Article: Top 10 K-Dramas Based On Webtoons

As the popular comic publishing portal Webtoons gained popularity, it got fans wanting more. Nothing is more exciting than seeing your favorite comic character come to life on-screen! Over the years, more webtoons have been adapted to the screen.  From thrillers, action pieces, romance, horror, and more, here are 10 K-dramas based on webtoon. (In no particular order)

1. All Of Us Are Dead

The show is based on the webtoon titled, ‘Now at Our School’ by Joo Dong-Geun. It follows a group of students and their struggle to survive after their school gets overrun by zombies. With limited supplies and all communication cut-off, the students use the equipment around the school to protect themselves from being infected as their school becomes ground zero for a zombie outbreak.


2. True Beauty

The series is based on a webtoon by comic artist Yaongyi of the same name. A smash hit as both a comic and a drama series, the K-drama follows the life of an insecure teenager who gets ridiculed in school for her appearance. When the time comes for her to switch schools, she decides to give herself a makeover, causing a drastic change in the way she looks. The main character, now filled with confidence, becomes a famous beauty at her new school. The series also follows a romance triangle between the main character and two of her best friends.


3. Itaewon Class

Before its adaptation into a K-drama, it was a webtoon created by Kwang Jin. The series follows the main character, Park Sae Ro Yi, and his struggles in life after getting jailed for attempted murder. Seven years after his release, he vows success and opens his restaurant. Running the business is, however, not an easy task as his past life, and a rival corporation threatens his future.


4. Extraordinary You

The teen drama is an adaptation of the webtoon titled, ‘July Found by Chance.’ The series follows the main character, who discovers that her life and the world she lives in are nothing but a fantasy within a comic. The comic writer decides to give her a mundane ending in which she is expected to marry someone who does not return her feelings. In a twist of events, she decides to take control of her destiny by writing her own story, this, however, comes with a cost.


5. My ID Is Gangnam Beauty

Written and illustrated by Gi Meg-Gi, the series follows a college student who makes a life-changing decision. She gets plastic surgery after being ridiculed for her looks throughout her life. She finds herself on the receiving end of hateful comments when tagged ‘Gangnam Beauty.’ The term ‘Gangnam Beauty’ in Korea describes women who have altered their appearance through plastic surgery. This K-drama depicts everything from romance, drama, and even revenge.


6. Navillera

‘Navillera’ or ‘Like a butterfly’ in Korean is a webtoon written by HUN and Jimin. The story follows a retired older man who has had a lifelong dream of performing ballet. Due to his struggles in life, he puts his dreams on hold and instead works a regular job to provide for his family. After encountering a young ballet dancer, he decides to take up his passion for dance and asks the dancer to be his teacher. The pair lift each other out of the harsh realities of life and rise to the challenge of becoming ballet dancers.


7. The King’s Affection

The webtoon titled ‘Yeonmo’ was drawn and written by Lee So-Young. This series takes place in the Joseon Dynasty. The story follows an abandoned twin who is forced to disguise herself as her brother, the crown prince, after his passing. Despite the disguise, she falls in love with her tutor.


8. Mystic Pop-Up Bar

The show is an adaptation of the webtoon ‘Ssanggabpocha’ by Bae Hye-Soo. It follows the lives of three main characters, an owner of a mysterious rooftop bar alongside a young man with the ability to get people to confess, and the manager of a shop who was once her past lover. The bar owner can travel through worlds and heal her customer through internal struggles.


9. What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim

Created by Kim Myeong-Mi, both the webtoon and the K-drama follow the same premise.  The story follows a narcissistic yet handsome Vice President of a company who is on the verge of losing his trusted secretary of nine years. After learning about her plan to resign, he realizes how much he needs her in his life.


10. Hell Is Other People

The webtoon titled, ‘Strangers from Hell’ was first illustrated and written by Kim Yong-Ki. The series follows a young man who moves to Seoul searching for a new job. He rents out a low-end apartment that comes with a shared bathroom and kitchen. As time goes by, he experiences odd occurrences that in turn make him frightful and suspicious of the other residents. This psychological thriller is a turn from the more common romance genre found in K-drama adaptations of webtoons.