Bulgasal: Immortal Souls | A K-Drama Fusion of Fantasy & Korean Mythology
After my love-hate relationship with Alchemy of Souls, I’m still quite skeptical to jump into another fantasy drama. Months prior, I dropped the fantasy K-Drama Bulgasal: Immortal Souls after Episode 3 but there’s something in it that made me re-watch it from the start. Curious how did it go? Let’s get started!
Disclaimer: This post may contain SPOILERS since this is a review of the whole series.
Storyline of Bulgasal: Immortal Souls
The series follows the journey of Dan-Hwal (played by Lee Jin-Wook), a warrior who grew up with a curse upon his name. After witnessing his wife and son’s death in front of him, a mysterious lady (Kwon Na-Ra) turned him into a Bulgasal, a Korean Mythological monster that cannot be killed by any immortal. It turned out that mysterious lady is a Bulgasal who took his mortal soul.
After becoming a Bulgasal, Dan-Hwal wanted a revenge and claim his mortal soul back. 600 years later, he is still looking for the mysterious lady who is now reincarnated on her 7th time. This time her soul was reincarnated into twin sisters as – her soul trapped in Sang-Eun’s body while her memory (of her mortality and being Bulgasal) in Sang-Yeon.
Coming to a more present time after Sang-Yeon’s death, Dan-Hwal finally get to meet Sang-Eun, with a twist. Dan-Hwal’s wife Dan-Sol (played by Gong Seung-Yeon) is reincarnated as Sang-Eun’s younger sister Si-Ho.
Personal Review of Bulgasal: Immortal Souls
When they said that love is sweeter the second time around, I didn’t really buy it until I re-watched the first three episodes again of Bulgasal. With a better headspace and momentum, I appreciate the fantasy, cinematography as well as the props (make up & costumes) used.
What kept me hooked all the way is the touch of the Korean Mythology creatures. Bulgasal is one (which happens to be two person surprisingly), and there were more creatures throughout the series. The action scenes between the two Bulgasal are satisfying and it’s smoking hot. This probably sounds strange but when Ok Eul-Tae (the other Bulgasal) bite Dan-Hwal’s neck, the delivery is so sexy. The angles, the emotions, the setting, everything…
But like how every K-Dramas has a flaw, Bulgasal: Immortal of Souls is a K-Drama which is not an exception. The fall of the series from my perspective is when they used an insane amount of teasing and flashbacks repeatedly during the whole series. Half of the series is over but the viewers can’t still fully grasp the depth of Dan-Hwal’s previous relationship with Sang-Eun. Is there something more between the two? Is there a past way before they switch souls? All of us are in a limbo while consuming a somehow forced romantic relationship between the two in the present time.
While the series is trying to postpone the tension in the end without giving the viewers any new meat to consume, it’s a shame because the storyline holds so much potential. Believe it or not, the ultimate revelation of the story was only shown right on Episode 16. And for us to sit through all that push and pull in between for that juicy past, it’s not worth it.
Bonus Section: Korean Mythology Creatures Featured in Bulgasal: Immortal of Souls
Apart from the creature Bulgasal, different creatures reincarnated as human beings were also shown throughout the K-Drama. Dan Hwal introduce them to us one by one as they enter the scenes. In no particular order, the creatures featured are:
- Teoreokson – A monster that lurks under the water
- Jomagu – A ravenous monster that even eats corpses
- Dueoksini – A monster known to manipulate people’s thoughts and minds
- Gapsangoe – A monster in the Mount Gap Area that kills people with fire
While I couldn’t find related facts about these creatures, they might be created solely for the show. But whether they are fictional or not, it’s a compelling element that supports our main character.
Bulgasal: Immortal of Souls is not the best fantasy K-Drama but it has its own flavor. The mythical elements were written nicely and they were all well-distributed throughout the series. And Lee Joon, boy his performance is outstanding. I haven’t seen that side of him until here. Worth checking out, I swear.
- Personal Rating Score: 6 out of 10
- Target Audience: Fans of Mythology
- Will I recommend this: Still yes but prepare yourself for all the teasing and flashbacks
Fusion between Fantasy and Korean Mythology, Bulgasal: Immortal of Souls is a nice K-Drama if you’re a fan of the two. While it didn’t deliver a good romantic plot, the crucial elements saved the show.