In my opinion, a good Webtoon needs 2 out of three things; good art, a good story, and a good cast of characters. That is what I will be evaluating in this list. Some Webtoons may have good art and a good story, but what really propels it forward are good characters. Again, just like with my last two lists, none of the images belong to me, but to their respective owners. Oh, and if I can’t find a group image of the characters, I may use more than one. There will be spoilers, by the way.
Let’s start with some honorable mentions:
Duty After School- Ilkwon Ha:
The Strange Tales of Oscar Zahn- Tri Vuong:
Siren’s Lament- instantmiso:
Orange Marmalade- Seokwoo:
Nightmare Factory- Snailords
Now, here’s the list:
10. Roar Street Journal- Bonnie Pang:
Link: Roar Street Journal
In my opinion, Roar Street Journal is quite underrated. Bonnie Pang takes a lot of time with her characters, and gives each of them a chance to shine, whether it be in an episode about their background, or what they’re doing in the present. She doesn’t neglect anyone. I may not be far into the Webtoon, so some characters haven’t had an episode to themselves yet, but I highly doubt that she’ll neglect them for long. Every character has something about them that makes them relatable. I doubt that anyone who reads this comic can finish it and say, “I didn’t relate to anyone!” Each character has their own personality and hardships they have to go through, and Bonnie Pang shows this perfectly, and she doesn’t repeat herself.
9. S.I.D- Sadaham:
S.I.D does a good job of taking characters that are somewhat cliched and renovating them to make them new and interesting. The main character, Simoon Lee, is a police detective who is polite and kind, truly sympathetic to the ghosts they find. He has a lot of self-doubt about himself and his abilities. Tenka is a mysterious, but funny, character who is from Japan, but other than that he is very fashion conscious and hot headed, we don’t know a lot about him. That will hopefully be cleared up. Baram is a sassy teenager who can be over confident in his abilities, but does seem to know more about spirits than Simoon. Sophia is the last main character introduced, and in the beginning you get a shady vibe from her; you aren’t quite sure whether to trust her sweet smile at first. The ghosts they encounter are interesting characters in their own right; sometimes you symphasize with them, and sometimes you don’t.
8. ShootAround- suspu:
ShootAround was not what I was expecting. I was expecting a zombie drama with comedic elements. But season 1 was total comedy! It was actually really funny, but it did have some sadder moments. Season 2 is kind of the opposite; drama with comedic moments. That may be why I prefer season 1. But the characters are very well done. Each of the girls have their own distinct personality. Hotaru is the co-leader, (the other leader is their coach), and she is strong but kind. Kayla may look scary, but she is loyal and protective. Lyanna is really smart, and a total fangirl. Chau is sweet and naive. Ana Sofia is the strong, silent one who is very sassy, and Lakka is cheerful and outgoing, but could be kind of ditzy. The coach is probably the character who reacts to a zombie apocalypse the most realistically. ShootAround is really diverse with its characters, and many of them are different races and fall into the LGBT spectrum. Some can argue that the author pushes it a little too hard, but to me, as long as the plot remains a comedy-drama about people surviving in the zombie apocalypse and not just a giant ship-fest and who will end up with who sort of thing, I think it’s all right.
7. Saphie the One Eyed Cat- Joho:
Link: Saphie the One Eyed Cat
Why would a comic about cats be on this list? Besides the fact that it’s ridiculously adorable, it’s because each cat has their own personality. This is helped by the fact that each cat is based off of Joho’s own cats in real life. First, there’s the titular Saphie, a lazy glutton of a cat that is a little crazy. Then there’s the oldest, Simba, the seemingly strong and silent one, who is actually quite a sweetheart, a bit of a troll, and the mastermind of the house. There’s Sahn, the skittish, easily frightened and stressed cat that Saphie enjoys teasing. The newest member is Sol, a kitten that makes Saphie look sane. She can go from a sweet and adorable kitten that chews on the other’s tails, to very angry, and then back to happy. The humans are cool, too; there’s Joho, the owner of cats, who often involuntarily causes the adventures, her brother, her dad, (who uttered the famous last words, “Remember, we’re here to only LOOK at them,”) and her mom. This is just the cutest Webtoon I’ve ever read.
