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Love in the Mask  
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From Tinte:
Suh Hyun-bin grew up under the cruel hand of street gangsters, but after her little brother dies, Hyun-bin runs away and is taken in by a rich family to be trained to become a bodyguard. However, she must hide that she is female, and pose as a man. And so, for eight years, she grows up as a cold, male, bodyguard. It looks like she'll be this way forever--until a fateful encounter with Lee Yun-ha shakes her very foundations, and leaves her conflicting with herself, as her feelings of love clash against her feelings of duty.


Related Series

Associated Names
الحب في القناع
가면속의 사랑
Mặt nạ tình yêu

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.32 c.131-134 (end) by Lila Wolves over 6 years ago
v.31 c.127-130 by Lila Wolves over 6 years ago
v.30 c.126 by Tinte & Lila Wolves over 6 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
32 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 7.6 / 10.0 (507 votes)
Bayesian Average: 7.54 / 10.0
 28% (140 votes)
 15% (77 votes)
 15% (75 votes)
 17% (87 votes)
 9% (45 votes)
 5% (26 votes)
 3% (15 votes)
 2% (11 votes)
 1% (5 votes)
 5% (26 votes)

Last Updated
May 25th 2015, 11:21am PST



Category Recommendations





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Licensed (in English)

English Publisher

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #683 increased(+119)
Monthly Pos #1099 increased(+317)
3 Month Pos #1725 increased(+111)
6 Month Pos #1952 increased(+30)

List Stats
On 853 reading lists
On 462 wish lists
On 1148 completed lists
On 107 unfinished lists
On 303 custom lists

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Forum Posts
Love in the Mask Ch. 87. over 4 years ago
Love in the mask. Ch. 87 over 4 years ago
ch86 over 7 years ago
Hyun Bin as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (1st time as girl) over 7 years ago

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User Comments [ Order by time added ]

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Is Love in the Mask Good or Bad?   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by ChadaseXP
April 10th, 2011, 3:09pm
This is the whole reason I took the time out to make an account here... Why all these bad reviews about Love in the Mask?? O_O

LET ME TELL YOU WHAT ITS REALLY LIKE (i'll try not to be too biased....)

First, I love how it's different from other Shoujo, where the girl only has half a brain and as soon as she falls in love decides to dump everything and act like a reatard. Hyun-bin is the strong kind of girl I like, she does get softer over time though. recently I was kind of shocked like,, "IS THAT REALLY HYUN-BIN??" But its just one of the ups and downs of her life.
She gets stronger, then gets to a weak point, but remains her dignity, I like that. (then strong again and continues like that)

Most of the characters are really good, and make sense, and I like the art for the most part, I've seen way worst.

Plus the fight seens are pretty good for a manhwa (when comparing them to a manga that focusing on fight you kind of are taken aback, but, you get used to it)


Okay, in this manhwa as youre reading you can really connect to the characters, and get a feel for what there like, which you really never get too much character development in mangas usually. So I like how EVERY character gets a background in this.

Now the bad news....
It's good, but you will hate some characters right off the bat, like.. You're just WAITING for there downfall the whole time! DX And um... Sometimes.. They use the same lines too much, you get that its hard for them to get over, so you pity the characters but still. And the only other bad thing I can think of was

Spoiler (highlight to view)
There is a random time skip, and some of the characters look different after it, so it was confusing...

and LEE YUN-HA!!!
He can recognize Hyun-Bin dressed in girls clothes while wearing a mask yet he cant recognize her when she's in a car FOLLOWING HIM WITH A HAT BARELY OVER HER EYES?!?!

EVEN WORSE RIGHT AFTER (same day, same time!!) THAT HE COULD TELL SHE WAS THERE BECAUSE OF HER "SMELL" YET CANT TELL THAT IT WAS HER WHO WROTE "i love you, oppa!" Cmon, shouldnt he at LEAST know her writing??
Even I know my FRIENDS AND FAMILIES writing, even some ex-bf's I can recognize there writing!!

Yup.. SO yeah... It's a really good story that draws you in!! And pull you to the end of your seat wondering whats gonna happen next, a few flaws, but all manhwa have them.. (it kinda slow sometimes but) All and all...

