HomeNewsGet your nerd on: These are the best sci-fi Korean dramas to watch

Get your nerd on: These are the best sci-fi Korean dramas to watch

One of the most underrated genres in the universe of Korean dramas is sci-fi. Here are the best sci-fi Korean dramas.

Get your nerd on: These are the best sci-fi Korean dramas to watch

When we think of Korean dramas, we’re inclined to think of a feel-good romance plot. Beyond that, we likely explore the horror & fantasy genres of Korean dramas. But one of the most underrated genres in the universe of Korean dramas is sci-fi. 

Within Korean sci-fi, you will find quite a bit of the hackneyed concepts – aliens, cyborgs and time travel – but it’s refreshing to see the same theories being built into novel plots. Changing the cultural context changes a lot. In Korean sci-fi, you’ll not find the same political undertones that exist in, say, American sci-fi movies. Here’s a compilation of some of the most exciting & ingenious sci-fi Korean dramas.

Ice Girl

We all wonder if it is possible for time to stand still – Ice Girl goes ahead and takes a chance at that. Just before she is about to get married, Kim So-ryung suffers a heart attack. Her father, who’s a scientist, freezes her body in a bid to get some time to look for ways to save her. She wakes up after 25 odd years with no memories of her ex-fiancé. 

In a very dramatic fashion, she then proceeds to fall in love with his son, Jung Min-jae instead. Ice Girl’s an odd story, but that’s what you get when time stands still for one person & one person alone. 

Alien Sam

There it is, an alien movie. Alien Sam is the story of an alien prince from another planet who lands on earth. But this isn’t the heroic alien or the goofy alien plots you are used to. He stays on earth and disguises himself as a middle school teacher. 

My Holo Love

In 2020, the Korean dramas have taken up the scientific quotient by many notches. In My Holo Love, we see sci-fi, romance and corporate-espionage melt together. While romance & mush are an integral part of the story, they aren’t at the core of everything. With the use of artificial intelligence (AI), a company has built a life-like hologram that can be seen through a special pair of glasses. 

In the turn of events, those glasses land up in the protagonist’s purse. Now, she can look at the hologram of an attractive man – it makes her heart skip a beat, no exaggeration intended. (How else do you imagine the title My Holo Love came about?) This South Korean caper promises as much thrill & adrenaline rush as it does a sappy romance.

Nine

No list of sci-fi movies would be complete without time travel. The concept is intriguing to us, perhaps, because we still haven’t cracked it. The time-travel plot in Nine is impeccably executed. On one hand, Nine retains the warmth that is so characteristic of Korean dramas. On the other hand, it portrays time travel – its complications & repercussions – flawlessly. The power & the opportunity to alter the past comes with consequences. We’ve seen versions of this before, but the narrative of Nine really sets it apart.

A Cyborg in Love

In the sci-fi genre, robots & cyborgs falling in love isn’t unheard of. But A cyborg in Love is inventive in that the cyborg is equipped with a fail-safe system to ensure she shuts down if even a whiff of love reaches her cybernetic heart. 

We’d assume love is out of the equation. Instead, this challenge gives motivation to a programmer to write the code for love & romance. A Cyborg in Love’s the kind of sci-fi that also doubles as a tearjerker.

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Kritika is a writer and communications consultant based in India. She loves consuming stories in all forms – books, movies, TV shows – and places these stories under a fierce assessment to see if they are feminist, empathetic or entertaining enough. All of Kritika's work is undergirded by her passion for mental health.

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