Hi hi everyone! Let’s take a moment and break away from useless anime rants and pitiful reviews and look at the smaller, more vague side of my blog: Manhwa.
I’ve been wanting to make this for a while now. It’s priority was just lower than the rest of the things I had planned out for this blog but now that i’m school-free and my worst enemy, Responsibility, seems to be nowhere in sight, Behold…
14. The Croaking
Before I start, please know that out of the total 40 webtoons I have in my subscribed list; Only choosing fourteen was a pain. Even though The Croaking is last on this list, #14 is still a hella high honor and the Webtoons that do make it on this list have almost no flaws so far. The Croaking is a Webtoon that needs more love and attention. Recently, common romance themes and supernatural themes have been appearing alot on Webtoon so it’s hard to find an artist exploring a new topic and an entirely different message. Thankfully, here is the “different” Webtoon you’ve been looking for including crazy-ass discrimination messages and dark politics carrying on Days of Hana’s legacy. So far, it’s been an absolute ride and although this Webtoon is focused more on the darker side of things; it still manages to fit in some of that gay and lesbian love we all die for! Definitely reccommend it.
Woo wee! Uriah is quite the thriller! Don’t tell anyone I said this but between Lalin’s Curse and Uriah…Uriah totally wins. Uriah follows your typical horror story; a mysterious kid comes by your manor and you take him in only to find he’s a bloody murderer so you try to subtly throw him out into the wilderness only to have a guilty conscience only to have this bloody kid start innocently questioning your evil motives only to have the poor boy get injured more only to have you falling into a guilt trap only to have you realize you live alone on a vacant island with a bloody murderer and a team of people who want to make snuff movies. Ahem, very typical. However, when it comes to thrillers, the story complexity and in-depth structure is the least of my concerns. I want a Thriller that can get me easily attached and invested in a character only to kill them off or put them into a grusome, disturbing situation or rip them to shreds mentally. I want to be skinned alive emotionally when I see the genre “Thriller” and this Webtoon does a damn well job at making me disturbed, emotional, scared, frustrated, and anxious all at once. And hey, if it becomes too much for you the comments are extremely comedic to read after an intense chapter.
Lesbian. The main character is Lesbian and yes, that’s how I want to start this section off. Muted is really great at manipulating the viewer’s emotions. One second you find yourself fangirling at some chemistry and another second you find yourself throwing your phone at the floor because of a character’s anger only to cry yourself to sleep after a certain Episode 20. What comes off as a typical fantasy plot with a typical rebellious character who has extreme family issues actually isn’t and dives much deeper than what you may think into a depression filled, powerful-message stuffed work of art. If you want a happy-go-lucky, let’s frolic in the fields-fantasy to squeal over; look elsewhere as this is the moody, depression, lesbian gem that you don’t want to miss out on.
11. Lalin’s Curse
Now this one. This one is solid. I wouldn’t say its more on the thriller side like Uriah but it definitely contains elements of a thriller. I see it more as a Supernatural Webtoon like the famous UnOrdinary or SubZero. It holds real fine potential and with every chapter, I always find myself craving for more. The cast is large and mysterious which gives huge room for development and some of that emotional complexity we all love. I’m looking forward to see the real relationship between David and Felix and their actual emotions they seem to be compressing. They look like they got some spicy drama hidden in the past. Every character is mysterious and all of them have a chance to develop from a one-note side character to a suspenseful, deep, round and emotional character. It’s been juggling the supernatural theme along with variety and characters well and I look forward to seeing where this goes!
