16 Unmissable Webtoons Recommended and Reviewed by a Korean

Have some time on your hands?

This post covers the best Korean webtoons you can enjoy from the comfort of your phone.

I’ve been reading webtoons on the reg since they were first created, and I’m tired of pretending I don’t^^

Here are the top Korean webtoons categorized by genre and platform.

Let’s check them out, spoiler free!

14 Webtoons Recommended by a Korean

I grew up reading comic books in Korea. My oppa (AKA my mom’s son) usually borrowed them from a comic book rental shop(만화방) and charged me half the rental fee, which was 150 won ヾ( ̄▽ ̄) /.

During midterms and finals in middle and high school, my friends and I always talked about how we wanted to just lie around, read comic books and eat snacks. Ahhh, living the dream.

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Daum made things easier in 2003 when they invented the Korean webtoon concept and put the comics online.

Now, Korean webtoons are a multi-million dollar industry that’s replaced the comic book scene in South Korea. They’ve even gone global and are leading the K-drama takeover of Netflix.

More about Netflix K-dramas based on Webtoons

There are hundreds of popular webtoons in Korean to keep you entertained for hours.


  • Webtoons are a great way to learn Korean language and culture.
  • If you want to get fluent in Korean fast, check out Pimsleur here.
  • Some Korean apps and websites aren’t available overseas. Access everything with VPN here!

7 Naver Webtoons

Monday: 신의 탑 (Tower of God)

Genre: Fantasy

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 through the joint effort of Korea, the U.S., and Japan that I recommend. (Obligatory: although the audio of anime is in Japanese, this Webtoon is from Korea.)

Scoring - 8

Joeum (좋음)

Tower of God has creativity and good character development. It’s fun to read and watch the animated version (English subtitles).

※Update: I lowered the score since the recent episodes haven’t been up to snuff. Too many characters, complicated game rules, plot line dragged, etc. I’m taking a break from it until SIU (webtoonist) figures some stuff out.

Tuesday: 여신강림 (True Beauty)

Genre: Romance

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.

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You can see the Korean perspective on beauty in relation to both men and women.

This webtoon will become a K-drama in 2020 on tvn.

Scoring - 6

Uhm (음)

The beginning of True Beauty started out as a 10 with pretty drawings and criticisms of Korean society obsessed with outer beauty. However, the story doesn’t develop much as time goes by.

※Update: I dropped the score since the storyline has been going round in circles for a while now. If you want to look at pretty drawings, I still recommend this webtoon. But Jugyeong, the main protagonist, isn’t growing as a person/character.

Wednesday: 전지적 독자 시점 (Omniscient Reader)

Genre: Fantasy

Omniscient Reader 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, O.R. distinguishes itself with its unique concept. I also love the drawings and storyline.

Scoring - 10

Daebak! (대박!)

Omniscient Reader is an ongoing webtoon, and it’s been great so far. I love its solid story line and 사이다 (cider, a trendy Korean word that means something gratifying).

※Update: I still enjoy Omniscient Reader every Wednesday. Everything is on point!

Thursday: 더 복서 (The Boxer)

Genre: Action/Sports

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.

Scoring - 10

Daebak! (대박!)

The Boxer will immediately bring you into the webtoon world. The focus is so intense that you’ll be left breathless.

※Update: The Boxer series already had a finale, with an epilogue currently ongoing. The webtoonist Jung Jihoon later added a lot of Christian symbols and music, but it’s not that preachy. Overall, the quality is good.

Friday: 1초 (1 Second)

Genre: Drama

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. 

Scoring - 9

Jonjo (존좋)

1 Second is pretty amazing. I love its realism, but with hope for saving more people. Putting cultural differences aside, it’s still a heartwarming story.

※Update: I still enjoy 1 Second every Friday, it’s still great.

Saturday: 유미의 세포들 (Yumi’s Cells)

Genre: Romance

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.

Scoring - 8

Joeum (좋음)

Yumi’s Cells is a complete series. It cleverly describes how the human thought process works in a cute way. But, the story of Babi is a bit far-fetched.

※Update: Yumi’s Cells turned into a K-drama and was a huge success. Even my friends who don’t read webtoons loved it. There will be a Season 2, which airs in June 2022!

