Welcome to Kpopmap’s new fortnightly series – “Webtoon recommendation of the week“, where we recommend some of the best Korean webtoons, just for you! If you like webtoon-based K-Dramas and would like to start immersing yourself in the wonderful world of Korean webtoons (manhwa), then you really know where to start, you’ve come to the place right!
From fantasy to romance, BL, thriller, horror, historical and more, we’ve got it all! Follow this series of recommendations every other week, and don’t forget to share your thoughts with Kpopmap in the comments section below!
You can check out last week’s recommendation, “Omniscient reader’s point of view” below!
This week’s recommendation: “There once was a small town“
The highly anticipated K-Drama “Once Upon A Small Town” recently premiered on Netflix and is already getting an enthusiastic response from viewers around the world. Starring Red Velvet’s Joy, Choo YoungWoo and Baek SungChul, it’s a classic fish-out-of-water tale about a city boy, Han JiYul, who is thrown into a rural village where he must run his grandfather’s veterinary clinic until he return from your tour of Europe. There he meets a police officer, Ahn JaYeong (Joy), and a sweet romance blossoms between them.
The drama is based on a web novel by ha min parkwhich was published by RIDI Books in 2019. In March 2022 they released a webtoon version of the same by darangeo with a characteristic old-school art style that really captures the essence of the original perfectly. The characters come to life in color and are dear to us, doing more than the source material justice. The English version, available on Manta, is detailed and nuanced, ensuring that no sentiment is left behind or lost in translation. Not only does this make the work accessible to a wider audience, but the fact that so much attention is paid to every aspect of the webtoon also makes it incredibly impressive.
The webtoon begins with Han JiYul in a car with her parents, who gets into an accident and leaves JiYul speechless. His grandfather takes him to the countryside, where nature will help him rest and eventually speak again. There he meets Ahn JaYeong for the first time, and the two develop a genuine friendship.
They play together, learn new things and have a lot of fun, but that is until JiYul has to return to Seoul. Before leaving, he gives her a card, saying her name and promising to meet again. However, she doesn’t take it very well and starts crying at the thought of not being able to see him anymore. Although she is upset, she doesn’t leave without saying goodbye, to which JiYul responds with a wave.
Years later, JiYul has become a successful veterinarian in Seoul, but must return to the same village, Huidong, to take care of his grandfather’s clinic. The man spontaneously decided to take a 6-month vacation to Europe, leaving all his responsibilities to JiYul, and he has no choice but to comply, as he was practically blackmailed into coming to Huidong.
Once he gets there, his grandfather is nowhere to be seen. Afraid of having lost his last moments, he tries to climb the wall of his house, but is caught by a policeman, who mistakes him for a thief. This is none other than Ahn JaYeong, the mainstay of Huidong.
So begins a story of adventure, love, romance and friendship as the bright young people of Huidong find their true happiness.
You can read the webtoon “Once Upon A Small Town” in Korean here and in English here.
Are you watching “Once Upon a Small Town”? Share your thoughts with Kpopmap in the comments section below!