Posted Jul 18, 2023 by Veronica Liu
The fact that many manga and manhwa are getting live-action adaptations is no secret! Asian media has gained recognition for its high production values, innovative storytelling, and diverse genres. Dozens of international films have received critical acclaim and won prestigious awards, introducing Western audiences to Asian cinema. Similarly, television dramas have also garnered international popularity for their compelling narratives and unique cultural perspectives.
With that in mind, here are some of our own titles that have a live-action adaptation you may have already watched!
Based on the Korean comic of the same name written by Haehwa and illustrated by NARAK, A Business Proposal is a South Korean television series that took the world by storm when it hit the screens! This story follows Hari, a simple employee who accidentally goes on a blind date with her new CEO, Taemu. Chaos ensues in Hari’s life with a double identity, a fake marriage proposal, and everything in between as she tries her best to fix everything.
After a year of exciting dramas packed with revenge, cheating husbands, and politics, fans felt that A Business Proposal (although filled with cheesy clichés) was exactly the refreshing romcom they needed, and we can’t agree more!
Volumes 1–2 of the comic are available in print and digital with the series available for streaming on Netflix.
What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim? is a hit series by GyeongYun Jeong that debuted in 2018 and got fans of all ages blushing at every scene! Youngjun Lee, our main character, is a narcissistic vice-chairman who has everything: money, fame, looks, and even his trusted secretary, Miso Kim, who details his entire life. However, one day Miso decides to quit, and as narcissistic as Youngjun may be, he knows he can’t live without her!
This series was originally a novel before it was turned into a Korean comic in 2015. As such, the K-drama had been a long time coming for day-one fans, and they were not disappointed!
Volumes 1–2 of the comic are available in print and digital with the series available for streaming on Rakuten Viki and Hulu.
See You in My 19th Life is a recent release on Netflix that has proven to be a summer favorite with a fresh take on reincarnation that brings us comedy, romance, and even a few tears. Jieum Ban has a secret—she can remember the memories of her previous lives...all 18 of them! This means she retains past knowledge, skills, and most importantly, the bonds with the people she cares about. Guided by the bittersweet memories of her last life, Jieum sets out to rekindle the love that was cut short by her tragic death. But little did she know her biggest rival would be her own past self...
This new summer series is a tearjerker and easily one for the books as fans rave about it week after week. The television series portrays the characters even better than we had envisioned when reading the Korean comic!
Ever wonder what it would be like to date your favorite idols, or even what a regular day looks like for them? Based on the popular Korean comic of the same name by KyungRan Park, Imitation gives us an inside look at idol life and tells of a secret romance between a rookie girl group member, Maha Lee, and a popular boy group member, Ryoc Kwon.
The entertainment industry is definitely not an easy one to navigate, and not everyone gets to make it big. This series shows us the realities of it all with a simple romance that fans felt replicated all the hard work and behind-the-scenes effort their own idols put in. Simply put, if you haven’t watched this one yet, we’re sure you would appreciate it and should add it to your list!
Volume 1 of the comic is available in print and digital with the series available for streaming on Rakuten Viki.
For any viewers looking for a cute, sweet summer romance, look no further than Honey Lemon Soda! Adapted from the manga of the same name by Mayu Murata, this beautifully produced Japanese film tells the story of a shy girl, Uka Ishimori, who has historically had a hard time making friends but is determined to change her demeanor on this. However, this proves to be more difficult than she imagines until she meets Kai Miura, the popular boy with lemon-colored hair.
Throughout the story, Uka and Kai learn to lean on each other, and it is overall an adorable, compelling high school coming-of-age movie that reminds us of what lemonade on a hot summer day is like.
Volumes 1–3 of the comic are available in print and digital. Unfortunately, Honey Lemon Soda is not available on US streaming services, but hopefully one day we’ll be able to enjoy this cute adaptation of the manga!
Based on the novel of the same name by BitterSweet, SOTUS is a Boys Love Thai television series that debuted in 2016 and is considered by many fans to have brought Boys Love to mainstream media. This story tells of a freshman engineering student, Kongpob, who is just starting his college career, only to be faced by seniors enforcing a strict hazing regime called SOTUS. SOTUS stands for Seniority, Order, Tradition, Unity, and Spirit, and despite its strict methods, it was intended to help build relationships between senior and junior students. Unable to understand the intentions behind it, Kongpob stands toe-to-toe with a senior, Arthit, creating a tense relationship. Only after continuous encounters and misunderstandings does their relationship transform into a satisfying sweet romance anyone would be jealous of!
Volumes 1–2 of the comic are available in print and digital with the series available for streaming on YouTube.
The Comic Bang is a brand-new Chinese television series coming out in July that is adapted from none other than the manga Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, written and illustrated by Izumi Tsubaki! The manga revolves around a high school girl named Chiyo Sakura, who has the biggest crush on her schoolmate Umetarou Nozaki. Misunderstandings start when she confesses her feelings for him, but he mistakes her for a fan because he is secretly a famous manga artist! Somehow Chiyo gets dragged into his manga operation and starts working for him, and pretty soon their circle and relationship expand!
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is a fan-favorite manga series that has us all on our knees with missed chances and misinterpreted love confessions. The Comic Bang is scheduled to have thirty-six episodes, and we are so excited to see this manga’s lovable characters and engaging plot come to life!
Volumes 1–13 of the comic are available in print and digital. Unfortunately, The Comic Bang is another series that is yet to be available on US streaming services, but fingers crossed we’ll see it soon!
These are only a few of the many series under Yen Press and Ize Press that have live-action adaptations! With the emergence of popularity in Asian media and a significant shift in the global media landscape, we are growing with opportunities to develop a larger range of diverse and inclusive content. So keep an eye out for new series, because your favorite manga or manhwa might just become the next big thing!