Of course i’m going to put UnOrdinary on here. Even non-Webtoon readers know what UnOrdinary is and it definitely deserves the mass popularity it gets. Looking past all the cool supernatural, My Hero Academia visuals going on, UnOrdinary sports a pretty deep conflict on Person vs. Society and Person vs. Person. I specifically love when there are chapters dedicated to explaining John’s side of the story and someone like Remi’s side of the story as it strengthens the conflict into something just so powerful. No one is illogical in this story and every action they do comes with a valid reason. It’s hard to viciously hate anyone as they all put up a reasonable argument. Yes, even Asslo. Despite the utter thickness of his skull, looking at the world through his eyes is far from nonsensical and illogical. Asslo holds some sense of realism and validity instead of being some insane, out-of-this-world “bad guy” who just wants to piss off the protagonist. You got some heirachy messages and some messages on the world politics and views on people who are “different” than the consensus…you know, just the casual. It’s one of the deepest Webtoons on the site and if you haven’t read it, go read a few chapters and tell me how you feel!
9. My Deepest Secret
“Oh my god. Look at this cheesy-ass name. It’s probably some cheap romance with no thought put into it.” Sister, no. I have three words for you. Cute Yandere Boyfriend. This Webtoon revolves around Elios and Emma’s ever-growing cute relationship with a small catch. Elios just happens to be a Yandere murderer on the side; no biggy. Mysterious suicides happen and then Emma’s fellow college classmate decides to get on this case as these so called “suicide” cases seems a bit suspicious than your average so Mr. Classmate begins tracking down the culprit. It’s a twisted detective plot and between me and you…this should be in the thriller genre. The Shock generated in this Webtoon isn’t some mindless shock factor created to scare the audience. We spend chapters building upon Elios and Emma’s healthy and wholseom relationship, we spend chapters building on what the “classmate detective” is truly like and what he could lose doing this and before we know it, we grow attached to these characters and find ourselves praying that they don’t get hurt. Even if a chapter’s “suspense” is just a character throwing a rock at someone or two opposing forces standing idle to each other, that’s the most unnerving tension. You don’t need jumpscares or freaky music. This Webtoon can easily make anyone sh*t their pants unintentionally which is what makes it so iconic. Plus, I love how it uses Romance as an add-on to the Thriller genre. Even though it’s a newer work from a newer artist, I definitely, definitely reccommend giving this a try. (I’m still deciding whether to hate Elios or like him it’s too hard like-)
8. Choco Latte
I don’t know if i’ve ever said this on my blog before but if there’s a certain type of romance I love, it’s pure romance. No crazy plot, no intense melodramatic characters. Just a pure, simple romance filled to the brim with emotions equivalent to a 1D fangirl hiding under their desk when they see a photo of Harry Styles after being Harry Style-less for a month. Just pure delight and well, fangirliness. If you can’t understand my illogical descriptions (I know I can’t), Choco Latte is basically like the anime, My Love Story, except about blossoming love instead of a flourishing relationship. We all know whose going to end up with who by the end; it’s all outwardly implied however the fun in the Webtoon is not about the destination of the love, but the journey. The journey of their emotions and interactions are absolutely adorable and filled with pure romance. Pure, unfiltered romance. Plus, an added bonus with this Webtoon is that there is no dialogue at all which means emotions are entirely reliant on the art which enables better emotion delivery. Would you rather analyze a detailed facial expression expressing a mixture of guilt, sadness and regret or read a word bubble that simply says “I am sad.” No dialogue brings a different level of complexity to interactions and the story (ironically so).
If you’re crazy about Romances like My Love Story that are simple yet sweet, check this out. You won’t regret it.
7. Age Matters
I wrote an entire post dedicated to the Lezhin comic, The Third Party, which you can read here (which I absolutely loved btw. Like loved loved loved!) and would you look at that…It seems the author released another work but this time on Webtoon. So far, it’s been pleasant. We follow the lives of a Young CEO who hires a 30-yr old woman with prior relationship issues. I make it sound boring, but it’s entertaining. The way the characters go from point A to point B never cease to entertain me and although this seems like another casual, run-of-the-mill workplace romance; it comes off more than that and manages to be entertaining, comedic, and emotional with a dash of a few fangirl moments you might get from a huge Enjelicious stan like me. It doesn’t have the complexity and emotional depth like The Third Party and progresses much slower than it however, it’s still a very fun ride watching two coworkers grow closer and closer and open up more mysterious sides to each other and the audience. Enjelicious won’t disappoint us!
