You know, I’m a big advocate for only starting stuff that is already finished, rather than putting yourself through ongoing works that leave you wanting for more. I do this with everything, from shows to the fiction I read. Which is why when I want to get into a series, I almost always tick the ‘completed’ tag. And turns out, I might not be the only one who believes that the best manhwa out there, are the completed manhwa that I can binge read.
Honestly, who doesn’t like being able to read an entire story from top to bottom, with a proper climax and everything? Like, sure, I follow a bunch of ongoing manga but the satisfaction of a completed manhwa? That is a high like no other. And because of this, I have found some amazing completed manhwa that I was able to finish in a matter of days like Noblesse and the like. It also means that there is no guesswork when it comes to the finale, which I truly appreciate.
Look, I am a creature of habit and I have zero patience when it comes to my preferred media. It’s why I’d rather risk spoilers and start a show when it’s completed, rather than follow along and be baited for every single episode or chapter released slowly over time. Like, that does not do it for me, at all. Even my Archive Of Our Own searches have the ‘completed works only’ filter always on, I just can’t risk getting attached to uncompleted works! And I know I’m not the only one here that’s like this.
But there are so many completed manhwa out there that are simply not worth it. Like, they feel rushed or the story just wasn’t hitting like it was supposed to. Or worse, the finale just didn’t amount to what it could have been, and you realize you wasted your entire time reading a subpar story. Well, if you want to avoid that and jump right into some of the best stories out there, here is a curated list of our top 10 best completed manhwa, in another segment of Get Ranked!
Table of Contents
10. 50 Tea Recipes From the Duchess
Okay, if Japanese manga excels in Isekai filled with action and adventure, then Korean manhwa does the Fantasy Isekai genre even better. Like I’m sorry, the absolute gorgeousness that is 50 Tea Recipes From The Duchess can not go unmentioned.
You know, I get Haejong Park aka the protagonist of 50 Tea Recipes From the Duchess. Just like me, she is an average career woman who is shy and introverted but with a huge penchant for tea. And like, if you’ve had a nicely brewed cup of jasmine green tea, you can totally understand where she’s coming from. Till then, it is a lonely existence, one that ends one day when Haejong finds herself Isekai’d away into the body of Duchess Chloé, who resides in a world where tea is no more than commoner’s brew. Of course, my girl Haejong will not be standing for that slander. And so, instead of trying to find a way back to her old mundane life, she decides to start a tea revolution, all the while slowly falling in love with the eloquent, albeit stoic husband of Duchess Chloé, the icy Duke Alphonse.
It’s got romance, it’s got tea, literal and figurative, and a really dynamic protagonist in the form of Haejong aka the new Duchess Chloé. Like, 50 Tea Recipes From the Duchess is just a cozy read overall, something that you could take your time with and never get tired of.
9. Solo Leveling
Another member of the ‘good enough to get a screen adaptation’ gang, Solo Levelling did the unthinkable: it put Korean Shounen manhwa on the world map. I mean, you could not escape Solo Leveling being advertised everywhere, from manhwa forums to Line WebToon.
Solo Leveling, or Only I Can Level Up, revolves around Sung Jinwoo, an E-class Hunter with no special abilities and his struggle to survive in a world that feasts on the weak. And in a world where Hunters have to fight against monsters to save humanity from supernatural threats, E-Class is definitely not going to cut it. But one day, after barely escaping an intense dungeon that ended up decimating his entire party, something decides that he will be the sole bearer of an extremely rare skill where he can ‘level up’ in strength, with no limits in sight. Known simply as The System, it also allows Jinwoo to have those he kills in the process as minions that are referred to as Shadows, basically giving him an army that he can summon when he wishes. With this, Jinwoo quickly climbs the ranks but finds himself in the middle of a power struggle between two god-like groups called the Monarchs and the Rulers. But there is a conspiracy afoot, and only Jinwoo can unravel all the threads that contain it.
The way Solo Leveling plays out reminds me an awful lot of RPGs (Role Playing Games) that I love playing. It’s that perfect mixture of dark fantasy and rich world building that engrosses you completely, making you want to complete the manhwa in record time.
8. Positively Yours
I know that manhwa is sort of obsessed with the Fantasy Isekai genre when it comes to romance, and that the modern day manhwa all involve mostly teenagers and freshmen in colleges. But what about my adult girlfriends?