IF YOU DONT READ IT YOU WILL REGRET IT!!! (honestly, I should have said more good things, but there are so many I woudl have ran out of room)
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BL masquerading as Gender-Bender   
Rating: 5.0 / 10.0
by MangaGhost
March 13th, 2011, 4:23pm
Starts with some pretty good ideas. A tragic childhood, a strong but powerless character, hiding ones true nature, gangsters, blood-feuds, etc. The beginning really hooks you and and at first its a bit addicting. Hyun-bin, the main lead is an interesting and sympathetic character, placed in very difficult and challenging situations.

However, all this good stuff gets killed midway thru with over the top melodrama. It just becomes too much with the main leads pining after one another page after page. The author needed to show a little restraint and unfortunately didn't.

Another thing is that this is really a Yaoi/Boys Love manga masquerading as a gender-bender. Notice that we almost never see Hyun-bin dressed as a female. In 100 chapters we only see her
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
3 times
briefly feminine in looks and action.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
The first is a gender-bender play where she is Juliet (Romeo and Juliet), and 2 other times when she is forced to wear women's clothing at a guy's house who knows her secret.
She is mainly limited to being feminine with her emotions and often its in her head not on display as much as other girls in the series. Basically 99% of the time Hyun-bin looks and acts like a slightly effeminate guy, who is desired by a whole menagerie of pretty boys. This is pretty smart by the author (intentional or not) as it ropes in different audiences from those who like their syrupy romances, those who like gender-benders, those who like boys love, etc. However its not sustainable, as this has gone on for a very long time and starts to become unrealistic. There are a few times when Hyun-bin could reveal that she is a girl to those important to her and where its kind of obvious that she is a girl, but no one of course recognizes it. If the author where to fully reveal it then it wouldn't be pseudo-boys love anymore. All of this becomes annoying, distracting and too unrealistic.

The final thing is the art which I overlooked at first because the story started off pretty well. As others have mentioned it suffers from the "everyone looks the same except for the hair" syndrome. Yea, and old guys are characters with young faces but have mustaches or beards, which is supposed to make them look old. It gets worse, as there is supposed to be a fair amount of action with rival gangs fighting one another all the time. However, the artist cannot draw a fight scene to save their lives. Its pretty awful, almost comical in how bad the fight scenes are drawn. Most artists get better as the series goes on and they get experience, but I have only been able to detect the most minimal of improvements here.

This series for all its good points has some serious flaws that make it hard to recommend. It is now heading into the final volumes, I doubt that the art will improve which is a shame cause it would remove a serious stumbling block. However, how the author wraps everything up story wise will determine my final score at the end. For now its a 7 maybe if it finishes well it will move up to 7.5, a 10 it is not no matter how good the ending and a 1 or 2 is too unfair imho.

Update: After reading another 15-20 chpts, the story and art actually got worse! Words cannot express how frustrating this series has become. Its kinda hard to drop after putting so much time into it, but its really difficult to keep reading too. The few good ideas it had early on are no longer enough to save it from the garbage it has turned into. So, now I'm dropping it to a 5 and I'm in doubt if I'm going to continue.

... Last updated on October 13th, 2011, 9:47am
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It's awesome   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by sailorliones
July 27th, 2010, 7:47pm
I strongly recommend this manhwa, and was quite shocked when read some reviews that completely bashed it. I take it that's it's one that you either love or hate. Personally, I love it. Why?

Even though the art is not the best, it works. I've found that although I prefer the art to be my way, a good story has its own art that I need to adjust to... not the other way around. I read good stories with bad art, but not bad stories with good art.

The conversations sometimes are rushed, and some of the actions are a bit unrealistic... I may be a dreamer, but I don't pay much attention to detail. I see the actions and the meaning behind them... if a shirt is ripped or not... who cares? It's about the emotion and the character development.

The reason why I may like this so much is because it's relate-able... I understand how it feels to not be who you are in more than a peer pressure sort of way... Of wanting to be yourself, but at the same time unable to do so. It's the kind of thing where you have to be in a situation like that or similar to understand the feelings... being outside of the situation you're able to think too clearly.

And the manga isn't moving too fast. Yes, thoughts are spoken very clearly with no vagueness about them or VERY long sentences, but that's what makes it good. You know exactly what a character is feeling without having to read too much or think too much. I sometimes get bored reading the text of other mangas which kills some of the emotion I feel for it.

