The anime world is filled with dramas and shows that have been keeping us entertained for a while now. Some of the cray fans only watch anime and love the plots and the characters that are being shown.
Korea has shown that they have the potential to make anime films by releasing them in the past few years. If we talk exclusively about anime, then they are very close to Japan in terms of production, animation, storyline, and engagement.
Korean anime have explored many themes and genres and has managed to give what is best for the audience and the fans. Irrespective of horror, comedy, romance, or any other genre, they have shown they can handle all flawlessly.
South Korean Anime To Watch
So if you are looking for some anime and getting confused about where to look, we have solved your problem. This list focuses on 30 Korean Anime to Watch. The list focuses on the best anime shows and movies, and the given titles mostly cover all genres and themes, so there is a suggestion for everyone.
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Blade of the Phantom Master
Blade of Phantom Master is not only South Korean Anime, but it also is blended with Japanese anime culture. The anime has a theme of fantasy and action in each of the scenes, and you will see the screenplay is juggling between the two. It was released and made under the direction of Ahn Tae Kun and Joji Shimura.
The plot of the anime is based on a fictional land named Jushin. There, a secret government agent used to reside who migrated in disguise under a different identity to the countryside. The agents had a mission to search and punish some corrupt government officers in order to bring justice to the people of the country.
When the series began, the fictional land was destroyed, and because of this, it was divided into many small kingdoms. The rulers of most of these kingdoms were tyrants and corrupt kings, and this is why the mission looked possible. It was Munsu’s responsibility to visit the countryside and handle all the matters related to the falling of the fictional land.
Yes, our main character is Munsu, an antihero on the designation of a military general. He is an asthma patient, and because of this illness, he always carries an inhaler that always hangs on his neck. When Munsu is on his mission, he is met with familiar faces, and they also join him in his doings.
Shining Star is a light and heart-melting anime about a common girl with huge dreams who wants to be an idol but faces many obstacles.
While attending a prominent idol academy, she encounters friends, competitors, and potential lovers along the way. She is focused on making a name in the competitive music genre, but her journey is not easy.
With the help of her mentors and friends, she overcomes any setbacks in her way. Throughout the story, she discovers her true voice. The animation is on point, and as this anime is about music, the soundtracks, and background music are one of the best on this list.
The supporting cast might not be the most creative, but they are unexpectedly engaging and endearing enough to motivate me to finish an otherwise tedious, subpar anime. The majority of the cast is female, which is advantageous because they are significantly stronger than the few male characters.
The story is very inspiring, and the animation and the voice artists steal the spotlight pretty quickly from the first episode. It is not easy to maintain the quality in each episode, but you can see it is well done from start to finish.
The Haunted House: The Secret of the Ghost Ball
The anime The Haunted House: The Secret of the Ghost Ball first debuted in 2016 in the mystery and horror genre. But it is scattered with comedy and characters full of adventure.
The plot of the anime is based on a Goblin that is 102 years old. It also shines the spotlight on two siblings who reside in an apartment.
By now, it must have been clear that the Goblin and The 2 Siblings are connected to one another with that apartment building.
The Goblin lives under the apartment, and the siblings are kind of Ghost hunters. They find ghostly mysteries and try to solve them. The show is high on character development, and the cast balances the narrative aptly.
The cast includes Anna Cummer as Shinbi, Megan Baldreg as Mom, Natash Strickey as Hari Koo, Brianna Johnson as Ballerina Girl, Anna Barker as The Black Pearl Ghost, Nikki Rae Hallow as Drowned Bluewater Ghost and Nathan Hunt as Boy 14B. You can check it out on Netflix.
Pororo, The Racing Adventure
Pororo Racing Adventure, also known as The Little Penguin, has everything any audience needs to kill time. The series comes under the category of China, along with South Korean anime.
The anime is based on a TV series from Korea, Pororo the Little Penguin, where the plot focuses on Pororo and his friends, who are heavily inspired by the white tiger and want to win the Super Sleigh Championship.
To fulfill this dream, they make a handmade sleigh for Proro to drive in the championship. Proro used a lollipop that made the sleigh fly, but unfortunately, it crashed into the plane. Later the story follows the mayhem of Proro becoming the champion.
