Last Updated: May 19, 2020
Whenever we think of anime, we think of Japan. The two have become quite synonymous for many people. But they do not know that there exists another a treasury of anime series and movie in other Asian countries as well. The first anime was released in Japan in 1916, but the genre attracted the interest of many people.
Korea was soon to follow the footsteps of Japan and it created many anime series and films that are more symptomatic of the Korean culture. It targeted the industry at home to give them something they could relate with.
But still the plot, characters and the animation is thoroughly enjoyable for the foreigners as well. It would be a treat for the anime lovers to indulge in a separate brand of anime propagated in Korea. Here is a list of the Top 35 Best Korean Anime of 2020.
1. The Fake
Aired On- November 21, 2013
The Fake, a 2013 South Korean animated film, won Best Animation awards at the Sitges Film Festival and Gijón International Film Festival and is written and directed by Yeon Sang-ho.
It was also deemed to be the Best Korean Independent Film of 2013 by the Association of Korean Independent Film & Video.
The movie is very intense and is a battle between truth and lies. It shows how personal relationships and their deterioration can push anyone to do something outside their personality. Here we don’t have a good hero, in fact none of the main characters have an ounce of good in them.They all are bad people, but some of them have a fake mask on and are taking advantage of everyone around them.
The series is set in a fictional town which is about to get submerged because of Governmental Dam Projects. The villagers soon have to reestablish themselves but are really attached to this land because of all its significance in terms of their religion.
The most prominent structure here is the Church. But in reality it is steeped in corruption and just has a facade of holier than thou. Choi Gyeong-seok and Reverend Sung are the main culprits behind it. Everything is set up for them to seemingly get away with taking away all the money from the villagers. They take this money as a form of church offerings which according to them are mandatory if one wants to “secure their spot.” in a better place.
But everything spills over when they are caught red handed by a citizen of the village, Min- Chul. But his hands are tied as nobody believes him since he himself is a low-life neighborhood thug who gambles and drinks too much.
But then Choi Gyeong- seok and Reverend Sung give a personal blow to him and he makes it a case of personal retribution.
Aired On-April 25, 2003
Oseam meaning “five-year-old temple” is a South Korean drama/religious animation directed by Sung Baek-yeop. The anime derives its plots from a novel by Korean author Jeong Chae-bong.
The movie is rooted in the relationship between two orphans, Gami and her younger brother Gilson. It is their relationship that we follow throughout the movie. Their love shines through and through. We see their hardship as well as the efforts of Gami to rescue at least Gilson’s naivety. Their background is tragic, having lost their all in a fire including their mother and Gami’s sight.
So, in a way this is their story of revitalization. It is their story of healing from this tragedy and not let it become a part of their life. It is clear that this is their aim when Gami doesn’t disclose the fact that their mother is dead to Gilson. She especially wants the both of them to walk towards a happy future. She wants this happy future out of her love for Gilson.
But what she unfortunately forgets is that Gilson is also in this equation, that his heart is also full of love for Gami. And it is this love that takes him on a path that brings a bittersweet ending to this story.
3. Seoul Station
Aired On- August 18, 2016
Seoul Station is a South Korean animated zombie film written and directed by Yeon Sang-ho. The film has Ryu Seung-ryong, Shim Eun-kyung and Lee Joon voicing the lead characters. The film was shown at the 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival. The film serves as the prequel to the live-action film Train to Busan by the same director.
This Anime in a few words can be identified as the Battle of the Fittest. It is set in the midst of a Zombie apocalypse. Everyone is fighting a bloody war to keep themselves alive and humane.
The movie does a brilliant job in portraying the question, what are we fighting for? Are the people in this situation worthy of being called humans? And what is coming to them, aren’t they deserving of it?
These people have serious moral flaws for most parts, at least majority of them. Of the three main characters- Hye-sun, Ki-woong and Suk-gyu, we have two trying to pimp out a girl for their own benefit. If they are not worthy of being zombies then who is? The movie never really adamantly answers it, but it always keeps up its haunting trajectory. It is like there is always a turn but never really a destination.
4. Yobi, The Five Tailed Fox
Aired On-January 25, 2007
Yobi, the Five Tailed Fox is a 2007 animated Korean film by Lee Sung-gang, the director of My Beautiful Girl, Mari. The film loosely draws upon the Korean folk tales of the kumiho.
