With the rise of Korean culture, K-dramas have become increasingly popular in recent years, as have webtoons. Many webtoons are adapted into TV shows, and K-dramas are no different. Korea has been expanding its arsenal of K-dramas adapted from webtoons, and we picked out 10 of the most popular ones that have been released since 2018!
Based on the webtoon of the same name by Maenggi Ki, Gangnam Beauty depicts the story of Kang Mi-rae, who has been bullied because of her looks and decides to undergo plastic surgery. This decision quickly backfires, and she struggles through life as a college student with low self-esteem.
The main male lead is none other than Cha Eun-woo, K-pop idol sensation from the band Astro. He plays Do Kyung-seok, Mi-rae’s middle school classmate. If this K-drama interests you, it can be found on Netflix.
2. Love Alarm
Love Alarm is a 2019 Netflix original based on the webtoon of the same name by Chon Kye-young. It features the story of Kim Jo-jo and revolves around the premise that there is an app that notifies the user if someone in their vicinity has romantic feelings for them.
With the release of this K-drama in 2019, it quickly became a popular show on Netflix. It features Jung Ga-ram and Song Kang as the two male leads. It currently has two seasons and can be found on Netflix.
Based on the web novel Noona Fan Dot Com by Kim Sung-yeon, this K-drama features the story of Sung Deok-mi, who is secretly obsessed with a K-pop idol, Cha Si-an. She is a fanatic fangirl, and after being caught up in dating rumors, her boss, Ryan Gold, suggests the two pretend to date to help Deok-mi avoid the paparazzi. The two start to develop feelings for each other, and Deok-mi struggles to keep her secret as a fangirl.
The K-drama digs into the secret lives of Deok-mi, Ryan, and Si-an and how the three are connected in ways they’ve never imagined. It has one season and can be watched on Netflix.
This drama, which was released in 2020, tells the story of Dae-hyun and Saet-byul. Dae-hyun, owner of a convenience store, is struggling with money. After being burnt out from work, he decides to hire Saet-byul as a part-time worker. It is based on the webtoon titled She’s Too Much for Me by Hwalhwasan.
The two met once in their youth, and Saet-byul had a crush on Dae-hyun, so now she takes this opportunity as a chance to win his heart. It stars Kim Yoo-jung and Ji Chang-wook and can be found on Netflix.
This drama, based on the web novel of the same name by Kim Eun-jung, tells the tale of superstar Hoo Joon and Lee Geun-young, who is his anti-fan reporter.
The two end up participating in a television show where they have to live together, despite Hoo Joon being hung up on his first love and Geun-young believing Hoo Joon ruined her life. It can be found on Viki.
This K-drama (which is one of my personal favorites on this list), which is based on the webtoon of the same name by Jeongseo, tells the story of Na-bi, a broken-hearted woman who doesn’t believe in love, and Jae-eon, a man who loves to flirt but hates commitment.
The K-drama goes through the ups and downs of dating and life, as the two struggle with their relationship (and lack of one), as well as being college students. It can be found on Netflix.
The most popular K-drama on this list, this K-drama is based on the webtoon of the same name by HaeHwa and illustrated by Narak. It tells the story of Shin Ha-ri and CEO Kang Tae-moo. The two get entangled together after Ha-ri fills in for her friend on a blind date by pretending to be a woman named Shin Geum-hi. Things go south when she realizes the blind date is her CEO, and he proposes the two of them fake date.
With both of them having reasons to agree, they start a fake relationship, but Shin Ha-ri struggles to keep her real identity as his employee a secret. In the process of leading a double life by being Shin Geum-hi in their fake relationship and Shin Ha-ri at his company, the two ultimately fall for each other. This K-drama was one of the most popular of the year and won many awards. It can be found on Netflix.
This K-drama, released in 2023, is based on the webtoon of the same name by Lee Hey. It tells the story of Hae-na, a woman who is cursed to transform into a dog every time she kisses someone, and Seo-won, the only man who can break the curse but is scared of dogs due to childhood trauma.
This K-drama stars Cha Eun-woo as Seo-won and Park Gyu-young as Hae-na. The show was nominated for multiple awards and can be found on Viki.
Similar to the K-drama above, this show is based on the webtoon of the same name by Lee Hey. It tells the story of Ban Ji-eum, who remembers her past lives and has been continuously reincarnated for almost a thousand years.
When her 18th life is cut short by an accident and she is reincarnated into her 19th life, Ji-eum tries to find her childhood crush, who might be the key to saving her from her reincarnation curse. The drama can be found on Netflix.
This K-drama (my personal favorite on this list) was released in 2023 and is based on the web novel of the same name by Yibambe, with art by Maximum. The drama tells the story of Han Yi-joo, who was adopted by her family at a young age. However, her family does nothing but walk all over her and treat her awfully. Then, when Yi-joo gets into a car accident, her stepmother’s assistant kills her while she’s in her hospital bed.
The next day, Yi-joo wakes up, but a year in the past. Deciding revenge on her family, she breaks off her engagement with her fiance, whom she finds out has a crush on her sister, and decides to marry Seo Do-guk, the man her sister wishes to marry. He agrees to the marriage to please his grandmother, and the two decide to exact revenge on Yi-joo’s family together. Many juicy plot twists and dramatic scenes enfold in this drama, which can be found on Viki.
Have you watched any of these K-dramas or read the webtoons? Definitely check them out if you’re interested!
For another article on webtoons and adaptations, click here.
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