“Semantic Error” has been ranked number one on the streaming platform WATCHA for eight weeks in a row, and it is now releasing photo essays, a soundtrack, and a script book. In addition, the director discusses season 2 of the drama. Considering the fact that BL dramas have never been a major genre in K-drama, the success of “Sentientic Error” demonstrates the genre’s potential. What makes the BL genre so appealing in the K-drama industry?
According to Kyobo bookstore statistics, 96% of those who purchased BL books were females between the ages of 20 and 40. For those readers, the BL genre is regarded as the safest option for experiencing fantasy without putting too much emotion into it. This builds a strong fanbase that supports the drama adaptation of the original novel or webtoon, as “Semantic Error” did.
The rise of fandom in the BL genre is hastening the adaptation of BL dramas. Beginning with “Blueming,” more BL genre novels or webtoons are being adapted into dramas these days. BL dramas used to be low-budget, but major content creation companies are now investing in them. Because when a drama is successful, the revenue of a novel or webtoon increases. According to Ridi, the publishing company behind the original web novel “Semantic Error,” novel sales increased sixfold after the drama aired.
Another effect of “Semantic Error’s” success in the K-drama industry is that BL drama fans no longer need to discuss BL genres in secret. They freely discuss and share their favorite scenes in online communities without fear of being judged because the drama they are watching is at the top of the ratings.
“Semantic Error” began as a novel and progressed to a webtoon, audio drama, and OTT drama. This success with one-source multi-use (OSMU) is likely to attract production companies, and the BL could become a major part of K-drama in the coming years.
*Check out the “Semantic Error” Photo Essay, which features behind-the-scenes footage and previously unseen images.