Positively Yours starts off how most grown up relationships in this day and age do: With a man you cannot trust. And Jang Heewon is just suffering the worst of it, with her crush and her best friend getting together and leaving her in the dust. I mean, what happened to the sister code?! And so, Heewon decides to get over her broken heart the way she knows best: By getting drunk and spending a night out where she finds a random someone to hook up with. And this someone, Do-Joon, is charming enough to do the job well. Only problem? The random night together was them being careless, and now Heewon is left pregnant. And no way would Do-Joon care, right? Except when they meet next, not only does he want to be part of the pregnancy, he wants to marry her too when they are practically strangers! Talk about taking responsibility for your actions.
Honestly, this is such a nice role reversal where the entire scenario could’ve been the basis for a lot of drama. Instead, we get two fairly decent people falling in love with each other, even through a setting fit for a Jane The Virgin special. Despite its tropes, Positively Yours is truly refreshing!
7. The Boxer
Sports manhwa is just as popular as its Japanese counterpart and for good reason. I mean, with stories like The Boxer, it isn’t hard to see why. If you’re a fan of action packed fight sequences and a story that isn’t focused on a single person’s journey, you might want to keep on reading.
Who doesn’t love a good underdog story? And an underdog is exactly what Yu is. After being relentlessly bullied during his adolescence, young Yu is almost detached from the idea of life itself. At 17 years old, he is so jaded that he just takes the punches as they come, with no regard for a future where he can stand up to those that hurt him.
However, that was all before Coach K comes across him. A trainer who single handedly mentored 5 champions before, Coach K sees the potential in Yu and his strength. He knows what it means to rise up from the ashes, and that’s why he takes Yu under his wings to train him into being the Boxing World’s rising star. Despite his previous lack of interest, slowly Yu starts to realize there might just be more to life than just the pain he has suffered, and decides to make his mark in the ring.
I love how The Boxer isn’t just about Yu, you know? Like, he definitely is the protagonist, but we get to explore all the side characters and their stories as well, leading The Boxer to have one of the most character driven plots I’ve ever seen in a sports manga. It’s intense, but in the best way possible.
6. Her Tale Of Shim Cheong
If I’m going to make a list of some of the best completed manhwa out there, of course it’s going to be varied in genre and as inclusive as possible. But one doesn’t need to give preference to something like Her Tale Of Shim Cheong on inclusivity alone, considering how beautiful the story is.
Initially an adaptation of a popular Korean folklore story, Her Tale Of Shim Cheong follows two women. One is the titular character, Shim Cheong, who happens to be a beggar that is just trying her best to help out her ailing blind father by keeping them both afloat. And the other is an unnamed noble woman who is promised to be the bride of the infamous Chancellor Jang in order to pay off her family’s debts. Unable to handle the stress of being with a person she did not choose, and wants nothing to do with, the fiancé sees no good ending to her story and decides to jump into the river. But this is where she comes across the filial and kind Shim Cheong, who ends up saving her life in more ways than one.
The way Her Tale Of Shim Cheong encapsulates queer love and its struggle is beautiful. Although we’ve seen plenty of stories about star crossed lovers before, the chemistry between the two girls here is insane. And romance is just one aspect of it all, with each character bringing their own uniqueness to the plot.
For a while, I think Noblesse was the most popular manhwa release in the early 2010s. Like, no joke, I remember hearing about it all the way back in 2011, when it also got an OVA (Original Video Adaptation). And now that I’ve read the manhwa, I get the hype.
Cadis Etrama Di Raizel, or Rai, has been asleep for 820 years. Which means when he wakes up, he is completely dumbstruck by the advancement humanity has made in the time he was inactive. But Rai is an ancient force, a powerful entity who holds the title of Noblesse and remains the judge, jury and executioner of his particular race. However, the modern world is a completely different ball game, and so he sets out in Seoul, South Korea where he comes across his old servant, Frankenstein, who is attending Ye Ran High School. Intrigued by all that has happened, Rai also enrolls in the same school and befriends a group of misfits. But something is happening behind the scenes, with dangerous people taking an interest in the group.
Noblesse takes the tale of Frankenstein and remixes it with Vampires. While that might sound like overkill, it absolutely works. Noblesse is humorous while still being plot driven, with each character carrying the story forward. Honestly, this was the manhwa for a bit and you can see why.
4. Heesu In Class 2
Look, I am a sucker for the ‘I’m in love with my best friend but he doesn’t even know’ trope. Call me basic, I know I am. But can you blame me when it’s carried out as well as it is in Heesu In Class 2?
