Gyeongseong Creature review: A monstrous historical K-drama

Gabriela Silva
Han So-hee as Yoon Chae-ok, Park Seo-jun as Jang Tae-sang in Gyeongseong Creature .

Netflix continues its display of powerhouse K-dramas for 2023 – ending the year with the first half of Gyeongseong Creature. The historical action thriller entangles monsters, the struggle to survive, the Japanese occupation of Korea, and heart.

Set in 1945 in Gyeongseong, the K-drama focuses on two individuals from different walks of life amid the Japanese occupation. Park Seo-joon stars as Jang Tae-sang, a wealthy man known for finding information. He also owns a pawn shop.

He soon meets Yoon Chae-ok (Han So-hee), a form of bounty hunter skilled in combat and finding missing persons. She and her father venture to Gyeongseong for his help in looking for Chae-ok’s missing mother.

But their journey for answers leads them to Onseong Hospital which has much deeper and darker secrets than anyone ever expected. Gyeongseong Creature will have fans hooked from beginning to end as this review encompasses the first six episodes of Part 1.

Chae-ok and Tae-sang face a more gruesome world

Despite the K-drama being a fresh new original, fans can expect a lot of the tropes and storyline ques that make K-dramas so popular. But don’t be fooled: Gyeongseong Creature begins and ends with more than enough drama and high stakes to enthrall even the most seasoned fans.

Like Song of Bandits, Gyeongseong Creature utilizes the Japanese occupation of Korea as a backdrop to a way of life where you either try to conform or fight in a secret resistance. While daily life goes on – there’s always fear lurking in the shadows and possibly being tortured for possible treason.

But underneath the surface, the K-drama offers even more dire evil. As Chae-ok looks for her missing mother, and Tae-sang is tasked with finding a missing woman, their paths lead them to Onseong Hospital.

The fun of the K-drama is that locals know the rumors and the string of missing people. Fans are well aware that Onseong is the main focal point of the K-drama storyline and its secrets with Japanese military officials. Without giving too much away – there’s a reason why the K-drama is titled “Gyeongseong Creature.”

Gyeongseong Creature does a good job of melding together multiple genres without suffocating each other. There’s the danger of who or what is hiding within the hospital, the main characters fight to survive and rescue, as well as heartfelt love. Despite the turmoil, the main objective is to save the people they love and the victims. All the while, facing a few heartbreaking realities.

Gyeongseong Creature doesn’t muddle the love story

Like any good K-drama, a romance between the main characters isn’t far-fetched. The trailers even teased the connection between Chae-ok and Tae-sung. But have no fear, the K-drama doesn’t make it a cliche or develop a heavy relationship. Instead, it creates a much-needed emotional development between the two characters as Tae-sung’s life is given a new purpose thanks to Chae-ok.

Between a young woman who has done nothing but fight and save others and a man who vowed to protect himself – they instead find themselves protecting each other. Another key aspect of the K-drama that may sway some viewers is the use of both Japanese and Korean.

Based on the timeline setting, well-known Korean actors seamlessly flowed between the languages. When it comes to the central antagonist, the K-drama makes it clear.

A hellbent government and its scientific faction devoted to a new world order – no matter the cost. Finally, nothing but good can be said for the cast. Han and Park showcase their years of experience and emotional gravitas on screen. A scene can be said with one look alone. Applause is also given to Han for showcasing her continued use of stuntwork she has become known for.

Gyeongseong Creature review score: 5/5

The caveat of the K-drama that gave it a full rating was due to the storyline. In a historical K-drama, it’s sometimes difficult to follow along without paying attention to detail and keeping tabs on the significance of certain historical attributes. Gyeongseong Creature adds just enough for fans to understand the gravity of the Japanese occupation, but puts more emphasis on its effect on the characters and the monster storyline. Tied together with visuals, action sequences, and the desire to save humanity – it’s a top-notch K-drama.

Gyeongseong Creature starts streaming on Netflix from December 22. Read more K-drama news in our hub here and Dexerto’s Sweet Home review here.

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