In recent years, manhwa has become a big hit for manga lovers. The manhwa originated in South Korea, but its popularity has spread to North Korea and overseas. While manga is in black and white, a variety of manhwa is in color and attracts a lot of people.
Updated July 24, 2021: Both manhwa and webtoon originated in South Korea and have attracted interest from overseas fans. The popular Tower of God and God of High School manhwas became Crunchyroll Originals and were the first anime adaptations of manhwas, aside from the Noblesse OVA.
Regardless of the language, the manhwa can attract the attention of many fans, and even more so if set in a fantasy world. With the explosion of manhwa in the animation world, there may be some manhwas that fans loved reading that will get a chance to be adapted into anime. Here are some of the best manhwa that may have a head start in 2021.
Nightmares are awful, but who knew they could be real? Although the story tells how Athanasia was killed by her father Claude de Alger Obeli, the woman who awoke in Athanasia's body never imagined she would experience it herself.
To survive in this new world, Athanasia must do everything not to die by behaving like her father's little princess to prevent her from turning her anger against her and stopping her new life. This manhwa has been going on for a while, so now is the perfect time to jump in and enjoy the story this year.
What's Wrong With Secretary Kim is a timeless classic manhwa that can be read multiple times and feels the same. The story follows the perfect secretary, Kim Mi-so, as she does her job under her perfectionist and narcissistic boss, Lee Young-joon.
However, when Kim Mi-So wants to quit to focus on her life and take a break, Lee Young-joon begins to realize how valuable she was as an employee, and maybe even more so.
The Girl and the Geek is a romantic comedy about two slightly awkward people who fall in love. This colorful manhwa follows Go Nanhee after she gets a job as a housekeeper and is named as the culprit of stealing a valuable action figure from room owner Oh Deokhoos.
For now, she has to clean his room in order to pay him back, and love begins to blossom between the two.
Misaeng: An Incomplete Life is a real gem, worth checking out if you're looking for a good starting point for manhwa. This series follows a group of employees at a trading company called One International, with a particular focus on Jang Geu-rae.
The series deals with the difficulties they face, and Jang Geu-rae uses baduk, a Chinese board game usually called "Go", as a guide to solving his problems.
For those looking for a bit of isekai, Daughter of the Emperor should fill that void. This is the adaptation of a fully completed light novel that tells the story of a young woman who is reincarnated as the only daughter of a cruel emperor.
As she remembers being older, the series begins when she was a baby and follows her until she becomes an adult. This manhwa is a great starting point for those looking to get into manhwa in 2020.
Cheese in the Trap was written and illustrated by Soon Ki. If you haven't read this iconic manhwa, this year is the time to get on it. With the story being split into three seasons, there's a lot to read.
When beautiful and hardworking student Seol Hong discovers the dark side of her senior Jung Yoo, her life becomes complicated. While initially she wanted to expose her double game and get her life back, they are attracted to each other and start dating.
Catharsis was written and illustrated by Ahniki. It features Léon, a boy who has a lot of nightmares and who has the power to see voices in color and identify a person based on their voice. When he discovers the existence of monsters, the Tomorem, who feed on people's fears, he also discovers that there is an organization called Catharsis that fights these monsters.
This book is worth reading for its plot. Although it is marked as complete, there is hope that a second season will be made.
The Gamer was written by Seong Sang Yeong and illustrated by Sang A. Here is a manhwa that fans have been hoping for an anime adaptation despite it ending five years ago. Jee-Han loves video games, but when he suddenly discovers that he has the power to play in the real world like in a role-playing game, he is shocked.
He can see the level of people and the "status" of items, gain abilities and even level up. However, this power is not so peaceful. There are monsters that you have to defeat like in a real role-playing game, as well as others that have the same abilities as him, and even more powerful.
Noblesse is a manhwa that will soon be getting an anime adaptation, so it's a must read. It was the subject of an OVA before being completed and it will now be the subject of a real anime adaptation. Written by Je-Ho Son and illustrated by Gwang-Su Lee, the story reimagines the hackneyed story of vampires and Frankenstein.
Rai awakens from an 820-year slumber to realize the world has changed dramatically. He decides to start his life over and get used to modern society with his faithful servant, Frankenstein. However, things are still not peaceful, as people who call themselves "The Unions" go on the attack.
Girls of the Wild was written by Hun and illustrated by Zhena. If you like harem-like anime and manga, this series is sure to interest you. Wild's High has been a private all-girls fighting school for 42 years, but recently became a coeducational school.
When the only male student, Song Jae Gu, accepts a three-year scholarship that doesn't depend on his grades, he accepts. But, after accidentally incurring the ire of Wild's League champion Queen, his school life becomes more complicated than he anticipated.
I Love Yoo has gained a loyal readership since its debut in 2017. I Love Yoo was written and illustrated by Quimchee. Shin-Ae hasn't had a good life at all. She has known pain, unhappiness and ill-being since the beginning of her life. She decides she doesn't want to interact with people or have anything to do with romance.
She pulls off this feat until she ends up ruining someone's clothes. With beautiful illustrations, remarkable character development, and music that accompanies the manhwa, this is a great book to read in 2021.
Solo Leveling was written by Chugong and illustrated by Gee So-Lyung and Redice Studio. Some have probably seen this manhwa around, as many fans have been engrossed in his story. It is based on a novel of the same name, like many other manhwa, and it has been praised for its fantastic setting and great action.
The story centers around E-rank Hunter Sung Jin-Woo. He discovers a dungeon that only he can see and gains level there. His goal is to become an S-rank hunter, the strongest rank in the world.
Let's Play is a manhwa/webtoon, although some may not think so because it was created by an English speaking person. That doesn't make it any less enjoyable. It's written and illustrated by Mongie and even has an anime short to go along with it. It centers on two characters, Samara Young and Marshall Law.
Samara's dream is to become a game developer, but when she releases a game played by a popular vlogger on Viewtube and receives harsh feedback from her fans, her presence is destroyed on an independent website. When it turns out that they are neighbors, the jokes are linked.
If anyone hasn't read Bastard yet, they're missing out on a gem of the psychological horror genre. The story centers on Jin Seon, a frequently bullied high school student, and his father, Dong-Soo Seon, a deranged serial killer. Jin Seon is bullied due to his disability and barely speaks because of it, but that's not the worst part.
He is complicit in his father's crimes for fear of being killed. Until he decides to protect Kyun Yoo after befriending her and not following his father's orders anymore.
This is the time to read the Tower of God if you haven't done it and if you don't remember much and have read it, read it again. For what ? Because this manhwa gem is now a Crunchyroll Originals anime. Perhaps one of the longest manhwas out there, this one has quite the story to tell.
Divided into three seasons, it has been going on since 2010 and does not seem close to ending. After Tower of God's first season ended, many fans are hoping for a second season that will explore the true beginning of Bam's story. Why not take part in this craze and start reading, too?
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