If you just finished binge-watching or closely following the latest Apple TV+ production, then you must be thirsty for more! Here are our Top 10 series similar to Pachinko. The Korean inter-generational drama based upon a New York Times bestseller that took screens by storm finished its debut season, and what a season it was. But if you’re like me, maybe you’d like to watch some more shows that go in this vein. So why not explore other options?

That’s why I am sharing with you today some recommendations that I think you might like. First of all, Pachinko is a visual masterpiece, hands down. From the cinematography to editing, we can really notice how the folks at Apple TV+ dug deep and came up with a quality program. But how about something else to watch now that this one is over? Let’s take a look then at the top 10 series similar to Pachinko!

Top 10 Series Similar to Pachinko


Here are 10 similar productions that go in the same vein as Pachinko, enjoy!

Top 10 Series Similar to Pachinko

Pachinko takes place across several decades in Korea, chronicling the lives of a family that must face different challenges. And these sorts of challenges are brought upon them by all sorts of circumstances, both personal and historical. Moreover, this is exactly what makes Pachinko have that hook potential with its viewers: A story of overcoming adversity regardless of how badly the deck is stacked against you. Let’s check them out!

10. Mr. Sunshine

Mr. Sunshine is an enormous period play with stunning images and a superbly crafted tale. In fact, it’s quite well written. This Korean drama is not to be missed, thanks to some fantastic casting. Firstly, Mr. Sunshine begins with a brief glimpse of the past as a Korean youngster joins an American vessel and grows up in the United States as an American during the Joseon Dynasty in 1871.

However, when he goes to his birthplace as an American soldier, he causes a great deal of internal instability and conflict. To say anything more about this drama would be an injustice to it, but suffice to say that it was certainly one of the finest shows of the year it premiered in 2018. Even over the course of the show’s 24-episode run, the story is masterfully paced, and the show’s good scripting is backed up by some great production design and set pieces. Mr. Sunshine is just another must-see, especially since it’s available on Netflix.

Top 10 Series Similar to Pachinko
This period piece is a great one to kick off our countdown!

9. One Day At A Time

‘One Day at a Time,’ based on the 1975 CBS series of the same name, is a sitcom about three families of Cuban Americans. If you remember Sunja from Pachinko, then Lydia Margarita will ring a bell here. After Fidel Castro became Cuba’s leader, she moved to the United States. Lydia has had her own set of challenges since relocating to a new country and starting a family.

Penelope, her daughter, is the series’ main character. She is a former member of the US Army Nurse Corps and the mother of two children. Moreover, ‘One Day at a Time’ is a very forward-thinking show. It discusses themes such as gender identification, sexual preference, and sexism in addition to immigration and racism. Lastly, if you want to watch this one, you can do it on Netflix.

Top 10 Series Similar to Pachinko
This one covers struggles from a Caribbean perspective

8. Crash Landing On You

Who thought a simple parachute mishap would make such a controversy in the K-Drama world? This acclaimed K-Drama was so recommended that it necessarily had to make the list. The problem for me was ranking it. I just hope I get no hate for putting it at number eight. Back the production, this show attracts a whole new audience to Korean dramas as a result of Netflix’s ambition to promote more of these fantastic shows. Crash Landing On You masterfully combines romance, action, and comedy into one intoxicating potion.

It’s a show that manages to surprise you with every episode, with plot twists that leave you stunned, in tears, elated, or all three at the same time! While some may be disappointed with the ending and want a second season, this K-Drama makes our list for all the right reasons.

