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Webcomic / Dreaming Freedom

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Dreaming Freedom is a Korean Webtoon created by 2L. It follows Jeongmin, a high school girl being ruthlessly bullied by Juhyeon, the Queen Bee of her class. The two girls used to be friends as children, until Juhyeon became possessive and wanted Jeongmin to only be friends with her, and their friendship fell apart. Still feeling betrayed years later, Juhyeon takes advantage of their ending up in the same class to isolate Jeongmin from her fellow classmates.

Jeongmin begins to lucid dream in an attempt to escape the misery of her life. But one night, she meets a mysterious man in her dreams, who offers to help her get revenge on her classmates.

Dreaming Freedom can be found here.

Dreaming Freedom provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Jeongmin's father is physically abusive to both her and her mother, and has been since she was a child.
    • Siyun's parents were neglectful, to the point that he says that Jeongmin's hug is the first time he's ever been hugged.
  • Adults Are Useless: No teachers bother trying to help Jeongmin with her bullying, Siyun’s manager is a jerk, and even Jeongmin’s mother, while sympathetic due to her abuse, is not helpful as Jeongmin doesn’t tell her anything.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Siyun sometimes calls Jeongmin “Jeongminnie”. She doesn’t like it much.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Ultimately, Jeongmin and Siyun in comparison to Juhyeon. While Juhyeon is a relentless, cruel bully who manipulates others with ease, neither of the two leads are entirely good either, with Jeongmin blackmailing Sora and Siyun having violent tendencies.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Jeongmin likes Jaehyeok, who likes Juhyeon, who fixates unhealthily on Jeongmin. Subverted when Jeongmin and Siyun actually started dating. But it still applies to Jaehyeok, who had no chance with either Juhyeon or Jeongmin
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Juhyeon's preferred way of bullying Jeongmin is to make her feel isolated from her peers.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Jeongmin acts like this, in no small part to Juhyeon and her classmates' bullying of her.
  • Alpha Bitch: Juhyeon fits this to a T. She's beautiful, the most popular girl in the class, and she relentlessly bullies Jeongmin by spreading rumors and making nasty comments about her.
  • Anti-Hero: Both Jeongmin and Siyun are this. While Jeongmin getting revenge on Juhyeon and her classmates is understandable, this leads to her blackmailing a girl into being on her side and to an extent, condoning Siyun's methods. Siyun himself has a history of violence through the dreams, and stabs Juhyeon non-fatally.
  • Art Evolution: The art at the beginning was incredibly detailed and rendered, but almost too much; it made every character look somewhat unhinged and off. The art style becomes more streamlined and stylized, but this actually works in its favor.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The series begins with it looking like Jeongmin is the one cruelly bullying Juhyeon, before revealing that this was a lucid dream of hers, and in reality, their roles are reversed.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Jeongmin falls in love with Jayheok because he was one of the first people in her life to be kind and a good friend to her, which Juhyeon notices.
    • Siyun also falls in love with Jeongmin because she promised to always stay by his side, even after hearing his backstory that revealed what he did to a few of his former peers.
  • Bloody Handprint: Siyun spreads one on Jeongmin’s face after hurting his hand while beating up Jaehyeok.
  • Broken Ace: Siyun is handsome, smart, and charismatic, becoming the most popular member of his idol group before they debuted. However, his parents’ abuse and later, his idol team members and classmates turning on him left him with severe abandonment issues and a tendency to become overly reliant and desperate for others’ attention.
  • Broken Tears: Jeongmin sheds these when Jaehyeok rebuffs her one last time…in front of Siyun. This does not end well for Jaehyeok.
  • The Bully: Most of Jeongmin’s classmates fit the bill, but particularly Juhyeon (she’s the head bully), Hyejin (at the beginning, she was Juhyeon’s lackey) and Sora (she consistently talks about everyone behind their back)
  • Bullied into Depression: Jeongmin wasn't always as gloomy and angry as she is now; Juhyeon and her classmate's treatment of her has made her into a very bitter, depressed person.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Jeongmin and Juhyeon haven’t seen each other in years, and yet somehow end up not only at the same school, but the same class. Subverted in that it turns out Juhyeon knew someone who knew Jeongmin, and found out what school she was going to go to through him.
