8 Kdrama’s inspired from webtoons and Manhwas- PT 1

Hallyu waves are in the air! From Kdramas to K shows, everything has piqued the interest of viewers intrigued with the wave. This also includes webtoons and manhwas. These are raging in today’s day and age. Various online reading platforms such as Naver, Webtoon, Tapas, Lezhin enjoy millions of readers every day that just can’t get enough of the amazing art and plotline of the stories present there.

However, what if everyone’s favorite Kdramas and webtoons mix? Many webtoon fans demand to see a dramatic recreation of their personal favorites. To quench their thirst, Korean webtoons are indeed being adapted into Korean dramas at an unprecedented rate. It would only take a short amount of time once the highly explicit Korean webtoons are considered as well. To help you shortlist a few of the best, we have compiled the best live-action dramas adapted from webtoons and manhwas! 

(Please Note: these are our personal favorites and there will be a part two as well, so please refrain from leaving hate comments! Some of the descriptions may contain minute spoilers!)

8. Love Alarm

  • Release Year: 2019
  • No. of Episodes: 14
  • Where to Watch: Netflix 
  • Genre: Romance

Cast: Song Kang, Jung Ga-Ram, Kim So-Hyun, Go Min-Si, Lee Jae-Eung, Kim Si-Eun

Ringing If You Like is the name of the webcomic for Love Alarm. Chon Kye-young penned the piece. Another of the rare webtoons with its Youtube page is this. In 2019, this one was adapted into a Korean drama that can be watched on Netflix. In particular, there are a few episodes that have been released and translated into English on the YouTube channel. The webtoon is about an application that allows customers to know if anybody loves them when they’re around (10-meter radius). Jo-jo is the main protagonist, and she utilizes the app to fall into a romantic triangle. 

If love triangles and the redemption of the second male lead is your niche, you might enjoy this!

7. My ID is Gangnam Beauty

  • Release Year: 2018
  • No. of Episodes: 16
  • Where to Watch: Viki, Netflix, Viu
  • Genre: Romance

Cast: Cha Eun-Woo, Im Soo-Hyang, Jo Woo-Ri, Kwak Dong-Yeon, Park Joo-Mi, Dohee

The above Korean webtoon, authored by Kee Maeng-kee, had a big impact in Korea because it highlighted cultural problems about Korean standards of beauty. Furthermore, the webtoon addresses not only beauty norms but also insecurity and retribution. Kang Mi-rae is the protagonist of the novel, who is commencing her college career after undergoing cosmetic procedures. She runs into her old childhood acquaintance Do Kyung-Seok at university, who admires her for her self-worth. The dramatization is a little more subdued than that of the webtoon and features a lot fewer personalities.

However, it is a breath of fresh air to watch. Especially for the younger generation as they can relate to the crisis that these people face. If you want something light-hearted, witty, and fresh, this might suit your tastes.

6. Itaewon Class

  • Release Year: 2020
  • No. of Episodes: 16
  • Where to Watch: Netflix
  • Genre: Drama

Cast: Park Seo-Joon, Kim Da-Mi, Kwon Nara, Lee Joo-Young, Chris Lyon, Ahn Bo-Hyun

Itaewon Class, authored by Jo Gwang-jin, is among the finest webtoons available. It’s indeed accessible on Netflix and features Park Seo-Joon, a well-known Korean performer who has had a brief role in the well-known Korean movie Parasite. 

Park Sae-ro-yi with his buddies is the protagonist of the storyline. Sae-ro-yi’s father died in a car accident induced by the son of a wealthy businessman who also happens to be the CEO of a big food services provider. As a result, he seeks vengeance first by growing wealthy, but after being freed from imprisonment, he chooses to establish a restaurant/bar in Itaewon to do just that. He eventually has now become the CEO of Itaewon Class, a firm he founded.

Both the Korean drama as well as the webtoon do an excellent job of highlighting the challenges that so many Koreans experience while they try to make ends meet. Itaewon Class also possesses one of the finest Korean Drama tunes out there!

5. Sweet Home

  • Release Year: 2020
  • No. of Episodes: 10
  • Where to Watch: Netflix
  • Genre: Horror

Cast: Song Kang, Lee Do-Hyun, Lee Si-Young, Go Min-Si, Lee Jin-Wook, Park Gyu-Young

Sweet Home is a must-see for fans of creepy Korean serializations. It is unlike any other Korean drama because it was converted from a webtoon of the very same title. It’s exhilarating, intriguing, and a little funny. The webtoon was broken up into 140 segments and was designed to fit together into a 10-episode Korean series. The story is set in the Green Home housing building. It’s teeming with individuals that want to go away from their difficulties or yearn towards something they can’t have.

