Alchemy of Souls (2022) poster
9.1
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 9.1/10 from 50,703 users
# of Watchers: 94,856
Reviews: 285 users
Ranked #32
Popularity #56
Watchers 50,703

Set in a fictional country called Daeho that does not exist in history or on maps, it is about the love and growth of young mages as they overcome their twisted fates due to a forbidden magic spell known as the "alchemy of souls", which allows souls to switch bodies. It follows the story of an elite assassin named Naksu, whose soul is accidentally trapped inside the weak body of Mu Deok—Jang Uk's servant from a powerful and noble mage family in the country. The young master of the Jang Family, Jang Uk, holds a dark secret about his scandalous birth. He wants the formidable assassin to help change his destiny. (Source: Soompi; The Korea Herald) Edit Translation

  • English
  • 한국어
  • 中文(台灣)
  • Arabic
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 20
  • Aired: Jun 18, 2022 - Aug 28, 2022
  • Aired On: Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: Netflix tvN
  • Duration: 1 hr. 20 min.
  • Score: 9.1 (scored by 50,703 users)
  • Ranked: #32
  • Popularity: #56
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Where to Watch Alchemy of Souls

Netflix
Subscription

Cast & Credits

Reviews

Completed
jxxvvxxkstan Flower Award1
179 people found this review helpful
Sep 3, 2022
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 40
Overall 10
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

A New Classic!

Alchemy of Souls is pure entertainment from start to finish! Sure, you'll see intense reactions of people complaining about plot holes, pacing and directing choices, etc. But name one beloved classic that doesn't have those (both plot issues and harsh critics). I'll wait. Edward Abbey was right: great art is never perfect; perfect art is never great.

We need to keep in mind this is an avant-garde project. It is a multi-genre High fantasy show. Which sounds expensive, and it is. The production is mesmerizing. It drives me crazy to think about all the hard work put into this show. The show serves romance, action, comedy, and mystery with impeccable visuals complemented with a gorgeous OST.

Story-wise, it is essentially a classic fairy tale with some twists. A very familiar tale about love, friendship, and the perils of human greed. A character-driven story penned by the controversial Hong sisters. The writers spend a lot of time showing the characters' motivations, bonding moments, and cute quirks. You can always count on them to create the most memorable and charismatic characters, and Alchemy of Souls has plenty of them. The storyline is not that complex, so the writers opt for omitting things to keep us guessing what happens next. And when they unfold the events, they do it in a concise way, which might not be palatable to particular audiences. They also provide tons of comic relief. Even in the darkest episodes, you'll surely laugh. Especially when it comes to romance, the sisters are too unserious. The Love web (geometrical shapes were insufficient) is there, but there's no obnoxious rivalry.

The unusual nature of this project can make people feel weirded out. Alchemy of Souls is not just quirky; it introduces new/paradoxical experiences to the audience. You might think it's a Sageuk, but you'll see modern-looking styles and pop-culture references. The plot might seem cliché, but you can't predict it. You think you have reached the end but face a new beginning instead. Not everyone is comfortable around such new concepts, so I understand the rage.

Last but not least, this show beautifully displays some relevant messages. I'll focus on one message because this review is already too long. Throughout the series, you'll see the writers emphasizing that everyone can turn into a "monster"; either by choice (bad decisions) or by force (conceptions imposed by others). Then you see the male lead saying we can protect said monsters, keep them in check to achieve peace. It is a powerful statement, especially when getting rid of freaks and problematic people is the norm. Are we achieving peace by doing so? That's some food for thought.

Those are the reasons I think Alchemy of Souls should be considered a new classic. It excels at moving people with beauty and disturbing the conformed minds. It offers wholesome entertainment and also instigates passionate discussions. It is a light-hearted show, but it has its dark moments. Alchemy of Souls: Light and Shadow comes out in December 2022!

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Completed
Xiao Zi
137 people found this review helpful
Aug 29, 2022
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 10
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.5
This review may contain spoilers

Enchantment + Chemistry + Magic = Alchemy of Souls

There have already been numerous lengthy reviews criticizing and praising this drama. So, I don't think I'll need to write another lengthy one. But I couldn't help but write one for this drama because I needed to make my points about why it's so good and deserves what it's getting. I'll try to keep this brief and to the point, but please forgive me if it gets out of hand. : D

Alchemy of Souls is a Studio Dragon and High Quality action + fantasy k-drama written by the Hong sisters (Hong Jung Eun and Hong Mi Ran) and directed by Park Joon Hwa. I'll give you a quick summary of the story:

The story takes place in Daeho, a fictional land centred on Lake Gyeongcheondaeho, where mages with the ability to control vast amounts of energy from the lake live. The plot revolves around our heroine, Naksu, the Shadow Assassin, who is regarded as a major threat to Daeho's mages. A situation arises that forces Naksu to perform the Alchemy of Souls, a forbidden magical art that allows a person to transfer their soul to another person's body. Sadly, she becomes trapped in the body of Mu Deok, a mysterious girl. Her weak body prevents her from using her abilities. Then she meets Jang Uk, the young master Jang, who is considered one of Daeho's 'Four Seasons' (Winter), along with Seo Yul (Autumn), Jin Cho Yeon (Spring), and Park Dang Gu (Summer). Jang Uk had been looking for a master who could teach him how to use spells since he was forbidden to do so from birth, which caused many scandals. Naksu agrees to teach Uk  because the deal benefits Naksu as well. Then, they work together to achieve their goals and uncover dark secrets buried deep in Daeho's history.

