13 Best Manhwa Anime Adaptations: From Korean Comics to the Animated Screen

13 Best Manhwa Anime Adaptations From Korean Comics to the Animated Screen
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As Wikipedia defines it, manhwa is “the general Korean term for comics and print cartoons. Outside Korea, the term usually refers to South Korean comics.” Similar to how manga, in Japan, means any type of comic book, but outside of Japan, it means Japanese comics, manhwa has an identical role in South Korean culture. Although manhwa titles are not as popular as manga titles globally, thanks to the popularity of Webtoons, their popularity has been increasing in recent years.

Of course, like manga titles, manhwa titles have also been adapted on the big screen, either as animated series or movies. In this article, we have decided to filter through the most popular manhwa (webtoons and webcomics included) titles and their adaptations and bring you a list of the 13 best adaptations that you will definitely enjoy. The titles will not be listed in any particular order, as the list is not ranked.

1. Tower of God

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What it’s about: The Twenty-Fifth Bam grew up immersed in darkness and total solitude. His only ray of light was Rachel, the girl who had been close to him ever since she remembered him, teaching him to speak by telling him about the outside world. However, Rachel is obsessed and willing to do anything to make it happen: seeing the stars and the sky. To fulfill her wish, she is even willing to enter the Tower of God, a mammoth structure of indefinite height on whose summit it is said that every wish can be granted. Baam follows her to stop her, but they are teleported inside the tower, where Baam quickly loses track of Rachel.

Why you should watch it: Tower of God is definitely one of the more popular titles you can find on the market, which is why we wholeheartedly recommend it. It has a great story and captivating characters, and the animation is also great.

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2. The God of High School

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What it’s about: The protagonist, Jin Mo-Ri, a 17-year-old martial artist in Seoul, has exploits that are chronicled in the novel. He receives an invitation to the inaugural “The God Of High School” martial arts competition at the start of the narrative. The competition, which a dubious company supports, gathers competitors from all over the nation for the regional and, subsequently national stages to find the three best delegates for the international competition. The winner receives their request fulfilled as a reward.

Why you should watch it: Another very popular and well-known title, The God of High School mixes martial arts with the supernatural, creating a great blend that is additionally supplemented by some great humor, which is why we recommend it.

3. Solo Leveling

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What it’s about: In a world where humans with superhuman talents known as Hunters must fight terrible creatures to save humanity from near extinction, Sung Jinwoo, a famously poor Hunter, is perpetually fighting for his life. A mysterious software known as the System selected him as the only player one day after he barely survived an incredibly strong double dungeon that almost destroyed his entire group.

The System granted him the extraordinary ability to power up and alter anyone he encountered. He murders a devoted subordinate known as a shadow. Jinwoo then sets off on a quest to uncover the dungeons’ mysteries and the real source of his powers, where he must battle a variety of individuals, monsters, and other foes.

Why you should watch it: Solo Leveling‘s anime adaptation comes out in January 2024, and since the title is undoubtedly (alongside Tower of God), the most popular one on this list, we do not doubt that it will be a smashing hit.

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4. Why Raeliana Ended Up at the Duke’s Mansion

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What it’s about: Eunha Park was reborn into the fantastical setting of the novel she was reading following her unexpected death. If the plot continues as planned, she will die at the hands of her fiancé and take on the name Raeliana McMillan. Raeliana chooses to find a new fiancé to avoid dying, which brings her closer to Duke Noah Wynknight.

Why you should watch it: This might be a lesser-known title, but 2023’s adaptation of Why Raeliana Ended Up at the Duke’s Mansion was fairly interesting and for those who like more romance than shonen-type action, Why Raeliana Ended Up at the Duke’s Mansion is the real deal.

5. Noblesse 

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What it’s about: Noblesse focuses on Cadis Etrama Di Raizel, who suddenly awakens in an abandoned palace in South Korea after a long sleep lasting 820 years. Having tracked down his loyal lackey Frankenstein, Rai decides to start living a life as a simple human and attend a school, Ye Ran High School, to better understand society and humans in the twenty-first century. But due to his little knowledge of this era’s new technologies and culture, he will often find himself in rather bizarre situations. In addition, he is involved several times in the affairs of a secret organization, which seems to be linked to the reason why he woke up in that very city.

Why you should watch it: Noblesse is also a fairly popular title that you will enjoy, especially since the visuals are quite impressive. It, likewise, has a great story and amazing characters, and if you like dark fantasy – Noblesse is the thing for you.

