Top 10 Best Korean and Chinese Animation Worth Checking Out

Today I want to recommend a few Korean and Chinese Animation people should check out.

Korean and Chinese Animation was something that many people were not paying attention to or did not even know it was a thing. But times are changing, and people are starting to notice, Korean and Chinese Animation thanks to popular and sudden hits like:

Mo Dao Zu Shi/ Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation

With the rise and sudden popularity of Korean and Chinese Anime, I thought, why don’t we shine some light on other Korean and Chinese Animation, many people do not know. Most might not be of the same quality as Kings Avatar, but they are series that one should check out nonetheless.

Now let’s run down Korean and Chinese animation worth checking out

Let’s start with the animation/movie that is relatively new.

Korean Animation

1. Yobi, The Five Tailed Fox

 

Yobi, The Five Tailed Fox is a gorgeous fantasy animation with outstanding quality from South Korea. Even style is original enough to describe that this anime is from an Asian country. Character design is good with visual originality. Korean animation has a long history, and it is not well known. Still, much Japanese anime comes from Korean studios. Even many American TV cartoons originate in Japan. Korean animation might not b that famous, but they deserve recognition. This animation is one of the most beautiful animation movies to come out of Korea and is highly recommended for watching.

Note: This movie is inspired by the Korean horror legend “Gumiho” about a fox’s attempt to steal the soul of a young man. “Yeu Woo BI” transfers this story to a contemporary setting, makes the fox the protagonist rather than the antagonist, and sympathizes with her. 

Series Summary

In East Asian mythology, the nine-tailed fox is a familiar figure, and in Korea, it is called The Gumiho. Yobi, The Five Failed Fox, this animation loosely informs us of the legends of Gumiho. So, in this movie, Yobi is a mythical fox who transforms into a human when she decides to protect an alien. Who is stranded and rejected by its fellow aliens on earth? 

She winds up in a school for misfit children and ends up falling in love with the world of humans. Later in the story, she starts growing attachment to her new human friend, Geum-ee. She tries to live an ideal life in the world of humans, but this is easier said than done. Eventually, she needs a human soul, and she also has to protect Geum-ee from the Shadow Man’s outrageous plot.

2.  Seoul Station

 

Seoul Station is a riveting prequel to Train To Busan set around the eponymous station by Yeon Sang-Ho. Yet very different from Train to Busan,  “Seoul Station” lots of things going on this movie. It also communicates exhaustion and the lasting impact of falls, buries, and other minor injuries far more effectively than most action films. This is also important to its underlying theme, and it is also one of the most political entries in the genre for a long time. Interestingly, despite the potential for a more epic scale thanks to the freedom granted by animation, Seoul Station feels like a more intimate and grounded film than its live-action sequel, not to mention a far grittier one. It is a testament to Sang-ho’s strength as a film-maker that he can bounce between the two mediums without forfeiting any of his artistic punch.

“ Yeon has said that he wanted to tell stories about Seoul Station through this film, and despite the framing, those stories have powerful real world relevance. They’re also universal – one can find populations like these in and around stations in major cities all around the world…

Series Summary

A runaway girl flees from her abusive boyfriend, who can’t even make a rent, only to find a greater horror waiting for her. As the city slowly fills up by zombies.  Along the way, she has to try her luck with strangers, not knowing who will help her and who may wish her harm. As others search for her, she must always keep moving just to stay alive. An experience that the homeless people running alongside her know well.

Later in the story, we will witness the kind of mental health problems that have led people into destitution, and the fragility of commitment among many better-off people who like to see themselves as helpful. Given greater force by a sucker punch of a twist near the end. These stories combine to make this one of the bleakest genre films ever made.

 

3. Wonderful Days (Sky Blue)

 

At the time it was made, it was the most elaborate and expensive animated film ever made in South Korea. If we see the animation style, we will see how they utilized the digital art techniques combined with real-life miniature sets filmed using bleeding-edge tech. Along with the use of highly detailed models for some of the backdrops. Into which they incorporated cel-animated characters. However, they did not attempt to make convincing CGI animation of humans (especially human movement). The backgrounds in the film were shot with traditional motion control techniques, then processed to look like CGI. The vehicles were all rendered, and the characters were cel-animated.

Series Summary

In the year 2142, A civilization has collapsed due to over-pollution, and a technologically advanced city harvests energy from the surrounding wastelands. Shua, a man, thrown out of the city, misses the blue sky and now fights to cast downlight on this cloud-covered island while uncovering figures from his past.  Against this harsh backdrop, a love triangle develops between a mysterious young man, his childhood friend, and her male superior.

 

4. My Beautiful Girl, Mari

 

It is directed by Lee Sung-Gang, who wisely refused the conventional Japanese and western animation styles to create something entirely new with a heartbreakingly beautiful art style. It is computer-animated but appearing traditional hand-animation with the original style. This film also used a gorgeous muted color palette that brightens whenever Nam-Woo enters the world of his mind. This film doesn’t only show a beautiful art style but also contain a lot of heart. It shows the joys of childhood, from a reflective view of an adult. It shows the sweet and innocent friendships from their past years.

