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Bulgasal: Immortal Souls is a Korean fantasy thriller that follows the story of Dan Hwal (Lee Jin-wook), a bulgasal who was a human centuries ago, and Min Sang-un (Kwon Na-ra), a woman who goes through multiple reincarnations while fleeing the bulgasal and remembering all her past lives.
The drama has released the first two of 16 episodes on Netflix. Here are four things to know about Bulgasal: Immortal Souls:
1. “Bulgasal” comes from Korean folklore.
Bulgasal literally means impossible to kill, or “bu ke sha” in Mandarin. It comes from the legend of Bulgasari, which illustrates the story of a frightening monster during the late Goryeo period (918-1392) that keeps growing as it eats all the metal.
Although the drama is named after the legendary monster, the story does not incorporate any details of the folklore. Instead, it spins a whole new story about the immortal monster, who has been suffering for 600 years.
2. The story spans 600 years and covers a wide range of genres.
The series starts with the present-day setting, before going back in time to the late Goryeo period 600 years ago. It details how Hwal becomes immortal and how his complicated relationship with Sang-un begins. This is also one of the rare times you get to enjoy both historical and modern settings in one drama — although the first two episodes depict more of the past. At the same time, it is packed with action scenes and mystical creatures that lurk in the darkness, making it a drama that covers multiple genres.
3. It is all about curses and revenge.
Hwal has been cursed since birth and lives a difficult life being detested by the villagers. His life is changed when a general adopts him and trains him to kill monsters. But his short-lived peace turns into a quest for revenge when his family is slaughtered and his soul is stolen. His newfound immortality becomes his new curse.
On the other hand, Sang-un is the owner of a soul that has accumulated a lot of bad karma. In all her reincarnations, she is chased by bulgasal and killed by monsters who have reincarnated as humans to exact revenge on her soul. In order to escape from them after a tragic event, she changes her identity and lives in hiding.
4. Things may get more interesting when Lee Joon makes his appearance.
Lee Joon plays the role of the powerful and wealthy Ok Eul-tae, who is also an immortal. Although he has not made his appearance in the drama, it stands to reason that he is the complete opposite of Hwal.
The story feels superficial currently as vendettas are quite straightforward. The addition of Eul-tae, who enjoys his immortality, should spice things up and influence the thoughts and actions of Hwal, who seeks to end his immortality curse.
Bulgasal: Immortal Souls is now streaming on Netflix, with new episodes every Saturday and Sunday.