Top Time Travel Korean & Asian Dramas

9 time travel korean drama

Time Traveling, Mystery and Romance!!!

Time Traveling usually falls in Science Fiction category such as Quantum Leap American TV Series, Doctor Who British Series, Time Machine by Jules Verne and so on. But in Korean Dramas and other Asian dramas they are not only staples for Science fiction fans, it can be also love story, mystery plot line between Josean Era to Modern era. Here are some of my top favorite Time Travel dramas, some you may have heard of and other you may not have. I have seen majority of these dramas but not all as some are hard to find with English subtitle, necessary for non-native Korean speaker like me.

Top Time Traveling Asian Dramas:

Time Travel can be scary, fun as person from past trying to learn new and modern ways of people living, it can be fun to watch like in Rooftop Prince where they get stuck trying to change clothes in Elevator, or it can be frustrating to others where Time traveling princess from “Thousand Years of Love” does not know modern things. Time travel can be done from Modern time to past like in “Nine: Nine Time Travel” where time traveler would know things of past, making it somewhat easier for to handle life but not always.

1. Nine: Nine Time Travels (Korean Drama)

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Nine: Nine Time Travels

is a 2013 South Korean television series starring Lee Jin-wook and Jo Yoon-hee. It aired on tvN from March 11 to May 14, 2013 on Mondays and Tuesdays for 20 episodes. I somehow did not bother to watch it during 2013 when it was released as I did not know the actors much. However after reading about it in other Korean drama blogs, I decided to give it a try and I was pleasantly surprised.

The Time Travel drama has adventure, romance, best kisses in it. Thi series is about a man who finds nine magical incense sticks that allow him to travel 20 years back in time. He attempts to keep his family safe in order to change the world he lives in today. However, this is not without consequences as his actions in the past affects the lives of many in the present, including his. As the show has a unique way of dealing with the concept of time travel, its ending is open to interpretation leading many to conclude it in their own ways.

2. Rooftop Prince (Korean Drama)

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Rooftop Prince is a 2012 South Korean fantasy romantic comedy television drama, starring Park Yuchun, Han Ji-min, Jeong Yu-mi, Lee Tae-sung, Lee Min-ho (the younger one), Jung Suk-won and Choi Woo-shik. It is about a Joseon crown prince who, after his wife dies mysteriously, time travels to the future where he encounters familiar faces, modern-day devices, and corporate intrigue. It aired on SBS from March 21 to May 24, 2012 on Wednesdays and Thursdays for 20 episodes. Yuchun is my ultimate bias, so I see all his songs during TVXQ and JYJ and all dramas he acted. This is one of the best one which has romance, time travel, mystery, comedy and Joseon 4 also known as J4.

3. Queen In-hyun’s Man (Korean Drama)

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Queen In-hyun’s Man is a 2012 South Korean fantasy-romance-action-historical drama television series, starring Ji Hyun-woo and Yoo In-na. The story centers around obscure actress Choi Hee-jin (played by Yoo In-na, in her first leading role) who falls in love with Kim Bung-do (played by Ji Hyun-woo),a time-traveling scholar from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) who jumps 300 years into the future to the 21st century.It was broadcast on cable channel tvN from April 18 to June 7, 2012 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 23:00 for 16 episodes.This series has lead who is smart, quickly adopts to modern times, best kdrama kisses, lovely romance and some comedic scenes, it is one of fan favorite as well.

4. Faith: A Good Doctor (Korean Drama)

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Faith  is a 2012 South Korean fusion fantasy-historical-medical television series broadcast by SBS from August 13 to October 30, 2012 on Mondays and Tuesdays  for 24 episodes. It is about a modern-day plastic surgeon (Kim Hee-sun) who gets kidnapped and travels back in time to the Goryeo period, 700 years in the past. There, she meets and falls in love with a warrior who is the leader of the royal guard (Lee Min-ho) Choi Young, a real General who fought against Invaders from China.  Lee Min Ho’s hair style changes, and Anime Manga like villain, especially one with flute. Either you will love it or hate it but see it for history and time travel fans.