Imagine being gay. Now, imagine being gay on the downlow and being in love with your best friend. Heesu, our protagonist, has all of that to deal with plus said best friend loves to complain about his love life to Heesu. I mean, talk about a downer. But really, Heesu could care less. To him, as long as he can be friends with Chan Young and cheer for him from the sidelines, it’s enough. Really, Heesu’s love for Chan Young is so genuinely pure, that he actually tries helping him out in the matters of love, even if it breaks his heart a little bit. But turns out, his listening skills are becoming popular and there’s a rumor going around. Apparently, if your love life is in shambles, Heesu in Class 2 might just be the man to turn to! But how can Heesu be of any help to others when his own love goes unrequited? Or does it?
Sometimes, you need a light hearted queer love story with shenanigans and that is exactly what Heesu In Class 2 is. It’s romantic and sweet, with a playful air. That doesn’t mean things can’t get serious when they need to be, but overall? It is a fun read that you can easily binge in one go.
3. My ID Is Gangnam Beauty
I have to say, My ID Is Gangnam Beauty holds a special place in my heart. I actually watched the live action adaptation of the series before reading the manhwa, so I was already super into it. The manhwa was just the cherry on top and helped develop characters a bit more.
Korea is known for its rather strict beauty standards, and it’s a harsh world for anyone who doesn’t fit into them. Meet Mirae, who has worked hard to get into her dream university, but all of that hard work is negated because of how much she is bullied for her looks in high school. Determined to have a new start, she begs her mother to help her get plastic surgery and leave all the bad memories behind so she could be a completely new Mirae. However, the plastic surgeon does too good of a job, with Mirae becoming a ‘Gangnam Beauty’ – a girl that is pretty but clearly had work done. Still, she tries avoiding standing out but that gets hard when the new freshman heartthrob, Kyungseok, starts taking an interest in Mirae, and it’s not because of her newfound beauty. Can Kyungseok look past everything and recognize Mirae for the person she is?
I love when a manhwa has a genuine point to make, especially when it comes to societal born evils such as toxic beauty standards, while still being an engaging and fun read. My ID Is Gangnam Beauty isn’t trying to be a deep commentary on society and pretty privilege. But it is a heartwarming story of how we are all just trying to move on from the worst in our life, and find someone that could see us for who we truly are.
2. Unholy Blood
It’s not often that we get supernatural manhwa with female protagonists that are insanely cool and independent. I mean, there are some romantic feelings in Unholy Blood, but overall it is just an extremely action packed manhwa.
And the setting couldn’t be more tailor made to my tastes. In the world of Unholy Blood, Vampires are not an unknown entity. But they are a reviled one, and Hayan Park happens to be one of the monsters that humanity finds obscene. However, all she ever wanted was a normal life, but that was not meant to be. Instead, she is left to pick up the pieces after the man who raised her, Father Michael, was mercilessly killed. Wanting revenge from her own kind, Hayan decides to take up the mantle of vengeance against the Angels Of Death, a coalition of vampire leaders who have been hunting Pureblood Vampires like Hayan this entire time. However, she can’t do it alone, not again. And so, she pairs up with a renegade police officer to finish things, once and for all.
Gritty and intense, Unholy Blood does something that I have found to be rare in the world of manhwa: having a female protagonist that is flawed and not afraid to get her hands dirty. Honestly, Hayan is the star of the entire series, with compelling motives behind her.
1. The Reason Why Raeliana Ended Up At The Duke’s Mansion
I mean, this was a manhwa that was so popular by the time it was completed that it got an anime adaptation. If that isn’t a seal of approval for The Reason Why Raeliana Ended Up At The Duke’s Mansion, I don’t know what is.
Another Romantic Isekai manhwa, The Reason Why Raeliana Ended Up At The Duke’s Mansion follows Eunha Park, who dies in modern day Seoul after supposedly falling off a roof while awaiting entrance exam results, only to find herself waking up in a light novel she read before. Now, she is Raeliana McMillian and you’d think that it’s a comfort she didn’t just die. Except Eunha knows how this novel ends, and that’s with Raeliana, who is not the main character, dead from arsenic poisoning at the hand of her own fiancé. So, what’s a girl to do? Well, fake marrying someone more powerful than said fiancé is a smart bet in ensuring Raeliana’s survival, like Noah Wyknight. But after spending time with warm Duke, Raeliana realizes that she might not have thought this plan through.
It’s got friends-to-lovers, a fake engagement, and a slow burn romance with a mystery somewhere afoot. What more could you want? Especially because you don’t even have to wait for the plot to unravel since The Reason Why Raeliana Ended Up At The Duke’s Mansion is a completed manhwa. Go binge read it now!
So, while there are plenty of completed manhwa out there for you to read to your heart’s content, these happen to be my favorite ones. Of course, your tastes might be different. So, if you want a Part 2 to this list, let us know below! Until next time.