The movie has a lot of variety and can truly be defined in a lot of ways quite honestly. It is a mystery, a fantasy and can also be categorized as a love story. As the title suggests it is about a Five Tailed Fox, Yobi and deals with her adventures in the Human world.
She was very happy in her solitary existence but fate had different plans for her. When an Alien gets ousted from its group, she feels bad for it and decides to help it cope in this unknown world.
But getting into this world she herself gets involved in a cobweb of emotions. This confusion is so intense that it makes her question and sort of disregard her entity. She is willing to take a plunge and become human for a boy.
In a lot of ways it is a classic Star Crossed Saga between Yobi and Geum-ee. Though their feelings are strong there are way too many forces working against them. It has a very interesting end that has left fans in anticipation to this date.
5. Wonderful Days
Aired On-July 17, 2003
Wonderful Days (also known as Sky Blue) is a South Korean animated science fiction film, written and directed by Kim Moon-saeng.
This movie speaks to the present times in a way no other project in the list does. It is set in a crisis filled world and in every possible way this crisis has been brought on by the humans involved in the situation. It depicts a situation we all are anticipating will come in the near future.
The Humans created this Hell and now they have to live in it. But is the world that simple and is its philosophy that straightforward and fair. There is always distinction and someone always takes the cake. In this case we see a similar thing happening.
Rich people have taken the better and comfortable piece of land while they are making the poor work with harmful things to make their own lives better.
This class divide intensifies when Shua (Marc Worden) ends up in a love triangle with her childhood friend, Jay (Cathy Cavadini), and her superior, Ecoban security commander Cade (Kirk Thornton).
6. Pororo, The Racing Adventure
Aired On-January 23, 2013
Pororo, The Racing Adventure (also known as The Little Penguin: Pororo’s Racing Adventure) is a 2013 South Korean-Chinese animated film. The film is based on the Korean children’s computer-animated television series Pororo the Little Penguin.
This is a funny and light hearted movie. The movie works because of the inherent likability of the main character. Pororo is a sweet and cute Penguin who gets into mischief every now and then, but this time it just goes a little bit too far for anyone’s liking.
He makes a plane do an emergency landing in his town forcing the turtles in it to stay with them for a while. Hearing about a race tournament Pororo and his friends get fired up to join Toto and Mango, the turtles in the race. And after their Plane is fixed, Pororo and his friends, hitchhike there.
The city of North pia is beautiful and makes Pororo and his friends go bonkers. They are so charmed by the city that they decide to themselves participate in the race. Their will gets even stronger when Fufu the bear bully crashes the party where they are and threatens to take over Northpia. The next part of the movie deals with whether Fufu is able to put the money where his mouth is or Pororo pulls a fast one over him and wins everything.
7. Green Days: Dinosaur and I
Aired On-June 23, 2011
Green Days: Dinosaur and I is a 2011 South Korean animated film. Without the high-tech computer graphics and three-dimensional techniques that dominate the animation industry, the film was hand-drawn in pencil, with 14 animators using 100,000-plus sheets over a period of 11 years.
It is a coming of age movie which deals with the complicated emotions of adolescents. It gives a very nuanced view into certain decisions and actions of people in that age group. These decisions don’t always make sense, there is no logic behind them but the turmoil of emotions behind it are so high that they feel like these decisions are like gasping for breath. In this we see a trio of young characters going through various important phases of their lives, stumbling and falling in the process.
The story mainly centers on Yi-rang who is an athlete. During a race because of the fear of losing she pretends to fall and injure herself. Feeling ashamed of her actions she decides to never race again. She goes on with this decision in her life and meets two individuals Soo-min and Cheol-soo. Her meetings with both of them change her in considerable ways and she slowly starts to come into her own.
8. Leafie, A Hen Into The Wild
Aired On-July 28, 2011
Leafie, A Hen into the Wild, also called Daisy, A Hen into the Wild in English-speaking countries, 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.
This movie is at its root about motherhood and the quality of selflessness associated with it. It glorifies the selflessness associated with it. It’s a sweet movie with a very heavy message. It reflects motherhood to be such a position that cannot be differentiated on the basis of something as meagre as kind. The only required quality for it is love.
If you have love in your heart, you can be a mother and that’s what happened with Leafie, a hen who became a mother to Greenie, a duck and actually proved to be an enduring and significant figure in his life.
