Bulgasal: Immortal Souls (2021) poster
8.2
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 11,472 users
# of Watchers: 26,856
Reviews: 89 users
Ranked #1320
Popularity #525
Watchers 11,472

The series tells the story of a man-turned-immortal, Bulgasal, who wants revenge from a woman with a mysterious past and present, who he deems responsible for his immortality and miseries from the past 600 years, hoping to free himself from his curse. (Source: IMDb) Edit Translation

  • English
  • 中文(台灣)
  • Arabic
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 16
  • Aired: Dec 18, 2021 - Feb 6, 2022
  • Aired On: Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: Netflix tvN
  • Duration: 1 hr. 15 min.
  • Score: 8.2 (scored by 11,472 users)
  • Ranked: #1320
  • Popularity: #525
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

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Reviews

Completed
Xiao Zi
78 people found this review helpful
Feb 6, 2022
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
This review may contain spoilers

An OK Drama

Bulgasal literally means 'impossible to kill'. This drama is based on a Korean folklore. Bulgasal is mythical immortal creature or monster that feeds on human blood. This folklore dates back to the late Goryeo period.

Bulgasal: Immortal souls is directer by Jang Young Woo and screenwritten by a husband-wife team Kwon So Ra and Seo Jae Won.

Dan Hwal played by Lee Jin Wook was a human who was born with Bulgasal's curse. He bacame a Bulgasal himself after a series of incidents 600 years ago which led to him losing his family. He is now in search of a woman, who he believes to have killed his family and turned him into a Bulgasal in her past life. She has now reincarnated as Min Sang Un played by Kwon Na Ra. Hwal needs her soul to break free of his curse of immorality and leave the world.

The first episode is set in the late Goreyeo period, when monsters were alive. It shows the original story of Dan Hwal from birth to how he became a Bulgasal. Honestly, though a lot happened in the first episode, I didn't really feel anything. It felt really uninteresting and slow. There was a war inside my mind whether I should continue this show or put it back in my PTW list (I don't drop dramas) after I finished the first episode. Then, I decided to give the second episode a try. Most of this episode was set in the modern times and in this, unexpectedly the whole look and pace of the drama changed. It became more and more interesting and intriguing in the next episodes. It's really unpredictable what will happen next and arouse our curiosity. Each and every episode arises new new questions which keeps the story compelling.

After starting this drama during the airing time, I realised that it was not a good decision because we will be at our wit's end wating for the next episode. The whole drama was fairly fast paced with no lagging.

Both Lee Jin Wook and Kwon Na Ra are veteran actors. As I usually watch C-dramas and only recently ventured into the lands of K-drama world, I have never seen them in any drama except Lee Jin Wook in Sweet Home (which I never completed). I liked his acting in Sweet Home and I think I know why he is cast for this role. Dan Hwal's character needs a commanding as well as terrorising (sometimes calm and caring too) look which Lee Jin Wook had.

I'm not really a fan of Kwon Na Ra but I canno't deny that her acting was nice in this drama. Eventhough the she was a bit annoying at first, she fairly pulled off her emotional scenes. But she dosen't make up to the list of my favourite actresses.

The actor that I liked the most in this drama is the villian's. I won't say who it is (probably you know whom I'm refering to) but, his acting is just superb. He nailed his character and this is what I really want from an villian character. His look, gestures and everything is really apt for his character.

Also the supporting character play a major role in the story of this drama, especially Min Shi Ho (Min Sang Un's current life sister) played by Gong Seung Yeon, Detective Kwon played by Jung Jin Young, Nam Do Yoon (an orphan who is often abused) played by Kim Woo Seok and Lee Hye Suk. Without them, the drama would feel incomplete. I really liked their bond between eachother. I won't elobrate their relations to eachother in their past lives as I don't want to spoil the fun for the future watchers.

The cinemaorgyaphy is awsomely done. It correctly captures the feelings of a scene. Also the background music is really eerie which well fit the atmosphere of the drama and makes our hair stand on end.

Some other OSTs from this drama:
"Leave" ( 하루) by 4Men
"Tunnel (with Kardi)" (터널 ) by Kim Ye Ji
"Can't Forget You" (잊을 수 없다면) by Min Seo
"Beyond The Time" by Jannet Suhh
All the OSTs are nice. But, Leave and Beyond the Time are among my personal favourites.

The main story arc sometimes feel difficult to understand and is confusing. It is like pieces of puzzles which we, audience, have to join and understand. Although there are only a few main and supporting characters, I was confused of their relations with eachother in their current and past lives at first.