Related to succeeding, all of his new and old friends celebrate his success. The cast is huge, and there are many characters involved in the plot with different voice artists such as Sun Lee giving the voice of Proro, Mi La Jee voices Cring, Hwan Chun Kim voiced Poby, and Su Jung Ham voices Eddy.
All in all, Pororo the Racing Adventure is an entertaining anime, and it is suitable for both kids and adults. The colorful animation, action, races, and voices all feel very authentic and fresh.
Underdog was directed by Lee Chun Baek and Oh Sung Yoon and got released in 2018. The anime stars talented actors like Park Chul Min, Park So Dam, and Do Kyung.
It’s a popular show, so much so that it even got an opening in the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, and surprisingly all the tickets got sold out quickly. The plot of the anime focuses on stray dogs who are left abandoned by humans, so the dogs try to look for a place where there is no human.
In their journey to find a place for their liking, they find true freedom and purpose in their life. The dogs make their own identity and existence with no dependency on humans for any of the things.
The main character of this show is Mochi, voiced by Doh Kyung Soo. Some other characters are a wild dog named Bami, voiced by Park So Dam, and Jjangah, voiced by Park Chul Min. And Hunter, voiced by Lee Jun Hyuk.
Green Days: Dinosaur and I
Green Days: Dinosaur and I are, also known as Dream of a Precious Day, created by hand drawings. The story is based in a 1970s rural town. It has a nostalgic vibe which is trying to be a coming-age anime that focuses on a high school girl.
The girl is struggling to find the true meaning of her life and is learning to face her deep fears. In all this chaos, she falls in love.
The girl’s name is Yi Rang, and all the aforementioned happens when she fails in a race and decides to never take part in anything again. Her teammates try to bring her back into the team, but as she is completely shattered, she says no.
On the other hand, the plot also shows us Soo Min, who is a new student and is popular among the boys. As the story progresses, we see a new face, Charles (Cheol Soo), and how their friendship deepens.
The cast and the voice characters played their part well. When it was announced that the main character, Yi Rang’s voice was given by Park Shin Hye, it made a huge impact on the fans. Other voices include Kim Cheol Soo’s voice, given by Song Chang Eul, and Han Soo Min’s voice, given by Oh Yeon Seo.
Dooly The Little Dinosaur
Dooly, The Little Dinosaur, is an anime about the creation of a cartoonist, Kim Soo Jung, who designed and created the show. The anime focuses on Dooly The Dinosaur, who is stated as one of the most famous Korean animated characters ever made.
The series’ debut was in 1989, and it lasted for a year and ended in 1990. The main character is a baby dinosaur who is kidnapped by aliens. After that, the aliens do some magical experiments on him and return him back to Earth.
Later after millions of years, the ice melted, and he traveled to Seoul with his big head and got noticed by other people in the city. He has two feet, and each of them has three toes and also has five fingers. Just like humans, his body structure gives him an alien-like appearance. Other than this, he has a habit of playing and eating just like humans.
Dooly meets Younghee, who believes he is a dog (and not a dinosaur), and takes him home. The premise of the anime is funny and sweet. It is a light anime that has only one focus, entertainment and fun.
Pucca is a South Korean show. As the name suggests, Pucca is the main character of the show and is the niece of 3 men. All of them run Goh Rong, a Chinese restaurant situated in a small village located under a mountain, Sooga.
The show got its first release in 2000, and it is good to see a show this old focuses on business. It has gained popularity in Korea and even in Asia. Pucca is 11 and helps the restaurant deliver noodles and doesn’t like to speak much, but she likes Garu, who is 13 and is a ninja.
He is a trained ninja, and he like people who stay silent. Now you see why Pucca remains silent. Then there is 11-year-old Ching, who is a swordsman. But it is not straight for Pucca. There’s another girl, Ring Ring (Don King’s daughter), who is a fashion star and 12 years old and likes the same Ninja boy whom Pucca also likes.
There are many other characters of the same age, and all of them make Pucca funny and hilarious to watch. The story and chaos all these characters create are light, funny, and adorable.
There is not much to expect from the show other than good animation and witty scenes. You can check it on Amazon Prime Videos.
