I grew up reading comic books in Korea.
During midterms or finals in middle and high school, my friends and I always talked about how we wanted to just lie down, read comic books and eat snacks.
Now, webtoons are a multi-million dollar industry that has replaced the comic book scene in Korea.
What is a Webtoon?
There are two main platforms where you can read webtoons: Naver and Daum.
Naver and Daum are the top 2 search engines in Korea.
You can either read them on their websites or download their webtoon apps. Both of them feature daily webtoons, which are updated on a weekly basis.
7 Naver Webtoons
Monday: 신의 탑 (Tower of God)
Tower of God is about Bam, a mysterious boy who enters a mythical tower to follow a girl who means everything to him; and the unique cast of characters who climb the tower with him.
Since 2010, it’s been one of the top Monday webtoons on Naver.
What I really love about this webtoon is that it hasn’t had a 캐붕 (캐릭터 붕괴 or character collapse, when someone acts completely out of character).
There’s even an animated version now on Crunchyroll that’s produced by the joint effort of Korea, the U.S., and Japan.
Tuesday: 여신강림 (True Beauty)
True Beauty is about the secret of a beautiful girl.
Its title literally means 여신 (goddess) 강림 (advent).
It quickly became one of the top webtoons on Tuesday since it was serialized in 2018.
You can see the Korean perspective on beauty in relation to both men and women.
Wednesday: 전지적 독자 시점 (Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint)
Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint is about 독자 (reader) an ordinary man in every way, except that he’s the only person to read a certain novel.
One day, the world ended and a new world unfolded, just like in the novel he read.
As soon as it was turned from a web novel into a Wednesday webtoon, it quickly gained popularity.
Even with the flood of new webtoons, it still distinguishes itself with its unique concept. I also love the drawings and storyline.
Thursday: 더 복서 (The Boxer)
The Boxer is about the shocking talent of the main character, Yoo. It asks the question of whether having too much natural ability is a blessing or a curse with a serious tone.
As a relatively new webtoon that began in December 2019, it was highly praised by Korean readers.
You will get hooked on this webtoon instantly.
Friday: 1초 (1 Second)
1 Second is about a legendary firefighter with a 100% rescue record. It’s also about his special ability to predict the future.
The creators regularly conduct interviews and Q&As over the phone with real firefighters to capture realism. 1 Second aims to analyze humanism more than being a complete fantasy.
Since firefighters don’t get the benefits they deserve in Korea, many readers have started supporting them because of this webtoon.
Saturday: 유미의 세포들 (Yumi’s Cells)
Yumi’s Cells is about what Yumi is thinking about right now. It’s the story of brain cells that are busy working in her head!
The main brain cell characters are: love cell, hunger cell, anxiety cell, naughty cell, etc.
Think Pixar’s Inside Out with romance. The creator’s drawings are quite cute, and you can get a glimpse of how dating works in Korea.
Sunday: 싸움독학 (How to Fight)
How to Fight is about a weak and poor boy who stumbles upon a secret YouTube video that teaches him how to fight.
After learning martial arts, he starts his own YouTube channel where he fights bullies.
It captures the reality of what high school students go through in Korea. Except that no one studies hard and lots of pretty girls like the main character for some reason.
7 Daum Webtoons
Monday: 사귄 건 아닌데 (We Were Not Dating)
We Were Not Dating is about a girl who runs into her first love again after 9 years when she’s 29.
This webtoon is not only a love story, but also shows her lonely lifestyle in Seoul away from home, with the many regrets from her early 20s.
It’s very realistic, but has the fantasy element of randomly finding your first love again in a big cold city.
Tuesday: 아비무쌍 (Peerless Dad)
Genre: Martial Arts/Oriental Fantasy
Peerless Dad is about an unrivaled father who will do anything to protect his children.
Its charming and funny aspect is that the father doesn’t know how strong he is even though he has no equal.
The webtoon was based on a novel and is hilarious.
Wednesday: 콜로세움 (Colosseum)
Colosseum is about a seemingly normal man with a dark secret who fights against overwhelming power.
It’s about a “judgment show” that’s held at the club “Colosseum” for vicious criminals who were released after receiving short sentences; who haven’t been caught for a long time; or who have avoided punishment by hiring expensive lawyers.
But nobody knows how the Colosseum finds these sinners and has that much power to execute them.
The storyline is pretty solid so far, and I hope they make a movie out of it someday.
Thursday: 샬롯에게는 다섯 명의 제자가 있다 (Charlotte Has Five Disciples)
Charlotte Has Five Disciples is about the Archmage, Charlotte, who saved the world.
One day, she gets tired of everything and decides to die at the age of 121. She mysteriously returns from the dead as a young girl and tries to live a new life, but finds out that her 5 disciples are all acting strange.
I love this webtoon for its beautiful illustrations and character development.
Friday: 퀴퀴한 일기 (Musty Diary)
Genre: Everyday Life
Musty Diary is super light. It shows the creator’s daily life through a cute character who’s sometimes naughty or funny.
You can take a peek at the lives of Korean women in their 30s and their friendships.
Even though I’ve never met the creator and her friends, I feel like I know them. The series is great for getting validation and makes you feel like you’re not alone.
Saturday: 여의주 (Dragon Pearl)
Dragon Pearl is about a woman who gave up on getting a job and instead challenges herself to become a politician.
If you’re curious about the political scene in Korea, this webtoon might be perfect for you.
I like how it captures reality, while adding a little bit of fantasy to make it a feel good story.
Sunday: 대마법사의 딸 (The Archmage’s Daughter)
The Archmage’s Daughter is about a little girl who was left with mean foster parents, then meets her real dad.
Her father is the Archmage who adores her so much that he’ll do anything.
This cute webtoon makes me feel good after reading it.
If you love magic or fantasy, check it out!
Korean webtoons are becoming popular around the world. They’re great for learning Korean too!
Let us know your favorite webtoon in the comments.