Debut or Die


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A student who was preparing the Civil Service examination for 4th year, suddenly he found himself in an unfamiliar body 3 years ago.

As well as a status window displaying a threat in front of his eyes!

[Outbreak!] [Status Abnormality: ‘Debut or Death’ Occurs!] A diary about the transformation of the main character, who was suddenly challenged to be an idol even though he has never been in the industry before due to sudden threat of death.

※Speciality: He used to take and sell idol’s data.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Debut or Die
I'll Die If I Fail to Debut
If I Fail to Debut, I’ll Get a Killer Disease
데뷔 못 하면 죽는 병 걸림
Related Series
Debut or Die Magazine (Same Franchise)
The Trashy PD Has To Survive as an Idol (8)
When I Opened My Eyes I Was a Superstar (5)
Superstar From Age 0 (3)
Fanservice Paradox (2)
Become a Star (2)
Entertainment Life With A Camera (2)
Recommendation Lists
  1. super underrated stories you should absolutely rea...
  2. Best Showbiz Novels
  3. The best of the best
  4. K-novel
  5. My babies

Latest Release

Date Group Release
06/06/23 Readhive c191
06/05/23 Readhive c190
06/03/23 Readhive c189
06/02/23 Readhive c188
06/01/23 Readhive c187
05/31/23 Readhive c186
05/30/23 Readhive c185
05/23/23 Readhive c184
05/22/23 Readhive c183
05/20/23 Readhive c182
05/19/23 Readhive c181
05/18/23 Readhive c180
05/17/23 Readhive c179
05/16/23 Readhive c178
05/15/23 Readhive c177
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57 Reviews sorted by

New Scarla_853 rated it
June 5, 2023
Status: c476
I completed Part 1 of this novel not long ago and feel like I want to write down something.

The story is good, like really good. Perhaps the author themselves is familiar with KPOP idol industry, since I can't think of any reason apart from that. The concepts, songs, survival shows, even the song lyrics feel real and genuine. And Moondae being OP and smart is a bonus, even though I'm not the type to particularly prefer capable MCs.

The reason I gave it a 4 star and not 5 star, however,... more>> is because it feels like the story is stretched down the road. I know it's a common thing among fantasy novels, but still, I hope it could have focused more on solving the matters at hand. Though I guess people liking fantasy elements e.g. System, causal loop etc. Will enjoy the new elements added. This is just my subjective opinion so I'll leave it at this.

Still, the story is probably the best among Korean idol novels I've read. <<less
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New rizuuumi rated it
May 30, 2023
Status: c286
easily one of my top 5 novels. It touches all the points of the idol industry that it makes you wonder if the author has had personal experience with it themself!

this novel isn't centered around the fact that the MC has the help of a game-like system, and he also doesn't heavily rely on it. Although it is a major plot point in the story, it doesn't overshine any other elements. With the fact that the MC is an unreliable narrator, we get to see how he grows and begins... more>> to care more and more for the people and things around him and how they treat him in return, which is extremely cute!!

every character has their own personality, and they often get arcs centered around them which continues to give them more depth. Definitely read this novel if you love the found family trope and seeing how self-love begins to come about. I haven't gotten bored of debut or die even once, and I think everyone should read it :) it's definitely a story that has way more to do than living as an idol. <<less
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Lynnezh rated it
April 5, 2022
Status: c425
I truly love this novel so much, I can assure you that is a masterpiece.

Did you know that last year (December 2021) it won the second place in the category of "Best novel of the year" hold at Kakaopage? Now (December 2022) it has won the award of Popular work in the drama webtoon category, Best new webtoon, Best consistent seller in the category of modern fantasy web novels, Most commented series (760 thousand comments), and Readers' favorite series.

Did you also know that the characters have their own birthdays and... more>> since the novel is so popular, there are interviews with each character (in their birthday date) and is published with offers and a raffle of special gifts for the fans in Kakaopage?

And yeah, there is a lot of fan merch, but there is also official merch!!!

It's the first idol novel that is so succesful!! Korean fans love that the author Baek DeokSoo-nim has too much knoweledge about the idol industry that it seems he/she belongs or belonged to that industry.

And I love not only that, Baek DeokSoo-nim has created well the personalities and physical and psychological struggles of each character, so you end loving and worrying for each of them.