There have been creatures that look remarkably look like zombies, that caused a great deal of “jump scares,” however what keeps this Korean drama so good is the people’s interior tales about grief as well as forgiveness.

4. Hellbound

  • Release Year: 2021
  • No. of Episodes: 6
  • Where to Watch: Netflix
  • Genre: Religious Fantasy

Cast: Yoo Ah-In, Kim Hyun-Joo, Park Jung-Min, Woo Jin-A, Kim Min-Soo

Hellbound is a popular Korean webtoon that has been adapted into a Korean miniseries. In late 2021, it surpassed Squid Game as Netflix’s greatest beloved franchise. The plot revolves around a group of unknown black entities that murder individuals and condemn people to hell. An angel had already declared that all these individuals would perish. According to a religious cult known As The new Truth and its chairman, sins are the time when individuals are sentenced to death. After being hounded by The New Truth and The Arrowhead, an attorney decides to help them. One of these is a lady who has now been sentenced to death, and The New Truth’s chairman intends to broadcast the occasion for all to witness.

Season 1 of Hellbound is a dramatic and unusual thriller. It was something entirely out of character. Hellbound Season 1 is certainly worth viewing as a much-needed societal critique about our own culture. It’s a fantastic Korean drama.

3. What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?

  • Release Year: 2018
  • No. of Episodes: 16
  • Where to Watch: Netflix, WeTv, Viki, Hulu
  • Genre: Romantic-Comedy

Cast: Park Seo-Joon, Park Min-Young, Lee Tae-Hwan, Kang Ki-Young, Hwang Bo Ra

Jung Kyung-yoo wrote the story that inspired this screenplay. It was later turned into a webtoon. The webtoon has been adapted into a Korean drama in 2018. It was one of the top webtoon-based Korean dramas. This is about Lee Young-Joon, a wealthy vice president at a major Korean corporation. He does, nevertheless, have a secretary named Kim Mi-so who’d been with him for a long time. But, she abruptly quits her employment, prompting Young-Joon to inquire as to why she is leaving and attempt to persuade her to continue.

This Korean drama/webtoon is regarded as among the greatest rom coms. Furthermore, whenever it concerns the story’s protagonists, this Korean drama is the truest to the original story.

2. Hell is Other People (Strangers From Hell)

  • Release Year: 2019
  • No. of Episodes: 10
  • Where to Watch: Netflix
  • Genre: Psychological, Thriller, Horror

Cast: Lee Dong-Wook, Siwan, Kim Ji-Eun, Lee Hyun-Wook, Anupam Tripathi, Park Jonh-Hwan

Kim Yong-ki wrote this Korean webtoon for Naver Webtoons. On Korean webtoon websites including Naver webtoons, a few of the darkest webtoons can be discovered. Hell is Other People is a black-and-white film with a grim premise. As a result, folks who aren’t fond of grim and terrifying themes must skip this Korean webtoon series. Yoon Jong-woo, a guy from the rural who already has moved to Seoul, is the main character of the story. Furthermore, he resides in a little rented room wherein he meets unusual people. In Korea, this type of renting an apartment is known as a goshiwon, and it is a location where several residents live to concentrate exclusively on their academics.

Strangers From Hell is the title of a Korean drama that can be found on Netflix. Only with ten parts, this is one of the shorter programs. This is for those who want to see a scary Korean drama that is a little spooky.

1. Memorist

  • Release Year: 2020
  • No. of Episodes: 16
  • Where to Watch: Netflix, Viu  
  • Genre: Action

Cast: Yoo Seung-Ho, Lee Se-Young, Lee Ruby, Hong Seung-Hee, Yoon Ji-on

Memorist will appeal to fans of Korean thriller dramas. It’s based on a webcomic created by Jae Hoo. Dong Baek is the main character of the story. He is a detective who solves crimes in Korea with the help of a polygraph examiner called Han Sun-mi. Furthermore, it contains numerous amazing pursuit and combat moments that are best reflected in live-action compared to in the webtoon.

In South Korea, webtoons are unquestionably ubiquitous; even superstars spend much of their time enjoying them. So, once you’ve finished viewing the Korean dramas on this page, read the original webtoons. Who knows, perhaps you and your Oppa are reading the very same book!

Did you enjoy the list? Comment down the Kdramas that you think should be included in the list!


Published by Shejal Thomas

Hello everyone. I aspire to be a writer and a translator. Restricting myself to a genre is not my niche. I try to explore as much as I can. You can check out my articles and blogs! Have a great day~

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