Several South Korean dramas center around supernatural elements like fairies, spirits, and the concepts of immortality and rebirth. Goblin is a prime example of such K-dramas. After attaining a worldwide following, Goblin opened a new world of fantasy series in South Korea and winning over audiences from all over. Such was its impact that even affected fashion trends and several parodies around the world.
These shows are often heartwarming, dramatic while playing around with local histories and folklore and tying this rich past with the country's contemporary times. Here are some of the best supernatural K-dramas with the same elements as Goblin.
Updated on April 10th, 2021 by Gabriela Silva: Fans have an array of binge-worthy K-dramas to indulge infrom all genres, with mystical fantasy being hugely popular right now.These hit K-dramas have the rivetingaction to keep fans enthralled, the steamy romance, and a few magical beings ranging from ghosts, gods, and even demon-fighting heroes.
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Black is tagged as a K-drama thriller available on Netflix. The show is much more than a thriller as it entails a storyline between a grim reaper and a young woman who can see ghosts. Black (Song Seung-Heon) is a notorious grim reaper who is forced to go the mortal world to track down his figurative partner.
The story gets complicated when he gets involved in a series of cold case murders. Fans came to praise the show even further when Black meets a young woman plaguedwith the abilityto see ghosts. No onesuspected a cold reaper to fall in love, especially since it's forbidden.
He Is Psychometric (2019)
K-dramas fans are in for a treat with He is Psychometric. Fans of K-Pop got to see Got7 singer/songwriter,Jinyoung in the lead role as Lee Ahn. The 2019 K-dramas is a fantasy/supernatural mystery, while also including romantic elements.
Lee Ahn acquires the uniquepower of psychometry after the death of his parents in a fire. He has the ability to read people's past with physical touch. Ahn decides to use his new powers to combat criminalsand solve a case that plagues his past as well as the other main characters.
The Uncanny Counter (2020)
The Uncanny Counter became a Netflix sensation when it debuted in 2020. Fans praised the drama for its riveting supernatural storyline, heartfelt and emotional moments, and character development. A crippled teen is plagued withthe trauma of his parent's accident.
One day he gets the opportunity to join a group of Counters, individuals with special supernatural abilities to fight off rogue demons. Along the way, his parent's death and the stories of other characters are interwoven as he hopes to one day reunite with his parents and eradicate a powerful demon.
Arang And The Magistrate (2012)
Fans might find storyline similarities between Arang and the Magistrate and Bring It On, Ghost.The 2012 K-drama tells the story of a noble searching for his mother. This nobleman isn't a normal individual as he has the ability to see, hear and touch spirits.
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The nobleman refuses to accept his powers until coerced to help a young female spirit. The female spirit has lost all her memories ofher suspicious death. Realizing she might be the clue to finding his mother, the nobleman accepts to help her as the newly appointed magistrate.
Vampires have been a favorite supernatural creature on the small and big screen for quite some time. Blood was a 2015 K-drama centered around a notable doctor who happens to be a vampire. His cold and aloof demeanor is only afront for his kind heart anddesireto save human lives.
The doctor soon meets the arrogantYoo Ri-Ta (Ku Hye-Sun),the nieceof thegroup chairman who owns the hospital.Despitetheir constant bickering, the doctor finds himself falling for her. Intermixed is a story of evil as the hospital director has hidden and dark intentions.
Possibly one of the greatest dramas in the pantheon of South Korean fantasy shows, Goblin (also known as Guardian: The Lonely and Great God) tells the story of Kim Shin (Gong Yoo). He's a decorated military general from the past who is cursed with immortality, in exchange for all the lives he took. At the age of 939 years, he becomes the Goblin, the guardian of souls seeking a bride for himself who can break his spell.
The show generated an immense cult following, becoming a cultural phenomenon in South Korea and one of the country's highest-rated series. The show also became noted for its memorable comedic moments.
Bring It On, Ghost (2016)
Bring It On, Ghost has a fun premise of an exorcist befriending a spirit. Lonely and disgruntled in his profession, the exorcist befriends a wandering spirit as his roommate and ghost-fighting partner, later sharing a romance with her.
