Korean comics and graphic novels are generally known as Manhwa. And there’s no denying that Manhwa, Webtoons are getting increasingly popular nowadays. Titles like Tower of God,God of Highschool, and Noblesse have already made their way into the Anime industry. And many more to come in the future.
In case you were living under a rock for the last couple of years, manhwas are essentially manga from Korea. South Korea to be specific. And it wasn’t until 2014 when the Line Webtoon website and app were launched worldwide, it blew up internationally and gained rapid attention on the internet thanks in large part to most webtoon being read on smartphones and their full colored single panel format. Whereas Manga uses high-quality details and shading to make its art more appealing, they use brilliant coloring to make images pop. And unlike manga manhwa stories are read from left to right and from top to bottom. By the way, a lot of folks tend to get the word manhwa confused with the word webtoon, and just so we can end this argument right here before it even begins-a lot of manhwa are webtoons but not all web toons are manhwa. At the start, webtoons were exclusively from Korea but due to the global launch of Line Webtoon, not only just Korea, many artists from China, Taiwan, South East Asia, India, and Western countries started to upload their works into webtoon service. But even though webtoon publishers expanded their wings into the Asian Western countries and have had success penetrating the international market, in Japan, it remained unfledged thanks to the presence of traditional manga industry and web manga as well. To be honest, as Japanese manga has been in the center of the world comic market for almost 5-6 decades with their innovative extensive variety of genres and titles, it’s hard for Korean webtoons to breeze in just a couple of years. Despite this, there have been some furtherances to penetrate the Japanese comic market and slowly more and more artists started to try out webtoon format to release their titles. And that eventually gave rise to various webtoon platform, online groups especially Comico(NHN Japan), Japan’s second-largest website for digital comics in 2013. And that’s where it all started. Within just two years Comico’s webtoon titles like Nar Doma by Kometekaite Meter, Momokuri by Kurose got their anime adaptation in 2015, followed by Sho Futama’s Nanbaka, Yayoiso’s Relife in 2016, Atsuko Watanabe’s Piacevole, Rin Kokuyo’s Recovery of an MMO Junkie in 2017 and Kakeru Utsugi’s Miira no Kaikata in 2018. And as a result webtoon in the Japanese mainstream market became more popular than ever.
But despite all of this corporate and commercial success, the announcement that SIU’s Tower of God to get an anime adaptation cane as a pleasant surprise to many, in that, while the webcomics and webtoons maybe became popular in Japan but for non-Japanese source material to get an anime adaptation is extremely rare.
However, Tower of God anime has done a great job. It did receive mixed to positive reviews from both creators and critics. God of Highschool was also an action-packed extravaganza with smooth animations and visuals. And thanks to Noblesse’s adaptation, the fall turned out to be equally as memorable for webtoons fans as well. Though as for Noblesse I know a great number of people weren’t satisfied with the show’s pacing, animations, and more importantly with the scripts as the studio skipped many chapters worth of content in the anime. Hopefully, they will find a way to make season 2 great and explain all the stuff they skipped in season 1.
Nonetheless, in the end, with the advent of Tower of God, God of Highschool and Noblesse being adapted into anime, this will open the door to a whole new realm of possibility, not just focusing on non-Japanese materials but bringing to life the very cultures which they expressed and embodied within next decade or two.
Thousands of stories from individual artists can now be brought to our attention further down the line in both webtoon and animated forms. Besides, these shows giving webtoon more mainstream exposure will certainly foster more people to contribute their stories to the world.
Are you excited and looking forward to what’s to come or do you not want webtoons being adapted into anime ? Be sure to let us know.