The mother son relationship here is so wonderful in the movie mainly because it is imperfect. Both of them don’t act perfectly a 100% of the time, mostly in the case of Greenie but their love is enough to endure it.
The movie’s strength is its story as it is well rounded and shows that even the hardest of souls have love and empathy in them.
9. The King Of Pigs
Aired On-October 8, 2011
The King of Pigs is a 2011 South Korean animated drama film, directed by Yeon Sang-ho. It won three awards at the 2011 Busan International Film Festival. The film was selected to be screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
It is a very intense drama that focuses on the big issue of bullying. The Drama clearly showcases how much those Golden years shape your future and if those are spent under a certain type of torment then a whole life could be negatively affected.
It deals with two characters Kyung Min and Jong Suk. They have their pasts intermingled in which both of them were pigs being haunted and hunted by their peers.
Their middle school was a battle Royale between social classes where you had to be affluent to be respected and if not your life would be a living hell. Amidst this in their life appears Kim Chul who becomes their King and begins to protect them.
But this is not an ideal story and Kim Chul is in no shape or form an Ideal character. He is sadistic who knows that this is his peak .And he begins to impress his sadistic tendencies on these two boys. This leads to a conclusion that shakes the viewers to their very core.
10. My Beautiful Girl, Mari
Aired On-January 18, 2002
My Beautiful Girl, Mari is directed and produced by Carl Macek and licensed by A.D. Vision.
Loneliness is a beautiful and a very difficult theme to capture in a movie. It is an emotion present in the inner workings of one’s mind and heart and for a creator to not only extract it but capture it in its whole complete essence is astounding. This movie did that in spades.
This movie shows how much depth our mind and soul contains. It reflects the creative freedom that our soul has. We all complain of not having anyone when in reality we have our own selves which sometimes is enough.
Our protagonist, Kim Nam-woo is going through a very sad but common situation in his life where he feels left out. His best friend, Jun-ho, is going to study in Seoul and his Widowed mother, having found a boyfriend, is focusing more on this new found love for herself ignoring Kim Nam-Woo in the process.
To cope with this Kim Nam-Woo creates his own imaginary world where he has everything but the most precious of them all is Mari. She becomes his friend and confidant; he begins to rely on her so much that the lines between fantasy and reality start blurring.
11. Doggy Poo
Aired On-23 March 2004
Doggy Poo is a 34-minute stop motion-animated film from South Korea, directed by Kwon Oh-sung, based on Kwon Jung-saeng’s 1968 children’s book Doggy Poo, illustrated by Annie Rose Godsman. There are both English and Korean language versions of the film.
Doggy Poo is exactly about what you think it is. But it surprises you by being so much more than just its package. It has warmth, love as well as life lessons. It shows that just because you feel down and out now, it doesn’t mean that the story is over. There is a purpose for you, you just need to be strong and patient enough to find it.
Doggy Poo itself is super adorable and actually a very nice character to root for. After being ‘dropped’ into this world, he starts to look for his meaning as well as connections, but fails miserably. No one wants to be his friend, and Doggy Poo becomes sad because he believes he is worthless and has no purpose.
He loses all hope but suddenly a miracle happens and a plant grows out of the earth which extends its hand of support and friendship saying that it needs him for its own growth and well-being.
12. The House
Aired On- 17 March 2011
The House also known as Jib is an interesting movie to say the least. It pushes a lot of boundaries and checks probably every box required to be a great Anime. It has a very likeable lead, a great setting as well as an amazing and layered storyline that impacts the viewers greatly. It is something that can be watched by all the ages but still does not lose a lot of its magnetic touch in the process of making itself accessible.
It as the title suggests deals with a House, a haunted house. The story begins when a girl, Ga-Young moves to this old town and starts living in this house. The twist comes when she finds a piece of Jewelry that enables her to not only see these spirits but also talk and communicate with them. At first it’s not all hunky dory, there are many mishaps which creates a lot of awkwardness. But after a point these two opposite sides of the spectrum truly begin opening up and create an open line of harmonious communication.
When she finds out that her neighborhood is in some serious danger of destruction from the city she calls on her spirits which she has befriended to fight this battle with her.
