K-dramas can be a great way to escape your life, and in the case of some, enter multiple other universes. One of our favourite K-drama concepts is the otherworldly - whether it's parallel universes, a connection between the living and the afterlife, or reincarnated souls time-travelling.
Here's some of our fave otherworldly dramas that'll have you spellbound by the plot twists, time shifts and emotional turmoil (that last one is a given with any good K-drama after all).
The King: Eternal Monarch
Currently airing, this new drama creates two Koreas: one is the South Korea we know of, the other is the Kingdom of Corea, functioning as a monarchy. When the King of Corea (Lee Minho) finds a way to slip between the worlds he meets the woman (Kim Go Eun) who saved his life as a child - but how is it possible when she's in the other universe? A mind-bending drama that has fully formed worlds, there's romance, intrigue and murder plots to keep you entertained.
W: Two Worlds Apart
In this parallel universe drama, a woman (Han Hyo Joo) who is a surgeon in the real world is pulled into the world of a webtoon created by her father, where she falls in love with its protagonist (Lee Jong Suk), who's out to find who murdered his family. With striking visuals and a twisty plot, you'll be hooked on every episode.
Do you like crying? You better because once you get sucked into this modern K-drama classic you'll be reaching for the tissues. The plot focuses on an immortal being (Gong Yoo) with a cursed sword in his side that can only be removed by his goblin bride, who he's spent 900 years waiting for. We won't go too deeply into the plot, but his bride (Kim Go Eun) is touched by life and death, and the connection goes much deeper than present day. Throw in a Grim Reaper (Lee Dong Wook) with a mysterious connection to our goblin, and you have yourself an intense time.
Reincarnated lives and past sins are all delved into with heartbreaking detail in this generation-spanning story that touches on all our questions about the afterlife.
If you like reincarnation storylines, this is the one for you. Three friends who lives as writers in 1930s Japanese-occupied Korea are reincarnated in modern times - one is a bestselling writer with writer's block (Yoo Ah In), another becomes his enigmatic ghostwriter (Go Kyung Pyo); and the third goes from a revolutionary activist to a super-fan of the bestselling writer (Im Soo Jung).
Timelines shift and the lines between the real and past worlds blur beautifully in this drama with comic elements thrown in to lighten the mood.
Circle: Two Worlds Connected
This sci-fi drama is set in two South Koreas: one set in 2017, the other in 2037. In the future South Korea, people's futures rely on them controlling their emotions and something sinister exist beneath the world's pristine surface. Meanwhile in 2017, twin sons (Yeo Jin Goo, An Woo Yeon) of a neuroscientist are on the hunt for a humanoid alien (Gong Seung Yeon) their father was experimenting on, after a string of suicides at their university. But are they suicides or murder?
If you love sci-fi and alternate universe plots, you'll love this story where aliens live among humans and all manner of danger lurks beneath the surface.
Another drama that combines the worlds of a comic with a human reality, a schoolgirl (Kim Hye Yoon) becomes self-aware and realises she's living inside a manhwa and that she's not even the main character. Determined to stop herself from being killed off, she begins meddling with the narrative, and discovers another sidelined character, the handsome No.13 (Rowoon), who could be the key to her surviving in this universe.
There's flashbacks to an unknown past, and plenty of self-referential drama in this blurred boundaries romance drama. Get ready for the feels!
Which of these dramas will you watch next?
Hear us on SBS PopAsia Digital Radio
Listen in 24/7 on Digital Radio, by downloading our free mobile app or by streaming live here on our website.
Download the app here: