Tapas is an app that can be viewed on your smart phone, tablet, or computer. Tapas offers online comics and uses its own currency, ink, which functions like digital tokens that you purchase. You then pay for the comics with ink. You can also earn ink by looking at advertisements, etc. Tapas is also now a home of Clean Sweep Comic.
Some of you asked for recommendations on what to read on Tapas. My reading tastes are eclectic, so your mileage may vary.
Before we begin, let’s talk about 2 key concepts, which are very common in Asian-inspired comics.
Isekai – “other world” in Japanese and it’s a genre of fantasy and science fiction where the character is transported to another world. Never Ending Story is an isekai story. The character enters another world in some capacity and their actions affect it.
Transmigration – soul travelling, a genre of fantasy and science fiction where the character’s soul is transported into another body. A character may go back in time to when they were younger and find themselves back into their younger body – temporal transmigration. A character might find themselves in the body of a different person – physical transmigration. A character might find themselves in the body of a person from a different world – isekai transmigration.
Action: The World is a Video Game
Here Solo Leveling reigns supreme. Nothing is better.
The world has turned into a video game. Portals have opened all over the place leading to “dungeons,” pocket dimensions filled with monsters. Simultaneously, some people developed magical abilities. These hunters enter the dungeons to plunder the resources and to eliminate the monsters, because unless the dungeon boss is disposed off in a certain time frame, the dungeon will break, releasing the monsters onto the city streets and casualties will be catastrophic.
The hunters are graded based on their abilities. This is the story of a hunter named Sung Jinwoo, Rank E. He is the lowest ranked hunter in the world.
This is also the story of how he becomes the most powerful hunter in the world.
How it started:
How it’s going:
Long live the Monarch of Shadows.
This is a must read for any action fan. It is an incredible work.
Level Up with the Gods
A massive tower appeared in the world, each level as big as a small state. Within the tower chosen warriors battle through each level, trying to perfect their skills. It is a place where inner gods and heroes roam: Zeus, Hercules, Monkey God, Asura, Merlin, Vishnu…Among them Yuwon Kim, a talented fighter. The inner gods reach the top of the tower and encounter the Outer Gods, ancient forces beyond their imagining. They lose the battle, the war, and everything, and Yuwon Kim is sent back through time by Kronos into his younger body. He must climb the tower again, and this time he cannot make any mistakes.
My Master is a Backseat Gamer
Same set up, the world is a video game, and… an ancient incredibly powerful martial arts master from another world ends up being turned into a spirit, sucked into this world, and gets attached to Hyunsoo, who is a very small fry in this very big fighter ocean. So he gets saddled with this very opinionated ghost who is invisible to everyone but him and who decides to teach him martial arts. Hilarity ensues.
Also Kill the Hero is great.
Romance: Gowns and Business
I Shall Master This Family
This is slow burn, because the story starts when they are children. It’s a world of nobles, kings, and great merchant families. A little bit of Italy, a bit of the intrigue of Madrid Court. Our young heroine is the only child of the youngest of three sons that belong to an enormously powerful family. Her mother was a servant and she is treated badly by her uncles and cousins despite her talents. Her father dies of illness, and although she develops a relationship with her grandfather, his health also declines. She lives long enough to see her uncles bring the powerful family of Lombardi to a complete ruin.
She is reborn in the body of her much younger self and is determined to not let it happen again. This is an adorable comic. Impossibly adorable heroine, lots of competence fun, and of course, there is a prince…
I’m the Tyrant’s Secretary
Have you seen What’s Eating Secretary Kim? Yep, this is just like that. Except he is a tyrant, she is a noble lady, and she keeps trying to keep him from killing people.
Romance: Sword and Gown
Okay, before we get into it, unexpectedly sexy art in this one.
Lady Rosentine Arzen is born with the ability to see and communicate with ghosts, which is an offense punishable by death. She learns of a plot to murder the members of the Imperial family and to keep her family safe, she disguises herself as a servant and enters the employ of Prince Charteris. Who continues to be remarkably handsome for the entirety of the comic I have read so far. He has an older brother. He is also handsome.
This one is a bit darker in art and in tone.
I wasn’t the Cinderella
Terryl is a pretty young woman who is clever and strong-willed, but she is of low birth. Despite that, she ended up in a relationship with a Jemon Debrik, a noble, son of a Marquis. She endures a lot of humiliation and rumors. The entire family treats her like dirt except for Cesio, Jemon’s older brother. Cesio is in a wheelchair. He can’t talk. He is a bastard, as in born out of wedlock, but he is kind.
Jemon gets engaged to a princess and dumps our girl like a hot potato. Enraged and hurt, Terryl tries to pick up the pieces of her life, but the joke is on her ex-boyfriend. Turns out she is a daughter of a duke. From the North! We all know how those Northern Dukes are like, with the furs and swords and monster hunting. Winter is coming, and her name is Terryl.
Other titles int he same vein: The Villainess is a Marionette (pretty but meanders), Roxana (seriously screwed up dark romance), The Falcon Princess (she is a falcon, literally,) How to Hide the Emperor’s Child (legit, by the book secret baby.)
50 tea recipes from the Duchess
Not a personal favorite, but this is very popular. I may have to try it again.
Duchess Chloe Battenberg is a doormat. Her husband treats her poorly, her servants bully her, the society things she is spineless. And then an office worker from our world transmigrates into her body and she is done taking everyone’s crap. Also she likes tea. A lot. Tea can be a weapon.
The Millionaire Divorcee
Duchess Alicia was married to a duke. He cheated. She divorced him. She received a hefty financial settlement. She opens a jewelry shop. Don’t call her the ex-Duchess. Call her CEO.
Cute, sweet, low angst. Could’ve been filed under business as well, but it’s more of a cozy.
Not Sew Wicked Stepmom
Oh dear God. Okay, so this is a really good retelling of the Snow White. Our heroine used to be a clothes designer until she woke up in the body what is very clearly Snow White’s stepmother. Except that Snow White is named Princess Blanche and our heroine is named Abigail. Abigail’s husband hates her and refuses to have marital relations, everyone is scared of her, and when she smiles, she looks like a serial killer.
But Abigail is a very kind person who adores her new stepdaughter. She might not be a great wife, but poor Blanche doesn’t deserve to be treated badly. She is going to fix things. And gowns. The corsets have to go.
It is sweet and adorable. And yes, there is a living mirror.
I was going to give you martial arts stuff but I am too tired. This should get you started.