Manhwa has become a big hit for those who are fans of manga in recent years. Manhwa originated in South Korea, although its popularity has spread to North Korea and overseas as well. While manga is in black-and-white, a variety of manhwa is in full color and attracts a lot of people.
Manhwa is reaching the ranks of popularity that Japan has dominated for years: comics. Manhwa is even beginning to get anime adaptions. There is a lot of upcoming manhwas that some need to be on the lookout for in 2020, so here are the best of the best.
Updated by Brianna Albert on July 15, 2020: Manhwa and webtoons both originated in South Korea and both have piqued the interest of overseas fans. Popular manhwa Tower of God and God of High School have become Crunchyroll Originals and were the first hyped-up manhwa-to-anime adaptions other than the OVA of Noblesse.
No matter the language, manhwa can catch many fans' attention, and even more so if it is placed in a fantastical world. With the explosion of manhwa happening in the animated world, there may be some manhwa that fans enjoyed reading and might have the chance of getting an anime adaption. Here are some of the best manhwa to get a head start in 2020.
15 Who Made Me A Princess (2017 - PRESENT)
Nightmares are awful, but who would have thought they could be real? Although there is a story of how Athanasia was killed by her father Claude de Alger Obeli, the woman who awakened in Athanasia's body never would have dreamt she would be experiencing it for herself.
In order to survive in this new world, Athanasia must do everything she can to not die by acting like daddy's little princess to keep him from turning his wrath on her and stopping her new life. This manhwa has been going on strong for quite a while, so now is the perfect time to jump in and enjoy the story this year.
14 What's Wrong With Secretary Kim? (2016 - 2018)
What's Wrong With Secretary Kim is a timeless classic manhwa that can be read multiple times and still feel the same. The story follows the perfect secretary, Kim Mi-so, as she performs her job under her perfectionist and narcissistic boss, Lee Young-joon.
However, when Kim Mi-So wishes to quit to focus on her life and take a break, Lee Young-joon begins to realize how truly precious she was as an employee, and perhaps something more.
13 The Girl And The Geek (2015 - 2018)
The Girl and the Geek is a romantic comedy about two slightly awkward people falling in love. This full colored manhwa follows Go Nanhee after she gains a cleaning job and is pinned as the culprit in stealing a precious action figure from the room's owner, Oh Deokhoos.
For now, she must clean his room in order to repay him, and love begins to blossom between the two.
12 Misaeng: An Incomplete Life (2012 - 2018)
Misaeng: An Incomplete Life is an absolute gem, and more than worth checking out if you're looking for a great starting point for manhwa. This one follows a group of employees at a trading company called One International, with the spotlight on Jang Geu-rae.
The series deals with the hardships they experience, with Jang Geu-rae using baduk, a Chinese board game which is usually called "Go," as his guide to figuring out his problems.
11 Daughter Of The Emperor (2015 - PRESENT)
For those in store for a bit of isekai, Daughter of the Emperor should fill that void. It is the adaption of a light novel that is fully completed and tells the story of a young woman who is reincarnated as the only daughter of a cruel emperor.
Since she has memories of being older, the series begins as her being a baby and follows her all the way up to becoming an adult. This manhwa is a great starting point for those wishing to get into manhwa in 2020.
10 Cheese In The Trap (2010 - 2017)
Cheese in the Trap was written and illustrated by Soon Ki. If one has not read this iconic manhwa, then this year is the time to get started. With the story broken up into three seasons, there is plenty to read.
When hardworking and beautiful college student Seol Hong discovers the dark side of her senior Jung Yoo, her life becomes complicated. While she wanted to expose his two-faced ways and get back her life at first, they become attracted to one another and begin to date.
9 Catharsis (2015 - 2019)
Catharsis was written and illustrated by Ahniki. It stars Leon, a boy who has a lot of nightmares who has the power to see voices in colors and identify a person based on their voice. When he discovers the existence of monsters, Tomorem, who feeds on people's fears, he also finds there is an organization called Catharsis who fight these monsters.
This is worth the read for its intriguing plot. Although it is marked as complete, there is hope a second season will be made.
