The Fandom Post

Anime, Movies, Comics, Entertainment & More

A Business Proposal Vol. #01 Manhwa Review

4 min read

An overworked office worker gets bribed to impersonate her friend for a blind date–only to discover her date’s the head of her company!

Creative Staff
Original Story/Art: Haehwa /Perilla
Translation: Tapas Entertainment

What They Say
A PROPOSAL OF A LIFETIME Hari Shin has officially hit rock bottom. After being worked to the bone at her office job, meeting her long time crush’s girlfriend, and helping to pay off her family’s debt, she’s 0 for 3 with work, love, and money. Luckily, her friend Youngseo has a business proposal for her: go on an arranged date in her stead, and Hari will receive a hefty compensation. Things grow complicated, however, when the other party turns out to be her new CEO―and he’s got a proposal of his own!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Hari Shin’s overworked, drowning in debt, and friend-zoned by her longtime crush. So when her heiress friend Youngseo offers her cash to impersonate her for an arranged date and scare the guy off with a femme fatale act, Hari agrees. But things take a turn when the blind date turns out to be Hari’s new CEO. Worse, Hari’s efforts to drive him off result in a marriage proposal! What kind of pervert is he?

I was five pages into this manhwa adaption of a web novel and thought, “This is totally the set up for a contemporary K-drama series.” And as it turns out, A Business Proposal was adapted into a 2022 K-drama (available on Netflix). I haven’t seen the TV series, so I can’t make comparisons between the manhwa and the live-action adaption. However, the manhwa has many classic K-drama romance elements. The male lead, Taemu Kang, has gorgeous looks, an amazing body, wealth, and all the power and arrogance that comes with being the successful CEO of an international company. A company that just happens to be the employer of drowning-in-debt office drone Hari Shin. Her parents’ restaurant has gone deep into the red. To pay the rent, Hari’s taken a loan from her company, which has essentially turned her into a corporate indentured servant. So while Hari is college educated and her family debt doesn’t involve gambling losses or loan sharks, she falls into the category of financially-strapped heroine to offset our rich male lead.

Actually, the inciting incident portrays Hari more along the lines of poor normie getting caught up in the problems of rich people. One of the less typical aspects of this series is that Youngseo, the best friend of broke Hari, is filthy rich. As the heiress to a company, Youngseo’s situation is similar to Taemu’s in that they have comparable social status and are under pressure to meet potential spouses and get married already. And both view the matchmaking meetings arranged by their families as a waste of time. However, while Youngseo schemes to get out of yet another meeting by dressing up her friend to send as a substitute, Taemu decides to cut things short by simply marrying his first blind date, whoever she is.

That in essence is one of Taemu’s unique quirks. He’s stubborn about sticking to his word, no matter what new information might arise. At times, this quality runs counter to his other quirk: he hates having his time wasted. As Youngseo points out, if a quick marriage is his goal, it would be a lot more efficient for him to find someone willing rather than continue pursuing someone who’s turned him down. However, his third unique quirk is what has Hari terrified: he despises liars. Taemu’s notorious for firing employees for lying, and when Hari discovers that the suitor she’s trying to fool is him, she realizes her job is at risk.

At times, the details maintaining the story premise get a bit shaky. There’s one point where Hari could have easily shaken Taemu off for good, but she conveniently falls asleep (in a café no less!) during the 20 minute window she had to escape. That aside, the stakes of love and money (especially once Youngseo falls for Taemu’s head secretary) keep this an engaging and fluffy comedy of sham identities and misinterpreted intentions.

By the way, the artwork is great at projecting the mood, whether comic, frantic, or sizzling. Illustrations are rendered in full color on glossy paper, which makes for a nice looking but hefty book.

In Summary:
Do you like workplace K-drama rom-coms? Then you might enjoy the impersonation hijinks of A Business Proposal. The premise gets a bit shaky at times, but the series is meant to be a fun, silly romp with lots of eye candy, so it works.

Content Grade: B
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: A-

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: May 23rd, 2023
MSRP: $18.00