Last year, during one of my usual insomnia episodes, I found myself mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed. To my surprise, I came across an advertisement for an Isekai Manhwa (만화) title. Now, I must admit, I’ve never been a fan of the ‘Isekai’ (異世界) genre or Manhwas (만화) in general. They never really caught my attention, and I wasn’t particularly interested in that style of comics. However, I couldn’t help but notice the growing popularity of isekai Manhwas over the past three years.
As a long-time manga reader, I usually gravitate towards the ‘Josei’ (女性) category. This category of manga targets women between the ages of 18 and 30 and often explores mature themes, depicting realistic scenarios related to relationships, careers, and life events. It’s quite different from the typical ‘Shonen/Shoujo’ (少年/少女) categories.
However, as months passed by and we found ourselves in a lockdown period, my reading habits began to change. I started delving into Isekai Manhwas (Reincarnations) and discovered some hidden gems that truly captivated me. Surprisingly, I found myself binge-reading them every weekend. Perhaps, joining a discord server dedicated to this genre has played a significant role in fueling my newfound interest and satisfying my cravings for these types of stories.
So, how did you get interested in Isekai Manhwa?
To be honest, there’s something incredibly refreshing and visually appealing about colored Manhwas compared to Mangas. The art style has truly evolved and improved over the years, and it’s a delight to behold.
Now, let’s talk about the peculiar genre of ‘Isekai – Reincarnation.’ It’s quite fascinating how the main character meets a tragic end in a horrible accident, only to be transported back in time to the old European era instead of facing the afterlife or simply ceasing to exist. It’s amusing to witness their attempts to adapt to this new reality, especially when they find themselves looking stunning in Elizabethan or Victorian dresses.
But here’s the twist: I’m referring to those protagonists who tragically die in the real world and are transported to the world of the Manhwa they last read or the ‘Otome’ game they last played (Yes, that very Manhwa!). So, without further ado, I’d like to share with you ten isekai manhwa titles that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading so far:
1 — The Reason Why Raeliana Ended Up at the Duke’s Mansion (그녀가 공작저로 가야 했던 사정)
- As our main protagonist, Eunha was a student waiting for approval on one of her University applications when she got pushed by a mysterious figure and transported to a novel where she ended up as an unfortunate extra by the name of “Raelina McMillan” – that got poisoned by her betrothed early on the story. To avoid dealing with death again, she tried to make a deal with the novel’s male protagonist/lead Noah Wynknight.
- The story so far: The novel’s main character named Beatrice finally appears in the story, her personality is very different from the novel’s story, and tried to kill our main protagonist.
2 — Survive as the Hero’s Wife (양판소 주인공의 아내로 살아남기)
- Our main protagonist was a university student that got into a traffic accident (not Truck-Kun tho) then she got transported to a popular novel where she’s reincarnated as “Canaria Easter”, the novel’s main villain – that got executed by her husband/male protagonist Cesar De Raiman Cline. As she’s determined to survive, her goal is to stay alive, get along with her husband, and get a peaceful divorce when the novel’s heroine “Gracie Lancaster” enters the story and finally meets the main protagonist.
- The story so far: Canaria wants to find out the extra character that appeared and wasn’t a part of the original novel at the same time they wanted to investigate the Empress’s younger brother.
3 — Crimson Karma (진홍의 카르마)
- Our main protagonist Kasai Del Roman was a US Colonel finishing her last mission; rather than getting killed, she decides to kill herself after finding out that the last mission got sabotaged by his fellow soldier. God gave her another chance and she was transported to another world as “Dame Kasia” where she is under a civil war between royalties and serving under the male protagonist named “Tasel Kan Amaris”.
- The story so far: Kasia got appointed to be the leader that specialized in information gathering and assassination. Also, a mysterious person appears and it looks like her former soldier.
4 — Death Is The Only Ending For The Villainess (악역의 엔딩은 죽음뿐)
- Our main protagonist was a university student that just got moved out of the house and starts living on her own to avoid family conflicts. One day, she decides to play a game named “The Lady’s Love Love Project” and falls asleep while trying to clear hard mode, however, she woke up playing as the villain of the game named “Penelope Eckart”, must stay alive and reach the happy ending before the “real protagonist” appears on her “Coming of age” party.
