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Webcomic / Semantic Error

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Webtoon cover as pictured on Ridi Books

"Skin, abnormally hot. Mouth, dry. Heart rate, increased. Hands, shaking. Penis... F*CK!"
Chu Sang-woo

Semantic Error (시맨틱 에러) is an ongoing BL Webtoon illustrated by Angy Kim (엔지) and serialized in RidiBooks. It is based on a novel of the same name written by Jeo Suri (저수리).

Computer science major Chu Sangwoo is the epitome of a Rightly Self-Righteous person who is as unapologetically meticulous and he is inflexible. While working on a group project with freeloaders who don’t put in any effort, Sangwoo reasonably decides to remove their names from the final presentation. As a result, he inadvertently messes up the study-abroad plans of one Jang Jaeyoung: the visual design student and School Idol who everyone knows. What happens when an engineer and an artist whose personalities are like oil and water have to work together? Jang Jaeyoung is like a semantic error in the perfect world of Chu Sangwoo.


Also has an animation, audio drama, and an upcoming live-action drama.

This work provides examples of:

  • Animal Motifs: Sangwoo is represented by a black deer (bambi-style) and Jaeyoung by an orange fox.
    • "You're like this dark, broody animal that's content with just grazing alone in a post-apocalyptic world."
    Jang Jaeyoung
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: This is very much an enemies to friends with benefits to lovers story.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Averted since Jaeyoung was only pretending to be asleep. This was their first kiss, initiated by Sangwoo in a Moment of Weakness.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Jaeyoung to Sangwoo who, despite Korean cultural norms of yielding to those older and more experienced than you, strongly believes that respect is earned.
  • Friends with Benefits: How their relationship started since Sangwoo couldn't comprehend having a romantic relationship with a guy (much to Jaeyoung's frustration).
  • Advertisement:
  • Inconvenient Attraction: For both of them.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: The pair's second kiss, happened a day after the first.
  • Meet Cute: Sort of. It was the first meeting that Sangwoo actually remembered and it was more of a meet ugly.
    • Calling "Freeloader 3"? ..."Motherfucker" is calling?
  • Opposites Attract: STEM versus art major. Monotone versus vibrant style. Rigid versus free-spirited mindset. Popular guy versus loner. These two are the definition of polar opposites.
  • Senpai Kohai: Or, in this case, sunbae/hoobae (Jaeyoung and Sangwoo, respectively).
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The two are brought and kept together by a project to make a video game that will eventually be called Veggie Venturer. However, they had a rough start due to their opposing work habits (not to mention personalities).
  • The Ace: Both main characters excel in their respective fields; Sangwoo in computer science and Jaeyoung in visual design.

These characters provide examples of:

     Chu Sangwoo
Sangwoo in Chapter 1

  • Badass Bookworm: Despite being completely devoted to his desk work, he is physically fit and has previously trained in martial arts.
  • Brutal Honesty: Doesn't sugarcoat his words, at all. He also doesn't lie, preferring to avoid answering uncomfortable questions.
  • Friendless Background: The Loner variation, out of choice.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Had experienced no attraction to men before Jaeyoung.
  • Leave Me Alone!: Major point in his fight with Jaeyoung after the whispering incident.
  • No Social Skills: Consideration for other people's feelings certainly doesn't come naturally to him.
  • Not So Stoic: Jaeyoung's plan to pester him by ruining his routine worked well, maybe a little too well. Another example is when he gets freaked out (ie. turned on) by Jaeyoung whispering in his ear to invite him to see a movie together.
  • Oblivious to Love: Seems to be completely unaware of Jihye's crush on him. Also didn't understand that Jaeyoung wanted to date him, not just have a physical relationship.
  • Order Versus Chaos: The order to Jaeyoung's chaos. Demonstrated when Sangwoo forced Jaeyoung to clean up his workspace before turning on his computer.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue oni to Jaeyoung's red.
  • Rightly Self-Righteous: Adheres to his set of values and standards to a meticulous degree. When he feels like he didn't do anything wrong, he will not apologize let alone feel guilty.
  • Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny: Adjacent. More like he feels like having such overwhelming desire for a man he supposedly detests is wrong.
  • Silly Rabbit, Romance Is for Kids!: Thinks that love is a "propaganda spread by the government to sustain the institution of marriage."
  • Tsundere: Demonstrated when he bought a hangover drink for Jaeyoung when he saw that he was hungover (to his own confusion).
  • The Finicky One: Exemplified by his daily routine that he'd nailed down to the minute.

     Jang Jaeyoung
Jaeyoung in Chapter 9

  • Clark Kenting: Subverted. When the two met while he was in his waiter attire, Sangwoo only recognized him after he put on his glasses.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Whenever he sees Sangwoo with Ryu Jihye. He is self-aware and is often mortified by his own actions after the fact.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Has a very particular weakness for Sangwoo's neck.
  • Experimented in College: Prior to Sangwoo, he only dated women but had slept with one guy.
  • Lady Killer In Love: He noted himself that his feelings in past relationships were brief and shallow compared to what he feels towards Sangwoo.
  • Loving Bully: Towards Sangwoo. For, like, 2 days.
    • "I want him to notice me as much as I notice him. I will engrave my existence into his robot mind."
  • Order Versus Chaos: The chaos to Sangwoo's order. Evident in his messiness and fondness for graffiti art.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red oni to Sangwoo's blue.
  • School Idol: Pretty much a campus celebrity well known for his looks, artistic skill, and likeable personality.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Physically attractive, well-dressed, and comes from a wealthy background.
  • Two-Faced: Downplayed. It is acknowledged by Jaeyoung himself that he puts up a "friendly sunbae" front to gain the favour and loyalty of those around him.