First Impression: Today’s Webtoon

Drama Profile

Title: Today’s Webtoon
Main Cast: Kim Se-jeong, Choi Daniel, Nam Yoon-su
Writer:  Jo Ye-rang, Lee Jae-eun, Naoko Matsuda (manga)
PD: Kim Young-hwan (Gogh, The Starry Night), Jo Soo-won (Still 17, Doctor John)
Timeslot: Friday and Saturday  / 22:00H (KST)
Network: SBS, Viu
Episodes: 16
Genre: Coming-of-age

Plot Synopsis:

A former judo athlete struggles to adapt to her new job as a webtoon editor after retiring as an athlete after an injury.

Grumpy’s First Impression

Kim Se-jeong is back with yet another workplace drama, but it’s a remake of a Japanese manga-based series this time. I will never get tired of watching her quirky yet strong-willed characters! I don’t mind watching actors doing the same mold of characters over and over again, as long as they’re good at it! And Today’s Webtoon is honestly off to a great start with Se-jeong taking the lead! I’m just not sure about the love interest, though, since the drama is somehow perceived as a romantic comedy. It’s billed as a coming-of-age story as far as I know. Is it Nam Yoon-su or Choi Daniel? I’m leaning more towards Nam Yoon-su’s character for now, but I’m perfectly fine with On Ma-eum (Kim Se-jeong) taking the singlehood route. My fickle heart can always adjust. Butterflies or none! 😂

I have always been fascinated with the world of webtoons. The multi-million dollar industry is no joke, and artists equally hold influence as mainstream celebrities. Amidst the rise of long-form (and now short-form) video content, producing a webtoon is getting even riskier. The readers’ short attention span, widely saturated market, and fierce competition for ad placements are just some of the challenges faced by the webtoon industry. 

Today’s Webtoon, as I see it, will tackle all these challenges on top of the characters’ individual narratives. On Ma-eum, a former judo national athlete now starts over again as a contractual employee for Neon’s Webtoon Services Department. For Ma-eum, her dream job just became reality! She is a huge fan of webtoons even during her athlete days. It became her source of strength and entertainment. Her passion for webtoons eventually manifested, and the universe heard her prayers to enter its glamorous world.

But little did Ma-eum know, it’s not always glitz and glam – even for the most successful webtoon companies. Just like any other publishing house, success is defined by sales targets and deadlines. Once Ma-eum sets her foot into Neon, she eventually realized the difficult tasks waiting for her. Author management is the top priority – beating deadlines and managing workloads (with some occasional out-of-this-world requests). And what I love about Ma-eum is her resourcefulness. She hustles to get things done. Her cheerful and passionate personality truly helps her a lot despite the exhausting demands of the job.

The webtoon services team is also full of colorful characters that excite me! First is the team manager Jang Man-cheol (Park Ho-san). He is the glue that holds the team together. The department is in a tight spot because of poor sales performance, and they’re on the verge of getting dissolved, but Man-cheol makes sure his team is shielded from the power tripping of the company leadership.

Next up is Editor Seok Ji-hyung (Choi Daniel), the face of the team literally and figuratively. 😅 I like his character so much, and Choi Daniel is the perfect guy for the role. If I’m part of this team, I will feel at ease to be with Ji-hyung. He takes command during crucial situations really well. He has a cute problem with street parking, though!

Joining the team together with Ma-eum is Goo Jun-yeong (Nam Yoon-su). He is a tough cookie who leads the batch of new hires for the year. Despite his impressive credentials, he was assigned to Webtoon Services, which is considered an outlier in the whole of Neon. Jun-yeong knows the team is on the brink of termination, causing his morale to crash low. I feel so bad for him, but I do hope he starts appreciating webtoons more before giving up on it entirely. His bias against the team isn’t helping him at all, and it only breeds disgust and suffering on the job. 

The two new hires are polar opposites, but they also have something in common: they’re both doing their best, even though they have different points of view on what “doing your best” looks and feels like. I look forward to more character development for Jun-yeong. His well-off upbringing seems to contribute to his emotional maturity, and seeing him being humbled by the Webtoon Services team is an interesting part of the story.

Aside from the four main characters and the other team members, I am also invested in meeting all the amazing webtoon artists under Neon! The first featured writer Baek Eo-jin (Kim Kap-soo) was a really great move and got me hooked on the story. Baek sonsaengnim exudes professionalism and caliber! And he’s only one of his kind. It seems like the rest of the bunch are all chaotic! 😂 

G Alley

💭 If Jun-yeong doesn’t end up with Ma-eum, I think he also makes a cute pair with Pomme (Ha Yul-ri) 😅 We love an enemies-to-lovers trope in this house!

💭 Still on Jun-yeong – I have no clue about the drama’s original material so I don’t know much about him. He is obviously wealthy, right? Why does he take public transport? Is he a chaebol heir or something?

💭 I want more of him juseyo!!

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