10 Best K-Drama Based On Popular Webtoons | TheReviewGeek Recommends

10 Best K-Drama Based On Popular Webtoons / Manga

Some of the most beloved K-drama have actually been adapted from popular webtoons and manga. Other times, these shows have taken the source material and completely changed the story- for better or worse.

Below are our team’s picks for the best K-drama that have been adapted from webtoons or manga. As always, if you have a specific favourite K-drama that’s not listed, do let us know in the comments below!

Mystic Pop-Up Bar (2020)

Original Webtoon – Mystic Pop-Up Bar by Bae Hyesoo

With an original story and some great chemistry from its cast, this K-Drama hits all the right notes when it comes to humour, tension and world building. It tackles a lot of important themes about life and death, along with the consequences of our actions, which serves up a nice layer of depth to everything.

The drama excels with its world building, showing us how people are judged after they pass away and what happens afterwards. There is a strong sense of karma running throughout, with emphasis on how our past actions will reflect our next life – or even our future.

You can read our thoughts on Mystic Pop-Up Bar in our full season review here!

Strangers From Hell (2019)

Original Webtoon – Hell Is Other People by Yong-Ki Kim

Strangers From Hell revolves around a boy called Jong-Woo who moves to Seoul and finds himself abandoned and alone inside an apartment block. Unfortunately, it’s also shared by some pretty creepy and unnerving characters.

From the maniacally laughing Deuk-jong to the quiet and reserved Nam-bok, every character inside this block has a secret they’re holding. Across the 10 episodes we learn exactly what that secret is, spilling over into a pretty climactic and thrilling finale.

You can read our thoughts on Strangers From Hell in our full season review here!

The Uncanny Counter (2020-2023)

Original Webtoon – Amazing Rumor by Jang Yi

The Uncanny Counter is an action-packed drama revolving around a dysfunctional group who team up to take on high-powered demons. With a premise similar to Tomorrow, the drama here revolves around a boy called Mun who’s traumatized by the death of his parents as a child. Raised by his grandparents, Mun finds himself thrown into the world of demon-hunting as he’s made a member of the illustrious Counters.

Armed with super strength and an array of different abilities, the Counters get wrapped up in a wide-spanning political conspiracy involving the Mayor and a Director of a local company. Things are unfortunately made even more complicated by a level 4 demon called Cheong-shin who kills one of the Counters and begins a murderous rampage.

You can read our thoughts on The Uncanny Counter in our full season review here!

Sweet Home (2020)

Original Webtoon – Sweet Home by  Kim Carnby

Adapted from the webtoon of the same name, Sweet Home is an action packed fight for survival as humanity finds itself on the brink of extinction. When people suddenly begin to turn into monsters outside, a group of misfit residents inside an apartment complex are forced to work together. Of course, cabin fever, fear and paranoia begin to consume our characters.

When the monsters do show up, Sweet Home ramps up the pace and tension to deliver breathless episodes of action back to back.

You can read our thoughts on Sweet Home in our full season review here!

My ID is Gangnam Beauty

Original Webtoon – My ID is Gangnam Beauty by Maenggi Ki

My ID is Gangnam Beauty is a thoughtful and reflective K-drama, one that echoes back to that age old quote that beauty is on in the inside. The story centers on poor Mi-Rae, who’s bullied because of her looks. As a result, she ends up insecure and withdrawn, eventually deciding to get plastic surgery.

When Mi-Rae starts university, she meets Kyung-Suk whom she knew from middle school. He soon becomes attracted to Mi-Rae but when Mi-Rae is teased again, this time labeled as “Gangnam Beauty”, Kyung-Suk becomes the one person to stand up for her. Mi-Rae gets her confidence back and discovers that true beauty is not what’s on the outside but what’s on the inside.

whats wrong with secretary kim

What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim? (2018)

Original Webtoon – What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim by Jung Kyung-yoon

Based on the webtoon remake of the novel “Kimbiseoga Wae Geureolgga”, What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim is the perfect example of why you should never judge a book by its cover. Between the glimpses of our lead character’s dark past, the real kicker with Secretary Kim comes from the characters.

Sometimes a group of actors come together and just have that X-factor to produce something magical and this is one such example. The main characters are incredibly likable, there’s some wonderful humour and both leads have excellent chemistry. This helps elevate this simple rom-com into something profound and enjoyable.

You can read our thoughts on What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim in our full season review here!

Extraordinary You (2019)

Original Webtoon –  July Found by Chance

Extraordinary You is a cleverly written series, one that combines comedy and mystery elements to great effect whilst setting its tale in the self-aware confines of a comic book.

At the heart of this one is Dan-O, a lovable high school girl who quickly discovers she’s a central character in a comic book. The story itself unfolds across two separate areas – the shadow and the scene. The latter sees the actions and dialogue of each character pre-determined by the writer. In the shadows, the characters are free to act however they please.

When Dan-O learns she’s not the main character in the story, thanks to the exploits of fellow classmate Joo-Da, Dan-O inadvertently changes the story, setting off a chain of events that result in some pretty wild and crazy story beats.

cheese in the trap

Cheese In The Trap (2016)

Original Webtoon – Cheese In The Trap by Soonkki

Welcome to the ensemble K-drama that starts off with Hong-seol, a hardworking university student who encounters the enigmatic and popular senior, Yoo-jung. Initially charming, Yoo-jung’s personality begins to unravel, revealing a darker side.

As their paths intertwine, plenty of secrets, jealousy and psychological mind games come into play, leaving you to wonder just who holds the power in this intense college drama.

True Beauty (2020)

Original Webtoon – True Beauty by Yaongyi

True Beauty is a perfectly enjoyable Korean drama. It’s a cuddly, warm-hearted romp, with enough laughs, romance and drama to keep you hooked until the end. It’s also a show riddled with clichés and tropes, taking what worked so well in Extraordinary You (the Director’s previous work and also on this list) and adding that here too. This one’s is faithful to the source material and there’s some good laughs along the way too.

You can read our thoughts on True Beauty in our full season review here!

All of Us Are Dead

All Of Us Are Dead (2022)

Original Webtoon – All Of Us Are Dead by Joo Dong-geun

Koreans have spoilt us for zombie content. Off the back of the wildly successful Kingdom and Train to Busan, a lot of expectations were levied at the newest zombie craze, All Of Us Are Dead.

Taking a high school setting and throwing a zombie apocalypse into the mix may not sound like anything original but with 12 episodes to play with, there’s a lot of fun to be had with this one. Expect plenty of tense action, big character moments and lots of drama to boot!

You can read our thoughts on All Of Us Are Dead in our full season review here!

And there we have it, our list of the 10 picks for the best K-drama based on webtoons!

What do you think of our list? Have we included your favourites? Or have we missed any must-watch dramas? We love to hear from you so do feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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