8 The Gamer (2013 - 2015)
The Gamer was written by Seong Sang Yeong and illustrated by Sang A. Here is a manhwa that fans are hoping to get an anime adaption despite its ending five years ago. Jee-Han loves video games, but, when he suddenly discovers he has the power to play through the real world like a role-playing game, he is shocked.
He can see the levels of people and status' of items, acquire abilities, and even level up. However, this power isn't that peaceful. There are monsters that must be defeated like a real role-playing game, as well as others that have the same—and even more powerful—abilities as him.
7 Noblesse (2007 - 2019)
Noblesse is a manhwa that is soon to receive an anime adaption, so this is a must-read for sure. It received an OVA before it was completed and now is getting a full-blown anime adaption. Written by Je-Ho Son and illustrated by Gwang-Su Lee, the story reinvents the rehashed story of vampires and Frankenstein.
Rai awakens from an 820-year sleep to realize the world had changed drastically. He decides to begin his life anew and get accustomed to modern society along with his loyal servant, Frankenstein. However, things are still not peaceful, as there are people who call themselves "The Unions" on the attack.
6 Girls of The Wild's (2011 - 2016)
Girls of the Wild's was written by Hun and illustrated by Zhena. If one enjoys harem anime and manga, then this series is sure to get one interested. While Wild's High has a 42-year history as a private fighting school for girls only, it recently became a mixed-gender school.
When the only male student, Song Jae Gu, accepts a three-year scholarship that doesn't depend on his grades, he accepts. But, after accidentally gaining the ire of Queen, the champion of Wild's League, his school life becomes more complicated than he bargained.
5 I Love Yoo (2017 - Present)
I Love Yoo has gained a faithful readership ever since its debut in 2017. I Love Yoo was written and illustrated by Quimchee. Shin-Ae has not had a good life at all. She has experienced pain, misfortune, and unhappiness from the beginning of her life. She decides she does not want to interact with people or have anything to do with romance.
She achieves this feat until she ends up ruining someone's clothes. With beautiful artwork, great character development, and music that accompanies the manhwa, this is a great one to read in 2020.
4 Solo Leveling (2018 - Present)
Solo Leveling was written by Chugong and illustrated by Gee So-Lyung and Redice Studio. Some have probably seen this manhwa around, as many fans have been absorbed into its story. It is based on a novel of the same name, as are many other manhwa, and it has been praised for its fantastical setting and great action.
It centers around E-rank Hunter Sung Jin-Woo. He discovers a dungeon that only he can see and level up inside. His goal is to become an S-rank Hunter, the strongest rank in the world.
3 Let's Play (2017 - Present)
Let's Play is a manhwa/webtoon, although some may not think this because it was created by an English-speaking person. That doesn't make it any less enjoyable. It is written and illustrated by Mongie and even has an anime short to accompany it. It centers on two characters, Samara Young and Marshall Law.
Samara's dream is to become a game developer, but, when she releases a game that is played by a popular vlogger on Viewtube and receives harsh feedback from his fans, her presence is destroyed on an indie website. When it turns out they are neighbors, hijinks ensue.
2 Bastard (2015 - 2016)
If someone has not read Bastard yet, one is missing out on a gem in the psychological horror genre. The story centers on frequently bullied high schooler Jin Seon and his deranged serial killer of a father, Dong-Soo Seon. He is bullied for his disabilities and barely speaks because of it, but that's not the worst of it.
He acts as an accomplice to his father's crimes in fear of being killed. That's until he decides to protect Kyun Yoo after he befriends her and not follow his father's orders any longer.
1 Tower of God (2010 - Present)
Now is the time to read Tower of God if one hasn't and if one does not remember much and has read it, re-read. Why? Because this gem of a manhwa is now a Crunchyroll Originals anime. Perhaps one of the longest-running manhwas out there, this one has quite the story to tell.
It is broken up into three seasons and has been going on since 2010 with no signs of ending any time soon. After the ending of the first season of Tower of God, many fans are hoping for a second one that will explore the true beginning of Bam's story. Why not join in on the hype and begin reading, too?