6. Bastard- Youngchan Hwang, Carnby Kim:
Every character in Bastard is complex and morally gray. While you may root against the antagonist (he’s practically a demon), you question the protagonist more and more as the story goes on. The main character is Jin Seon, a boy who, when he was young, suffered an accident that caused him to have artificial valves in his heart and a glass eye. He is more than he seems; in the first chapter, we’re introduced to a shocking event, but even that is not as black and white as it seems. He’s shown to be loyal, but he has conflicting desires. His loyalty could be his downfall; he will do anything for the people he loves. The secondary main character could be Jin’s dad, a wealthy businessman, who, similar to his son, is more than he seems. He is why people don’t judge books by their cover. He is a genius. I would say more, but there are too many spoilers. There’s also Kyun Yoon, a sweet girl who lives in miserable conditions. I feel like her character could’ve been written better; to me, someone in her situation wouldn’t be as naive as she is. However, she’s a sweet girl, and is admirable for having a positive outlook despite her life. She is also Jin’s potential love interest. There’s also Manny Kim, a bully at school who seems to want to be Jin’s friend, and then doesn’t; he’s a tsundere, but begins to play a bigger role as the story progresses. He may turn out to be Jin’s greatest ally in this story. The newest character is Mandeuk, and a another character hires him to follow the antagonist. He may be the one to finally cause the antagonist’s downfall, but he may end up doing more damage than good.
5. Cheese in the Trap- soonkki:
Link: Cheese in the Trap
Cheese in the Trap has an interesting plot by itself, but it would be really clichéd if its characters weren’t so unique. The main character is Seol Hong, and she is different among female main characters. She is strong, but while she may not be able to beat someone up, she isn’t the shy nerd. She’s more complex. She isn’t outgoing and doesn’t have a ton of friends, but she is intuitive, kind, and smart. Sometimes her intuition is a curse, though; she over thinks things and over analyzes situations, which cause problems with friends and a lot of the conflicts in the story. Jung Yu, the main male lead, is interesting; the author shows insights into his mind, but even then you never quite know what he thinks. He seems to be a nice guy, but there are several clues that say otherwise. Some readers think he’s a sociopath; others think he has an undiagnosed Victim Mentality. Even though the story shows his journey from disliking, then to liking Seol, we still don’t understand why he likes her. He can go from a sweet guy to cold-blooded in a heartbeat. The second male lead is InHo Baek, who knows Jung from years ago. He starts off kind of annoying; a loud mouth tsundere who has some major anger management problems. But as the story progresses, you see that he is actually kind, loyal, and cares about his friends a lot. We also learn that he hates Jung because he holds him responsible for an accident that is really personal. The accident hasn’t been explained yet. The supporting characters are good, too; there’s Bora and Euntaek, Seol’s best friends. Seol’s brother and InHo’s sister are also recurring characters, as are Seol’s neighbor and classmates.
4. Annarasumanara- Ilkwon Ha:
It took me forever to choose between this and Duty After School, which was also written by the same author. However, I chose this one because I felt like it had more character development, and more complex characters than Duty After School, although it had some amazing and well developed characters too. Anyway, the main character, Ai, is cynical and disenchanted with the world. She finds things that aren’t exactly practical or realistic as pathetic. However, as she is in poverty and neither of her parents are around, she is sympathetic, and you understand where she’s coming from. She develops very well; while she does retain a sense of cynicism, she finds beauty and wonder in the world again. She rediscovers old dreams, and begins to wonder if they’re worth pursuing again. The Magician, or L (some translations call him R) is probably the most interesting character in the Webtoon. He begins as being mysterious; no one knows who he is, and since he lives at the amusement park, people think he’s crazy. His character is a roller coaster; one moment he’s mysterious, the next childish and sweet, then scared of being alone. You think he’s a real magician, and then you wonder if he is crazy, and then you think he’s real again. However, I think that the true character development gem must go to Ildeung, a classmate of Ai’s who has a crush on her. In the beginning, he’s pompous, arrogant, and a rich brat who wants to be the best at everything. As the story goes on, he starts to find his own dreams and desires; up until this point, he has been following other’s expectations. Other characters who leave an impression would be Ai’s little sister, L’s sassy parrot, and a few classmates.
3. Dr. Frost- JongBeom Lee:
Link: Dr. Frost
Even though one of the above images is a fanart, it was the closest I could get to a group image. In a Webtoon like this, it is crucial to have top notch characters, and Dr Frost does this perfectly. The main characters are all well done, and each client is different, and they have their own personality. You grow to care for each of them. The main character is Dr. Frost, and he’s sort of the Korean version of Sherlock Holmes and House, M.D. However, he is different than most Holmes like characters. Yes, he is incredibly smart and has abnormal observation abilities, as well as being rather cold and uncaring. Yet it is heavily implied that he isn’t naturally this way, and that something happened to him that made him really smart, but also made him unable to feel most emotions. The secondary main character is Seonga Yoon, or the Watson to Frost’s Holmes. She’s sweet and kind, but that doesn’t mean she’s stupid. She’s smart, but not a genius. But she is sympathetic and genuinely wants to help others. Other characters would be Professor Song, a woman who knew Frost years ago, but now hates him and accuses him of being a murderer. Whether her reasons are justified is left to the reader. There’s also Professor Chun, who has known Frost since he was a kid and was his doctor after what happened to Frost. Oh, and who can forget Pavolv? He’s a puppy that is adorable, but has the same problems as Frost. He’s one of the cutest puppies in fiction I’ve seen. The newest character is Professer Moon, who could be considered Frost’s old friend. He was a college student when he taught Frost several of his counseling principles and a lot of his information. It is unknown whether or not he may become the “Moriarty” of the story, as he’s coming off as shady. This may just be a red herring, though.