And while I cannot stand Mi Ri's manhwas, Yu-Rang's are bearable. All the time I wonder why Hyun Bin's charge likes Yae Ha... but sometimes you just like someone who doesn't like you... but I still don't get it. However with Hyun Bin... I get it.

I strongly recommend this one and just finished c40.

... Last updated on August 31st, 2010, 6:32pm
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Rating: 9.8 / 10.0
by purfect_kutie64
June 28th, 2010, 4:22pm
so at first, i was all lovey dovey with this series. big dissapointment. i'm not a huge fan of the chapters after around the 75th chapter or so. i didn't like how the story was all centered around the gang of a company and its activites. it pisses me off when i think that such a good beginning is now crap sad ... i'm going to finish reading the series though--- just cause i hate not finishing.

... Last updated on September 5th, 2011, 9:13pm
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Surprisingly good   
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by AnimeMusicLuv
January 27th, 2011, 5:44pm
I've never been a fan of Korean manhwa, but this story sure makes me want to keep on reading.
The art is not wow factor, and sometimes i just laugh at how ridiculous the face expressions are,and well, everything is never perfect. But the plot makes up for it, its very romantic and it gets under your skin, some characters are just plain annoying, but eh, its a good plot and It's interesting enough to make you want to keep on reading regarding how the character is going to end up, because there is a lot going on.
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Abuse is love   
Rating: N/A
by Mionime
July 25th, 2010, 9:45pm
When I first started this series I was excited for it. With the first part of the story explaining in some what full dept on the circumstances of the main character this gender bender seemed to have potential, even if I thought that the younger brother was the girl for some time. But as I read on, I started to think otherwise....

Spoiler (highlight to view)
The first part that I did not really like was the fight between the main guy and girl. I mean, she had YEARS of training! The main guy didnt seem to be the fighter type before the 'incident' so it looked to me like he only had 1 year's worth of training to fight. So why the hell did she lose? Basically what this is telling me is that I can go up against jet li and kick his ass without getting hit at all. The second thing I didnt like was the 'love abuse' he gave to her. Hit a person with a fucking bat one moment and blush and ask them if their okay the next and what does the girl do? Nothing! She doesnt care! She still likes him! Its been a couple of times that he's done things like this and she only responds by liking him regardless. I put this manga on hold because of things like this. I just cant get into it anymore...

I do not recommend.

... Last updated on July 25th, 2010, 9:48pm
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Rating: 3.0 / 10.0
by dreamer00013
November 17th, 2009, 4:13am
it's actually very good and has a lot of potential! Art is really pretty and the characters very nice.
Highly reccomended.....I'm curious how this series will go on!

PS: I would rather give 9 points instead of 10, but I gotta push this a little so people will see and read it..... then we all get more of "Love in the Mask" and everyone is happy

Edit: yeah, we see again the perfect example of a story that begins good, but ends bad. I've made the comment a long time ago, when the first chapter just got out. Now thirdteen chapters are out and they make me shake my head already. It's very VERY unrealistic - or have you ever seen a guy tied to a RACING motorcycle whose shirt was pretty much undamaged after ten whole minutes? Just for your information, in less than a minute not only your shirt would be off.... Art already lost its charm and characters got unrealistic. You can't relate to them in any way, it's just another stupid (Hwang-Ma-Ri/Han-Yu-Rang)Manhwa that makes you feel annoyed. What differs Han Yu Rangas Manhwas from Hwang Ma Ris ones is the simple fact that our characters differ from story to story. (Hwang Ma Ris characters are ALWAYS the same -_-)

Another annoying fact: Scanlation team Tinte has to deal with very critical comments like "This is crap, why translate it" or "What a horrible manhwa". Please, if you tend to do such stuff, avoid this manhwa!! They are the ones doing the work, right? If you don't like it, don't read it.
If you hate it, write here a comment why.

