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Disney+ Hotstar unveils its thrilling lineup of Korean content for 2024

After a successful 2023 marked by Korean originals Big Bet and Moving receiving numerous international awards, with Moving emerging as Disney+ Hotstar’s most-watched local original of the year, the streaming platform is set to continue its momentum.

Speaking on Feb 19 during the announcement of the lineup, Carol Choi, Executive Vice President, Original Content Strategy, The Walt Disney Company APAC, said: “The new Korean originals announced today really builds on the positive momentum and success of our APAC content slate last year. We will continue to scale our creative ambition with a curated collection of APAC originals, centered on quality storytelling and top talent, in collaboration with the region’s  most exciting storytellers.”

Here are seven shows you can look forward to from Disney+ Hotstar in 2024:

Blood Free:

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Starring Ju Jihoon (Kingdom) and Han Hyojoo (Moving), Blood Free follows a former bodyguard haunted by the failures of his past. After diving down a rabbit hole of tangled leads, he finds himself recruited to protect the CEO of a controversial lab-grown meat company who is also a survivor of the fateful attack that changed his life.

Unmasked:

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Set in modern-day Seoul, Unmasked follows a crack team of investigative journalists who are fighting for their careers after broadcasting a controversial story. With time running out, the team is given an impossible task if they want to save their jobs – solve a twenty-year-old cold case involving a famous actor who disappeared without a trace. Unmasked stars Kim Hyesoo (Under The Queen’s Umbrella).

The Tyrant:

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The Tyrant follows a U.S. government agent as he tries to recover a deadly new virus stolen from the South Korean government. With everything at stake, this action-packed series sees global intelligence agencies battle against nefarious parties to prevent the virus spreading across the world.

Gangnam B-Side:

A thrilling crime drama, Gangnam B-Side follows a pariah detective pulled back into the game after his daughter’s friend goes missing. The latest in a long line of women to go missing in the Gangnam area of Seoul, the detective will delve back into a world of vice, drugs and corruption to uncover something that threatens to topple some of the city’s wealthiest elite.

The Zone: Survival Mission – Season 3:

The popular Disney+ Korean variety has been renewed for its third season with Kwon Yuri and Yoo Jaesuk returning alongside new hosts – former UFC fighter Kim Donghyun and popular YouTuber Dex. Together, the foursome will get up to more hijinks than ever before as they try to survive an increasingly complex range of challenges.

Uncle Samsik:

Starring Parasite star Song Kangho, and Byun Yohan (Mr. Sunshine), Uncle Samsik is a societal drama set in 1960s Korea that follows an idealistic politician, and a mysterious political fixer called Uncle Samsik who operates in the shadows. Together the pair form an uneasy partnership with the goal of transforming a struggling post-war Korea into a prosperous country where everyone can afford three meals a day.

Light Shop:

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An adaptation of the hit webtoon of the same name, Light Shop follows a group of strangers, each struggling to come to terms with a traumatic event in their past. Going about their daily lives, each individual is mysteriously drawn to a light shop that sits at the end of a seedy alleyway. Guarded by a vigilant shopkeeper, the light shop could hold the key to the strangers’ pasts, presents and futures.

Starring Ju Jihoon (Kingdom), Lee Jungeun (Parasite), Park Boyung (Oh My Ghost), and Bae Seongwoo (Veteran), today’s sizzle gave the first look at this eagerly anticipated new series from Kangfull, the visionary behind 2023’s breakout hit series Moving.

With even more local titles set to be announced in the weeks and months to come, be sure to stay tuned to Disney+ Hotstar for more captivating Korean content.

5 movie adaptations of ‘A Christmas Carol’ to watch this festive season

For some families, the season to be jolly is incomplete without watching some classic Christmas films.

And one of the most typical Christmas stories out there is none other than A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

It follows the life of Ebenezer Scrooge, a bitter and lonely elderly man who is visited by his former business partner Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.

After their visits, Scrooge let go of his old ways and becomes a kinder and more generous soul.

Since the novella was first published in London in 1843, there are many adaptations of the story over the years.

Here at KajoMag, we are breaking it all down to five of our favourite film adaptations of A Christmas Carol:

1.A Christmas Carol (1999)

Sir Patrick Stewart is mostly remembered for his role as Professor Charles Xavier from the X-Men.

But we also cannot forget his portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1999 TV film A Christmas Carol.

One of his memorable scenes is when Scrooge wakes up on Christmas morning after all three ghosts had visited him.

The gleeful Scrooge tries to laugh but for someone who hasn’t laugh for years, the sound comes out all wrong. Stewart pulled that scene off perfectly.

He was deservedly nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2000.

2.A Diva’s Christmas Carol (2000)

Here is an adaptation of Dicken’s classic with a twist. Instead of a grumpy old man, this version of the story features a selfish popular singer.

Vanessa L. Williams is Ebony Scrooge, a successful singer with a nasty attitude.

While the original Scrooge has his overworked, underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit by his side, Ebony has her underpaid manager Bob Cratchett (Brian McNamara) next to her.

There are other differences as well such as Ebony being visited by her former singing partner Marli Jacob, not business partner Jacob Marley in the original story.

Overall, it is a fun and different adaptation of what we know about A Christmas Carol.

3.A Christmas Carol (2009)

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When comes to animation adaptation, you have to give it to Disney to make it right.

This is Disney’s third adaptation of the novel, following Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983) and The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992).

It stars the voices of Jim Carrey as Scrooge, Gary Oldman as Cratchit and Marley as well as Colin Firth as Fred, Scrooge’s cheerful nephew.

While many think this adaptation is on the darker side, but when you come think about the storyline itself is dark.

Having four different ghosts including a dead business partner visiting you in one night, which part of the story is not dark?

4.Scrooge: A Christmas Carol (2022)

When you think Carrey had already done a good job voicing Scrooge, then comes Luke Evans in this 2022 adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

The screenplay for this musical fantasy drama film is by the director Stephen Donelly and Leslie Bricusse who also wrote the screenplay and composed the songs for the 1970 film Scrooge.

Unfortunately, Bricusse passed away a year before the film was released.

As for Evans, he also sings a number of songs in the movie.

Scrooge: A Christmas Carol (2022) was released on Netflix in December 2022 and it is still available for streaming on the platform.

5.Spirited (2022)

If you are getting bored of the original storyline of Dickens’ 1843 novel, how about a satire of various adaptations of the story?

The film follows the story of The Ghost of Christmas Present or better known as Present who is approaching his retirement days.

For nearly two centuries, Present along with Jacob Marley, the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Yet-to-Come have led a team of afterlife spirits to find and redeem one human soul every Christmas.

As they search for a new soul to redeem, Present sets his sight on Clint Briggs who is a renowned, controversial media consultant.

Marley believes Briggs is “unredeemable” but Present insists to make him change.

The plot continues to circle on Briggs and whether his soul is able to be redeemed in the end.

Overall, this film is a refreshing take on the classic.

The film stars Will Ferrell as Present and Ryan Reynolds as Clint Briggs.

5 reasons why K-drama Moving (2023) is worth all the buzz

When the first episode of Korean drama Moving (2023) was aired on Disney+ in South Korea, it became the biggest premiere ever on the platform based on hours watched in its first week of availability.

Then when it was released globally, it became the most watched series in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan as well as other Southeast Asian countries.

So what is the big deal? It is just about a bunch of teenagers and their parents who have superpowers, American dramas and films have a lot of those…but after watching the first episode, we understand why Variety called the series “the next breakout hit from Asia after Squid Game”.

Here are five reasons why K-drama Moving (2023) is worth all the buzz and why you should watch it:

Moving Korean Drama

1.The star-studded cast and their brilliant performances

Let us talk about the star-studded cast. First, we have Ryu Seung-ryong. Who is he you might ask? Well, he is the first Korean to star in four movies that have drawn over 10 million viewers each.

Some of his works are the famous tear-jerker Miracle in Cell No.7 (which became at the time the third highest grossing Korean film of all time), The Admiral: Roaring Currents (which is currently the highest-grossing film of all time in South Korea) and Extreme Job (which is currently the second highest-grossing film of all time in that country).

Then, we have Zo In-sung, a heartthrob known for his roles in Something Happened in Bali (2004), That Winter, the Wind Blows (2013) and A Frozen Flower (2008).

This drama marks his first official return to the small screen after his 2014 drama It’s Okay, That’s Love (2014).

Also staring in the drama is Zo’s real-life friend Cha Tae-hyun. Most viewers would remember him from My Sassy Girl (2001), Scandal Makers (2008) and Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds (2017).

Other big names on the list of cast include Han Hyo-joo, Ryoo Seung-bum and Kim Sung-kyun.

