Na Author's Instagram / tvN

"My Roommate is a Gumiho" is one of the most popular romantic comedy K-Dramas of 2021. It tells the unorthodox story of two unlikely roommates.

The drama stars Jang KiYong as a nine-tailed fox (a gumiho in Korean folk literature) named Shin WooYeo, HyeRi as a history major in university named Lee Dam, and Kang HanNa who plays the role of a nine-tailed fox turned human named Yang HyeSun. Kim DoWan also plays a university student (Lee Dam's close friend) by the name of Do JaeJin and rising actor Bae InHyuk plays the role of a popular university student named Gye SeonWoo.

Shin WooYeo and Lee Dam end up living together due to an unfortunate circumstance that has both of their lives on the line. Lee Dam accidentally swallows the marble that holds the power to turn Shin WooYeo into a human.

The drama has been getting a lot of positive attention lately for this unique storyline and its casting. HyeRi, especially, has been praised by netizens for her quirky comedic charm. You can read up about some of her funniest moments in the first episodes of the drama here. It has been one of the most anticipated webtoon-based dramas of the year and is living up to the hype.

However, with any webtoon-to-drama adaptation comes differences. This list will explore the creative license and differences between the webtoon and K-Drama version of "My Roommate is a Gumiho."

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Episodes 1 to 6 of the K-Drama and the corresponding webtoon episodes. 

 

1. Shin WooYeo's and Lee Dam's ages

In the webtoon, Shin WooYeo was born in the 12th year of King YeJong of the Goryeo dynasty and his age is stated as 900 years old. Which is a shock to Lee Dam who is 27 years old (born in 1994). She shows him respect by bowing to the ground.

However, in the K-Drama, Shin Woo Yeo is 999 years old compared to Lee Dam's 22 years. Not only is Lee Dam younger, but Shin WooYeo's age being one year short of 1000 ups the stakes. He only has 1000 years to turn into a human being. For the show writers to make him 999 years old, meaning that he only has one year left to achieve his goal, adds some suspense to the drama. His relationship with Lee Dam is really all or nothing.

 6 Differences Between The "My Roommate Is A Gumiho" Webtoon And K-Drama

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2. Lee Dam's friend circle

In the webtoon, Lee Dam's immediate friend circle consists of Do JaeJin and another guy, Lee YunSang (who is characterized to be a super blunt person) and Lee YunSang's girlfriend Park HaGyeong.

Whereas in the K-Drama, her main trio is made up of herself, Do JaeJin, and a third girl Choi SooKyung (played by Park KyungHye) instead.

 6 Differences Between The "My Roommate Is A Gumiho" Webtoon And K-Drama

tvN

Not only that but in the webtoon, her close friends are all born in the year of the rooster. This is inconvenient because Shin WooYeo explicitly tells her to avoid men who were born in that year because physical contact with them can make her sick.

In the drama, she doesn't have to avoid her friends. So, they don’t have any problems with physical contact. She only has to avoid Gye SunWoo because he was born in a different year.

 6 Differences Between The "My Roommate Is A Gumiho" Webtoon And K-Drama

Lee Dam dragging drunk Do JaeJin (tvN)

As a result of this difference, the sole reason she avoids Gye SeonWoo in the drama changes. In the drama, she avoided physical contact with him because of the year he was born. However, in the webtoon, she just seems to find him scary and avoids him for that reason.

 6 Differences Between The "My Roommate Is A Gumiho" Webtoon And K-Drama

tvN

 

3. The gumiho's first appearance

In the webtoon, when Lee Dam wakes up, Shin WooYeo already has his tails out and they’re attached to his human form. He then changes the rest of his body into a fox.

In the K-Drama, she wakes up to find him in his regular human form and he only shows his gumiho form to prove that he’s telling the truth about who he is. He never shows his human form with tails attached.  

 6 Differences Between The "My Roommate Is A Gumiho" Webtoon And K-Drama

"My Roommate is a Gumiho" Screenshot

 

4. Lee Dam's living situation and mode of transport

In the webtoon version of "My Roommate is a Gumiho," Lee Dam lives alone which makes moving into Shin WooYeo's house a lot easier. In the drama, she lives with her brother whom she has to convince and lie to about going to live with another friend to prepare for a competition. This becomes important later when her mom is back in the country and wants to see her, but doesn't know where she lives.

 6 Differences Between The "My Roommate Is A Gumiho" Webtoon And K-Drama

"My Roommate is a Gumiho" Screenshot

She also uses the bus to commute to school in the drama but uses the subway in the webtoon. Although this tiny detail doesn't change much about the story, it does add some logistical aspects to certain scenes.

 

5. The way Shin WooYeo uses his magic

He uses his powers more freely in the webtoon, even to do trivial things like moving around books for Dam.

In the drama, he first uses them in an emergency situation when she almost throws up in his ancient vases and he levitates them to prevent the situation. He tends to only use it when necessary, like when he has to erase someone's memories or teleport somewhere.

 6 Differences Between The "My Roommate Is A Gumiho" Webtoon And K-Drama

Shin WooYeo uses magic to pause time ("My Roommate is a Gumiho" Screenshot)

 

6. Characterization and writing style

Shin WooYeo’s character in the webtoon is also more arrogant. He tries to make it seem like she is lucky to be living with him because he is so good-looking. In the drama, he never even mentions his looks.

The webtoon has a more casual tone and the characters diss each other freely and exchange banter. Some of the characters are crasser, too. Although this is simply a stylistic difference, it can be surprising for viewers who have watched the drama first because the characters seem more innocent. However, it gives the webtoon more of a realistic feel because it feels like the characters just speak like everyday people. 

 

The author's thoughts about the drama?

The author of the original webtoon, who goes by Na, has been supporting the show since the production stages on her Instagram. She has even posted a picture of a coffee truck for the cast and crew of the drama, saying that she supports every single person working on the adaptation. As well as, a photo of her going over the K-Drama script. It is great to see her invested in the new version of her story, too.

 

There are several differences between both the webtoon and the K-Drama, some small and some big, but one thing remains the same - "My Roommate is a Gumiho," is one of the best pieces of content we've gotten this year. What other differences have you spotted between the two?

 

If you would like to read about more K-Dramas that are different from their webtoons, check out this article.

 

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