More Fantastical Tales To Watch
Alchemy of Souls is an intriguing and magical K-drama, blending fantasy, drama and romance together into a delightful blend of influences.
If you’ve finished this one and are looking for something similar, we’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle with our top 10 picks for alternate viewing.
To keep things simple for skim-readers we’ve added what similarities these have.
Of course for all the shows we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link so you can check out our full thoughts on that series and see if it’s something you want to invest your time with.
So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming Alchemy of Souls.
Similarities – Fantasy & Politics
Dubbed as the Korean Game Of Thrones, Arthdal Chronicles leans much heavier into its high fantasy concepts and mixes that in with a health dose of complicated political drama.
The story is admittedly pretty convoluted and will punish you if you’re not paying attention during every minute of its episodes.
Set in the fictional land of Arthdal during Ancient times, the story sees a military force led by Tagon rise up and seize control of the land. Prophesied to bring balance back to the world, Eunseom and Tanya front the Wahan Tribe, a peaceful colony, find themselves on the brink of extinction.
All of this builds up to quite the dramatic conclusion to round things out with. Given a second season has already been green-lit, this isn’t the last we’ll see of this Korean drama!
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Similarities – Fantasy & Magic
Avatar: The Last Airbender is a fantastic animation that’s a must-watch for kids and adults alike.
The series itself revolves around a world divided into four elemental nations: The Northern and Southern Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads. The Avatar uphold the balance between the nations and up until the start of the first episode, everything seems to be peachy. That is, until the balance of power shifts.
When the Fire Nation is invaded and the avatar disappears, we cut forward 100 years to find Katara and Sokka discovering the new Avatar, an airbender named Aang. What ensues from here is an unforgettable romp that brings out the very best in animated storytelling.
Hwarang : The Poet Warrior Youth
Similarities – Fantasy
This historical drama remains a favourite among Seo Joon fans as it led to the start of the Wooga squad. In this drama, Seo Joon plays the role of Moo-Myung. Now, Moo-Myung is a man of low birth who joins an elite group of young men called Hwarang.
The Queen created this group to protect the crown prince but in the end the young men bond through passion, friendship and love and desire to protect the Silla Kingdom.
Although the story is a little anticlimactic at the end, the star-studded cast and solid acting make this a decent watch.
Similarities – Fantasy & Romance
The Untamed is character-driven, dressed with battle scenes and a genuinely engaging tale of friendship. Rich with clans, wars, alliances, murder, sleight-of-hand relationships and deeply rooted bonds, it sets the scene for divisive conflict.
There’s a lovely exploration of the interpretation of good and evil here, and the difference between face value and true intent. If you’re paying attention, you may find yourself – like so many characters – wondering who’s really wearing the black hanfu.
50 episodes is quite the commitment but after watching a few chapters you’ll get why this drama is so cherished. With good fantasy, romance and drama elements, The Untamed has all of that in abundance.
A Korean Odyssey
Similarities – Fantasy & Comedy
If you’re looking for a good old fashioned fantasy drama, you can’t go wrong with A Korean Odyssey.
The story here takes place in 2017 with Son Oh-Gong and Woo Ma-Wang in conflict with each other. Oh-Gong is bound to his protective role towards a little girl called Seon-Mi whom he met years before. Having made a contract with her, entitling the girl to seek help whenever she needs it, the two meet again in a fateful encounter.
The story is well written, with compelling characters that boast some great chemistry which helps drive this one forward. Much like Alchemy of Souls, this is another 20 episode thriller worth checking out.
Hotel Del Luna
Similarities – Fantasy & Romance
Hotel Del Luna may not be the strongest drama on the list, nor does it do anything particularly outstanding with its story. However, it does pack one heck of an emotional punch and is another classic IU masterclass in acting.
Hotel Del Luna refers to a gateway hotel between the real world and the after life which this drama takes place in. Following a bright opening act, a lot of the middle episodes fall into an episodic format until the third act starts to ramp up the drama, light horror elements and emotion.