The K-drama is filled with moments that can tug at viewers' heartstrings. The show, much like the webtoon it's inspired from, shows the potential of K-dramas to perfectly blend romance and everyday drama with fantasy elements.
Oh My Ghost (2015)
A light-hearted take on the supernatural genre, this 2015 show features a timid girl who gets possessed by the ghost of a much bolder young woman. This ghost attempts to fulfill all those desires that she otherwise couldn't in her mortal life. The situation gets further complicated when the ghost wishes to hook up with the girl's boss, a famous womanizing chef.
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Oh My Ghostcarries on the usual tropes of fantasy K-dramas while adding a heartfelt love triangle in the mix. A Thai remake of the same name premiered three years after its release.
My Love From The Star (2013)
Just like Goblin's aged protagonist, My Love From The Star also stars an extraterrestrial being (Kim Soo-Hyun) stranded on Earth for four centuries. Much like the other leads of the shows in this list, the hero Do Min-Joon is initially lonely and cynicaluntil he starts spending time with a leading actress (Jun Ji-Hyun) of the current era. She changes his overall mindset as his faith in humanity gets restored.
The show was praised for its fast-paced plot and the performances of its two leads. It even went on to inspire a Filipino show of the same name in 2017. Fans of the drama also couldn't help but admire the female leads fashion sense.
Legend Of The Blue Sea (2016)
Inspired by South Korean folklore, Legend of the Blue Sea is a visually appealing, emotional drama dealing with the love story of a mermaid and a con-man. The mermaid belongs to the Joseon period of South Korean history. Like other fantasy K-dramas,the show occasionally shifts to an archaic past while connecting it to contemporary times.
Jun Ji-Hyun, in particular, drew great praise for playing the mermaid Se-Hwa with child-like innocence and charm.
A Korean Odyssey (2017)
Written by the noted South Korean screenwriters The Hong Sisters, A Korean Odyssey is a modern retelling of the classic 16th-century Chinese text Journey To The West, set in the year 2017. The world is inhabited with dark forces as two Kings clash with each other. One king is representative of heaven while the other embodies hell.
Very popular at the time of its airing, the show lives up to its epic source material with many likable young characters. Each character fights for their own circumstances, making thedecision between good and evil.
Chicago Typewriter (2017)
Three Korean freedom fighters protest against the Japanese occupation of Korea in the 1930s. However, they get reincarnated to the present day as a best-selling writer, a fan of the writer, and a ghostwriter. The three characters reunite to find the truths behind their 80-year-old past.
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Chicago Typewriter has a wildly original and unpredictable plot, moving beyond several cliches of supernatural K-dramas. And then as mentioned, the show also functions as a heartwarming tribute to Korea's history of struggles and revolutions.
Master's Sun (2013)
Master's Sun is often hailed as one of the most romantic K-dramas is often dubbed as a 'hor-rom-com' (horror romantic comedy). The protagonist Gong-Shil (Gong Hyo-Jin) is a woman who gains the ability to see ghosts after a mysterious accident. Traumatized by this curse, she finds solace with Joong-Won (So Ji-Sub), a rich, handsome CEO of a company around whom the ghosts disappear.
While it seems like a simple love story, Joong-Won sticks with Gong-Shil for his own motives as he hopes to meet the ghost of his dead ex-girlfriend. How the two characters deal with their tumultuous relationship forms the remainder of the story.
With a binge-worthy season of 16 episodes, W is a classic fantasy K-drama that revolves around a clash of two words, one being the real world and the other being an alternate universe from a digital webtoon called W. In the middle of this, two hopeless souls in their early thirties, belonging to each of these two dimensions end up falling in love.
High on action and romance, the show drew immense praise for its unique concept. It marked a new wave of K-dramas that relied on sci-fi rather than just fantasy and supernatural elements.
Hotel Del Luna (2019)
The titular hotel in this series is an establishment that caters only to ghosts. Again written by the Hong sisters, the horror-comedy gives a hotelier's perspective of the hotel's history and mysterious founder.
Apart from its light tones, the show also ventures towards emotional territories, especially towards the series finale. Even in terms of world-building, Hotel Del Luna is a pretty unconventional drama drifting away from the common depiction of spirits or allusions to historical periods like the Joseon era.