Ready for a little comedy? Or perhaps something heavier, like a tragedy, or maybe one of those K-dramas that pull on your heartstrings. From satire to love to laughs, we’ve got you covered here with this ultimate list of smash webtoons that took off on our U.S. storytelling platform Tapas in 2022. Plus, we also threw in a couple of sneak previews of our 2023 line-up.
There is something for everyone here, but all the webtoons on this list have one thing in common: each one was incredibly popular across Kakao Entertainment’s global webtoon platform network, with several already adapted into popular TV series (or just about to!).
So, from action fantasy to romance fantasy, modern drama to game fantasy, find your favorite and enjoy the read.
Genre 1: Action Fantasy
If you’re bored of your usual fight-and-chase action movies, the first three webtoons bring together a fun combo of action-packed storytelling with cool fantasy. If you’re new to the genre, here are three classic titles to check out first.
Creators: DISCIPLES (REDICE STUDIO), Chugong, h-goon
You can’t miss this series of special “Solo Leveling” episodes launched just last month. For the uninitiated, “Solo Leveling” is the global megahit that put K-webtoons on the map with global readers (14.3 billion cumulative views worldwide!). Now it’s back with plenty of exciting stories, including an epic battle between the Giants and the 10-million-strong Shadow forces. Besides deciding the fate of humanity, these episodes also put the love story between Sung Jinwoo and Cha Hae-in front and center.
Creators: TurtleMe, Fuyuki23
A hit Tapas web novel and webtoon, this story follows Arthur Leywin, a king in a past life who gets reincarnated into a world filled with magic and monsters. You’ll join his quest to discover his role in the new world while desperately seeking to preserve his memories. This Tapas Original is also available in Korean, Japanese, Chinese, French, Thai, and Spanish, so jump in and find out for yourself what the global fan base of millions of readers loves so much about this series.
Creators: 3B2S, Yuns (REDICE STUDIO), SAN.G
It’s the year 2040, and mysterious tombs are appearing around the world. Each one holds a relic, which carries supernatural powers for the bearer. Betrayed and nearly at the point of death, the talented Tomb Raider Suh Jooheon suddenly finds himself 15 years in the past, navigating his choices as he plots his revenge.
Genre 2: Romance Fantasy
RoFan webtoons popular in 2022 were all about new, unvisited worlds and stories that transcend time and space. They racked up record views from readers, and more great stories are on their way for 2023. Here are two feel-good romances with a bit of adventure to get you started.
Creators: 26, SSAL, Lee Yeonseon
After her separation from Emperor Kaizen, Astelle left the palace with a secret – she was with child. After managing to live peacefully for six years, Astelle is found by Emperor Kaizen, who now needs her help. His astounding request gives Astelle the chance to have it all or lose everything. This suspense story topped Tapas in 2022 for the highest number of views among new releases.
Creators: Sadam, Mogin, Yasik
Vivi is a rabbit that was supposed to have been transformed into a human many years ago. Abandoned by her own clan, she’s left alone deep in the forest until rescued by Ahin of the Black Leopard clan. Now at the mercy of her temperamental savior, Vivi must find a way to survive in the land of carnivores. This fantasy romance topped Tapas’ 2022 charts in the genre.
The Perks of Being a Villainness (coming soon)
Creators: Yoteh, Mindo, Mango Kim
Dohee Yoon, previously a pushover university student, suddenly dies in a car crash and wakes up inside her favorite web novel as Deborah Seymour, a notorious villain who dies her own tragic death after being trapped by her own evil scheme. Dohee (in Deborah’s body) is unwilling to follow Deborah’s ultimate path, yet somehow still enjoys the perks of being a villain. This story unpacks Dohee’s adventures as she makes her way toward love, money, and power.
Mother’s Contract Marriage (coming soon)
Creators: Choo Hyeyeon, Siya
This story centers around Lyrica, a shantytown dweller with a dysfunctional yet exceptionally beautiful mother, who one day shockingly announces her marriage to the emperor. The secret arrangement changes Lyrica’s life forever, as she struggles to live life as a princess by contract.
Genre 3: Modern Drama
Set in present times, these webtoons are perfect for fans of graphic novels, with compelling characters and engaging storylines.
Creators: NARAK, Perilla, Guava Farm, Haehwa
“A Business Proposal” begins with a blind date and a false identity. Shin Hari takes the date to help scare away her BFF’s prospective suitor, not knowing he is actually the CEO of the company where she works. Unfortunately for her, Kang Taemoo, the CEO, is known for hating two things: lying and office romance. This webtoon follows the blossoming romance between the two, despite Hari’s initial subterfuge. The TV series adaptation, which was streamed on Netflix last year, exploded in popularity, ranking within the top 10 TV series in 27 countries around the world.
Moving (coming soon)
Creator: Kang Full
Set to air as a Disney+ series, this is another iconic webtoon from the Godfather of Webtoons, Kang Full. A unique superhero story, it follows children whose natural superpowers must remain hidden. This fresh take on the superhero genre is a poignant tale of children and their parents that will leave you with feels for days.
Genre 4: Game Fantasy
The protagonist of this novel genre must leap through several quest levels but not in a typical action setting – hence the name, “Game Fantasy.”
Debut or Die (coming soon)
Creator: Jangjin, SOHEUN, DS.Back
The story begins with a protagonist who is failing at life. His years-long effort to pass a national exam to become a humble public servant ends in yet another failure. After a drunken splurge, he finds himself in a random motel room the next day. Realizing he’s in somebody else’s body from three years ago is strange enough, but the quest screen that suddenly appears is dire: “Debut or Die.” Follow his quest to become an idol to save his own life. As one reader writes, “This webtoon is absolutely genius, an eclectic mix of fantasy, game worldview and idol world. This is not the kind of story you’ve seen before.”