There are some truly emotional scenes peppered throughout and the finale is certainly one of the most gut-wrenching episodes of Korean TV in quite some time. The supernatural elements and world building are excellent throughout and the cinematography is really impressive too.
Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (Goblin)
Similarities – Epic fantasy tale & romance
Guardian: The Lonely & Great God is quite simply one of the best Korean dramas ever made. Armed with excellent cinematography, crackling chemistry between its main cast and one of the best soundtracks in this medium, Guardian (often referred to as Goblin) is a wonderful journey from start to finish and a must-watch for fantasy fans.
At the heart of this one lies Dokkaebi (Kim Shin), a 939-year-old immortal who happens to be best friends with a Grim Reaper and a student called Eun-Tak with a tragic past. As fate would have it, Eun-Tak happens to be his bride who’s destined to break Shin’s immortal curse.
The story takes many twists and turns along the way but manages to nail every single part of its production. When it comes to gold-standard K-Dramas, this one sets a very high bar.
The Crowned Clown
Similarities – Politics & Scheming
The Crowned Clown is a dramatic, politically charged series awash with tension, twists and turns. With a satisfying conclusion and impressive cinematography throughout, this Korean drama makes for quite the impressive showing.
Set in Joseon, the Royal family are in a state of disorder following a number of uprisings among the unhappy populous. A power struggle for the throne soon ensues, with the maniacal Lee Hun ruling with an iron fist while the Queen Dowager, along with close advisor Sin Chi-Soo, plot to overthrow the King and snatch the throne for themselves.
When an entertainer arrives in town bearing the exact same face as the King, Lee Hun switches places with the pretender as a way of avoiding any assassination attempts. Unprepared and in over his head, with the help of both Eunuch Jo and the Royal Secretary, Ha Sun takes the throne and tries to navigate the murky waters of deceit and deception while avoiding being found out as an imposter.
With teasing glimpses of romance and lots of dramatic plot twists, The Crowned Clown constantly outdoes itself, playing host to a number of shocking revelations along the way.
Lovers of the Red Sky
Similarities – Fantasy & Romance
Lovers of the Red Sky is an intriguing fantastical period drama. With romance and drama at the forefront, Red Sky’s fantasy elements do fall by the wayside somewhat through the 16 episodes. However, the story is pretty similar to Alchemy of Souls.
Set during the Joseon Dynasty, a young woman named Jong Chun-Ki works as a painter. Born blind, she somehow manages to acquire a sense of vision. In doing so, she’s accepted to the most prestigious art college in the land. Whilst there, she meets Ha-Ram, an astrologer whose fate is the opposite of her own. He was born sighted and lost his vision thanks to a childhood accident.
Ha Ram happens to be able to read the future, despite the fact that he’s blind. Together, the duo are thrust head-first into a political charged and fantastically driven conspiracy in court, something that involves a mystical spirit and a ruthless, cruel Prince who will stop at nothing to become the next Joseon King.
If you’re after more Korean political dramas with a touch of fantasy, this one’s definitely worth a watch!
Fights Break Sphere: Season 1
Similarities – Drama, Revenge & Fantasy
Alchemy of Souls has a lot in common with the way Chinese dramas are set up, so it should come as no surprise to find a few on this list!
Fights Break Sphere is a well written and absorbing C-drama, centering on Xiao Yan who’s a genius child who suddenly loses all of his powers. His lack of talent is an embarrassment to his family. However, at the age of 15, Xiao Yan accidentally summons Yao Lao from his mother’s ring. With the elder’s help Xiao Yan’s skill improves. When his family is assassinated, Xiao Yan sets out to find his family’s killer and return peace to the martial world.
With plenty of drama and neat little twists, there’s certainly a lot to like with this one.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to watch when you’re finished with Alchemy of Souls on Netflix.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!