Asian Dramas You Can Watch on Netflix, Right Now! (UPDATED)
Updated: Oct 12, 2020
In August 2018 I wrote a blog post titled ‘Asian TV Series’ You Can Watch on Netflix, Right Now!’, the blog was made up of a number of series that I had sampled on Netflix. Now a year and 2 months later, I have a lot more series under my belt which I have completed or at least watched a large chunk of.
So I thought this post deserved a much needed update and here it is! A list of Japanese/South Korean/Chinese and Thai TV series on Netflix that I have enjoyed over the last year or more.
MILD SPOILER WARNING
The one to start it all, I stumbled across Meteor Garden due to a random social media ad and decided to give it a go. It quickly became my new obsession and although I only finished the series in April, I already want to re-watch the entire thing! This Chinese series is based on Japanese manga series, Boys Over Flowers (which also has a Korean series on Netflix!) and is a remake of the 2001 Taiwanese series of the same name. Meteor Garden follows the story of Dong Shancai as she begins her first year at Ming De University. Shortly after starting, Shancai has a run in with F4; the most popular and intimidating group on campus and accidentally becomes entangled with Daoming Si, the most popular member of F4. Meteor Garden runs for 49 episodes and I am desperate for a season 2 soon!
Good Morning Call
The second series I stumbled upon was Good Morning Call, a Japanese romantic/comedy series based on the Manga of the same name. The series follows high schoolers Nao Yoshikawa – a loud, clumsy girl who lives alone in the city to finish high school after her parents move to the countryside – and Hisashi Uehara, the coolest and most popular guy in school who is deemed untouchable by all of the girls at school. The pair accidentally end up living together when they both fall for the same rental scam. The series contains the expected mishaps between the clumsy Nao and the mysterious Uehara who agree to keep their living situation a secret as to not cause damage to Uehara’s reputation or to get in trouble with the school. Good Morning Call ran for 17 episodes and continues in series two Good Morning Call: Our Campus Days which is also on Netflix!
Hello My Twenties
Don’t tell the others, but I really do think that Hello My Twenties may be my favourite series in this list. Perhaps it is the relatability of the plot which follows a group of five 20 something year olds as they navigate the world of University and work whilst living together in a shared house. The plot really begins when newcomer Yoo Eun-jae joins Belle Epoque – the shared house – and attempts to find her feet. Being the youngest of the five she still has a lot to learn when it comes to coexisting with complete strangers and struggles to feel comfortable at first. The girls’ relationships develop over time and they go through a lot together, making this series possibly the most heartwarming on this list too. Hello My Twenties ran for 12 episodes and continues in series two Hello, My Twenties! 2 which is also on Netflix! (PLEASE GIVE US A SEASON 3 SOON)
A Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo
(Sorry the trailer doesn’t have English subtitles – the series on Netflix does though!)
A Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo is fairly similar to Good Morning Call in more ways than one. First of all, they’re both romantic-comedy series, set in Tokyo, based on a manga and both follow the idea of a clumsy girl accidentally moving in with the most popular guy in school. After a meteor hits her house, high-schooler Kotoko Aihara has no choice but to move in with her father’s long time friend’s family home. Unbeknown to her though, her father’s friend just so happens to be the father of Naoki Irie, the boy who she had confessed her love to and been turned down by, earlier that day. The series mostly follows the ups and downs of their relationship – or lack there of – whilst the pair juggle high school and attempt to get into university. A Mischievous Kiss ran for 16 episodes and continues in series two Mischievous Kiss 2: Love in Tokyo. The two shows were on Netflix but as I recently discovered (half way through watching season 2) the entire series has been taken off of the streaming platform. Now I’ll never know what happens between Kotoko and Naoki! Update: I have just found out that season 2 is available on the streaming platform Crunchy Roll!
I just recently started watching this South Korean drama series. Love Alarm explores the idea of dating in the modern world with the help of a new app called Love Alarm. The alarm somehow connects to the users emotions and notifies anyone with the app within a 10 mile radius whether anyone has romantic feelings for them. As you can imagine this comes with many consequences, especially for high school students Kim Jo-jo and Hwang Sun-oh who become caught up in a love triangle with Sun-Oh’s close friend Lee Hye-yeong. The series is only comprised of 8 episodes!! Which you obviously get through really quickly, the series also ends on a giant cliff hanger so I hope to GOD there is a season 2, very, very soon.