Element Hunters is a Japanese and Korean series. It is a full-fledged science show that revolves around basic interactions in science, chemistry, and other fields. The story of the anime is set in the near future, 2089. It is adapted from the manga of the same name.
In the plot, important chemical elements like carbon, gold, cobalt, oxygen, and other metals started vanishing from the earth. As a result, the environmental balance slowly got disturbed, and many people got homeless because their cities and homes got affected because of this natural shift.
After the research led by the researchers, it was found out that the elements getting vanished had migrated to a planet known as Nega Earth. The story then fast forwards to 2089 when the elements were dematerializing rapidly.
To save all the chaos government hired three kids, our main characters, and named them Element Hunters. Their mission is to fight the monsters present in Nega Earth and bring all the metals back to Earth.
The kids take help from Professor Carr and Juno. It’s a must-watch for science lovers out there, especially kids. The anime offers a lot of learning that will inspire young scientists to explore more about the field.
Very less anime offers fun and learning at the same time, and it is one of them.
The anime was directed by Yeon Sang-Ho and was released in 2016. It’s a refreshing horror anime and has also got awarded Best Anime Feature Film.
The anime is set after the events of the movie Train to Busan. The anime is based on a zombie attack in South Korea happening around the station. It shows us a young woman who is fighting to survive in a place full of zombies.
The main characters are Suk Gyu, Ki Woog, and Hye Sun. Suk Gyu is the father of Hye Sun, and he is searching for her after she runs away. He, along with Ki Woong, her boyfriend, locates her alive. Suk tries to meet with his daughter amidst the zombie breakout. Each of these characters is fighting for survival.
The anime is heavy on the survival theme. It is thrilling and suspenseful and makes the viewers excited. The animation is creepy, just like how it should be in a horror show.
Overall it is a refreshing watch, as there are very few horror anime out there. You can check it on Amazon Prime Videos.
Sky Blue is also known as Wonderful Days in different regions, got it was released in 2003. Sky Blue was directed by Kim Moon Saeng, who also wrote the play along with Park Jun Yong.
The anime is based in the year 2142 and shows the breakdown of human civilization caused by environmental pollution. We are shown Ecoban, a city that is fully technologically advanced and gets all its energy from an artificial system known as DELOS.
DELOS is an intelligent system, and it uses crystallized pollution as the raw material to create energy. The extraction of this pollution is done by the people who reside in Wasteland, a place outside Ecoban.
We follow the story of Shua, a young dude who falls in love with Jay, his childhood friend. But Shua’s journey is not easy and simple. After the arrival of another character, his two-love story becomes three-way.
The anime also deals with status, economic class and shows the lives of less privileged individuals. It perfectly manages to balance the story of two classes, and it keeps hitting the audience with reality checks that are very much true in real life also.
The God of Highschool
The God of Highschool is filled with action and thrilling fights that revolves around a martial arts tournament. A skilled high school student, Jin Mori takes part in the tournament with his friends in a bid to prove to them who is the strongest fighter of them all.
As the tournament gets underway, magical powers and supernatural elements come into play, which makes the fights in God of High School more thrilling and exciting.
The series’ unexplained mystery elements are its most problematic component. Many people wonder how the government could ever have approved the existence of risky supernatural activity disguised as sporting events.
I think the competition’s organizers have enough clout to get away with running such a risky contest. It is still too early to voice concerns about the riddles. The series is still far from finished.
It has a good fast-paced animation, the fight scenes are properly choreographed and finished, and they look half-baked, even though all the characters shown in the anime are diversified and look fresh.
For any fan who liked Baki, Kengan Ashura should definitely check out God of High School, which delivers fiery action while exploring the friendship theme and supernatural element.
Empress Chung is directed by Nelson Shin, and the screenplay is choreographed by Yoo Kwang Hee, Shun Jang Hyun, and Kim Jung Ha. It was released in 2005 and is one of the favorites on the list.
The main character is Chung, and her father, Shum Hakku, is the spotlight of the anime. The story begins when their house is burnt by an evil minister who was rejected by Shim to join a conspiracy. Due to the fire, he lost all his family members except his daughter. To his bad luck, he also lost his eyesight.
