The Korea Herald


Popular webtoon 'Surgeon Elise' to be adpated into Japanese animated series

By Lee Si-jin

Published : March 1, 2023 - 15:38

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Teaser image of Teaser image of "Surgeon Elise" (Kidari Studio)

South Korean content company Kidari Studio’s beloved webtoon “Surgeon Elise” is being adapted into a Japanese animated series.

“Surgeon Elise,” originally adapted from author Yuin’s 2015 web novel of a same title, was released as a webtoon series via Kakao Entertainment, a content subsidiary of the South Korean IT giant Kakao, in 2017. The series came to an end with a total of 143 episodes in February 2021.

The romance fantasy revolves around Elise, a wicked empress who is reincarnated as a genius surgeon named Song Ji-hyun after being executed by a prince. However, Song dies in an accident and is reincarnated once again as Empress Elise.

Hoping to avoid her destiny, which is death at the hands of her own son, Elise tries to become a moral person, keeping herself from committing any evil deeds.

Drawn by illustrator Mini, the webtoon attracted more than 250 million accumulated reads from around the world.

In Japan, riding on the popularity of the webtoon, a total of 1.35 million print editions of “Surgeon Elise” were sold. It was named one of the beloved digital webtoon series of the year at the 2020 Piccoma Awards, alongside the Japanese megahit series “Demon Slayer,” the Korean action fantasy “Solo Leveling” and more.

Piccoma is Kakao Japan’s webtoon subscription service.

Kidari Studio announced that Japanese production companies Maho Film and Kadokawa, which were behind “Neon Genesis Evangelion” (1995-1996) and “Your Name” (2017), joined hands for the upcoming animation series.

“While the streaming service platform is yet to be decided, the 12-part animation of ‘Surgeon Elise’ will be available in the first half of 2024 on a global streaming service,” Kidari Studio said in a recent press release.

While this is not the first time that a popular webtoon has been adapted into a series for a streaming platform, it will be among the few adapted into an animated series.

On global streaming service Netflix, while there are many live-action webtoon adaptations -- “D.P.,” “Hellbound,” “All of Us Are Dead” and “The Sound of Magic,” there are only a handful of animated adaptations. They include Naver Webtoon’s crime action series “Lookism,” which premiered on the streaming platform on Nov. 4, 2022.