Series Summary

The lines between fantasy and reality blur together in this beautiful coming-of-age tale from 2002. My Beautiful Girl, Mari is a story about two childhood friends, Kim Nam-Woo struggles through life as people around him continuously leave him. Jun-Ho, his best friend, is going to Seoul for studies, and in some ways, his widowed mother is leaving him too by paying more attention to her new boyfriend. To escape from all these, he goes into a dream world, where he finds Mari. This story follows Nam-Woo in the way of his journey to discovering himself and maturing.

 

5. Oseam (2003 film)

 

Oseam is based on the fairy tale of the same name, with the local sale over 100,000 copies by Jeong Chae-Bong. The writer is well known for his innocent and heart-stirring tales. This animation movie is filled with heartfelt emotions and full of adorableness. It is merely a sentimental and touching story of a brother and sister’s love for each other. It also shows how one’s affections can surpass many boundaries. This movie shows a spiritual theme that conveys the viewers of how beautiful and one of a kind piece this is.

Animation of this movie is somehow outdated and antiquated of its time. It still does do a reasonably good job of displaying what it intends the most, the character and atmosphere. The hues and color tunes of this movie tell the story of a different time, without it being too exaggerated with its use of visuals. 

Series Summary

It is a very emotional and sentimental story about two orphans. Gilson is a five-year-old boy, and he has an elder sister Gami who is blind, she is brought to Mahayana Buddhist temple by a charitable monk. Gilson is an innocent but mischevious boy. Having a pure heart, he befriends all living things and communicates with clouds, birds, and flowers. Also, he wants to find a cure for his sister’s blindness. This story will bring you to the rollercoaster of overwhelming emotions.

 

Chinese animation

1. Da Yu Hai Tang (Big Fish & Begonia)

 

A Chinese-Korean Fantasy Movie that aired in 2016 in China. Animated and worked on by B&T Studio and the South Korean animation studio, Studio Mir. The studio is best known in the west as the studio that animated the Legend of Korra series and the current Netflix animated series, Voltron: Legendary Defender.

Big Fish & Begonia is a beautiful and visually appealing movie one can’t hate. It’s Ghibli inspired art style and vibrant/smooth animation and the wonderful cast of characters. It’s a series many anime watchers would surely enjoy.

Series Summary

In an old mythical world, there reside spirit-like beings who oversee the natural order of the mortal realm. One of them, a young girl named Chun, has just come of age and must undergo her rite of passage by experiencing the human world for herself. While there, she is caught in a fishing net during a storm and then rescued by a human boy.

However, the boy ends up drowning during the incident, and Chun returns to her realm full of guilt. Afterward, she meets the Soul Keeper and decides to revive the boy in exchange for a part of her lifespan. Little does she know, meddling with the natural order of the world has severe consequences.

Da Yu Hai Tang is a story about sacrifice and redemption as Chun comes to terms with the limitations of her powers and deals with death, love, and her own emotions. She must decide if she will sacrifice everything to save the human boy or forsake her moral obligation for the order of the world.[source]

Big Fish & Begonia Official Music Video

2. Rakshasa Street (Zhen Hun Jie)

Rakshasa Street Based on the Chinese Manhua that started in 2010.

A tale of two brothers and an unlucky girl dragged into the supernatural world that co-exists in between the human and spirit world. The story seems simple at first, but there is way more to it then one would think.

When it comes to animation, the series is sadly lacking with its focus on CGI in action-focused parts. But the lousy CGI animation is contemplated by its fascinating story that goes into detail about the characters. Showing two different stories from the characters’ future and the past and how they connect in the current timeline making you genuinely care about characters.

If you can look past the bad CGI, it is a series of anime fans will like, A series genuinely worth checking out.

 

Series Summary

Requiem Street, where evil spirits are attracted with a purpose to destroy them. A place where spirits and humans co-exist, not all humans can enter Requiem Street. Only those rare-soul users with guardian spirits can enter.

Xia Ling was just a typical university intern, but a meeting by chance changes her ordinary life. In this world full of evil spirits, can you cooperate with your guardian spirit to survive?

 

3. Fox Spirit Matchmaker

If there is one thing, I need to make clear about this series immediately. It’s the fact that this is a BIG and somewhat long-running series. Fox Spirit Matchmaker is based on a Manhua, That received an animation adaption back in 2015. I know that isn’t long ago, So how possible is this series big and long?

Well, since 2015, the series has been continually getting brand-new seasons, and it looks like there is no end in sight for all its adaptations. The series has five complete seasons, and season 6 is currently ongoing. So if you want to start this series, you’ll have to prepare a lot of time for it. You can sit down and watch it all, and it is worth your time. The series is entertaining, striking a right balance out downright stupid comedy and drama with a nice main character and a good bunch of side characters. Don’t expect a 10/10 story series when watching this. Just go in, relax, and enjoy the antics of all the characters. It’s entertaining to watch.