5. Marry Him If you Dare (Korean Drama)

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Marry Him If You Dare also known as. Mirae’s Choice or Future’s Choice is a 2013 South Korean television series starring Yoon Eun-hye, Lee Dong-gun, Jung Yong-hwa, Han Chae-ah and Choi Myung-gil. It aired on KBS2 from October 14 to December 3, 2013 on Mondays and Tuesdays  for 16 episodes. Story is different as set in the world of television broadcasting, Na Mi-rae travels back in time to prevent her 32-year-old self from marrying news anchor Kim Shin, thus sending her past self down a different path and enabling her to pursue the things she really wanted in life. There was cop out ending which left viewers to wonder if the whole time travel was worth it not.

6. Time Slip Of Dr Jin (Korean Drama)

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Dr. Jin is a 2012 South Korean historical television drama series, starring Song Seung-hun in the title role of Dr. Jin,a 21st-century neurosurgeon who travels back in time to the Joseon Dynasty.  Also starring Park Min-young, Lee Beom-soo, Kim Jaejoong of JYJ and Lee So-yeon, it aired on MBC from May 26 to August 12, 2012 on Saturdays and Sundays  for 22 episodes.

Based on the Japanese manga series Jin written by Motoka Murakami, the series is the third television adaptation of the manga following the Japanese television drama JIN, starring Takao Osawa which aired on TBS in 2009 and its sequel in 2011.[3] “Revamped with Korean sentiment,” the setting was changed from the original’s Edo period to the Joseon Dynasty, during the reign of King Cheoljong of Joseon, and real-life Japanese historical figure Sakamoto Ryoma was replaced with Joseon political figure Lee Ha-eung.

7. JIN and JIN2 (Japanese Drama)

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Jin  is a Japanese television drama series, first broadcast on TBS in 2009 and a second season in 2011. It is based on the Japanese manga series, Jin, written by Motoka Murakami. It was one of the most popular dramas of the year and won many major awards.  It starred, Takao Osawa as Jin Minakata, Haruka Ayase as Saki Tachibana and Miki Nakatani as Miki Tomonaga / Nokaze. Japanese Version was much better compared to Korean counterpart for some viewers.

8. God’s Gift – 14 Days (Korean Drama) 

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God’s Gift – 14 Days is a 2014 South Korean television series , starring Lee Bo-young, Jo Seung-woo, Kim Tae-woo, Jung Gyu-woon and Kim Yoo-bin. It aired on SBS from March 3 to April 22, 2014 on Mondays and Tuesdays for 16 episodes. Mother goes back in time to save her daughter from being kidnapped and killed. Kim Soo-hyun is a mother whose young daughter gets kidnapped and murdered. Discovering a miraculous ability to go back in time exactly two weeks before the event, Soo-hyun is determined to expose the kidnapping plot and save her daughter before she dies all over again. Helping her is Ki Dong-chan, a former cop turned private investigator out to prove the innocence of his mentally challenged brother, who is falsely accused of murdering Dong-chan’s ex-girlfriend. As Soo-hyun and Dong-chan race against the clock in the allotted 14 days, new light is shed on the crimes, and they uncover secrets far more treacherous than Soo-hyun could have ever imagine.

9. The Holy Pearl (Chinese Drama)

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The Holy Pearl is a 2011 Chinese television series starring Gillian Chung as the daughter of an archeologist. She time travels back in time to discovers she is a reincarnation a warrior priestess. She teams up with a human-dragon hybrid, to recover a broken magical vase. The story is an unofficial adaptation of Rumiko Takahashi’s popular Japanese manga series InuYasha.

It starrs, Gillian Chung as Ding Yao: a normal college student who is taken back to the past by accidentally triggering the Nine-Star Wheel. Chung also portrays Xian Yue; Ding Yao’s previous life and former Grand Priestess of Nan Yue.
and Purba Rgyal as Wen Tian: a half dragon demon with human blood. He was sealed and imprisoned in the ancient tomb for 20 years until freed by Ding Yao. Wen Tian and Xian Yue were lovers until they were tricked by Shi Youming.

