A Review-Based Student Publication of Townsend Harris High School

The Classic Critic

A Review-Based Student Publication of Townsend Harris High School

The Classic Critic

A Review-Based Student Publication of Townsend Harris High School

The Classic Critic

Our Secret Alliance: A heartwarming friends-to-lovers webtoon

Julia Chang

Our Secret Alliance written by Cakenyam is a childhood friends-to-lovers romance webtoon that follows high schoolers Se-I Yoon and Jaeha Kim, who agree to form an alliance to get away from their strict and nosy parents. Many years ago, through the filming of a children’s reality TV show, Se-I had met Jaeha on set. Despite not having an immediate click, the two slowly became close friends. However, when a sudden argument occurs, they drift apart as friends. Now as high schoolers, Se-I and Jaeha reconnect again. With their strict parents, they agree to form an alliance to help each other out. By pretending to be studying together, Se-I can meet up with her crush while Jaeha will be able to play games in the gaming rooms — both things unapproved by their parents. Will Se-I and Jaeha be able to amend their friendship through their alliance? Or will it develop into something more? 

Se-I Yoon is your typical outgoing and amiable female lead. Her charming and affectionate personality undeniably influences the other characters and gives the story a bright and youthful feel. Readers will inevitably get to love such a character like her. And although she radiates a lot of positivity, she also has her own fair share of worries and problems to overcome. I liked that while the focus of the webtoon was about Se-I and Jaeha’s romantic relationship, it also encompassed various platonic and familial relationships between the characters. 

Alongside Se-I, we also get to learn a lot about the love interest, Jaeha Kim. Though he is not the ball of fire Se-I is and quite literally the opposite (personality-wise), I really adored his character. While Jaeha has that calm and reserved outer  persona, his genuine care and compassion for the people around him make it impossible for anyone to dislike. In the story, he displays his love and attentiveness through his subtle acts of service which is something the readers will catch on really quickly. 

As we see Se-I and Jaeha grow as characters throughout the webtoon, the audience can also feel the authentic and natural development of their romantic relationship. The story did not rush them into dating, but more so allowed the two characters to really understand how they feel and appreciate each other before stepping into a relationship. I loved that the characters showed their boundless support and offered their presence for each other.

Additionally, I particularly liked that the characters expressed their concerns whenever it was necessary. Many romance series like to use the lack of communication to stir unnecessary drama which is simply not the case in this story. The author, Cakenyam, really elevates the character’s interactions and bonds by adding that needed communication. When miscommunications and conflict occur, the issue does not drag on for too long and become overcomplicated. It was refreshing to read about characters that explain and express their concerns to each other instead of ignoring and avoiding them. 

Apart from the main couple, the story also follows the side characters Yu-eun and Jimin. Yu-eun is Se-I’s close friend and Jimin was another character who liked Se-I. However, the story does not continue with the love triangle trope and initiate more drama. Instead, we are given Yu-eun and Jimin’s playful and fun banter. Readers will fall for the side characters just as much as they did for the main couple, seeing their platonic relationship possibly transform into a romantic one. 

While this story’s premise was sometimes cliché, it is still a binge-worthy read. For anyone looking for a cute, heartwarming story with a healthy relationship and a little drama, Our Secret Alliance checks all the boxes. Cakenyam’s bubbly and cutesy art style as well as the amazing and entertaining characters make this childhood friends-to-lovers webtoon worth reading. 

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About the Contributor
Julia Chang, Art Editor & OT Scriptwriter
Julia is a senior at Townsend Harris High School.
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