Some might said 36-year-old Han is too young to play the role of a mother to a teenager but her performance in the drama will shut the critics up.

When adult actors playing the roles of high school students, it is usually too awkward to watch. Just because they look young, it doesn’t mean they can act young.

However, hats off to Go Youn-jung (age 27) and Lee Jung-ha as well as Kim Do-hoon who are both 25 years-old.

Their performances as teenagers are very convincing.

A special shout out to Lee Jung-ha who completely transformed for his role. He is almost unrecognisable as he reportedly gained 30kg as Kim Bong-suk.

2.It is an adaptation of Kang Full’s work

The series is based on the eponymous webtoon by Kang Full.

He is considered as a ‘first generation’ webtoon artist who has been releasing his works since 2002.

Besides Moving, his other webtoons that have been adapted into screens are Hello, Schoolgirl (2008), Pained (2011), The Neighbour (2012) and Timing (2014).

If you are a fan of Kang’s webtoon, this drama is definitely worth watching.

Plus, the script for the screen adaptation is written by Kang himself.

3.Well-paced storytelling

Despite having no formal training in art and writing, Kang has always been known as a great storyteller.

And you cannot help but acknowledge his natural talent of storytelling as you watch Moving.

The series progresses with each episode tells the background stories of different characters.

Combining with many flashback scenes, viewers can slowly put together of what is going on and where is the story going.

Of course, there are plenty of “Aha!”, “Ooo” and “WTH” moments too.

All in all, the plot progresses with a nice pace with enough suspense that viewers cannot wait for the next episode.

4.Phenomenal action scenes

Action scenes are always fun to watch for those who enjoy them but it is more fun if the action include some supernatural powers.

We warn you; some of the scenes might be too gruesome to watch.

Plus, the way the killing scenes are carried out almost remind you of John Wick or Denzel Washington from The Equalizer.

Overall, the action scenes in Moving are quite original and some would make you hold on to your chair tighter.

5.It is romance, family, conspiracy and coming-of-age stories all wrapped in one

All in all, Moving is more than just an action drama filled with supernatural people like American drama Heroes (2006).

It is a story of romance of two couples who go through many hardships just to be together.

In the same time, it is a story about family where parents would sacrifice everything just for the children.

Speaking of the children, they are like any other teenagers trying to figure out themselves and their future who happened to have superpowers.

Behind it all, there is a conspiracy brewing which will push these characters to their limits.

Directed by Park In-je, Moving is available on Disney+.

KajoReviews: 3 reasons why Revenant is the horror K-drama to watch in 2023

Do you know why people love any kind of horror entertainment?

This phenomenon triggers the fight-or-flight response, simultaneously boosting adrenaline, endorphins, and dopamine.

After that, the brain can process surroundings and realise that the whole thing is not a real threat.

This knowledge of personal safety is one of the reasons why horror fans always come back for more.

Speaking of horror entertainment, there is always a good number of horror dramas and movies coming out from South Korea.

It is not the end of the year yet, but here at KajoMag we have found the ultimate horror K-drama to watch in 2023.

Revenant (2023) follows the story of Gu San-yeong (Kim Tae-ri). During the day, she is busy with her part time job and studying to become a civil servant at night.

After the death of her estranged father, San-yeong receives some mysterious objects from her father.

She does not think too much about the items until she is approached by Yeom Hae-sang (Oh Jung-se).

Turns out that Hae-sang is a folklore professor who has the special ability to see ghosts and he can see that San-yeong is being possessed by one.

When Hae-sang confronts San-yeong about it, she – like many normal people do – refuses to believe him.

That is until she notices there are mysterious deaths happening around her.

Revenant 2

If you want to know whether this series is worth watching, here are three reasons why Revenant is the horror K-drama to watch in 2023:

  1. Impressive acting from the cast, especially Kim Tae-ri

Let us start by talking about Kim Tae-ri’s performance as Gu San-yeong who is slowly being overtaken by the demon that is possessing her.

The real Gu San-yeong is like any regular young adult struggling to make ends meet. She has no time for any kind of conflicts and dramas, focusing only on her civil service examination. All she wants is to live a simple life with her mum.

Ever since she becomes possessed, however, conflicts begin to stir in her life that even the police come knocking on her door.

Meanwhile, the possessed Gu San-yeong is well, evil. Along with her demonic laugh and creepy smile, viewers cannot help but impressed by Kim’s take on the character.

Other cast members such as Oh Jung-se and Hong Kyung are also worth mentioning.

Oh has always been a versatile actor and famous for being a scene stealer. Viewers can expect nothing less from this award-winning actor.

While Hong still has plenty of space in his resume, the 27-year-old actor manages to pull his own weight in the drama as he works among his senior colleagues.

  • 2. Engrossing storyline

Another good reason to catch up on Revenant is because of the wonderful brain behind its script-writing.

Kim Eun-hee has several masterpieces under her belt including Phantom (2012), Three Days (2014), Signal (2016) and Jirisan (2021).

Perhaps her most famous work is Kingdom (2019), a period horror series which is also Netflix’s first original Korean drama.

She has built her career delivering scripts with psychological thriller, mystery, horror and suspense genres.

With Revenant, one can say it is Eun-hee’s area of expertise as she navigates viewers through suspenseful storyline, shocking plot twists and a good amount of jump scares in between.

In the drama, the main question circles around San-yeong’s possession.

Who is the ghost that possessed her and why? How can she get rid of it before more people around her die?

  • 3.  Not so cliched jump scares

Sometimes we can judge a good horror show by its jump scares.

A good horror movie or drama has to have a good amount of jump scares; not too many that it gets annoying and not too cliched that the story becomes predictable.

And Revenant delivers just that so be ready to get scared when you least expect it.

Apart from the jump scares, the creepy scenes in this drama are also chilling.

Only 12-episodes long, K-drama fans must not miss it.

Watch the trailer here.

Revenant is available for streaming on Disney+.

KajoPicks: 20 C-dramas based on Chinese novels you really should watch

We have made our list of K-dramas based on Korean novels that you need to watch.

So here are our 20 picks of C-dramas based on Chinese novels you really should watch:

1.Love Me if You Dare (2015)

This romantic crime drama is an adaptation from Ding Mo’s novel of the same name published in July 2014.

It stars Wallace Huo, Sandra Ma, Zhang Luyi, Wang Kai and Yin Zheng.

The plot tells the story of Simon or Jin Yan (Huo), a criminal psychologist who survived the notorious serial killer Flower Cannibal.

After his returns from the US, he hires Jian Yio (Ma) as his assistant/translator.

Along with police officer Li Xunran (Wang Kai) and friend Fu Ziyu (Yin Zheng), the group forms a crime-solving team to handle mysterious and violent cases.

However, what they did not know is that the Flower Cannibal is still lurking in the dark trying to finish what he has started on Simon.

Overall, the story development is well-paced and it offers enough tension as well as romance to keep viewers watching.

Thus, it is no surprise that the drama is one of the highest rated television series on Viki.

Here is a little trivia for you; in the first episode where Jian Yao is browsing through the bookshelves while she waits for an interview, you can see the titles of four books namely Battle of Changsha, All Quiet in Peking, Ode to Joy and When a Snail Falls in love. All these Chinese novels have been adapted into dramas.

2.When a Snail Falls in Love (2016)

Beside Love Me if You Dare, novelist Ding Mo also published a highly rated novel entitled When a Snail Falls in Love.

It follows the story of Detective Ji Bai (Wang Kai) who is the team leader of the Violent Crime Unit.

One day, a profiling intern named Xu Xu (Wang Ziwen) is assigned to join Ji Bai’s team.

Ji Bai is having a hard time with Xu Xu on his team. While she is talented in profiling, she lacks in physical ability as well as communication skills.

Xu Xu, on the other hand, turns to drawing comics to express herself better. In her comic, she portrays herself as a snail and Ji as a lion.

Do not be fooled by the title of this drama; the crime and suspense parts are heavier than the romantic plot.

For this reason, we absolutely love this drama.

The series may have aired from Oct 24 till Dec 12, 2016, but by Nov 15, the show had already reached 1 billion views online.

3.Memory Lost (2016)

Here is another C-drama based on one of Ding Mo’s masterpieces. Memory Lost is based on the detective trilogy of the same name by her.

It follows the story of highly intelligent police officer Bai Jingxi (Yang Rong) who works with her partner Han Chen (Bai Yu) to solve many difficult cases.

Despite the fact that they started off from a misunderstanding, the duo manages to work their ways out their differences to focus on their jobs.
The series has three seasons with every season comes with its own twists and turns.

Memory Lost was not only a hit in China but also internationally since it was aired on iQiYi.