  • Crapsack World: Neither Jeongmin or Siyun’s schools were nice places, considering most of the students seem to be complete assholes.
  • Crush Blush: One of the many, many indicators that Siyun is developing feelings for Jeongmin after he wakes up.
  • Curtains Match the Windows: Subverted with Siyun. While he currently has white hair and eyes, it’s shown in a flashback his hair is dyed.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Jeongmin was already jaded, but finding out that Juhyeon had sent two girls to “befriend” her in order to make her slip up makes her give up on finding true friends in general and sets her off on getting revenge.
  • Domestic Abuse: Jeongmin’s father also abuses her mother, making her emotionally unavailable towards her daughter.
  • Dream Sequence: Every lucid dream that Jeongmin and Siyun have is technically this.
  • Dream Walker: Siyun lucid dreamed so much he fell into a coma, and now he walks people's dreams to keep himself entertained.
  • Evil Redhead: Hyejin is the most outwardly and obviously mean of Jeongmin’s bullies.
  • Fake Relationship: After Siyun wakes up, due to his fame, he gets noticed easily when he goes to Jeongmin's school to see her. In an attempt to placate her classmates, Jeongmin tells them that they're dating.
  • False Friend: At one point, Juhyeon tells two girls to befriend Jeongmin in order to backstab her later. Jeongmin finds out and after that swears off friendship.
  • Fanservice: Siyun is seen sometimes without a shirt.
  • The Fashionista: Siyun is a male example, as seen during his and Jeongmin’s shopping date. Justified due to being a former teen idol.
  • Former Friend of Alpha Bitch: Jeongmin and Juhyeon used to be friends back in elementary school, however, Juhyeon’s increasing possessiveness over Jeongmin made her stop being friends with her. Juhyeon still holds a grudge.
  • Friendless Background: Siyun wasn’t really allowed to make friends growing up. This, combined with his parents never showing affection, caused him to develop severe abandonment issues, to the point of becoming overly clingy when he finally does make friends, first with his idol group and later with Jeongmin.
  • Girl of My Dreams: Or boy of my dreams, in this case. Siyun is technically this for Jeongmin, even though it turns out he's a Dream Walker. However, he is also the male lead and likely love interest.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Siyun is shown to be jealous of Jaehyeok, as despite the latter’s cruel treatment of Jeongmin after he started dating Juhyeon, she still has feelings for him. It gets to the point that his beating up Jaehyeok for making Jeongmin cry is almost less about that and more out of jealousy.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Siyun is definitely taller than Jeongmin, as seen in the page image.
  • I Didn't Tell You Because You'd Be Unhappy: Why Siyun didn’t tell Jeongmin that Jaehyeok was dating Juhyeon, leading her to embarrass herself in front of a bunch of her peers by claiming she and Jaehyeok would be dating soon.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Siyun’s problem in a nutshell. Due to his parents’ neglect of him, he desperately craves love and attention from outside sources.
  • Iconic Outfit: Siyun's hospital garb has become associated with him; what fanart there is of the series always has him in it.
  • Kick the Dog: After finding out that Jeongmin has a crush on Jaehyeok, Juhyeon begins dating him and turns him against her.
    • Jayheok himself does this to Jeongmin by believing Juhyeon's words over hers, despite knowing her longer than he has Juhyeon.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Played with with Jeongmin and Juhyeon. Jeongmin wears dark clothes and has black hair, while Juhyeon has white hair and prefers lighter clothes. It’s played with in that Juhyeon is a vicious bully, and while Jeongmin is our protagonist, is a far cry from a saint herself.
