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Romantic Marbling  
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Description
What if you could choose and get your ideal lover online? And what would you do if it actually happens? A story about a woman who gets a boyfriend online to get her ex jealous but instead, finds herself falling for that man, no matter how hard she tries not to.

Original Webcomic
Official English Translation
Official Japanese Translation

Type
Manhwa

Related Series
N/A

Associated Names
Lomaentig Mabeulling
Романтический марблинг
ロマンティックマーブリング
로맨틱 마블링

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)

Status
in Country of Origin
71 chapters + Prologue + Epilogue + 2 Specials (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?
Yes

Anime Start/End Chapter
N/A

User Reviews
N/A

Forum

User Rating
Average: 7.5 / 10.0 (33 votes)
Bayesian Average: 7.03 / 10.0
10
 
 18%
9+
 
 15%
8+
 
 18%
7+
 
 27%
6+
 
 6%
5+
 
 3%
4+
 
 0%
3+
 
 9%
2+
 
 3%
1+
 
 0%

Last Updated
June 3rd 2020, 9:48am PST


Genre

Categories

Category Recommendations

Recommendations
N/A

Author(s)

Artist(s)

Year
2013

Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Lezhin (Lezhin)

Licensed (in English)
Yes

English Publisher

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #714 increased(+52)
Monthly Pos #1300 increased(+457)
3 Month Pos #2855 increased(+345)
6 Month Pos #3389 increased(+1173)
Year Pos #6009 decreased(-568)

List Stats
On 58 reading lists
On 41 wish lists
On 82 completed lists
On 11 unfinished lists
On 45 custom lists

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User Comments  [ Order by usefulness ]
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Dropped this after chapter 11  
by Nikaaa
July 13th, 2019, 5:21pm
Rating: N/A
I honestly wanted to like this because the cover art looked nice, but couldn't help but agree with everything gloriousmangalover mentioned. The protagonist has such an annoying immature personality for someone who is supposed to be 26 years old that it becomes hard to sympathize with her, and after enough chapters I just stopped caring about the story entirely. The dialogue is very weird and choppy a lot of the time too, making me wonder if it was badly translated or just badly written or something? I feel bad for saying this, but overall it just felt like a very teenager-ish off-brand version of the webtoon I Love Yoo in my opinion.
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It's okay...  
by ekushay
April 4th, 2019, 12:19am
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
I can't put my finger on it, but something's up with the story that makes this weird. Probably the unrealistic storyline: no, you can't "order" a boyfriend online, no "good" guy with self-respect would do that as a job. But anyway, I still read all of it and I do appreciate this webtoon, especially the author's note at the end, haha.

The meaning behind the name "Romantic Marbling" doesn't get revealed til basically the last chapter. I also finished this whole series in one sitting, so it's a short enough read. Although jumpy, I still think it's readable and overall alright.

Also, kudos to the very detailed summary below! I do agree with some of the points, but IMO it's a bit overly critical. All of these comments are just opinions anyway, so take it with a grain of salt. 🙂

... Last updated on May 1st, 2019, 1:02am
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Shoujo or Josei?  
by gloriousmangalover
March 23rd, 2019, 11:27am
Rating: 3.0 / 10.0
I'll admit, I'm a huge fan of strong female characters. Emotionally strong, mentally strong, physically strong, I'll take any version of strong. But, sadly, the female lead, Sooyeon, is lacking in all departments. She's not particularly talented in anything (that is emphasized several times, despite her being secretly good at art?), has a bad temper, is immature and oblivious (which is such an annoying shoujo manga trope, I can't believe it's in a josei), and is extraordinarily insecure/stupid. She's a classic shoujo hero: immature, oblivious, stupid, "doesn't know she's pretty", insecure, plain, "different", yadda, yadda. You get the whole shebang. She's boring. She's neither strong nor a saint, which diverges itself a little bit from completely being a shoujo manga, but she is annoyingly ethical and righteous at certain parts. Sometimes she does surprise with a bit of maturity, but oftentimes, it just feels like she's a high school student that stumbled into a work-focused josei, and that is horribly annoying to read.

I also dislike the other characters as well. First of all, her love interest.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
His name is Park originally, but it turns out that's a fake name, so I'll just refer to him as Park.
He starts out as this skinny, blunt, rude, arrogant a-hole who is extremely aware that he is good-looking and wealthy. Honestly, in the beginning, I kind of hated him. I knew he would eventually turn out to be her love interest, especially with how much the author kept on teasing his oh-so-mysterious past, but I vehemently disliked how he treated her in the beginning. Then he changed for some reason.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
He somehow got super buff along the way and then he did a 180 out of nowhere? He became super nice after he fell in love with Sooyeon, and that kind of bothers me. Sure, I didn't like how he was originally, but somehow the fact that the author was trying to "fix" his personality so that he was really the prince of Sooyeon's dreams bothered me even more than his original personality. I would have preferred an imperfect love interest than someone who was too goshdarn perfect.


