The Girl Downstairs: A Tale of Romance and Reinvention


The Girl Downstairs, has taken the internet by storm, captivating audiences with its heartwarming story of love, second chances, and the hidden lives people lead. But what exactly is “The Girl Downstairs”? This article explores the origins, plot, adaptations, and cultural impact of this multimedia phenomenon.

The Girl Downstairs

From Webtoon to Global Sensation: The Birth of “The Girl Downstairs”

“The Girl Downstairs” began its journey in 2019 as a South Korean webtoon titled “Iduna!” created by Min Songa. Webtoons are digital comics popular in Asia, known for their vertical scrolling format and vibrant storytelling. “Iduna!” quickly gained a dedicated following for its unique blend of romance and slice-of-life elements.

The story revolves around college freshman Yuan Jun Tang, who harbors a secret crush on his high school senior, Zhu Zhu. When he moves into a new apartment building, fate intervenes. He encounters a mysterious and captivating young woman named Doona living in the apartment below. As their lives intertwine, Jun Tang discovers Doona’s hidden past as a former K-Pop idol named Shiya who abruptly retired from the spotlight.

The webtoon’s success lies in its relatable characters and exploration of themes that resonate with young adults. Jun Tang’s journey of self-discovery and navigating the complexities of love is mirrored by Doona’s struggle to forge a new identity outside the demanding world of K-Pop. The webtoon delves into themes of following your dreams, facing societal pressures, and the importance of friendship.

A Multi-Faceted Adaptation: From Webtoon to Animation and Beyond

The immense popularity of “Iduna!” led to its adaptation into a Chinese donghua (animation) series titled “The Girl Downstairs” in 2023. The donghua stays true to the webtoon’s essence, capturing the vibrant visuals and heartwarming narrative. The animation boasts a unique style that complements the story and characters.

Following the success of the donghua, a live-action adaptation is set to premiere on Netflix in October 2023. This much-anticipated live-action version has generated excitement amongst fans, eager to see how the story translates to a different medium.

The transmedia journey of “The Girl Downstairs” highlights the growing trend of webtoons gaining global recognition and inspiring adaptations across various platforms.

Beyond Romance: Exploring the Underlying Themes

“The Girl Downstairs” offers more than just a charming romance. Here’s a deeper look at some of the themes explored in the story:

Finding Yourself: Doona’s journey resonates with anyone who has ever felt lost or unsure of their path. Leaving behind a successful but demanding K-Pop career, she grapples with redefining her identity and pursuing her true passions.

Following Your Dreams: The narrative encourages chasing your dreams, even if they differ from societal expectations. Jun Tang’s support for Doona’s artistic aspirations highlights the importance of following your heart.

The Pressures of Fame: The story sheds light on the dark side of the K-Pop industry, where idols face immense pressure and scrutiny. Doona’s struggle reflects the human cost of achieving fame at a young age.

Importance of Friendship: Both Jun Tang and Doona find solace and support in their newfound friendship. The story emphasizes the power of connection and the positive influence friends can have on your life.

The “The Girl Downstairs” Phenomenon: Fan Theories and Cultural Impact

The captivating storyline and relatable characters have fueled a vibrant online community. Here are some interesting aspects of the “The Girl Downstairs” phenomenon:

Fan Theories: Fans actively engage in online discussions, dissecting character motivations and plot points. Theories abound regarding Doona’s decision to leave K-Pop, the nature of her relationship with Jun Tang, and the potential involvement of other characters.

Cosplay and Fan Art: The series has inspired a dedicated cosplay community, with fans recreating the characters’ unique styles. Additionally, talented artists have created stunning fan art depicting scenes and characters from the webtoon, animation, and live-action trailer.

Global Recognition: “The Girl Downstairs” has transcended geographical boundaries, garnering a global fanbase. The story’s themes of young love, self-discovery, and following your dreams resonate with audiences worldwide.

Boost to Webtoon Industry: The success of “The Girl Downstairs” has further propelled the popularity of webtoons, introducing this format to a wider audience. This paves the way for other webtoon creators to gain recognition and potentially see their stories adapted into different media.


What is “The Girl Downstairs”?

“The Girl Downstairs” can refer to two things:

A 2023 South Korean manhwa (comic) written and illustrated by Min Songa. Also known as “Doona!”, it’s a romance story about a college freshman and his connection with two girls, including his downstairs neighbor. You can find it on the Line Webtoon platform.

A Chinese donghua (animation) adaptation of the manhwa, also titled “The Girl Downstairs.” It premiered in April 2023 and follows the same storyline.

What’s the story about?

The story centers around Yuan Jun Tang, a college freshman who develops feelings for his high school senior, Zhu Zhu. He moves into an apartment building hoping to be closer to her. However, his plans take a turn when he meets the quirky and interesting girl who lives downstairs, sparking a new connection.

Is it a romance?

Yes, “The Girl Downstairs” is a romance story with a love triangle element. Jun Tang wrestles with his feelings for Zhu Zhu and the unexpected connection he forms with his downstairs neighbor.

What genre is it?

The genre is primarily romance, but it also incorporates elements of slice-of-life, following the daily experiences of the characters.

Is there a live-action adaptation?

Yes, a live-action adaptation is set to premiere on Netflix in October 2023. Stay tuned for updates!

Where can I watch the donghua?

The donghua adaptation, “The Girl Downstairs,” is available on streaming platforms like Viki with English subtitles.

Is there a sequel?

As of June 2024, there is no news of a sequel for either the manhwa or the donghua. However, the manhwa has a complete story with 22 episodes.

Is “The Girl Downstairs” popular?

Yes, the story gained popularity on the Line Webtoon platform and received positive reviews for its characters and storyline. The donghua adaptation also garnered interest for its animation style.

Who are the main characters?

Yuan Jun Tang: The protagonist, a college freshman caught in a love triangle.

Zhu Zhu: Jun Tang’s high school senior crush.

(Downstairs Girl’s Name): The name of the girl downstairs isn’t explicitly stated in the manhwa, but viewers can infer it from the adaptation.

Should I check out “The Girl Downstairs”?

If you enjoy romantic stories with a charming cast and a touch of humor, “The Girl Downstairs” might be a perfect fit for you. Whether you prefer the manhwa format or the animated donghua, there’s an option to dive into this story.

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