  • Loners Are Freaks: The key way Juhyeon bullies Jeongmin; she isolates her from her classmates by saying she used to bully her when they were children.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Siyun likes Jeongmin, who likes Jayheok, who likes Juhyeon, and she’s unhealthily fixated on Jeongmin.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Siyun has begun to subtly manipulate Jeongmin into spending more and more time with him, even in their lucid dreams, with the potential threat of him harming others if she doesn’t.
  • Morality Pet: Jeongmin seems to be becoming one to Siyun, as she was the only thing that kept him from beating Jayheok to a pulp out of jealousy.
  • Mystical White Hair: Played with. While Siyun’s white hair is dyed, he does have some supernatural abilities, namely the ability to astral project.
  • Official Couple: Siyun and Jeongmin
  • Parental Issues: Jeongmin has an emotionally and physically abusive father, Siyun’s parents were only focused on his grades, and Juhyeon’s mother is neglectful.
  • Poor Communication Kills: When Jeongmin asks Siyun to astral project to see who Jaehyeok is texting, Siyun sees he’s dating Juhyeon. However, he doesn’t tell Jeongmin this as he doesn’t want to hurt her feelings, and tells her instead that he was messaging a friend. This leads to Jeongmin embarrassing herself in front of everyone, and in a moment of rage, tells Siyun they never should have met.
  • The Promise: Jeongmin promises Siyun that she’ll be his friend, which kickstarts his descent into becoming a yandere.
  • Romantic Fake–Real Turn: Jeongmin starts to really fall in love with Siyun. When She sees Siyun with one of him old bandmates (he's a boy, but he can't see her face clearly, she thinks he's a girl), she gets jealous and angrily pushes Siyun away. He then kisses Siyun. Siyun is very happy about this and they experience The Big Damn Kiss moment
  • Romantic False Lead: Jaehyeok is the first guy that is nice to Jeongmin, and is also one of her first friends. She quickly develops feelings for him, but then Juhyeon finds out and wins him over. They start dating and he turns against Jeongmin.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Gender-inverted with Jeongmin and Siyun. She's a gloomy, bitter girl who is bullied by her classmates, while he's a very cheerful young man, although that often makes him appear creepier.
  • Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics: Juhyeon isolates Jeongmin from her classmates by spreading rumors, making nasty comments about her, and spreading her private Tweets around the class.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: After Jeongmin and Siyun get together, the problems between them are not resolved. Although their relationship starts off sweet at first, Siyun continues her Yandere actions and Jeongmin ignores it. As the story progresses, their relationship becomes so toxic and destructive that they cannot live without each other. Both of their trust and attachment problems arising from their family problems contribute greatly to this. Siyun realizes this and confronts her family in order to make their relationship healthier and starts going to psychiatry. But this does not mean that he will get better immediately and he needs to try harder for this.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Practically every classmate in Jeongmin's class plays social mind games with each other and manipulates/uses other peers without batting an eye. To an extent, this applies to Jeongmin and Siyun themselves once they start enacting their revenge.
  • Teen Idol: What Siyun turns out to be. He was an aspiring teen idol who was garnering fame, but one of his team members became deeply jealous of his popularity.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Siyun influences Jeongmin to get revenge on her bullies in manipulative ways. Downplayed by the fact she still has plenty of agency of her own.
  • Undying Loyalty: Siyun towards Jeongmin after she tells him she’ll stay by his side.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: After Jaehyeok finds out what Juhyeon is like, he becomes interested in Jeongmin, but Jeongmin has already developed feelings for Siyun and started dating Siyun.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Juhyeon has very pale hair and is a complete Alpha Bitch to Jeongmin.
    • Siyun also has more than a streak of this himself, as he really doesn't seem to care about anyone other than Jeongmin.
  • Yandere: Siyun is developing into this. He gets a really creepy look on his face when he asks if Jeongmin really means what she says about not abandoning him, and he nearly beats Jaehyeok to a pulp out of jealousy, as Jeongmin still likes him despite everything.
  • Younger Than He Looks: Siyun looks like a man in his early twenties, but in reality, is only a year or two older than Jeongmin, who's sixteen.