10 Korean Dramas Based on True Stories

10 Korean Dramas Based on True Stories

10 Korean Dramas have captured global hearts with their enchanting narratives and unforgettable

characters. But what sets some of these dramas apart is their basis in true stories, weaving reality and

fiction into a mesmerizing tapestry.

10 Korean Dramas
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From tales of resilience to historical accounts, these K-dramas immerse fans in the lives of extraordinary

individuals and events that shaped them. With the help of remarkable production, these K-dramas based

on true stories came to life.

10 Korean Dramas Real Stories

1.Juvenile Justice (2022)

1.Juvenile Justice (2022)
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Step into the world of “Juvenile Justice,” a gripping legal drama that unveils the journey of Judge Shim

Eun-seok, a newly appointed magistrate in the Yeonhwa District. Renowned for her icy demeanor and a

distinct disdain for young offenders, she dares to challenge the status quo and march to the beat of her

own gavel.

In this thrilling tale, the heart of the story lies in the Juvenile Act of South Korea, an innovative legal

framework that shields children under the tender age of fourteen from the clutches of criminal

punishment, even in the face of heinous crimes such as murder. Instead of traditional retribution, the law

aims to rehabilitate through community service or a temporary stay in a correctional facility.

As the courtroom becomes the battleground for justice, this extraordinary legal series delves deep into

the core notion that society itself shares responsibility for the actions of its youthful members. Prepare to

be captivated as Judge Shim defies conventions, employing her unorthodox methods to enforce the law

and uncover the profound interconnectedness between juvenile offenders and the world they inhabit.

2.D.P. (2021)

D.P. (2021)
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Unveiling the harsh realities of military life, “D.P.” ventures beyond the realms of fiction to bring forth a

gripping tale inspired by the webtoon created by Kim Bo Tong. Delve into the riveting narrative that

chronicles the journey of the Korean military police team, entrusted with the formidable task of

apprehending deserters.

Through the eyes of Private Ahn Joon-ho and Corporal Han Ho-yul, our intrepid protagonists, a

tumultuous adventure unfolds. As they traverse a treacherous landscape, a series of unexpected events

intertwine their fates, pushing them to the brink of self-discovery amidst a backdrop of bullying, violence,

hazing, and the harsh reality of desertions.

Drawing from the personal experiences of Kim Bo Tong during his own military conscription, “D.P.”

presents a poignant reflection of the less-than-desirable aspects of the military, particularly within the

context of South Korea. As a co-writer for the K-Drama, Kim Bo Tong weaves in additional layers of

authenticity, incorporating firsthand encounters that go beyond the original web toon.

3.Taxi Driver (2021),10 Korean Dramas Real Stories

Taxi Driver (2021)
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Buckle up for a thrilling ride through the streets of justice with Kim Do-gi, a former Special Forces soldier

who finds himself behind the wheel as a taxi driver for Rainbow Taxi Company. But this taxi service is far

from ordinary. It offers a unique and extraordinary service, aiming to deliver retribution to those who have

suffered injustice but find themselves failed by the legal system.

As Kim Do-gi embarks on his mission, the cases he takes on are not mere figments of imagination. They

are deeply rooted in the shocking realities that have unfolded in the real world. From the notorious Cho

Doo-soon case, which ignited public outrage with the release of a sex offender from prison, to the

harrowing tale of disabled individuals being trafficked on Purple Island in the province of Jeolla, each

story strikes a chord with the collective consciousness.

In a world where the scales of justice seem imbalanced, Rainbow Taxi Company becomes a beacon of

hope for those who have been denied their rightful due. Kim Do-gi, armed with his unique skills honed in

the Special Forces, becomes an agent of retribution, seeking to right the wrongs that society has failed to


4.The Empress Ki (2013)

10 Korean Dramas
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Prepare to be transported to a captivating world of power, ambition, and intrigue with “The Empress Ki.”

