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Webcomic / Surviving Romance

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Due to the story's heavy reliance on twists and reveals, it's difficult to list certain tropes without creating self-fulfilling spoilers. Beware of possible spoilers ahead!

Having somehow become Chaerin Eun, the protagonist of the romance novel ‘’I’ll Love You Every Day’’, she's more than content to follow along its plot and live her best life in contrast to her previous exhaustive one. But when the male protagonist, Jeha Yu, was supposed to confess his love and bring the story to a happy end, he instead turns into a zombie and Chaerin dies, only to wake up at the beginning of the day.

Quickly realizing that every time she dies she'll be sent back to the morning of the virus outbreak, Chaerin gives up hope to ever reach a happy end after numerous failed attempts and almost submits to her cruel fate. But she's saved by one of her classmates, who manages to instill new confidence in Chaerin. Unfortunately both are killed before she can learn her savior’s identity and so during her next loop Chaerin sets out to survive the outbreak and figure out the identity of the ‘Unknown Extra’. Though for that she’ll need the help of her classmates, the novel’s background characters, who all appear only as featureless shadows to her.

Surviving Romance (살아남은 로맨스) is a horror webcomic created by Lee Yone. The english version is available on Webtoons here.

Surviving Romance contains examples of:

  • Anyone Can Die: Being a zombie apocalypse time loop comic, every single characters have been killed one point or another. A majority of the death are offscreen or implied, but there are some deaths shown on screen before the protagonist Chaerin / Huisu dies herself and reset the timeloop.
  • Arc Words: "A miracle could happen" and "If just one person had reached out"
  • The Assimilator: The mutant zombie that's roaming the floor of their class is consuming everyone, zombie and human, it comes across in order to become one.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The stinger of Episode 12 is Cheram's face almost being revealed. At the start of the following episode we see that she doesn't fully trust Chaerin yet and the reveal doesn't happen after all.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Chaerin occasionally makes use of this to immediately rectify some mistakes. The earliest example is when Jeha believes her to be a psychopath after killing the infected Seungwon and she casually jumps out of the window.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Chaerin spends most of Season 1 in an Adidds sports jacket.
    • Cheram has played Rez Evil, Dead Redemption and House of Dead.
  • Blessed with Suck: Chaerin can go back in time to the morning of the virus outbreak. The only thing she has to do is die. While all physical wounds disappear, it’s noted that the pain and trauma persist for a while.
  • Bludgeoned to Death: Cheram kills the zombiefied Ms. Lee with a hammer to protect the class.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In Episode 13 Minwoo and his group appear just in time to save Chaerin, Mihui and Cheram after they released the zombies locked up in the principal's office.
  • Compelling Voice: As the story goes on, several characters mention occasions where they felt like they heard a voice telling them how to act towards Chaerin. It's later revealed to be the voice of the novel itself doing this to ensure that characters do not diverge from the main plot.
  • Darkest Hour:
    • Episode 51 ended with the reveal that the main villain the original Chaerin has planned to make Huisu to fall into despair and thus continue the plot of the original novel, which would release Chaerin into the real world. Huisu then proceed to kill herself and restart the loop.
    • Episode 98 ended with the cast escaping from the school only to discover the outside world is an empty void falling apart due to the deal made by the original Chaerin. All of them have a complete breakdown, causing Huisu to tearfully agree to the Devil's deal to give up on her will and follow the course of the story. Then the very next episode Jeha rejected Huisu and triggers everyone to regain their memory.
  • Deadly Scratch: A simple bite is enough to contract the zombie virus with no known cure.
  • Death Is Cheap: Fittingly enough for a time loop series, death of everyone are easily reversed whenever the main character has to restart a time loop.
  • Dreaming of Times Gone By: Chaerin has dreams and occasional visions, particularly when someone dies, in which she sees the memories of her classmates, sometimes even from other timelines.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Any of the mutant zombies certainly qualifies.
  • Elite Zombie: The mutant zombies are stronger variations that can come with ridiculous superpowers, such as super strength, assimilation or mind control.
  • Face Stealer: Some of the super zombies can take on the face of anyone they have eaten.
  • Foreshadowing: Through the memories of the Unknown Extra Chaerin learns that Shinbi and Hana were the first to get infected without her interference. Shinbi ends up being the first casualty of a zombie attack in the same episode Hana is infected with zombie blood.
    • When convincing Chaerin to stick together, the Unknown Extra suggests that a miracle could happen. Chaerin later uses this line to deduce Rina Song isn't her by asking her if she believes in miracles and being answered negatively. That night, Mihui says that a miracle could happen when trying to cheer everyone else up.
  • Go Through Me: When Ms. Lee loses control and attacks Chaerin, Mihui protectively plants herself in front of Chaerin before she can react.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Protagonist Chaerin is trapped in one, waking up on the day of the virus outbreak every time she dies. Some physical marks will persist across loops and she can even take objects with her by placing them in her mouth.