6. Castle Swimmer
When this comes out, Castle Swimmer’s first season will be over and on that note; the first season was truly spectacular following the dramatic prophecy of Kappa and Siren, characters who are trapped in a destiny they never wanted and crave freedom. I’ve always loved short series as they tend to be more evenly paced than ones about 100+ chapters long and seeing how this first season was about 35 chapters, it progressed and ended so smoothly. So, so so smoothly. It was like freaking water. That’s how smooth and continuous it was. It set up the surroundings and characters easily, it escalated easily, the plot twist was revealed at a very appropiate time, comedic timing was fab and it ended without feeling rushed or prolonged. Oh! Did I forget to mention my two babies are both GaY? I must have an affinity for being attracted to LGBTQ+ Webtoons as my Subscribed list is just filled with them. Castle Swimmer was incredibly fantastic and words can’t begin to describe how fascinated I am with it and it’s ability of being able to juggle character drama, tension, suspense, romance, light humor and a damn unpredictable plot twist all at once. I can’t wait for the next season!
5. I Love Yoo
At first, I Love Yoo comes across as another Love Triangle Webtoon that all us romance lovers get riled up over and start wars over on Who’s Best Husbando? (not like that doesn’t happen) but what appears to be a bland romance also carries, you guessed it, dun dunnnn~Depression; namely on Shin-Ae’s character. Her entire character embodies Depression and uses it to it’s best potential especially shown in recent chapters. Could I see Shin-Ae as a person in real life? Absolutely. No doubt about it. Shin-Ae suffers bullying, she doubts reality, she tries her best all for naught, she tries to be a good person only to be recognized as a b*tch or a troublemaker. All she wants is hapiness for her and people around her and tries her best to acheive it only to lose it and drop it farther and farther away. Isn’t that what every flawed person goes through? Reality? In recent chapters, Shin-Ae starts going through alot of tougher sh*t that only makes her more turbulent and the reader’s sympathy only grows from there. This is alot like Muted in terms of Depression within a bright theme only change the theme from Fantasy to Romance and you got yourself, I love Yoo! This is just as popular as UnOrdinary so if you haven’t read it, please do. It’s quite the insightful read and really shines a light on people in unfortunate situations and their psyche. All shipping aside, this is a truly sad Webtoon even when it’s not trying to be. Bye bye romance tag, we’ll miss you.
4. Freaking Romance
Guess what? LESBIANS! Ahhh, Webtoon has such lovely LGBTQ+ support; it’s outstanding! Freaking Romance is a romance (duh) that has an “out-of-the-water” storyline dealing with hot onion boys from a different dimension, a emotionally manipulative father, and some unintentional and intentional fourth wall breaking. Oh, and did I mention that hot onion boy is also a psychopath? It’s a pretty ballistic storyline but nonetheless, it manages to stay logical and doesn’t do anything convoluted or off putting. My favorite part of this Webtoon is that it openly states when it should be tropey and when it shouldn’t. The author is like everyone’s thoughts whilst reading a predictable romance only the author makes those thoughts into a succesful Webtoon which I could never do. When a character should do something predictable like “wussing out when they’re about to confess” the characters literally address how stereotypical that is and play it off comedically. Out of all the romance Webtoons that have comedy as a small side dish, this Webtoon does the best with it’s comedy to where it’s not just an “lol”…It’s an “lol” in full caps. Humungous difference. No other Webtoon makes me cackle as loud as this one! Also, despite the comedic romance and chemistry between characters, the series knows when to take itself seriously and bring serious conflicts and deep interactions into the light. With any genre mixed with comedy be it Manhwa or anime, my main issue are the horrible transitions between humor and seriousness but to my surprise, Freaking Romance pulls this technique off perfectly which is party the reason why it’s so high on the list along with other reasons that I may or may not list in the future in an independant review.
