Upcoming & Completed Webtoon to K-drama Adaptations in 2021
Webtoon adaptations have gained massive global success in the last couple of years. From a vibrant romance like “True Beauty” to ambitious dreams like “Itaewon Class,” Korean dramas based on Webtoons are truly captivating. Here are some upcoming, current, and completed Webtoon to K-drama adaptations in 2021 to put on your watch list.
Upcoming Webtoon Adaptations
“Annarasumanara” or “The Sound of Magic”
This Webtoon to K-drama adaptation is about a diligent high schooler, Yoon Ah Yi, who works part-time jobs in order to provide for her and her younger sister, while receiving a decent academic ranking at school. Although she tries her best to reach the top ranking, her classmate Na Il Deung competes against her, which eventually leads to them falling for each other. However, her life takes a turn when she meets a magician, Lee Eul. This drama stars Choi Sung Eun, known for her work in “Beyond Evil” (2021), Hwang In Youp from “True Beauty” (2020-21) and “18 Again” (2020), and Ji Chang Wook from “Lovestruck in the City” (2020-21) and “Melting Me Softly” (2019). The airdate is still unknown, but it is expected to be available on Netflix.
The story of “Yumi’s Cells” is about the life of an office worker, Yu Mi, through the perspectives of the 200 cells in her brain. Kim Go Eun is confirmed to play Yu Mi, and has previously starred in another Webtoon to Korean drama adaptation called “Cheese in the Trap” (2016). She is also well-known for her role in “Goblin” (2016) and “The King: Eternal Monarch” (2020). Ahn Bo Hyun from “Itaewon Class” (2020), Park Ji Hyun from “Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung” (2019), and Lee Yu Bi in “Pinocchio” (2014-15) have also been confirmed to join Kim Go Eun.
The Korean webtoon has over 3 billion views with more than 500 episodes, so it’s no surprise that it will soon become a Korean drama. Studio Dragon and Studio N are in charge of producing the drama. Filming is expected to begin in early 2021 and will air in the second half of the year.
“All of Us Are Dead”
“All Of Us Are Dead” is based on a Webtoon titled “Now At Our School” that was published in 2009. The lead actors are Yoon Chan Young and Park Ji Hoo. The story follows the two leads as they fight through a zombie virus that is spreading around their school. Chang San is an ordinary boy who has a crush on On Jo, the most popular girl at school.
Yoon Chan Young has previously worked on Korean dramas, such as “Still 17” (2018) and “Dr. Romantic” (2016-17). Park Ji Hoo is a rookie actress that has starred in “House of Hummingbird” (2019), “Beautiful World” (2019) and “Sweet Revenge 2” (2018). This Korean drama will air on Netflix as one of their original series sometime during the first half of 2021. This will be another addition to Netflix’s zombie Korean dramas, following “Kingdom.” There is no confirmation of how many episodes this Webtoon adaptation will have.
You can read this Webtoon in Korean, but it is currently unavailable in English.
“Island” is a Webtoon to K-drama adaptation about an arrogant and pitiful daughter, who causes trouble. When her father sends her to Jeju Island, she beings working as a high school teacher. However, she becomes a target to ghosts, who desire to eliminate the human world. Kim Nam Gil is confirmed to star; meanwhile, Lee Da Hee and Astro‘s Cha Eun Woo are still considering their respective roles. Kim Nam Gil is known for starring in the film “The Closet” (2020). Cha Eun Woo is more recently known for his role in “True Beauty” (2020-21) and Lee Da Hee is known for her roles in “Search: WWW” (2019) and “L.U.C.A.: The Beginning” (2021). “Island” is expected to have 20 episodes and will air on OCN during the second half of 2021.
You can read the fully completed Webtoon in Korean, but it is currently unavailable in English.
Current/Completed Webtoon Adaptations
“She Would Never Know” or “Sunbae, Don’t Put On That Lipstick” (Aired January-March 2021)
This office romance Webtoon adaptation stars SF9’s RoWoon and Won Jin Ah. Yoon Song Ah daydreams about having her own cosmetic line while working as a marketer for a cosmetic brand. She is work-oriented and has her sights on her future. Chae Hyeon Seung is a junior marketer, working together with Song Ah. Hyeon Seung harbors a one-sided love for Song Ah, who is rejected by her because of their age gap.
SF9’s RoWoon is known for his roles “Extraordinary You” (2019) and “School 2017” (2017). Won Jin Ah starred in “Melting Me Softly” with Ji Chang Wook in 2019. “She Would Never Know” or “Sunbae, Don’t Put On That Lipstick” is based on the web novel of the same name that was published in 2017. The first episode aired on January 18 and ran for 16 episodes on JTBC.
