The current wave of entertainment has been gradually shifting from manga to Manhwa now. Japan had dominated the realm of comics for decades due to its unique style and fashion of storytelling. This culture has now birthed Manhwa which is increasingly gaining popularity - not only as a leisure read but as material for anime adaptations as well. Manhwa originated in South Korea and has now spread to North Korea and overseas. Unlike manga, manhwa captures the eye with its vivid set of colours and artstyle.
With the explosion of manhwa in the comic world, it is difficult to navigate your journey in it. We're here to guide you towards the top 10 manhwa available to kickstart the reading session.
- Cheese in the Trap
Cheese in the Trap is written and illustrated by Soon Ki. It ran from 2010 till 2017. The manhwa even has a South Korean drama adaptation to its name. In the world of manhwa, Cheese in the Trap is considered to be an iconic work. The story follows the hardworking and attractive college student Seol Hong who discovers the dark aspects of her senior Jung Yoo's personality. Thus, her life gets complicated. Initially, she attempts to expose his two-faced personality and restore peace in her life, things go astray when they both become attracted to each other and begin dating.
Catharsis is a manhwa written and illustrated by Ahniki. The manhwa can be categorized as an urban fantasy comic. The work ran from 2015 to 2019. The protagonist, Leon, is plagued with nightmares. He possesses the distinct ability to visualize people's voices in colour and identify them accordingly. He discovers that in this world, people's fear is a staple diet for monsters called Tomorem. But he also comes across an organisation called Catharsis that fights these monsters. It is undeniable that Catharsis has a very interesting plot that draws you in, and it definitely will engage you. While it is marked complete, there is hope for a second season.
- The Gamer
The Gamer was written by Seong Yang Yeong and illustrated by Sang A from 2013 to 2015. The story revolves around Jee-Han, an ardent video gamer, who discovers that he has the ability to live the real world like a Role-Playing Game (RPG). This discovery shocks him. The ability gives him the power to witness the levels of people, their stats. He is able to acquire abilities and even level up like any game. But life isn't so easy as Jee-Han discovers that much like any other RPG Game, even the monsters must be defeated. This proves even more difficult when he discovers that there are other 'players' that he must defeat - some more powerful than him. The manhwa is definitely a delight for a video game lover and has fans rooting for its anime adaptation.
Now if you're an anime fan, it is likely that you've heard this name every now and then. Noblesse had received an OVA but is now being granted a full blown anime adaptation soon. The anime world is abuzz with this news. Noblesse is a popular manhwa that has reigned from 2007 to 2019. The story is written by Je-Ho Son and illustrated by Gwang-Su Lee. It is a revamped story of vampires and Frankenstein. The protagonist, Rai, wakes up from his 820-year slumber to find the world drastically changed. As he adjusts to his new life with his loyal servant, Frankenstein he discovers that it would not be a peaceful process due to the workings of an organization called 'The Union'. Along with his friends at school, Noblesse traces the group's dangerous entanglements with this secret organisation.
- Girls of the Wild's
This manhwa written by Hun and illustrated by Zhena is a treat for any harem fans. The comic ran from 2011-2016 and is thoroughly enjoyed for its action drama with a high-school premise. Wild's High is well known for its elite training of martial arts that has produced some of the strongest and most renowned martial artists in the world. The story begins when the school breaks its 42-year-old tradition of exclusivity to girls and allows our protagonist, Song Jae Gu, to enroll with full Scholarship. Upon his encounter with the reigning champion of the martial arts tournament Queen, the taekwondo practitioner Choi Dal Dal and the animated boxer Lee Moon Young, he discovers that he'll have to fend for himself in the intense competition that prevails in the school.
- I Love Yoo
I Love Yoo is an ongoing manhwa that has garnered a loyal fanbase since its debut in 2017. The comic is written and illustrated by Quimchee. The story follows a tough girl named Shin-Ae who hasn't seen much good in life. Misfortune, pain and unhappiness seem to follow her as she struggles to stay afloat. She is determined to not interact with people, much alone indulge in romance. But things take a turn when she ends up ruining the clothes of Yeong-Gi Hirahara. An unlikely friendship blossoms and Shin-Ae finds herself entangled with the Hirahara brothers with a budding romance at play. The plot may seem unoriginal to many, however, Shin-Ae is a unique protagonist and the events that unfold through the series are definitely engaging and refreshing to read.
- Solo Leveling
Solo Leveling is an ongoing manhwa written by Chu-Gong and illustrated by Gee So-Lyung and Reduce Studio. The manhwa is based on the novel of the same name and made its debut in 2018. The manhwa is praised for its great action sequences and intriguing fantasy setting. The story follows an E-rank Hunter Sung Jin-Woo who is mocked for his weakness. Upon being trapped in a dangerous dungeon and finishing all the trials, Sung Jin-Woo ascends to the title of a "player" that has access to an interface that allows him to see levels, store, the stats, inventory and quests. The story follows his journey in leveling up to the highest rank in the world - an S-rank Hunter.
- Let's Play
Let's Play is a manhwa/webtoon written and illustrated by Mongie. The manhwa has two characters central to its story : game developer Samara Young and Vlogger Marshall Law. Samara Young aspires to be a great game developer. Her first game is played by popular vlogger Marshall Law and receives harsh negative feedback from his fans. Due to this, her reputation is destroyed on the indie website. Little did they know that fate would unveil that they're neighbours.
Manhwa is certaining not lacking in the psychological horror sphere either because Bastard shines through, in this genre. Bastard is written by Kim Carnby and illustrated by Hwang Young-chan. It ran from 2014 to 2016. The story centers on a bullied high schooler Jin Seon and his insane serial killer father, Dong-Soo Seon. In fear of being killed, he acts as an accomplice to his father's crimes. However, this stops when his father takes an interest in the new transfer student Kyun Yoo. Jin Seon decides to go against his father in order to protect Kyun Yoo. This sets off an intense psychological and violent battle between the two family members.
- Tower of God
Tower of God is now an anime that's been taking fans by storm. The manhwa written and illustrated by S.I.U is ongoing and is arguably one of the longest running manhwas in the library. The comic debuted in 2010 and has since been divided into three seasons. The story follows a young boy named Twenty-Fifth Bam who lives beneath a mysterious building called 'The Tower' all his life. A girl named Rachel, comes to him through a light and gradually becomes his best friend. However, when Rachel claims that she must leave him to climb the tower, Bam is devastated. In order to find Rachel, Bam sets his sight on The Tower and on reaching the top.