Updated: Sep 4
“A comic about getting yourself a boyfriend… or multiple boyfriends! Four college students begin a polyamorous relationship and navigate the adventure that is their dating life!” “Boyfriends” by Ray Pratiwi, or refrainbow as they are more commonly known, is one of Webtoons top rated romance and slice of life comics. If the aesthetic pastel art style doesn’t draw you in, the fun characters and their adorable antics will!
The romantic leads of this comic are based around teen archetypes, with the 4 main characters literally being named Jock, Nerd, Prep and Goth. However, these archetypes are introduced in new ways and turned on their heads. For example, rather than having Nerd be socially anxious as his character would be in a typical romcom, he is a confidant heartthrob that sweeps his boyfriends off of their feet. Jock rather than being cool and romantically experienced, is easily flustered and silly with his boyfriends. Prep instead of being posh or bratty is adorably clumsy and clueless to how popular he is. Goth rather than being depressing or deadpan is actually playful, flirtatious and smooth with his boyfriends. These characters break the archetypes they are based on and become much more interesting characters to read about.
Boyfriends does an incredible job at deconstructing heteronormativity and normalizing a healthy polyamorous relationship. The boys often have open discussions with one another about how they are feeling, or if they are insecure about something and work together to reach an outcome they are all happy with. They help each other study when one of them is stressed, shower each other with love and affection, and overall portray an extremely healthy relationship. Refrainbow also doesn’t skip out on giving these boys all of the cliché romcom moments they deserve. From the meet cutes to the kiss on top of the Ferris wheel, this comic proves that LGBTQ+ romances can be just as fun and adorable as the straight ones.
At the end of the day, what makes Boyfriends so wonderful is how carefree and fun it is. It isn’t restricted by any societal standards or ways of life; it’s just an adorable group of boys falling in love.