Overall, the series is estimated to have garnered a total of 2.3 billion online views.

4.Love O2O (2016)

Based on the novel of the same name written by author Gu Man, this campus romance Chinese drama stars Yang Yang and Zheng Shuang.

It tells the story of Bei Weiwei (Zheng Shuang), a computer science student who aspires to be an online game developer.

To kill time, she engages in an online role-playing game “A Chinese Ghost Story” using the ID Luwei Weiwei.

After being dumped by her online husband Zhenshui Wuxiang, she is ‘proposed’ to by the number one player Yixiao Naihe who suggests that get married so they both can participate in the couples in-game competition.

After playing a few rounds together, the ‘virtual’ newlyweds start to hit it off.

What Weiwei does not know is that her online husband is her college senior who is the popular student jock and academician in campus.

After physically meeting each other for the first time, the duo start a romantic relationship.

The series is one of the most-watched Chinese modern dramas with 25.2 billion views online.

5.The Eternal Love (2017)

Qu Tan’er (Liang Jie) wakes up to find that another person has entered her body named Qu Xiaotan, who has time-traveled from the modern world.

Both girls share a different personality, with Qu Tan’er being gentle and submissive while Qu Xiaotan is wild and uninhibited.

Whenever one of them tells a lie, the other takes over their shared body.

Duty forces Qu Tan’er to marry Mo Liancheng (Xing Zhaolin) thus beginning an unexpected romance between two people thrown together by circumstance.

Things are complicated because Tan-er is in love with Liancheng’s older brother Yi Huai (Wang Rui Chang).

At the same time, Liangcheng is slowly falling in love with the modern girl, Xiaotan.

This transmigration drama is based on the novel ‘Hilarious Pampered Consort: Lord I Will Wait For Your Divorce’ by Fan Que.

6.Princess Agents (2017)

This commercially successful drama is based on the novel 11 Chu Te Gong Huang Fei written by Xiao Xiang Dong Er.

It stars Zhao Liying, Lin Gengxin, Shawn Dou and Li Qin.

The story takes place during the chaotic times of the Wei dynasty, where innocent citizens are often kidnapped and turned into slaves.

Slave girl, Chu Qiao is thrown into a forest along with other slaves and becomes the next hunting target for the rich lords.

She is saved by the Prince of Yanbei, Yan Xun.

Afterwards, she is brought into a powerful family of Yu Wen and witnesses their bloody power struggle. Seeing this, she swears to take her younger sister and flee from the situation.

However, she catches the attention of Yu Wen Yue and undergoes strict training to become a spy while building a sense of companionship with Yan Xun.

Like most of the dramas on this list, this series is a commercial success with more than 40 million views on Chinese streaming sites Youku, Tencent and iQiyi.

7.The King’s Avatar (2017)

In the multiplayer online game Glory, Ye Xiu (Yang Yang) is well known as the textbook-level expert and top-tier player Ye Qiu.

Due to a series of circumstances, he was forcefully expelled from his professional team.

After leaving the pro-gaming scene, he resides at an Internet Café employed as one of the managers.

When Glory launches their tenth server, he throws himself into the game once more—equipped with ten years of gaming experience, memories of the past, and an incomplete, self-made weapon.

This live-action streaming television series is based on Chinese webnovel of the same name by Hu Dielan.

During this era when esports is popular among young adults, there is no surprise why this drama was instantly a hit when it first came out.

It attracted more than 3 billion views on Tencent Video as well as moire than ten million views from other platforms such as WeTV and Youtube.

8.The King’s Woman (2017)

Set during the Warring States Era, Gong Sun Li (Dilraba Dilmurat) is the granddaughter and disciple of the powerful military commander Gong Sun Yu.

The first disciple Jing Ke (Liu Chang) and Li have always been in love with each other childhood.

When the Qin troops attack, Jing Ke is poisoned while trying to protect Li.

In order to save Jing Ke, Li agrees to marry Ying Zheng (Zhang Bin Bin), the King of the Qin State.

Ying Zheng finds out Li is already pregnant with Jing Ke’s child but accepts the child as his own.

Although she hates Ying Zheng at first, she slowly falls in love with him once she gets to know the kinder, gentler side of the ruthless ruler.

But what happen when Jing Ke comes to the palace to assassinate Ying Zheng?

Where will her allegiance lie? With her new or old lover?

This historical romantic drama is adapted from the novel The Legend of Qin: Li Ji Story written by Wen Shiren.

9.A Love So Beautiful (2017)

This slice of life drama follows the story of a group of high school friends.

Chen Xiao Xi (Shen Yue) and Jiang Chen (Hu Yi Tian) are neighbours who go to the same high school.

Their circle of friends include swimmer Wu Bo Song (Gao Zhi Ting) who has a crush with Xiao Xi and Lin Jing Xiao (Wang Zi Wei), the most beautiful girl in school.

Xiao Xi doesn’t like to study but has a talent for drawing. In the meantime, Jiang Chen is popular in school for his good looks and high grades.

The storyline takes you from their high school years, to college days and well into adulthood.

It is based on the novel To Our Pure Little Beauty by Zhao Qianqian.

10.Guardian (2018)

How about some science fiction drama on this list?

Set on the Earth-like planet of Haixing, populated by a native human population and two alien races.

The Yashou are aliens to shapeshift into plants and animals while the Dixing are super-powered beings who live deep underground.

The plot circles around the hotheaded Zhao Yunlan (Bai Yu) leads the Special Investigation Department (SID).

It is a group that works with the Black Robe Envoy to uphold peace and investigate cases related to the Dixing people.

While investigating an incident at the local university, Zhao is assisted by Shen Wei (Zhu Yilong), a biological engineering professor.

This mystery, science fiction drama is an adaptation of the 2012 web novel of the same name by Priest.

In the novel, the relationship between Zhao Yunlan and Shen Wei is depicted as romantic in nature. However, the web series depicts the relatiohip as platonic friendship with some homoerotic subtext.

The series was a hit when it came out and received a total of 1.8 billion views by August 2018.

11.Legend of Fuyao (2018)

Based on the Chinese novel Empress Fuyao by Tianxia Guiyuan, this fantasy-adventure drama has 66 episodes altogether.

It follows the story of Meng Fuyao (Yang Mi), a young woman who was born out of a divine lotus petal.

Adopted as an orphan, Fu Yao served as a slave for the Xuan Yuan sect in the Taiyuan Kingdom.

After a series of tragedies, she journeyed across the lands searching to lift the curse that blighted her life.

Along the way, she meets the Crown Prince of Tianquan, Zhang Sun Wu Ji (Ethan Juan), and falls in love with him.

Together, they tackle political issues in the five kingdoms and unearth secrets regarding her birth.

Unfortunately, the drama was not well-received among the Chinese audience. It was criticized for having cliche plots and a ‘Mary Sue’ protagonist.

Some even claimed it has a similar storylines to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Regardless of the harsh criticism, the series still managed to gain 14 billion views in 50 days becoming the most viewed online drama of the summer season that year.

12.The Untamed (2019)

Are you familiar with danmei? It is Chinese genre of literature and other fictional media that features romantic relationships between male characters. Danmei which also means indulging beauty, is typically created by and targeted towards a heterosexual female audience.

One of the most famous danmei novels out there is Mo Dao Zu Shi by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu.

The drama adaptation of the novel is The Untamed (2019), starring Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo.

It follows the adventures of two soulmate cultivators who travel to solve a series of mysteries that link to a tragic event in the past.

Wei Wuxian (Xiao Zhan), a loathed cultivator of what some called “dark and demonic arts”, is resurrected 16 years after his tragic death.

His return to the world brings him to reunite with the people in his first life, including his soulmate, the honourable Lan Wangji (Wang Yibo).

Wei Wuxian then begins to remember his time before his demise, from his beginning as a young cultivator using traditional tools like the sword and musical instruments, to his very personal methods of using resentful energy of departed beings, with the help of innovative tools of his own creation.

While the original web novel featured an explicit romance between the two main male characters, the adaptations have homoerotic subtexts instead.

Regardless, the drama was one of the highest-earning Chinese dramas of 2019.

13.Put Your Head on My Shoulder (2019)

As Si Tu Mo (Xing Fei), an accounting student’s graduation nears, she is unsure about her future plans although she dreams of joining an advertising company.

While living at the dorm, she is forced by her mother to move into an apartment coincidentally owned by Gu Wei Yi’s mother.

Unlike Tu Mo, Wei Yi knows exactly what he wants from life and he isn’t afraid to chase his dreams.

Watching Tu Mo figuring out her future plan during her last fleeting days of university life, Wei Yi decides to step in and help her out.