❤NEW! Saturday: 초인의 시대 (The Era of Overman)

Genre: Action

The Era of Overman had me up all night binge-reading! It’s now one of my favorite webtoons!

Monsters of unknown origin (이인종, which literally means alien species) appear on Earth, and so do the ‘overmen (초인, which is more like super humans)’ who can match them.

The overall story follows the typical hero vs. monster type. But thanks to the excellent drawings, dynamic action and cool story development, it rose to the top of Saturday Webtoons around episode 60.

Sadly, there’s no official English version yet, but you can check out the game on Google Play or App Store!

Scoring - 10

Daebak! (대박!)

The Era of Overman feels like a good old superhero manhwa. The drawings are pretty manly. Every character has a strong macho image with thick lines and thicker blood vessels, regardless of gender. Some may disagree, but I love how female heroes are buff because it just makes sense somehow.

Sunday: 싸움독학 (How to Fight)

Genre: Action

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.

Scoring - 9

Jonjo (존좋)

How to Fight is worth a look. As the number of school life comics increased too much, I lost interest. But its story and drawings are still good.

※Update: I raised the score. I’m glad I restarted reading How to Fight! Recently, this webtoon became immersive with super intense BGM (background music) that’s pretty intense when you’re lying in bed about to sleep. I’m both thrilled and sad that the end is nigh.

Some of these webtoons won’t be available in your country. Access every Korean app with VPN here!

7 Daum Webtoons

Monday: 사귄 건 아닌데 (We Were Not Dating)

Genre: Romance

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.

More about Korean dating

It’s very realistic, but has the fantasy element of randomly finding your first love again in a big cold city.

Scoring - 7

Good good (굳굳)

We Were Not Dating is fun to read. The characters are cute and realistic. It can be frustrating at times, but so far so good.

※Update: Spoiler Alert! We Were Not Dating had a very happy ending.

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.

Scoring - 8

Joeum (좋음)

Peerless Dad is pretty fun to read. Its drawing style feels a bit old to me, but it may bring nostalgia to some. I love its solid story line.

Wednesday: 콜로세움 (Colosseum)

Genre: Action/Thriller

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.

Scoring - 9

Jonjo (존좋)

Colosseum is awesome and feels like a movie. The main character doesn’t feel frustrating like 고구마.

Thursday: 샬롯에게는 다섯 명의 제자가 있다 (Charlotte Has Five Disciples)

Genre: Fantasy/Magic

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.

Scoring - 10

Daebak! (대박!)

Charlotte Has Five Disciples is totally worth your time. On top of its beautiful drawings, all the characters are attractive. I’m curious to see mysteries being solved.

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.

Scoring - 8

Joeum (좋음)

Musty Diary is perfect for Korean women in their mid-20s to 40s. However, it may be a bit hard to empathize if you’re not in that age group.

※Update: I raised the score as I’m still enjoying this webtoon. It really feels like you know a group of funny and nice unnie!

Saturday: 여의주 (Dragon Pearl)

Genre: Politics

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.

Scoring - 8

Joeum (좋음)

Dragon Pearl is good if you’re interested in Korean politics. The scenes are pretty intense and can immerse you in the story.

Sunday: 대마법사의 딸 (The Archmage’s Daughter)


Genre: Fantasy

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!

Scoring - 9

Jonjo (존좋)

The Archmage’s Daughter is a feel-good webtoon. The characters (other than the mean ones) adore the main character, putting smile on my face.

Complete: 나 혼자만 레벨업 (Solo Leveling)

Genre: Fantasy

It isn’t fair to judge a webtoon until it’s complete (even though I’ve done it multiple times in this post). So I’m totally comfortable saying Solo Leveling is one of the best ever, since it’s finished.

Solo Leveling is my “인생웹툰” (insaeng webtoon, which literally means “life webtoon” or favorite webtoon of my lifetime).

It’s an underdog story for the ages that stays good till the end.

This webtoon is about Hunters with magical powers being the last line of defense against monsters who are trying to invade humanity. It centers on Sung Jinwoo, the weakest of all the Hunters, and his struggles.

If you’re thinking “this sounds familiar”, you’d be right. But, it’s the storytelling and artwork that really distinguish this must-read webtoon.

As of now, there’s no English version. But, I’m sure you can *ahem* figure that out on the web.