If you want to read in spanish or english +400 chapters, ask me here or trough fb (you can find me as Vii Lynnezh)

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Tintl rated it
August 11, 2021
Status: c10
I'm currently really interested in producer 101 stuff like this and this is the best novel out of all the other ones ive found on novelupdates (for my healing life, holy idol, etc)

this is has realism and no plot holes so far (unlike healing life). I love the MC' predictions and understanding of the showbiz system too

also, the best part is the translation. I know really good korean stories that have such poor translations that I dropped. Kudos to BelovedEuropa for high quality and frequent translations, thank you <3~~
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loveinsanity rated it
August 24, 2021
Status: c16
I wish the translator don't dropped this like every Korean idol novel that I've read.

This is really interesting. It got me so hook that I tried using google lens to read it in kakao.

I wish this was made into a webtoon but it makes. me worry about the art.


Still no update... Do I need to wait until December to confirm that its dropped or is it dropped?
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Sunny-Y rated it
December 25, 2021
Status: c139
It's a gem, guys.

Truth be told, I don't know a thing about idols, but after reading this novel I thought I just should adopt some group of idols as my babies, haha. This is really nice and funny to read, tbh. Even when there's some serious topics in the story, it abords it perfectly and don't take so much time on it. Personally, I love this dynamic.

MC (whose name is Park Moondae) is funny and he don't know it. When we are in first person POV at the beginning, we... more>> think he's a regular smart guy with some funny reactions at the absurdity of his situation, but when we switch to other characters POVs, he really seems to be a funny guy who does absurd things with a straight face, I love him, haha.

The group is amazing. I like how it develops and how Moondae adopts them as his babies without even realizing it. They have a precious relationship! And each one of them has their special moment.

Plus, I love the fans. I felt represented.

Well, maybe there's more things to say, but maybe I would do some spoilers so just be aware that this novel is te most wholesome, funny and cute thing in this world. Their characters will be your new babies, ma fella.

Though I read it in spanish, which have more chapters translated, I checked and Beloved Europa's translation to english is great! <<less
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Tintinangel_bleh rated it
October 22, 2021
Status: c16
This is definitely gold! Please don't drop this : ( (The translation is good, the story is good and the characters are so cute!!! Ahyun x Moondae hehehe

P.s. Anyone have the raws for Chapter 257+??? Pls send it to meeeeee :"<
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Ihartkimchi rated it
January 22, 2022
Status: c136
Extremely good! Easy 5/5 for me

I used to follow kpop religiously circa 2007-2015 and I just stopped cause I've been busy with life and the idol and fan culture is extremely accurate! It really brings me back lool

MC basically isekaid 3 years into the past in the body of Park Moondae and in a world where he presumedly doesn't exist (we don't know yet tho if this is true). He woke up in a motel room we're the og Moondae committed suicide and the system is basically blackmaling him to... more>> debut as an idol or he will die. As the story progress, aside from the idol stuff, its really fun to see how MC works and manipulate the public since prior to being isekaid, he use to sell idol/celeb data as a part time job so he's very well versed in media play.

I also really commend to author for writing a well thought out plot. The system isn't just there to be cheat sheet or a convenient plot device the way other stories are; it has an actual purpose in the plot. I also love all the side characters, all of them have their own unique personality with their own stories and they're not just there to be accessories to make MC look good. They feel alive and so vibrant that I feel so attached to them.

So anyways I think its only appropriate to say this lmaoooo

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mrazikbestteacher rated it
May 3, 2022
Status: c287
When I first read, I was only able to read 43 chapters and I will tell you that the one hour I spent reading those chapters was great. It immediately pulls you in and the plot is quite unique. As I waited for more chapters, I indulged in fanart, spoilers, and even merch, goodness, buying fanmade merch when I barely knew anything about the story. (I was literally ready to make my own too... aiya)

(edit: I have bought more merch and I'm not going to stop lmao [restraint... more>> wheremst?]. Anyways, reading this has awakened my kpop phase, though testar will always be my first. But it's been really fun watching kpop content that when I started I totally spent a month straight binging content... and lost interest in everything else. I fell down too deep in this *sigh* Really, I feel like I'm picking up kids left and right.)

