When one thinks of Japan, animes and mangas are the first to come to mind. One also thinks of cosplay and JPOP. Likewise, when it comes to Korea, K-dramas and KPOP are the trend. But did you know that manhwas, the Korean counterpart of mangas, are just as popular?
With the introduction of LINE Webtoon (Naver), manhwas are becoming increasingly accessible to non-Korean speakers. It is available on both Apple and Android devices, as well as on desktops.
LINE Webtoon’s content go beyond just Korean manhwas; they have a “Discover” section where aspiring comic artists can submit their work. If well-received – and lucky enough – artists may find their work moved to the main page!
As such, there is a wide range of titles for you to choose from, regardless your preference in genre.
Here are some of our favorites (all completed):
Cosmos / Van Ji
A personal favorite that has a special place in my heart. Winter Woods is one of my firsts and also a pleasant welcome to the world of webtoons. It follows a light-hearted fantasy (and somewhat sci-fi) theme, with characters that are easy to fall in love with.
We have Winter and Jane, the main characters, whose stories are supported by the other characters, all of whom are just as important. And an antagonist who we cannot help but root for?
The art also beautifully portrays the whimsical aspects of the story, which is told to us at a comfortable pace.
For The Sake Of Sita
A wonderful tale that weaves culture, love and fantasy together. It is a quick but intense read – and it definitely leaves your heart feeling heavy for a long while. It will also get you thinking about how every single decision we make leads to different outcomes.
Here is a little warning: you will cry.
Youngchan Hwang / Carnby Kim
What initially was curiosity turned out to be a long-time investment. Bastard is not a story we are used to, as murder and psychological themes are prevalent.
Follow Jin, our teenage protagonist and son of reputable CEO Dongsoo Seon, as he navigates through times of growth. Here comes the plot twist: the son helps his father murders women and now his target is the girl at school, with whom he has fallen in love.
Where Tangents Meet
Enough of the intense ones, here is a happy and fluffy one! Light and cheerful colors are pleasant and easy on the eyes, as is the story on the heart.
Compared to the previous recommendations, it is a straightforward read and has no hidden devices or last-minute plot twists that will blow your mind.
In a world where plants (yes, flowers and stuff) sprout and grow on our bodies when we meet our soulmate, what happens to Mai when everyone she knows has already bloomed – and she has yet to?
I am particularly in love with the use of colors and style of drawing in this webtoon, as it really helps to bring out the quirkiness of the story.
Yuri So moves into a new house, only to realise not much later that she has a housemate. An invisible housemate. Attempts to ignore his presence turn out to be futile and they become friends, eventually become pillars of support for each other.
You will find yourself tearing through this one, the need to know what happens next too strong to ignore. Also, yes, this is another tear-jerker.
Here are more that are still on-going:
Jeho Son / Hwangsu Lee
The very first webtoon I have ever read. There is no easy way to describe what this story is about, as it has unfolded in ways I never imagined it would when I first started reading.
A quick one: Rai is a Noblesse, who is in charge of the balance amongst the Nobles, the werewolves and the humans. When it comes down to it, though, his only responsibility is to protect the humans.
It follows the familiar format of splitting the entire plot into story arcs, with each character given the chance to be explored. Even the bad guys have a backstory you cannot help but shed a few tears for.
Tower Of God
In this world, there are only two types of people: the ones who climb the Tower (regulars) and the ones who don’t (irregulars). Regulars typically live in the tower, having been born there, while irregulars live outside the tower and are considered outsiders.
When Bam, an irregular, unwittingly enters the tower while trying to find his friend, Rachel, he sets off on a journey that will teach him about friendship and betrayal. It is also on this journey that he realises that everything he has ever known may not be real after all.
Youngchan Hwang / Carnby Kim
Another masterpiece by the creators who brought to you Bastard! It started not too long ago so we are still in the early stages of the story.
This is what it is about: Hyunsu’s family is killed in a car accident and he is left alone to fend for himself. Anti-social and addicted to the online world, he takes whatever money is left for him and moves out to a new place, where he counts down to his last day. Things, however, spin out of control when his neighbour turns into a monster.
Although by the same creator of Where Tangents Meet, Siren’s Lament is more complicated in terms of storyline. It is still a light-hearted read, although the plot gradually thickens as the story progresses.
The second season started just a few weeks back, where we continue our journey with Lyra, whose broken heart led her to a world of curses and sirens. Definitely one to make you think and come up with theories.
If you are as cowardly as I am but still want to try out a supernatural story, this is the one for you. There is nothing too intense and splits the limelight amongst the main characters, although with a little more focus on Simon.
Simon is a detective whose supernatural abilities have opened up to him a whole new world of police-and-criminal.
My Dear Cold-Blooded King
First of all, the artwork. The artwork! I was mostly drawn to this webtoon because of the artwork because – let me be honest here – the title does not really do it for me. You’d think at first glance that this is a romance between the kind girl and the cold-hearted king, but no.
Kihara Mei has always led a simple and quiet life until she one day saves the life of a royalty. One thing leads to another and her curiosity soon finds her with the opportunity to uncover the truth behind her brother’s death.
A slice-of-life webtoon that is bound to have you bursting into laughter, Yumi’s Cells focuses on the life of Yumi. And her brain cells.
Here is a simple introduction of one of her brain cells: Hunger Cell, who is the biggest baby and wants only food.
Give this a read, you will not regret it.
Archie the Redcar
Ran is an orphan, having lost both her parents in a car accident. Enters Eggy, a handsome guy who emerges from the egg that suddenly appeared in her bedroom one night… and starts following her around like he is her mother.
There really is no easy way to explain this.
Ah, this is easily one of my favorite webtoon!
Daniel Park, often the target of bullies, finally decides to end his misery by escaping. He transfers to another school, moves far away – and wakes up one day in a new body?!
Lookism is created by a back-in-the-days ulzzang (online personalities who are known for their looks) and largely focuses on how society treats us based on our looks. At first sight, it looks like a comedy but it is deeper than that as it actually tackles a lot of today’s problems.
Whew, that was quite the list! Let us know if you are familiar with anything on the list and what you think of them. Or if you have any more recommendations, feel free to share with us!