(Sorry again the trailer doesn’t have English subtitles – the series on Netflix does though!)
This series can be questionable at times but that did not stop me watching all 20 episodes. The plot follows 22 year old budding actress Xia Lin who has recently discovered that she has leukemia. Xia Lin must find someone to donate bone marrow to her in order to save her life. After a chance encounter, Xia Lin discovers that Ling Yi Zhou – a young but powerful CEO – is a match and so she makes it her mission to persuade him to help her. Ling Yi Zhou agrees to help, on one condition. In order to make his grandmother happy, he asks Xia Lin to marry him simply for show to which she agrees. The series is full of drama, with each episode being more outrageous than the last but it is entertaining none the less. UPDATE: a second season to this has just been added to Netflix!
Roonpi: Secret Love
(If you turn on annotations on the video above, you’ll get subtitles!)
Roonpi: Secret Love is a Thai romantic comedy series that is made up of 3 seasons that follow 3 different story lines. At the time of writing this post I’ve only seen season 1: My Lil Boy (the trailer above). In season 1, teenage girl Belle has a big crush on Es, a boy in the year below. Es however does not reciprocate these feelings leaving Belle and her two best friends to conjure up a number of plans to win him over. The other two seasons with season 2 following the story of Emma, a University student who is terrified of dogs but who falls for a 4th year Veterinary student and season 3 following baking blogger Mielle who falls for her biggest critic Kim. Roonpi is made up of 3 seasons, each featuring around 6 episodes each which are all streaming on Netflix now!
One Spring Night
(If you turn on annotations on the video above, you’ll get subtitles!)
I just started this series recently and I am something like 5 episodes in already, One Spring Night is a South Korean drama series that follows the lives and interactions between pharmacist Ji-ho and librarian Jeong-in. After a chance encounter in Ji-ho’s pharmacy, the pair begin to hit it off and slowly develop romantic feelings for one another. Not everyone is excited about this development though including the pairs parents and Jeong-in’s boyfriend Gi seok… One Spring Night is currently made up of 1 season, 16 episodes and is now streaming on Netflix!
Cheese in the Trap
(Sorry this trailer isn’t in English!)
I also just started this alongside One Spring Night, Cheese in the Trap is another South Korean drama series this time following freshly together Hong Seol and Yoo Jung, oh and Baek In-ho – Jung’s adopted brother who is fresh on the scene and causing trouble for everyone. I’m still fairly new into this series so things could change but at the moment it appears that this is going to be a typical love triangle story. Seol must find a way to balance a job, University and a social life – all while tangled up in Jung’s family drama. Cheese in the Trap is made up of 16 episodes and is currently streaming on Netflix.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo
My latest binge watch was Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo and it is now genuinely one of my absolute favourites! The story follows 21 year old Kim Bok Joo, a student at Haneol Sport University who studies Weightlifting… obviously! It is at school where she encounters childhood friend Jung Joon-hyung. The two start off not on the best terms as Joon-hyung continuously calls Bok Joo “chubs” whilst generally annoying however the two grow close when Jung Joon-hyung helps Bok Joo grow closer to his brother who she has a crush on, thing’s get interesting. We also see Bok Joo interact with her family who run a chicken restaurant and her best friends who are also on the weightlifing team. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo is now streaming all 16 episodes on Netflix!
My Holo Love
Similar – in a way? – to Love Alarm, this 2020 series follows the story of love vs technology. Han So-yeon a 30 something year old PR worker lives her life cautiously due to her face blindness condition. She can’t detect anyone’s face so keeps mostly to herself. This is until she gets caught up with a large technology company who inadvertently bestow a pair of high-tech glasses to her which allow her to see a holo-gram virtual assistant. With the company tracking her down to retrieve the glasses and So-yeon growing closer to Holo, things are about to get pretty personal. My Holo Love is now streaming on Netflix.
The Third Charm
After a chance encounter on a subway train, 20 year old Joon-young and Young-jae accidentally end up on a blind date together. After only a day or two of dating though, the couple's clashing personalities cause them to break up, only to get back together again in their late twenties and again in their early thirties. This 12 year long frustrating love story details the ups and downs of their relationship and attempts to answer the question of if a couple with so many differences can ever make it work. The Third Charm stars Seo Kang-joon who has already featured in this list as Baek In-ho in Cheese in the Trap!
