she survive her own story and save those destined to die at the hands of a murderer she created?

The Male Lead is a Murderer - Oliver is differentImage: Tapas


The moment I read about this webtoon’s premise, I knew it was something I couldn’t pass up. Even though it’s not the kind of romance story I typically read, I was intrigued by its twist on isekai tropes around the female lead being transported into a story she created in high school. Then with the webtoon’s male lead being a heartless murderer, that’s a recipe for an incredibly thrilling story. It’s tough luck for Amber as she must live life as Julie Clarke after her untimely death from a car accident. But as Julie, Amber takes on a life filled with acceptance, love, and care from family and peers. That sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it? 

Things change quickly when Amber/Jullie meets Oliver. His introduction shifts the story’s tone from idyllic to something much darker. Because Amber knows Oliver’s identity as the story’s killer, she keeps her guard up around him. Yet, Oliver becomes obsessed with her for being one of the few women to brush him off and act standoffish (considering he is a popular man). Their intriguing dynamic serves as the crux of many tense and complex interactions throughout the story. Although I’m personally not drawn by their relationship, I think fans of yandere characters will find Oliver fascinating and oddly charming. The webtoon’s creator, nana.maruse, does a great job of making Oliver appealing through the eyes of Amber/Jullie. Oliver’s character becomes interesting when you learn that he was made because of Amber’s negative feelings against her bullies in high school. So, despite him being a murderer who tends to make uncomfortable advances, Amber feels guilt whenever she sees him. You can’t help but feel a bit bad for him and how he’s portrayed in the story. Perhaps it’s also why Amber/Jullie becomes attracted to Oliver later since he holds characteristics and a personality similar to her own (minus the homicidal part).

The Male Lead is a Murderer - The Murderer, OliverImage: Tapas

On the other hand, Leo is another character in The Male Lead is a Murderer who adds plenty of interesting twists to the story. Inspired by one of Amber’s real-life creative rivals, Leo comes off as kind, gentle, and a little mysterious. Naturally, Amber’s jealousy of her rival pours into her feelings toward Leo. However, their dynamics make Leo feel like a much more ideal choice for the male lead, in my opinion. Not only is he cuter, but he is kind-hearted and vigilant to Jullie’s needs. Their chemistry also feels more natural compared to Oliver’s, with their first major event involving Leo rescuing Jullie from being harassed by a male student. Leo even ends up in a position where it looks like he is about to kiss Jullie to cover her identity, which serves as a good foreshadowing for their relationship. But because Leo is destined to be killed by Oliver in Amber’s novel, Jullie works hard to thwart Oliver’s plans and expose him as a murderer without losing her own life in the process. Will she be able to do it? You’ll only know if you read it yourself! 

The Male Lead is a Murderer - Leo Wanting to protect JullieImage: Tapas

Final Thoughts

As much as I would love to indulge more in this webtoon, I want to avoid spoiling too much about its incredible story. But I will say this. The characters and plot progression of The Male Lead is a Murderer are so good that I couldn’t help but binge through the entire series. It’s thrilling to see Julie understand more about Oliver and eventually concoct a plan that may save her, Leo, and other future murder victims. Does she succeed though? You have to read for yourself to find out. This is a high recommendation from me. Plus, it’s finished! So you can binge-read it to the end if you want to. It’s a perfect romance webtoon with good amounts of horror and mystery to go with it. How could you possibly resist? 

Who is this for

  • Readers who want an intriguing tale of romance and mystery
  • People who relate to Jullie as a writer and character 
  • For those wanting a very easy binge-able read

Who this is not for

  • People who don’t like yanderes
  • Readers who dislike characters falling for typical horror cliches
  • For those who don’t like violence, murder, blood, etc.
TAGGED: Tapas, Webtoon