Are looks everything?
Lookism, the manhwa created by Park Tae-Joon, explores the double-life of Daniel Park, the guy who can split his consciousness into two bodies. One is his original body – fat and what he thinks is ugly, and one that is lean and undeniably handsome.
Predictably, people treat the attractive version of Daniel way better than they do the other. Of course, Daniel loves using his alternate body to escape from the reality of social discrimination based on appearance.
But how exactly does his alternate body work? Does it have any limitations?
Daniel can transform into his second body when his original one goes to sleep. The sleeping body will experience all normal physiological phenomena and has to be cared for like an actual body. At all times, Daniel’s consciousness remains active, which means he cannot dream.
Advantages of Daniel’s Alternative Body
Daniel Park’s alternative body is superficially superior – physically much fitter than his original body, taller, and more good-looking.
Since he becomes more appealing looks-wise, Daniel’s high-school experience becomes ten times more pleasant. While earlier he used to be bullied at school, he is now treated like a star, with people even asking to take a picture with him, or have his autograph.
Daniel becomes the center of attention for both, men and women, gaining respect and adoration simply for being conventionally handsome.
Apart from looks, and more importantly, Daniel’s alternate body gives him the self-confidence he lacks when in his natural form.
Having faced inhuman prejudice and bullying, when in his alternate form, Daniel becomes more assured of himself, more dominant and assertive.
Since he is more comfortable in this body, Daniel’s innate skills, which are his instincts and fighting prowess, also become more powerful in the alternate body.
While he isn’t tougher per say in the alternate body, almost all of Daniel’s forthcomings vanish when he switches his consciousness to the better-looking body.
Daniel is known to be a born fighter, being able to mimic and memorize any combat technique and execute it almost perfectly during a fight.
Although he didn’t have any prior training, he could competently fight like an expert. The problem is, that in his original body, he feels so weak and inadequate, that he is unable to use his skills efficiently.
This is why, in his second body, Daniel can fight with more agility, strength, and durability.
He becomes one of the strongest in the series, more powerful than even gang-members that have trained all their life. He was able to beat the legendary Jong Gun once, a feat only Euntae had achieved before.
Daniel is more comfortable in this skin, and thus performs mentally, physically, and emotionally better in his alternate body.
Limitations of Daniel’s Alternate Body
The biggest limitation of Daniel’s alternate body is that he logs out of it when he falls asleep. As soon as he loses consciousness he wakes up in his original body.
Daniel spends his days in his more handsome alternate body, attending school, socializing, and being, well, happy. But at night, he has to switch to reality, facing the discrimination of the cruel world.
Daniel’s biggest disadvantage is also described to be his compassion, which lets fighters easily overwhelm him. Due to years facing the brunt of negativity, his determination isn’t all that great either, whichever form he is in.
He is also afraid of trying new things and exploring himself, which comes in the way of his growth and development.
However, in chapter 324, it is revealed that Daniel has been training hard under Euntae/Vasco, so much so that his original body almost comes to resemble his first.
How does Daniel have an alternate body?
As of episode 415, the truth behind why Daniel Park has two bodies hasn’t been revealed.
During the Truth Behind Daniel Park arc, Daniel thinks that his alternate body is someone called James Lee and that maybe he has a family of his own.
But James Lee is actually the name that Diego Kang or DG went by, before he discarded that identity. DG is the famous K-Pop star and the head of PTJ Entertainment, the legend of the 1st Generation.
Charles Choi aka Elite, the CEO of HNH Group and the father of Crystal Choi, the only other character with two bodies, tells Daniel that if he can defeat DG, he will tell him about the secret of his bodies.
Lookism is a South Korean manhwa by author Park Tae Joon. It is published on Naver, LINE Webtoon, and other services. It started out in 2019 and is still ongoing.
Netflix will stream an anime adaptation of the series in November 2022. It is about a high school student, Daniel Park, who is a fat and ugly student who gets frequently bullied. One day he wakes up in another body that is so handsome that he realizes how looks matter.
He tries to keep his two bodies a secret and navigate through school life but not without getting involved in a ton of problems.