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8 Animated Series Like Lookism You Must Watch

December 11, 2022

Based on the manhwa series written and illustrated by Park Tae-joon, Lookism is a South Korean animated series from Netflix that tells the story of Park Hyung-seok, a short and overweight teenager who is bullied at school. After observing this, his mother decides to send him to a better school, although she cannot afford it. On his first day there, Hyung-seok finds himself in the body of a tall, handsome, and athletic young man. He soon finds that his old body is still there, and every time he falls asleep in one body, the other awakens.

Hoping for a new beginning, Hyung-seok attends school in his second body and has very different experiences than ever before, which makes him realize how superficial the world can be. If you’ve seen Lookism and liked it, here’s a list of recommendations that might suit your taste. You can watch most of these animated series similar to Lookism on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Crunchyroll, or Funimation.

8. Punch Line (2015)

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An original Japanese anime, Punch Line is an ecchi, supernatural series about Yuuta Iridatsu, a boy who gains superpowers by looking at women’s underwear. However, if he looks at women’s underwear twice in quick succession, the world will be destroyed by a meteor. During a bus kidnapping, Yuuta’s soul leaves his body, and he is now looking for a special book to bind his soul back to his body. Compared to Lookism and other shows on this list, Punch Line is a silly show. But even in this series, a literal out-of-body experience plays an important role in the plot.

7. The Spectacular Spider-Man (2008-2009)

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There have been several animated series based on Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man over the years. ‘The Spectacular Spider-Man’ is on the list because it covers Peter’s school life in detail. Each season of the series revolves around a semester that Peter completes at Midtown Manhattan Magnet High School. The series cleverly balances Peter’s battle against his rogue gallery and his interactions with his friends. In many ways, Hyung-seok’s new body can be considered a superhero costume. When he uses it, he can really be himself, and the world becomes less harsh. The same principle applies to Peter’s transformation into Spider-Man. The anonymity of the mask gives him the opportunity to be his true self.

6. The Simpsons (1989-)

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Widely considered one of the greatest animated series of all time, The Simpsons tells the story of the nuclear family of the same name. Each member of this family is fundamentally different from the others. The Simpsons are the way their creators see the world around them. Several other series have developed a similar narrative format over the years, but none have managed to emulate the characterization. The Simpsons has certain episodes where the bodies are switched, just like Lookism.

5. BoJack Horseman (2014-2020)

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‘BoJack Horseman’ is not an easily accessible animated series. It is full of references to addiction, alcohol and drug abuse, depression, trauma, racism, sexism, sexuality and self-destructive behavior. Set in a world where humans and anthropomorphic animals coexist, the series revolves around the eponymous character, a failed actor who struggles to find fame again after the publication of his memoir. But things aren’t going the way BoJack had hoped. BoJack’s over-reliance on his life and popularity as an actor reminds us of Hyung-seok’s physique. Also, several characters in Lookism constantly struggle with psychological and emotional issues due to bullying and aren’t all that different from the characters in BoJack Horseman.

4. Komi Cannot Communicate (2021-)

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‘Komi Can’t Communicate’ is a Japanese anime based on a manga series written and illustrated by Tomohito Oda. When Shouko Koimi enrolls at the elite Itan Private High School, her stoic beauty and elegant demeanor turn all of her classmates into her fans. To most, Komi seems extremely quiet, distant, and unavailable, but Tadano, the exceptionally average but remarkably perceptive boy in Komi’s class, realizes that she has trouble communicating with others and has no friends. Tadano then becomes her first boyfriend and helps her in her efforts to get out of her shell. Like Hyung-seok, Komi’s looks mislead people to the wrong conclusions. Throughout the series, Komi faces this problem with Tadano’s help, but it keeps happening to her, much to her despair.

3. Birdy the Mighty: Decode (2008-2009)

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Another manga adaptation, Birdy the Mighty: Decode tells the story of Birdy Cephon Altera, a Federation agent and member of an alien race known as the Altan. While completing her quest to capture alien criminals hiding on Earth, Birdy accidentally kills Tsutomu Senkawa, an ordinary high school boy. In desperation to save Tsutomu, Birdy fuses the two together so that Tsutomu’s body can be repaired. The concept of body swapping works differently in Birdy the Mighty: Decode than in Lookism, but in both series they serve as the primary plot device.

2. Kokoro Connect (2012)

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Kokoro Connect is an anime gem based on a Japanese light novel series written by Sadanatsu Anda and illustrated by Shiromizakana. The plot revolves around the members of the Student Cultural Research Club at a high school. These students draw the attention of a being calling themselves the Heartseed, which is causing most of the strange phenomena that the Student Cultural Research Club is subjected to. The very first of these is the personality swap, where Heartseed takes the ghost exchanged with his subjects. As in Lookism, the exchange allows characters to take a broader perspective.

1. When I Woke Up I Became a Bagel Girl (2019)

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Like Lookism, When I Woke Up I Became a Bagel Girl is a South Korean animated series based on a Tank Guy manhwa. The similarities don’t stop there, however. The story is about Jeong Bong-gi, a short and overweight man in his 20s who wakes up one day to find that he has turned into a girl. The term bagel girl refers to women with an innocent face and a voluptuous body. At first, Bong-gi is embarrassed and worried about the transformation, but with the help of his friends, he learns how to live as a woman.