... Last updated on June 15th, 2010, 5:49am
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Do yourself a favour and don't waste your time   
Rating: 2.0 / 10.0
by kichiX
November 21st, 2011, 1:00pm
I admit it: I got totally caught up at the beginning. That feeling dragged me through all of the scans that were out without complaint - I loved it, I wanted more. Then, as the scans came out one by one I gradually lost interest. I reread the beginning and found it to be totally unrealistic and stupid. The premise was good, but this story was ruined by the characters and the cliches.
The girl (whatever her name was, the one Hyun-bin was protecting) started out as though she was actually a semi-decent human being, but all that stopped when she fell in love with Yun-ha. She cried, she was spoiled and the worst thing was her pseudo-apologises after which she repeated the very thing she was apologising for. The love between Hyun-bin and Yun-had was totally over the top and would never happen in real life. The evil girl (the one with the black hair)'s parents were totally unrealistic.
The ending was confusing. There were massive time skips and things were very rushed. I will say that I did like the very last pages where they showed what happened after the happy ending.
There was no character development and basically no plot. Do not waste your time.
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HMR is a freakin' machine!   
Rating: N/A
by zengoats
October 12th, 2010, 9:48pm
I've been plowing through her work for a while now and geez. All of her completed manhwa are 30-ish volumes! Anyways, that's irrelevant. Back to Love in the Mask.
I can't help but love Love in the Mask. This is mostly because of the main character, Hyun Bin. Hyun Bin is a girl who must masquerade as a boy to live as a body guard. But then she falls in love. Oh no!
It's the typical gender bender, K-drama premise. The girl has to be a guy. The lead guy has a troubled death-filled past. Someone's in a coma. There's a mean girl. There's an innocent girl. There's the best friend of the troubled male lead. There are good guys. There are bad guys. Typical K-drama meets gender bender shoujo.
But Hyun Bin makes it special. She doesn't break easily, and she lives to live. There's something admirable about that. Despite the fact that she's very different from the average girl (making it difficult to relate to her), her situation (being forced to be someone you're not and falling in love with someone you shouldn't fall in love with) is so familiar, that it's hard to not sympathize with her. The only thing I have against her is that her undying love for Yun-ha can make her sound pretty angsty.
Hyun Bin aside, the rest of the characters are pretty mediocre. The plot tends to deviate from the original volume, but it's a welcomed change. And YES, some times the plot is unbelievable, and YES, the plot is cliche. It's shoujo manhwa. Logic doesn't need to apply here. The art's sloppy (especially with anatomy and perspective), but that's normal for HMR. Overall, I'd say that this is one of the less comedic HMR manhwa that I've read, but it's also one of the most genuine HMR manhwa that I've read.

... Last updated on October 12th, 2010, 9:51pm
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Sigh... please stop the high ratings   
Rating: 3.0 / 10.0
by Joentjuh
August 12th, 2010, 12:52am
I'm going to be harsh... This manhwa is utter crap. I have developed a general dislike for korean manga over the years, yet this one manages to top it. I don't understand why South Korea can manage to make such good television (especially story wise), yet manage to have this low a level of manga. Most I encounter seem to be either about (school) gangs or epic fantasy stories, both are always way over the top.

Pretty much every character in the manhwa is an annoying brat with a superiority (or inferiority) complex and most actions are pushed to the extremes.
I understand this manhwa is all about gangs, tragic pasts and the whole 'coming of age in a harsh world' thing. I think here in lies my failure to relate, I live in a fairly rich western country, never had a 'violent' school life and there aren't any gangs or the like in the neighbourhood. Also we have a things called police and detention facilities here, they tend to stop this kind of behaviour.
Even then, personal background should be irrelevant when reading, this is what distinguishes the good from the bad writers.

Storywise this manhwa is lacking, a number of decisions are made that just make no sense, everyone is constantly lashing out at each other for no apparent reason (other then unnecessary or undue resentment), romance is portrayed not as love but as obsession to the point of annoying.
Also it's lacking any real progress or feeling of destination. It needn't be realistic, but at least make it believable (logical) within the set parameters of the created universe and offer explanations to how things work in said universe.
I've said this before in other reviews, but using a tragic past as an excuse for undue resentment or (extreme) violent behaviour is a bad tool to use as a writer... Rich (parents) and a tragic past is even worse. Surprisingly, in the first few chapters a pretty good scenario is sketched to be used for the 'tragic past' excuse... Yet for some reason the writer decided to not use it.

I've lasted till chapter 40 and am under the impression that the only reason Hyun-bin is dressed as a guy is to create some situations for blackmail further on in the manhwa... At least give some believable reasons (like needing to hide from the gangsters).

That said, even I thought after the first few chapters that it had a lot of potential and would probably be a rather good story to read, sadly I was mistaken. I most definitely do not belong to the targeted audience.
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