10. Chinese Paladin  and Chinese Paladin 3 (Chinese Drama)

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Chinese Paladin is a Chinese television series adapted from the original version of the Taiwanese action role-playing game The Legend of Sword and Fairy by Softstar Entertainment. The series was produced by Chinese Entertainment Shanghai and starred cast members from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. It was first broadcast on CTV and CBG in Taiwan and mainland China respectively in January 2005. The series was followed by Chinese Paladin 3 in 2009.

11. Etheria: Ang Ikalimang Kaharian ng Encantadia (Filipino Drama)

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Etheria is a Filipino fantasy television series that was produced by GMA Network.  Etheria ran for 50 episodes from December 12, 2005 to February 17, 2006. There was a sequel  Encantadia: Pag-ibig Hanggang Wakas, which aired on February 20, 2006.

Being a prequel to Encantadia, the story takes place before the events in Encantadia, although it is technically a continuation of the story of the Encantadia series, because the story plot of Etheria starts with the four elemental Sang’gres (Pirena (Sunshine Dizon), Amihan (Iza Calzado), Alena (Karylle) and Danaya (Diana Zubiri) and Ybrahim (Dingdong Dantes) going back to the past when Etheria was in its full glory.

12. Palace and Palace II (Chinese Drama)

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Palace, also known as Gong, Gong Suo Xin Yu, and Palace: The Locked Heart Jade, is a Chinese television series produced by Yu Zheng. The series was directed by Lee Wai-chu and starred cast members from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The series was first broadcast on Hunan TV in China in 2011. It is later followed by Palace 2.

Plot follows ,Luo Qingchuan is a simple and kind-hearted girl from the 21st century. One day she accidentally travels through time and ends up in the 1700s, in the Forbidden City, during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor. She meets her favourite historical figure, the fourth prince Yinzhen, the future Yongzheng Emperor. However, she has to learn the hard way that history books do not always tell the whole story and her broken heart might just be mended by the most unexpected person. Her wit and knowledge of the future puts her right in the middle of the heated competition for the throne.  Will she able to change history, fall in love?

13. Thousand Years Of Love (Korean Drama)

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This lesser known early So Hi Sub drama is about princess who travels 1300 years in to future, only to meet some of the people reincarnated from past who do not have recollection of past lives. Thousand Years of Love is a 2003 South Korean television series starring Sung Yu-ri, So Ji-sub and Kim Nam-jin. It aired on SBS from March 22 to May 25, 2003 on Saturdays and Sundays for 20 episodes. I am huge fan of So Ji Sub but I could not stand his very very bad hair cut and jerk attitude, instead I liked the second lead Kim Nam Jin better.

14. Proposal Daisakusen (Japanese Drama)

Proposal Daisakusen (Japanese Drama 2007)

Iwase Ken and Yoshida Rei have been friends since elementary school. Ken, is obstinate and unskilled in love, but he fell long ago for the lively and cheerful, Rei. But Rei is about to get married to another man. While Ken and other friends from high-school attend the wedding ceremony, a fairy appears and sends Ken back in time, giving him a second chance to win the girl he loves.

15. The King of Yesterday and Tomorrow (Hong Kong Drama)

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The King of Yesterday and Tomorrow  is a Hong Kong television drama serial that originally aired on Jade from 27 January to 21 February 2003. According to legend, Yongzheng Emperor of the Qing dynasty may not have died of natural death and was actually assassinated. The plot is an imaginative time-traveling story based on the continuation of what happens after the assassination attempt. The story begins in Qing Dynnesty where emperor  disguising himself among commoners saves a woman named Lui Sei-leung. Later during a ship departure, Lui approaches the emperor and thanks him for his deed. She suddenly reveals herself to be a Ming Dynasty revolutionist and attempts to kill the emperor. The boat is then all of a sudden caught in a time-traveling vortex/hurricane.

16. Myth (Chinese Drama)

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The Myth is a 2010 Chinese television series based on the 2005 Hong Kong film of the same title. Jackie Chan, who starred in the original film, was credited as the producer for the series. The series was first aired on CCTV-8 in China in January 2010. The budget was estimated to be at 40 million yuan. Yi Xiaochuan finds a tiger pendant by coincidence and the pendant sears a mark onto his chest when he wears it on his neck. Meanwhile, Xiaochuan’s elder brother, Yi Dachuan, discovers a 2,000-year-old treasure box at an excavation site. Xiaochuan unlocks the box with his pendant and opens a time portal by accident. Unknown to everyone else, he is transported back in time to the Qin dynasty together with Gao Yao, his girlfriend’s brother.