This enthralling drama presents a fictionalized account of the remarkable life and aspirations of the

infamous Empress Ki, drawing inspiration from historical events.

Our story begins with a teenage Ki, who was bestowed upon the Yuan dynasty in China by the Goryeo

Kingdom. Born into a family of low-ranking officials, Ki’s journey unfolds as she defies societal

expectations and rises through the ranks of the imperial court. From being the favored concubine of an

emperor to eventually ascending to the prestigious position of empress, her path is paved with audacity

and determination.

While the relationships portrayed in the drama may be dramatized for the screen, they are grounded in

the lives of real individuals. Empress Ki, an enigmatic figure who dared to challenge the established order,

has often been scrutinized in historical records for her shrewdness and unyielding pursuit of power.

Against the backdrop of uprisings, dynastic battles, and insurrections, the narrative unfolds, weaving a

tapestry of compelling drama and larger-than-life characters.

5.Reply 1988 (2015)

Reply 1988 (2015)
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Step into the nostalgic world of the Ssangmun-dong neighborhood, where the lives of five close-knit

friends and their families intertwine in a tale of growth and resilience. Set against the backdrop of 1988,

this heartwarming series delves into the daily joys, struggles, and triumphs that shape their journey from

adolescence to adulthood.

Among the beloved characters is Choi Taek, a masterful Go player whose inspiration draws from the real-

life prodigy Lee Chang-ho. Just as Lee Chang-ho astounded the world as the youngest professional Go

player at the tender age of 11, Choi Taek embodies his unwavering composure and inner strength. Fondly

known as the “Stone Buddha,” Taek’s serene demeanor captivates the hearts of all who encounter him.

Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of life in 1980s Korea, as this enchanting drama weaves together the

threads of friendship, family, and personal growth. Through its nostalgic lens, the series captures the

undivided attention of the audience, inviting them to relish in the simple yet profound moments that

shape our lives.

6.Through the Darkness (2022),10 Korean Dramas Real Stories

10 Korean Dramas Real Stories
Image credit by IGN

“The Profiler,” based on the autobiography by author Ko Na-mu. Step into the world of a diligent police

officer whose innovative thinking propels him into the prestigious Criminal Behavior Analysis team.

Inspired by the life of South Korea’s first profiler, Kwon Il Yong, this captivating series immerses viewers in

a world of intricate homicide investigations that he played a pivotal role in solving.

The drama exudes an aura of intensity and mystique, delivering on all the well-deserved hype

surrounding it. Witness the extraordinary transformation of Kim Nam Gil’s character, as he evolves from a

regular police officer into a brilliant behavior analysis detective. This tale of an unlikely hero is undeniably

compelling, drawing viewers deeper into the intricacies of the cases he works on.

“The Profiler” is a riveting portrayal of the power of the human mind and the relentless pursuit of justice.

As the series unravels the web of crimes, it unveils the indomitable spirit of Kwon Il Yong and his team,

showcasing their unwavering determination and unrivaled expertise.

Don’t miss out on this gripping drama that explores the captivating world of criminal profiling. Brace

yourself for an unforgettable journey that combines suspense, emotion, and the triumph of the human

spirit. “The Profiler” is a tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat, reminding us all of the potential

within each of us to make a lasting impact.

7.The Hymn of Death (2018)

The Hymn of Death (2018)
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Step into the enchanting world of the 1920s as “The Hymn of Death” unfolds a tragic tale of love and

longing. Inspired by the real-life story of Yoon Shim-deok, a renowned Korean soprano, and her ill-fated

romance with literary critic Kim Woo-jin, this mesmerizing drama pulls at the heartstrings.

Amidst a backdrop of societal stigmas and barriers, Yoon Shim-deok and Kim Woo-jin find themselves

irresistibly drawn to each other, defying conventions and embracing forbidden love. Their passionate

affair, however, encounters numerous obstacles, from the complexities of Kim Woo-jin’s marriage to the

disapproval of Yoon Shim-deok’s family. Their journey is marked by emotional turmoil and heart-

wrenching sacrifices.