“Love Alarm Season 2″ (Aired March 2021)
With the success of “Love Alarm,” Netflix has greenlighted a second season of the webcomic adaptation. Originally, it was supposed to be released in August of 2020; however, due to COVID-19 restrictions, it was pushed back to 2021. Netflix ranked the first season as the number eight most beloved Korean drama in 2019.
Kim So Hyun, Song Kang, and Jung Ga Ram will continue their roles in this second season, which comprises 6 episodes. The premise of the Webtoon follows a society where an app can tell you who likes you when they are nearby. Jojo tries her best to live her life while fighting past personal struggles. Along the way, she finds herself trapped in a love triangle with Lee Hye Yeong and his best friend Hwang Sun Oh.
You can watch both seasons here with a subscription to Netflix.
“Navillera” (Aired March-April 2021)
“Navillera” is a 12 episode Netflix melodrama based on a Webtoon of the same name. Although Sim Deok Chool is 70 years old, his life-long dream to become a ballet dancer grows even stronger despite his family’s opposition. When Deok Chool finally joins a ballet company, he meets 23 year-old Lee Chae Rok, whose deceased mother was also a ballerina. With financial burdens weighing Chae Rok down, his ambition for ballet slowly vanishes, until Sim Deok Chool walks into his life. Sim Deok Chool is portrayed by Park In Hwan and is known for his roles in the drama “Brilliant Heritage” (2020) and the film “King Maker” (2020). Lee Chae Rok is portrayed by Song Kang, who is more recently known for his roles in “Love Alarm” (2019/2021) and “Sweet Home” (2020).
You can watch Park In Hwan and Song Kang on Netflix here.
“I Know But” or “Nevertheless,” (Aired June-July 2021)
This 10 episode adaptation of the Webtoon of the same name is about Yoo Na Bi and Park Jae Eon. Na Bi doesn’t believe in love or have any trust in it after past trauma, but she still wants to date. On the other hand, Jae Eon isn’t interested in dating, but he likes the period before dating when two people have the leisure of flirting. They are both art majors at the same university and Na Bi does her best to hide her feelings for him. “Nevertheless,” stars Song Kang and Han So Hee. Song Kang gained popularity through “Love Alarm” (2019/2021) and Han So Hee rose to fame through her role in “The World of the Married” (2020).
“Are You Leaving” (Aired February-March 2021)
“Are you Leaving?” is a fantastical music romance about young people from different time periods following their musical dreams. SF9 ‘s Chani portrays Park Yeon, a musical genius of the past. Park JungYeon plays Min YooJung, a young girl living in the present working endless hours to survive. N.Flying ‘s Lee SeungHyub is Lee Won, a current idol who was also a musician in his past life.
The webcomic of the same name was published in 2017. The 8 episode drama aired on Seezn, the channel SKY, and streams on Viki.
“Imitation” (Aired May-July 2021)
This star-studded Webtoon to K-drama adaptation reveals the stories of idols in the Korean entertainment industry. It is adapted from the Webtoon of the same name that has over 22 million views. Many K-pop idols will be starring in this drama, including: ATEEZ’s Yun Ho, Seong Hwa, JongHo, and San, SF9’s Chani and Hwi Young, U-KISS’s Jun, T-ARA’s Ji Yeon, ex-PRISTIN’s Lim Na Young, Min Seo, Boys’ Republic’s Su Woong, g.o.d’s Danny Ahn and Shim Eun Jin. Jung Ji So will also be in the drama and she is most known for her performance in “Parasite” (2019).
This 12 episode adaptation is currently streaming on Viki.
“My Roommate is a Gumiho” or “Raw” (Aired May-July 2021)
This Webtoon adaptation stars Kang Ki Yong as Shin Woo Yeo and Girl’s Day’s Hyeri as Lee Dam. Woo Yeo is a handsome male gumiho who has roamed the earth for hundreds of years in the hopes of becoming human. When a college girl, Lee Dam, accidentally swallows his fox bead, the two decide to live together until they can figure out how to safely remove Woo Yeo’s bead from Lee Dam’s body. This 16 episode drama emphasizes Koreans’ love for gumiho mythology. “My Roommate is a Gumiho” is available on iQIYI and Viki.
Which upcoming and completed Webtoon to K-drama adaptations in 2021 are you adding to your watch list?
To learn more on Korean webtoons, check out the video below!