14 Webtoons Recommended and Reviewed by a Korean
This post covers the best Korean webtoons.
I’ve been reading them almost every day since they were first created.
I categorized the top Korean webtoons by platform.
Let’s check them out, spoiler free!
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 around, read comic books and eat snacks.
Daum made things easier in 2003 when they invented the Korean webtoon concept and made comics readable from our smartphones.
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.
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.
Tower of God has consistency, creativity and perfect character development. It’s fun to read and watch with an animated version (English subtitles).
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.
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.
Wednesday: 전지적 독자 시점 (Omniscient Reader)
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, it still distinguishes itself with its unique concept. I also love the drawings and storyline.
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).
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.
The Boxer will immediately bring you into the webtoon world. The focus is so intense that you’ll be left breathless.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Good good (굳굳)
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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)
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.
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.
Good good (굳굳)
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.
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.
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)
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!
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.
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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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