Can TvN’s Bulgasal: Immortal Souls Surpass Goblin Kdrama?

· 4 min read
official poster of the show

When it comes to fantasy and supernatural drama, no one can probably beat TvN. TvN made the global hit Kdrama Goblin which created a benchmark on its own.

After the success of Goblin Kdrama, TvN made other shows like Hotel Del Luna, Tale of the Nine-Tailed, Hwayugi  (A Korean Odyssey), Memories of the Alhambra in the long line of lists.

Now, a new Kdrama by TvN is out to make interesting supernatural and fantasy dramas for fans.  

Bulgasal: Immortal Souls is aesthetically and visually appealing like Goblin Kdrama. The real question is can TvN recreate the magic of Goblin Kdrama? Can Bulgasal surpass Goblin?

What is the Plot of Bulgasal?

The story started in the historical period when people were terrified of a creature called Bulgasal.

It was around the late Georyo period and later the Joseon period showing instances of Japanese invasion.

A newborn child is born and like in the olden days, people lashed out at the poor child saying the Bulgasal will haunt him forever as the boy is cursed.

As the child grows up, Bulgasal’s terror can be seen among the villagers who were hellbent to kill the child. When the child was cornered and almost drowned, a mysterious woman saved the child.

However, the child’s fate was doomed as the villages condemned him and tried to kill him. The woman saved him and died in the process.

Unfortunately, this didn’t appease the villagers as they tried to kill the child. Miraculously,  a passerby from the military who arrived at the scene rescued the boy.

The boy grew up and became Dan Hwal. Dan Keuk (military) adopted Dan Hwal which caused further issues.

What happened to Dan Hwal?

After Dan Hwal grew up, he was feared and some were jealous because he was the most trusted person of Dan Keuk. 

Dan Hwal started slaying monsters but the curse wasn’t gone. His firstborn child suffered due to the curse and lost his vision. 

The second-born child was dead. Dan Hwal’s wife Dan Sol (Dan Keuk’s daughter) was special as well. 

She could see visions and was the centre of gossip. 

Dan Keuk avoided his daughter and didn’t have an amicable relationship with her. 

Dan Sol wasn’t too happy with his husband Dan Hwal and blamed him for the misfortunes.

Dan Hwal’s Resolve to Kill Bulgasal

Dan Hwal was determined to hunt down Bulgasal and make things right. He wanted to help cure his son and get free from the curse of Bulgasal.

They travel in pursuit of Bulgasal, but a deadly fate was awaiting them.

Dan Hwal took his wife and son on the mission while chasing Bulgasal.

The visuals, music and background were beautiful and well-executed. The costume, set and special effects were top-notch as well.

What happened to Dan Hwal’s family?

Unfortunately, the fated curse affected Dan Hwal’s wife Dan Sol and their child A Chan. 

Both of them passed away. Bulgasal killed both Dan Sol and A Chan. 

What’s sad is that in the dying moments, Dal Hwal was not there to protect them. 

Dan Hwal always distanced himself from his son to protect him from the curse. 

So, in his last moments, it was painful for A Chan unable to secure the warmth and affection of his father. 

An enraged Dan Hwal charged at Bulgasal to avenge the death of his family.

Who is Bulgasal?

Bulgasal is an immortal creature who doesn’t have any soul. The creature feasts on human blood and kills people around the cursed person.

This was one of the reasons why people around Dan Hwal was cursed or were dying.

What happened between Bulgasal and Dan Hwal?

Bulgasal was the woman who saved Dan Hwal from drowning when he was a child. Unfortunately, the duel between Dan Hwal and Bulgasal was disastrous.

Bulgasal stabbed Dan Hwal with a sword, accidentally taking his soul and making him the new Bulgasal in the process.

As a result, Bulgasal became human and died. Their evil fate didn’t end as the human Bulgasal will reincarnate as a human and Dan Hwal was determined to find her in every life and kill her to take revenge for his family.

Dan Hwal became immortal and the new Bulgasal. Shortly after Dan Keuk was killed by his subordinates.

What promise did Dan Hwal and Dan Hwan make?

When the news spread that Dan Hwal is the new Bulgasal people flocked to kill him. Only Dan Keuk was on his side.

He didn't kill his adopted son and let him live. The others betrayed and killed Dan Keuk.

Angered by the actions Dan Hwal wanted to kill everyone. However, his father pleaded with him to stop.

On the verge of death, he asked Dan Hwal to promise him that he won't consume human flesh/blood. Dan Hwal promised to abide by this rule.

Ofcourse, the vengeance against the now human Bulgasal is a different matter. Every century or couple of years later when she reincarnates, Dan Hwal hunts her down and probably kills her.

Who are Min Sang Un and Min Sang Yeon?

In 2006, two twin sisters Min Sang Un and Min Sang Yeol introduced who is the reincarnation of the original Bulgasal.

They possess the original soul of Dan Hwal. Dan Hwal seeks the help of an investigator and tracks down the twins.

Min Sang Yeon is terrified of Dan Hwal and escapes from home with her twin Min Sang Un.

What happened to Min Sang Yeon?

Unfortunately, the entire family dies due to Bulgasal’s revenge. Only Min Sang Un survives the disastrous night.

Min Sang Yeon resigns her fate and dies as well. After miraculously surviving, she went into hiding.

Before Min Sang Yeon died, she was searching for the original sword that can help them sever this ill-fated relationship. Unfortunately, she wasn’t successful.

Now it’s the present day in 2021, where a grown Min Sang Un is shown. Wonder what fate awaits Min Sang Un now that Dan Hwal is searching for her again.

The detective following the case is the reincarnated version of his adopted father Dan Keuk.

Maybe his son and wife have reincarnated as well, but only time will tell. Lee Jin Wook, Gong Seung Hoon, Jung Jin Young and Kwon Na Ra are phenomenal in the roles.