10 Best Korean Dramas Based on True Stories to Watch

K-dramas have captured the hearts of series lovers worldwide with their enchanting narratives and unforgettable characters. Various themes and stories have been adapted into best Korean dramas, ranging from those based on true stories to charming tapestry fiction.

Here we will discuss a list of the best K-dramas whose stories are adapted from true stories. It summarizes stories of murders, bullying cases, and resistance to historical stories that rarely people know.

Viewers will be shown some of the original events in the lives of extraordinary individuals and the events that shaped them. Not only that, with the help of an outstanding production, this K-drama based on a true story has come to life.

So below, is a list of Kdramas adapted based on true stories. The list we mentioned is highly rated and you can watch it right now!


Best Korean Dramas Based on True Stories


1. Narco-Saints: Suriname

Best Korean dramas Based on True Stories

Narco-Saints: Suriname is one of the newest K-dramas whose story is based on true stories from incidents about South Korean drug dealers operating in Suriname.

It will depict the journey of saving the life of a Korean drug lord in Suriname in South America and a businessman involved in a covert operation by the NIS.

The series will be released in 2022 with 6 episodes. You can watch this Kdrama on Netflix


2. Through the Darkness

The K-drama is adapted from an autobiography titled Through the Darkness, which was co-written by Korea’s first crime profiler Kwon Il Yong and journalist-turned-writer Ko Na Mu.

It will depict some of Kwon’s dark field experiences from the 1990s to 2000s and some condensed stories.

Many cases will be displayed here and are the most popular serial murder cases in South Korea which have claimed many victims.

With cruelty and very dark, this series is able to drain the emotions of its audience, especially considering the fact that it is based on a true story adds to the tension in each episode.

This is one of the best Korean dramas based on true stories. It was released in 2022 with 12 episodes and is available on Amazon Prime Video.


3. The Hymn of Death

Best Korean dramas Based on True Stories

The Hymn of Death is a K-drama based on a true story. It is set during the Japanese colonial period in Korea and tells the story of two famous names, namely Kim Woo Jin and Yoon Sim Deok.

Kim Woo Jin is a man who works as a stage play writer when Korea was under Japanese occupation. He was already married, but he then fell in love with Yun Shim Deok.

Shim Deok is the first Korean soprano. He recorded the song “Praise of Death” which became the first Korean pop song in 1926. The fate of Woo Jin and Shim Deok ended tragically when they were connected in a forbidden love.

This tv show with Lee Jong Suk and Shin Hye Sun is available on Netflix. It was released in 2018 with 6 episodes.


4. Move to Heaven

Best Korean dramas Based on True Stories

Move to Heaven is a K-drama filmed from the perspective of a trauma recovery worker who passed away. The playwright said that the story of the drama was taken from a book called Things Left Behind written by Kim Sae-Byul.

This was also inspired by the figure of Kim Sae-Byul, the first person to undergo the trauma relief profession. The screenwriter for the show revealed in an interview that he was touched and saddened while working on this project.

This is because when he writes he imagines the lives of people who have died, and what their lives would be like if they were still alive.

It roughly tells the story of Han Geu Roo, a 20-year-old autistic person. He works for his father’s business “Move To Heaven”, a company specializing in crime scene cleanups, where they also collect and organize items left by the dead, and deliver them to bereaved families.

When Geu Roo’s father dies, Geu Roo’s guardianship passes to his uncle, ex-con Cho Sang Gu, who is a martial arts fighter in underground matches.

As per his father’s will, Sang Gu must care for and work with Geu Roo on “Move To Heaven” for three months to get full guardianship and claim the inheritance. Eyeing money, Sang Gu agrees to the terms and moves out.

This is one of the best Korean dramas based on true stories and has high ratings. It was released in 2021 with 10 episodes and is available on Netflix.


5. Hwarang

This drama tells the story of the Hwarang, an army of handsome youths who become the unifying center of the ancient Three Kingdoms of Korea. Few Hwarang names are recorded in history and not many people today really know about the Hwarang.

