Versatile multimedia content that is constantly taking new forms

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Naver’s “Yumi’s Cells” webtoon series is perhaps the perfect example of versatile multimedia content, with plans to make it suitable for animation and musicals.

The animated version of the webtoon for theatrical release will be co-produced by a Naver subsidiary, Studio N, and local animation production company Locus, which created the 2019 hit “Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs.” The company aims to release animation in theaters in the first half of 2023, according to Naver.

The music adaptation is currently being co-developed by Studio N and local entertainment company Sem Company.

Founded in 2018, Studio N is a unit of Naver primarily focused on the development and release of movies and TV series based on the computer giant’s popular webtoons.

“We plan to help revitalize the Webtoon intellectual property industry by producing different types of content based on Naver Webtoon IP,” Studio N CEO Kwon Mi-kyung said in a statement, referring to Intellectual property.

The “Yumi’s Cells” webtoon, written and illustrated by Lee Dong-geun, first appeared on Naver’s platform in 2015. Since then, it has been serialized into 512 episodes, and the last episode was released on November 7 of last year.

Lee’s webtoon series portrays an ordinary hardworking woman named Yumi making day-to-day decisions at work and in her relationships. Before she reacts or makes choices, 200 cells in her brain take on human form and interact with each other to influence Yumi. While the webtoon deals with everyday issues that many people can relate to, the series has become a big hit with over 3.2 billion total views and over 5 million comments.

Like many other popular South Korean webtoons, it has been adapted into a drama series, the first season of which recently ended on tvN. The dramatic format was new to many K-drama fans as the series used animated characters to represent Yumi’s brain cells. There were also scenes where animated characters interacted with Yumi, played by Kim Go-eun.

A sequel is currently in production, its release date is not yet confirmed.

Even before the webtoon was adapted for the theater, the content had been used in many different formats, such as mobile games and offline exhibits.

In August, a mobile puzzle game based on Lee’s webtoon series was created by game company Skywalk and then released to the world, according to Naver. The game features popular characters in the webtoon, including Yumi, her boyfriend, Woong, and 60 brain cells.

In addition, a special exhibition featuring characters from “Yumi’s Cells” was held at Groundseesaw Seochon in Seoul from July 15, 2020 to March 14. A similar exhibition is scheduled to open in Busan in December.

By Song Seung-hyun ([email protected])


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