Unbeknown to both, their mothers were classmates who thought their two children would make a good match and set them up.

Before they know it, the matched couple begins to fall in love.

This campus drama is based on Zhao Qianqian’s novel of the same name.

14.Le Coup de Foudre (2019)

Zhao Qiao Yi (Janice Wu) and Yan Mo (Zhang Yujian) may have been high school classmates, but the only thing they had in common was the desk they shared in class.

While Yan Mo is a top student, Qiao Yi is failing miserably, these two couldn’t have been more different, and yet, it doesn’t take long for a strong bond to form between them.

Promising to study abroad together after high school, this unlikely pair seems to have the world before them. But when an unexpected family emergency forces Qiao Yi to back out on their plans, the two drift apart and eventually lose touch.

Four years later, the long-lost friends are reunited, and old flames are quickly rekindled.

Finally willing to accept her feelings for Yan Mo, Qiao Yi moves to the city, determined to pick things up where they left off all those years ago.

But with Yan Mo already in a relationship, Qiao Yi’s love seems destined to fail. But is it really?

Unbeknownst to Qiao Yi, Yan Mo hasn’t forgotten his old friend, nor the feelings he has for her.

This is one of the most realistic Chinese dramas that surely will make you cry and laugh throughout the series.

It is a story about love, friendship and family.

Based on the Chinese novel I Don’t Like This World, I Only Like You by Qiao Yi, the drama does a great job in portraying the realistic struggles of young adults.

15.First Romance (2020)

This series is an adaptation of a Chinese novel of the same name by Wei Mian Jun.

It follows the story of Yan Ke (Riley Wang) and Xiong Yi Fan (Wan Peng) who were schoolmates.

But back in her younger days, Yi Fan never discovered that she had a secret admirer in Yan Ke, who kept his crush a secret and loved her from afar.

Now things are very different for both of them, and Yan Ke is at college, where he is one of the most popular and well-loved students on campus.

Dashing, sensitive, a hit among the female students, and unfailingly charming, he has also become a budding young pianist.

This time, it is Yi Fan’s turn to be smitten by Yan Ke. What would happen to ther pair?

16.Word of Honour (2021)

Here is another danmei novel turned into a drama that made it into this list.

Word of Honour (2021) is an adaptation from the novel Faraway Wanderers by Priest.

Here is a fun fact about the author Priest. She is a woman born in 1988 whose works have been adapted into manhua, donghua and Chinese dramas. Her novels have also been translated into Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese versions.

The drama tells the story of the leader of assassin organisation “The Window of Heaven”, Zhou Zishu (Zhang Zhehan).

In order to leave the assassin organization, he performs an obligatory departure technique, leaving him with three years left to live.

He disguises his face and tries to live the remainder of his days as a drunkard wandering the martial arts world.

During his travels, he meets Wen Kexing (Gong Jun), the reclusive leader of Ghost Valley who wants nothing but revenge.

The two become entangled in various machinations within the martial arts world, and eventually become soulmates instrumental in each other’s redemption.

This series was featured on Teen Vogue’s Best BL dramas of 2021.

17.Falling into Your Smile (2021)

In the world of e-sports, the all-male ZGDX OPL team is second to none. They have armies of adoring female fans follow the team wherever it goes.

But when one of the team’s star players suffers a hand injury, the tall, handsome, and notoriously hard-to-please ZGDX captain Lu Si Cheng (Xu Kai) will not be rushed into choosing a replacement.

Meanwhile, Tong Yao (Cheng Xiao) is a budding amateur gamer – obsessed with OPL.

When the ZGDX team manager learns of her skills, he contacts her, thinking that recruiting her as the scene’s first female player will help score a major PR coup.

Lu Si Cheng is dismissive of her initially, but eventually agrees to accept her as part of the team.

As they grow closer as teammates, the duo also starts to have feeling for each other.

KajoMag previously picked this series as one of the must-watched e-sports dramas.

It is adapted from the web novel ‘You’re Beautiful When You Smile’ by Qing Mei.

18.You Are My Glory (2021)

Speaking of esports dramas, here is another one that is based on the novel You are My Glory by Gu Man.

It mainly tells the story of the popular actress Qiao Jingjing (Dilraba Dilmurat) and her former high school classmate Yu Tu (Yang Yang) as they unexpectedly reunited through the mobile game Honour of Kings.

The drama was an instant hit due to the popularity of its original work. As of August 2021, the series has reached 4 billion views.

19.Love between Fairy and Devil (2022)

Drama based on Chinese novels 1

According to legend, in order to obtain a terrible power, Dongfang Qingcang (Dylan Wang) of the Moon Tribe became an emotionless monster.

He killed his father, seized the position of Moon Supreme and led an army of 100,000 Moon Tribe soldiers on a path of devastation.

Shuiyuntian (the immortal fairy realm), Cangyan Sea (the Moon Tribe), and Yunmeng Lake (the mortal world) were in grave danger.

To save the world and stop Dongfang Qing Cang and his army, the first God of War of Shuiyuntian destroyed her primordial spirit.

Dongfang Qing Cang’s army and primordial spirit were sealed and his body was locked away in Haotian Tower under the immortal bonds of the Haotian Matrix.

But due to a mishap, a fairy named Xiao Lanhua (Esther Yu) unwittingly sets him free. In the process of setting him free, some bizarre magic appears to have taken place – the two have swapped bodies.

Though they are able to sort that out quickly, there’s another problem – somehow, when Xiao Lanhua woke him, she cast the “One Heart Curse”, which links them so that he suffers her injuries, feels her emotions, and would even die if she did.

Now his life is at the mercy of a fairy who doesn’t even know the curse exists.

Since she is his biggest weakness, he has to protect her life in order to protect his own.

As he searches for a way to undo the spell, a forbidden love begins to blossom between the fairy and the devil.

This fantasy series is based on the novel of the same name written by Jiu Lu Fei Xiang.

20.Who Rules the World (2022)

Based on the novel Qie Shi Tian Xia by Qing Ling Yue, this wuxia drama follows the story of Hei Feng Xi (Yang Yang) and Bai Feng Xi (Zhao Lu Si).

The series is set in the Dadong Empire whereby the country is divided into seven factions with six autonomous states with their respective lords.

Emperor Chunxi rules over them but knows each of them is coveting the throne.

The legitimacy of the dynasty’s rule comes from the Empyrean token. With the token suddenly declared missing, there is a fight among the states to get hold of it.

In the midst of all these chaos, two great martial artists get drawn into the tussle.

They are Bai Feng Xi of the Tianshuang Sect and Hei Feng Xi of Fountain Abode. Bai Feng Xi has no interest in politics but ends up with the token by accident. Thus, she becomes a target and is shadowed by Hei Feng Xi who also saves her in the process.

The pair then continues their journey together as they find out who is the villain behind the scene that masterminds the political chaos in their country.

KajoPicks: 6 K-dramas written by Korean screenwriter Kim Soon-ok to watch

If you have been watching Korean dramas long enough, you might be familiar with the names of the screenwriters who were behind your favourite dramas such as the Hong Sisters and Kim Eun-sook.

Some you might not be familiar with Kim Soon-ok but she is the brain behind the popular drama The Penthouse.

As every screenwriter has his or her own distinct style, Soon-ok’s works are known for extreme ‘ridiculousness’ that viewers cannot stop themselves from watching.

Basically when you watch her drama, you cannot help but think, “This story is so unreal but I still want to know what happens in the end.”

Hence there is no surprise that her dramas are harshly criticized while also widely-viewed and highly-rated.

Here are six K-dramas written by Korean screenwriter Kim Soon-ok to watch:

1.Temptation of Wife (2008)

In this revenge drama, Goo Eun-jae (Jang Seo-hee) was a woman who was nearly killed by her husband Jung Kyo-bin (Byeon Woo-min).

Her husband truly believes that she had died until a woman named Min So-hee who looks identical to his dead wife but with a completely different personality shows up.

Here comes the ridiculous part; the only physical difference between Eun-jae and So-hee is a mole on her left cheek.

Just because of this mole, nobody recognises Eun-jae anymore.

Putting aside the many controversial issues surrounding the plot, it became one of the most viewed dramas.

On top of that, the series has been adapted into China, Malaysia and Filipino versions.

2.Jang Bo-ri is Here! (2014)

As a child, Jang Bo-ri (Oh Yeon-seo) was adopted by a family without much money.

She then learns that she is the missing daughter from a wealthy family.

Bo-ri goes through a drastic change in her life and tries to become a successful designer of traditional Korean dresses.

The drama became highly-acclaimed and won Drama of the Year at the 2014 MBC Drama Awards.

