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Novel vs Webtoon adaptation of His Barcode Tattoo

His Barcode Tattoo is a Web-Novel written by author Ivy Song. In October 2016 it was first published under Tapas as an original novel. Later in 2017, July Wishroomness lends their art and brought the characters alive.

In this short review, I will be talking about the novel and the webtoon of His Barcode Tattoo. This is just my opinion. Obviously, you guys might not agree with everything but that is all right.

This will not be a side-by-side comparison but more of a ‘which one is better to read if you have to read it’.
I have written two separate reviews about the web-novel and the webtoon. You can read The mess in the novel His Barcode Tattoo HERE and Is the webtoon His Barcode Tattoo worth your Ink? – His Barcode Tattoo Webtoon Review HERE.

His Barcode Tattoo – Web-Novel

  • Author: Ivy Song
  • Genre: Romance
  • Idea : 5/10
  • Writing : 2 / 10
  • Story: 3/10
  • Status: Completed
  • Overall rating: 3.5 out of 10

His Barcode Tattoo – Webtoon

  • Author & Artist: Ivy Song & Wishroomness
  • Story:  4 out of 10  
  • Art: 8.5 out of 10
  • Genre: Same as source 
  • Status: Completed
  • Overall rating:  7 out of 10

If you are one of the few lucky ones who have not heard of what His Barcode Tattoo is about, then reading the synopsis will not give you any idea at all. 

But we will put it here anyway for you to read. 

Both the Novel and the Webtoon have the same description.

“I wondered if people noticed it, the numbers. It wasn’t long before I realized I was the only one who saw them. I found out what the numbers meant when I was fifteen. The numbers that appeared on the neck of every person I met…predicted when and where they would die. I was the only one who knew when someone would expire. But Sehun was different from the others. He didn’t have a bar code.” – Source Tapas. 

Of both versions, the webtoon is more popular and well known.
But both are one of Tapas best selling. The Web-Novel even after almost 5 years is the 3rd Trending series in Romance, 4th in All Genres. And is still on the top 15 Popular Romance Series with about 285.6k views, 209k subscribers, and 8.8k likes.
And the Webtoon is doing even better. With 1.7M views, 108k subscribers, and 141.9k likes it is in the Top 50 of the Popular Romance Premium Comic list even though it came out in 2017.

Unfortunately, that was not the case as you can see in the ratings. I really try to be fair when I am reviewing or giving out the overall rate. But truth be told, I am biased of Wishroomness art. Wishroomness is the author and artist for the Line Webtoon Original Nice To Meet You. You can check my review about it HERE. It was our Valentine Special this year. I gave Nice To Meet You an overall of 9.5. A sweet well-written romance that leaves its readers full of joy.

The art played a BIG deal when I gave the His Barcode Tattoo webtoon its overall rating.
No matter how ridiculous the story was the art redeemed half of it. The color and the design of the characters were good. If I could just ignore the lack of everything the story had to offer and only focus on the art then this is a sweet short read.

But no matter how good the art was it couldn’t hide the lack of story that plagued His Barcode Tattoo.

My main problem with His Barcode Tattoo was the story itself. When you read the synopsis and the prologue, you are promised a good romance fictional story.
But by the end of the second chapter in you are bamboozled by horrible pacing and bad writing. The fifth chapter ends and you are left with nothing. There are plot holes, ridiculous fast pace, and zero character development. Inconsistency of POV and unnecessary cliches that were supposed to be seen as sweet.
Not only the story is less developed but so are the characters. Throughout the story, nothing really changes for them. Or do they.
And then the plot that is so…………..meh.

Which is such a shame. Because the prologue was so gripping and good. But it just falls flat.

The webtoon is better in this sense than the web-novel. Since you do not have to read the writing and can see what is happening it transactions better. And the art is cute. So that redeemed it for me.

I spent about 12 dollars in total to read both the Web-Novel and Webtoon of His Barcode Tattoo. And in the end, I felt cheated.
In 2016 when His Barcode Tattoo was published maybe these types of stories worked but now surrounded by other good stories you can see the mess that His Barcode Tattoo Novel is.

It was such a unique concept but the author couldn’t properly execute it. The artist tried their best.

At the end of the two, the webtoon did a better job at expressing the story than the novel did.
With the help of this beautiful art, the webtoon provided us with a better reading experience than the novel could. But the core problems that plagued the novel -fast pace, no character development, lack of secondary characters or their purpose, cliched and dramatic plot twists that changed halfway in the story changing into something new and lack of consequences in anything- leaves a bitter aftertaste as one reads any of them.

Each chapters in the novel has only a handful of comments and most are like this.

So check out the webtoon for the beautiful art done by the artist – click here– not for the story which was poorly written, especially the web-novel – click here – that it was based on unless you enjoy half-baked ideas that couldn’t be properly executed.

Or you are bored and looking for something sweet to read and don’t really care about plot and plot holes.

As I mentioned above, this is just my own opinion. But what is yours? Let me know about them in the comments.

Until then, happy reading!

Ps. You guys can follow Hana Reads on Instagram and Twitter. Not all of the webtoons that we read makes it to the blog. So we are sharing about them there. Hope you guys check us out!


5 thoughts on “Novel vs Webtoon adaptation of His Barcode Tattoo

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