2020 means several things. New anime series, returning anime series and something incredibly exciting—the advent of WEBTOON adaptations! This year, we’re getting titles like Noblesse, Tower of God, and God of Highschool animated and we’re foaming at the mouth at the possibilities this brings because we don’t normally see adaptations of manhwa and WEBTOONs! So, let’s get right to the topic at hand: what titles do we think need to follow suit and get animated right NOW? Keep reading to find out!
5. I Love YOO
- Genres: Drama, Romance, Slice of Life
- Chapters: 115+
- Authors: Quimchee
- Published: Apr. 2017 – Ongoing
Yoo Shin-Ae lives a fairly hard life. She decides to want absolutely nothing to do with people, choosing to live a boring, antisocial high school life. However, Shin-Ae’s fate is thrown a curveball when she accidentally spills orange juice on a stranger’s clothes. Shin-Ae’s life gets a whole lot more complicated when she ends up being embroiled in the lives of rich boys Hirahara Kousuke and Yeong-Gi.
Some people are of the mind that slice of life is anime’s best genre. Regardless of what you believe, an anime adaptation of I Love Yoo would be an adaptation of one of the most popular drama and romance webtoons. That would definitely be something one would look forward to, with so much content available for adaptation. With a great cast of characters, layered writing and an art style that gives it a light-hearted feel despite the weight of some of its themes, I Love YOO is a great title that would make for an elite anime.
4. Dr. Frost
- Genres: Drama, Psychological
- Chapters: 121
- Authors: Lee Jong-Beom
- Published: Dec. 2014 – Apr. 2017
Dr. Frost is a genius psychologist who works according to a certain motto: humans are all basically the same. He has an intimate understanding of the workings of the human mind; however, he seems to lack emotion. With the help of his assistant Yoon Seong-Ah, Frost applies his vast knowledge and his ability to read people in order to solve various cases.
Dr. Frost has all the makings of the source material of an anime masterclass! The visual feel of the Dr. Frost manhwa is colourful with a style that lends itself to anime. Having been tested on screen before but in a live-action series format, Dr. Frost has already proven itself as a concept—having it in anime form would allow the series to be explored in a way that lends itself wholly to the series’ aesthetic and overall feel.
- Genres: Action, Comedy, School, Seinen
- Chapters: 273+
- Authors: Park Tae Joon
- Published: Jun. 2017 – Ongoing
Daniel Park is a total loser. He has no friends, he is constantly getting bullied, he lacks confidence, and to make things worse, his family is poor. His mother works hard to put food on the table so Daniel lies about his struggles so she doesn’t worry. Due to circumstance, Daniel ends up moving away by himself and attending a different school. He discovers something incredibly strange one night—when he falls asleep, he wakes up in a different body. This one is tall, athletic, attractive—all the things Daniel thinks he’s not. The discovery changes Daniel’s world forever.
With long overarching character arcs and a great story to boot, Lookism has been one of the most exciting webtoons for the past few years. The realistic yet exaggerated art style also makes Lookism really good to look at, especially for the fight scenes! A fluid and powerful visual feel to parallel the rollercoaster of a cast and storyline would make Lookism one of the most exciting prospects of any anime season.
- Genres: Drama, Mystery, Psychological, Romance, School, Seinen
- Chapters: 27
- Authors: Ha Il-Kwon
- Published: Jul. 2014 – Dec. 2014
There is a rumour that a magician lives at the abandoned amusement park. Yoon Ah-Ee is a high school girl who struggles with her finances. She used to aspire to become a magician, but reality is harsh; however, a chance encounter with the rumoured magician of the amusement park inspires Ah-Ee to begin chasing her dreams again.
Annarasumanara has a very different feel to the other titles on this list. It is dark and gloomy, yet incredibly beautiful and detailed. The story is fairly short at 27 chapters but the rollercoaster of emotions throughout is intense despite the series’ length. A motion manga-esque approach to an Annarasumanara adaptation could be really amazing, for example, and the monochromatic style could be another distinguishing stylistic feature of an Annarasumanara anime.
1. Solo Levelling
- Genres: Action, Fantasy, Shounen
- Chapters: 270
- Authors: Chu-Gong (Story), Jang Sung-Lak (Art)
- Published: Feb. 2014 – Oct. 2018
When The Gate opened, the human realm was connected with that of monsters. Normal people were imbued with special powers. These people are called Hunters, and they perform various jobs. The highest rank hunters are S-Rank, the most powerful and the most lucrative rank there is. Sun Jin Woo is an E-Rank Hunter who does missions to support his family. The only problem is that Jin Woo is famous for being the weakest hunter in the world and he often comes home from missions incredibly injured, even when it comes to E-Rank Gates, which are the easiest for Hunters to clear. When one mission goes terribly wrong and Jin Woo is left for dead, he is presented with a strange new ability: the ability to level up.
For lack of a better way to explain this, Solo Levelling is very basically manhwa Hunter x Hunter with a weak protagonist who becomes very strong. The series is intense, humorous, and gorgeously laid out with art that is absolutely electrifying. The world of the Solo Levelling series is based on reality, so the Hunter phenomenon is everywhere in a world filled with Gates leading to interesting and dangerous worlds.
From a visual perspective, Solo Levelling has some of the best art of the titles on this list, with panels that are incredibly well-drawn and laid out. An animation based on Solo Levelling would not only be an excellent watch for its premise and storyline, but also for its lovely visuals and fights. Maybe now that we’re finally getting manhwa and WEBTOON anime adaptations we’ll one day get to enjoy Solo Levelling on screen!
It is a really exciting thought that some of our favourite stories that perhaps seemed to be doomed to never have an animated adaptation are finally getting that treatment. Crunchyroll’s “Originals” project is something that is bringing amazing manhwa titles to life and it wouldn’t make any sense for them to stop at just two or three titles – there are heaps of manhwa and webtoons that deserve some newfound hype emanating from each animated adaptation. Are there any manhwa or webtoon titles you’d like to see animated? Drop a comment below and tell us all about them!