3.My Daughter, Geum Sa-wol (2015)

The Korean public dubbed it an ‘absurdly unrealistic drama that rated well’ while The Korea Times called it a drama that been ‘drawing flak for an unrealistic plot, complicated relations among characters and scenes with certain dramatic settings that seemed far-fetched’.

The plot tells the story of three friends Sa-wol, Hye-sang and Oh-wol who grew up in the same orphanage.

Hye-sang finds out that Sa-wol is to be adopted by her wealthy biological father instead of her after a DNA test that reveals the mix up between them.

Wanting to be raised in the upper class society, Hye-sang traps the orphanage director, who is also her true father, to hide the truth.

However, when Sa-wol ends up being brought into the family as well, Hye-sang starts tormenting, blame shifting and burying the truth, to make herself the better daughter. 

Let us warn you that the series is 51-episodes long, so you can expect plenty of twists and an emotional roller coaster ride.

4.Five Fingers (2012)

The drama starts when Yoo Ji-ho and Yoo In-ha were kids. When Ji-ho suddenly loses her grandmother after being run over by a mysterious black car, he is adopted into the rich family of In-ha.

Life at his new family is not easy for Ji-ho as his adopted father begins to favour him causing the jealousy and outrage of his adopted father.

His own best friend who becomes his adopted brother also starts to feel threatened by him.

Overall, the story is about the two of them who became rivals not only in their careers but also in their love lives.

Through this drama, it is the first time we see actor Ji Chang-wook in an antagonist role and Ju Ji-hoon’s first TV role after his drug scandal in 2009.

5.The Last Empress

The Last Empress is set in an alternate universe, in which Korea is a constitutional monarchy in 2018.

Oh Sunny (Jang Na-ra) is a bright and vivacious musical actress who marries the Emperor of the Korean Empire, Lee Hyuk (Shin Sung-rok).

She becomes involved in the palace power struggle and a mysterious murder that sets off events that threaten the monarchy itself, while searching for true love and happiness.

She teams up with Na Wang-shik (Choi Jin-hyuk) who works as a bodyguard for the imperial family in order to uncover the crimes of the Imperial family.

Most people do not know that Na actually started working in the palace to take revenge on the person responsible for his mother’s death.

In the midst of the political drama, Oh starts to fall for her bodyguard Na.

Overall, the series received high ratings and Jang in particular was praised for her performance.

6.The Penthouse: War in Life (2020-2021)

Speaking of ridiculousness, nothing beats The Penthouse: War in Life. This drama led the Korean public to give Kim Soon-ok various nicknames such as ‘Anything is possible with Kim Soon-ok’ and ‘Kim Soon-ok’s mythology’.

This is because dead characters kept on coming back alive throughout three seasons of the drama.

Even the scriptwriter herself admitted in an interview that The Penthouse lacks a sense of reality.

Despite that, the drama to this day is one of the most viewed Korean series of all times.

It follows the story of wealthy families living in Hera Palace and their children at Cheong-ah Arts School.

All of the parents have grand ambitions for their children and would do anything for them.

For those who are planning to watch this drama, we highly advise you to just through your common sense out of the window.

Let just say that this is the 90s telenovela equivalent of Korean dramas.

KajoPicks: 12 K-dramas and movies starring Kim Rae-won you should watch

Known for his deep, baritone voice, Kim Rae-won is one of the most memorable South Korean actors out there.

It is not just his unique voice that sets him apart from most of the other actors, it is his appearance as well.

Perhaps because of his masculine facial features and slightly darker skin tone, Kim usually finds himself taking roles as both opposite sides of the law; a policeman or a criminal.

To top his voice and look, Kim also has the talent and passion for acting to make him a well-rounded performer and one of South Korea’s most sought after actors.

Honestly, it was hard to choose our favourite dramas and movies starring Kim Rae-won since he has so many impressive works under his belt.

But somebody had to make the hard decision, so here are 12 K-dramas and movies you should watch if you are a fan of Kim Rae-won:

1.My Little Bride (2004)

This film is a Korean remake of the 2002 Hong Kong movie My Wife is 18 starring Charlene Choi and Ekin Cheng.

Here, Kim plays the role of a male college student Sang-min who has an arranged marriage between a female high school student Bo-eun (Moon Geun-young).

Both of them are forced to get married due to their grandfathers’ arrangement during the Korean War.

After they got married, they decide to hide their marriage. Things get complicated when Bo-eun pretends to be single and starts to date.

And the whole situation escalates even more when Sang-min becomes an art teacher at Bo-eun’s school.

The movie became a sleeper hit and was the second top-crossing Korean film of 2004.

2.Love Story in Harvard (2004)

If My Little Bride was the film that made us to take notice of Kim Rae-won, the drama of his that really caught our attention was none other than Love Story in Harvard (2004).

In this romantic drama, Kim teams up with future female star of K-dramas Kim Tae-hee.

They both play the roles of Harvard students who find love while studying abroad.

Their career choices lead them to different parts of the world after graduation.

Years pass and the former lovers find each other again in Seoul but this time will they let each other go?

The release of the drama brought a lot of popularity to both of the main leads but specifically to Kim Tae-hee who saw an increase amount of advertisement deals after the series.

3.Sunflower (2006)

In this film, Kim takes up the role of a former gangster named Oh Tae-sik.

After being released from prison, Tae-sik heads back to his hometown to start a new life.

He starts a new job at a garage and in the same time tries his best to leave his criminal past behind.

It has not been easy especially because most of the people still live in fear of his past brutal reputation.

But his past eventually catches up on him when a local politician tries to demolish his adoptive mom’s restaurant in order to build a new mall.

Overall, the movie was a hit when it came out. Kim on the other hand was impressive with his acting in the film especially near the ending.

4.A Thousand Days’ Promises (2011)

What we love about Kim is that he always tries to challenge himself in different types of roles as long as there is any opportunity rises for him.

For this melodrama, he plays the role of a doting husband who never gives up on his wife who is struggling with early on-set Alzheimer’s.

Park Ji-hyung (Kim Rae-won) works as an architect. Despite having a fiancee, he has a secret affair with Lee Seo-yeon (Soo Ae).

Seo-yeon breaks up with him after being diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s.

After finding out the reason of the break up, Ji-hyung dumps his fiancée two days before the wedding to be with Seo-yeon.

Despite the fierce opposition from his parents and Seo-yeon herself, Ji-hyung insists to marry Seo-yeon.

Seo-yeon eventually agrees and the couple begins their marriage life together with hardship.

Even when Seo-yeon’s memories starting to fail her, Ji-hyung’s love for her never falters.

A Thousand Days’ Promises is a great drama to watch when you are feeling lovey dovey with your partner.

5.Punch (2014)

When Park Jung-hwan (Kim Rae-won) is told that he only has six months left to live, it makes him to reexamine his life choices.

As the chief of the anti-corruption investigation team for the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office, he had made a lot of decisions that he is not proud of.

Since he is nearing to his death, Jung-hwan decides to pursue justice regardless of its price.

His main goal is to bring down his own boss Prosecutor General Lee Tae-joon, whose friendly public face masks his corruption.

Kim was nominated for the Top Excellence Award at the APAN Star Awards as well as Best Actor in Television at the Baeksang Arts Awards for his role in this drama.

6.Gangnam Blues (2015)

Kim returns to Set in the 1970s during the height of political corruption in South Korea, this action film stars Kim Rae-won and Lee Min-ho.

Kim returns to play a role he is familiar with; being a gangster.

Childhood friends, Jong-dae (Lee Min-ho) and Yong-ki (Kim Rae-won) struggle to get by, until their shanty homes are demolished by local thugs.

Desperate for cash, they get involved in violent political clashes, and are separated during one of the skirmishes.

Three years later, Jong-dae lives as an adopted son of a former gang leader, Gil-soo (Jung Jin-young) and unknown to him, as a small-time gangster.

Meanwhile, Yong-ki has risen as a made man inside Seoul’s most powerful criminal organization.

To play this role, Kim was asked to shed 15 kilograms for his character, which he did in less than a month.

7.The Doctors (2016)

Kim switches his usual police and prison uniforms for some scrubs in this medical drama.

He plays the role of Hong Ji-hong, a doctor who needs to step back in his career and become a biology teacher.

As a teacher, he plays an ‘extra’ attention to a rebellious student named Yoo Hye-jung (Park Shin-hye).

Both are caught in some dramas and eventually separated.

But 13 years later, the teacher-student pair is now reunited as colleagues as both are now surgeons working in a private hospital.

When it was aired, the drama was a hit which lead to Kim experiencing a surge in his popularity and commercial offers.

