For those unfamiliar with web cartoons, these are basically online comics. The writer / illustrator publishes one chapter a week, and millions of readers subscribe to those weekly updates. Some of the most famous K-dramas are based on web cartoons /manhwa including “Princess Hours,” “Full House,” “Itaewon Class,” and more recently, “The Uncanny Counter” and “True Beauty.” You really can’t stop this genre because it will almost always be successful! Here are 11 K-dramas you may not have known were based on web cartoons.
1. Happy romance
“Lucky Romance” is based on a webtoon written by Kim Dal Nim. It was released on February 15, 2014 and lasted until November 22, 2014. The webtoon was adapted into a K-drama, written by Choi Yoon Kyo, and the drama was released on May 25, 2016.
Starring Ryu Jun Yeol and Hwang Jung Eum, the story involves a woman named Bo Nui (Hwang Jung Eum) who works hard to support her little sister’s hospital bills. He meets Soo Ho (Ryu Jun Yeol) who is a genius and the owner of a gaming company. The two eventually fall in love despite the differences.
You can watch “Lucky Romance” now:
MBC’s “The Item” is based on the original webtoon written by Min Hyung and Kim Joon Seok. Webtoon has achieved success as a result of its fantasy and thriller genre. The first chapter of the webtoon was first published in March 2017, and the drama was released on February 11, 2019. It starred Joo Ji Hoon and Jin Se Yoon.
The story is about a hot prosecutor Kang Gon (Joo Ji Hoon) who risks his life to find out the truth behind a certain object that shows superpowers. Joo Ji Hoon’s depiction of a strong-willed but cordial Kang Gon is very memorable.
See “The Item”:
3. Her private life
“Her Private Life” is a popular series starring Kim Jae Wook and Park Min Young. And although it was quite successful, many people were surprised to learn that it was based on a novel written by Kim Sung Yeon 2017. As a result of the novel’s success, it was later adapted into the 2019 web web (written by Jun Hye Jin and illustrated by Kim Jin Hee).
With the combined success of the novel and the webtoon, it’s no surprise that this has been adapted into a K-drama!
Start watching the drama:
4. Extraordinary you
The K-drama “Extraordinary You” tells the story of a world within comics in which the supporting character Eun Dan Oh (Kim Hye Yoon) breaks through the fourth wall. He is beginning to realize his place in comics and desperately wants to change his destiny.
This drama is based on an online text written by Moo Ryoo, and was originally titled “July Was Found by Case” (literal title). It was first released in January 2018, and the K-drama aired on October 2, 2019.
Start watching “Extraordinary You”:
5. Dinner Mate
In the healing drama “Dinner Mate,” starring Song Seung Heon as a psychiatrist and Seo Ji Hye who works for a media company. The two meet by chance and decide to have dinner together regularly, talking about everything that happens to them in life.
This series is based on an online text written by Park Shi In, titled “Do you want to have dinner together?” Webtoon was released in 2013, and the drama aired on May 25, 2020. It was a simple but refreshing concept that won over readers.
6. City Hunter
“City Hunter” achieved a lot of success in South Korea because it starred Lee Min Ho and Park Min Young. While not based on the webtoon, people may be surprised to learn that the series is based on the highly successful Japanese manga series. It was developed into an anime series, a Hong Kong film, a video game and finally a Korean drama.
The K-drama premiered on May 25, 2011 and was so successful not only in Korea but also in Europe. Lee Min Ho made it a household name in Europe where he is still loved.
Start watching the series now:
7. Mystic pop-up bar
In “Mystic Pop-Up Bar,” Hwang Jung Eum, Yook Sung Jae, and Choi Won Young star as three people trying to cure any baggage in other people’s lives; it includes revenge on their behalf. The drama is based on an online text written by Bae Hye Soo and released on June 1, 2016. The series doesn’t seem to look exactly like that, but it has a bit of every element, including action, love, revenge, fantasy – whatever you say !! It’s really no wonder that webtoon (and drama) has achieved success.
8. Clean with passion for now
In the movie “Clean with Passion for Now,” starring Kim Yoo Jung as Gil Oh Sol, a girl who doesn’t care much about cleanliness, and Yoon Kyun Sang, a wealthy CEO who suffers from misophobia. The two of them clash in personalities, but they can depend on each other which is why they fall in love.
The series is based on online text written by Aengo. The drama and webtoon were enjoyable as it is a piece of life story with a lot of comic elements as well as romance. They did a great job of casting the two main clues and incorporating the feelings of the characters into the webtoon. Their charm and chemistry exuded on the small screens!
Catch the first episode of “Clean with Passion for Now”:
9. Taxi driver
“Taxi Driver” is one of the newer K-dramas based on the webtone on this list. It stars Lee Je Hoon as Kim Do Ki, a taxi driver whose job is to help oppressed people get revenge. The series is based on an online text written by Carlos and illustrated by Lee Jae Jin.
The series is full of action and combat scenes, which makes it quite exciting to watch. Webtoon also has a sensitive and dark feel that makes it fun, despite not being able to see the action on the go. This obviously testifies to how talented the creators of this are.
Start watching “Taxi Driver”:
10. Incomplete life
In the film “Incomplete Life”, Im Si Wan, Lee Sung Min and Kang Sora play ordinary office workers who cope with all the hardships and responsibilities trying to maintain their jobs.
The webtoon was written by Yoon Tae Ho, and as a result of the witty and connected ways he managed to show this common part of life, people were thrilled to hear that a K-drama series would be created from it. This drama occupied the nation because it could show the real life difficulties and successes of ordinary people in the workplace.
Start watching “Incomplete Life”:
“Navillera” is a healing drama starring Song Kang, Park In Hwan and Na Moon Hee. It’s about 70-year-old retired postman Shim Deok Chul (Park In Hwan) who has always longed to be a ballerina. He meets Lee Chae Rock (Song Kang), an ambitious ballerina who is going through a lot of life difficulties.
The webtoon is also titled “Navillera,” written by Hun and illustrated by Ji Min. Webtoon was released in 2017 and was picked up pretty quickly to create a drama out of it. It was officially broadcast on Netflix on March 22, 2021 and is getting positive responses!
Hey Soompiers, which of these K-dramas is web-based for you? Let me know in the comments below!
binahearts is a writer of Soompi whose ultimate bias is Song Joong Ki and BIGBANG, but lately she has been seen obsessing Hwang In Yeop. Be sure to follow the binahearts on Instagram as she travels through her latest Korean craze!
I am currently watching: “Unexpected Business”, “Vincenzo” and “Taxi Driver”
Favorite dramas of all time: “Secret Garden” and “True Beauty”
Look forward to: Won Bin’s return to the small screen