With the recent increase in demand for Korean content, particularly Korean dramas, producers are turning to a variety of sources for inspiration, and their most recent inspiration is webtoons.
For the unaware, webtoons are mobile-friendly digital comics, immensely popular in South Korea for their life-like, colorful illustrations and highly engaging plots. Millions of people from across the world read the online comics, which are usually released in parts called “episodes” every week.
Spanning genres from romance to thriller, this article compiles a list of ten amazing K-dramas adapted from webtoons released in 2022, that you should catch up on before the year ends.
Top 10 must watch K-dramas adapted from popular webtoons in 2022
1) Business Proposal
An office rom-com drama adapted from a popular webtoon of the same name, Business Proposal is created by HaeHwa and illustrated by Narak. The adaptation has Kim Se-jeong as Shin Ha-ri alongside Ahn Hyo-seop as the CEO Kang Tae-moo in lead roles.
Business Proposal follows the story of Ha-ri who often agrees to go on blind dates instead of her friend, but gets swept up in a whirlwind romance when one date turns out to be with a workaholic, full of himself CEO.
Based on Llama’s 2017 Naver webtoon, MBC’s Tomorrow is a fantasy series with an intriguing and inspirational storyline that portrays the harsh realities of everyday life.
The plot revolves around an unemployed graduate, Choi Jun-wung, who wakes up from a coma to find himself working with a team of grim reapers who save the lives of people on the brink of suicide. Helmed by director Kim Tae-yun, the drama stars Kim Hee-sun, Lee Soo-hyuk, Yun Ji-on and Rowoon of K-pop boyband SF9.
3) All Of Us Are Dead
One of the most talked about Korean drama’s after Squid Game, All Of Us Are Dead is adapted from a webtoon comic aka Manhwa, called Now at Our School.
The drama features a group of students at Hyosan High School as they struggle to survive a zombie apocalypse that breaks out on campus. Themes of love, friendship, sacrifice, and bullying are incorporated into the plot as the group learns more about the infection.
Featuring an ensemble cast with leads Park Ji-hu, Yoon Chan-young, Cho Yi-hyun and Park Solomon, the hit zombie thriller was renewed for a second season in 2023.
4) The Sound of Magic
A Netflix original adaption of the webtoon, Annarasumanara, created by Ha Il-kwon in 2010. The 6-episode series focuses on a student, Yoon Ah-yi, who has matured before her age and leads a boring and dull life.
However, Yoon Ah-yi’s life changes when she meets a mysterious magician, Lee Eul, who makes her believe the unbelievable and reignites her childlike spark. The musical that takes viewers on a magical adventure stars Ji Chang-wook (Lee Eul) and Choi Seong-eun (Ah-yi) in lead roles.
5) Again My Life
Adapted from Lee Hae-Nal’s web novel that was converted to a webtoon, Again My Life is a time travel revenge thriller starring Lee Joon-gi in the lead role. He plays Kim Hee-woo, a prosecutor who was murdered and meets the grim reaper to get another shot at life.
Sent back in time to when he was 18, Hee-woo has to pass the bar again as he uncovers his death and plots revenge against a corrupt politician named Jo Tae-sup. Directed by Han Chul-soo and Kim Yong-min, the show has Kim Ji-eun and Lee Kyung-young as the lead actors.
6) Jinxed At First
Based on a hit Kakao webtoon called Jinx’s Lover, written by Han Ji-hye and illustrated by Gu Seul, Jinxed At first is a fantasy romance drama. It tells the story of a fish vendor, Soo-kwang, who has a reputation for being unlucky.
He stumbles across a mysterious woman named Seul-bi, who has the ability to see the future of anyone she touches. The plot revolves around how Soogkwang escapes his cursed fate after crossing paths with Seul-bi. Na In-woo and Seohyun of Girl’s Generation star as the lead characters in the whimsical drama.
7) Dr. Park’s Clinic
Adapted from a Naver webtoon of the same name by Jang Bong-soo, who has been a doctor for 18 years. Dr. Park’s Clinic is a medical sitcom revolving around the life of an internal medicine doctor, Park Won-jang.
Won-jang dreams of being a wealthy doctor, however, he is faced with harsh reality when his neighborhood clinic struggles to survive. To make matters worse, he suffers from baldness and is plagued by the antics of his spendthrift wife.
The story depicts Lee Seo Jin, who plays the protagonist, making desperate and hilarious efforts to keep both his business and dreams alive.
8) Gaus Electronics
A workplace comedy, this K-drama was adapted from a Naver Webtoon of the same name by Kwak Baek Soo.The story is based on the personal and private lives of four quirky employees in the marketing division of Gaus Electronics, a home appliance store.
The humor comes from their interactions as they get caught up in friendships, romance, stress and drama at their workplace.
Bright-eyed troublemaker Lee Sang-sik is played by Kwak Dong-yeo, while the hot-tempered assistant manger Cha Na-rae is played by Ko Sung-hee. Meanwhile, the hidden chaebol Baek Ma-tan is played by Bae Hyun-sung and office beauty Gun Gang-mi is placed by Kang Min-ah.
9) The Golden Spoon
The Golden Spoon is a supernatural drama adapted from a webtoon of the same name. The plot revolves around Lee Seung-cheon, a boy from a poor family.
Upon finding a magical golden spoon, Seung-cheon gets a chance to switch his life with his rich friend, Hwang Tae-yong. Though it seems like an easy choice, Seung-cheon contemplates his decision when he learns that appearances can be deceptive.
Starring BTOB’s Yook Sung-jae, Jung Chae-yeon, and Lee Jong-won in lead roles, the psychological suspense thriller ends with Seung-cheon making his final choice.
10) Work Later Drink Now 2
TVING’s slice-of-life web drama is adapted from Mi Kkang’s webtoon Sooldo Girl, which translates to drunken city girls. Its first season, released last year, was a smash-hit as viewers were awaiting a new season even before it ended.
The show is based on the lives of three best friends, Ahn So Hee, Han Ji Yeon, and Kang Ji Gu, who always have a drink after getting off of work. The first season gave a glimpse of their friendship as they dealt with their personal struggles. Starring Lee Sun-bin, Han Sun-hwa, and A-Pink’s Jung Eun-ji, the second season was recently released and revealed several other intimate aspects of their lives.
Given their already impactful storylines and popularity in the digital world, K-drama adaptations of webtoons mostly see a surge in ratings when translated on screen. With top production houses like Netflix and Viki looking to capitalize on this success more exciting adaptions have already been announced for next year.