‘Lookism’: How Does the Netflix Series Compare to the Webtoon Comic?

“Lookism,” a webtoon comic, released its first episode in 2017 and ended the series at 417 episodes in 2022. After four long years, “Lookism” finally gets its own animated series on Netflix.

The comic became popular with readers because of its storyline, art style and relatable characters. However, that’s not all; some attractive characters made the female audience swoon when they read each episode. It didn’t just target female readers but also male readers with its graphic fight scenes.

“Lookism” is a comic about an unattractive boy named Daniel Park who is bullied by his peers, so he transfers to a different school. Before starting at his new school, he encounters an attractive man and gains the ability to switch between their two bodies. He changes his life by using an attractive body to avoid bullying and find friends in his new school. Now that “Lookism” finally has its animated series, does it genuinely follow the storyline of the comic, and are the characters the same?

Courtesy of Netflix.

At the beginning of the series, Daniel Park is shown to be a high schooler bullied by his classmates. He begs his mom to transfer while lying to her that he has friends in school and would not be sad about transferring and leaving his friends behind. Only then does his mom find out the real truth about his so-called friends and she helps transfer him out of the school, even though they do not have much money to spare. When he transfers schools, he is left to his own devices and wakes up in a new body. Where did this body come from? This new body is taller, skinnier, more attractive and faster. Daniel thinks he must be dreaming and tries to wake up his original body only to discover that he can switch back and forth between the bodies. 

He decides he is going to live in the new body as Daniel Park in high school, knowing that he lives in a city where everyone is both attractive and dangerous. Daniel meets people like Vasco, Jay, Zack and Duke and ends up having a few fights with some of the other characters. The original Daniel Park applies and works at a convenience store where he struggles to defend himself against the new bullies, a few from his high school. However, Daniel also struggles to become friends with people who are deemed “unattractive” because he is too “attractive,” and they think he is trying to take advantage of them. This is the world of “Lookism,” where being hot and fit is all that matters to society.

Courtesy of Netflix.

There was a lot of hype regarding “Lookism” as it’s a popular comic that thousands of people read. However, the Netflix series wasn’t a great show because it didn’t have the same character development that readers experienced in the comic. It felt rushed being only eight episodes long at 20 minutes a piece. I did love the art style in the animations, and the fight scenes were amazing. I also noticed that a few of the characters were omitted and shown less, like Mary and Mira who contributed to the comic in terms of character development. Mira helps Zack grow as a person whereas Mary is able to help calm a bully down. I felt disappointed that they were removed on purpose and that the show focused more on the fight scenes and Daniel’s efforts to make new friends.

“Lookism” is available to watch on Netflix. However, I recommend reading “Lookism” first before watching it to get the whole story.

By Ayla Hooper

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