13. The Satellite Girl and the Milk Cow
Aired On – February 20, 2014
The Satellite Girl and the Cow is a South Korean film that revolves around a mismatched duo – a satellite who picks up a sad love song on her antenna and goes to Earth in order to find out the source of such strong and sincere emotions and a heartbroken boy, who meets the same fate as any other lovelorn and heartbroken people on the planet – he gets turned into a farm animal while being at a cafe. Meanwhile, the satellite, while descending on Earth, gets caught in a crossfire of magic and is transformed into a Satellite girl, with proper equipment like “rocket shoes” and “weapon firing limbs.”
However, with the help of a wizard named Merlin, who is turned into a toilet paper roll, they fight the monster, a wily and nefarious pig witch in order to be together.
The movie has a total run time of 81 minutes. It was written and directed by Hyeong-yoon Jang and produced by Young-kag Cho. The main cast includes Ah In Yoo and Yu-mi Jeong. It was released on February 20, 2014 in South Korea.
14. Red Hawk
Aired On – August 27, 2002
Red Hawk tells a story about a spiritual person, fighting against evil in order to save her land.
The Film is not much well received as the plot of the story is not planned in a systematic way and is merely a portrayal of many battle scenes. It has some Dragon Ball Z vibes in it and almost looks like a tribute to some other movie.
The main cast includes Gwang Jang as Morlyung, Han Sugyeong as Honglyung, Jang Sejun as Jan Chang, Park Sangil as Lord Seobong, Choi Sumin as Yunlyung, Mona Marshall as Ko Wan and Stephen Apostolina as Liu.
The movie has a total running time of 1 hour 26 minutes (or 86 minutes). The direction is done by Kevin Seymour and Sang Il Sim. The writers of this movie are Sang Wol Ji for the original script. The movie was later translated in English by Mary Claypool.
15. Life is Cool
Aired On – June 12, 2008
Life is Cool is a South Korean animated romance movie released in 2008. It is the first ever South Korean rotoscoped movie. The movie’s visual style was influenced by the two movies – Waking Life (2001) and A Scanner Darkly (2006) – by Richard Linklater.
The Story revolved around 3 friends in their 30’s – Baek Il-Kwon, Kim Tae-Yeong and Seong-hoon. They meet up for the first time in 10 years. After that, all 3 of them fell for the same woman and things started getting complicated.
The main characters are played by Kim Su-Ro (Baek Il-Kwon), Kang Sung-Jin (Kim Tae-Yeong) and Kim Jin-Soo (Seung-Hoon). Life is Cool is produced by CJ Entertainment. The actual shooting took only a month. However, the rotoscoping took almost 2 years. 140 artists worked in this department. The visual effect for the film was created by a local company named DNA, a previous partner of The Animatrix.
The film’s plot was an adaptation of the real life events experienced by one of director Choi Equan’s friends. Director Choi was inspired by the movies of Richard Linklater. It was released on 12 June 2008 and grossed around USD 28,100.
Aired On – August 20, 2003
Hammerboy is a South Korean animated movie, which first premiered at the Big Apple Anime Fest of 2003. The story revolves around a boy named Mangchi. He is a small kid but owns a magical hammer, which helps him in solving his problem. He lives on a tiny and remote island called the Candlestick. This is because every other place has turned into a wasteland due to a huge catastrophe.
The Princess of the Kingdom of Jemius, Princess Poplar, started being pursued by the henchman, named Moonk, Mangchi sides with the former and as Hammerboy, he is ready to unleash his powers in order to bring justice to the world.
Hammerboy is directed by Ahn Tae-geun and produced by the duo, Lee Dong-ki and Yang Ji-hye. It was written by a group of writers – Ha Yeong-min, Ahn Cheol-woo, Choi Jeong-woon, Kim Min-jo and Lee Seo-kyeong.
The movie, Hammerboy, starring Kim Seo-young, was released on 20th August 2003 at the Big Apple Anime Fest and was later released in South Korea, on 6th August 2004. It has a total running time of 80 minutes.
17. On the White Planet
Aired On – October 23, 2014
On the White Planet revolves around the life of a young boy who was different from others on the planet. The movie takes place around a time when the place was pale and colourless and everyone was born with pale skin. One day, a boy was born with a yellow skin and he was treated as a monster by others due to this. He lived with his mother in the woods. However, when he turned 16, his mother commited suicide as she was unable to bear the loneliness and seclusion. The boy started to blame himself for his mother’s death and dreams of being a normal and pale person.
