Top 3 Must-Read Romantic Webtoons You’ll Love
As Webtoons become even more well-known across the world, romantic Webtoons are definitely contributing to its fame. With soaring ratings and millions of hearts and subscribers, these Webtoons will certainly captivate you with its compelling storylines and stunning artwork. From True Beauty’s charming trio to Imitation’s glamorous K-pop idols, these must-read romantic Webtoons will easily become some of your favorites. Since the romantic genre covers many story tropes, it’s interesting to see how they are incorporated into romantic Webtoons.
Within the realm of romantic Webtoons, there are several common tropes that are displayed. But first, what exactly is a trope? They are often used in creative pieces of work, which are to demonstrate clichés, or recurring ideas. Tropes are very popular among Korean dramas, films, novels, and of course, Webtoons. Main romantic tropes seen in many romantic Webtoons include love triangles, friends to lovers, and enemies to lovers.
Not only are there romantic tropes, but there are also archetypes, which are examples of specific types of people. A favorite archetype when it comes to Webtoons is the tsundere character. This Japanese term is used to describe a character who’s cold, intimidating, and unapproachable at first. However, they begin showing their kind, caring, and affectionate side after some time. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 3 must-read romantic Webtoons you’ll love!
Must-Read Romantic Webtoons
In the spring of 2018, Yaongyi’s True Beauty debuted on Naver Webtoon in Korean. Because of its dramatic success in Korea, it was translated into English only four months later. After about three years, the English version has over 38.6 million hearts, 6.4 million subscribers, and a 9.6 star rating. On the other hand, the Korean version has over 1.4 million subscribers and a 9.57 star rating. Based on the stats, it looks like True Beauty is well-loved among its English readers!
At school, Lim Jugyeong is well-known to be Saebom High’s goddess— all thanks to her impressive makeup skills. She has it all: plenty of friends, a pretty face, and even thousands of followers on Instagram. However, once she takes off her makeup, it appears as if she’s an entirely different person. With a secret to hide, she tries her best to improve her levels of confidence at her new school. When intimidating Suho and bad-boy Seojun suddenly walk into her life, the trio become best of friends… Until it comes down to the love triangle between them— a loved trope within the romance genre!
Lim Jugyeong: After years of being bullied for the way she looks, Jugyeong tries her best to learn the magic of makeup. When she moves to Saebom High, she enters as a gorgeous goddess, someone everyone wants to be friends with. From then on, Jugyeong vows to herself that she will never show her bare face at school. But behind closed doors, she isn’t what other expect her to be. Instead, she’s a huge fan of rock-and-roll music and thriller comic books— something she’d rather keep a secret! Nevertheless, when someone figures out who she truly is, she begs them to keep everything a secret.
Lee Suho: Although Lee Suho is known to be a tsundere character, he also has a soft and kind side. When he first meets Lim Jugyeong, he isn’t very fond of her, since she’s only popular for her appearance. But after getting to know her better, he regrets judging her without truly knowing anything. Even though Suho’s attractive appearance tends to charm many girls at school, his heart isn’t open for just anyone… All because he’s developing a crush on Lim Jugyeong!
Han Seojun: Despite being handsome and popular, Han Seojun is also quite intimidating and unapproachable at times. Because of a past incident, he had to take time off from school. However when he returns, he notices the new girl, Lim Jugyeong, and decides to befriend her. At first, Jugyeong acted awkwardly around Seojun, but quickly warms up when she becomes friends with his sister, Han Gowoon. Spending more time with Jugyeong is not something Seojun had originally anticipated, but he soon begins developing feelings for her.
True Beauty‘s Korean Drama
In December, 2020, the romantic Webtoon was adapted into a K-drama and was highly successful until the end. The drama stars Moon Ka Young (Lim Jugyeong), Cha Eun Woo (Lee Suho), and Hwang In Youp (Han Seojun). Bringing their characters to life, the actors do an amazing job at performing the lives of students at Saebom High. The trio also delivers an exciting “friends to lovers” trope that many fans have been anticipating! Although the Webtoon is still on-going, the drama’s writer worked with Yaongyi to properly depict the storyline. With some similarities and differences between the Webtoon and its K-drama adaptation, True Beauty is well-worth reading and watching!
Check out True Beauty’s trailer (with English subtitles) below and stream it on Viki with a standard subscription!
To Love Your Enemy
Jungyoon and Taegeon’s romantic Webtoon, To Love Your Enemy, debuted on September 17, 2019 in South Korea. On Naver Webtoon, it has over 565,000 subscribers and a 9.93 star rating. About a year later in August, 2020, To Love Your Enemy was translated into English. It currently has over 10.5 million likes, 1.8 million subscribers, and a 9.8 star rating. Just like True Beauty, it looks like this romantic Webtoon is just as popular with its English fans!
After a rough experience with a shady office job, Bae Yeonhee decides to turn a new page— attending university. However, when mysterious Yoon Yikyung keeps glaring at her, Yeonhee tries her best to rack her brain to remember him. Through a series of dramatic flashbacks, Yeonhee finally remembers what happened between them. Just as the title suggests, this “enemies to lovers” romantic Webtoon is well-worth the read. Also, let’s appreciate the stunning artwork here from Taegeon!
Bae Yonggeum/ Bae Yeonhee: Ever since she was young, her parents taught her one skill: how to successfully lie. When she ignorantly gets involved in a pyramid scheme at 21 years old, she does whatever she can to leave the company. Three years later, she tries erasing her past and changes her name to Bae Yeonhee. She also decides to enroll into university, where she crosses paths with Yoon Yikyung… Again! Bae Yeonhee is a witty, confident, and independent woman who is well-liked among her peers at university.