So, that's what the story is about.


Now, I'll focus on the plus points and short comings of the drama and justify why AoS deserves the rating I have given it.

PROS:

*AoS has an amazing story line. It's new and original. The Hong sisters created a whole new world with their imagination. The whole thing is new to us, and we can't help but watch it.

*The plot is so very intriguing with its twists and turns. The way each revelation is made is gripping. It always succeeded in keeping me on the edge of my seat! I can justify that because you'll be left with many questions as the 1st part ends. My mind is burning to know everything!

*The characters in this drama are as intriguing as the plot. They are three-dimensional and multi-faceted. We can see that the characters are built with great care so that they remain true to their original selves till the very end of the drama.

*Another positive aspect of the drama is the chemistry between the characters. Whatever their relationship was, all of the characters on screen seemed to have amazing chemistry with each other.

*The plot did justice to all of the drama's genres, whether it's comedy, action, suspense, or fantasy. The comedic scenes, particularly those between Mu Deok and the Crown Prince, were fantastic! I laughed quite a few times. The action scenes in this drama were excellent too! I liked it very much!

*The complex CGI used in this drama is spectacular! We can't take our eyes off the screen because it's so stunning! This was a visual treat to watch.

*It was a pleasure to watch the cast's acting! The majority of the cast delivered outstanding performances. They made the characters seem real. They made us feel their emotions and live with them, especially the main characters. Actually, this is my first Jung Su Mo and Lee Jae Wook drama. But this single drama has made me fall in love with them! I was astounded by Jung Su Mo's ability to portray so many different personas with so many different expressions! Lee Jae Wook was also fantastic! Despite being a relatively new actor, he seemed to outperform veteran actors! Hwang Min Hyun and Shin Seung Ho's performances have also impressed me. They both played quite difficult characters, and they nailed it! Yoo In Soo, of course, is the person who has most impressed me. I saw him in All Of Us Are Dead, where he played a very different character than he did here. To be more specific, the two characters were like night and day! The majority of the other leads have also done well. Let's give them all a standing ovation!!!

*Another thing I liked about this drama is how different it is from other wuxia dramas. Men with long wigs and women with complex hairstyles are common in Wuxia dramas. But, here, most men here have short hair and various hairstyles, whereas most women have modern hairstyles such as bangs, short hair, and so on. Some of the characters even have coloured hair! At first, I was annoyed by this, but then I realised that the variety makes this drama more memorable. *This drama's sound effects are undeniably beautiful. It provided me with the right vibes for each scene. The OSTs were all excellent as well! Scars Leave Beautiful Traces and You Are Everything To Me are some of the drama's most memorable OSTs.


CONS:

I'm not denying the drama's flaws. Everything has some drawbacks. Some of the things in the drama that irritated me the most were:

*Excessive scene repetition. After all, we are not idiots. We don't have such a bad memory that we need to be reminded of what happened every time something is mentioned.

*Another undeniable flaw in the drama is the underutilization of the female lead, Nak Su. She was introduced as a badass fl, but she was gradually reduced to being the ML's love interest only. Perhaps we'll see more of Nak Su in the coming season. So let us just wait.

*There are undeniably a lot of romantic elements in this drama. They could have given it less screen time and instead focused on improving the drama's other flaws.

*During the middle of the drama, there were numerous filler episodes. During that time, nothing actually happened. This has also turned off a lot of people. They could have finished this in 15 or 16 episodes.

*Another undeniable con of the drama is its underusing of the female lead, Nak Su. She was introduced as a badass fl but, slowly, she was sidelined to being the ML's love interest only. Maybe we'll get to see more of Nak Su in the next season. So let's wait.

*Undeniably, there are more than enough romantic elements in this drama. They could have given less screen time for it and instead focused on improving the other lacking aspects of the drama.


Overall:

I don't think I have anything more to say about the drama, but I can say confidently that this has become one of my favourite dramas, which will live on in my memory for the rest of my life. Hope this review has justified the drama.
If you like fantasy, action or adventure, this drama is highly recommended. The time invested will be worthwhile.  Let's all look forward to the Part 2 of the drama and get the answers for all our questions!

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Recommendations

Alchemy of Souls Season 2: Light and Shadow
Lovers of the Red Sky
Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo
Love Between Fairy and Devil
Ever Night
Moon in the Day

Details

  • Drama: Alchemy of Souls
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 20
  • Aired: Jun 18, 2022 - Aug 28, 2022
  • Aired On: Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: Netflix, tvN
  • Duration: 1 hr. 20 min.
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Statistics

  • Score: 9.1 (scored by 50,703 users)
  • Ranked: #32
  • Popularity: #56
  • Watchers: 94,856

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