Then we see a fast-forward of fourteen years after the tragic incidents. Chung is liked by everyone in the village she lives in. She lives with her father and is willing to do anything to cure the eyesight of his father.
She gets an opportunity by sacrificing herself. Will she sacrifice herself to restore his father’s eyesight? How and when will she become Empress Chung? All these questions are common, and you should check out the anime for the answers.
Empress Chung is a delightful anime to watch. It is light on the core material and filled with feelings and pure emotions. A daughter taking care of her father is joyous to watch.
The King Of Pigs
The King Of Pigs was written and directed by Yeon Sang-Ho. It’s an adult drama that was released back in 2011. The anime is heavy on systematic poverty and violence, and bullying.
The anime got very popular among the fans, so much so that it bagged three awards at the 2011 Busan International Film Festival.
The concept is simple enough; bullying, high school torment, the disease of a society predicated on class and hierarchy, and systemic corruption, but the way the story is presented really gets under your skin.
The plot of the anime follows a 30-year-old, Kyung Min, a business guy dealing with bankruptcy. Due to depression, he murders his wife and goes to Jong Suk, his middle schoolmate.
Jong Suk is a ghostwriter and has also penned his autobiography in the hope of becoming a great novelist one day. Both of them met after 15 long years, and to avoid their current life conditions, they discussed middle school when they studied together.
Back in middle school, they were wealthy and got good marks, but we’re bullied by the Dogs, the names of the ruling class. They were called Pigs, and we’re frustrated that they cannot do anything against them. The anime is filled with gore and blood, and it’s your warning line that this anime is not suitable for kids and someone who avoids blood and murky scenes.
Other than that, someone who likes these types of gore-blood-filled movies or shows should definitely check it out on Apple TV.
Noblesse is illustrated by Lee Kwangsu and written by Won Je Ho. It was released in 2007 and is based on dark fantasy and a magical theme. The plot of the show follows Casis Etrama Di Raizel, a powerful noble.
Casis slept for more than 800 years without any awareness of what was going on with the world and how fast civilization was upgrading. Being alienated from the current world and scientific advancement, Casis wakes up in an abandoned building.
He tries hard to adjust to the current world by going to school, where he finds Frankenstein, his loyal servant. With the help of Frankenstein, he gets into a high school and befriends Shinwoo, an athletic teenager.
Then there is an organization that finds Rai peculiar and is working to know more about his past, and Noblesse is a good show with a unique concept and story.
They introduced people on a pretty basic level and concentrated more on the major characters. Thus, the progress made by each character was adequate.
The animation feels modern, and the voices of each character are dubbed in a very exciting and funny manner. As the main character is adjusting, his actions cause a lot of fun.
A Day Before Us
A Day Before Us shares the theme of life and romance in general, and it was released in 2018. As per the community and fans, it is one of the best Korean shows when it comes to Romance.
The plot of the anime revolves around four main characters who are in school. Their past life was murky; it will surely give you a nostalgic feeling of school life with friends. The main characters are Yeon Woo, Yeo Rum, Woo, and Ha Sun.
There are two couples, one couple shows their thoughts and how they deal with the unique perspective of one another, and the other couple shows how a friendship can turn into love if cared for it properly.
Without a doubt, it is a great anime. It shows the nuances of a happy relationship and what a normal couple faces and goes through. It is a good watch for the millennials who are in love.
Tower of God
Tower of the God was written and illustrated by S.I.U., and it was released in 2010. The main character of the anime is 25th Bam, meaning chestnut or night. He has spent most of his life in a captivated, mysterious tower.
The character designs, backstories, and voice actors are the finest of the best, with several anime moments being nearly similar to their non-animated versions.
The main character is not alone in the tower and is accompanied by Rachel, his friend. When Rachel initially enters his life, he was about hesitant, but later he opens the tower for her.
The loud, pop opening and closing songs performed by the popular Korean band “Stray Kids” are the cherry on top of Kevin Penkin’s thrilling music, which truly transports you.
The tower in which he resides is mysterious because of its unique environment, and every floor has three partitions that serve as a testing area or a residential area.