17. Scarlet Heart (Chinese Drama)

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Scarlet Heart, also known as Bubu Jingxin, is a Chinese television series based on the novel  by Tong Hua. Filming for the series started on 6 December 2010 in Shanghai and ended on 22 March 2011. It first aired in China on the Hunan Broadcasting System (HBS) on 10 September 2011. Zhang Xiao, a worker from the 21st century (from the year 2011). After suffering a near-fatal accident, she has an out-of-body experience and travels back in time, becoming stranded in the 18th century for 21 years (1704-1725) in the body of a previous incarnation, Ma’ertai Ruoxi, the daughter of an 18th-century Manchu aristocrat. Despite her modern outlook, she is forced to adapt to live in the 18th century. Throughout the series, she is romantically linked with three of the Kangxi Emperor’s sons: Yinzhen, Yinsi, and Yinti. Ruoxi’s romantic entanglement with the princes is complicated by her knowledge of their future political struggles and feuds.

A sequel, Scarlet Heart 2, officially began filming in Tianjin, China, on March 2013,  and first aired in China on the Zhejiang Satellite TV on 22 April 2014.

18. Step In the The Past (Hong Kong Drama)

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A Step into the Past is a 2001 Hong Kong television series produced by TVB and based on Huang Yi’s novel of the same Chinese title. The series tells the story of a 21st-century Hong Kong VIPPU officer who travels back in time to the Warring States period of ancient China. He is involved in a number of important historical events that leads to the first unification of China under the Qin dynasty. The series’ first original broadcast ran from 15 October to 7 December 2001 on the TVB Jade network in Hong Kong.

19. Operation Proposal (Korean Drama)

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Operation Proposal  is a 2012 South Korean television series starring Yoo Seung-ho and Park Eun-bin. It aired on TV Chosun from February 8 to March 29, 2012 on Wednesdays and Thursdays for 16 episodes. It is a remake of Japanese drama Operation Love (Proposal Daisakusen) that aired on Fuji TV in 2007.

Kang Baek-ho and Ham Yi-seul have been best friends since elementary school. Baek-ho has never acknowledged his attraction to her, unaware that Yi-seul has been in love with him for more than 20 years. Finally, at the wedding ceremony where Yi-seul is about to marry another man (Jin-won), Baek-ho regrets that he never confessed his love for the bride. A mysterious conductor suddenly appears and offers him a second chance to win Yi-seul’s heart. Baek-ho travels back in time to various events of their lives hoping to change the outcome of their relationship. But changing the future is not as easy as it seems.

20. Three Kingdoms RPG (Hong Kong Drama)

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Three Kingdoms RPG is a 2012 Hong Kong television series produced by TVB, with Lau Kar-ho serving as the drama’s executive producer. It stars Kenneth Ma as Szema Shun, a young Hong Kong game addict, who accidentally travels back in time to the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history. Vincent Szema (Kenneth Ma) is a game addict who goes back to the Three Kingdoms period, and meets many historical figures. He becomes Zhuge Liang’s trusted advisor and utilized modern strategies to overcome issues and obstacles. Vincent develops feelings for a female servant in the castle of Shu. Vincent was able to maintain contact with his sister through his smart phone and learned that the time warp would take place at the “Battle of Chi Bi.”

In Conclusion, Of course, there are many manga, Hollywood, British, spanish time travel dramas and movies that are intriguing, I wanted to mainly focus on Korean and Asian Dramas and shows gems that some of you may enjoy seeing. Some are popular Korean dramas so you may have heard of it and watched it, however there are many hidden time traveling dramas that are worth watching if you find them on DVDs or online streaming sites. Let me know if you have found other Asian and Korean Time traveling dramas that I might have missed.

Image sources: Wikipedia and TV Series promotional Posters

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