3. Days of Hana
I swear, drop your phone, drop your blanket, drop everything and go read Days of Hana! I won’t include much in this segment as I have an entirely independant review pending for this as it’s just that dark, meaningful and memorable.Choco Latte was the cutesy romance that has come as a visual antidepressant but then in drops in Days of Hana, a seemingly cute romance between a werewolf and his owner but oh no. It gets more twisted, more darker, more insightful, more powerful and more tragic until it bursts into a flaming ball of greatness and tragedy. That’s all i’ll say about this until the review comes out but before then, read Days of Hana! If you’re still skeptical about reading, it’s a completed Webtoon so no need to wait each week for a new chapter.
Alright, phew, I got all my fangirl energy out on that previous segment. Looking at the cover, i’m sure you can already tell this is a hella dark series and you’re right! This is a psychological ride on our main edgy Sasuke’s decisions as a human on what he wants to do as the evil mastermind, his father, manipulates and frightens everyone to no end. Uriah is a great thriller but compared to this? Psshh! Bastard is by far the best thriller I have ever read on Webtoon and it doesn’t need scary scenes to terrorize you. All it needs is some deep, psychological word twisting and brain smothering mixed with any panel and you’ll be shaking in your boots. The father is by far my favorite character in this Webtoon as his psychological manipulation and mind twists are bizaare and constantly makes you think about his words and the character’s emotions. Every character isn’t “good.” There is no “good” guy in this story. With every good quality comes a twisted, hideous side effect that you’d like to believe isn’t true but it is. Why? People. People are twisted things and Bastard shines the spotlight on true human nature and the complex mentalites of stereotypes like The Bully, The Victim, and The Predator. This will leave you thinking for hours and you’ll find yourself growing attached to a character’s mental development and thankfully, the Webtoon ends on a satisfying note. If you enjoy psychological bouts and exploration on the evil side of people, I urge you to give this a try. (Side Note: The author has a masters in Psychology).
1. Mage & Demon Queen
Aha! Are you surprised? My top Webtoon ever is one entirely based around an LGBTQ+ romance! …Now that I think about it i’ve been referencing LGBTQ+ stuff all throughout this post so haha…maybe not. Mage & Demon Queen is about an aspiring young mage who, instead of working to kill the Demon Queen like all her peers and nation, works to-cough-marry her and continues “assaulting” the Tsundere Demon Queen in an attempt to win her over. What sounds like a plot that never progresses actually does. Although it sound annoying and bothersome, characters grow and come to realizations about themselves. You have truly sad scenes even if the synopsis is the equivalent to a pervert’s rowdiest dream and before you know it, you are invested in these character’s hapiness and you don’t even care if they end up together. As long as they are happy, it makes you happy and as it’s ongoing currently, Malori and Demon Queen’s relationship grows ever stronger and more pleasant (rn the Webtoon going through some depressing flashbacks).
However, this isn’t my main reason why this is first. Factual details on characters and story aside, I truly enjoyed this and have read it FIVE TIMES. Yes, five times you did not read that wrong I can’t quench this addiction. This was my first LGBTQ+ piece of literature I had ever read and changed me alot in terms of opening up to the world of different sexualities and accepting different people for who they are instead of trying to change them and because of that, i’ve grown closer to more friends of a different sexuality/race/anything partly due to the influence of this Webtoon. (Note: I read this in grade school). I hold this in a very close place near my heart and it would hurt me emotionally to put this any less than #1.
Tower of God
Home Sweet Home ( Side Note: From the same creator as Bastard except focused on major Person vs. Self conflicts and a battle with your own mentality rather than manipulation and mental bouts.)
Love Advice from the Great Duke of Hell
Thanks for reading! I had alot of fun writing this post and I encourage you to give each one of these a try if you ever have the leisure! As a side note I purposefully avoided anything less than 20 chapters because I see that as to early to start rating and analyzing Webtoons which is why popular ones like Devil Number 4 and The Red King are absent (Still great though, check them out).