If you’re into comic books, beautifully illustrated art and animated media, there’s a chance you’ve heard of webtoons. They are webcomics made specifically in a vertical scrolling format for smartphone reading. A company even exists bearing the same name! Webtoon launched in 2004 and has steadily gained traction over the internet. It is a South Korean web-comic platform which hosts comics by authors all over the world. Over the years, some webtoons have gotten so popular, they scored their very own anime adaptations. In the same vein, Webtoon has also become home to fan-favourite anime as well. (I’m looking at you, FullMetal Alchemist.) Given that the most popular webtoons get adaptations, the hype must be worth checking them out. Without further delay, here are 10 great anime based on webtoons to watch.
*Note that manhwa and webtoons are different, and we will be focusing solely on webtoons in the article.
First, and likely the most popular among anime based on Webtoons, we have Tower of God. In the story, the said “Tower” has the power to grant any wish one can think of. World domination, Infinite wishes, you name it, but all on one condition.
The individual must reach the top floor of the tower. The tower calls certain people to enter its gates, and these people are called “Regulars”.
As many try to make their way to the top, two children; Twenty-fifth Bam and Rachel, spend their lives beneath the tower. One day, Rachel gets her calling to ascend the tower, and upon departing, leaves Bam all alone. Bam had grown so used to her company and decided that it was all or nothing.
He would go to any length just to be with Rachel. Steeling himself with determination, he steps foot into the tower to start his quest (without a calling). This labels him as an “Irregular” and grants him certain perks on his journey. Will he ever find Rachel again, or he may make it to the top and be granted a worthwhile wish?
2. The God of Highschool
Another series which is awfully popular among anime based on webtoons is The God of Highschool, especially with battle-shonen fans. Also, have you noticed that the top 2 both have “god” in them?
The story is centred around Jin Mo-Ri, a 17-year-old high schooler, who also happens to be a martial artist. He, among plenty of other high school martial artists, is invited to a tournament.
The “God of Highschool” tournament is one which allows all weapons, martial arts and any means of reaching victory. Its goal is to find the greatest fighter among Korean high schoolers, and as a prize, grant one wish. Mo-Ri is completely enthralled by this, a chance to meet terrifying opponents.
Together with his friends, they strive to become the “God”, assuming that there is nothing more to the tournament than meets the eye. Or is there?
The next anime based on webtoons, showing massive success with a total of seven seasons and counting, is Noblesse. Set in Korea, the story revolves around a young man known as Raizel. Raizel awakes from an 820-year slumber and has no notion of mankind’s advancements.
He also holds the title of “The Noblesse” which means he is the strongest of his race; the Nobles. The Nobles seem awfully familiar to vampires in all but name.
In an attempt to shield Raizel from imminent danger and give him a chance to learn about human civilisation, his servant; Frankenstein, enrols him in high school. From then forward, we accompany Raizel on a journey to protect himself and his friends from enemy groups, go on dangerous adventures and at the same time uncover his past.
Unlike the other anime based on webtoons, this one hits a bit closer to home (reality). Lookism stars Park Hyung Seok, an extremely unpopular high schooler who is often the subject of bullying. This isn’t because he’s a bad guy, rather it’s just because he’s obese.
Sad, but true, and not unheard of either. As a result of this constant bullying, he lashes out at his mum with a desire to move schools. Seeing this as his way out, he moves to Seoul to prepare for the school transfer.
A few days before school starts, he receives a new body; one which is fit and conventionally attractive. He also gains the power to swap bodies at will. When one body is active, the other is asleep and to switch between them, he must wake the other.
Through this happening, Hyung Seok begins to understand and see the discrimination lobbied on unattractive people, as well as the benefits of pretty privilege.
With this new lens on life, he struggles to mould himself from his experiences as well as uncover the mystery behind his new body. The show/Webtoon is also highly praised as it tackles a predominant social issue in Korea.
In contrast to the other four anime based on webtoons, Re:LIFE was born in Japan. The plot spotlights Arata Kaizaki, a 27-year-old who is pretty discontent with his life and is constantly between jobs, currently working part-time at a convenience store.
According to him, and onlookers, he’s a loser. He carries along, wishfully hoping for a chance to turn things around.
His wish was granted as one day, a member of the Re:LIFE Research Institute approached him with a job offer. The agent offers him a pill which has the power to make him 10 years younger and reintegrate high school.
This also gives him a chance to make things right. Arata accepts to be part of the experiment, as it seems like a one-way dream to him. Will he end the experiment happy with having had a second chance, or will he be too attached to let it go?