Another problem lies in the romance part. There was absolutely no need of romance. Sometimes it works but sometimes not. If we understand the underlying logic in the romace part, it can sometimes be heart fluttering. But, this is not a drama for romance lovers. There are not kiss or intimate scenes. Just some piggy back rides and hugs.

However, I have to give a warning to everyone who is thinking of watching this drama. This is really bloody. This drama gives you pain and shocks. There are many scenes of self-inflicted wounds, deaths, monsters and many more scenes which give you goosebumps.

This drama is an ok drama for me. It had really great potential which is ruined by substandard direction and writing. It could have been a lot better. However, this is a recommended drama for mystry and supernatural genre lovers.

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Completed
ennea
97 people found this review helpful
Jan 10, 2022
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 10
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.0
This review may contain spoilers

Love-Hate/Hate-Love Relationships; a Really Cunning Villain; Reincarnation; and Found Family Tropes

Summary:
- ANGST AND PAIN ㅠ_ㅠ
- Resentments and desire for revenge spanning a VERY LONG time.
- Hateful grievances and many misunderstandings
- Really amazing cinematography and backgrounds
- Phenomenal acting
- Really good chemistry. Also, NO KISS SCENES but there exist an overwhelming TENSION between them ♡
- Music filled with deep desire, yearning, and sad feels
- A truly beautiful found family trope story
- Highly recommended for supernatural and mystery lovers
………………………………………………………………………………………………

OVERALL: A must watch.
Bulgasal pull on your heart strings, its heart-wrenching from start to finish yet also beautiful and heartwarming at the same time. If you’re still contemplating to watch because of the mix reviews, you’ll miss a chance to watch this compelling and unique storyline. This may inevitably become one of my most favorite Kdrama, this really kept me on my toes every week. The Mystery propels the storyline onwards and it’s done well- atleast for me. Racked my brains for theories but 'the truth' still surpassed my expectations very well. If you can withstand crying and if you also don’t mind being a mad theorist while watching this drama, you’re in the right place. ♡

………………………………………………………………………………………………
The drama FOR REAL gives more questions than answers in its episodes yet strangely, I find myself enjoying every minute of this. It was slow-paced but all in all, I was never bothered by how the story moved forward towards the climax. Maybe you’ll also see romance in the scenes if you’ll expect it like me. This drama is also certainly not for the weak heart. There are a lot of painful moments, blood, murders, triggers and trauma too so be warned. Yet, many also have loved and investigated every details within each scenes in the drama- find them in discussions and on twitter and maybe you’ll be pulled in too. I love you all my fellow Bulgasal theorists! :**. The drama also centres around cherishing Bonds, a strong feeling of shared beliefs and experiences that unites the characters instead of pure romance only. Base on the interactions between the leads, there is definitely GREAT chemistry and romance blooming each episode. It is to my great relief that I found this drama on Netflix. I was searching for something to watch next after “The Silent Sea” due to the emptiness I felt and I never thought I would be pulled in for another lot of sadness.
………………………………………………………………………………………………
STORY: ♡
With the "Legend of Bulgasari" background alone, It is clear this drama might have a chance to be either definitely unique, thought-provoking and interesting or just end up being tagged as a wasted potential. And for me, this drama ends up within the former choice. First, the cinematography is astounding and second, the story- irresistible (yes irresistible, like the coffee you crave every morning).
There are misunderstandings, there’s a genius manipulator and also, hard to break grudges from the past. Be prepared for the 'racking your brain for answers part' while watching though lol. A lot have said this is only a romance with an enemies to lovers trope. But. It’s much more than that. There is familial love, friendship, and a valuable bond that connects each and every characters. I love every part of this drama. But the most memorable was that one scene where Hwal and Bulgalady met again as adults on EP1 on a hilltop and that other scene on EP11 where everyone started to feel like they lost a valuable treasure as they leave the house when in fact they only stayed there for less than a month.
As for the main lead’s relationship in the present lifetime, “… two deeply wounded people finding solace and warmth in each other”. I definitely agree with this beautiful comment of “Swan Song1” that Hwal and Sang Un’s relationship is NOT forced. Their relationship may have started with full of hate for each other but that didn't stop them from realizing the truth that their hate was only a misunderstanding- a result of the lies and manipulation fed to them by someone evil. After their reconciliation, they didn’t even notice that they became closer immediately. There’s already care and love for each other even from the start. So in my eyes, there’s sizzling chemistry between the leads. It all starts from a past-life revenge type and is slowly leading towards the healthy shared purpose type of relationship. All the relationships and characters in the drama were built upon solid storylines and past. Even the revelations are revealed to us slowly, PLAIN AS DAY and everything will MAKE SENSE in the end.

