Article: Top Ten K-Dramas Based On Korean Folklore

With the rise in interest in Korean culture, there has been an increase in the popularity of K-dramas that are based on Korean folklore. There are several kinds of K-dramas like this which depict Korean mythology and folklore. In this article, we will talk about the top ten K-dramas based on Korean mythology and folklore.

1. Goblin, Guardian: The Great And Lonely God

Dokkaebi, also known as The Goblin, is an entertaining and heartfelt series that depicts the life and the romance of an eternal being – The Goblin. Our protagonist, Kim Shin, was once a celebrated general in the King’s army. However, he was betrayed by his King and was forced to watch his family die. For all the atrocities he committed, Kin Shin was forced to become an eternal being, aka, the Goblin. He was forced to live with a sword stuck in his heart, which can only be seen and pulled out by his bride. So Kin Shin is forced to roam the world eternally in search of his bride, who happens to be Ji Eun Tak, a high-school girl who can pull out the sword stuck in his chest. In this series, we see various other mythological beings. Goblin is an addicting watch for anyone who enjoys romance and supernatural shows.

2. Tale Of The Nine-Tailed (2020)

The Tale of the Nine-Tailed is a popular supernatural series to watch. Our main male lead here is a Gumiho also known as a Nine-Tailed Fox. They are known in Korean mythology to be a shapeshifting spirit; a fox can become a Gumiho after a thousand years, they have nine tails, and are depicted in the form of an attractive woman. They are also known to be very strong. In this series, our main lead, Lee Yeon, was once a powerful mountain god; however, he sacrificed his life to save the woman he loved, A Eum. He is now forced to live in, the human world, still waiting for his love to be reborn. We also meet Nam Ji-A, a woman who works in a television station seeking out supernatural stories. Somehow the lives of both Nam Ji-A and Lee Yeon get interconnected.

3. My Roommate Is A Gumiho 

My Roommate is a Gumiho, is another popular series. Here in this series, we follow our female lead, Lee Dam, an ordinary university student whose life gets unintentionally tangled with that of Shin Woo Yeo. Shin is an attractive professor, who also happens to be a Gumiho who is 999 years old. My Roommate is a Gumiho is a hilarious series about the lives and romances of ordinary university students and Gumihos. This series is based on the webcomic written by NA. The original webtoon concluded in 2021 and the series is an adaptation of the webtoon.

4. Doom At Your Service

Doom at Your Service is a romantic drama in which we follow our female protagonist, Tak Don Kyung, a woman who is suffering from terminal cancer. One day, Tak, who was fed up with her life, curses the world and wishes that world ends. This catches the attention of our male lead, Mul Mang, a personification of death and dooms itself, who becomes interested in Tak and decides to enter her life. In this series, we get an exciting depiction of death in the form of Mul Mang.

5. A Korean Odyssey

A Korean Odyssey is a romantic drama; it depicts the romance between a human being and a supernatural entity. This series is also top-rated and is a must-watch for anyone interested in mystical or romantic shows. We follow Jin Seon-mi, a woman who can see and interact with monsters and supernatural beings. We see that as a little girl, Seon Mi has accepted an offer by the Devil King, Woo to steal a mysterious fan from a mansion. However, in the process, she released the Monkey King also known as Son Oh-gong, who was imprisoned in the villa. Son Oh-gong promises to protect Seon if she calls him however, after promising this, he takes away her memory of his name. Years later, we see that Seon runs into Son Oh-Gong again.

6. The Bride Of The Water God

The Bride of The Water God depicts a romance between a god and a mortal. We follow Habaek, the Water God, who comes to Earth in search of specific stones known as the God Stones, which would help him become King. In his journey to find the rocks, he relies on the help of So-Ah, a psychiatrist whose descendants have made a deal to serve God for all of eternity.

7. Legend Of The Blue Sea

Various cultures around the world have exciting legends and myths that include mermaids. Korea also has interesting stories depicting mermaids. A scholar during the Joseon Dynasty, Yu Mong created a collection known as Eou Yadam, a collection of legends and folktales. One of these stories is about a mermaid being held hostage by a fisherman, which is the basis of the series Legend of the Blue Sea. We follow Joon-Jae, a conman; after one of his scams, he travels overseas to stay at a resort near the ocean. At the same time, our female protagonist, Sim Chung, a mermaid, gets washed up near the same resort where Joon-Jae is staying.

8. My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho 

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho is one of the most popular series that was based on the Gumiho legend. This is a comedy series that follows Cha Tae Woong, our male lead, who runs away from his grandfather and lands in the middle of nowhere. With no one to help him, Tae luckily gets help from a Buddhist monk who also shelters him at the Buddhist temple. When looking for a signal, Tae suddenly hears the voice of a woman who beckons him to go into the temple and instructs him to draw nine tails onto a fox painting there. Doing so releases the Gumiho.

9. Hotel Del Luna 

In Hotel Del Luna, depicts several Korean legends and folktales, such as the Mul Gwishin, also known as a water ghost. They are the spirits of those who had tragically dying in a large body of water. In Korea, the Han River is a known area for such deaths. We see this ghost in the very first episode of Hotel Del Luna. In this series, we follow Jang Man-Wol, who runs Hotel Del Luna, due to her past, she was forced to serve at the hotel and was forced to run it and look after all the ghosts and spirits within the hotel. We also meet Koo Chan-Sung, our male lead, who due to unfortunate circumstances, is also forced to work as the assistant manager and help Man-Wol run the hotel.

10. Tomorrow

All cultures around the world have their depiction of the Grim Reaper. In Korea, the Grim Reaper is often depicted as a person in all black adorning a gat, also known as a Korean black hat, worn during the Joseon era. We have seen the depiction of grim reapers in Korean dramas such as Goblin. Tomorrow is a series that depicts these grim reapers in quite an exciting way. This is a more modern portrayal of the Korean Grim Reaper. Here we follow Choi Jun Woong, who is in desperate need of a job. He accidently comes across two grim reapers, Koo Ryeon and Ryung-Gu, who are a part of the crisis management team. Soon Jun Woong also becomes a part of the team.