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Popular Korean webtoons to be remade into international TV series

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : May 29, 2024 - 15:08

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"Take Me, I'm Yours" (Line Manga official X account)

Popular Korean webtoons are set to be adapted into international drama series, riding high on the webtoons' appeal to global audiences and the widespread perception that webtoon-based content is entertaining.

The Naver romance webtoon series "Take Me, I'm Yours" will be remade as a Japanese drama series and broadcast on Nippon Television Network starting July 5, according to Naver Webtoon.

Titled "With Me," (translated) the series, which was produced by Nippon Television Network, will star Japanese actors Maeda Gouki and Kubota Sayu as main leads.

"Take Me, I'm Yours" tells the story of Chan-yang, who is unexpectedly forced to live with the spirit of a chaebol heir.

The webtoon series is currently available on Line Manga, Naver Webtoon’s Japanese platform. As of the third week of May, the series logged more than 16 million views on Line Manga.

"Aqua Man" (Kakao Webtoon)

Kakao Webtoon series "Aqua Man" is also set to be remade into a Japanese drama series, to be broadcast in 2025.

"Aqua Man" follows the story of Na-ru and his friend Sung-joon, who harbors feelings for Na-ru. The webtoon series, which was serialized in Korea from 2016 to 2019, logged more than 200 million cumulative views.

Kakao Entertainment is scheduled to collaborate with Fuji Television Network to develop the drama series, with Fuji Television Network responsible for the onsite production.

The drama is set to be broadcast on Fuji TV and streamed on the Japanese streaming platform FOD, in 2025.

"Nth Romance" (Kakao Webtoon)

Another popular IP from Kakao Webtoon, "Nth Romance," is being remade into a Taiwanese drama series, to be broadcast in Taiwan at the end of 2025.

According to Kakao Webtoon, the drama series will be produced by Taiwanese production company IndieZ Entertainment.

"Nth Romance" tells the story of Na-ri, who starts a new relationship with a charming man named Mu-gi.

The webtoon series, which logged more than 130 million cumulative views in Korea, has been available to Taiwanese readers through Kakao Webtoon's Taiwanese platform since June 2021.

Experts say Korean webtoons are attractive IPs for international producers to turn into drama series, as they resonate with audiences around the world.

"Korean cartoonists are exposed to various contents from many different countries. This exposure imbues Korean webtoons with elements that resonate with global audiences, rather than elements that resonate only with Korean audiences. As such, Korean webtoons have the potential to effortlessly transition into international series," said Seo Bum-gang, president of the Korea Webtoon Industry Association.

Seo further noted that Korean webtoon-based content is generally perceived as enjoyable among international audiences.

"Riding high on the soaring performance of Korean webtoon-based series such as 'Moving' on global streaming services, domestic and global audiences are increasingly gaining the impression that webtoon-based content will generally be fun," said Seo.

"If the webtoon-based drama series are localized to feature actors from the viewers' own countries and depict scenes set in their own neighborhoods, they are likely to be met with even greater enthusiasm," Seo added.