Yobi, The Five Tailed Fox
Yobi, the Five Tailed Fox is directed by Lee Sung Gang and is based on Korean folktales and was released in 2007. The anime has a supernatural blend to it. The story is a century old when aliens arrive at the dwelling of white foxes, a mountain.
For 100 years, they have been trying to return to their planet, but their test run fails. One alien from the mountain runs away and gets among the students. To save the alien friend, one alien gets transformed into a girl and gets into the human school as Yobi.
After admission and spending time together with humans, she becomes close to humans’ lifestyle and world. Later as the story progresses, she gets noticed by a hunter.
Yobi, The Five Tailed Fox, displays human emotions in the form of an alien presence and tells the importance of human life. It is filled with funny scenes and witty dialogue that will entertain you throughout.
Oseam is directed by Sung Baek Yeop and, based on a religious theme, was released in 2003. The plot is based on two orphans, Gilson, who is the brother of Gami.
Gami is a sweet and gentle girl with a disability of blindness. On the other hand, her brother Gilson is a malevolent boy. They try to help each other with daily life chores and other parts and activities.
They are also handling the death of their mother, and the home in which they lived also got burnt in a fire accident. In the same accident, she lost her eyesight. Gilson is very young and has not accepted what has happened around him, and he still believes that their mother will return one day.
As the story progress, we see Gilson gets an acquaintance of a monk who meditates in the mountains in the hope of finding a cure for her sister’s eyesight.
Oseam is a beautiful anime with a perfect tonal animation that compliments the narrative of the story, which is bright and uplifting. The anime also shines a light on brother and sister bonding. Overall it is a good entertainer.
The Fake is written and directed by Yeong Sang Ho, which came out in 2013 and is considered one of the best anime on air. It has won several awards and achievements too. The plot of the anime is based on Choi Gyeong Seok.
The municipality has made a new dam, and they’re in the process of migrating villages to a new place. All those villages’ fate is dependent on him as he promised them that new housing and church would be developed.
He also told them all the people will find their place in heaven, and this church will make sure that their spot is safe in heaven. But all this is bogus, and he is just playing the villagers by destroying them for the resettlement money.
One villager boy named Kim Min Chul is anxious about all the false promises Choi made, and he gives a hard time to Choi for everything he said. Kim tries to find the solution to all that’s happening and reveals the fraud in front of the villagers.
The Fake is relatable to many land disputes and frauds that happen in real life too. It will give you a clear picture of what happens in reality and how these people dupe the innocent ones.
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Wonderful Days (Sky Blue)
Wonderful Days is a sci-fi film, written and directed by Kim Moon-saeng. Despite being released in 2003, the movie is a visual treat and has used highly-detailed models. The characters are animated using a traditional method of CG. Vehicles were rendered, and characters were cel-animated.
The story takes place in a dystopian future where environmental pollution has broken-down civilization. A new city named Ecoban was built, sustaining on energy harvested from the DELOS System. This system uses pollution in a carbonite catalyzed reaction to generate power. The process of carbonite extraction is done by people living in the surrounding wasteland. The movie is a mixture of environmental destruction, class struggle, and romance.
Leafie, A Hen into the Wild
Otherwise known as Daisy, a Hen into the Wild, the movie is an animated drama about freedom. The main character is a hen named Leafie who used to live on a chicken farm with other egg-laying hens. Leafie’s dream is to become a mother. However, she is unable to incubate her own eggs, so she makes a plan to escape. She pretends to be dead and gets thrown out. She wanders and soon finds herself in the wild, and later comes in possession of a duck’s egg. With both the parents ducks dead, Leafie is left to raise the duckling. He imprints on her, and she accepts him as her son and names him Greenie. Even though the characters are birds and animals, the story is tragic, and themes of loss and survival are discussed.
Noblesse is a popular manhwa that was released as a webtoon in December 2007 and ran till January 2019. It was officially picked up as an anime by Crunchyroll in 2020, with animation from Production I.G.
Noblesse tells the story of a powerful noble named Cadis Etrama Di Raizel, commonly known as Rai. Rai had been in a deep slumber for 820 years and has no knowledge of mankind’s progress and scientific innovations. He wakes up one day in an abandoned building in South Korea and goes out to face the modern world. He decides to attend school and happens upon his loyal servant Frankenstein. With Frankenstein’s help, Rai meets new people and becomes their friend. However, a secret organization trying to uncover his past is on their trail.
