Comics and webtoons brought to life
Before top-rated K-dramas took over our screens and favorite streaming platforms, some of them were webtoons first. Webtoons are digital comics or manhwa published on online platforms such as WEBTOON and Kakao webtoon. These well-loved comics run even longer than our favorite K-Dramas, so sometimes their endings are different. While some writers tweak the stories to fit primetime premieres and limited episodes, these remakes still manage to bring the original stories’ charms and characters to life.
Are you due for a rewatch of these cult classics or looking for a new show to explore? Scroll along for eight webtoons-turned-K-dramas all for your viewing pleasure.
Love Alarm (2018)
Based on the webtoon Ringing If You Like, Love Alarm follows Jojo (Kim So-Hyun), who lives in a world where an app, Joalarm, notifies users of those who like them and are within a 10-meter radius. Joalarm can tell the user how many people like them but doesn’t reveal specific details about them. Jojo can’t be bothered to use it but somehow finds herself between two friends: Lee Hye-Young (Jung Ga-Ram) and Hwang Sun-Oh (Song Kang).
Both seasons of Love Alarm are on Netflix.
Her Private Life (2019)
The webtoon called Noona Fan Dot Com loosely inspired the plot of Her Private Life. Art curator Sung Duk-Mi (Park Min-Young) lives a double life as a huge fan of K-pop group member Shi-An (ONE) while she’s off duty. Ryan (Kim Jae-Wook), a painter who was once famous for his art, onboards as the new director of the gallery where Duk-Mi works. The retired painter discovers Duk-Mi’s secret life as a Shi-An fan (with an independently-ran website to boot), piquing his interest.
Stream Her Private Life on Netflix.
True Beauty (2020)
Based on the webtoon of the same name, True Beauty follows high school student Im Ju-Kyung (Moon Ga-Young). Ju-Kyung isn’t too confident in her bare face, as she has experienced bullying and ridicule about her appearance. However, after watching makeup tutorials online, Ju-Kyung masters the art and transforms to the point that she receives the nickname “Goddess.” However, when she runs into Lee Su-Ho (Cha Eunwoo) barefaced, she somehow finds herself forging an unlikely friendship with the popular boy and his estranged best friend, Han Seo-Jun (Hwan In-Youp).
Watch True Beauty on Viu.
Sweet Home (2020)
This thriller K-drama follows the plot of the webtoon also named Sweet Home. Cha Hyun-Su (Song Kang) finds himself all alone after a tragedy involving his family. So he moves into a small apartment complex called Green Home. Time passes, and he discovers that the world is in the middle of a "monsterization" apocalypse as many humans turn into blood-sucking creatures. Hyun-Su and the rest of the residents gather together for survival.
Catch Sweet Home on Netflix.
The Uncanny Counter (2020)
Evil spirits and demons who seek immortality freely roam the fictional city of Jungjin, and it’s up to a group of four Counters to banish them to the afterlife. Counters have partner spirits—called Yung—who come from the boundary of the afterlife and the living realm. When Yung spirits possess their Counters, they give them superhuman strength and abilities to defeat the evil spirits. When the fourth Counter, Jang Cheol-Jung (Sung Ji-Ru), dies in the line of action, his Yung named Wi-Gen (MoonSeok) seeks his replacement. Wi-Gen finds high schooler So Mun (Jo Byung-Gyu) and possesses him, turning So Mun into the fourth Counter.
Watch So Mun’s adventures on The Uncanny Counter on Netflix.
The K-drama and the eponymous webtoon tell the inspiring tale of Shim Deok-Chul (Park In-hwan), a 70-year-old retired mailman. He decides to pursue his life-long dream to learn ballet, much to the chagrin of his family. He then meets Lee Chae-Rok (Song Kang) at the dance academy, a 23-year-old prodigy about to give up on ballet. However, the two form an unlikely friendship, and Deok-Chul manages to change Chae-Rok’s mind about letting go of the craft.
Watch Navillera on Netflix.
Yumi’s Cells (2021)
Take a peek into Yu-Mi’s (Kim Go-Eun) life as a regular office worker through the eyes of the thousands of cells living inside of her. All these cells process her thoughts, moods and emotions. After a painful heartbreak, Yu-Mi’s love cell falls into a coma. But thanks to the people around her, such as Goo Woong (Ahn Bo-Hyun) and her co-workers Ruby (Lee Yu-Bi) and Seo Sae-Yi (Park Ji-Hyun), they slowly help her revive her love cells.
Watch Yumi’s Cells on iQIYI.
So I Married The Anti-Fan (2021)
Magazine reporter Geun-Young (Choi Soo-Young) loses her job after a commotion with celebrity Hoo-Joon (Choi Tae-Jun). The scuffle leads Geun-Young to believe that her termination was his doing and constantly protests outside Hoo-Joon’s management. This earns her the reputation of an “anti-fan.” Later on, a TV producer approaches Geun-Young for a reality show where an idol and his anti-fan get married. The two agree to the show because Geun-Young needs the money while Hoo-Joon wishes to repair his image.
Catch So I Married The Anti-Fan on iQIYI.
So which title are you watching first? Pair your binge-watch (or binge-read) sesh by whipping up some K-food!