Eun Dan-oh leads a blessed life, she attends a prestigious academy, lives in a luxurious home and is engaged to her long time crush. The only downside? She has a debilitating heart condition that's terminal. To make matters worse, this is all a deliberate set up as Dan-oh learns that she is a character in a comic book and an extra at that! After learning that her role in the story is just to help the male and female lead to get together, Dan-oh decides to try and change her fate and her role in the story. With the help of new romantic interest; fellow extra Ha-ru, nothing stands in Dan-oh's way! That is unless Kyung - Dan-oh's fiancé in the comic who has grown tired of her antics - has anything to say about it!
The King: Eternal Monarch
This fantasy, sci-fi epic explores the idea of alternate realities with modern day emperor Lee Gon ruling over the Kingdom of Corea and Jung Tae-eul policing the streets of the Republic of Korea, Seoul to be precise. As a child, Lee Gon's father is assassinated and after narrowly escaping death himself, Lee Gon finds a police ID card belonging to Jung Tae-eul. As an adult, Lee Gon comes across a gateway to the alternate Kingdom of Corea where Tae-eul is exactly how she appears on her ID card. Lee Gon now has to persuade Tae-eul that there is more to the world than she realises as he also tries to track down his father's murderer who has been traversing between the two realities.
Crash Landing On You
I started this series as I saw it was getting so much buzz online, I'm happy to report that all the hype is true as this series is spectacular. If you know basically anything about world affairs, you'll know that North and South Korea are separate countries and have been since the second world war. Due to political reasons I couldn't even begin to get into in this short entry, North and South Korea have little connection to each other, with the North being a communist state. In Crash Landing On You, rich and powerful heiress Se-ri accidentally ends up stranded in the North after a paragliding accident. Shortly after entering the country, Se-ri meets Ri Jeong-hyeok a Captain in the North Korean Special Police Force. After a tense first meeting, the pair agree to work together to get Se-ri back to South Korea however begin to fall for each other before they get the chance.
Romance is a Bonus Book
I completely ADORED this series and have since written a post on how much it inspired me during a turbulent time in my life (you can read it here!). In the show, 37 year old Kang Dan-i attempts to get back into the corporate working world after a long break due to getting married and starting a family. She struggles to get past the interview stage of over 50 jobs, regardless of her strong advertising background. After finding the job advert lying around her long time friend Cha In-ho's home, Dan-i decides to apply, however also decides to keep out her years of experience in hopes of landing the lower skilled job. Dan-i lands the job at Gyeoroo publishing (where In-ho is coincidentally chief editor and a founding member) and excels at her job as well as any other tasks that head her way. She also begins a blossoming relationship with In-ho. Everything seems great until her boss finds out something about her that she attempted to keep hidden.
My ID is Gangnam Beauty
I decided to give My ID is Gangnam Beauty a go after seeing loads of people discussing it online. The general premise follows 21 year old freshman Mi-rae who has just begun studying chemistry at University. A new school brings a lot of changes to Mi-rae including... a new face as the once bullied teen decides to have plastic surgery to fit in with her peers better. This comes with it's own problems though as she is now objectified by the boys on campus and called a "plastic monster" by others. It also doesn't help that Kyung‑seok - a boy Mi-rae previously went to school with - begins showing an interest in her as she is unsure if it is genuine or not considering he knows what she used to look like. This drama does a great job at shutting down stereotypes and calling out modern beauty standards.
Record of Youth
I can't believe I'm actually up to date with new dramas for once! Record of Youth was released last month and features Parasite star Park So-dam and Reply 1988 star Park Bo-gum. The pair star as up and coming make up artist Ahn Jeong-ha and struggling actor/model Sa Hye-jun who after a chance encounter become really close. This is a dream come true for Jeong-ha who has been a long time fan girl of Hye-jun. The series documents the pair's struggle to make it into the industry along with their friend Won Hae-hyo who has started to become recognised for his talent... with the help or hindrance of his mother/manager though!
That’s it for series that I have watched fully – or most of at least – I hope to update this as and when I get through each series.
(psst! I have a side blog completely dedicated to Asian Dramas, check it out!)
For more film and tv content, see what else I have to offer here as well as nerdoutwordout.com!