Love and Lies in “A Business Proposal”

A Business Proposal puts Ha-ri Shin in a real mess. To help pay off a loan, she agrees to go on a blind date as a proxy for her rich friend, Yeongsuh. Ha-ri just has to pretend to be a man-eating femme fatale to scare off the suitor so he never comes back. There’s just one problem- the suitor is her boss! Plus, rather than run screaming, he wants to marry “Yeongsuh Jin” no matter what!

A Business Proposal is a zany plot of cat-and-mouse as Ha-ri tries to hide the fact that she isn’t the real Yeongsuh Jin, because if her boss, Taemu Kang, founds out she’s an employee of his company, he’ll undoubtedly fire her.

But the story never remains predictable. Eventually Taemu learns he didn’t go on a blind date with the real Yeongsuh Jin. Rather than come clean, Ha-ri lies about her identity again. Taemu then hires “Kim Shin” to be his pretend fiancée so his meddling grandfather will get off his case. Once more with gusto, Ha-ri has to maintain a false identity as she and Taemu go on fake dates by night and keep up appearances at work whenever they meet during the day.

At the beginning, A Business Proposal is sheer comedy, with much of the drama stemming from the lies and misunderstandings that Ha-ri and Taemu create every time they dig themselves deeper. What starts as a game of cat-and-mouse becomes more like a game of chicken. Who will slip up first? What will happen when the truth comes to light?

The dramatic stakes rise as they genuinely begin to fall in love but are stubbornly unwilling to be honest with their feelings. Side characters, like Yeongsuh, Ha-ri’s unrequited love Minwoo, and Taemu’s secretary Mr. Cha also have their fair share of love, misunderstandings, and fried chicken.

A Business Proposal Ha-ri 02

I love romance stories, and it’s difficult to find one that pulls off fake dating drama in a way that never loses its sense of whimsy or fun as it continues. There was never a point where I found myself growing frustrated or impatient, since there are enough emotional milestones and interesting twists to keep the main conflict fresh. Ha-ri’s reason to not simply tell Taemin the truth is completely understandable–she took out a loan to support her parents’ restaurant, so she can’t afford to simply quit or risk getting fired.

One of my favorite parts of A Business Proposal is the artwork, which switches effortlessly from beautiful to adorable as the story demanded. Due to the office setting, the characters dress impeccably well no matter the situation. Fashion is something that many comics tend to overlook, so it’s refreshing to see the characters wear such a wide variety of cute, trendy, and attractive outfits.

A live action adaptation is in the works, with a release date scheduled for some time in 2021. So, there’s no time like the present to check out A Business Proposal and get caught up on Ha-ri and Taemu’s antics. It can be read in English on Tapas.

For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomics archive!

Author: C. Smith

C. Smith is a lifelong fan of comics and manga whose primary interest is in webcomics.

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