Killing Stalking is a manhwa written and illustrated by Koogi. It’s a very very chaotic story about a killer and a stalker and how messed up they become together.
Just putting it in the category of normal Boys love or yaoi will be a waste to such a masterpiece. The manhwa shows the deepest darkest human’s fears, insecurities, insanity, and madness.
A killer and a stalker.
So, the story of Killing Stalking progresses with Yoonbum stalking his love interest Sangwoo and entering his home only to find out the charming and empathic Sangwoo is actually a brutal and sadistic serial killer.
Moreover, After Yoonbum trespasses, Sangwoo takes him as a hostage. He abuses Yoonbum and makes him his crime accomplice.
In addition, Yoonbum suffers from borderline personality disorder. Yoonbum’s love intrigues Sangwoo and they begin to develop a very very unique and messed up relation.
Sangwoo and Yoonbum are two totally different characters but they start to resemble a personal acquaintance. To them, they’re the only ones for each other. Sangwoo and Yoonbum both are orphans with a tragic past and with no place to return to.
What’s more, their relationship is a way to hide their loneliness, fears, and insecurities. Sangwoo is so messed up to the point, gender doesn’t matter to him. Yoonbum becomes just someone with whom he can relive his past. After all, Sangwoo doesn’t have any future at all after taking so many innocent lives.
The only time yoonbum feels happy is with Sangwoo. Also, the only time he suffers most is with Sangwoo. They get into so much twisted relation that they become the only two who can hurt, comfort and forgive each other.
This psychological horror manhwa hooks us up with the suspense of whether Yoonbum will escape first or Sangwoo will kill Yoonbum first.
Killing someone without killing them.
The story is very amazing and the storytelling is beautiful too but what is eye-catching or what overall summarizes the whole manhwa in a sentence was a line by Sangwoo’s mother, Eunseo. Before raping Sangwoo, she asks Sangwoo, “how do we kill someone without killing them?”
At first, it just seems like a simple question since Eunseo’s trying to get rid of Sangwoo. But this is a very intriguing question.
Killing someone without killing it can mean, killing the whole being they are but only mentally and emotionally. Breaking them to the point, they become someone else and killing the person they used to be.
As a child, Sangwoo is honest, innocent and very sweet just like a normal child but that Sangwoo is killed. He is killed by fears, insecurity, and betrayals given by his manipulative mother. Eunseo is a catalyst in Sangwoo’s life. She instills Sangwoo as the killer.
First, Eunseo rapes Sangwoo and then acts suicide showing Sangwoo as a killer. The day his hands killed his mom, he too died with her. His innocence dies and he is no more the same person he was before. He is a psychopath serial killer now.
Similarly, Yoonbum too never returns the same as he entered. He kills a girl with the help of Sangwoo and thus his only pure side dies too.
A painful death
Sangwoo always fears the words his mom said before dying. She says, ” you will die the most painful death” to Sangwoo and those words always haunt him and make him paranoid.
Indeed Sangwoo’s death is a very painful one. He is first burned alive and then a mentally ill old woman suffocates him with a pillow.
On the contrary, we can consider his death as a poetic justice as Sangwoo always kills random women because he believes they deserve to die, and then Sangwoo becomes that, a random person who another believes deserves to die.
On the other hand, what makes his death painful was, him dying with no one by his side. He doesn’t even get a grave. He just turns into nothing.
Not to mention later Yoonbum takes Sangwoo’s remains and spills in the house where all the murders took place.
All his life, Sangwoo never feels happiness, he was trapped in the past. But, He couldn’t get freedom till the last. The person whom he caged once, now caged him eternally in that house.
The open ending is tragic too. Yoonbum after knowing Sangwoo’s death hallucinates and begins to run towards someone whom he sees as Sangwoo.
It’s left upon the viewer to decide whether Yoonbum dies, gets charged, becomes free or starts killing like Sangwoo, or becomes a good person. The open ending is representative of the fact that Yoonbum is morally grey and the fact that it is very hard to say what he deserves; freedom or punishment.
To put it simply, Killing Stalking is a circular kind of manhwa. It ends just like how it began, with Yoonbum chasing after Sangwoo.
Maybe Yoonbum also chased Sangwoo to the death since they had made a promise to die together which is beautiful yet tragic.
Overall, Killing Stalking is a terrifyingly tragic yet beautiful comic. The manhwa overall questions our morals as we begin to love and pity a serial killer and wish for him to have a happy life.