Yoon Yikyung: During his college entrance interview, he recognizes the person he will never forget: Bae Yonggeum. Unfortunately for Yoon Yikyung, he ends up in the same major with the same classes as Yeonhee. As a tsundere character, Yikyung doesn’t get along well with many people. But when he reveals his true self, he’s actually a cutie pie who genuinely cares for Yeonhee after unraveling their misunderstanding. Although Yikyung’s only 20 years old, he wants to prove to Yeonhee that he’s capable of taking care of her.
Nam Doyun: As Bae Yeonhee’s past team manager at their old company, Nam Doyun tries to recruit her to come back. Though she refuses countless times, he’s still determined to convince her. He knows she used to have a crush on him while they worked together, so he uses that to his advantage… Even though it doesn’t quite work in his favor— not while Yoon Yikyung is in the picture!
Why Read To Love Your Enemy?
From Jungyoon’s captivating storyline to Taegeon’s amazing artwork, their teamwork truly creates a masterpiece. Each character has their own unique story that will surely encourage you to cheer them on. Not only are Yeonhee’s friends hilarious, but her dynamic with Yoon Yikyung is definitely swoon-worthy. Sadly, there isn’t a Korean drama for To Love Your Enemy yet, but fans are patiently waiting until it does! I, for one, cannot wait for the day this romantic Webtoon becomes a K-drama.
Nearly seven years ago, Park Kyung Ran’s romantic Webtoon, Imitation, made its debut in Korea on September 30, 2014. With over 41 million Korean readers on Kakopage, there’s no doubt this romantic webtoon was— and still is— insanely popular. On Tappytoon, the English version has over a million fans, as they follow Lee Maha and Kwon Ryeok’s romantic journey.
After Lee Maha’s debut with her rookie girl group, Tea Party, she is often found in the spotlight… But not because of her own fame. Instead, she is referred to as an imitation of a famous solo idol, La Rima. Meanwhile, K-pop idol Kwon Ryeok unintentionally crosses paths with Lee Maha more than he’d like to. However, Lee Maha gets into an intense love triangle between intimidating Ryeok and her K-pop idol friend, Lee Yujin.
Lee Maha: As a 20 year-old, Lee Maha is considered one of the youngsters in the K-pop industry. Ever since Tea Party’s debut, they haven’t become as popular as they had hoped. But when people begin comparing Maha to La Rima, she gains fame for their similar appearance. Even when Maha isn’t trying to imitate La Rima, she’s constantly compared to her by the media and other idols. Lee Maha is known to be expressive, yet timid, which Kwon Ryeok slowly becomes fond of.
Kwon Ryeok: With an intimidating demeanor, Kwon Ryeok is rather popular for his aloofness. As a member of the outstanding boy band, Shax, Ryeok is one of the most talented. Not only does he sing and dance, but he also acts in K-dramas. At first, he dislikes Lee Maha for being La Rima’s imitation and for being pretentious. But when he’s at fault for an incident with Maha, he genuinely feels bad and tries to make up for his actions. From there, Ryeok falls head-over-heels for Maha and ignores any and all of La Rima’s advancements.
Lee Yujin: Although he and Maha can’t be in the same K-pop group, he does everything he can to be around her. Ever since they were trainees, they have spent a lot of time together and became great friends. But Lee Maha has no idea that Lee Yujin has a massive crush on her, even though everyone else knows. When he realizes Kwon Ryeok is his competition, he tries to convince Maha that Ryeok is full of trouble.
La Rima: Despite being in the industry for years, she thinks she’s the most famous celebrity of all time. Though she pretends to hate Lee Maha for being her imitation, she loves it for the rise in popularity. La Rima genuinely likes Kwon Ryeok and enjoys teasing him about girls… Only because she strongly believes she and Ryeok will become a couple. Nevertheless, he doesn’t see her as anything other than an acquaintance.
Imitation‘s Korean Drama
In May, 2021, this romantic Webtoon entered the world of Korean dramas on Viki. The drama stars Jung Ji So (Lee Maha), Lee Jun Young (Kwon Ryeok), Yun Ho (Lee Yujin), and Park Ji Yeon (La Rima). Through the ups and downs K-pop idols face every day, Imitation shares an incredible perspective of Lee Maha and Kwon Ryeok’s lives. Be sure to check out the Korean drama on Viki here and watch the trailer below with English subtitles!
Which One Should You Read First?
I know— deciding which one to read first is always a struggle! So, let’s review these top 3 must-read romantic Webtoons.
If you enjoy reading about high school life, then True Beauty is a great place to start. Not only does the story follow the life of Lim Jugyeong until university, but it also ~highlights~ her love for makeup. If you’re also a fan of heart-throbbing love triangles, this one is a perfect Webtoon to start with. Not to mention how Yaongyi is the author AND illustrator for her beautiful piece of work!
To Love Your Enemy
If reading about university life— both the good and bad sides— interests you, then To Love Your Enemy is a cute and relatable Webtoon to read. With its occasional humor and witty characters, you’ll definitely be binge reading all night long! If you’re a fan of the “enemies to lovers” trope, this one is an enticing romantic Webtoon you’ll love.
K-pop idols are definitely always a hot topic. But have you ever read about them in a Webtoon? If you’re a fan of the K-pop industry, Imitation is a great romantic Webtoon to start with. It also includes an intense love triangle and even includes the “enemies to lovers” trope, all in one! Will you be team Kwon Ryeok, or team Lee Yujin?
To learn more about Korean webtoons, watch the video below!