Gyeongseong Creature (2023) poster
8.4
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.4/10 from 12,032 users
# of Watchers: 36,609
Reviews: 74 users
Ranked #770
Popularity #346
Watchers 12,032

Jang Tae Sang is a wealthy man. He is known as the most attractive man around Bukchon in Gyeongseong. He is also a reliable source of information around the area. His talents, including the ability to react quickly to situations, a keen insight, and sociability, have led him to his current position. He soon gets involved with Yoon Chae Ok, which leads him to reevaluate his priorities as a person. Yoon Chae Ok is famous as a todugun (a person who finds missing people). As a young child, she traveled between Manchuria and Shanghai, China, with her father. Her life was not easy, and she learned at that time how to survive. She developed skills with shooting guns, using knives and handling machines. Her mother went missing 10 years ago. To find her mother, Yoon Chae Ok arrives in Gyeongseong. There, she becomes involved with Jang Tae Sang. They follow a series of mysterious missing person cases, and they come upon a terrible reality. (Source: AsianWiki) Edit Translation

  • English
  • ภาษาไทย
  • Arabic
  • Українська
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 10
  • Aired: Dec 22, 2023 - Jan 5, 2024
  • Aired On: Friday
  • Original Network: Netflix
  • Duration: 1 hr. 10 min.
  • Score: 8.4 (scored by 12,032 users)
  • Ranked: #770
  • Popularity: #346
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Where to Watch Gyeongseong Creature

Netflix
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Gyeongseong Creature (2023) photo
Gyeongseong Creature (2023) photo
Gyeongseong Creature (2023) photo
Gyeongseong Creature (2023) photo
Gyeongseong Creature (2023) photo
Gyeongseong Creature (2023) photo

Reviews

Completed
unterwegsimkoreanischenD
87 people found this review helpful
Dec 31, 2023
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 9.0
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.0
This review may contain spoilers

In its monstrosity hardly dealt with war crime pulled off the dusty shelf in vividly stylized mode

The Netflix production “Gyeongseong Creature” turns out to be quite an idiosyncratic mix. Studio Dragon had the opportunity to experiment and make full use of an illustrious cast. Despite some clichés, "Gyeongseong Creature" is not a banal K-drama that you quickly forget.

Basically it's another hero´s quest of some hero against his will, discovering unexpected sides of himself. It´s another ´mission impossible´ right into the lion's den - in this case: the military hospital of the Japanese colonial army base in the middle of the capital of the Chōsen colony in 1945. It is not the fair maiden who is to be saved, but the kidnapped, impregnated courtesan of the chief of the Japanese police. It turns out that a 'dragon' - in this case an artificially created monster - also has to be overcome along the way. The hero is flanked by a motley crew of long-standing and spontaneous companions...

Now this old wine comes in a freshly spiced-up Korean-style bottle. The personal touch of "Gyeongseong Creature" is precisely that Gyeongseong in those final months of the Pacific War, when Seoul bore that name. The historical setting as well as the historically and socially significant issues of Japanese colonial rule give the plot its selectivity and a quite serious foundation, so that "Gyeongseong Creature" does not simply offer interchangeable run-of-the-mill entertainment. Here, a painful chapter of South Korean suffering is intertwined with personal fates in the form of loosely interspersed critical events during colonial rule that is officially (by Japan) to this day preferable neglected, not to mention rehabilitated. With this Netflix production it has been nonchalantly thrown onto the World Channel to be proclaimed and acknowledged in HD.
This involves in general: the arbitrary racist violence and oppression against the Koreans as well as the systematic torture and execution of suspected resistance fighters in Sodaemun Prison; the forced military conscription and bullying of Korean soldiers within Japanese units; the forced recruitment or abduction of comfort women for (mass rape for the pleasure of) frontline soldiers... And specifically in the case of this story: the monstrous machinations of Unit 731 as part of the Imperial Japanese Army, which went down in history for its inhumane experiments on human subjects. Although these experiments actually took place mainly in Harbin in Manchuria (see side note below), they were for this KDrama also imported to Gyeongseong for a compact narrative stringency.

Against this background, "Gyeongseong Creature" tells its fictional story with artistic license. In some scenes you may get the impression that you have lost your way in a parody. Despite of such incomprehensible human menace and distress, the story presents itself at times completely unimpressed by any seriousness. There is room for humor and coolness, (which sometimes made me think of a parody of 'James Bond' or alike production). There is this reluctant hero who sometimes appears naive, sometimes quite cheeky and self-confident. He´s someone who has learned to achieve his goals, but who prefers to stay out of any trouble, wearing a stylish suit. And then, out of nowhere, he can withstand torture and injuries as if it were nothing at all. You can't really take this seriously. And yet...
In contrast, there is plenty of objective seriousness and expertise from the two foreign travelers on their detective mission. Pleasant extra: a clever, self-confident FL who is quick-witted in every respect.
In contrast, there is also the extremely dark world of medical experiments (and their artistic documentation) – underground on the military site.
In contrast, there are also the monsters, the army and the imprisoned test subjects.
And in the middle of the perfidious chase, the great feelings of humanity shine through: familial bonds and solidarity as well as wounded pride and jealousy act as driving forces, flanked by patriotic resistance and questionable scientific ambition. It's hardly surprising that Cupid also shoots his arrow in passing.

