Hello everyone. First of all, I would like to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance. I am hoping that the holiday season brings you great joy and may all your heart’s wishes be fulfilled.
So for today, I will be sharing a list of my top 10 Asian dramas that aired in 2018. I definitely watched more than 10 dramas, but these are just the few that really stood out for me. This is going to be a long post, so bear with me. I will be listing from last to first because I want my #1 to be anticipated.
#10 – A Korean Odyssey/HwayugiSon Oh- Gong, the monkey king, finds himself bound as a protector for Jin Seon-mi. She is the little girl he had made a contract with 25 years ago. In exchange for setting Son Oh-gong free, Jin Seon-mi will be able to call on him whenever she needs help. Now, this was a highly anticipated drama for me, and it had a great start to it. The characters were funny, I also loved the way the story progressed, but the ending episodes were slowly paced with a few unnecessary scenes. The fact that I still enjoyed it on my second watch is the reason for it being on my list.
#9 – The Ghost DetectiveLee Da-il is a detective who has promised to help his assistant Jung Yeo-wool, investigate the bizarre death of her younger sibling. While doing this, he runs into a mysterious woman in red called Sunwoo Hye, who somehow appears at every crime scene. This was a very intriguing drama, but the reason for it being #9 on my list is because of the horror aspects which I am not the biggest fan of. I had to keep my lights on whenever I watched it because somehow I always watched it late at night
#8 – EncounterFate threw a large dice for these two. A woman who seems to have everything and a young man who seems to have nothing. As things unfold, they have to choose between wealth and authority or an ordinary life together. I always enjoy a very well produced cheesy romance, and the cinematography is a plus for this drama, really amazing. The only reason for it being this low on my list is because it is still airing, and my feelings might change if the story flops. So I got my fingers crossed for this one, but so far I love it.
#7 – Moonshine and ValentineGuan Pipi lived an ordinary and peaceful life until she met Helan Jingting; then, her life took an extraordinary turn. Different from humans, Helan is actually a fox. He cannot see during the day but has great vision at night. Their unique relationship begins when Pipi faces betrayal from love and friendship. A check for romance, another check for fantasy, which I go crazy for and the last check for amazing chemistry. I really enjoyed this drama, and I am actually hoping for a second season. But at the same time, I am not sure if the second season can be executed as perfectly as the first.
#6 – What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?The drama revolves around a narcissistic vice chairman of a major corporation, Lee Young-Joon and his very able secretary, Kim Mi So. The catalyst for this drama is Kim Mi-So’s intention to resign from her position, after working for Lee Young-Joon for nine years. Like I said earlier, I love a good romance, and this also had comedy to offer, so I loved every minute of it. It was also nice to see the vice-chairman begin to pay attention to someone other than himself. The pace was also on point from start to finish.
#5 – My ID is Gangnam BeautyKang Mi-rae decides to get plastic surgery after being bullied in high school for her looks. Yet she ends up being nicknamed as the “Gangnam plastic surgery monster” of her university. The drama follows her story of recovering self-esteem as she gets to know Do Kyung-Seok. Really awesome drama from start to finish, there was never a dull moment for me. I absolutely loved the fact that the male lead could see through the second female lead’s tricky acts and plus the main leads were so cute together. LOVED IT
#4 – Welcome to WaikikiThe story circles around three friends who run a failing guesthouse called Waikiki and the mysterious appearance of a single mother and her baby. If you need a good laugh, I highly recommend this drama. It was pure comedy from the beginning to the end. I enjoyed every minute of it. The characters bonded so well together, and there was a lot of personal growth going on for every character. I will definitely be watching this again.
#3 – Story Of Yanxi PalaceSmart and witty Wei Yingluo enters the court of the Qianlong Emperor as a seamstress to investigate the truth behind her older sister’s death. Upon discovering that the imperial guard Fuca Fuheng might have a hand in her sister’s death, she purposely attracts the attention of his sister, the Empress Fuca. Over time she learns about the honesty and kindness of both siblings and also develops romantic affections for Fuheng. Can we please have a moment of appreciation for a strong and resourceful female lead, which is rare in Asian dramas. Wei Ying Luo outsmarted all her rivals without any major support, and that made me enjoy this drama.
#2 – The Rise of Phoenixes Ning Yi is a calculating and ambitious sixth prince of the ruling Tiansheng kingdom. He disguises his talents behind a carefree personality after corrupt officials charged his older brother with high treason. He establishes a secret information network with Qingming Academy’s headmaster Xin Ziyan and waits for the perfect time to strike down his enemies. Once again, a moment of appreciation for an amazing and well-written male lead character. The actor Chen Kun who played as Ning Yi deserves every award possible. He did a fantastic job of convincing the audience to accept every emotion displayed by his character. Also, the chemistry between the leads was 10/10. Honestly, Chinese dramas shined this year.
#1 – Mr. SunshineThe drama focuses on a young boy who is born into slavery, but after a traumatic event, he escapes to the United States during the 1871 U.S. expedition to Korea. He later returns to Joseon as a U.S. Marine Corps officer. During his stay, he meets and falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter and also discovers a plot by foreign forces to colonize Korea. There is only one word to describe this drama, “PERFECTION.” From the directing to the cinematography, chemistry between characters and beautiful soundtracks. It had it all. I laughed, smiled, cried and felt so attached to all characters throughout the series.
If you also enjoyed any of these dramas, please let me know what exactly you really loved about it. Even if you have a favourite that did not make my list, leave the title in the comment section because I will check it out. Now, if you have not seen any of these listed dramas, please grab some popcorn and have yourself a merry Christmas movie night.
Once again, Merry Christmas.