The Korea Herald


Webtoon-based animated series to entertain overseas viewers

By Lee Si-jin

Published : April 3, 2023 - 15:05

    • Link copied

Poster image for Poster image for "4Cut-Hero" (Kidari Studio, Lezhin Entertainment, BiliBili)

After becoming a major source for smash hit TV dramas and movies, Korean webtoons seek to continue their success abroad with animation adaptation in overseas markets.

Naver Webtoon, South Korean tech giant Naver’s digital comics platform, announced Monday that a romance webtoon “My Cross-dressing Crush" will be adapted into a Japanese animated series. "My Cross-dressing Crush" by Japanese webtoonist Pom ran at the service’s Japanese platform Line Manga from December 2019 to December 2021.

Japanese content production company Aniplex, which was behind the global megahit animation “Demon Slayer” and the popular role-playing game "Fate/Grand Order," will be responsible for the upcoming adaptation.

“My Crossdressing Crush” received more-than-expected support from its readers several weeks after being submitted in Indies, a Japanese webtoon contest for amateur creators even without winning a prize. On the heels of growing popularity, it was serialized on Line Manga 16 weeks after its indie-debut.

“I was able to achieve my goal, because of Line Manga and the readers. My webtoon being adapted into an animation is truly a dream come true,” Naver Webtoon quoted the author Pom as saying.

According to the company, popular American production company The Jim Henson Company and Vertigo Entertainment are producing the animated series of “Lore Olympus” -- a contemporary retelling of Greek mythology -- and a horror webtoon series “Gremory Land,” respectively.

South Korean content company Kidari Studio’s beloved webtoon IPs “Raon’s Man,” “4Cut-Hero” and “Surgeon Elise” are set to become overseas animation series as well.

The animation project of author Lily’s BL (Boys’ Love) webtoon “Raon’s Man,” which is serviced in Japanese, English and Spanish by Lezhin Comics, is scheduled to be released in 2024, according to Kidari Studio.

While Chinese content distributor BiliBili is responsible for the animated series adaptation of “4Cut-Hero,” a fantasy webtoon, Japanese production companies Maho Film and Kadokawa will join hands for the 12-part animation series of “Surgeon Elise.”

The upcoming series will both be available in 2024 as well.

On global streaming service Netflix and Disney+, popular webtoons have been adapted into live-action series, but few were turned into an animated series.

Naver Webtoon’s crime action series “Lookism,” premiered on Netflix in November 2022.