Man, I love the kids but now after being able to read more, I love the kids even more;;; Give them all pats on the head

The story is pretty fast-paced which wasn't what I was expecting but nevertheless a pleasant surprise. The main character and his friends are too wholesome, my heart dies orz The author does a great job showing development for all of them and you just can't help but cheer them on and celebrate their growth. Especially the main character, it's important to show personality and their strengths and weaknesses. He might seem to be indifferent/cold? but he cares about the kids so much... Found family trope ftw Not only does he help the kids, but they help him back and keep on reminding him that they are together and it's so beautiful to read;; And speaking about weaknesses, as for any story, having a too perfect protagonist who can do everything by themselves can destroy a plot. The main character is held back by his weaknesses despite how trivial they might be which, in my opinion, just makes him cuter LMAO

Anyways, it was also a learning experience for me as someone who does listen to kpop but has never fully understood nor has indulged in the entire culture. Like the subway ads, man, I knew about them but I guess it never sank it about how expensive they are. It's amazing how dedicated and committed a community can be and oh boy, the atmosphere created in the story feels like it. Of course, I can't really compare since I have never experienced it, but it just hits your heart and moves you. It's insane, from my reading experience, I rarely cry but the overwhelming feeling from the community made me sympathize especially when understanding from the main character's perspective.

At this rate, I might as well learn Korean or something so I can go read the raws myself;;; Anyways, give the novel a try, from what I have seen from fanart of future chapters and whatnot, this story is going to get even better. The lore is very good, yummy yummy yummy <<less
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dyochlve rated it
August 4, 2021
Status: c9
really great start to the novel!! I've seen it around on ktwitter and it seems to be popular in the community. It might be a bit soon to call it amazing, but so far the translations have been really high quality and the writing and plot is really interesting. Really looking forward to the rest of the novel. Thanks to the translators!!
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kpopdump rated it
May 12, 2022
Status: c43
I love this novel so much because there aren't many showbiz novels out there that emphasize idol and fandom life like this one. Aside from the reincarnation part and the system, the plot is realistic and very familiar for kpop fans. 5/5

... more>>

After eagerly waiting for so long, I'm one of the unfortunate ones who missed the mass update (chapters 44-57) just because I was busy with real life for a few days 😭

For those kind souls who managed to get a copy of the translations for ch44-57, please message this poor fan, desperate to read quality translations even just until ch57. Translator-nim, hope you reach me out too if we got a new disc server or something, I miss our small readers community ><

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Izeru rated it
April 19, 2022
Status: c57

Second of all I feel so exhausted because now that the translation dropped 😭 I tried so many things but nothing worked I'm not giving up but I hope for a team to pick this masterpiece up please
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ErisFeris rated it
November 28, 2022
Status: c66
Really good novel, it's easily the best one of the idol industry genre, and even if I'm just talking about "best Korean novel" it's in my top 5.

Of course, there's still not a lot of chapters out, but the 66 chapters I read were super entertaining. The characters are good the setting is realistic, the flow of the story is, too.

You can tell the author dis their research on the idol industry, it is really fun.

I recommend it a lot !
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dokjaebi rated it
July 29, 2022
Status: c43
soooo good I was hooked on almost every character and the relationships between the contestants gripped my neck hard it's just that amazing. Moondae is a delight and he rlly is the entire world to me. My mukbang king! Its portrayal of the idol industry and fan culture is very much spot-on 백덕수-nim is probably a fly on the walls of inkigayo hallways LMAO. Rly made me reflect on the industry's exploitative nature, and at the same time remind me of why I like k-pop so much in the first... more>> place. 10/10 would def carry around a moondae pc around in my phone case for emotional support à la horror movie children with their dolls. <<less
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Cessimon bun
Cessimon bun rated it
April 20, 2022
Status: c57
I'm actually so glad that this novel has been updated again T^T I always come back to this page every week since january for new updates hsksb I coincidentally found this while looking for new reads here in novelupdates and I couldn't have been more glad to discover this gem <33

The first ever idol-themed novel I've ever read and it did NOT DISAPPOINT. The story line's fantastic, the characters- ugh I just really love their friendship :"> when I first saw this kind plot, I became a little hesitant at... more>> first since I'm not really much of a k-pop fan myself. H-o-w-e-v-e-r, it kind of piqued my interest now considering the plot is actually well-made and very fun.

Hoping for more updates in the future <33 I even created this account just to appreciate and give a review for this series aahhhh <<less
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Anika Ab
Anika Ab rated it
December 23, 2022
Status: c201
It's def a Gem. I truely wanted to give it 5🌟 but when the idiol show ended, it felt like excitement died out alittle.

Author knows how dark and how cruel kpop world is and they wrote it perfectly. You can feel how MC is struggling and how he solves problems bc he knows this world better than anyone else. I enjoy how his fans and netizens fight over him and I actually find it so funny.