8.Prison (2017)

In this movie, Kim takes up the challenge playing someone is from both sides of the law.

He plays the role of a former detective Song Yoo-gun who got sentenced in prison for hit-and-run, destruction of evidence and bribery.

In the prison, he catches the attention of Ik-ho (Han Suk-kyu) who is known as “The King’.

Ik-ho wields his power truly like a king from the prison up to a point that the prisoners can leave the prison at nights to commit the perfect crimes.

The film was a surprise hit and Kim received critical acclaim for his realistic execution of action scenes.

9.Black Knight: The Man Who Guards Me (2017)

If you want to see Kim rocking a historical costume, this is his drama for you.

He plays two different role in this series from two different time period.

First is Lee Myung-so, an aristocrat who falls deeply in love with his housemaid/concubine and the 21st century Moon Soo-ho, a young CEO who is still in love with his first crush.

What Soo-ho does not know is that he is the reincarnation of Lee Myung-so. Since Myung-so did not get to live happily ever after with the love of his life, Soo-ho determines that he would.

It is a romantic drama with a dose of fantasy. While the series did not gathered mainstream success like Kim’s previous works, we still enjoy the overall drama.

10.Long Live The King (2019)

Kim is familiar playing the role of a gangster but this time he is playing a mobster in love.

Mob boss Jang Se-chool (Kim Rae-won) meets lawyer Kang So-hyun at an anti-construction protest and quickly falls in love.

Unfortunately, she thinks of him as a thug. She repeatedly rejects him while telling him to live a decent life.

So-hyun eventually tries to get rid of Se-chool by saying that she can never accept him because her life goal is to become a first lady.

Meanwhile, one of Se-chool’s friends is on death row, and the only way to save him is through a presidential pardon.

When Se-chool ends up rescuing passengers after a bus accident at Mokpo Bridge, he is praised as a hero; he decides to use his newfound fame to run for public office, believing that success will lead him to win So-hyun’s heart and save his friend.

Critics has praised Kim’s performance in this movie as ‘one of his finest works’.

11.L.U.C.A: The Beginning (2021)

After dipping his toes in fantasy drama, Kim challenges himself once again in a science fiction genre.

Ji Oh (Kim Rae-won) is a man with special power and unearthly fighting skill. The only problem is, he has no memory of himself, how he got his power and why he is being pursued by a mysterious group of people.

In search of his memory and looking into those who pursued him, he comes across a mysterious group of scientists at an institution named Human Tech and a secretive biotech project code-named L.U.C.A.

Through his adventure, Ji Oh gains himself one ally Ha Neul-ae-goo-reum (Lee Dae-hee). She is a police detective who has a secret past of her own.

12.The First Responders (2022)

Kim Rae won 1
Kim Rae-won going undercover as a prisoner in The First Responder (2022)

Here is another cliche role from Kim Rae-won; acting as a police detective.

The drama circles around the cases that takes place at Taewon Police Station and Taewon Fire Station.

Both buildings happened to be located next to each other and even handle most cases together.

Kim in this criminal procedural drama is Jin Ho-gae, a police detective team inspector in Taewon who was recently transferred from Regional Investigation Unit.

He starts to make friends with firefighter Bong Do-jin (Son Ho-jun) and paramedic Song Seol (Gong Seung-yeon).

Jin Ho-gae has tremulous relationship with his father Jin Cheol-jung (Jo Seung-yeon) who is the prosecutor of the Eastern District Attorney’s Office.

His father never wanted Ho-gae to be a policeman as he wanted him to follow his footsteps to read law.

Ho-gae on the other hand, resents his father who maintains dubious relationships with those who are corrupted especially among the rich and politicians.

The series marks Kim’s first terrestrial television in six years since 2016. His return to the small screen is definitely worth it as he bagged the Top Excellence Award for an Actor in a Miniseries Genre/Fantasy Drama at the SBS Drama Awards 2022.

KajoPicks: 5 most epic Bollywood movies of all times that you must watch

When we talk about the most epic Bollywood movies, we are talking about something that is larger than life and beyond your wildest imagination.

Imagine having hundreds of elephants and well-trained martial artists as the extras of these movies with custom-made sets that cannot be seen anywhere else.

As you watch these movies, one cannot help but be inspired about the amount of work and dedication put into every scene.

Here are our choices for the most epic Bollywood movies of all times that you must watch:

1.Asoka (2001)

There are plenty reasons to call Shah Rukh Khan the King of Bollywood. First and foremost, the characters that he portrays in films are usually larger than life.

Take Asoka (2001) as an example in which he played the role of Emperor Asoka.

Also known as Ashoka the Great, he was the third emperor of the Maurya Empire of Indian subcontinent during 268 to 232 BCE.

The plot is the dramatized version of the early life of the emperor.

Do you want to know how epic the movie is? The final battle scene featured over 6,000 extras and hundreds of elephants.

Moreover, the actors portraying warriors in the film were masters of Kalari who used real weapons during the filming.

The film was selected for screening at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival where it received positive reviews.

2.Devdas (2002)

If you have watched this movie, you won’t forget that it has the most iconic running scene in Bollywood history.

It is when Parvati (Ashwarya Rai) runs out of her mansion home, knocking things with her white saree flowing behind her just to get to her lover Devdas (Shah Rukh Khan).

This Bollywood movie is iconic for many reasons. When it was released in 2002, it was the most expensive Indian film ever at made with a budget of USD 10.29 million.

Moreover, the brothel in the film was one of the most expensive sets ever built in history of Hindi cinema with USD2.47 million spent.

The film tells the story of Devdas Mukherjee (Khan), a law graduate who returns from London to marry his childhood fried Parvati or Paro (Rai).

Like a classic Romeo and Julliet story, the two lovers’ relationship is opposed by both families.

Paro subsequently is forced to marry against her own will to a widower with three grown children.

This causes Devdas to turn to alcohol and him seeking refuge at a brothel with the comfort of courtesan Chandramukhi (Madhuri Dixit).

Based on the 1917 novel of the same name by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, the filmmakers went all out researching on Calcuttan building design from the period of the British Raj.

The extensive research definitely paid off as Devdas (2002) is without a doubt has one of the most impressive sets and breathtaking cinematography in Bollywood history.

3.Jodhaa Akbar (2008)

Set in the 16th century, Jodhaa Akbar (2008) narrates the life and romance between the Muslim Emperor Akbar of Mughal Empire and a Hindu Princess Jodhaa Bai of Amber.

The movie plot is a partly fictionalized account of a political marriage between the emperor and the princess.

Emperor Akbar is played by Hrithik Roshan while Ashawarya Rai takes the role as Princess Jodhaa.

In real life, Jodhaa was Akbar’s fourth and favourite wife and she was the only wife buried near to him.

Famous costume designer Neeta Lulla took up the challenge to design the film’s costumes and she was the same designer for Devdas (2002).

It took her a year and a half to research the type of clothes people wore as well as the types of fabric used during the Mughal Empire.

Apart from the costumes, the shooting locations were equally impressive.

Fans would be delighted to know that some of the filming locations are historical places that have now turned into tourist attractions.

These places include Roopangarh Fort, Agra Fort and Amber Fort.

4.Padmaavat (2018)

This Indian historical drama film is based on the epic poem from 1540 of the same name by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi.

It tells the story of Padmavati (Deepika Padukone), a 13th-14th century queen or Rani of the Mewar kingdom in present-day India.

She was an exceptionally beautiful princess of the Sinhalese Kingdom (present-day Sri Lanka). The news of her beauty even spread out to nearby kingdoms.

Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor), the Rajput ruler of the kingdom of Mewar eventually heard about her beauty from a talking parrot. After some adventurous quest, he won her hand in marriage and brought her back to his kingdom to be his queen.

Ratan was not the only one who heard of Padmavati’s beauty.

Alauddin Khalji (Ranveer Singh) who ruled the Delhi Sultanate was also determined to have Padmavati as his wife.

According to Padmaavat the original poem, Alaudddin laid siege on Ratan’s kingdom motivated by jhis desire for Padmavati.

There are so many things to rave about this Bollywood film. First of all, let us start with the costumes.

The costumes are simply unbelievable especially the attention to every detail. Deepika’s costumes as the queen for instance are everything you imagined how a Rajasthani queen should be.

You can tell that great amount of research was put into every costume.

The most epic part of the film is of course the war battle scene. It is on a par with Hollywood movies such as 300 (2006).

With the budget of USD27 million, it is the most expensive Hindi film and one of the most expensive Indian films ever made.

After watching how the film turned out, it is safe to say that the filmmakers made full use every single cent of the budget.

5.Bajirao Mastani (2015)

Going through the list now, you must have an idea that most epic Bollywood movies are based on historical love stories that transcend through times.