Crash Landing On You Trailer:

7. Litte America

Documenting the diversity of the immigrant experience, ‘Little America’ is an anthology series that explains why the country is known as the melting pot. As the show progresses, the director of each episode changes. An innate optimism permeates the show’s depiction of life as an immigrant. “Little America,” like “Pachinko,” is grounded on the actual world. Both the aspirations and hardships faced by the main characters are palpably relatable. This one is available on Apple TV+

Little America Trailer:

6. Joseon Gunman

For those who enjoy historical dramas, Joseon Gunman is an excellent choice despite the show’s 22-episode length. One may imagine a 19th-century Korean village in this story. Yoon-Kang vows to exact revenge on those responsible for the death of his father and the captivity of his younger sister. He accidentally transforms into a hero for the people when he has a gun in his hand. Even after a long run, Lee Joon Gi does a fantastic job in his role, and the show continues to bring compelling drama and character development. Although it’s not a perfect depiction of oppression and captivity, it’s another show that does so well.

Joseon Gunman Trailer:


5. Youth of May

The Korean drama Youth of May is a must-see. One of Korea’s worst chapters was written during the Gwangju Uprising. Protesters were killed and assaulted back in May 1980 when they took part in anti-government demonstrations. Youth of May, a well-written romantic Korean drama released at the beginning of May, focused on this struggle while also weaving in a forbidden love theme. For this year’s biggest surprise, the result is a lovely and touching memorial to the 600 individuals who perished in this awful catastrophe. As a mid-week gem that tells a gripping story with enough emotion, grief, and tension to last, this is certainly one of the biggest shocks this year.

Youth of May is a great K-drama you should watch
Youth of May is a great K-drama you should watch

4. Ramy

First-generation Egyptian immigrant Ramy is the protagonist of this dramedy series, which deals with his search for spiritual identity. The show examines the diversity and complexity of the Muslim community in the context of a divided New Jersey neighborhood. “Ramy,” like “Pachinko,” deals with racism and discrimination, as well as grief and an identity crisis, drawing heavily on real-life events like the Arab Spring. Internal community issues are also addressed in this book.

Rami Trailer:

3. Kim’s Convenience

The ultra hilarious Canadian sitcom “Kim’s Convenience” is about a Korean immigrant family. It’s a personal favorite I started watching because of all the TikToks. It focuses on Mr. Sang-il Kim, also known as Appa, and Mrs. Yong-mi Kim, also known as Umma, who were both teachers in Korea. However, after emigrating, they founded the eponymous convenience shop in Toronto’s Moss Park district. Son Jung and daughter Janet are also members of the family. Although ‘Kim’s Convenience’ is drastically different from ‘Pachinko’ in terms of focus and atmosphere, they do share some themes. Immigration, coupled with internal struggle and the urge to assimilate, is clearly a prominent topic in both shows.

Kim's incorrectness is the best here
You’ll laugh at just how based is Mr. Kim

2. Hymn of Death

As Japan was under Japanese rule, Hymn of Death tells the story of a young couple’s love. Kim Woo-jin and Yun Sim-deok had a disastrous romance based on real circumstances, which the serial focuses around. While vacationing in Japan, the two main protagonists develop feelings for each other. Sim-deok, like Sunja, is shocked to learn that her boyfriend has a wife. Sim-deok Pachinko and Hymn of Death, on the other hand, highlight the difficulties endured by Korean people under Japanese authority. Lastly, you can watch this one on Netflix.

Hymn of Death Trailer:

1. Bridal Mask

‘Bridal Mask,’ like ‘Pachinko,’ takes place in the 1930s, during Japan’s conquest of Japan. Two Korean brothers are the focus of the show. To fight for his country’s independence, one wears a bridal mask to conceal his identity as a pro-Japanese law enforcement officer in Korea. ‘Bridal Mask’ is a more action-oriented film than ‘Pachinko,’ but it still contains some of the same themes, such as racism and xenophobia. This one is also available on Netflix.

Bridal Mask Trailer:

So, how did you find our top 10 series similar to Pachinko? I’m sure you must’ve found one among these shows that you might like. Or maybe, you’ve seen all of them because you’re a die-hard K-drama fan. If that’s your case, then I can’t help you. In any case, please share this article with your contacts on social media. We’re signing off here at Otakukart. Thanks for reading us, and see you next time. Happy streaming!

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