The other characters were alright, I guess. Sooyeon's ex, her mean coworker, is such a toxic character, oh my God. At first, he just seems like a garbage person, but then he gets better slightly, and then he becomes this clingy, toxic, arrogant person that I absolutely hated. And his new girlfriend is actually probably the best character of the entire manhwa, and only by a small margin. She's cold, manipulative, dark, but at least she's honest and sticks to her guns. She's forthright about her toxic behaviors, knows what she's doing wrong, but she continues doing what she wants, which I somewhat respect. Anyway, the author does mention that their one-sided relationship was something that she wanted to explore a little more, but she never did, and that was really horribly disappointing. It seemed as though the manhwa wasn't well planned-out, as the author teased a few scenes between the history of Sooyeon's ex and his new girlfriend, but she never elaborated on any of it later on.

That brings me to the next point. Plot development, romantic development, character development. Jesus, God, and Mary, the author has no idea what plot development means. There's this rule in writing in general that if you don't need something, that if something isn't necessary to the overall plot of your work, then don't include it. The author breaks this rule several times over and over again.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
In the beginning, she had a couple scenes that showed Park's past, including his pregnant girlfriend, a girl he sort of murdered by saying something rude against her grandmother, and his brother leaving his family. But the author meshed it together in such a way that his story arc, while unexplained, was too confusing. I couldn't wrap my head around what she was trying to imply the entire time, until she had to come out and say it through other characters' voices in the very end. In fact, she had to introduce a totally different character just to make her point clear.
It led to poor plot development in general, where some scenes were unnecessary.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Like the scene in the hospital where Sooyeon's ex's new girlfriend was meeting her ex's sick brother (what was the point of that?)
I was personally very deeply confused by the author's choices in that matter.

Next, the romantic and character development. The author pulled one of those "romantic development only happens completely at the end" despite teasing like one or two romantic scenes. I felt it was way too unrealistic with how their relationship panned out, and it bothered me so much that they only got together when Park "changed". Sooyeon is annoying and I dislike her, so it bothered me even more when she only started liking the male lead (after a few weird romantic moments) because he changed into a real "prince". While I saw how Park began to like her, I never really saw how Sooyeon began to like him? It's like, originally she was attracted to him and a couple "touching" moments with him, and then suddenly she starts liking becomes he's all "changed". Ew. That's why the romantic development felt so out of place, because the author only really had a bunch of romantic moments NEAR THE END.

This horrible romantic development revealed how weird the character development is. Park, like I mentioned before, does a completely unexplained 180 in his actions toward Sooyeon and somehow changes absolutely and completely? It confused me so much, even once the author tried to explain it. Sooyeon, likewise, actually changed. She started off extremly annoying, and don't worry, that doesn't change much, but she becomes slightly more mature. She actually has her cool moments,
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
like when she confronts Park and her ex at certain points.
But, honestly, she remains mostly the same, the only difference being who she was with.

And like I mentioned before, this "josei" manga bleeds into annoying shoujo tropes. The premise, to start with, was honestly overdone. It's the same "perfect prince"/"fake boyfriend"/robot/contract thing we've seen everywhere. I wasn't particularly interested in the premise, but the art did originally draw me in. In regards to characters, Sooyeon is a textbook definition of a "relatable" female character, a Mary Sue in real life. Park is the "not-so-perfect" prince, then he actually turns into a prince. Her ex was unrealistically rude, his new girlfriend was unrealistically cold, Park's ex was unrealistically manipulative, and so forth. The author did end up fleshing out some of the side characters by trying to give them these inner monologues, but it didn't work the majority of the time. She also does this thing, which I know is going to sound pedantic, but she goes into this commonly-used shoujo technique where there's this stretched-out, elongated monologue in boxes, meant to capitalize on the lesson to be learned from the chapter or the dialogues between characters, but it just serves as a really bad storytelling technique. I can’t focus on the main lesson while also trying to interpret the dialogue.

Also, like I said several times, the entire manhwa is just so unrealistic. Sooyeon stays in the company where her ex worked, and then this perfect guy just fell out of the sky onto her feet. Everything is just too coincidental, especially whenever the author pulls these common shoujo situations, like, but not limited to: being emotionally vulnerable and honest due to some substance like alocohol, falling into the guy's arms, taking care of a guy when he's sick, "accidentally" waking up in each other's arms, etc. It feels so much like every other shoujo I've ever read, which can be done well, but these cliches just bother me because it's labeled as "josei".

