Always Human by Ari North


Content/Trigger Warnings: Eating disorder, discussion of body image, anxiety

“When I see you, the universe comes into focus”

Friends, I absolutely adored this webcomic! Everything about this comic was so beautiful, so endearing, and everything I never knew I needed until I had it. My soul is so filled with warmth, happiness, and all the best vibes. I don’t think I can recommend this enough and you can read it for free on Webtoons!

☄️ Sunati – 22 year-old Asian-Australian, has anxiety and loves mods, works for a company on VR environment design, dreams of being an astronaut and loves space.

☄️ Austen – 18 year-old Chilean-Australian, can’t use mods due to an autoimmune disorder, struggles with an ED, also a college student.

Our story follows Sunati and Austen, our main characters who fall in love with one another. They’ll navigate their relationship, the struggles they’ll face, and learning what it means to be truly human with one another. Oh yeah, there’s also a lot of topics addressed like living with an autoimmune disorder and how that impacts your relationships, subtle talks of gender fluidity, addressing the struggles and pressure of college, and oh yeah, navigating the complexities of feelings in the relationships around us.

Let me start by saying the representation in this graphic novel is fantastic! Not only are our two main characters in a sapphic relationship, but there’s many side characters who are agender or asexual. We even have a polyamorous relationship with Sunati’s parents. We also have the representation for autoimmune disorders and eating disorders in this webcomic as well. Not to mention, there are many people of color throughout this story. It’s just a wonderful way to represent so much diversity.

Speaking of side characters, I absolutely adored Rae. Not only is she absolutely gorgeous, but she truly is a magnificent friend to Sunati. I wish we saw more of her through this comic and I’m secretly hoping the author will give her a spin-off series. I can’t get over her and I adore her, so much!

I also need to go off on a side tangent on how beautiful the art style is. I absolutely adored the colors and the music the author paired with this webcomic was fantastic. When I say I fell in love with this webcomic, I mean I really fell in love with how stunning it all is. My heart has never felt so at peace and at home with a comic the way I did with this one because that’s how alluring and captivating the art is.

I also really enjoyed Sunati and Austen’s relationship. Despite how hard they struggled and the challenges they faced, they always found a way to work it out, talk it out. I liked how the author really showed the complexities of a relationship and how things in a relationship aren’t always easy. Seeing that, I think many couples who have walked into hell and have come back will be able to appreciate this relationship. I know for myself, there were many parts of their relationship that hit close to home and it makes a person pause to appreciate walking through the fire, and coming out on the other side.

“And even though she’s leaving, and even though I’m staying behind, I have to believe distance won’t matter. I have to believe we’ll always find each other.”

One thing I wish we had more of was Austen. The reason I say that is because Austen felt like the weaker of the two main characters. Suntai felt like a stronger force for me and had a way of capturing my attention over Austen. Even when we had panels of just Austen, I found myself wanting more from her and wanting to know so much more about her. I’m hoping we’ll see these characters again and I refuse to believe that this is the end of the story for these two.

Overall, I really enjoyed this comic. It was the perfect read, the perfect pick me up, and something I really needed to lift my spirits. I think many readers are going to fall in love with this comic, with these characters, and everything it has to offer. I wish I could sit here and gush about every little thing, but I think you need to find out for yourselves what I’m talking about. After all, you can read this graphic novel for free!

Read for the Dragons and Tea Book Club 🐉


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