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Best Korean Animation

This is the best I have seen from Korea.
1 The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf

When it comes to animation, this is one of the finest shows I have seen from Korea by Studio Mir, which does mostly American stories.

Apparently, there are many contradictions with the game:

"You cannot love ‘this,’ if you are well-versed in the witcher universe; however, if you know nothing about it, you might actually enjoy The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf." -Gaunter

So your enjoyment will be based if you have played and enjoyed the game or if you are a newcomer to the Witcher's universe.

Overall, this is an excellent Dark Fantasy full of action, mysteries, and eye candy. If you like these types of shows then you'll definitely enjoy this one.

"I loved Netflix's live action take on the Witcher series, and this animated movie didn't disappoint either. If you like violent shows, the dark fantasy genre, and watching badass guys taking out monsters, then this is for you.

The story was captivating and kept me hooked the whole time, the fight scenes were alright, the story telling and the animation especially strongly reminded me of Castlevania, which I loved as well. If you're a fan of CastlevaniaHellsingBerserk, or anything like it, chances are, you'll enjoy this movie and the Witcher franchise in general...

Studio Mir, the South Korean animation studio that gave us Legend of KorraVoltronDota: Dragon's BloodBig Fish and Begonia (a masterpiece), and now Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, has really been upping its game lately. Can't wait to see what else they got in store for us." -matrixen

The dub is awesome!

2 Wonderful Days

Wonderful Days

This film deals with environmental destruction, pollution, and class struggle, in a sci-fi futuristic setting. It has great animation and action scenes.

The dub is good. Note that if you find it under the title Sky Blue, that version has been slightly distorted, with the loss of two minutes of the running time compared to the original Korean cut.

3 The King of Pigs

The King of Pigs

This is a crude, brutal, harsh look at the reality of bullying and what could happen when kids are brought to the brink of their capacity to handle things on their own. And everything gets magnified by a society where social classes tend to protect the wealthy and automatically turn a blind eye to the unprotected.

The story progresses rapidly as the conflict escalates between the kids and there is a sense of realism that I haven't experience since I last watched The Grave of the Fireflies and Barefoot Gen. If you have watched any of those then you'll know what I mean by 'realism' and what kind of story to expect from this movie. This realism is in part due to the fact that is based on a true story.

A lot of anger is portrayed here, there are a lot of brutal scenes involving kids fighting, physical abuse. animal abuse, discrimination, loathing, etc, etc., but perhaps what makes it more terrifying is the psychological abuse and the state of mind these kids are in, feeling trapped and desperate by their lives. Enough said that this is not a story that anyone can watch nor appreciate its message. 

'Pain is represented as something very real, enough to make one wince. ... The King of Pigs captures many subtle class gradations in Korean society and shows how it corrupts human interaction.' -Maggie Lee of The Hollywood Reporter

'a strangely gripping and upsetting movie.' -Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian

Overall, if you are into romance and like to watch cute things stay as far away from this movie and never look back. If on the other hand, you don't mind to peek into the dark side or try to understand why people do awful things to each other, and how some environments can push people to the brink, then you'll find this movie to be a hidden gem!

This anime deserves a Dub!

4 Daisy, A Hen into the Wild

Daisy, A Hen into the Wild

I was skeptical at first about this movie, thinking that it was just a film for children, but now I'm glad I gave it a try, as it turns out to be a hidden gem! This is a great story of motherly love, freedom and the laws of nature and contains lots of action through the plot that keeps everything moving and entertaining, but the story is deep, depicting very well the cycle of life and the sacrifices a mother makes to help their children succeed in life.

'Also known as 'Leafie, A Hen into the Wild' or 'Daisy, A Hen into the Wild' is a 2011 South Korean animated drama film which depicts the freedom, will and instinctive motherly love of a hen as she raises an adopted duckling. The film made box office history by drawing over 2.2 million viewers, the largest audience for a home-grown animated film in South Korea. It also received widespread critical acclaim upon release.

The film is based on a well-respected and extremely popular children's book authored by Hwang Sun-mi. The novel was first released in South Korea in 2000, and sold more than 1 million copies domestically.

