Webtoons to Read in Your Free Time

WebtoonsRomance 101 Cover | Source: Korea JoongAng Daily

Many of us are tired of constantly dealing with homework and tests. From time to time, we need some form of entertainment that can help us cool off. A great choice is to read Webtoons, which are online comics initially started in South Korea in the early 2000s. Most of these are around 100 to 200 episodes, and each takes around 5 minutes to read. Also, all of the webtoons in this list are translated into English, so everyone can enjoy them without needing to learn Korean!

Since it can be intimidating to navigate through the many webtoons that exist, here are a few to get you started on your journey:

Rom-Coms

Source: Namuwiki

  1. See You in my 19th Life
    1. This webtoon is still running, meaning that episodes come out weekly. Due to its addictive nature, it can be difficult to wait weeks to get the conclusions you want.
    2. Summary: It tells the story of a young girl (Yoon Joo Won) who remembers all of her past lives. She is living in her 18th when she meets a younger boy (Moon Suh Ha). However, an accident causes her to die and resurrect in her 19th life, which scars Suh Ha. The remainder of the story is about Joo Won, now resurrected as Ban Ji Eum, and Suh Ha trying to forget the past and move on.
  2. Romance 101
    1. Romance 101 can also be put in the wholesome genre because of how laid-back of a series it is. There are no heart-wrenching conflicts that arise between the characters, and the interactions between the characters are pretty realistic.
    2. Summary: The plot itself is also a simple love triangle: Jung Ba Reum is a studious college student who plans her day down to the seconds, Na Yoo Yun is a student who enjoys video games and wings most of his assignments, and Shin Jae Hyun is a sweet but overly stressed college senior. The series revolves around Yoo Yun and Jae Hyun trying to win over Ba Reum.
  3. My Roommate is a Gumiho
    1. Remade into a K-Drama series, this webtoon is one of the mainstream ones, but its refreshing plotline is worth giving a read. 
    2. Summary: Lee Dam is a typical college student who has no thought of dating and Shin Woo Yeo is a 999 year old “gumiho” (a Korean mythical creature that is part fox and part human). Woo Yeo needs to get energy from humans in order to turn into one, so he uses Lee Dam to accomplish this, ultimately turning into a love story.
  4. Clothing Bin of Love
    1. While this one isn’t as popular as the other ones, the Clothing Bin of Love is easily one of the most exciting webtoons on this list, the main reason being that this is one of the first to include LGBTQ+ characters. 
    2. Summary: Essentially, the webtoon is about Song Ah Ram, a high school student, who uses a clothing donation bin to tell you your “fortune” as it pertains to your love life. For instance, if students deposit five dollars into the disposal bin and say the name of their crush, A Ram will tell them if their love will come true (which she knows through careful observations at school). But when another classmate finds out that she’s the mastermind behind the supposed “enchanted” disposal bin, things start to go awry.

Thrillers

Source: Namuwiki

  1. Second Birthday
    1. This webtoon leaves you with a cliffhanger at the end of every episode (including the last one), so it keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire ride. As thrilling as it is, however, it also mocks the overarching theme of beauty standards in society in a satirical way – a reason why it is a joy to read. 
    2. Summary: Yeon Bo Ra is a high school student who is insecure about her looks, eventually following her mother’s footsteps and getting a complete makeover through plastic surgery. However, in the days following her surgery, she keeps seeing her old face following her around, staring into her face while she sleeps. To find out what is happening with Bo Ra, give this webtoon a try! 
  2. Along with the Gods
    1. Along with the Gods has been made into a movie series, but the webtoon, in my opinion, is more interesting to read. 
    2. Summary: Kim Ja Hong is a regular 40 year old man in South Korea who suddenly dies. In order to resurrect into the next life, he must complete a series of trials in the underworld that test how good of a person he was in his life. He has the aid of other guides in the underworld, but each trial and description of potential punishments (for example, running away from a huge stone that can either flatten you or push you into a sea of human-eating creatures) if he fails constantly puts readers on the edge. Will he be able to meet a happy ending?

Wholesome

맘마미안 - 나무위키

Source: Namuwiki

  1. Mom, I’m Sorry
    1. Warning: this is a tearjerker. 
    2. Summary: This tells the story of Gong Hyo Chan, who is a bad son to his single mother, Yeon Geum Ok. Eventually, his mother falls ill to a terminal illness. Desperate to save her, Hyo Chan deals his life with a demon and gives 20 years to his mother’s life (whilst subtracting 20 years from his). Now, his mother is in her twenties again, and able to restart her life. On the other hand, Hyo Chan does not know when he might die because he gave away 20 years. This webtoon navigates the importance of family and moving on from the past.
  2. I Will Die Soon

Content warning: this summary contains mentions of suicide

    1. While the title might seem like a horror story, this is a story about appreciating the life you currently have. 
    2. Summary: The main character, Choi Lee Jae, is a young adult hunting for a job and failing miserably. Eventually, his constant failures lead him to commit suicide. However, instead of getting transported to the afterlife, he finds himself with a mysterious woman who sends him into different peoples’ lives. He has a limited number of tries to successfully live to the end without committing suicide, or he will permanently die. The main message is a tribute to stressed youth in Korea / around the world, encouraging them to not give up when things get tough.
    3. My Daughter is a Zombie
      1. Again, this webtoon may seem scary, but the drawings are cute and have a heart-warming message. 
      2. Summary: The webtoon is set in Korea in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. The main character is a high school student named Sooah, who ends up being infected by a zombie. Her father desperately tries to save her by teaching her how to act more “humanely.” The webtoon covers the themes of family and patience. Spoiler: you will cry after reading this. 

About the Author

Irene Park
Irene is a junior at IMSA and lives in 1506. She is a first-year staff writer who likes to catch up on sleep and listen to music in her free time.

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