Annyeonghaseyo! Bangapsmida! Wondering what these words mean, or if you are a seasoned Korean drama fan, you might already know these words. It means “Hello” and “Nice to meet you.” Korean dramas, often called ‘kdrama,’ are the new rage these days and are dominating the entertainment space with their high budget, stellar location, and beautiful storylines. There is a variety in the genres ranging from romance to fantasy to futuristic and even based on webtoons!
In this article, let me take you through the fantasy kdramas and boost your imagination. There’s one for everyone!
1. Hotel Del Luna (2019)
Starring- Lee Ji Eun(IU), Yeo Jin Goo, Lee Do Hyun, Kang Mina, P.O.
This Korean fantasy drama follows the journey of Jang Man Wol, a woman who has been alive for more than 1300 years due to the curse of managing a hotel. The hotel is not any ordinary hotel and is called Hotel Del Luna(translates to ‘Hotel of the Moon’). This hotel’s purpose is to fulfill the unfinished wishes of souls and lead them to the afterlife. The kdrama shows how people who face an untimely death often have so much business left in the human world to their near and dear ones and also deals with Jang Man Wol’s story and what led to her fate.
The USP of the drama has to be the chemistry between the lead couple and its open-ended climax. The drama has stellar acting by its whole cast, with special mention to IU for her beautiful portrayal of her role.
Watch this if you need that fantastical dose in your imagination.
2. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (2016)
Starring- Park Bo Young, Park Hyung Shik, Kim Ji Soo
Do Bong Soon is a woman in her 20s who has superhuman powers endowed to the females of her family by birth. But her power is also her weakness because it makes her feel insecure and different from others, and she tries her best not to use it. But when injustice strikes, Bong-soon can no longer control her powers.
The Korean fantasy drama has the perfect balance of romance, comedy, and thriller, and an unexpected sub-plot that you would have never imagined.
Watch for the cutest couple of Minmin-Bongbong and their little knick-knacks, and also for the chilling villain.
3. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016)
Starring- Lee Ji Eun(IU), Lee Joon Gi, Kang Ha Neul, Kang Han na, Baek Hyun, Nam Joo Hyuk, Kim Jisoo, Hong Jong Hyun, Seo Ju Hyun, Z. Hera
We have always heard of time traveling to the future, but what if you time-traveled to the past? This drama follows the lead Go Ha Jin, played by IU, who travels from the past to 941 in the Goryeo Dynasty of Korea from the 21st century. In the modern-day, Ha Jin is a cosmetic shop worker, who on a Lunar eclipse day, drowns in the river and wakes up in Hae Soo’s body, the cousin of the wife of the 8th prince of the King Taejo. The story then follows the palace politics and struggle for power and Hae soo’s dynamics with the princes.
The drama’s ensemble cast is its USP, with almost all the actors being hugely popular in their careers after the drama. Also, it is not to forget its soundtrack, which gifted the viewers with beautiful OSTs, which hasn’t lost its charm.
Watch this drama for its emotional rollercoaster and its never-forgettable ending, which has its viewers crying for a second season since then.
4. Memories of the Alhambra (2018)
Starring- Hyun Bin, Park Shin Hye, Park Chan Yeol
This one is for the gamers. We have come a long way in evolving gaming devices from remote-controlled games to present-day VR (virtual reality) games, but what if you could play games by wearing contact lens? Unbelievable, isn’t it? In this Korean fantasy drama, two Korean gaming enthusiast youngsters in Spain develop an augmented reality game that can be played by wearing a lens. The two contact two big Korean companies to offer their game, unknow of the faults and future of the game.
This drama keeps you on the edge of your seat every time, and not a single episode is without twists and turns. Watch it for the futuristic vibes and the open-ended ending.
5. Extraordinary You (2019)
Starring- Kim Hye Yoon, Rowoon, Lee Jae Wook, Kim Young Dae, Lee Na Eun, Jung Gun Joo, Lee Tae Ri
Most of us have read comic books at least once in our lives, but have you ever wondered what those comic book characters feel outside of the scene?
In this drama, the extras of the comic book ‘Secret’ find out that they are mere extras and are controlled by the writer. When they become aware of this, they try to change the fate of their characters, but only in vain.
