My Favorite Asian Dramas of 2018

Since the year is coming to the close, I thought I could do some posts on my favorites of the year. And today we are starting off with my favorite dramas from Asia (China and Korea mostly). These won’t be in any order, because all of them are good for their own reasons. Without too many words, let’s get into it!

Also, since this is important to me, I’ll be spoiling whether the drama has a happy or sad ending, because often times the ending effects whether I want to watch a drama.

Mr. Sunshine (미스터 션샤인)

(sad ending)

Country: Korea
Genre: Historical, Thriller, Romance
Episodes: 24
Release: July 7 – Sep. 30, 2018

This is probably my favorite tv series this year, and possibly of all time. Not only is it beautifully filmed, but the actors are simply brilliant and the plot is extremely tightly written. This drama is so beautiful, I’m lost for words! And I was surprised by how much English is spoken in this drama.

The plot is set during one of the most difficult times in Korean history during the turn of the 19th century, when the Japanese were taking over Korea (or Joseon as it was called). This story follows Eugene Choi (played by Lee Byung Hun), who as a young boy escaped Korea for America, and now returns to his native country as an American soldier and falls in love with the rebellious young noblewoman Go Ae Shin (played by the beautiful Kim Tae Ri). The drama follows their fight to protect the country they both came from. And yet, be aware of an extremely sad ending. 

Ashes of Love (香蜜沉沉烬如霜)

(happy ending)

Country: China
Genre: Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Episodes: 63
Release: August 2 – September 4, 2018

If you are a fan of Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, this is the drama for you. It is so beautiful and though the plot does get a bit weird near the end, I was happy with the conclusion and the acting was great.

Set in the ancient Chinese world, the plot follows Jinmi (played by Yang Zi), the daughter of a Flower Goddess who has grown up trapped within this sacred land, separate from the rest of the world. That is, until Xufeng (played by Deng Lun), who is a great god, falls down from the sky into her land. After saving him, Xufeng develops feelings or Jinmi, which causes all sort of trouble.

The Crown Princess (ลิขิตรัก)

(this was the best trailer I could find)

(happy ending)

Country: Thailand
Genre: Romance, Action
Episodes: 12
Release: May 14 – June 19, 2018

See, not all my picks were from China and Korea! If you are looking for an adorable romance with some action, this one is perfect! I love this pairing as well, as these two actors (Yaya Urassaya Sperbund and Barry Nadech Kugimiya) are so perfect together. While I like several of their previous dramas together (Duang  Jai Akkanee, The Rising Sun, and Leh Lub Salub Rarng), this one is perhaps my favorite!

The plot is pretty basic, following the love story between the princess of a fictional country nearby Thailand and the soldier who becomes her bodyguard. Most of the story follows people trying to kill or kidnap her while he tries to protect her.

Siege of Fog (人生若如初相见)

(sad ending)

Country: China
Genre: Historical, Romance, Thriller
Episodes: 50
Release: March 2 – April 18, 2018

This is probably the most serious mention on my list and one that I couldn’t blame anyone for refusing to watch because this drama literally pulls out your heart, stomps on it, and then lights it on fire for an extra measure. However, it’s also a beautiful drama and I loved the performances of Sun Yi and Elvis Han (the two leads).

The trailer kind of explains the plot, which follows Qin Sang (Sun Yi), a young noble woman forced to marry Yi Lian Kai (Elvis Han) and about their growing romance as the world collapses around them during the Revolutionary era in China.

100 Days My Prince (백일의 낭군님)

(I couldn’t find an English trailer…sorry)

(happy ending)

Country: Korea
Genre: Historical, Romance, Comedy
Episodes: 16
Release: September 10 – October 30, 2018

I had to add at least one light drama to this list, because a lot of my favorites are rather serious. But if you are looking for a hilarious drama with good acting and nothing too dark, this one is perfect. Plus, if you are a fan of Exo, D.O. plays the male lead in this. I’m not a massive fan, but I was surprised what a good performance he gave, as well as Nam Ji Hyun (who plays the female lead).

The plot follows Prince Lee Yul, who is nearly assassinated and loses him memory, and noble woman Yoon Yi Seo, who has been living in hiding since her father was killed as a child. The two meet and are forced to marry, neither knowing the other’s true identity. And of course, hilarity ensues.

Honorable Mentions

What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim? (Korea, 16 episodes, comedy romance)

The Legend of Yun Xi (China, 50 episodes, historical fantasy)

The Flame’s Daughter (China, 52 episodes, historical fantasy)

The Good Witch (Korea, 40 episodes, melodrama comedy)

What are your favorite Asian dramas of 2018? Did you watch any of these? I know I rarely do Asian drama posts, but I really do enjoy these shows. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more madness and, as always,

Best wishes in your life full of adventure,

Madame Writer

8 thoughts on “My Favorite Asian Dramas of 2018

  1. I am in love with Mr. Sunshine! It’s definitely one of my favorite Kdramas ever. And it’s fascinating from an American perspective because it’s not a period of history we learn much about.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You know Chinese dramas much better than I ! I hardly watch TV series this year. What I can recall are Romance of Our Parents and The Alienist ( Yes, recommeneded by you! Thank you so much! )😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You watched The Alienist? I hope you liked it. It’s dark but certainly interesting. Romance of Our Parents…I’m not familiar with it but I’ll check it out. And yes, I really enjoy Chinese dramas, especially historical ones. They are so beautiful!

      Liked by 1 person

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