Bulgasal: Immortal Souls is a South Korean television series starring Lee Jin-wook, Kwon Nara, Lee Joon, Gong Seung-yeon, Jung Jin-young, Park Myung-shin and Kim Woo-seok.
The plot features a woman who can remember all her previous lives – repeating death and rebirth for 600 years – as well as a man who cannot be killed and has spent the last 600 years as a Bulgasal—a mythical creature that has to feed on human blood (although he chooses to drink animal blood) and is cursed with immortality. This dark fantasy offers a gripping tale and a mysterious, tension-filled story – telling the story of Bulgasal and the young woman and how their fates are intertwined.
The cinematography, music, storyline and acting are all outstanding. This series is a “masterpiece” and should not be missed.
Synopsis (spoiler warning)
Bulgasal: Immortal Souls is a fantasy series about two people who are battling an ancient curse. Dan Hwal (Lee Jin-wook) was cursed at birth and changed into a Bulgasal, a.k.a. an immortal that thrives on human blood, while valiantly fighting monsters as a soldier, six hundred years ago. He’s now driven by vengeance in his quest to restore his soul. Meanwhile, Min Sang-Woon (Kwon Na Ra) is a former Bulgasal who has lost her immortality and is now living as a human in secret. When their paths cross, both of their lives will be altered.
8 Interesting facts about Bulgasal: Immortal Souls (contains spoilers)
(1) The term “Bulgasal” is derived from Korean folklore. Bulgasal, or “bu ke sha” in Mandarin, literally means “difficult to kill.” It derives from the Bulgasari tale, which tells the story of a terrifying monster who keeps expanding as it swallows all the metal during the late Goryeo period (918-1392).
(2) The plot spans 600 years and includes a variety of genres. The story begins in the present day, before traveling 600 years back in time to the late Goryeo period (my favourite). It tells the tale of Hwal’s ascension to immortality and the start of his difficult relationship with Sang-un. This is also one of the few dramas that features both historical and contemporary settings, however the first two episodes focus on the past. At the same time, it’s jam-packed with action scenes and magical creatures lurking in the shadows, making it a multi-genre drama.
(3) The plot revolves around curses and vengeance.
Hwal has been cursed since birth and leads a terrible existence surrounded by locals who despise him. When a general adopts him and trains him to kill monsters, his life is forever changed. When his family is slain and his soul is stolen, his brief serenity transforms into a quest for vengeance. His newfound immortality turns out to be a burden.
Sang-un, on the other hand, is the owner of a soul that has a lot of terrible karma. She is pursued by Bulgasal and slaughtered by monsters in various life times, that have reincarnated as humans to seek revenge on her soul in all of her reincarnations. In her latest incarnation, she changes her identity and lives to get away from them after a horrible tragedy.
(4) When Lee Joon appears, things get even more intriguing.
Lee Joon portrays Ok Eul-tae, a strong and affluent man who is also an immortal. However, unlike Dan Hwal, Eul-tae instead uses this eternal life to gain power and wealth.
(5) Bulgasal is one of the top 12 Kdramas in terms of monetary spend. It cost 40 billion Korean Won (almost R508 million or $28 million) to produce.
(6) Bulgasal was originally planned for release in 2022 only. As reported by Hancinema, tvN announced that the Korean drama Bulgasal: Immortal Souls was originally planned to be released in 2022. However, the schedule was later changed and allowed the drama to be scheduled for 18 December 2021.
(7) Directed by Jang Young-woo. Bulgasal Korean drama: Immortal Souls is directed by Jang Young-woo. Previously, the 64-year-old director had worked on Korean dramas such as In Need of Romance 2012, In Need of Romance 3, and Entourage.
(8) Husband-wife team Kwon So-ra and Seo Jae-won wrote the screenplay.