Swiping to a Virtual Reality: Kpop Unleashes on WEBTOON


Photo by Megan Ingram

Gabriela Carvajal, Web Manager

   With new music and concerts unearthing from every corner, kpop fans were delighted with an unexpected collaboration with popular digital comics company WEBTOON and popular boy groups, such as BTS from HYBE Entertainment. For many this was seen as a major reward as fans can enjoy the storylines of their favorite boy bands while hiatuses are underway. 

   Back in November, HYBE Entertainment announced in their publicly broadcasted “Corporate Briefing with the Community ” they plan to cast their artists into their own original stories and publish them as webtoons, web novels, and animations on various platforms: the first to do so in the industry. (Soompi) For sophomore Mili Ortega, she sees the potential of making such a gesture: “I think this is a great opportunity for fans to connect with their ideals by getting a chance to get insight about their lives, which builds a more personal connection if people find [the series’] relatable.”

   The first four stories will first be released as webtoons/novels inspired by each of  HYBE’s most famously recognized boy bands:

  • 7Fates: CHAKHO – BTS 
  • The Star Seekers – TXT
  • Dark Moon – Enhypen
  • Crimson Heart – N/A

   With  BTS’s “7Fates: CHAKHO ” it is an urban fantasy inspired by a Korean historical reference: Joseon Dynasty’s tiger hunting officers. Set in the future, it tells a story of the bond between seven boys and overcoming their hardships. Updated every Friday viewership is steadily increasing with a 10M viewing rate and 1 million subscribers as of 1/27. For sure this is the work of BTS’s fan group, ARMY, who take pride in delivering support for the group’s craft. In fact, every time the comic is updated on WEBTOON BTS starts trending on Twitter with funny reactions to the latest episode!

   Encompassing a fantasy tale, TXT’s “STAR SEEKERS”  highlights the kpop realm twisted with magic/reality coexisting. In fighting against a secret that surrounds the downfall of the world magical elements are to make an appearance often. Every Sunday this series is updated and is one that showers fans with a pleasant perspective of the five-member band. Currently, it has demanded an audience with a 1.2 million viewership rate and over 407,000 subscribers. The potential of this series is grand so expect to see TXT trending any moment it is updated!

   ENHYPEN’s “DARK MOON” had fans excitedly impatient to see the reflections of the members’ within the vampire concept of the comic. Set as a  high school romance, the series focuses on the group’s vampire concept and the interactions with a mysterious young girl. It couldn’t have been any cuter when ENHYPEN’’s latest album: Dimension: Answer (released Jan. 10) had an add-on that alluded to the concept! Updated every Saturday, this series is slowly gaining traction in viewership with 2.4 million views and a subscriber rate of 599,267. With plenty of secrets and friendship this will definitely peak the interests of many. 

   Junior Duha Iqbal expressed rather contrasting views as an outsider of the kpop realm, but is nonetheless looking forward to the series as a whole: “For me, I initially wasn’t familiar with these characters, but after giving the series a chance I can definitely see why my friends are loving it. Unlike my friends though, the concept of this collaboration does not really interest me 100% [especially since I am not a committed kpop fan], so I would rate it so far a 6/10…” While this may be the case for many Charter students, once one embraces a series there is no turning back. For senior Alyssa Chin she sees herself reading each of the three at some point given her interest in the bands from the start: “This seems interesting as I listen to BTS, TXT, and ENYHEN; I have even heard a lot of positive things about them and the storyline…” Alyssa also made mention of future collaborations for WEBTOON and kpop mogul: SM Entertainment: “I think it would be entertaining with NCT since they have their own ‘universe’ [concept] called ‘Ncity’ with 4 subunits to diversify the concepts.” This is definitely something one should expect to see in the coming years as new avenues are being sought after to connect fans with their artists. 

   With fantasy-like perspectives this WEBTOON X HYBE collaboration has unearthed the inner fan in readers with curated content fit to cover all aspects of their artists. Be sure to stay updated on all the releases of the upcoming episodes on the WEBTOON app today!