I love side characters too and every one of them has a backstory and it's... more>> truely enjoyable that we get to know them beside MC and figure out how fake they were acting with cameras but not with MC.

Anyway if you are into kpop and kgroup I definitely recommend this. <<less
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Christinatina rated it
October 31, 2021
Status: c16
This novel is really interesting by having the MC going on survival idol show with no backing of anything like companies etc, still he has a cheat of system though if he fails to debut he would die lol. I really want to read the next chapters just hopeful the translator could continue this as it is already more than a month😭 no update. This novel is really good👍.
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apple_saucey rated it
January 1, 2023
Status: c90
So, uh... I’m not very good at giving a review but here is a rundown of what I can remember:

It’s important to note that sometimes the MC is not narrating a scene (I guess you could say that there are different given viewpoints of certain scenes?)

The MC is a smart, critical thinker - he seems a bit apathetic, but really, he cares about others (along w/ the need for survival) - but there are some sweet moments where his actions contradict his quiet exterior

His past life plays a huge... more>> role in the story (lengthy to explain, but in summary: photographing idols and selling their photos for “customers”) - his knowledge is important for a lot of moments, in a way

Characters are great - I’m not exactly THAT trusting of certain characters, but well... the debut lineup for TESTAR is really, really good... there are characters that are more aware and observant than others, throwing the MC off-guard in return (satisfying, if you ask me)

Overall, I give a rating greater than 10/10 ;]... it’s an enjoyable read, pretty chill - includes some drama, but it’s usually solved by either the MC or another character

Sorry for the poor writing skills + short review but personally, this is a chill and enjoyable read for me <<less
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lovemelikealovesong rated it
September 27, 2022
Status: c263
This is the first time I'm gonna leave a review in this page because I want y'all to know how I'm so in love with this novel and I'm about to finish the fan translated chapters of it upto 278 and it still update, I don't know if I can mention them here so I'll just keep it.

Once again I really love this novel! This is also probably the first time I'm gonna read an mtl after I finish the tled chaps, I really love them, especially MOONDAE ✨😭 he's... more>> my bias btw, And I ship him with Keun SEJIN AAAAHHHH I know I may be over the top but I can't help it 😭

So to those who want to read it I'm sure you're gonna love it.

As I'm quite certain that those who WANT to read it must be someone INTERESTED in an entertainment industry genre kinda-like because there's no way someone is gonna read smth if they're not interested.

Since there's no way I can review the author's way of writing through fan tl or mtl, all I can say Is that the plot is so good that you'll sacrifice your brain to read an mtl like me, just like what I'm about to do.

In the current arc I'm in MOONDAE ✨ 🐶 already overcome his system abormality.

They also received the daesang award (artist of the year)

There are so many happening and even if I want to say it all, I can't because summarizing it is beyond my capability.

And in as you know MOONDAE isn't someone that gets attached easily but if you're curious if he will ever warmed up YES HE WILL.


BUT ofc there will be many angsts but as I said they overcome it that it made me cry so much with happiness.

And just last spoilers on one of my favorite parts of the novel I read so far.

MOON-PUPPY (Moondae) appeared in Mask King Singer! This it's a lil different in the novel but it was so much better!

I also like the part where all of them cried at the stage, especially MOONDAE that he cried even in the second day of their concert because of their fans and ofc I also cried so hard at that time.

Well that's all, LOVIEWER HERE 4EVER!


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Mefuru rated it
August 2, 2022
Status: --
its a good novel. I got hooked at the survival game tag and the premise was interesting. The MC uses his former life knowledge to help him debut and the characters, very wholesome :D lmao I even tried to find mtl-ed ver cuz I was so desperate for more. This novel has a manhwa now too tho I haven't read it
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eredffe rated it
November 27, 2021
Status: c37
5/5 for now (we dont know what will happen in the future)

the story is amazing, I like the MC. The supporting characters are pretty good too. But you know whats mot amazing? Its how slow it updates. Come on I need more

edit: waiting for the translation is so painful QAQ

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Kaein rated it
January 13, 2023
Status: c581
Absolutely love it.

The main character is loveable and really it's nice to follow along his perspective.

Honestly this is one where the main character is one of those where you really root for and really happy to see succeed.

... more>> The writing is really good as well as we follow along the MC's perspective and realise the MC is a very unreliable narrator and there are very unexpected developments that is actually very logical when you think out of the perspective the MC

And I'm also sucker for found family and feels good tropes so I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

I see that there's is a crap ton more chapters to come and I hope this gets continuously translated until it is completed. <<less
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