Hence, here is another epic historical romance that surely will impress you.

It circles around the story of Maratha Peshwa Bajirao (1700-1740 AD) and his second wife Mastani.

Although their marriage was a political one, the couple eventually fell in love with each other.

For the director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the film was like a dream came true. He conceived the idea for the film as early as the 1990s and even went ahead to announce it in 2003.

Bhansali had intended to make Bajirao Mastani after the release of his film Devdas (2002).

The production, however, delayed several times due to several factors.

The cast members feature Ranveer Singh as Bajirao, Deepika Padukone as Mastani and Priyanka Chopra as Kashibai, Bajirao’s first wife.

One of our favourite scenes in the film is the song ‘Pinga’. Padukone and Chopra performed the song along with their background dancers.

It is interesting to know that the less than 5-minute scene took weeks to film.

Bhansali insisted to have lit diyas (oil lamp) and torches in the background. This should not been a problem if the scene was not shot at night on an open-air set with many of the diyas would snuff out while filming.

When it was suggested that the snuffed diyas should be corrected in post production, Bhansali was not having it. The solution? At least a dozen of crew would run around the set to relight the snuffed diyas.

The results of their hard work is one of the unforgettable and beautiful dance scenes in Bollywood films.

KajoPicks: 10 Chinese transmigration dramas you need to watch

If you are a fan of Chinese webnovels, you must be familiar with the transmigration genre.

This is when the main character finds himself/herself transported into a fictional world such as a book, drama, game and so on.

It also covers stories in which the protagonist inhabits an existing person’s body across different time periods.

Perhaps the most famous Korean drama which carries a transmigration type of plot is Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo.

In the drama, Go Ha-jin (Lee Ji-eun) from the 21st century finds herself in the body of Hae Soo in the year 941.

As for C-dramas, here are KajoMag’s choices of 10 Chinese transmigration dramas you need to watch:

1.The Eternal Love (2017)

As if being transmigrated into another person’s body was not complicated enough, in this story the main character’s body switches back and forth between two souls.

Set in the ancient China, Qu Tan Er (Liang Jie) is the second daughter of the Qu family.

She is in love with the king’s oldest son, Mo Yi Huai (Wang Rui Chang).

Unfortunately, she is being forced to marry, Yi Huai’s younger brother, Mo Lian Cheng (Xing Zhao Lin), the eighth prince of the Dong Yue Kingdom.

Unhappy with the forced marriage, Tan Er tries to commit suicide, only to wake up from her failed attempt with the spirit of another woman also taking up residence in her body.

The modern Xiao Tan (also played by Liang Jie) has the opposite personality of Tan Er, cheerful and assertively strong.

She is stuck in the past world and has so far been unsuccessful in her attempts to find a way back to the modern time.

Whenever one of the women tells a lie, the other personality takes over the body.

To complicate the situation, Lian Chen falls in love with the vivacious Xiao Tan.

The drama is an adaptation of Fan Lai’s popular novel ‘Laugh Favourite Concubine: Sir, I Wait for You to Divorce Me’.

Yes, it is quite a mouthful for a title of a novel. It is no surprise in the drama adaptation is simply called ‘The Eternal Love’.

2.Cinderella Chef (2018)

This drama follows the story of Ye Jia Yao (Zhong Dan Ni) is a chef who runs a mobile diner in the modern day.

One day, a dejected young man comes in one day and asks her to cook his last meal.

Apparently, he plans to take his life that night. As it turns out, the man is devastated that his professor has stolen all of his data for a time machine that he built.

The man then brings Jia Yao to his lab to show her his time machine. An incident happens in the lab and Jia Yao is catapulted back to ancient times.

There, Jia Yao finds herself in the body of Ye Jin Xuan who is the daughter of a magistrate.

The moment she wakes up, she is suddenly kidnapped to Hei Fang Camp where she meets the leader of the bandits Xia Chun Yu.

He is the former master of the Jing An Marquis manor. One thing leads to another, the two get engaged in a fake marriage.

Like many fake marriages in the drama world, both of them starts to fall for each other.

3.Princess at Large (2018)

This Chinese transmigration drama follows the story of Ji Xian Yun (Yang An Qi) who is preparing for her career as a doctor.

However one day, she is transported back to the ancient times and finds herself in the body of a powerful minister’s daughter at the Imperial Court.

The moment she is transmigrated, the minister’s daughter has just survived a suicide attempt.

Her parents are forcing her to marry the Emperor’s favourite son, Prince Ming or Qi Ling Xiao (Sheng Ying Hao).

Despite being the favourite son, Prince Ming is suffering from mysterious illness.

As Ji Xian Yun is looking her way to return to the modern times, the minister’s family is pushing the marriage ahead.

After being forced to go through the wedding, Ji strikes a deal with Prince Ming. If she can cure him from his mysterious sickness, the prince will divorce her.

Being transmigrated from the modern era, Ji is definitely not a weak princess in this drama and that makes the whole series fun to watch.

4.Joy of Life (2019)

Based on the webnovel Qing Yu Nian by Mao Ni, Joy of Life (2019) follows the story of Fan Xian (Zhang Ruo Yun).

He is born in the ancient empire of Southern Qing with memories of the 21st century.

He lives in a rural town as the illegitimate son of the Minister of Finance, raised by his grandmother.

His mother, Ye Qing Mei, was once a celebrated inventor and the founder of the Overwatch Department, the country’s spy network but was killed shortly after her son was born.

Fan Xian has since been protected by a blind martial arts expert, Wu Zhu, his mother’s bodyguard.

He learned martial arts and the art of poison as a child, also assisted by his knowledge from the 21st century.

After an assassination attempt, he decides to venture into the capital to find out more about his mysterious mother and why anyone would want to kill him, as he perceives himself to be an unimportant person.

He also wants to know why he has memories of a sharply different era. In the capital, he accidentally meets Lin Wan Er (Li Qin) the sickly illegitimate daughter of Princess Royal, and falls in love with her.

Unbeknownst to him, she is the woman the emperor chose for him to marry so that he would be the new overseer of the Royal Treasury, an institute Fan Xian’s mother established in the palace and currently handled by Princess Royal.

In the capital, however, he gets entangled in the Imperial Court conflict as well as in the Overwatch Department.

The drama garnered high viewership and mostly positive reviews for its comedic elements and logical story flow. It won two awards at the Shanghai Television Festival including Best Adapted Screenplay.

5.My Heroic Husband (2021)

This Chinese transmigration drama is adapted from the novel Zhui Xu by Fen Nu de Xiang Jiao.

It follows the story of a successful entrepreneur in modern-day China.

Due to some business dispute, his former business partner has him brutally beaten.

When he awakes, he has transmigrated back in time hundreds of years and now inhabits the body of a young man named Ning Yi (Guo Qi Lin).

He immediately discovers that he is engaged into the family of a successful cloth merchant and will become a matrilocal husband.

Even though at first he is reluctant to get married, things change after he meets his fiancee Su Tan Er (Song Yi).

Ning Yi changes his mind and the couple ties the knot.

After their wedding, Ning Yi discovers some of the problems of his in-laws’ cloth merchant business.

Using his modern day business skill, Ning Yi helps the family’s business to grow.

6.Love Better Than Immortality (2020)

How about a Chinese transmigration story with some love triangle drama?

The plot starts in the year 2196 when technology has advanced so much that was once considered extraordinary has now become ordinary.

For example being immortal has now become a normal thing.

Humans can even experience different life through virtual reality program.

However, Chun Hua (Zhao Lu Si) wants more than virtual reality. She yearns to experience true love.

Hence, Chun Hua agrees to participate in a VR program called Tianlei System where she can transmigrate into a different world to find true love in exchange for her immortality.

After waking up in a world of martial arts, Chun Hua is caught between the love of two men; the arrogant and aggressive Qie Yue (Li Hong Yi) and the kind and gentle Xiao Bai (June Wu).

Both men are mortal enemies and are different as night and day, yet both falling in love with the same woman, Chun Hua.

Like many drama on this list, this series is based on the novel of the same name by Shu Ke.

7.Mr Bad (2022)

If you are looking for something light and sweet to watch, this is the C-drama for you.

The plot follows the life of Nan Xing (Shen Yue) who works an online novel writer.

In the novel she wrote, her main character is based on her favourite idol Lu Zi Chen (Luo Ming Jie) while his main antoganist is Xiao Wu Di (Chen Zhe Yuan). He is a cunning and manipulative martial artist.

One day, after making a wish for an ‘unforgettable love’ in a Fairy Pool.

To her surprise, Xiao Wu Di who is the villain of her novel appears before her.

