One of the things I love about reading romance webtoons, particularly Korean webtoons, are most of them are set in college/university. I know that people regard high school life as the peak of adolescence, or the time for many firsts! Even in my bookish phase it was all about high schools boys and girls. Shoujo manga, too. While most josei series skipped college & goes straight to work/adult life. And we all know what happened with NA? Sadly it didn’t really bloom like YA did.
I heard it from grownups before I set foot in HS that the best years of my young lives will be in high school. Well, it was fun and all but definitely not the peak! It turned out I was a late bloomer. I was more straight-laced person in high school. I was more serious academically. But college was the real eye opener. And I’ve learned more of life, friends, and personal stuff when I got into college, still young & naïve but preparing for the real scary world of adulthood. And that made me think that it’s interesting narrative to explore.College life is fun!! It’s not just about case studies, thesis, and group reports, and the likes. I think it’s more than those! You’re not that young anymore but not quite an adult yet, but don’t you think that what makes interesting and amazing!!
1. 바른연애 길잡이 (A Guide to Proper Dating) – (published by naver) that one small bump in her schedule and joining a club in pursuit of romance in college sounds like a ball, right? Sometimes it’s hard to pack your academic life and love life all in one sched but if there’s a will there’s way, hey~!
2. 아쿠아맨 (Aquaman) – (published by daum) aah~ friendship, romance, and all the other stuff! Sure, it doesn’t exclusively happen in college but sometimes this phase is an eye opener to some (like me, when you thought you have established who you are). This story is about three people and all their ups and downs, and all the kinds of relationships…sometime you like the person more than you think!!
3. 치즈인더트랩 (Cheese in the Trap) – (published by naver) if there’s a poster series for the complete college life series then Cheese in the Trap is the “one.” We all got the roller-coaster ride or college life from tuition fees, group reports, leeching classmates (which I relate like I’ve never related before!!) So many things that happened in Seol (maybe sans her ever interesting love life) can happen to any college students! For more deets, check my spotlight post!
4. 대새녀의 메이크업 이야기 (Dolled Up) – (published by daum) didn’t get the “high school debut” well college could be the real stage! I learned a bit about tidying up when I got to college (but not really make up per se), also learned about what type of clothes I preferred ‘cos we were now allowed to wear casual clothes after 11 years wearing school uniform. The thing about this webtoons series in particular is it also gave make-up tips! And we all know all the hype about k-beauty, yes?
5. 슈퍼 시크릿 (Everybody’s Got A Secret) – (published by naver) sometimes your friend is just your friend at the start. But sometimes that friend can be you lover and that your lover can be a…werewolf? What? Yes, a comical, cutie story of friends and all the paranormal shenanigans in between! A Must read!
6. 순정 바로미터 (Love Barometer) – (published by lezhin) this one took a lot of convincing, like Cheese in the Trap it took me few tries before I got hook to it heart and soul. I loved how sweet, and nice, and refreshing the story without getting too cheesy (even though sometimes they got too sugary sweet). It also slammed the idea of love at first sight, they weren’t attracted at first, but they fell in love eventually.
7. 악마와 계약연애 (Devil’s Love Contract) – (published by naver) sometimes life get tough and you want someone to help you out in this great crisis, so enter…genie? Fairy godmother? Nope, he’s the devil and he wanted a contract with the heroine. But what I love about her is her resilience and sort of pragmatic outlook in life. No self-pity, just hard work in hope to make out of this life troubles! And I think we all need that when you’re drowning in college fees and academic responsibilities!
8. こいいぬ。 (Love Dog / Koi Inu) – (published by comico) childhood friends? Yes! Second chance in love? Yes? As much as I love to see a relationship in its early developing stages, it’s also an interesting angle to explore the side of “being a relationship.” There’s a lot of compromise, getting to know, quarrels and nit-picks that every couple need to go through to make their relationship stronger. It’s not all about being lovely dovey there are lots fights, too (trivial ones to boot!) And while sometimes I complain how they fight over the silliest thing but I guess that’s part of being in a relationship.
9. 나의 빛나는 세계 (My Beautiful World) – (published by daum) it’s one of the first webtoons I’ve tried and still remained one of my favorite ‘til now. Sure there was this mystery, supernatural element which it heavily focused on, but I think I was in love with the idea that she learned to open up, accept her ability as something helpful to others (and not a curse to hate) and most importantly she found love. And if you need more convincing read my series spotlight.
10. 우리사이느은 (Our Relationship Is…) – (published by lezhin) Best friend turned lovers is the name of the game! But it wasn’t easy. I think the whole they were scared to change their relationship was so realistic that I understand why they were hesitant to change what they were but it was gamble to make. Better yet read my series spotlight for more!