Webtoons To Read Before Binge-Watching Their K-Drama Adaptations

Manhwa, also known as webtoon, is to South Korea as manga is to Japan. While manga comics are usually turned into anime in Japan, webtoons receive a more lifelike adaptation in the form of K-dramas. And you’ll realize that some of the best South Korean dramas actually came out of webcomic illustrations.

The top webtoon platforms in South Korea are Naver and Daum, which are the usual source for K-drama adaptations. Currently, only Naver has an official English webtoon portal, But if you already have a decent level of proficiency in Korean, then browsing on Daum shouldn’t be a problem. Other sources for official English-translated webtoons are Tappytoon Comics, Toomics, and Tapas, although their catalog of webtoons from Daum and Naver is very limited. 

Reading webtoons is a whole different experience as they have their own manner of storytelling and art styles. If you want to get a better understanding of the story or are just curious about the origins of the K-drama characters, check out these webtoons you can read before watching their latest K-drama adaptations.



True Beauty

via WEBTOON Entertainment

True Beauty is one of the latest webtoons to be adapted into a K-drama. It’s an ageless webcomic series that has been ongoing since 2018. As of writing, it has already crossed the 100th mark in webtoon episodes. Perhaps part of the reason it’s well-liked is that it’s honest and relatable, tackling the disconnect between true beauty and outer appearance. It follows the story of Jugyeong Lim (played by Moon Ga-young), who’s confident only when she has make-up on, and her journey to self-acceptance. 

Webtoon page:



Amazing Rumor / The Uncanny Counter

via Daum Webtoon

The Uncanny Counter is one of the newest South Korean dramas that has easily caught people’s eyes due to its fascinating visual effects and storyline. The story is about evil spirit hunters called “counters” who are appointed after near-death experiences. The titular hero, however, had not touched death before being recruited. 

The original webtoon is on Daum, entitled Amazing Rumor by Jang Yi. If you enjoy the story, you’ll be glad to know that season 2 is already ongoing on Daum Webtoon. However, it’s only currently available in Korean.

Webtoon page: Daum Webtoon (Korean only)



Sweet Home

via WEBTOON Entertainment

Published in 2018, Sweet Home is a very captivating read with its realistic and detailed art. And to see it in a live-action adaptation is even more thrilling. Don’t be fooled by the title; this webtoon is a dark thriller that revolves around a high school student’s fight against horrendous monsters that have taken over his apartment—and the world. 

The K-drama of the same title has been released just last December 2020. It stars Song Kang, Lee Si-young, and Lee Jin-wook among others. 

Webtoon page:



Itaewon Class

via Daum Webtoon

The highly-rated Itaewon Class starring Park Seo-joon was based on a webtoon of the same name by Cho Kwang-jin, originally published on Daum Webtoon. From the beginning, the K-drama was already set up for success because the webtoon itself was a big hit among readers. 

There is currently no official English translation available for the webtoon. But you may be able to find fan-translated versions online. 

Webtoon page: Daum Webtoon (Korean only)



Twin Tops Bar / Mystic Pop-Up Bar

via Daum Webtoon

Twin Tops Bar is a long-running webtoon series that was first published on Daum Webtoon in 2016. It was then released as a K-drama with the title Mystic Pop-Up Bar in May 2020. Both the webtoon and the K-drama generally have warm reception due to the heartwarming story. It revolves around a food truck that appears every night, with the owner Wol-joo having the ability to enter people’s dreams and give them some form of healing.

Webtoon page: Daum Webtoon (Korean only)



Now at Our School / All of Us Are Dead

via Naver Webtoon

Now at Our School is another thriller webtoon with an upcoming K-drama version to watch out for. The webtoon is a Naver Webtoon classic, which rose in popularity quickly after it was released back in 2009. The story is about a zombie crisis that began in a high school and how the students trapped inside fight to survive—almost in a similar vein as Sweet Home.

The adaptation entitled All of Us Are Dead is slated for release in the first half of 2021. The star troop of students from the webtoon will be portrayed by Yoon Chan-young, Park Ji-hoo, Jo Hi-hyun, and Park Solomon. 

Webtoon page: Naver Webtoon (Korean only)



These webtoons are certified to keep you glued to your screen. Don’t get hungry while reading! Grab some snacks like brownies, lava cakes, and Basque-burnt cheesecake from Miss B, or pig out on delicious Korean BBQ you can grill at home!



*Featured image via via Daum & tvN