Webcomics have come a long way in the world of media. Years ago, webcomics weren’t too likely to get adapted into movies or television shows, since they might not be as well-known as mainstream characters or just because people get away with things on the internet that they don’t with the slightly more “media-friendly” print. But that has changed.
Look at Diary of a Wimpy Kid. You might know it either as a book or a movie series, but it actually started on FunBrain as a digital book with webcomics. And for those of you who like Korean dramas, there are actually quite a lot based on digital comics called “webtoons.”
So today, we are celebrating the art form by looking at television shows and web series that you might not have known were based on webcomics. Even if things change between webcomics and their other mediums, be warned that spoilers abound.
10 Ani Ni Tsukeru Kusuri Wa Nai!
Also known as, There is No Cure For My Brother, this Chinese webcomic revolves around the violent, athletic Shi Miao and her clownish older brother, Shi Fen.
The comics eventually inspired an anime series in Japan, proving popular enough to get three seasons in total, as well as a live-action Netflix spin-off.
9 Axe Cop
This webcomic revolves around the titular Axe Cop, a cop…who, well, likes using an axe in battle. His partner in fighting crime is his brother, Flute Cop.
The story eventually became part of Fox’s Animation Domination HD programming block, even getting a second season on FXX. There have also been some motion comic web animations.
8 How To Keep A Mummy
There’s even quite a few anime based on webtoons and webcomics. How To Keep a Mummy is one such series, based on a manga that was serialized online through Comico Japan, although books were eventually published.
In the series, Sora Kashiwagi’s eccentric father sends him a bizarre gift: a living mummy…who is luckily harmless and small enough to fit inside the palm of his hand. Eventually, other cute little monsters, like an oni, a dragon, and other friends join the picture.
7 My Roommate Is A Cat
There are few things that the Internet loves more than cats, so clearly, the world of webcomics has a few feline stories to share. My Roommate Is a Cat has its origins in a Japanese manga series serialized online through Flex Comix’s Comic Polaris website, eventually getting a 2019 anime adaptation.
Haru is a young Tuxedo cat who lived a rough life on the streets. She is eventually adopted by an introverted mystery writer, Subaru Mikazuki, and their growing bond, and gradual learning to trust others, tells a great story.
6 How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?
This manga series was serialized on the Ura Sunday website and the MangaONE app before getting turned into an anime series.
A schoolgirl named Hibiki Sakura joins a local gym in hopes of getting in shape to counter her overabundant appetite, eventually joining other girls as they learn to train and exercise, all the while developing a crush on her dedicated trainer, Naruzo Machio.
5 African Office Worker
We weren’t joking about cats; even big cats are getting in on the action. This comedy manga was serialized online through the pixiv Comic website, eventually spawning an original net animation and a television anime.
Also known as African Salaryman, this series deals with a lion, toucan, and lizard leaving the savanna and getting office jobs in Japan.
4 We Bare Bears
This Cartoon Network series, which revolves around three bear brothers and their wacky hijinks, often revolving around millennial culture, actually has online origins: The Three Bare Bears, a relatively short-lived webcomic by Daniel Chong.
Unlike the final show, the original comic wasn’t exactly kid-friendly, and while the three bears are technically the same bears in the show, they have somewhat different personalities. In one of their first comics, the bears befriend a little girl named Goldy and play “Duck-Duck-Goose” with her, only to maim and accidentally kill her. On a related note, Ice Bear also seems slightly more talkative in the comic than he does in the show.
3 Kipo And The Age Of Wonderbeasts
This animated Netflix show is based on the short-lived webcomic Kipo created by Radford Sechrist. In this series, Kipo is a young girl who lives underground after an apocalypse, only to find herself alone on the surface world, surrounded by fantastic mutants.
The cartoon does take a few liberties with the original story. For example, Kipo was simply a human girl in the webcomic, but the animated version decided to go a slightly different route, without giving too much away…
2 Pop Team Epic
This anime series, popularized by Netflix, follows the surreal adventures of two girls, Popuko and Pipimi, as they go on more and more absurd adventures, whether it’s finding themselves trapped in a murder mystery or randomly going to France, all the while poking fun at pop culture. They may or may not be reality warpers trying to recreate the world in their image, but one thing is for sure: Hoshiiro Girldrop isn’t becoming an anime on their watch.
If you watched this series, you’ll notice that some of the skits seem like they are basically one-panel motion-comics…and there’s a reason for that: the series is based on a webcomic, some jokes being directly taken from it.
1 One-Punch Man
This anime first came to light in 2009 as a webcomic that went viral, eventually releasing an e-book and over one hundred chapters. Video games have been released and even a live-action film is in the works.
In a world filled with powerful villains and monsters, our hero, Saitama, has trained himself to become such a powerful hero, he can defeat any enemy with just one punch…hence the name of the series.
There are many series that you didn't know were actually based on webcomics.