1. I’ve been watching Korean dramas and entertainment forever. Kingdom is a wonderful deviation from the Joesan era in that it mixes political intrigue and dystopian very well. The acting is superb.

    I’ve seen both seasons so there’s A LOT more that will be explained in the next season. What I love about the show is the fact that it shows that morality can and should exist even when everything around you is going crazy. Such as zombies. The fact that the prince is trying to do the right thing by the people is noteworthy.

    Train to Busan was good. A wonderful rollercoaster ride.

    The East, generally speaking, is really good at depicting self-sacrifice for the good of the community than individual pursuits. Also, in Kingdom, I think they went for a more scientific approach than a religious approach because that’s just the sign of the times. They show through one of the characters just how methodical they were even though they didn’t have the scientific breakthroughs of today.

    I love the show!

    • Travis Perry says:

      Yeah I would agree their portrayal of especially the medical people is that they have a mindset very much like modern scientists. How accurate to history that is I can’t say–but I think I see why the storytellers chose to go that direction.

  2. Rampant or The Kingdom may have been one of the dramas I read the description of when my family still had a Netflix account. I never saw it, but it sounds interesting.

    I’ve seen some other Asian shows with zombieish creatures, though. Hakuoki being the easiest to recall. The first two seasons of it were just a silly romance, so I don’t recommend them except to people that like that particular genre. But the third season(prequel to the whole series) is actually pretty good. It’s called Hakuoki Reimeiroku, and it has kind of a slow build to the zombie like creatures. Basically, what happens is that the main char, a blue haired guy named Ibuki, is given food by a tyrannical person and is therefore kinda caught up in a life debt type situation. So he ends up hanging out with the Shinsengumi as they start chasing their dreams and gaining renown.

    But there’s a lot of dark politics within the group. There’s Kondou and his men, who are an idealistic group of friends that want to protect Japan against the threat they perceive from foreigners. And then there’s Serizawa, who’s tyrannical and overall very problematic. Kondou’s men despise Serizawa, but need his help to get where they want in life, which is partly where the ‘zombie’ thing starts coming in.

    The group is told to experiment with this thing(Water of Life I think it’s called) and the experiments are conducted in secret. The stuff is partly derived from Oni, if I recall from the other two seasons, but people are not Oni and the Water of Life is not perfect. It turns people into monsters that are sort of like a cross between zombies and vampires(they kind of act like fast, agile zombies, but they aren’t rotten and they drink blood).

    The show is about the political and social interactions as Kondou’s men struggle with Serizawa’s antics. The zombie thing is one of the big parts of that. Along the way, one of the main themes in the show is resolve. On on hand, there’s Ibuki, who starts out with barely anything resembling positive resolve. Then you have Serizawa, who has so much resolve that he is too willing to do unnecessary bad things in order to intimidate people into letting him accomplish what he needs to. And then there’s Kondou’s men, who are on a spectrum in between. They are idealistic and want to do what’s right, but how firm is their resolve in the face of people like Serizawa? What are they willing to do to accomplish what they believe in? How do they respond to the challenges to their idealistic outlooks?

    Again, that’s in the third season, Hakuoki Reimeiroku. I think it’s on Hulu, but who knows if it’s been added to Netflix or YouTube. It’s pretty clean, too. The worst aspects of it are probably just a couple crass things Serizawa says far later on, but that was more to show his problematic tyrannical nature than anything else. But yeah, it’s an interesting historical fantasy story. There’s a lot of subtle hints to character motivations and such as the story goes on, so it’s one of those shows where it’s worth paying close attention to everything the characters say and do and fitting it into the overall puzzle of cause and effect.

    I think Tokyo Ghoul might kinda explore some zombie like creatures, but I’m not for sure since I haven’t seen it. It’s probably a pretty dark show, though.

    Rot and Ruin, along with Rebirth (which are on Line Webtoon) are two other zombie stories I’ve been fond of lately. They aren’t Asian dramas, but they do have interesting takes on the zombie genre and are free to read. Rot and Ruin was apparently based off a book series, actually.

    Also, Tapas has another one called Dreamcide, and it may actually be a Korean comic. I’m waaaaay behind on it, though. It’s a little less unique as far as zombie stories go, though there is a bit of a time travel aspect.

    • I also recommend watching the Subbed version of Hakuoki Reimeiroku(or pretty much any anime, actually) instead of the Dubbed. The voice acting for the English dubbed version of Reimeiroku doesn’t sound nearly as good as the original acting.

  3. Now that I think about it, Fate Zero kinda dealt with zombie like creatures within the two episodes dedicated to Kiritsugu’s backstory. They were called ghouls, dead apostles, etc. though. They didn’t necessarily eat people, either, they more so just bit people so they could spread. They were the result of mages experimenting with immortality and in some cases being greedy and weaponizing these zombie/ghoul/vampire like creatures.

    Those two episodes are probably what I would recommend people watch to try the series out and see if they like it or can handle its dark tragicness. Even though they take place in the second season, they could almost be regarded as a standalone short story. The sad, tragic angle to those episodes might also be a different take on ‘zombies’ than most people are used to.

What do you think?