  • Hairpin Lockpick: Cheram uses a safety pin given to her by Mihui to open the lock to the chained principal's office.
  • Happy Ending Override: A literal in-universe example is what kickstarts the main plot. Instead of the original ending of the novel with love confession and happily ever after Chaerin receives a zombie apocalypse by virus outbreak.
  • Helium Speech: The voices of the people Chaerin only sees as shadows are described as high-pitched helium voice with buzzing sounds on top.
  • A House Divided: Despite Chaerin's best efforts to avoid it, this is what happens when Ms. Lee enters the classroom with only Chaerin aware of her infection.
  • Infection Scene: Episode 36 shows a piece of a destroyed zombie land right beside the mouth of an unconscious Hana. To no surprise she fully turned only a few episodes later.
  • Irony: When chastising Mihui for valuing her phone over her life, Chaerin notes how ironic it is coming from her, who was ready to let herself be killed by the zombies not so long ago.
  • Only Evil Can Die: Zigzagged. Season 2's only casualties are Seyeong Jin, who willingly turned into an advanced zombie, and the original Chaerin, the Big Bad of the series. Then the Devil reset the timeloop and Chaerin returned to life.
  • Metafiction: The webcomic explores the free will of the characters within an established story and how that changes when the circumstances that surround them change. With the reveal that the protagonist "Chaerin" is actually the author of the original romance novel "I’ll Love You Every Day" and the villain of the webcomic is the original protagonist gaining sentience, the webcomic also interrogates the relationship between the author, the author's intentions and the characters in the story.
  • Next Life as a Fictional Character: The protagonist is reborn as Chaerin Eun, the main character of ‘’I’ll Love You Every Day’’, a romance novel she read. This is later revealed to be a circumstances put into motion by the original heroine of the romance novel Chaerin and the Devil, who escaped from another story and disguise herself as Se-Eun.
  • No Escape but Down: Used in combination with Better to Die than Be Killed. As dying resets the events of the day, Chaerin of course makes use of this through the school’s windows.
  • Plague Zombie: The zombies attacking the school are of this type.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The first sign of someone becoming a zombie.
  • Red Herring: When viewing the Unknown Extra's memory for the first time Chaerin suspects one of the unknown corpses lying around to be Mihui's due to the beads of a broken bracelet lying around it. While we never learn whose corpse it actually was, we later learn it couldn't have been Mihui as we're watching from her perspective.
  • Red Is Violent: Chaerin can see a red aura around people infected with the zombie virus, if they're still appearing as faceless shadows to her.
  • Sadistic Choice: Seyeong forces one of Chaerin when catching her in a compromising situation with Jeha: Either kill Jeha with her own hands or she'll tell the others Chaerin went off to meet with him, which could ruin everyone's trust in her.
  • Shout-Out: In Episode 13 Hana turns into Homer Simpson as she comically chokes Jinhui.
  • Sudden Lack of Signal: A variation. Once the outbreak begins in the school all signals going in or out of it are blocked. Messaging between people inside of the school are still working though.
  • Symbolic Cast Fadeout: The series does this in several different ways with the classmates of the protagonist Chaerin/Huisu. The cast list with the name of the characters in Chaerin/Huisu's class appears at the end of each chapter. When any of the classmates start to trust her, the characters are no longer shadows in the cast list and have their full faces revealed. When they die, their picture becomes gray and has a red X mark on them. When they start to gain sentience, the character's picture is removed from the cast list with a tear mark. The only characters not listed on the cast list are Minwoo and Jeha (both of whom are the male leads of the original novel) and the Big Bad, the original Chaerin. When Se-Eun is revealed to be the Greater-Scope Villain the Devil her picture is replaced with a red handprint on a black background.
  • The Food Poisoning Incident: Chaerin’s fourth attempt to avoid the catastrophe by staying at home ends with her dying from food poisoning.
  • Time Loop Fatigue: Chaerin suffers from this at the start of the story. After multiple failed attempts to reach a happy ending, each ending in her death, she almost gave up, if it wasn't for the Unknown Extra.
  • True Love's Kiss: Subverted. In Episode 5 Chaerin attempts one on Jeha in hopes it would break the curse. It only leads to them being run over by a bus.
  • Undeathly Pallor: The zombies all have blue skin for easy identification.
  • The Virus: The outbreak of a virus that turns people into zombies is one of the main events of the story.
  • Virus-Victim Symptoms: The initial symptoms of a zombie infection are similar to that of a cold, most notably coughing. These are followed by bloodshot eyes and blue skin, as the infection reaches its high point. If you're infected by a bite, the area around it will turn blue much sooner.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Episode 7: Chaerin becoming able to see Se-Eun's face.
    • Episode 36: Shinbi being impaled by the rock thrown by the zombie, making her the first casualty.
    • Episode 42: The Dark Hair Chaerin is the villain behind the events of the story.
    • Episode 49: Mihui is being revealed as the Unknown Extra.
    • Episode 95: Se-Eun is revealed to be the Greater-Scope Villain of the story Devil.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The main plot centers around one suddenly occurring when something like that was never mentioned in the book they're in.