Interesting and unique plots, heart-fluttering in-show relationships, complex characters, and beautiful music scores are some characteristics that make Korean dramas (or K-dramas) so appealing. So it’s no surprise why many K-dramas have become so popular and gained a massive following over the years. Some of these include the recently popular Squid Game, Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, and Twenty Five Twenty One.
But did you know that some of these well-made K-dramas are actually based on webtoons? Before these beautiful works were produced, writers and art creators first brought these ideas to life through their digital comics. So if you’re ever a fan of reading webtoons, or if you’re a fan of the show and would love to learn more about the webtoons that inspired them, here is a list of webtoon-based K-dramas to watch:
My Roommate is a Gumiho
Released in 2021 on tvN and iQIYI, My Roommate is A Gumiho became a popular rom-com series. The story follows the romance between a 999-year-old (900 in the webtoon) nine-tailed fox (or a gumiho in Korean folktale) named Shin Wooyeo and the college student Lee Dam. The latter accidentally swallows the bead that keeps Wooyeo human, but this causes trouble for both the main protagonists. They then decide to live together until they can figure out how to fix the issue.
This show is based on a webtoon of the same name created by the author that goes by the name NA. Fans can read this work on Webtoon, a South Korean webtoon publisher, either through their official website or app. The show does have some differences between the adaptation and the original webtoon, like Shin Wooyeo and Lee Dam’s age, so if you’ve seen the show and want to discover more about the characters and other plot points, it’s great to read the original work too.
Another fascinating K-drama that’s fun to watch is Yumi’s Cells. In this drama, Yumi, an average single office worker, recently experienced a breakup. Her love cell falls into a coma as her other brain cells try to awaken this cell and help Yumi grow as she goes through the daily grind. While that’s happening, she meets Goo Woong, a game developer who struggles to express his own feelings. Their relationship blossoms as Goo Woong tries to spark Yumi’s love cell back to life.
Told from the perspective of Yumi’s many brain cells, many viewers find the series to be relatable and heartwarming. With this lovely plot, it’s no wonder why the webtoon it’s based on is a favorite of many. Created by Donggeon Lee, you can also read the original work on Webtoon. On the other hand, if you’ve come across the webtoon but haven’t seen the show, it’s highly recommended that you do. The show blends 3D animation to personify the cells (which look adorable, by the way), has excellent performances from leads Kim Goeun and Ahn Bohyun, and includes a beautiful OST (including a track by Red Velvet’s Wendy), so check it out!
When True Beauty was released, it was viral that even some watchers who weren’t avid fans of K-dramas had heard of it. True Beauty is about Im Jukyung, a high school student with an inferiority complex about her appearance. She faces discrimination and bullying because of how others perceive her as ugly. She then learns and masters the art of putting on makeup to hide her bare face, making her have a kind of makeup transformation. Because of her newfound beauty and popularity, she forms an unlikely relationship with two handsome boys named Lee Sooho and Han Seojoon.
Like a lot of famous works, the audiences have contrasting opinions about True Beauty; some hate it, while others love it. However, there are great aspects to the show regardless, including the wonderful performances of the main cast. The True Beauty webtoon, also available in Webtoon, is created by Yaongyi. It’s a famous webtoon known for both its art style and plot.
A recently released show distributed by SBS and Netflix, Business Proposal, made waves on social media because the show has captured the hearts of several fans. In this show, Shin Hari, a single woman who works for a certain company, accepts her wealthy friend’s (Jin Youngseo) offer to go on a blind date instead of her. The goal is for Hari to pretend to be Youngseo and act in a way that will get her rejected by the prospective partner. Hari, however, is surprised to see that the man she has to go on a blind date with is none other than the CEO of the company she works at.
Kang Taemu, the CEO of a company that his grandfather founded, was told by his grandfather to go on a blind date that he set up for him. Being a workaholic who is tired of these blind dates, he makes the plan to marry the next person he is set to meet. The girl just so happens to be Hari pretending to be Youngseo. The day after the blind date, Taemu calls Hari and asks her to marry him.
The main plot is already enough for potential readers or watchers to have a glimpse of how funny (and romantic) Business Proposal is, so it’s definitely worth streaming. The webtoon it’s based on, called A Business Proposal, was created by Perilla, NARAK, Haehwa, and Guava Farm. You can check out this original work on Tapas, either through the app or website.
Lastly, another K-drama distributed by Netflix (and JTBC) that grew in popularity upon its release is Nevertheless. Starring Han Sohee and Song Kang, Nevertheless follows the story of Jae-eon and Yoo Nabi’s romance. The two art students have different perspectives about love – Nabi, a pessimist about love due to her terrible experience with it, and Jae-Eon, a student who loves to flirt but does not seek commitment. The show then follows these characters’ journey as they develop feelings for each other.
The audience has appreciated how the show realistically portrayed modern relationships. And if the two protagonists aren’t enough to get you absorbed in the show, the side characters most likely would! Specifically, fans love the queer representation shown through Sol and Jiwan’s relationship. You can find the original webtoon (created by Jeongseo) in Webtoon.
K-dramas are a lot of fun to watch, either by yourself or with your friends and family. The same way that some people enjoy reading books or webtoons. With these webtoon-based dramas, you can get the best of both worlds.
If, after going through both and you still want to find an alternative source of entertainment to overcome boredom, have you considered dabbling in the fun of doing pranks? If so, check out these numbers to prank call and have fun!