6. Recovery of an MMO Junkie
Moving forward, Recovery of an MMO Junkie is another anime based on webtoons with Japanese origins. What’s even better is that video games have a heavy role to play in the plot. Moriko Morioka is a successful career woman.
At 30 years of age, she has accomplished a lot in the realm of work but is single, and relatively lonely. She decides to quit her job and treat herself to a slower-paced life, picking up video games as her hobby. She gets invested in an MMORPG called “Fruits de Mer” and makes herself a male avatar called Hayashi.
Over time, she meets another player with healing powers, which she joins regularly to play. All of this makes her a borderline hikikomori, as she got out even less, only when extremely necessary.
One night, however, Moriko leaves her home to go to a convenience store. Coincidentally, a corporate worker who also plays the game goes too, and they end up meeting. They both play the run-in as something negligible, but faith is a twisted being who always gets what it wants.
Putting Solo Leveling on a list of anime based on webtoons is a half-truth, but hear us out. Solo Leveling debuted as a novel and was adapted into a webtoon in 2018. This was where it got the most traction and enough popularity to get its own anime (and a spot on this list).
Solo Leveling has our eyes set on Sung Jinwoo. In his world, humans possess magical abilities and have to fight monsters to protect humanity. Jinwoo, unfortunately, is a very incompetent hunter, often surviving day-to-day by the skin of his teeth.
One day, after being the last man standing when the dungeon brutally executes his party, he encounters the “System”. This mysterious program that moderates the dungeon grants him the unique ability to level up and turn anyone he kills into his minion.
With this new spark of hope, Jinwoo embarks on a self-improvement journey. To protect humanity and discover the secrets of the dungeon and his powers.
8. Blade of The Phantom Master
This series is popular among anime based on webtoons because of its interesting take on various Korean folk stories. The story is set in the land of Jushin, modelled after feudal Korea. The events follow Munsu, one of many secret government agents tasked with finding corrupt and unjust officials, and bringing forth justice.
Although we are dropped in the middle of an ongoing story, we get to find out his motives. Munsu is searching for the people responsible for the killing of the King, his best friend, which put the country in chaos and ruin.
Unlike many other anime adaptations on the list, it got an animated film and not a series. Telling a fully-fledged story spanning over 17 volumes can’t be easy, yet they made a product people enjoyed. Anime films are usually a hit or miss, but it’s worth checking some out for yourself.
9. When I Woke Up I Became A Bagel Girl
Who would have thought that a popular anime based on webtoons would have the word “bagel” in it? From titles with “god” in them, to wacky titles like this. For those unaware, a bagel girl is Korean slang for a girl with a “baby face” and a voluptuous body.
This should make the synopsis a bit clearer. Yet another anime centred on body dysmorphia.
Jeong Bong-gi is a shut-in NEET. He’s not inherently a bad guy but possesses a lot of unlikable traits. Laziness, unattractiveness because he’s overweight, sleaziness, you name it. He has a part-time job collects anime figurines and plays games in his free time.
He is miserable and has a lot to complain about, especially how he is treated. One morning after crashing home tired after his normal routine the day before, he wakes up in the body of a “bagel girl”. Confused with this development, he turns to the internet for help.
One thing leads to another, and he meets new people through circumstances only fate can justify. With his newfound identity, Bong-gi strives to learn the reality of his past, and right many of his wrongs.
In relation to the other anime based on webtoons on the list, Timing has a bit of a darker tone. Much like Blade of The Phantom Master, however, it was adapted into a film. The story takes place in an unidentified city, with Park Ja-gi as its protagonist.
She ( he in the film) has the power to foresee impending catastrophes in her dreams. Sadly, she’s never been able to stop them from happening. One day, her dream is different: she sees a student at her school committing suicide, but she is present with 3 others to stop it.
With this glimmer of hope present, Ja-gi decides to seek out these 3 individuals. They also have powers of their own. One can stop time, another can see incidents 10 minutes earlier, and another can rewind time. Will she be able to band them all together and stop the anomaly before time is up?
To be fair, not as many webtoons get anime adaptations as we think they do. Most, especially those originating from Korea, tend to go the live-action/drama route instead. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good enough though, as we highly suggest you give them a shot.
If the ones you read end up having anime adaptations, then you’ll be a shepherd to lead the flock of new fans. In conclusion, thank you for reading, and don’t hesitate to check out some manhwa because why not?