Comparing K-Drama Characters To Their Webtoon Counterparts

It feels like they popped right out of the book!

K-Dramas based on webtoon and manhwas have been around forever, perhaps even at the very start of K-Dramas. However, nowadays, it feels like every other drama produced is based on a comic. But are they doing a good job? While there are hundreds of other aspects that actually make a drama good, sometimes, getting the character true to the book is what makes it. But how many of these drama characters actually hold a light to their cartoon counterparts?

Extraordinary You

The design of the female lead is very similar, with the only difference being that her hair in the webtoon is cut all the way up to her ears. With student characters, it’s not so much about the appearance (as they aren’t too hard to replicate), it’s the personality. Dan Oh is stylish, expressionless, and often arrogant in the webtoon. In fact, the entire webtoon has a much more serious tone than it’s drama adaptation. The K-Drama decided to go with a much more light-hearted and cheerful approach to Dan Oh, which many appreciated.

| MyDramaList
| OneHallyu


Many people didn’t know that the Netflix hit drama was based on a manhwa, but once you do, there’s no going back. While Joo Ji Hoon did a flawless job expressing such a dark story, there’s just something so dynamic about manhwa Lee Chang. He’s much more gruff and weathered than Ji Hoon’s beauty gives. Perhaps it’s just how the art style accentuates it, but the drawn Lee Chang just gives off a totally different vibe.

| Kingdom/Netflix
| Burning Hell Wiki

The Uncanny Counter

This drama is pretty accurate, except for Mo Tak. As a former police officer, the webtoon Mo Tak gives off this tough, “don’t mess with me” feeling. He has blond hair, shaved sides, and the cherry on top, a beard. While Yoo Joon Sang does an excellent portrayal, when looking at them side by side, it just feels like there’s something missing. Perhaps it’s the beard.

Mystic Pop-Up Bar

It’s somewhat hard to compare this drama to its webtoon counterpart as the webtoon is simply drawn to give off a fun and casual vibe. While the brightness and vibrance of the drama help give it a similar atmosphere, it feels significantly different than the webtoon. Though, we’d say it improved it!

| Naver

Itaewon Class

The appearance of the two is very similar except for perhaps the darker tan of webtoon Sae Ro Yi’s skin. However, there were many that thought the webtoon was more interesting and better written. Though, there will always be those people who like the book better than the adaptation. The other issue is that while Park Seo Joon is a legendary actor, many were upset that a 32-year-old man was representing a high schooler.

| Naver

Cheese in the Trap

Despite this drama being a stark love-it-or-hate-it, the characters hold up well to their webtoon counterparts. Even including the ginger hair!


True Beauty

The uncanny resemblance of these characters is almost scary. If you weren’t thinking, you could probably mistake these two photos. Although, the webtoon artist has admitted to using idols as character references so it would make sense that these gorgeous actors and actresses resembled them well.

| MyDramaList



Bring It On, Ghost

The characters of Bring It On, Ghost (or Let’s Fight, Ghost) are definitely reminiscent of the late 2000s style. Needless to say, they look quite a bit different than their live-action counterparts.

| MangaDex

Strangers From Hell

Okay, let’s just admit, sometimes webtoons are better just because you can draw quite literally anything into existence, unlike the real world. While the drama is amazing, the webtoon instantly puts fear in your heart just by looking at the characters. With the permanently big, dark eyes and the man with the inhumanely huge smile, it’s hard to look at them for too long without getting uncomfortable (which is exactly the point). Maybe Lee Dong Wook and Lee Hyun Wook are just too beautiful to be scary.

| Asian Wiki

The Tale of Nokdu

How adorable is this art style! Both the drama and the webtoon are cute and fun, and the drama characters perfectly embody the drawings they portray. This is one drama that goes hand in hand with its origins.

| MyDramaList