Recently, two big anime have launched out into the world and these aren’t light novels turned into anime or even manga adaptations. No folks, The God of High School and Kami no tou—Tower of God—are series adapted from WEBTOON! As of the drafting of this article, The God of High School has only aired one episode but that single episode blew fans away with beautiful visuals, a fun story, and a simple but shonen-like theme. Tower of God had some love too from both fans of the source material and those unaware of its WEBTOON roots making us here at Honey’s Anime wonder. Will WEBTOON adaptations become the next new-age shonen genre?
For those unaware of what WEBTOON is, let’s give you readers a brief history lesson. We promise there won’t be any exams after so no need to take notes. WEBTOON is a genre of comics—or manhwa—that came from South Korea in the early 2000s. WEBTOONs became a huge hit with manhwa fans and as time passed many outside of South Korea began to take notice of these interesting stories. One thing we noticed—and probably manga/anime fans noticed as well—is that WEBTOONs tend to mirror the genres we see in Japanese culture. While they definitely have their own flavors, there are a multitude of series like Tower of God and The God of High School that seem almost perfect for the Shounen Jump franchise.
Essentially folks, WEBTOON anime seem to echo the themes found in shonen franchise like Naruto, Bleach, Dragon Ball and so on. This thought began to make us wonder. What if WEBTOON adaptations become bigger and bigger? What would that mean for the shonen landscape? In our honest opinion it could mean quite a change for Shounen Jump as a whole! “Why?” you ask? Simple folks, competition.
What Does It Mean?
If more action-oriented WEBTOON series continue to be adapted into anime, then we’ll begin to find more anime fans wondering what the source material looks like. When Tower of God finished on a nice cliffhanger, fans scrambled to the original material to see what else was in store for our characters climbing to reach their goal. Many who witnessed the amazing first episode of The God of High School—which was pretty cool, to be honest—scrambled to WEBTOON’s website and began to take notice of the comic. Now imagine several more anime come out with the same reaction from the viewers. Not only will WEBTOON have a bigger audience from fans but other companies—such as Shounen Jump—might take notice and begin to wonder…what do we do now?
Some of you might worry that this will mean one of the two—either Shounen Jump or WEBTOON—would end up being changed by the new popularity or lack thereof, but in our minds, this will lead to a new growth of anime. Now we’ll have newer stories from creators in South Korea jumping into the Japanese animation business and Japanese creators will dig deep into their own creative minds to try new recipes for success. We could honestly see a new shonen landscape that doesn’t feel rehashed as it has been over the last few decades. The change might scare some anime viewers but we’re telling you these changes could lead to wonderful new anime from not only WEBTOON creations but other franchises like Shounen Jump.
Competition is never a bad thing when it comes to the anime world. If we didn’t have multiple anime studios trying to find the best new adaption or creation then we’d have a stale world of similar anime pouring out left and right. WEBTOON series can possibly lead the way to a new age of shonen-like series in the anime world and we’d love to see it! What are your thoughts folks? Let us know down below and for more articles like this one, keep stuck to our hive here at Honey’s Anime!