Soon, as you continue to watch, you’ll also realise that their future fate may inevitably have a painful end. Despite that, you may still end up loving everything.
I LOVE:: ♡ ♡ ♡
* EVERYTHING most especially EPISODE 11&12&14
* How Aunt Hye Sook went from an annoying shaman to a caring mother figure for the four orphans and how she’s always smiling and stays bright faced infront of Hwal because she thinks of him as a son. ㅠ_ㅠ
* How Hwal struggles with himself while being with Sang Woon-someone completely different from his expectations. Most importantly, I love how his heart greatly softened due to Sang Woon’s honest & compassionate personality, and love for him. :))
*How Sang Woon and Si Ho cares deeply about each other and how they act as a mother figure for each other.
*How Do Yoon loves his brothers in the orphanage and can do anything for them ;and also how he slowly but effectively warmed up and cared for the others in their Home.
* And how Sang Woon definitely isn’t perfect and doesn’t let her fear stop her from finding answers. She is dauntless but also jittery, she is constantly kind to those who help her even when she doesn’t have much. But it is her imperfections that make her amazing as a person. Kwon Nara (Uri Sang Woon) will make you cry a lot in here but you’d also see her smile a lot especially when she’s with her sister, Si Ho. Oh and she's GORGEOUS when she smiles.
* I also love how Dark Hole is always suffering -from his own inflicted actions. The writer did his character with much thought. The actor too, is for real prefect for a villain.

………………………………………………………………………………………………
ACTING/CAST: ♡
First, I want to compliment all the child actors/actress’. They deserve a lot of hugs and awards! They were really astounding in their acting!
*Actor Lee Jin Wook’s portrayal of Hwal - The mix of hate and doubt is visible in his actions, words and eyes. And when he’s with Sang Un, he will make you speechless. It’s not new to find a cold character in a drama but he is undoubtedly amazing as Hwal. I can’t imagine another Hwal other than him.
*Actress Kwon Nara(Sang Woon) is amazing. I only saw her on “Suspicious partner” but She portrayed Bulgasal and bubbly Sang Woon so well! I can clearly see the difference in the two characters she portrayed. Her eyes and facial expressions as BulgasaLady full of hate & hurt, as Hwa Yeon filled with anxiety and the bubbly Sang Yeon were spectacular for me. Most importantly, she looks REALLY stunning!
*Actor Lee Joon(Ok Eul Tae/Dark Hole). Just Wow. I didn’t even notice he was the Lieutenant in “The Silent Sea”! His acting will give you goosebumps. For real.
*Actor Kim Woo Seok (Do Yoon/A’Chan) He did REALLY well. I did not even know that this was his first role despite being an idol! You’ll really love and care for Do Yoon a lot with his amazing portrayal of the character. <3
*And our Gong Seung Yeon(Si Ho)! I was shocked to see her as a mother! She portrayed it very well, I rooted for her happiness, I cried when she cried and I even started shipping her with Hwal too. *ahem*
When all of them gather in their house ( except Dark Hole HAHA) , I promise that you won’t be able to avoid the feeling of warmth and comfort in you heart.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

If I were to describe the main character's lives in one quote, I'd choose Gena Showalker's: “They gave each other what no one else had ever been able to give. A past to cherish. A present to enjoy. A future to anticipate.”

I will really miss this drama and everyone who discussed with me here AND ON TWITTER. I love you all and I hope we’ll meet again in another drama.


EDIT (6/29/2023):
I remember I was very emotional when I made this review while watching the drama. It was a fun ride discussing about the theories with fellow MDLers and the people on Twitter. I now reread my review after almost two years, and I realized giving this that kind of rating was indeed too subjective of me. However, I did ponder a lot for days before I did this review and I still think this deserves a 10. I really enjoyed the drama a lot (especially the phenomenal acting from Ok Eul Tae) first time. It's fine if you do not agree with me and my bad if this was not a satisfying review for you. But if you made it to the end of this review, thank you and have a great day. ♡

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Details

  • Drama: Bulgasal: Immortal Souls
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 16
  • Aired: Dec 18, 2021 - Feb 6, 2022
  • Aired On: Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: Netflix, tvN
  • Duration: 1 hr. 15 min.
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Statistics

  • Score: 8.2 (scored by 11,472 users)
  • Ranked: #1320
  • Popularity: #525
  • Watchers: 26,856

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