K-dramas are famous for their innovative storytelling and an inclination towards real-life similarities. Although genres like fantasy, history, horror, and supernatural are inseparable elements of K-dramas, they have true stories at their base.
So, from fantasy and romance to crime thrillers, here is a list of K-dramas that are based on real-life stories:
Fight For My Way (2017)
According to the writer of this K-drama, Fight For My Way is inspired by the life of a mixed martial artist and his wife. The drama beautifully portrays the story of an MMA fighter who was once a celebrated taekwondo player and a television anchor aspirant who works at the department store.
Starring BTS fame V, and other celebrated stars like Park Seo-joon, Park Hyung-sik, and more, this drama is based on Korean history during the age of 57 BC and 935 AD. The story features a group of elite young men who were chosen and trained to protect the king.
Through the Darkness (2022)
Portraying the mystique and suspense surrounding the show, this drama is based on the autobiography of Korea’s first profiler Ko Na-mu. With his innovative thinking, Ko Na-mu helped solve various homicide cases.
Reply 1988 (2015)
Inspired by the life of Go player Lee Chang-ho also known as "Stone Buddha" was the youngest professional Go player at the age of 11. This drama features the nostalgic 80’s life in Korea that garnered undivided attention from the viewers.
The Empress Ki (2013)
Based on the real-life story of Empress Ki, who is often criticized for her lust for power and cunningness, this drama has modified the base story with twists like uprisings and battles for more dramatic effects.
Taxi Driver (2021)
A former Special Force soldier turns to a taxi driver who also provides services to his clients by getting revenge for those who can’t get justice through the legal system. However, the cases the driver works on are based on true stories.
Juvenile Justice (2022)
Based on true stories, this drama features how a newly appointed juvenile court judge with a chilly and distant personality disregards customs and enforces her own law by bringing innovative changes.
Six Flying Dragons (2015)
Based on both real life and fictional characters from the late 1300s era, the end of the Goryeo dynasty, this drama depicts the story of tension and battle-prone situations before the formation of a new era.
Queen For Seven Days (2017)
Featuring the real-life story of Queen Dangyeong, whose reign ended in just 7 days, this drama is a must-watch historical romance.
Although this drama is based on Kim Bo Tong’s webtoon, it also portrays the real stories of Korean police and their harsh measures to catch deserters.
Move To Heaven (2021)
Based on the non-fiction essay written by Kim Sae Byul with the title ‘Things Left Behind’, which contains real-life traumatic experiences, this drama features the story of an ex-convict who starts a trauma cleaning business after returning from jail while also looking after her autistic nephew.
Crash Landing On You (2019)
Based on true events including the accident of the actress Jung Yang in 2008, this drama accurately depicts life in North Korea. When a billionaire heiress crash-landed in North Korea following a paragliding accident, a North Korean special officer protected her and sent her home back.
With a fantasy storyline twist where a walkie-talkie connects two detectives from a different timeline, this crime drama is based on true crime stories like the kidnapping case of Park Chorong Bitnari and the murder case of Hwasong involving ten women’s rape and murder in the Gyeonggi province.
By- Supalee Dalai