Not only do the individual characters at times feel like caricatures of themselves, Gyeongseong's production, choreographed in light and colors, also seems to come from an unreal fairytale world. While the pawnshop shimmers in all colors, the Japanese research laboratory is stylized as a dark dungeon beneath the military prison. And then there is the Moonlight Bar on the one hand and the police chief's property on the other - each of them control centers with a certain (political) impact. All of this is impressively aestheticized again and again in hand-picked scenes and settings. Sometimes you can feel like you're in the theater and then again like you're in the high-resolution digital world of a computer game.

So is the KDrama worth watching? On the one hand, "Gyeongseong Creature" takes itself very seriously with regard to its historical contemporary themes, but on the other hand, in the clichéd exaggeration of the individual characters, it apparently doesn't. This KDrama mix chosen for "Gyeongseong Creature" is, in my opinion, quite daring. However, I mean this in a benevolently positive way, in the sense of 'feeling free to experiment'. You might have to get used to it - but easily so. The (let´s say) rather 'banal' entertainment element - the Mission Impossible in view of the numerically superior Japanese military and the monster creation - is effectively intertwined with painful historical reality in a strikingly piquant and catchy manner. During the action-packed and visually stunning ride through the episodes, the KDrama subtly but consequently throws its barbs of memory at the audience.

The KDrama surely is offering cinematically solid entertainment with a star cast, but at the same time, based on the different personal backgrounds of the main and supporting characters, it demands acknowledgement of how the Japanese dealt with Koreans at that time. By stylizing the manifestation of Unit 731's monstrous experiments and research in the form of a concrete monster with superpowers, "Gyeongseong Creature" symbolically brings the unsatisfactorily dealt with war crime off the dusty history shelves in an unmistakable monstrosity.


...
Well, a second season has already been announced.
This will obviously be set in contemporary Seoul, though. We´ll see...























---------------------------------------------------------
SIDE NOTE: --- Unit 731 of the Kwantung Army of the Imperial Japanese Army ---

From 1932 onwards, Unit 731 of the Kwantung Army of the Imperial Japanese Army under the leadership of Ishii Shirō was stationed in Harbin, the largest city of the puppet state of Manchukuo in northern Manchuria. Around 3,000 mostly bacteriologists carried out experiments on living people there. The test subjects imprisoned and tortured there were predominantly Korean and Chinese civilians as well as Soviet prisoners of war. Later, including American prisoners of war, too.
Unit 731 of the Kwantung Army of the Imperial Japanese Army was disguised as the “Main Branch of the Epidemic Prevention and Water Supply Department.” In fact, Unit 731 in Harbin is responsible for the most cruel experiments on living humans. Later, field research was also carried out using the biological weapons developed in Harbin. The victims based on this research alone were mostly civilians - tens of thousands came together over the course of the war years.
I would like to ad that the main perpetrators of these war crimes by Unit 731, who had the full support of the later Japanese prime ministers and the Japanese imperial family, remained unpunished in exchange for the research results that they handed over to the USA...


PS:
There was no offshoot of Unit 731 in the fictional Onseong Hospital in Geyeongseong. That's fictional.
There was no Onseong Hospital in Gyeongseong either.
However...


---------------------------------------------------------
SIDE NOTE: --- Gyeongseong Japanese Military Hospital ---

The main KDrama setting is a colorful look and feel of Gyeongsong (Seoul at that time). The focus is on the architecture of the Republic's former Defense Security Command Center. On the area between the palace and the old town of Bukcho a military hospital was built by the Japanese in 1928. The Onseong named Hospital in "Gyeongseong Creature" is fictional, but the architecture that takes center stage is in fact related to a real Japanese military hospital before later actually becoming part of the Republic's Defense Security Command Center.
Until about two decades ago, this area was an urban area closed to the public and with bad memories for the people - not only of the activities of the colonial rulers, but also of their own military, which staged a coup against the people here in the 1970s. Furthermore, many South Koreans were tortured and mistreated there (by the security officers of South Korea's dictatorial regime). Until recently, human rights was an unknown concept behind those walls.
The ensemble could have been demolished, but the people decided to preserve the building as a memorial. The historical witness is now part of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. The bloody past is thus being countered with something positive: the imagination and emotional power of modern art.

Here, with the KDrama "Gyeongsong Creature", the dark past of this military area bearing a bloody and painful past, which began with Japanese colonial rule and was later continued by South Korean government officials, comes to life again with artistic license, too - as representative contemporary witness in HD.

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Completed
ellenshuura
21 people found this review helpful
Jan 7, 2024
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 9.0

I love crime. I love mystery. And it’s set in the 1900s?

This was the first drama I’d completed since 2 years ago, and it was definitely a nice reintroduction back into kdrama watching for me. I’m seriously a sucker for crime/mystery set in the 20th century, and this drama certainly didn’t disappoint. As with many of these types of thriller dramas, there was some deus ex machina, but it wasn’t as in the face, if you will, compared to other thriller/action dramas. I’m certainly no movie critic by any means, but as a casual viewer, I really loved the pacing and the sudden cuts between the more comedic scenes and action scenes. There were a few plot holes of note, but I assume they’ll be explained by whatever happens in the second season. I’m so stoked for season 2!

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Details

  • Drama: Gyeongseong Creature
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 10
  • Aired: Dec 22, 2023 - Jan 5, 2024
  • Aired On: Friday
  • Original Network: Netflix
  • Duration: 1 hr. 10 min.
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Statistics

  • Score: 8.4 (scored by 12,032 users)
  • Ranked: #770
  • Popularity: #346
  • Watchers: 36,609

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