Scoring - 10

Daebak! (대박!)

Solo Leveling is the perfect example of a webtoon that’s good to the last drop. A must for any webtoon fan!


What is a Webtoon?

Webtoon (웹툰) is a combination of the word “web” and “cartoon”.

It’s a digital comic or manhwa you can (temporarily) download and read on mobile devices or desktop.

Webtoons are created by individuals or small teams, instead of studios.

They’re released in weekly Episodes and some of the longer ones have Seasons that can last a year.

Webtoons steadily gained popularity and grew into the most influential Manhwa medium in South Korea.

When were Webtoons Invented?

Webtoons were invented in February 2003 by Daum in South Korea as a response to the waning popularity of Manhwa (printed comic books).

“Love Story” by Kang Full was the first huge success on Daum to kickstart the Webtoon Industry.

Naver founded Line Webtoon in June 2004, and launched their website worldwide on July 2, 2004.

“The Sound of Your Heart” by Cho Seok became a sensational hit on Naver, making it the number one platform.

Now, many countries including Taiwan, Mainland China, India and Southeast Asia have their own blossoming Webtoon Industries.

Webtoons have yet to catch on in Japan since Manga is still going strong.

Why should I read Webtoons?

Whether you’re old, young, rich, poor, male or female, there’s a Webtoon for you. They cover every subject you can imagine from real life to fantasy.

They’re full of creative stories, compelling characters and beautiful drawings.

Webtoon quality is kept high by the legions of vigilant fans who directly interact with Webtoonists to give them feedback.

Plagiarism is self-policed by Webtoon fans who call out Webtoonists whenever they borrow concepts or characters from others intentionally or accidentally.

Webtoons are made to be read on your smartphone or tablet, so they’re easy to access and read.

Webtoons are perfect when you want to chill and have fun by yourself.

Webtoons are a great way to learn Korean if you already know how to read Hangeul.

Webtoons Vs. Manhwa/Manga

Webtoons are jazz to the classical music of Manhwa/Manga.

The latter have been around a lot longer and tend to follow more consistent forms.

On the other hand, Webtoons are unpredictable and have less structure. In many Webtoons, you’re not sure who the protagonist is and if they’ll actually prevail.

Here are some major differences between the two.

Webtoons are digital.Manhwa/Manga are printed.
Webtoons are colorful.Manhwa/Manga are mostly black and white.
Webtoons are self-published.Manhwa/Manga are created by studios.
Webtoons aren’t edited by studios.Manhwa/Manga are influenced by studios.
Webtoons are critiqued directly by fans every week.Manhwa/Manga are critiqued after they’re completed.
Webtoons are published online every week.Manhwa/Manga are published every week or month depending on the magazine. (for example, Weekly Shounen Jump vs Monthly Shounen Magazine)

Webtoons are self-published from the beginning and gain direct feedback from fans.

Manhwaga/Mangaka get experience by apprenticing under other more established artists, and then creating their own before presenting them to studios.

Webtoonists aren’t told what to create and the ones that are popular or have potential are selected by Naver, Daum and Kakaopage.

The only instruction a Webtoonist receives is what time to upload their episodes.

Studios give Mangaka instructions on what to create and the direction of stories. This can lead to formulaic manga that we love, but can get repetitive. (Think of the characters on Dragon Ball, Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, etc.)

Who can become a Webtoonist?

Anyone can be a Webtoonist (Webtoon Creator or Artist). Even you!

Many Webtoonists are beginners who learn on the job. You can even see the progression of their illustrations and writing.

Who can read Webtoons? What age group are Webtoons intended for?

Anyone who loves manhwa/comics can read and enjoy Webtoons.

Some Webtoons may not be suitable for your kids since most Webtoons are rated for readers above 12, 15 or 18 years old.

When can I read Webtoons?

You can read Webtoons anytime you want.

Koreans read them throughout the day, but Webtoon traffic peaks around 1 PM after lunch, and 5 PM when finishing work. Also, enthusiasts read Webtoons when new episodes are updated at 11 PM (for Naver) and 10 PM (for Daum) in Korea.

Where can I read Webtoons?

Major Webtoon platforms are Naver, Daum, Kakaopage and Lezhin Comics.

