Lookism Review: At school, everyone is mean to Park Hyung Seok. People who think he is “gross” make him run chores and beat him over and over again while making fun of and humiliating him. But when he moves to a new school, he gets a second body for some reason. One that has all the things that society says people want. Lookism from Studio Mir looks at what Hyung Seok learns about life and the world around him when he changes between two versions of himself. The series is based on the same-named South Korean WEBTOON by Park Taejun.
Aside from my concerns, the unique idea of this series enables Hyung Seok to see both ends of the social range. Since he doesn’t just turn into a beautiful version of himself, but instead spends time in both his original body and his improved one, Seok is constantly reminded of how hard life is for people who weren’t born with the genetic traits that society wants. Lookism takes a unique look at its subject by showing it from different points of view.
The thing I like most about this show is how it slowly shows how complicated the people in it are. On the surface, the people who go to the imaginary high school in Lookism Season 1 all seem to be either apathetic or bad people who don’t care about those who are having trouble. Even though this is mostly still true, we slowly learn that a few group members are more than they seemed at first. Some people come to speak out directly against the bad treatment of others, but others come to help in less obvious ways. This gives the once-flat characters more depth. With people’s emotions being all over the place.
The worst part of the show is how it looks. Even though it’s never outright bad, the series doesn’t look as smooth as many of the best ones. Even though the animation isn’t always great, Studio Mir does a great job of making sure that the most emotional parts of the show are always front and center. The series doesn’t shy away from putting the audience in the middle of difficult situations. It does everything it can to make the pain and the odd victory real.
Lookism makes good use of its unique idea to show how cruel society can be to people it thinks aren’t good enough. It also shows how much of an effect one person who won’t go along with the crowd can have, even if there are limits to what one person can do.