6. Gosu 

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What it’s about: Gang Yong is a Supreme Overlord Doko Ryong student who is also exceptionally skilled and a masterful martial artist. His main goal is to avenge the four Heavenly Kings, who tried to kill his mentor and cause a lot of trouble in Murim. He is shocked when he finds out that they are already dead.

Why you should watch it: While not Dragon Ball, Gosu will offer enough entertainment to those who seek a good martial arts title, as it has basically everything you need in one place. And although we don’t have a release date for the anime yet, based on the manhwa, it is going to be great.

7. Doctor Elise

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What it’s about: The story of Doctor Elise focuses on the titular protagonist and her adventures in an isekai world, which are filled with romance, humor, and lighthearted adventures.

Why you should watch it: Another anime that is set to appear in 2024, Doctor Elise will be a very light-hearted isekai romance that fans of the lighter series will definitely enjoy, which is why we are recommending it already.

8. A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special

A Returners Magic Should Be Special

What it’s about: Set in a fantasy world, A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special follows the adventures of the magician Desir Herrman and his allies as they fight in a fantasy world filled with danger.

Why you should watch it: Currently running, A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special is a fantasy action series that shonen fans will enjoy. Although it is not as popular as some other titles on this list, A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special is definitely worth your while.

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9. Blade of the Phantom Master

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What it’s about: Angyo Onshi is the name of an organization of secret spies who operate within the vast Jushin Empire. They assist the populace in resisting injustice while covertly directing the actions of the provincial leaders. However, the princes rise to prominence, and the Angyo Onshi vanishes when the empire falls. Mun-Su, the warrior, keeps on around the nation in the guise of Angyo Onshi, helping people. He mostly battles the populace’s scourge, rapacious princes and demons. He encounters Chun Hyang, a teenage fighter who follows and defends Sando throughout.

Why you should watch it: Blade of the Phantom Master is a Japanese-South Korean title that combines manhwa and manga elements, and it is an exceptionally interesting anime movie that you should definitely check out.

10. Lookism

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What it’s about: Because of his weight, Park Hyung Seok is a high school student who is disliked and teased. After being verbally abused and harassed regularly by a criminal, he verbally attacks his mother and requests to be transferred from the school. He moves to Seoul in an attempt to escape his difficulties and start again. He’s going to a new high school. But he obtains a new body a few nights before he enters school. Park has a tall, attractive, and muscular physique. His other body goes to sleep when he uses it. Park wakes the person who is asleep, and then they trade bodies.

Why you should watch it: Lookism is definitely an interesting story that shows and analyzes some aspects of modern South Korean society, and it is undoubtedly a fun watch, which is why we recommend it.

11. Kurokami

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What it’s about: On his way home after a night out, Keita, a young high school student, stops at a ramen restaurant. As he barely begins his meal, a scantily clad and hungry young girl asks for the same thing. Keita gives her his bowl because she doesn’t have the money to pay. He is unaware he is dealing with a Mototsumitama – a guardian of balance on Earth. Keita is seriously injured when a mysterious man attacks the young woman, unwittingly caught up in the fight between them. But when he wakes up the next morning, his body is intact, but his life will take a completely different turn.

Why you should watch it: Kurokami is special in that it is a manga title written by a South Korean and is one of the “oldest” titles on this list; although technically not a manhwa, we still included it on this list because it’s a great title that also has historical value.

12. Ragnarok the Animation

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What it’s about: A young acolyte (Yuufa), and a swordsman (Roan), her childhood friend, travel to the kingdom of Rune Midgard. They will be accompanied by a merchant (Maaya) and her animal (Poipoi), as well as by an archer (Judia) and a magician (Takius). During their adventures, they will reveal and solve conspiracies.

Why you should watch it: Ragnarok the Animation is another historically important and popular title. It is mainly a video game, but there is a manhwa, and it has been adapted into a great action anime that you should enjoy.

13. When I Woke Up I Became A Bagel Girl

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What it’s about: When I Woke Up I Became a Bagel Girl is a gender-bender anime in which the guy turns into the girl of his dreams and then falls in love with a friend. The story chronicles their story and the evolution of their relationship.

Why you should watch it: When I Woke Up I Became a Bagel Girl is the last title on our list and is a very lighthearted, funny story that female fans will definitely enjoy.

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!

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