Series Summary

In Eastern History, humans and spirits exist in this world. Fox spirits have long acted as matchmakers, holding a prestigious position among spirits. In this story, the lives of a fox spirit and a man who have both rejected the idea of true love become intertwined, and their exciting adventure begins.

 

4. Spirit Blade Mountain (Reikenzan: Hoshikuzu-Tachi no Utage)

Reikenzan is based on a Chinese web novel titled Cong Qian You Zuo Ling Jian Shan (Once Upon a Time There Was a Spirit-Sword Mountain). A Japanese Studio, Studio Deen, adapted it, so the series does have a Japanese dub and two completed seasons. This series a pretty good fantasy series. Sadly it went pretty under the radar when it was released, Winter 2016 mainly because it was a season of heavy hitters, ERASED, KonoSuba, Assassination Classroom 2nd Season, Durarara!!x2, Grimgar and that’s just mentioning a few. So a mediocre Chinese web novel anime stood no chance and was pretty much overshadowed by all the big anime.

Other than the series going entirely under the radar. It’s a pretty good series and something worth checking out considering both seasons are done airing now with no plans for a 3rd season. So jumping into it right now is a good time.

Series Summary

Long ago, in the nine provinces of Kyushu, a catastrophic event was prophesied to take place: falling comets would exhaust the spiritual energies of both the heavens and the lands and thus bring about an age of chaos upon the world. But contrary to the prophecy, the comets passed by with no calamity taking place. At the same time, as if touched by the phenomenon. A boy was born in a remote village of the Sokei region by the name of Ouriku.

Twelve years later, as the memories of the event have faded from people’s minds, the Reikenzan clan. One of the five supreme sects of the nine provinces decides to hold an examination to gather the most talented individuals fit to become disciples and eventually sages. Hearing about this news, Ouriku and his servant Ouchou head toward the side, unaware that the organizer Oubu, despite her elegant appearance, is infamous for being incredibly irresponsible and carefree. Hence, making the trials in the examination unpredictable.

Reikenzan: Hoshikuzu-Tachi no Utage follows the story of Ouriku as he journeys through these trials to become a powerful sage.

 

5.Chu Feng: B.E.E

Okay, got to be clear here, Chu Feng: B.E.E is the weakest animation on this list. It’s not great….but I do think it’s worth a watch. It has an exciting world setting, and it’s not that bad. However, the characters are not memorable. Also, like Reikenza, it’s a Korean and Chinese Animation, a series that has a Japanese Dub. So if you can’t watch the Korean or Chinese voices. You can watch it in Japanese. Which is a plus for many anime fans?

Series Summary

In XX AD, a new generation of arms race is emerging. “Vanguards” are the new type of weapons used on the battlefield. Liu Li is a Vanguard that is about to retire. In her last 380 days, she receives her final mission.

 

And there you have it 10 Korean and Chinese Animation anime fans should check out.
I wanted to add a lot more but decided to hold back a bit since I to am somewhat new to watching Korean and Chinese Animation. So I only mentioned the few I recently completed and think are worth checking out.  I want to watch a lot more of them and gain more experience before I decide to make another list.

The Korean and Chinese Animation world is an untouched and untamed new world for a Japanese anime fan. It is something exciting to think about. Knowing there are so many new animations waiting to be found in an animation base that is not only focused on Japanese Animation.

I genuinely look forward to jumping into this new world. And so should any Japanese anime fan.

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16 Replies to “Top 10 Best Korean and Chinese Animation Worth Checking Out”

  1. Fox Spirit Matchmaker, my fav Chinese anime yet. Main hero’s past always bring tears in my eyes..no matter how many time i watch it. My respects, Bai Yachu. Dude rose on the top of the world and waited his entire life for a girl to accept him…wow

    1. Fox Spirit Matchmaker really is something worth checking out. It’s a seriously nice watch. Yeah it has a Japanese dub but i wouldn’t recommend watching it that way. Not because it’s bad no the dub is good. The problem is that only 1 of the 6 seasons seem to be dub and it doesn’t seem like the rest is getting dub :/
      Reviews

      Both seasons of Reikenzan are Japanese dubbed tho so that’s actually worth starting when you have nothing else to watch.

  2. I don’t mind the Chinese adaptations for Manhwas/Manhua or simply original adaptation that much anymore.
    In the past I putted some mindless dislikes on the Chinese animations due to the TDG(Tales of Demons and Gods) adaptation,even though it had mostly not much to do with it.
    But after watching King’s Avatar I began to see some actual notifications and tries of improvement on the animation part.
    We know that King’s Avatar plot is good already,so no worrying about that,yet the graphics,the characters movements and voices were not bad.
    In my opinion,way better than the CGI graphics from Berserk(2016).

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