Nowadays, the pervasiveness and popularity of Korean culture beyond its home country is unquestionable. With BTS and Blackpink making big moves around the world, korean music, famously known as Kpop, is thriving everywhere it spreads. K-dramas have also joined Kpop on the worldwide media platform. According to the Korea Creative Content Agency, about 18 million Americans are estimated to be fans of Korean TV. Furthermore, Korea’s beauty and fashion has recently swept popular trends. In the same way, it is now the K-Webtoon’s turn to proclaim its rising global popularity.
Updated once a week, a short swipe through the 3-minute Webtoons add amusing entertainment and a fun distraction to one’s day. Ideal for skimming through while on a car ride to school and on the subway to work, Korean Webtoons have gained an immense amount of love worldwide over the past decade. The term “Webtoon” is yet another Korean-originated term for digital comics or cartoons that are published online.
You may wonder what is it about these Korean Webtoons that allures the minds of those all around the world. In fact, each webtoon, distinctive for its own interesting plots and characters, will surely make you glued to your phone.
Since the end of the 20th century, the zest for comic books has been on a decline. Introduction of these free, fast, and easy-to-access online webtoons compared to comics added on to the popularity of the South Korean Webtoon Syndrome. Pretty soon, it can be boldly said that Webtoons have dominated the comic industry in Korea and will continue to influence the readers throughout the world. According to the author from The Dongguk Post, “With the new medium, the Internet, the online comic industry is now skyrocketing; more and more talented writers of comics have been uploading their comics on websites.” The most loved webtoon sites online are Naver and Daum. Top webtoons are released alongside with English translated versions, encompassing a wider audience globally.
The vast variety of Webtoon stories is what makes Korean Webtoons the best. Beginning with the cute, heart tingling highschool romance stories of the most popular webtoon “True Beauty”, Naver Webtoons, for instance, have drama, comedy, thrillers, fantasy, sci-fi, action, suicides, superheros, and slice-of-life stories. My all time favorite webtoon is “Yumi’s Cells”. It is a typical romance story, but the author composes the entire comic from the perspective of the cells! As we explore each characters, the author provides a view of the cells within the character’s brain, collaborating to think, talk, and trigger feelings. It is a cute love story while introducing the readers to the world of cells that we have never imagined before.
Besides such kinds of endearing love stories, K-Webtoons has a webtoon that delivers important societal messages about high suicide rates in Korea ( Naver Webtoon “Tomorrow”), provides a scope into the afterlife (Naver Webtoon “Along with Gods”), and criticizes the prevalent ideas of lookism (Naver Webtoon “Lookism”). These are definitely exceptional webtoons to peruse while nibbling away your free hours. They will make you smile, cry, and even ponder deeply about life.
Goeun Lee, Grade 10
Larchmont Charter High School