Just around the corner, we’re looking back at 2021 in review. One of the biggest trends to come out of Korean entertainment in recent years has been the adaptation of manhwas into Korean dramas!
It’s not very often that you see a two-way flux of audience on the same medium with such magnitude. In fact, these webtoon based dramas weren’t just popular – they were loved by both the audiences who first fell in love with them as comics and never expected them to become live-action projects but also by the fans of the original webtoons who got an entirely new kind of experience altogether.
We decided to compile 10 such K-dramas based on webtoons garnering immense popularity among K-drama fans and comic enthusiasts alike!
1. “Yumi’s Cells”
This one of a kind webtoon/drama starring Kim GoEun as HanYi, Ahn BoHyun as JinGo, GOT7’s JinYoung as Byul, Park JiHyun as JuNi, SHINee’s MinHo as JoonHyuk and the rest of the cast was revolutionary. These wonderfully nuanced performances brought an online romance to life in the best way possible.
The dialogue of the character’s transitions from animation to live-action in a mesmerising way on screen. We can’t wait for season 2!
2. “My Roommate Is A Gumiho”
It’s hard to imagine a cast as good as “My Roommate is a Gumiho”. Jang Ki-yong, Lee Hye-ri, Kang Han-na and the rest of the stellar members bring the show to life with adorable moments with some of the most entertaining main characters. The actors are absolutely in sync with their webtoon counterparts!
Both HyeRi and Jang KiYong have done a pretty good job bringing the original source material to life in their own unique way. I must say that this drama has definitely lived up to its name of being a great classic in K-Drama history.
3. “True Beauty”
In 2021, the top-rated Korean drama “True Beauty” took the nation by storm when it aired. While its flow is a lot different from that of the original webtoon, one can still see how much of a success “True Beauty” became indirectly due to its staying true to the original story that made it so famous in the first place.
ASTRO’s Cha EunWoo, Moon GaYoung, and Hwang InYoup are a power trio whose energy makes them impossible to resist. We really wish viewers could see more of the three individuals off stage because we love the chemistry between them so much.
4. “Taxi Driver”
“Deluxe Taxi” is a webtoon that countless fans have loved and admired for its powerful presentation of societal ills, justice, revenge and more. No one but Lee JeHoon has played the role of Kim DoGi perfectly as well as he did.
Some fans believe that the screenplay adaptations might not be as faithful to the original story, yet the drama is well regarded as one of the top dramas of 2021.
The latest Netflix blockbuster, “Hellbound”, is taking over the world and the global entertainment industry. It’s a sequel to the original webtoon, a free online comic. It’s perfect for fans of horror films as it has a lot of spooky moments mixed in with excellent fighting scenes.
From Yoo AhIn’s chilling cult leader Jung JinSu to Kim HyunJoo’s resolute Min HyeJin, every moment of this drama kept viewers as stunned as the actors – who were brilliant and stole the show. To say we are waiting for season 2 is an understatement, and since there are so many subplots that need to be accounted for again in part 2, our breath literally can’t wait!
6. “Dr. Brain”
“Dr. Brain” is a prime example of how the entertainment industry can complement one another. The webtoon that inspired it was an instant success, so fans were excited for the drama adapted from it with top-notch talents like Lee SunKyun and Song JiHyo as co-leads.
“Dr. Brain” is a drama that has some light-hearted moments but ultimately comes across as mainly a psychological thriller set within the context of a medical setting that overlaps with family and friendship bonds. We gotta say, this drama is like Art Cinema but more minor cult and with more serious themes and actions performed in each episode!
7. “The King’s Affection”
This drama is one of the top 10 in the world for the Netflix and Top 100 Favorite TV Shows, and that’s no easy feat to achieve, especially since it’s a themed webtoon. However, the art style of this show is stunning. There are a lot of details, and we love seeing how they were all translated into an aesthetic that matches the drama perfectly!
The role of Jung JiUn as MoonRok’s performed best and it indeed shows her character’s range, from the gentle and soft-spoken to bold and mischievous. There couldn’t have been a more perfect cast than Park EunBin, Nam YoonSu, VICTON’s ByungChan, Bae YoonKyung, and DIA’s Jung ChaeYeon for this lovely story.
D.P drama that features strong storylines and high-octane action! While there are moments of subliminal humour present, “D.P.” presents a relatively dark picture of life in the army. The highs and lows of human drama will keep you hooked!
This drama was like a gift to us as viewers, first when Jung HaeIn took on the challenging role of Cha DongJoon, in ways we’ve never seen him before. And then Koo KyoHwan gave us a performance that no one could have expected… When the news broke about this production adaptation, we should be thankful for the writers who did a fantastic job!
9. “So I Married the Anti-fan”
For a novel, a comic and a movie, “So I Married the Anti-Fan” has been successful for a long time. Fans from all over the world have enjoyed this story. This was considered one of Korea’s best-selling book/comic franchises. When fans heard about the cast for the 2021 K-Drama adaptation, everyone was really excited and loved the drama.
TaeJoon and SooYoung re-created the chemistry from their original work, making a new fandom for the adaptation alone. Not only were the two leads undeniably dreamy, but the drama’s sense of humour also managed to make you laugh uncontrollably every time!
Taking on an unconventional role, Song Kang made his way to the top in the Korean entertainment industry with ‘Navillera’. At the same time, Park InHwan’s brilliance shined like a diamond.
The original version of “Navillera” has a quiet beauty that is hard to pin down. But Park InHwan and Song Kang enhanced the story, making this beautiful narrative one that can be understood by a worldwide audience.
What was your favourite webtoon based drama this year? Share your thoughts in the comments section down below!
Watch your favourite webtoon based k-drama on amazon prime video