Park Tae-joon’s Lookism: Everything you need to know about the much-awaited Korean anime
After a delay in release, Park Tae-joon’s Korean anime Lookism has finally made its way to Netflix. The series was released on December 8, 2022, and was one of the most anticipated releases of the year. The release of the anime was postponed due to the tragedy that occurred in Itaewon on Halloween night.
Netflix’s Lookism garnered international attention because of its ties with the popular Korean webtoon of the same name written by Park Tae-joon. The original webtoon was first published in 2014, and the relatable storyline made it a sensation as it achieved over 9.1 million views globally and was even translated into nine languages, as per Yonhap News.
What’s more interesting is that the anime is created by Studio Mir, a studio famous for The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf and DOTA: Dragon’s Blood.
Now that the anime is finally released, here are some things you should know before getting into the series.
Netflix’s Korean webtoon adaptation Lookism: Plot, episodes, and more
Netflix has been many K-drama fans' first love because it was one of the first streaming platforms to bring Korean content to a global audience. It has released multiple webtoon-adaptations, but Lookism is the original series that many looked forward to. The original webtoon gained millions of reads and aimed at a story that put a mirror in front of societal beauty norms.
What is the story of Lookism?
The anime revolves around Park Hyung-seok (or Daniel Park in English), who is a constant target of bullies. The only reason for the same is because of his appearance. For all 17 years of his life, he has been constantly tormented and made fun of. His biggest bully is Lee Tae-sung.
Lee Tae-sung’s harassment leads to Hyung-seok transferring schools. While everything seemed okay at first, one day Hyung-seok wakes up to find himself in the body of a boy who ticks all the checkpoints of conventional beauty - tall, fair, six-pack abs, and toned up.
The twist is that Hyung-seok’s other body, the chubby one, stays beside him. Moreover, another crazy thing is that if he sleeps in one body, he wakes up in the other and vice versa. He never wakes up in the same body, which makes living with two different bodies (and personas) quite difficult.
Navigating life as two different people and the contrasting experiences forms the backbone of the story. It also delves into themes of body-shaming, bullying, friendships, and harmful societal expectations, among others.
How many episodes are there in Lookism?
The Netflix adaptation has a total of eight episodes, around 24 minutes each. All episodes were released together and are available to watch on Netflix.
The original Webtoon, title’s importance, and more
Published first in 2014, Lookism gained attraction for its realistic portrayal of school bullying and toxic beauty standards with a supernatural twist. The webtoon, written and illustrated by Park Tae-joon, was officially released on the Line Webtoon platform in 2017 in English and is an ongoing series.
As of December 9, 2022, the series released its latest episode, Ep. 416. It also has a massive 631.8M views and a 9.78/10 star rating, showcasing its global reach and popularity. The rise to fame wasn’t instant, as it brought forth controversial takes on bullying and societal harm in South Korea.
Meanwhile, the name itself is symbolic of the story. The word “Lookism” in the Korean language means “looks supremacy” and is referred to the preferential treatment people marking the checklist of conventional beauty standards get in South Korea.
Additionally, the anime attracted more attention when K-pop group ATEEZ were revealed to have lent their voices for their opening title track, LIKE THAT.
Lookism is now available to stream on Netflix.