She tries to avoid him but Xiao Wu Di keeps on threatening her into taking care of him.

After awhile, Nan Xing realises that she develops a special power; whenever she needs help, Xiao Wu Di would teleports next to her to fulfill her wish.

8.Dance of the Phoenix (2020)

In modern-day China, a quiet, shy young female student named Meng Yuan (Yang Chao Yue) works hard at her dream of becoming a leading practitioner of Chinese traditional medicine.

But on one fateful day, she finds herself transported into the body of a woman named Feng Wu who lives in a fantasy land where magic and martial arts rule the world.

Feng Wu is forced into a marriage with a prince named Jun Lin Yuan (Xu Kai Cheng), who also resents the fact that his bride has been selected for him against his will.

Meng Yuan soon discovers that if she is to make her life as Feng Wu a success, she will have to learn how to defend herself against danger and make powerful friends.

Fortunately, she soon discovers that her knowledge of Chinese traditional medicine will be invaluable here and will help her treat the ailments of her newfound friends.

9.The Romance of a Tiger and a Rose (2020)

Overall, this Chinese transmigration drama is cute and enjoyable to watch.

But what we love the most about it is how the drama plays around the idea of stereotypical gender roles.

Chen Xiao Qian (Zhao Lu Si) is a struggling screenwriter who has never been in love before.

Her script was finally being picked up but the filming has been delayed because the main actor Han Ming Xing (Ding Yu Xi) questioned a lot about the storyline.

The next day, she finds herself being transmigrated into her own script in the body of the third princess of Dong Liang named Chen Qian Qian.

Dong Liang is a unique country where females dominate and males are perceived to be the weaker species that need to be protected.

Since she knows the storyline of her script, she knows that her character Princess Chen Qian Qian is a supportive character that soon to be killed in the third episode by the male lead character Prince Han Shuo.

Prince Han Shuo is from the neighbouring country where the gender roles are conservatives and are opposite of Dong Liang’s.

On top of that, Han Shuo looks exactly like Han Ming Xing who is the actor in Chen Xiao Qian’s drama.

Being in her own drama, Chen’s goal is simple which is trying to find her way back home while avoiding being killed by the male lead.

10.The Player (2022)

This Chinese transmigration drama follow the story of Lu Ren Jia (Zhang Yun Long) who lives a lonely life.

After being abandoned by his mother as a child, he lost all trust in other people and became an almost reclusive.

He has shunned society, but has also taught himself a range of IT-related skills, transforming himself into something of a tech whizz.

His daily existence is dull and relatively uneventful until he discovers the latest gaming craze, an AI-based game named 5W.

5W becomes a massive phenomenon in the gaming world, pitting humans against one another and artificial intelligence, allowing them to interact with one another and aid or harm each other in the battle to gain ultimate transcendence.

In this online arena, Lu Ren Jia meets Zhou Zhi Shu (Deng Jia Jia), a beautiful and kind-hearted kindergarten teacher with some mysterious secrets of her own.

Her former boyfriend introduced Zhou Zhi Shu into the virtual world of 5W.

Because of a bug, a group of gamers get transmigrated into the game and the border between reality and the gaming world begins to blur.

5 sad truths about unsolved crime case, the Frog Boys that inspired K-movie Children (2011)

Children (2011) is a mystery thriller Korean movie which circles around a television producer, a psychology professor and a police detective who are investigating the mysterious disappearance of five boys.

In the movie, five years after the boys’ disappearance, Ji-seung (Park Yong-woo), a young ambitious producer at a Seoul television broadcaster, is sent to Daegu after he is caught fabricating parts of a documentary.

In Daegu, he is determined to get a scoop on the mystery case so that he can proudly return to Seoul.

There, he meets a psychology professor, Woo-hyuk (Ryu Seung-ryong), who, using his psychology theory, points to the parents of one of the missing boys as main suspects.

Ji-seung and Woo-hyuk work together to try to prove that Jong-ho’s father and mother killed the children.

But their attempt clashes with Kyung-shik (Sung Dong-il), a veteran detective from a local police station who is the lead investigator of the case.

Kyung-shik believes that a stranger who is familiar with the village committed the crime, not the parents.

Nonetheless, Ji-seung and Woo-hyuk ransack Jong-ho’s house, digging out the stone floor and emptying the toilet, hoping to find the buried bodies of the children, with scores of village residents, reporters and police officers watching.

But the search ends in vain, and the two are slammed for insulting the parents.

The movie then flashes forward to 2002 when the bones of the five children are found at a hill near the village.

Children
The movie poster for Children (2011)

About the Frog Boys incident, the truth behind Children (2011)

The film unfortunately is based on a true story.

On March 26, 1991, a group of five boys disappeared while searching for salamander eggs in the outskirts of Daegu, South Korea.

Aged between 9 and 13 years old, the boys were Woo Cheol-won (13), Jo Ho-yeon (12), Kim Yeong-gyu (11) , Park Chan-in (10) and Kim Jong-sik (9).

They were later known as the Frog Boys.

Since the disappearance took place on a public holiday for local elections, the media went crazy over the case.

The then President Rae Tae-woo even ordered a massive manhunt to find the frog boys.

Despite all the media attention and 300,000 force dispatched to look for the boys, they remained missing until 10 years later.

On Sept 26, 2002, a man discovered their bodies on Mount Waryong while searching for acorns.

At first the police believed that they died of hypothermia. There were, however, a number of flaws in that theory.

First of all, the site where they were found was not even 100 meters from the streets. Theoretically, even if it was raining and cold that day, it would have taken them five minutes to run home.

Additionally, if they had died due to natural causes, the bones would have been found on top of the dirt, not buried underneath.

Foul play was immediately suspected after a post mortem showed they had signs of blunt-force trauma.

Meanwhile, the parents of the Frog Boys went through tremendous ordeal since the incident.

Here are five sad truths about the Frog Boys and the parents that they left behind:

Frogboysphonecard
Phone cards with the photos, names, and ages of the Frog Boys used to raise awareness and help find them.

1.Many of the parents of the frog boys quit their jobs to look for their sons.

Before the bodies were found, according to Channel News Asia (CNA), the five fathers quit their jobs, rented a small lorry and kept searching across South Korea.

The lorry had photos of the children pasted on the sides and coated to withstand rain. Written below were the word “please help find our missing children”.

2.There were many false leads about the case.

Reportedly, there were over 500 leads about the case. Unfortunately for now, all of them led to nowhere.

There were basically too many theories and conspiracies on what happened to the children.

On top of that, there were many prank calls which only made things worse. Some fake calls even claimed that it was from a kidnapper.

The worst lead perhaps came from Kim Ga-won, a criminal psychologist who had studied in the United States.

Kim claimed that the children were buried in Jong-sik’s house because his father Kim Cheol-gyu couldn’t remember the first three hours on the day the children went missing.

Since there were not many criminal psychologists in those days, many believed Kim, including the police force. The police even brought in an excavator to dig Jong-sik’s house.

The whole fiasco was filmed by the media as many other public members stood there watching.

Even after the house has ruined, nothing had been found.

This resulted in a group of unhappy people who directed their anger toward Kim. The police had to take him away for his own safety.

3.One of the fathers died before ever finding the truth about his son.

Speaking of Jong-sik’s father, Kim Cheol-gyu passed away due to liver cancer a year before the boys’ remains were found.

Many believed that it was caused by the stress he suffered after his son has disappeared.

CNA also reported that some of the fathers had fallen into addictions such into sleeping pills and alcohol while dealing with their losses.

4.The heartbreaking moment when the parents were asked to identify their sons

According to a news report, the first group of police who arrived at the scene were beyond horrible in their jobs.

They just dug out whatever they could find, organising the long bones and the skulls together instead of separating them as one complete body.

One of the parents told in an interview, “How dare they treat the bones like this by arranging them in piles, then call us to look at them and ask them whether this is our child or not. We couldn’t do anything, so we became angry.”

The police did called for forensic scientist Professor Chae Jong-min from Kyungbook University to the crime scene. Even he was baffled with the crime scene that he arrived to with all the bones piled up together.

5.The parents filed a lawsuit against the police for their failures but the result turned out to be heartbreaking.

Obviously lacking common of sense, it was no surprise why the Korean police was served a lawsuit by the parents.

They were sued for having ‘not done their jobs properly’ such as botching evidence at the crime scene.

Unfortunately, the parents lost not in one but three trials against the police.

In 2021, a memorial stone has been erected at Seonwan Park near Mount Waryong in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the unfortunate incident.

The monument which was named the ‘Frog Boy Commemoration and Child Safety Prayer Monument’, was installed to commemorate all the missing children and to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents.

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