UPDATE: Scanslation HERE
While Manga have always been popular in Japan, Korea’s more internet based pop culture assures that the more popular Manhwa are not in printed form but actually web toons. The most famous of these webtoons are on Korea’s most popular search engine Naver.
Webtoon artists will put out a webtoon once a week and as the webtoons pile up you get the equivalent of one volume of Manhwa every 2 months. The advantage of webtoons are that they are free and as there’s no cost in doing color printing – everything has to be in color to compete so the quality is better than plain old black and white Manga even though the rate of production is slower.
For those of you just beginning Korean – say those in Korean 202 level intermediate classes – a good webtoon to read is “Noblesse“.
Noblesse is the story of a vampire who wakes up after 820 years in Seoul after being moved from Europe.
He becomes a transfer student at Yeran high school whose motto is to “make your own destiny”. The President of the school happens to be his ancient servant who calls him Master – but must pretend the vampire – Cadis Etrama Di Rigel (who the students call Rai) is another student. A foreign student. In the first ten chapters he ends up having to learn Korean language through telepathy and learn Korean culture through trial and error. Thus hillarity ensues…
The running gag ofcourse it that the principle is Rai’s devoted servant but he has to pretend like Rai is his live in student. Meanwhile Rai must adapt to Korean cuisine:
For some reason wooden chopsticks and garlic don’t bring about the fondest memories…
Of course the young shonen crew end up fighting random vampires as Rai’s old friends show up as well. It’s kind of like Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Alucard except they have to teach Alucard how to live in a Korean high school. The main point is that since it’s set in a high school and the cultural references are European or modern Korean it’s WAY easier to read for intermediate students than historical drama based martial arts shonen battle manhwa or something like Chosun Zombie Chronicles. So, if you’re in that second year Korean class I recommend you give it a try. “Noblesse“.