At the core of this poignant narrative lies the record left behind by Yoon Shim-deok, titled “Eulogy of

Death.” Although the original composition has been altered by time, its enduring legacy serves as a

testament to the tragic tale that unfolded. Brace yourself for an emotional rollercoaster as the drama

delves deep into the profound depths of love, loss, and the profound impact of destiny.

8.Hwarang (2016)

Hwarang (2016)
Image credit by Rakuten ViKi

Prepare to be transported to the ancient kingdom of Silla as you delve into the captivating world of

“Hwarang.” Inspired by true events, this esteemed K-drama follows a group of extraordinary young men

known as the Hwarang, who were chosen to serve the king and protect the kingdom during the Silla


Drawing upon the historical context of Korea between 57 BC and 935 AD, the series sheds light on a

typical occurrence during the illustrious reign of the Silla Kingdom. Immerse yourself in a world where

honor, duty, and loyalty intertwine as these elite warriors navigate the complex landscapes of power and


The star-studded cast, including the charismatic BTS member V, Park Seo-joon, Park Hyung-sik, and more,

adds an undeniable allure to the drama. Their captivating performances breathe life into the characters,

enhancing the immersive experience for viewers.

Beyond the glamour, “Hwarang” weaves a captivating narrative that delves into timeless themes of justice,

camaraderie, and personal growth. Against the backdrop of historical events, the plot unfolds with

gripping intensity, leaving the audience eagerly awaiting each twist and turn.

9.Fight for My Way (2017),10 Korean Dramas Real Stories

10 Korean Dramas Real Stories
Image credit Rakuten Viki

Prepare to be inspired by the heartwarming story of Ko Dong-man and Choi Ae-ra in “Fight For My

Way.” Childhood friends with unwavering passion and dreams, their lives take unexpected turns,

challenging their aspirations and resilience.

Ko Dong-man, once a promising Taekwondo athlete, faces a devastating accident that forces him to

abandon his dreams of becoming a professional. Meanwhile, Choi Ae-ra, with her sights set on becoming

a television announcer, finds herself toiling away in a local store, far from her aspirations.

The story behind this captivating drama draws inspiration from the lives of mixed martial artist Choo Sung

Hoon and his wife, Yano Shiho. The writer of “Fight For My Way” was moved by Yano Shiho’s emotional

reaction during her husband’s matches, which inspired him to explore the world of professional fighters

and the trials and triumphs they encounter.

Through the lens of these relatable and endearing characters, the series delves into the complexities of

pursuing dreams in the face of adversity. It explores the highs and lows, the joys and challenges, and the

resilience required to fight for what truly matters.

10.Narco-Saints: Suriname (2022)

Narco-Saints: Suriname (2022)
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Buckle up for a thrilling and exhilarating journey as “Narco-Saints” takes you on the perilous expedition of

Kang In-gu, an unsuspecting civilian businessman. Forced into a covert operation by the National

Intelligence Service, he becomes a crucial asset in the mission to capture Jeon Yo-hwan, a notorious South

Korean drug lord who has seized control of Suriname.

The real-life drug lord Cho Bong Haeng’s extraordinary story provides the inspiration for this gripping

series. Following his accusations of fraud in Korea in 1994, he sought refuge in Suriname, where he

established a highly successful drug trafficking empire. It wasn’t until 2009, when a joint investigation

involving Korea, Brazil, and the United States was launched, that he was finally apprehended.

The events that serve as the backdrop for “Narco-Saints” are just as thrilling as the wild ride depicted

throughout the series. Brace yourself for a heart-pounding narrative filled with suspense, danger, and

unexpected twists. As Kang In-gu navigates the treacherous world of drug trafficking, viewers are

captivated by the relentless pursuit of justice and the triumph of good over evil.

These are the top 10 Korean Dramas Real Stories are available to watch.

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