2. Hooky- Miriam Bonastre Tur:
In my opinion, Miriam Bonastre Tur is one of the best writers when it comes to character development. This means keeping the character’s personalities intact, but changing their beliefs, habits, or opinions. Yes, sometimes parts of their personalities change, but the basic part of their personality remains the same. The two main characters are Dani and Dorian, twins who are a witch and wizard. One of the main plots in the story is that one of them will turn into the King of Witches. In the beginning, Dani is reminiscent of Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service, as she is cheerful and bright, does best with flying a broom rather than magic spells, and always wants to do her best. As the story goes along, her bubbly personality begins to fade, and you begin to wonder about her. Dorian is quiet, smart, and socially awkward, but he’s the best with spells, but not so much with flying. He slowly becomes more self-confident in his abilities, and it becomes much more difficult to tell which of them will be the King of Witches. There is also Nico, who at first glance, was a rebellious leader who mouthed off a lot. But it turns out he was jealous of Dani and Dorian; Pendragon, their master and Nico’s adoptive dad, seemed much more attached to them than to Nico. Then Monica comes in; at first, she seems like a spoiled princess who can’t keep her mouth shut, is incredibly cheerful, and is a bit of a tsundere to boot. She doesn’t lose her cheerfulness, but other parts of her personality begin to shine; her loyalty and principles. In my mind, she is one of the best examples of character development I’ve seen. Mark is another character; he is someone you don’t know a lot about in the beginning. He proves that he’s loyal, brave, and kind. He’s a good and dependable friend. He and Nico used to be best friends until something happened. Other characters include Pendragon, who seems to be a kindly and somewhat crazy wizard, but is hiding something. There’s Damien, a white haired boy who works at Monica’s castle and is somehow connected to Dani and Dorian. Even characters you don’t like at first, like Dani and Dorian’s parents, are proven to be more complex and interesting than at first glance.
1. Space Boy- Stephen McCranie:
Link: Space Boy
Yes, there is another fan art. But again, it was the closest I got to all the characters in one picture. Why is Space Boy my number 1 on this list? Well, while there is certainly a plot, the best part of this story that propels it forward and makes me emotionally involved, are the characters. Every character is well developed and thought out, and they feel very real to me. Amy is a girl with synesthesia, which makes her see everyone having a specific flavor. She’s sweet and kind, but unlike other characters with those personality traits, she’s a far cry from perfect. She isn’t athletic, and her grades aren’t always the best. This helps her become much more realistic and relatable than all the other classic sweet and kind female main characters. She’s also trying to adapt to Earth life, which is very different than that of the space colony. One of the best parts of the story is Amy discovering and loving things we take for granted; the moon in the sky during the day, clubs, leaf piles, snow, and baby chicks. Oliver is the secondary main character, and he’s very mysterious. What we know is that he was in some sort of accident, and that he’s involved with a strange project, and that his guardian is a robotics expert. He’s also artistic and consumed with The Nothing, which could be another word for depression. He’s having some sort of existential crisis, and doubts the existence of everything. Amy starts to push him out of his crisis. There’s also Zeph, a sweet, nerdy, awkward boy who has a major crush on Amy. There’s David, a football player who’s actually really nice and fun, and he reminds Amy of one of her best friends on the space colony. He isn’t the classic jock and bully. Cassie is another of Amy’s new friends, and she seems nice and outgoing, but she turns out to be kind of a control freak, but even then there’s more to her then that. There’s the agriculture club, Meisha, Tamara, and Schafer, who are all fun and interesting in their own ways. Even characters like Jemma and Dylan from the space colony are shown beyond the first episode. Amy’s parents are also a breath of fresh air; they are not the classic parents in a teen focused drama. Overall, if you love character driven stories, then this is a Webtoon you must check out.
Which Webtoon do you think has the best collection of characters? If you liked this list, please comment or follow, it means a lot. 🙂