Boy-Love Genre Dramas Based On Webcomics Are On The Rise










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Boy-Love Genre Dramas Based On Webcomics Are On The Rise

A scene from Watcha's original series,
A scene from Watcha’s original series, “Semantic Error” / Courtesy of Watcha


By Lee Gyu-lee

The “boy love” genre, known in Korea as BL, which was once considered a minor subculture, has come into the limelight with a number of adopted BL webcomics and web novels. in series.

BL is the genre loosely rooted in the Japanese manga genre, Yaoi, which features the homoerotic relationships of male characters. Unlike most queer genres, BL eliminates realistic factors like struggles and prejudices that same-sex couples might encounter in real life, instead emphasizing sweet romantic intrigue.

Local streaming platform Watcha’s original series, “Semantic Error,” has been a huge hit since its release on February 16, becoming the talk of the town.

Based on the web novel of the same name, which was also made into webcomics in 2020, the series revolves around a rule-abiding computer science major, Chu Sang-woo (Jaechan), and an outgoing visual arts major. , Park Seo-ham. (Jang Jae-young). When Sang-woo and Seo-ham meet, they find themselves in a sort of romance that attracts opposites.

The eight-episode BL series has topped the platform’s most-watched list for six consecutive weeks and has also gained popularity overseas. It debuted in Japan last month.

A poster for the BL series,
A poster for the BL series, “Blueming” / Courtesy of NEW


Following the success, a series of BL series should be released.

Local webcomic production and distribution company Kidaristudio launched the live-action adaptation of its hit webcomic of the same name, “Oh! Boarding House,” on March 14.

The eight-part sitcom revolves around an unemployed young man named Sul Won (Shin Yong-seok), who becomes responsible for his mother’s pension. Living under the same roof as a group of men, he discovers that some of his tenants have crushes on him.

Film distributor Next Entertainment World, also known as NEW, has gotten its hands on web series production.

Late last month, he launched an 11-part series, “Blueming,” an adaptation of a popular BL webcomic, which reached a total of 230,000 views.

The series, which airs on various online platforms including Kakao Page and Naver Series On, follows two popular and sought-after college guys, Cha Si-won (Kang Eun-bin) and Hyeong Da-un (Jo Hyuk -joon). It topped the most-watched ranking on Naver Series On shortly after its release.

The series has also been streamed worldwide via Chinese streaming platform, iQIYI, and is set to be released in Japan via NBC Universal Entertainment Japan in June.

NEW announced earlier last month that it was set to release four webcomics or BL series based on web novels, starting with “Blueming.” He added that these series have already been sold to other countries.

“We have found potential in both local and overseas markets as BL content is increasingly promoted,” Kim Jae-min, head of the company’s film division, said in a statement. “We intend to work with our partners in Korea and overseas to showcase IP-based web content.”

Watcha is set to roll out another period BL series, “Love in Spring,” based on the webcomics of the same name.

Starring former K-pop group BAP member Yoo Young-jae and Woo Tae-ha, the series follows a man disguising himself as a woman to escape nobi status – a member of the slave class at the Joseon period.

E-book company, Ridibooks, has announced that it will dramatize two of its original BL web novels, which were hits on the platform.