The author herself, who I complained about several times, seems like she's being way too arrogant about her own work at the end. In the very last chapter, during the artist's reflection, she tries to back up her storytelling choices, which really doesn't change my mind about any of the characters. The overall annoying lesson that the manhwa was so clearly trying to teach didn't fit in my mind, mostly because you could tell how much the author was trying to try. That's a weird way of putting it, but it really does seem like the best choice of words: "trying to try", like a try-hard teenager writing "deep" things. Also, there’s this one annoying lesson that she kept on teaching. It was basically about how money doesn’t matter and how it doesn’t make you happy and that you shouldn’t blame richer folks for things they can’t control. Though I get what she’s trying to say, it just came off as horribly pretentious and rude.

Finally, the art. This probably annoyed me the most, even more than Sooyeon's general character. I actually was attracted to the manhwa in the first place because of the really gorgeous banner that the author chose to put up, but then it changed. The author is so inconsistent with her drawings! You can see her evolution, which is fine, but then at one point she starts making Park and every other male character super buff, and all the girls with big eyes and skinny figures. And then anyone that doesn't fit into that stereotype is immediately identified as a rude bystander, so fat people are annoying, and ugly people are rude. She has a nasty case of same face syndrome, which is pretty common in manga/manhwa/manhua in general, but it just becomes so obvious after a while. I couldn't tell between certain characters from time to time. Also, every character has unusually long limbs. That's a common feature in manhwa, I know, but the author just doesn't seem to understand porportions, so she constantly tries to change it up, making it look even more awkward and alien. Even though some drawings were quite beautiful, like flowers and sky backgrounds, the well-drawn humans just had Mannerist bodies, and it was hard not to notice.

But I will give the author some credit. A lot of the stories did end up being well fleshed-out.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
For instance, Park's ex's story was pretty interesting, and her inner mologue actually made sense to me. And Sooyeon's ex's and his new girlfriend's characters were also actually normal and interesting.
The drawing, while inconsistent and at times unrealistic, was really professional, though a little lacking and half-hearted in the beginning. Understand that when I saw that the drawing wasn't great, it's still infinte light years ahead of a lot manga I've seen. Also, I could feel that the author was trying to place more maturity in her characters near the very end, and I appreciate some of the choices they made to change themselves. Plus, I did laugh a couple times when reading it.

TL;DR: Romantic Marbling is nothing special. In the beginning, it had some spark and had a "spunky" protagonist, but later, it just falls into shoujo traps. The art is not fantastic despite having a little bit of promise, the message is overall way too "try-hard", the characters were terribly annoying, and the development was very, very poor. However, it did have some mature moments and overall really nicely-crafted monologues, but the majority of the time, it fell flat on its purpose. Therefore, 3/10.

... Last updated on March 24th, 2019, 12:53am
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Better than I expected  
by ohkimch
June 1st, 2018, 9:40pm
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
I expected this series to be trash after I read the first few chapters. After all, I'm not fond of idiot protagonists who lack self awareness & critical thinking skills, and I dislike stale, sexist kdrama & shoujo tropes. Manhandling, kabedons, a**hole flower boys, rude love interests, "evil" Miss Perfect rival, hot-tempered/dense/naive/painfully average/clumsy heroines...? No thanks.

What saved this series for me was the surprising self reflection that came in later chapters, the unexpectedly genre-savvy trope subversions, and the greyness of it all (in terms of who was in the right/wrong).

With the help of other characters who were honest/blunt about her mistakes/character flaws, the heroine acknowledges her failings, struggles to move past them, and do better. She proves to be much less naive and dense than I'd feared, though still clumsy/avg/hot-tempered.
The male lead wasn't as much of an arrogant jacka** as I had initially pegged him as, and he was much more honest about his emotions than I had expected someone of his stereotypical profile to be. The "bad guys" or the antagonists (the ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend) were portrayed in an unexpectedly mature way as the story progressed, with no sugarcoating or excessive demonizing. Yes, they made terrible mistakes, and yes, they were selfish. But they had depth, and they were capable of recognizing their flaws.

Still wouldn't call this an Excellent story, but it's not bad.
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Bad personality that atracts everyone  
by Shimma
July 27th, 2017, 9:33pm
Rating: N/A
I accept it. I love that thing that most people say they hate: cliche plots. But what I actually love is when an author use a cliche but the story is so well done, so unique, or the characters are so intersting by themself, that you cannot but praise the execution.

Sadly, this isn't one of those cases. What this actually has: a special snowflake as main character, that doesn't want to change, that's too annoying, too stuborn, with a bad personality; an ex boyfriend who seems like a total idiot but he might have his reasons; a blonde guy that we all know he's going to fall for her, and I don't get why...

Despite my complains, its one of those storys that Im going to read while I wait my series. So, yes, I recommend it when you can't find something better. Give it a try.

... Last updated on July 27th, 2017, 9:34pm
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