2022 is just around the corner and we’re looking back at 2021 in review. One of the most popular trends in Korean entertainment in recent years has been the adaptation of webtoons into K-Dramas.
In 2021, such adaptations truly flourished on a global scale with Netflix and other OTT platforms picking up more and more originals, and as such, allowing for the distribution of quality K-Content all over the world.
Not only were these webtoon-based dramas immensely successful but they also facilitated a two-way flux of audience for both mediums. So, we picked 10 K-Dramas based on webtoons that represent the best of the best from 2021.
Here are the 10 best K-Dramas based on webtoons you should watch.
This one of a kind drama was revolutionary to say the least.
The wonderfully nuanced performances of Kim Go Eun, Ahn Bo Hyun, GOT7‘s Jin Young, Park Ji Hyun, SHINee‘s Min Ho and the rest of the cast brought a cult classic webtoon to life in the best way possible.
The seamless back and forth between animation and live-action take the story to a whole another level of immersion.
We cannot wait for Season 2!
“My Roommate Is A Gumiho”
Stellar chemistry, an incredible cast, some of the most entertaining main characters, and perfect sync with the webtoon: “My Roommate Is A Gumiho” has everything going for it.
Both Hye Ri and Jang Ki Yong brought forward the essence of the original source material while giving it a unique touch that only they could impart to the story.
This drama definitely deserves iconic status in K-Drama history.
Taking on an unconventional role, Song Kang solidified his position as a star in the Korean entertainment industry through “Navillera“.
At the same time, Park In Hwan‘s brilliance shines brighter than a diamond.
The original webtoon of “Navillera” has a quiet and poignant beauty to it that is hard to describe. However, Park In Hwan and Song Kang amplified it, allowing this beautiful story to resonate universally.
Arguably the most popular webtoon adaptation of 2021, “True Beauty” will undoubtedly remain just as beloved 10 years down the line as it is now.
Even though the drama deviates quite a bit from the plotline of the webtoon, it still holds on the core of the same, which is what makes it successful.
ASTRO‘s Cha EunWoo, Moon Ga Young, and Hwang In Youp make for an unbeatable trio and we wish we could see more of them. A spin-off that tells us the story of Han Seo Jun in the future isn’t too much to ask, is it?
“The King’s Affection”
Ruling the Top 10 Most Popular TV Shows chart on Netflix worldwide, “The King’s Affection” is not just a historical romantic comedy but also a gender-bending roller coaster ride that you do not want to miss.
The art style of the webtoon is gorgeous, to say the least and it is perfectly translated to the aesthetic of the drama.
The role of Jung Ji Un might very well be SF9‘s Ro Woon‘s best performance yet as it truly shows his versatile colors and his ability to master any and all genres. There simply could not have been a more perfect cast than Park Eun Bin, Nam Yoon Su, VICTON‘s Byung Chan, Bae Yoon Kyung, and DIA‘s Jung Chae Yeon for this lovely story.
While the dramas so far have been on the brighter side of the spectrum, “D.P.” presents a dark picture of life in the military. The subtle humor juxtaposed with the painful reality makes for a gripping watch.
This drama gave us Jung Hae In like we’ve never seen before and introduced a global audience to the excellence of Koo Kyo Hwan as an actor.
When news about the adaptation of the original webtoon broke out, no one could have imagined that it would be this good.
The latest Netflix blockbuster taking over the world and the global entertainment industry, “Hellbound” is a flawless adaptation of the original webtoon. From the frighteningly eerie ambiance to the strength of each character, “Hellbound” is moving in every sense of the word.
From Yoo Ah In’s chilling cult leader Jung JinSu to Kim Hyun Joo‘s resolute Min HyeJin, every moment of this drama kept viewers stunned. The actors who truly stole the show, however, were the incredible Park Jung Min and Won Jin A.
Without a doubt, “Hellbound” leaves us hanging with its first season and there are quite a few loose ends that need to be addressed but the wait for season 2 is truly bittersweet.
“Dr. Brain” is the perfect drama for viewers who prefer darker subject matter, thrillers, mysteries, and more. With the exceptional quality of the webtoon, fans of the same anticipated the drama eagerly and Lee Sun Kyun did not disappoint.
“Dr. Brain” is what one may call “art cinema” even though it is a drama. Each episode is filled to the brim with so much intense action, both psychological and physical that it is hard to take your eyes off of the screen.
We have to say though, this drama is even better when binged.
“So I Married the Anti-fan”
A novel turned comic turned film and drama, “So I Married The Anti Fan” has enjoyed love from all over the world for quite a while now.
When fans heard about the cast for the 2021 K-Drama adaptation of the same, their excitement could not be contained, and for good reason too!
Choi Tae Joon and Choi Soo Young renewed the love for the original work while creating a whole new fandom for the adaptation alone. Not only was their chemistry dreamy but the drama’s sense of humor was unbeatable too.
“Deluxe Taxi” is a webtoon that innumerable fans have loved and admired for its powerful portrayal of societal evils, justice, revenge, dark heroes, and more. No one if not Lee Je Hoon could have played the character of Kim Do Gi as perfectly as him.
Even though the drama captures the true essence of the webtoon to the most part, some fans believe that it might have been better (debatably, of course), if the screenplay was more aligned to the original material towards the end.
Either way, the drama’s standing as one of the best dramas of 2021 is truly undeniable.