K-pop boy groups NCT and RIIZE will be immortalized in an upcoming webtoon and webnovel series produced by Kakao. The two projects are a partnership with SM Entertainment, as part of the agency’s plans to expand its K-pop IP portfolio.
In a statement, Kakao Entertainment said: “It is meaningful in that it is the first storytelling IP collaboration with SM Entertainment, which has led global K-pop trends. We plan to continue to carry out various projects on storytelling IP targeting the global market in the future.”
Exploring dreams with NCT webtoon
The first project is the NCT-focused webtoon, NCT: Dream Contact. The writers for the project are ZQ, Seogeul and Kim Ho-Ae. The five-episode webtoon launches on Aug 18, 2023 at 10PM KST. Fans will be able to read it on Kakao’s webtoon platforms Kakao Webtoon, Kakao Page, Tapas and Piccoma.
However, don’t expect to see real-life members of NCT as characters in the webtoon. Instead, the series will take inspiration from the group’s fictional universe, where people communicate through dreams and become one with music.
NCT: Dream Contact is part of the promotional campaign for NCT’s upcoming fourth studio album Golden Age, which drops on Aug 28. The group is also preparing for its upcoming NCT Nation: To The World concert, despite the absence of member Taeil. He is currently recovering from a motorcycle accident which fractured his right thigh.
Riize webnovel tells their story
Created to celebrate the rookie group’s upcoming debut, the eight-episode webnovel Rise & Realize chronicles RIIZE’s ongoing journey. Each episode will appear on the Kakao Page platform beginning Aug 19. It was written by Kim Hoe-Ae, with special illustrations by artists Nak Di and Dogan.
The novel is based on the group’s identity and name, which means “a team that grows together and realizes dreams.” It is a youth drama that depicts the characters’ stories as they overcome growing pains, and the challenges of being in a K-pop group.
The characters in the webnovel will also be based on RIIZE group members. Fans will be able to read about their personal experiences, and learn a bit more about their vibrant personalities. The webnovel is just the latest achievement for RIIZE, ahead of their first international performance at KCON LA.