So the Korean entertainment industry created this series for many inquiries about Hwarang. Here the audience will get an overview of how the life of the youth of Silla in the 6th century, including stories about their friendship and love.

This tv show stars Park Seo Joon, Park Hyung Sik, and Go Ah Ra. This Korean historical drama based on a true story was released in 2015. It has 20 episodes and is available on Netflix.


6. If You Wish Upon Me

Best Korean dramas Based on True Stories

If You Wish Upon Me is a drama that tells the story of hospital employees who always try to fulfill the last wishes of their patients. This story turned out to be not a fictional story and it was taken from a true story of a hospice hospital in the Netherlands.

Hospice hospitals usually focus on palliative care for patients who are terminally ill and need a sense of spirituality in their treatment. Treatment for patients in it also prioritizes comfort and quality of life. In essence, everything is done to reduce the pain and suffering of patients.

This Korean TV show stars Ji Chang Wook, Choi Soo Young, and Sung Dong Il. It was released in 2022 with 16 episodes. You can watch one of the best Korean dramas based on these true stories on Viki.


7. Fight for My Way

The series’ storyline follows the story of Ko Dong Man, a man who always dreamed of becoming famous as an athlete but now works as a contract worker in an ordinary job.

The screenplay writer for this drama, Lim Sang Choon admitted that this story was inspired by the true love story of athlete Choo Sung Hoon and his wife.

Cha Sung Hoon is a boxing athlete and this profession is also studied by Ko Dong Man, played by Park Seo Joon here.

This K-drama based on a true story was released in 2017. It has 16 episodes and is available on Netflix.


8. The Empress Ki

Best Korean dramas Based on True Stories

It tells the story of Genghis Khan building an empire that spanned a large area across East Asia and Eastern Europe. And there was a woman who held great power in the Yuan Dynasty, founded by Genghis Khan, for 37 years.

He is not of Mongolian descent or from Han China. He hails from Goryeo, a small kingdom in the Far East. She was brought to Mongolia against her will as a Gungnyeo (court lady).

But somehow managed to overcome her lowly status to become the last empress of another land. Her name was Empress Ki.

This is one of the best Korean historical dramas that depict stories based on true stories from the history of the two royal dynasties, namely Goryeo (Korea) and Yuan (China).

Even though it is an adaptation of a true story, many other scenes were made by the author himself to add spice to this film. Kdrama Empress Ki tells a complex story ranging from love, sacrifice to politics.

This series was released in 2013 with 51 episodes and you can watch it on Netflix.


9. Taxi Driver

Best Korean dramas Based on True Stories

Do Gi is a man who has lived more honestly than anyone as an officer in the Special Forces. However, when a serial killer kills his mother, he spends his days in agony.

When feeling wronged and broken, Do Gi meets Jang Sung Chul, who recruits Do Gi to work for his company, Rainbow Taxi, which is far from the usual taxi service.

Pelangi Taxi is a secret organization that takes revenge on victims who are not protected by law. Here, Do Gi becomes a star racer who delivers satisfying revenge.

Interestingly, this K-drama is adapted from true stories in several cases, ranging from bullying, exploitation of women to abuse of workers.

This Kdrama also describes in as much detail as possible from the story until the selection of the players seems to be likened to the original. The series was released in 2021 with 16 episodes. You can watch it on Netflix.


10. Juvenile Justice

Best Korean dramas Based on True Stories

Juvenile Justice is one of the best Korean dramas in which several cases are based on true stories. Such as the Eight-Year-Old Child Murder Case, the College Entrance Examination Answer Leaking Case, and the Falling Brick Case.

It basically tells the story of Sim Eun Seok, an elite judge with a sharp personality who hates juvenile offenders. After he is assigned to the local juvenile court, he tries to balance his aversion to petty offenders with a firm belief in justice and punishment.

As he seeks to break the custom and forge his own way of punishing the offender. This drama was released in 2022 with 10 episodes and is available on Netflix.


That was the list of the best Korean dramas adapted on true stories that you can watch right now. Thank you for reading this article, have a nice day!

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