Yesterday, I posted a piece on my current Top 20 Manga Series, so it’s only right that I follow it up with an article about manhwas! For those of you new to manhwas, allow me to provide a brief introduction. Manhwas are to Koreans as mangas are to Japanese, their own version of comics and static cartoons. However, they differ in that they read vertically and have color!

Below are five recommendations for my favorite manhwa to date. The list is short simply because I’ve only read a handful of these. If you have any glowing recommendations, please send them my way, and I’ll try my best to read, review, and possibly publically recommend them. But for now, we’ll start with these five!

Solo Leveling

Written by Chugong + Illustrated by Dubu (Redice Studio)

solo leveling

Choo, choo! All aboard the hype train! Originally a light novel and adapted into a manhwa crica 2018, Solo Leveling starts with a generic, Shounen-esque premise. In a world with “gates” that act as a portal for monster invasions, heroes around the world fight to protect the Earth. Our protagonist, Sun Jin-Woo, later known as Sun DRIP Woo, is a horribly weak hunter, the weakest of them all in fact. On one fateful mission, Jin-Woo and his comrades unknowingly enter an extremely rare and dangerous gate, where they all are mercilessly slaughtered. When Jin-woo reawakens, he finds himself face to face with a game-like interface that presents him quests, stats, an inventory, and more, similar to the one in The Gamer. With this change, he becomes the only hunter in the world who is able to grow in power, marking the start of his Herculean adventure.

The visuals are breathtaking. Multi-screen spreads, beautiful colors, and jaw dropping choreography can floor any reader. Unlike many adaptations, this one adheres to the primary source material rather closely. Though I have yet to read light novel, my friends who have say that all important details are present in the manhwa. Music to my ears. Solo Leveling is certainly a highlight to my Wednesdays, and I’m always saddened to reach the end of the weekly chapter. So many powerful and ravishing moments with grandeur that I believe even the author doesn’t comprehend himself.

Distant Sky

Written by Youn, Inwan + Illustrated by Kim, Sunhee

distant sky

Goodness gracious, where do I even begin with this one. I first picked this up in high school when there were only three seasons, but after a six year hiatus, it seems like Distant Sky has returned. Gangnam, South Korea is enveloped in darkness; our main characters too. Yes, the curtains match the drapes. I have no better way to describe the story of two kids, Haneul and Heyool, than as a litany of troubles. New predicaments around every corner. Natural disasters, ferocious beasts, corrupt people. You name it. I don’t think I’ve read another story that is simultaneously gruesome yet hopeful to this degree. Throughout the first three seasons, we constantly question who is ally and who is foe. Who can I geniunely trust? Who and what are we even living for? Existentialism pours out the hatches of every painstakingly drawn panel. I’m so glad the weekly updates are back.

Tower of God

Created by Lee Jong Hui aka Slave. In. Utero. aka SIU


Tower of God is one of the most popular ongoing fantasty manhwas. It follows the journey of a lonely boy named The 25th Baam as he battles his way up the tower. But why does he even need to climb to the top? His entire life, Baam’s whole world has been comprised of two elements – a desolate cave and Rachel. Suddenly, Rachel decides to climb the tower, and Baam is left no choice but to follow her, his only friend. During his first test, we immediately realize Baam is a cut above the rest. His resolution, gumption, and fortuity. Climbing the tower is no simple task though. It’s ruled by the authoritarian King Jahad and the 10 Families. Each floor is so large with seemingly no esacpe. There’s enough mystery and lore to last millenia of adventuring. There’s so much more I can highlight about this series, the gorgeous artwork, deeply layered storylines, etc, but seeing as there are already so many reviews and analysis content availabile, I’ll just drop some spreads and get back to this later.





Written and illustrated by Go Yeong-hun


When I think about stories or works of art that defined my formative years, Trace sticks out amongst all the movies, manga, and more. This manhwa takes place in a world of “Troubles” and “Traces”. Troubles are powerful mysterious, sentient creatures that roam the Earth for prey. Seeing as they pose a threat to humanity, humans with supernatural powers, or Traces, are employed to protect the citizens. You’d imagine that life would fine and dandy for our Traces, but that is not the case here. This manhwa revolves around Kim Yun-seong, aka Mister Beggar. Mr. Beggar is a family man through and through but finds himself to be a Trace, at the age of 30,sending him, rather unwillingly, on a crazy hero’s journey. Trace boasts a unique artistic style and some damn compelling fight sequeneces. The author’s creativity to flesh out an abundance of unique abilities rival’s even the likes of Oda. Such a crazy read!

trace 2

I also recently learned that this original Trace series has future seasons too – Trace 1.5, Trace Perfume, and Trace 2.0. Looking forward to reading them soon!


Written by Kim, Carby + Illustraed by Hwang Young-Chan


If I could only call one manhwa in set of recommendations a masterpiece, it would be Bastard. This manhwa is depraved. Our main characters, Jin Seon and his Father, Dongsoo Seon, are two who should not be taken lightly. They are the personification of the saying, “Looks can be deceiving.” This manga is seriously jarring. Chapter after chapter, it drags the reader deeper into its murky waters. Who is right and who is wrong? What are we even fighting for? This manhwa is relentless. Murder and miserable emotional manipulation. The author does not pull punches, and the power behind the hits are amplified by a cruel, visual complement. Bastard is not a rollercoaster with predictable rises and drops but something more akin to bumper cars. The reader is jostled and surprised at every turn, knocking the wind out of you when you least expect it. Yet despite all that, you can’t help but smile when it’s all over.

Thanks for reading and as always, if you want to chat more about any of the series above or have recommendations for me, please shoot me a dm! Would love to chat!

Cover Photo: One of the brilliant spreads from Tower of God