When Dan-oh, played by Hye Yoon, realizes this, she tries to change her fate to find out that she was the lead character in the writer’s previous work and finds parallels with the present work.
The drama follows the high school students and their lives as extra, and how they finally realize that they are extraordinary. Watch this drama for the leads Hye Yoon and Rowoon who have acted their parts so well that you will go all day saying “Haru-yaaaaa”
6. The King: Eternal Monarch (2020)
Starring- Lee Min Ho, Kim Go Eun, Woo Do Hwan, Kim Kyung Nam, Lee Jung Jin, Jung Eun Chae, Kim Young Ji
Does a parallel universe exist? Is there someone who looks just like us in that universe? What can we do to go there and meet our counterparts? Ever had questions like these in your mind when you couldn’t sleep at night? Then this drama is for you!
The drama centers around the two parallel worlds; in one, there is the modern-day world of the Republic of Korea, and in the other is the modern-day world but the Kingdom of Corea. Trans-universal travels happen with the help of the mythical flute called Manpashikjeok, which also leads to the killing and exchanging the parallel world characters to achieve the ultimate goal of eternity.
Although confusing at times due to parallel universe dual characters, this drama is most interesting due to this concept because of the added time-travel power of the flute.
Watch out for Woo Do Hwan’s performance in his double role, who are completely opposite to each other.
7. Kingdom (2020)
Starring- Bae Doo Na, Ju Ji Hyun, Jeon Seok Ho, Ryu Seong Ryong
Zombie movies are always a big hit among viewers, but what if there were zombies in the past too?
The drama set in the Joseon period of Korea follows a zombie outbreak and the mysterious causes that led to it. Added with it are the palace politics and war for the throne.
The drama is a thriller, and it does not let you off the seat even once. You cannot miss out on even one minute of the Korean fantasy drama. That’s how engaging it is. The kdrama is an ongoing one and is expected to come out with its 3rd season soon so that you can watch it now just in time.
8. Sweet Home (2020-21)
Starring- Song Kang, Lee Si Young, Lee Do Hyun, Lee Jin Wook
Enough with zombies; it is now the time for monsters. Based on the webtoon of the same name, the residents of the apartment ‘Sweet Home’ find themselves in an apocalyptic world with humans turning to monsters one fine morning. A fight for survival ensues, along with the people among themselves turning to monsters. No one trusts anyone and everyone is always highly suspicious.
The biggest irony lies in the paradoxical name of the apartment. Is living there really sweet? Who survives, and who turns into a monster?
With the drama being renewed for more seasons, many unanswered questions are expected to be answered in the following seasons.
So, will you want to live in ‘Sweet Home’?
9. The Uncanny Counter (2020-21)
Starring- Jo Byung Gyu, Kim Se Jong, Yeom Hye Ran, Yoo Jun Sang
The story follows the lives of 4 counters whose job is to catch evil spirits. The powers possessed by the counters are given to them by the Heavenly authorities in exchange for saving their lives when being in a state of coma. They have special sensors which can detect evil spirits near them.
All 4 of them possess different special abilities which work altogether to catch and send these evil spirits away to get their deserved punishment.
The drama is an interesting watch because it shows a different kind of working to catch evil spirits. Watch it for the chemistry between the four counters, filling you up with warmth and making you feel at home.
10. Hi Bye, Mama! (2020)
Starring- Kim Tae Hee, Lee Kyu Hyung, Go Bo Gyeol, Shin Dong Mi, Oh Eui Shik, Seo Woo Jin
This Korean fantasy drama is a tear-jerker and is for those who love a good emotional connection to kdramas.
The drama follows Cha Yu Ri, played by Kim Tae Hee, a mother who died at childbirth due to an accident is given a chance by the heavens to return to her original place but at a cost.
Yu Ri could never give her love to her daughter and only watched her grow, all the while as a ghost. When given this chance grasps it and becomes human again. The rest of the drama shows Yu Ri going to lengths to protect her daughter and how the rest of the people around her react and deal with her return.
The drama ends on a bitter-sweet note and leaves you crying and grasping for tissues.
So, which one will be your next watch? Let me know in the comments below.