- The story so far: As Penelope gained “free mode”, she no longer has to pick on bad choices in the game however, she will meet the Crowned prince whom she’s been avoiding from the start and hopes not to get killed.
5 — Beware of the Villainess! (그 악녀를 조심하세요!)
- Our main protagonist a struggling university student prone to getting high blood pressure; dies from a car accident and when she wakes up she becomes the crowned prince’s fiance and the novel’s villainess named “Melissa Podebrat”. Instead of moving away, she plans to overthrow all the manipulative four male leads and protect the female protagonist in the story. To succeed with her plans of making the male leads life miserable, she has to break the engagement with the crowned prince first.
- The story so far: After waking up from exhaustion from a battle with the third male lead, Melissa and her team are going to Liptun to cure her male lead’s missing tongue, but they stumble upon a very familiar character.
6 — Beware of the Red Thread (붉은 실을 조심하세요)
- Our main protagonist Lian went to an eye doctor due to an unknown eye disease then later find out she sees a Red thread on her wrist. As she tried to go to the source of the thread, she fell into an open manhole and was transported to a novel where the world consists of monsters. Now, she sees the Red thread just like the female protagonist named “Saint Lucia”, and she can also heal it thus gaining the title of the “Miracle Healer”.
- The story so far: While going home drunk, she met one of the male leads dying in an alleyway. After curing him, he decides to bring her to his kingdom as his healer or there’s more reason for it?
7 — Who Made Me a Princess (어느 날 공주가 되어버렸다)
- Our main protagonist was an internet cafe attendant who has read the novel named “Lovely Princess”, and suddenly woke up inside the novel after taking sleeping pills. She is now the princess named “Athanasia de Alger Obelia” who got executed by her own blood-related father. To avoid the deathly path, she plans to avoid any events that will meet his father but she accidentally met him 9 years early in the novel’s storyline.
- The story so far: As Claude suffers from amnesia, he tries to remember past events with Athanasia but at the same time investigates why Jeanette calms his migraine attack.
8 — Sincerely: I Became a Duke’s Maid (날것: 공작가의 하녀로 빙의했습니다)
- Our main protagonist was a student who just finished reading the last chapter of the novel where the male protagonist “Alejandro Quillo Vel Laviti” got rejected by the female protagonist. As she falls asleep crying, she promised that if she’s in the novel she will make him happy so he won’t die a tragic death. Someone heard her prayers and woke up working as a maid named “Evelina” in the Laviti household.
- The story so far: Second male lead, the crowned prince has set his eyes on our protagonist and stole the necklace Alejandro gave to him earlier in the novel. At the same time, Alejandro receives a letter and immediately wants to visit Evelina.
9 — This Is an Obvious Fraudulent Marriage (이건 명백한 사기결혼이다)
- Our main protagonist is a girl trying to go home after her friend ditched her when she got into a traffic incident (Truck-kun appearance) and wakes up in another world as a daughter of a count family, “Leylin Efran”. As she’s looking for a husband to have a one-year contract marriage so they can keep their family inheritance, she met a man lusting for bloodlust and a man present himself that he can fulfill her demand and pretend to be his husband.
- The story so far: Kalied and Leylin deeply fall in love with each other however two people are getting aware of Leylin’s slumber aura starting to wake up and worrying if this will change Kalied as well.
10 — Doctor Elise: The Royal Lady with the Lamp (외과의사 엘리제)
- Our main protagonist Song Ji Hyeon holds the memories of “Elise De Clorence” who was a terrible queen and died by burning at the stake by his own husband/male protagonist “Linden De Romanoff”. To atone for her sins, she became a talented surgeon, and a well-known professor to save people however, due to the plane crash she has returned to her former life. To avoid the previous fate, she tries to break off the engagement with the crowned prince and tries to become a surgeon/doctor.
- The story so far: Linden kidnapped Elise to have a timeout from their responsibilities in the palace, and they’re enjoying the local festivities in Kaynes however, a civil war might happen on the second prince’s side.
That concludes my list of 10 isekai Manhwa titles! I’m aware that there are numerous other captivating titles out there, but for now, I wanted to share the ones that have brought me enjoyment. Thank you for taking the time to read my selection of isekai manhwa!