I finished reading this manhwa just the other day, and I feel compelled to offer my thoughts on it. However unsolicited my own perspective upon this work may be, I will nevertheless continue to divulge upon this work in the hopes that it might appeal to other people who happen to give what I write the time of day. If what I write here encourages merely one person to read Summertime for Blossom, if it only helps one person see something about this webtoon in a different perspective, then I will take it that I have accomplished what I have set out to accomplish. I honestly feel that Springtime for Blossom is worthy of that much.
Though I have not really looked into the details surrounding it that much, I am aware that there are some distinct differences between the original and English versions of this webtoon. One of, if not the most blatant differences between the two releases is in the heroine’s (the titular female MC). Judging from the thumbnail on AniList alone, one comes to the conclusion that she is a brunette — a dark haired beauty. In the English version though, her hair is blonde. Not sure how relevant this discrepancy is, but it is one of the first things that caught my attention when I started reading this. Given the fact that I noticed the manhwa’s listing before actually reading it, I unironically felt that somewhere along the way that Blossom’s hair color would change. Let it be known to anyone under this impression that it is not the case at all.
In addition to this aforementioned discrepancy, there are other differences as well. Though I would say that these differences are nothing that falls within the realms of the unexpected. Having some creative/contextual variations is not exactly uncommon when it comes to discerning one’s own target audience. Forms of media and entertainment do not always translate well across different cultures, especially without some form of altercation(s). I’d say this is undeniably the reason for such differences that are found within the chapters of Springtime for Blossom and 봄이 왔다. In no way, shape, or form do they detract from the story. There is no lack of impact as a result of these minuscule differences between the original and English release.
Despite how short-lived this manhwa is/was, it has the potential to leave a long-lasting effect upon its audience. Like with any type of consumable media, there it is almost a necessity for those who consume it to possess some sort of fondness for the type/genre that it represents. What I mean to say is that Springtime for Blossom will be enjoyed by those who enjoy the manhwa’s categorical imperative. One would be right in asking what type of manhwa is Springtime for Blossom? I could take the easy way out and just say that this is just another rom-com, but that wouldn’t really be fair. To me, this story stands out from the stereotypical mold; this is in thanks to the actions, drives, and motivation of the ensemble cast of characters.
This webtoon opens up in a way that is not so special. If there is a protagonist for this story, it would be Matthew. Granted that this is the case, I standby the fact that there is a bit of an ensemble dynamic when it comes to the characters involved within this story — namely Matthew, Blossom, and Sam. Matthew is the stereotypical nerdy high school kid; through the first arc of the manhwa, the reader follows him throughout the story’s exposition. When the reader is first introduced to Matthew, he is seen in a predictable-ish whimsical mood as he fantasizes about having a girlfriend. He gets down on himself, recognizing how the girls around him treat him in comparison to the rest of his peers. This is the state of being this MC finds himself in, prior to a unanticipated happening which is the catalyst for the entire story.
Not long after some of his borderline fits of self-pity, Matthew is approached by one of [if not] the most beautiful girls in school. She asks if he lives alone, which he does due to his parents living out of town in Seoul for work. Matthew, blushing, tells her that he does indeed live alone. Out of nowhere, Blossom bluntly asks if she can stay at his place for the night. Knowing that he would be an idiot to pass up this opportunity, he tells her yes. This interaction, and the result of it, is the planting and fermenting of a seed that blooms and becomes the source of conflict within this entire manhwa.
What made this story so good for me is the believability of the character’s decisions. There is no shortage of melodrama in it, but there are legitimately accurate depictions of how people respond to the daily quarrels we experience within the mundane realm of everyday life. The way that Matthew handles different obstacles, ones that arise due to his befriending Blossom, is probably one of the better ways to go about handling them. Though he is a teenager driven by particular hormones, he makes calculated decisions that are the result of both his upbringing and his natural genuine kindness. This pours over and is reflected in the way that other characters deal with him throughout the story.
Athletic, handsome, strong, etc.; whatever is considered “the works” and/or everything that is the opposite of Matthew — that’s what Sam is. The character of Sam is a dynamic force within this story. He is one of those guys that everyone loves and is naturally drawn to, yet he walks to the beat of his own drum. Sam is not someone who tends to seek the approval of others, yet he nevertheless finds it regardless of where he goes and whatever he does. His existence within the narrative makes it all tighter overall. His relevance cannot be overstated, as he appears in basically every higher-tension scene. Considering his background, this makes perfect sense. As the readers progress through the story, his history as Matthew’s best friend becomes all the more relevant as the concern for Matthew — and Blossom, later on — become one of the most important components of the story. This is a genuine portrayal of the feelings that pervade one during adolescence, while also showing the difficulties of navigating them.
The art may not be something to call home about, but it has a particular piquant quality about it. My fondness for it developed and grew over the course of reading these 34 chapters. If one isn’t used to reading webtoons, then it may be something that will take some time to get used to. I know that this was the case for me, but that feeling subsided after the first few chapters or so. This is something to keep in mind, for anyone that tends to be anal about the art in regards to whatever it is that they read.
I am not going to claim that this Springtime for Blossom is somehow unique, at least on the surface level. There are plenty of similar works out there that I could stumble upon and even encounter a similar level of satisfaction as a result of reading it. Granted, I feel that this is worth being recognized because it really just does what it does very well. Yes, it may not be unique in terms of the subjects that it deals with, but it combines its typical drama and romcom elements in an almost ideal blended way that demonstrates a talent for compelling storytelling.
What I love about this manhwa is that it never, ever tries to be something that it is not. Like Blossom, Matthew, and Sam; Springtime for Blossom is a work that knows what it is (or at least has an idea of who/what it wants to be) and simply never compromises. Regardless of outside opinion, it stays true to itself up until the very end. In the same vein, it does not try to extend beyond that which it can manage — judging by its timely ending.
A perfect blend of feel-good butterflies and hand-clenching tension. This was so easy for me to pick up and not stop reading. I highly recommend this to anyone who has a soft spot for romance and also anyone who’d like to check out something that will at least stand out from the common mold.
Shoutout to anyone that read this. Going to try to start writing more often. I know I say this all the time, but I do intend on doing it. Hoping that I can live up to that. Anyways…
Thanks for reading.