Historically South Korean animated features have struggled to draw viewers... Director Oh Sung-yoon struggled for more than twenty years as an animator under adverse economic circumstances before finally debuting with this feature film.... Undaunted by the knowingly discouraging prognoses from industry insiders, Leafie went on to rake in more than 2.2 million tickets, while recouping its production budget in just four weeks. It has become South Korea's most successful animated film since the country's first feature-length cartoon, A Story of Hong Gildong (1967).' -WikiPedia

The dub is good.

5 Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs

Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs

This was a surprising find, an excellent kids' movie with a nice message about not judging people by their appearances, think something similar to Shallow Hall. The movie is also a parody of several classic Fairy Tales, similar to Shrek in that sense and mood. And although all of this has been done before, the execution of this movie is very good with a stellar cast for the dub (which is what I saw). Moretz really carries the movie with her voice.

Apparently, the marketing campaign, mistakenly convey the opposite message that the film was trying to tell, and everything was labeled as "fat shaming", causing most people to skip the film and never give it a chance. 

The animation is on par with current 3d technology and voice actors come a long way to bring this film to life. The music is ok, but don't expect new original catchy songs.

The characters are all shallow of course and unable to see themselves or other people for what they are. Not all characters get development, but they all represent different fairy tales, which is fun to watch.

Overall, is a good family movie that you may want to give a try.

6 Cheonnyeon-yeowoo Yeowoobi

Cheonnyeon-yeowoo Yeowoobi

This is actually a pretty good family/kids movie, with an original story and ending. The story blends mythology, magic, aliens, and social drama and somehow everything seems natural. It deals with themes of loneliness, coming of age, and discovering love.

This anime deserves a Dub!

7 Satellite Girl and Milk Cow

Satellite Girl and Milk Cow

This Korean movie is so out there that I really have nothing to compare it to, except to say is completely surrealist, it is just like a dream where you find yourself from one crazy situation to another one, without realizing the moment of transition, and you don't realize what you were doing until you wake up!

It is not as crazy as movies like Trava or Hells Angels, but there is a lot of originality in the ideas for the characters and its wacky symbolism is quite unique, to say the least. Unfortunately, while I'd like to say that the originality alone does for a great watch, but the truth is that the movie fails to create an emotional connection and is at times unable to maintain the tone through their disjointed ideas, in short, it fails at the execution of the story a little.

The story is about learning to appreciate the people who love us and let go of our stereotypes & prejudices to understand and accept our feelings. Even though there are lots of symbolism in the story, nothing is really deep or complicated, it's a kid's story after all, so it's done in simple terms.

The characters and their wacky quirks are probably some of the best parts of the show, where the creativity really shows. There is a mix of mythologies from Merlin, The Witch of the North, Terminator, I mean Incinerator to a Mazinger Girl, Toilet Paper & Milk Cow; crazy, I know, but somehow they blend together in the story.

The animation is both good and bad, on one side is a nice departure from the traditional Japanese style, including all of their cliches in both characters and interactions. It has a colorful palette and original character designs. On the other side, the foreground characters seem like it was cut and paste into the backgrounds, creating almost 2 different qualities for the animation. 

Music plays a big role throughout the movie and both Korean & English songs are good, likable, soft, pop songs. I prefer the dub, but that is my opinion.

The dub is great. The voice actors do a good job both for the voices of the characters and singing the songs in the dub.

Overall, this is a good watch if you value originality and creativity over a cohesive story and emotional connection to what's happening to the characters. It is at the very least an interesting watch to see what else is out there besides Japanese animation and shows a future of open possibilities for the Korean animation industry.

'Korea's animation industry is largely unremarkable, which is really a shame because the country has shown through its live-action productions that it is certainly not lacking in artistic talent. Satellite Girl and Milk Cow, however, shows promise for the future of the industry. Its charm and earnestness are reminiscent of similar Japanese animations, while still maintaining its originality. Although it may be rough around the edges, and you can't expect much in terms of animation, it's still enjoyable and is hopefully a sign of more good things to come.' -JRossi

8 Each Other

Each Other

An abstract surrealist short, with interesting graphics, no dialog, and using subtle color changes to aid the graphics into conveying a little story.

9 DOTA: Dragon's Blood

DOTA: Dragon's Blood

This is loosely based on the video game DOTA. It has good animation, but the story is pretty average & predictable, just the latest iteration of killing a dragon. You may only want to watch if you love Dark Fantasy games/animes.

The dub is good.


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Halex Sep 26, 2021

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