Mask Girl is now number 2 on the top 10 Netflix shows worldwide, and its popularity is growing by the minute.
Mask Girl premiered on Netflix on August 18 and has been the talk of the town since its release. Based on the Korean webtoon of the same name, Mask Girl tells the story of Kim Mo Mi, an ordinary office worker. Self-conscious about her appearance but wanting to perform on stage, Kim Mo Mi becomes a broadcast streamer named “Mask Girl” every night, dancing while wearing a mask to hide her face. Her life takes a sharp turn downhill when she becomes involved in a crime.
Anyone who read the original Naver Webtoon may already know that there were significant differences between the K-Drama version of Mask Girl and the original webtoon version.
Here are three major differences.
1. Ju Oh Nam
In Mask Girl, Ju Oh Nam is Kim Mo Mi’s co-worker who is a massive fan of Mask Girl and secretly knows “Mask Girl” true identity.
Oh Nam was a chubby child growing up and bullied for his looks. Ostracized from others, he lived “invisibly” to avoid conflict and spent his time watching porn and talking with his life-sized dolls. Because he avoided eye contact with people and looked at their hands, he figured out who Mask Girl was when he realized she and his co-worker, Kim Mo Mi, had the same nail art.
He is a fan of her in both the K-Drama and the webtoon, but he differs in how he likes her. In the webtoon, Oh Nam likes Kim Mo Mi but also curses and speaks lowly of her. He also is a fan of other broadcast streamers, and Mask Girl was simply one of them. However, in the K-Drama, he truly supports Mask Girl and appears to like her as a person—to the point where he even kills a man for her.
The difference in how he likes Mask Girl also shows through the scene when Mask Girl gets drunk and strips on a live broadcast. In the K-Drama, Oh Nam is shocked by her behavior and covers the screen when she removes her clothes to protect her privacy. However, in the webtoon, he calls her out for being a woman who easily takes off her clothes in front of other men.
I like you. You dirty **!
— Ju Oh Nam
In the original webtoon, Ju Oh Nam doesn’t confess his feelings to Kim Mo Mi. Instead, he tells her that she used her body carelessly and gets stabbed by Mo Mi and dies. However, in the K-Drama, Ju Oh Nam gets killed by Mo Mi when he enters her house, enraged that she quit her job after killing a man. While he rapes her, he vows to protect her, but Kim Mo Mi gets on top of him and stabs him in the neck. During that short time, he impregnates her, and she has his child.
Therefore, in the K-Drama, it is clear that the father of Mo Mi’s daughter is Ju Oh Nam, whereas, in the webtoon, the father of her child isn’t clear. Audiences assume the father is one of the many men Mo Mi met after her surgery.
2. Kim Chun Ae
Another big difference between the webtoon and K-Drama versions of Mask Girl is Kim Chun Ae.
Chun Ae is a character who shares a similar background to Kim Mo Mi. She grew up unable to fit in with others and got plastic surgery to become beautiful.
In the K-Drama, Kim Chun Ae and Mo Mi meet by working as dancers at the same nightclub and become close. They become the top performers at the club and form a bond in which they support one another.
Chun Ae lies that she is Mo Mi and covers for her to protect her from Ju Oh Nam’s vengeful mother, Kim Kyung Ja. At the end of her journey, she even dies for Mo Mi after getting shot, and this traumatic experience influences Mo Mi to turn herself into the police.
However, in the webtoon, they hate one another. Unlike the K-Drama, Chun Ae decides to hand Mo Mi over to Kyung Ja, only for Mo Mi to find out and make Chun Ae pass out. Mo Mi then gives a passed-out Chun Ae to Kyung Ja, convincing her that the body is Mo Mi. Then Kyung Ja kills her, believing that Chun Ae is Mo Mi.
3. Kim Mo Mi
The main character, Kim Mo Mi, also went through significant changes in the show adaptation of Mask Girl.
In the K-Drama, Mo Mi turns herself in for killing Oh Nam and goes to jail, which leaves her no choice but to leave her child, Mi Mo, with her mother. Even in prison, she attempts to break out to protect her daughter, showing her motherly side.
However, Mo Mi does not show growth in the webtoon and is selfish until the end. She doesn’t turn herself in; in fact, she leaves Mi Mo with her mother and tries to flee to Japan but gets caught and goes to jail. Also, when she tries to jailbreak, it’s not to protect her daughter but to get reconstruction surgery for her face that was falling apart from getting too many surgeries.
In the webtoon, Mo Mi remains problematic after giving birth to Mi Mo. She often leaves her daughter with her mom and meets many men. She is an unstable mother who throws her daughter into the street and brings men home when Mi Mo is home. This caused Mi Mo to be scared that she would be left behind.
Also, in the original, Mi Mo’s friend Ye Chun saves Mi Mo from Kyung Ja, but in the K-Drama, Mo Mi, her mother, and Ye Chun all go to rescue Mi Mo together. Mo Mi even sacrifices herself for her daughter—unlike the webtoon.
What are your thoughts on the changes?