Comics/Graphic Novels

Best Action Manhwa

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Erica Ezeifedi

Associate Editor

Erica Ezeifedi, Associate Editor, is a transplant from Nashville, TN that has settled in the North East. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a victim advocate and in public libraries, where she has focused on creating safe spaces for queer teens, mentorship, and providing test prep instruction free to students. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent looking for her next great read and planning her next snack. Find her on Twitter at @Erica_Eze_.

If you’ve been reading manga for awhile, you may have begun to wonder about its Korean cousin, manwha, or webtoons. The popularity of different kinds of manga and manwha continue to grow, but there is one genre in particular that stands out: action. Like with manga, action manwha are some of the most popular and tend to be the gateway into reading different kinds of manwha down the line. With such variety in art style, subject matter, and premise, action manwha can even become gateways to reading more action manwha!

Read on for the best action webtoons, action fantasy recommendations, the best action manwha with overpowered main characters, and more.

Solo Leveling - Chugong & Dubu

Solo Leveling by Chugong

This is based on a popular fantasy novel by the same name and is about Jinwoo Sung, an E-rank monster hunter who’s just trying to stay afloat with his mom’s hospital bills and sister’s tuition looming in the back of his mind. When he’s given the chance to make more money, he jumps at it, only to realize that more money comes with harder-to-beat monsters. This is a LitRPG whose main character is considered one of the weakest of his kind, but that only makes it all the more glorious when he levels up (ha). This is a really popular one, so if you’re new to action manga, I highly recommend you start here.

Blade of the phantom Master DVD cover

Blade of the phantom Master by Inwan Youn and Kyungil Yang 

The country known as Jyushin once had inspectors who would disguise themselves as modest travelers as they passed through town after town in order to expose corrupt officials and punish them. The world is still corrupt, but Jyushin is no more. Despite this, there is still one traveling inspector who brings justice.

This is a slightly older manwha that was so popular it was adapted into an anime.

Saver cover

Saver by Eun-young Lee

Lena Ha is the captain of the kendo team in high school and is as tough as she is alluring. Despite all that she has going for her, the realization of who she has fallen for will come as a shock. While battling the emotions that come up with this realization, she runs away and gets taken to a new world in a different time where she finds out she is the hero the kingdom has been waiting for. If you’re familiar with manga, you’ll recognize this as an isekai.

The Breaker cover

The Breaker by Jeon Geuk-jin

When the constantly bullied Shioon sees his school’s new English teacher Chun-Woo’s amazing fighting ability, he begs to become his martial arts student. Chun-Woo is willing to teach him, but only if Shioon can prove his determination. But the more Shioon learns about Chun-Woo, the more he realizes that there is more to his amazing fighting power than was immediately apparent.

Noblesse cover

Noblesse by Son Jae Ho

This is a vampire action fantasy manhwa following Cadis Etrama Di Raizel, or Rai. After sleeping for more than 800 years, Rai awakens to a world full of dazzling technology that he doesn’t understand. He eventually stumbles upon his old servant Frankenstein, now the principal of a South Korean high school. He enrolls at this high school as a way to learn about the new world and meets teenager Shinwoo, who is a martial arts master. Soon, he finds himself in just as many dangerous adventures as he did before his long slumber.

Girls of the Wild's cover

Girls of the Wild’s by Hun and Zheng

Wilds High has been an elite all-girls school specializing in fighting for the past 40+ years. It also holds the most popular event in the country, Wilds-League, in which teen girls have brutal all-out fights. Well, now the school has granted a male student admission with the condition he doesn’t leave. Problem is, Song Jae Gu has found himself on the wrong side of the strongest fighter, Queen.

Get ready for all the tsunderes, hilarity, and a main male character who is a cinnamon roll.

Early Years cover

The Beginning After The End: Early Years, Book 1 by TurtleMe

King Grey is the strongest and wealthiest in a world where physical strength and fighting ability reign supreme. Despite the prestige his skills grant him, he is empty inside, and lacks a reason for living. When he is reborn into a world of monsters and magic, he takes it as the second chance it is and strives to live a more fulfilling life this time around. He has more than that to worry about, though, as danger bubbles just beneath the surface of this new world.

Unholy Blood cover

Unholy Blood (White Blood) by Lina Im and Jeonghyeon Kim

Here’s another vampire action fantasy manhwa! This one’s art is phenomenal. It follows Hayan, who is forced to use something she’s kept hidden to make the world safe again. She gets help from a new detective to fight evil and her own demons.

The Tower of God: Volume 1 book cover

Tower of God by Siu

This is another action manwha that has received an anime adaptation. Twenty-Fifth Bam has lived beneath a huge tower all his life, but when Rachel, a dear friend of his, goes into the tower, he enters it to save her. Within the tower, he encounters different species of beings and magic, both of which exist under a hierarchy. The plot is complex, as is the battle system, and it has been compared to everything from Alice in Wonderland to Snowpiercer.

Teenage Mercenary cover

Teenage Mercenary by YC

When Ijin was eight, he lost his parents in a plane crash. He fought to survive in this new, strange country, becoming a mercenary. Ten years later, he’s able to return to Korea where he’s reunited with his family, but there’s a new thing for him to survive: high school. While he has to learn new skills in order to make it in school, there’s also the question of whether the school will still be left standing after a year of Ijin…

Hopefully you’re able to add a least a couple of these action manwha to your TBR. After you’ve finished here, make sure to check out a few action manga as well!