Korean VersionEnglish Version
Naver WebtoonNaver Webtoon
Daum Webtoon 
Lezhin ComicsLezhin Comics

The differences between these platforms are:

  • Naver Webtoon feels more accessible. Naver features way more Webtoons, offering a variety of options. Naver carries more school-related stories and feels a bit skewed towards younger audiences (in high school or college).
  • Daum Webtoon has content like books or movies I want to collect. Daum seems to interact more with their Webtoonists than Naver. (Naver Webtoonists attract more controversy since Naver Webtoons are not filtered or edited by the person in charge.)
  • Lezhin Comics is better for adult audiences with its paid system. It features more rated R Webtoons, which are difficult to serialize on other platforms. Lezhin carries more BL (Boy’s Love), GL/Baekhap (Girl’s Love) or maniac (graphic) topics.
  • Kakaopage is hard to binge-read (정주행) since you can only read one episode every few hours/days for free.

Are Webtoons free?

Yes! They’re completely free. You can download their apps or sign up/read Webtoons.

You can view almost every episode from the beginning up to the nearly-latest ones for free on Naver and Daum. For Kakaopage, you need to wait 8 hours to 7 days to unlock the next episode for free.

If you want to fast track things and read the newest episodes before other people, you can purchase “coins”, such as “cookies” on Naver or “cash” on Daum and Kakaopage.

Why are Webtoons popular?

Initially, Webtoons became popular among manhwa fans with their optimization for smartphones with vertical scrolling and all-color screens.

Webtoons are created with vibrant colors and intricate drawings. Some are so beautiful, they wouldn’t be out of place in an art museum.

Webtoonists are passionate and hungry (only the top Webtoonists make a fortune). They come up with the story for each episode and draw about 100 scenes (cuts) every week.

Since Webtoons are digital, Webtoonists often collaborate with musicians, sometimes with K-pop stars, on the BGM (background music) for special episodes.

Also, being able to quickly and directly communicate with artists contributed to their popularity.

The success of K-dramas and movies based on Webtoons also helped!

Why are Webtoons adapted into K-dramas?

When a Webtoon is adapted into drama or movie, it’s easy to promote since it has a built-in fan base.

Also, the unique stories and character development bring something new to audiences.

“Kingdom” on Netflix, is actually based on the Webtoon, “The Kingdom of the Gods”.

How do I become a Webtoon artist?

You can self-publish your creation on a platform like Webtoon Canvas by Naver. Then, Naver might offer a contract to feature your Webtoon on Originals.

To promote your artwork and get more fans, feel free to post your Webtoon on our Forum.

How are webtoons created?

Webtoons have a weekly release schedule for their Episodes.

The longer Webtoons are divided by Seasons with a short break in between. This is the only time many Webtoonists can rest. As you might imagine, many have health issues. One even got COVID-19 and still worked at the hospital.

What types of Webtoons are there?

The four main categories of Webtoons are:

  • Action
  • Romance
  • Fantasy
  • Reality

Webtoons often come in different variations of these four genres and sometimes combine more than one.

What are Korean Webtoons based on?

Korean Webtoons cover many subjects. The ones that are based on real life often contain scenes from Korea. Here are some pictures to give you context.

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Did we miss anything?

Korean webtoons are becoming popular around the world. They’re great for learning Korean too!

Let us know your favorite webtoon in the comments.

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13 thoughts on “16 Unmissable Webtoons Recommended and Reviewed by a Korean”

    • OMG that is one of my favorite webtoons now! I really like 메데이아 and 프시케 for being strong and kind of saving each other. I will add it to the post soon.

  1. thanks for the informative article! it’s really helped me understand korean webtoons better. Now I know which one to read!

  2. Hi there!! I’m so grateful for this write up. I ended up reading ‘we were not dating’. Its so cute and give you the right amount of happy hormones. I haven’t completed it as yet. But it does have some gloomy elements but in the right balance. The creator totally knew how to keep it light and entertaining. Thank you for your recommendation 🙂

  3. Hi there!! I’m so grateful for this write up. I ended up reading ‘we were not dating’. Its so cute and give you the right amount of happy hormones. I haven’t completed it as yet. But it does have some gloomy elements but in the right balance. The creator totally knew how to keep it light and entertaining. I came here after searching for webtoons similar to Cheese in the trap. Thank you for your recommendation 🙂


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