Ragnarok: The Animation
This hit anime is based on the MMORPG Ragnarok Online. Similar to the game, the story takes place in Rune-Midgard. The Dark Lord wants to invade Rune-Midgard and take possession of the seven magic crystals that helped the heroes lock him away. The led adventurer Roan and his team must get together to stop the Dark Lord’s invasion.
The series premiered in April 2004 and consists of 26 episodes.
BASToF Lemon is a South Korean series that came out in 2001. The term “BASToF” stands for “Be A Stranger To Fear. The story takes place in a gaming city called Xenon in the year 2097. The players pilot biomech cyber robots, and fight each other. However, they realize that the events happening in the gaming world are linked to Xenon. Whenever destruction meant to happen in the game happens in real life as well, a powerful scent of lemon overcomes the gamers.
The game’s creator wants to get to the bottom of this mystery, and hence assembles a “Dream Team.” The team consists of the top three gamers in Xenon, who are rebellious, arrogant, and can’t stand each other. They are forced to team up and take care of this worldly threat.
The Fake is an animated South Korean film written and directed by Yeon Sang-ho. It premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, followed by numerous other film festivals. The movie won Best Animation awards at the Sitges Film Festival and Gijón International Film Festival. It was declared 2013’s Best Korean Independent Film by the Association of Korean Independent Film & Video.
The story is about a con man named Choi Gyeong-seok posing as a church elder trying to dupe the citizens of a rural village. He gives them false ideas of hope and heaven, and everyone hangs on to his words. That is, until a skeptical outcast named Kim Min-chul uncovers Choi’s history of crimes, and becomes a resistance force. But Min-chul himself is a gambler, drinker, and a low-life thug. How will he prove that Choi is corrupt?
Jang Geum’s Dream
Jang Geum’s Dream is an animated spin-off of the hit Korean drama Dae Jang Geum. It aired on MBC from 2003 to 2004, and was successful just like its predecessor. The story centers on Jang Geum, and her arrival to the Royal Kitchen as an apprentice court lady. Unlike the live action series, the plot is lighter, with bits of comedy. And of course, there is no murder or corruption.
The first season has Jang Geum with a goal to make people smile with her cooking. However, it changes to cooking just to win and impress the eaters, and this lands her into trouble. The story is a journey of self discovery.
The God of High School
The God of High School is a Crunchyroll Original anime based on the manhwa by Yongje Park. The series was first published in Naver Webtoon in April 2011, and quickly became one of the biggest manhwas to exist. The main character is Mori Jin, a 17-year-old martial artist from Seoul. His street brawls capture the eyes of a mysterious organization and he is invited to join a martial arts tournament. The tournament’s name is the titular “The God of High School.”
Mori finds out that there are others like him from different schools. Three finalists are to be selected as representatives for the World Tournament, The winner also gets his or her wish granted by the organization, no matter how big their wish is. Mori joins Karate expert Daewi Han and epeeist master Mira Yoo, and have fights against numerous opponents. But they soon realize hidden secrets within themselves, and become part of something bigger.
You can find some similarities between Spirited Away and Joo-Young Ban’s The House. The lead character is Ga-young, a young lady who shifts to an old town and looks for new apartments. In the process, she comes across a spirit named Zipsin, the spirit of a house that is set to be demolished. Zipsin takes her on an adventure that shows corruption, and the changing Korean economy. They see how poor residents are treated in Korea by depicting them as spirits in the movie. It pulls no punches in showing how harsh the situation is.
Tower of God
Tower of God is another massive webtoon that got picked up by Crunchyroll. The series is one of the biggest in South Korea and has its own merchandise and mobile game. The story is written by lee Jong-hui, and originally came out in 2010.
It centers around a boy named Twenty-Fifth Bam. Bam had spent most of his life trapped beneath a big and mysterious Tower, with only his friend Rachel for company. One day, Rachel goes into the Tower, leaving him alone. Bam is devastated and decides to follow behind her, even if it means certain death. Soon, he comes across Rachel and other allies, and makes it their mission to get to the top.
Updated by Ritik Katiyar