“Boys Over Flowers,” “Goong,” “Bridal Mask,” “City Hunter,” and other popular K-dramas are varied in their plots but they all have one thing in common: They’re based on a genre of comics known collectively as manga (or manhwa in South Korea). While webtoons are the current trend forKorean dramas to take cues from (“Misaeng,” “Orange Caramel,” etc.) there are still many mangas that have fodder for K-dramas to turn into absolutely amazing series. So, without further a do, here are five mangas that need to be made in K-dramas asap.
1. “Kare Kano” by Masami Tsuda
“Kare Kano,” or “His and Her Circumstances,” starts off as in innocent enough high school drama, with two rivals falling for one another. But the series quickly darkens in a way that fits a growing trend in K-dramas along the lines of “Cheese In The Trap” and “It’s Okay, That’s Love,” tackling mental health, family difficulties, abuse, etc. There’s a musical element and numerous subplots that tie back to the heartbreaking relationship of the main characters as the struggle through high school and unsettled childhood trauma that threatens the current state of their relationship.
The only thing that “Kare Kano” is missing is a romantic triangle or square, as K-dramas tend to do; this is the story of the two leads and the people important to them in their lives, nothing more. The tender, occasionally shockingly sad, manga has never been made into a drama despite being completed in 2005 and the Korean television industry is at the perfect point to create a show that appropriately represents the light-hearted and complex storylines of “Kare Kano.” (Come on tVN, let’s make this after “Cheese In The Trap” finishes!)
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2. “Black Bird” by Kanoko Sakurakoji
This manga takes place in a fantasy world where demons are very real and the heroine lives next door to a tengu, or a type of avian supernatural creature. And did I mention she’s the current reincarnation of something known as the senka maiden? Which means that she’s haunted by demons around her who want to eat her flesh. Don’t worry, the handsome tengu next door is there to protect her, until they realize that their romantic relationship may lead to her untimely death. This sort of drama is perfect for people who love shows like “Arang and The Magistrate” or “You Who Came From The Stars” with its fantasy twist on daily life and love.
3. “The Devil Does Exist” by Mitsubi Takanashi
Wealthy male teasing the poor female lead? Yup. Meddling grandmothers? Check. Random events trying to ruin a happy ending? Oh, yes! The fact that “The Devil Does Exist” hasn’t been made into a drama yet is positively shocking, given the fact that it is chock-full of K-drama tropes that hit us at the heart time and time again. The Taiwanese drama “Devil Beside You” shot Rainie Yang and Mike He to fame because of their portrayal of the loyal main couple in this drama, and it’s time that this series makes it way to Korean audiences. There’s laughter and heartbreak in this series that is sure to please K-drama fans around the world.
4. “Yona of the Dawn” by Mizuho Kusanagi
A fantasy drama that could easily be transposed to an early era of Korean history, “Yona of the Dawn” is about an immature princess who witnesses her father’s murder and has to escape with her life. The character development is key to this story, but so is the love triangle and fantasy elements as the manga is interspersed with references to Asian traditional mythlore as the princess and her bodyguard try to save the kingdom. Fans of “Rooftop Prince” or “Queen Seondok” will surely like this sort of manga-to-drama treatment.
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5. “Skip Beat” by Yoshiki Nakamura
You may be ready to shake your head and shout “already done!” at me, because the entertainment industry-based manga was already made into a Taiwanese drama in 2011, featuring Super Junior members Siwon and Donghae alongside Ivy Chen. But that version focused only on the first few volumes of the ongoing series, ignoring the more than 30 volumes that came after (as of publishing this article, there are 37 volumes released). The story of “Skip Beat” matures along with the character development throughout those latter volumes, exploring the struggles of a young woman to get revenge on a childhood crush by rising in the entertainment industry.
Unlike “Kare Kano,” there is a K-drama worthy romantic triangle going on throughout the series, as the heroine undergoes her transformation from country bumpkin to hardworking actress. There’s family members who stand in the way of happiness, rivalries, beautiful looking men, and overseas foreigners who speak the native language fluently for no apparent reason; “Skip Beat” was practically written to be made into a K-drama.
What do you think of these manga to drama ideas? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.