On the White Planet was directed by Bum-wook Hur. he also wrote the screenplay. The cast included Hong Bum-ki, Son Chong-Hwan, Cho Min-Su and Seo Yoon-sun. The movie was produced by Ki-hwan Kim.
On the White Planet was released in South Korea on September 10, 2015. It has a total running time of 1 hour and 13 minutes (or 73 minutes). The movie was nominated for the “Best Animated Feature Film” Award in the 2014 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
18. Blade of the Phantom Master
Aired on – December 4, 2004
The movie, Blade of the Phantom Master, takes place in the fictional land of Jushin, a part of feudal Korea. There was a secret government with agents called the amhaengosa. These agents travelled in disguise all over Jushin and were charged by the monarch for finding the corrupt government officials and punishing them.
The movie starts with the destruction of Jushin. After the place was destroyed, the corrupt warlords took over and ruled the land by dividing it into a kingdom. The movie follows the adventures of Munsu, the last of the amhaengosa, who continues to travel and fight these corrupted officials. Along the way, he meets some people from his past – other amhaengosa who have now turned their allegiance to these enemies, and we get to learn more about him. It was revealed through these people that Munsu was not an amheng osa initially and is somehow accountable for the death of the king and the fall of Jushin.
The movie was directed by Joji Shimura and Ahn Tae-kun. It was released on December 4, 2004. It has a total run time of 87 minutes.
19. The Adventures of Tyrano Boy
Aired On – September 10, 2015
The Adventures of Tyrano Boy is an animated film centering around an infant Tyrannosaurus named Tron, who lost his parents recently – mother Sera and father Zesta. Lonely and orphaned, little Tron embarks on a journey of self-realization and full of adventures – meeting new friends, knowing about courage and power and the true meaning of love itself.
The Adventures of Tyrano Boy was formerly released on September 10, 2015. It is both in Japanese and Korean, with the total run time of 1 hour and 22 minutes (or 82 minutes). The movie was directed by Director Gong-Sook Choe. The cast includes Takeuchi Junko, Kappei Yamaguchi, Marina Watanbe and Takanashi Kengo. It was written by Hisao Masuda and Tatsuya Miyanishi.
The other alternative titles are Anata wo Zutto Aishiteru, Anata o Zutto Aishiteru, Gonyeoseog Masnagessda 2: Hamkkelaseo Haengbokhae, Tasty 2: Happy Together, You Are Umasou 2, among a few others.
20. Lost in the Moonlight
Aired On – September 7, 2016
Lost in the Moonlight is a South Korean movie, released on September 7, 2016. It centers around the character Hyunjuli, who participates in a children’s traditional Korean drama named The Moonlit Lagoon at a place named Changdeok Palace. While doing so, she accidentally lands into another world or dimension called the Moonlit Palace. She meets a character named Mr. Squirrel there. Due to some trick conducted by a blossom lady, Hyunjuli and Mr Squirrel land into trouble, which makes it unable for Hyunjuli to get back home. It is now up to her to not only save the palace but also get back home safely on time.
Lost in the Moonlight has a total run time of 1 hour and 21 minutes (or 81 minutes). It is both directed and written by Kim Hyun-Joo. It is produced by Lee Ji Yoon and Kim Seong Cheol of the Studio Holhory Co. the music is produced by Lee Ho-sung. Lost in the Moonlight has grossed an income of USD 937,482 approximately.
21. Ghost Messenger
Aired On – May 22, 2014
Ghost Messenger is a South Korean anime created by Studio Animal. It was originally released in 2010. It centers around a series of situations experienced by Ghost Messenger Kanglim and Little Kanglim, a human kid with powers.
It is a science fiction movie, with a blend of fantasy and the supernatural. According to Studio Animal, it falls under the genre of ‘Oriental SF Fantasy.’
The movie shows Kanglim, a Ghost Messenger, on a mission to catch a spirit. However, a little error leads to him being trapped in his own Soul Phone, which is named as the Black Shark. The Soul phone eventually lands in the hands of little Kanglim, an ordinary looking elementary school 5th grader with great spiritual superpower of talking to the ghosts, living with his grandfather and running an antique shop with him.
When little Kanglim starts using the phone, he is forced to let messenger Kanglim out as things start to get serious. Together, they travel the world of living and dead and getting involved in it, until a mysterious someone starts tracking their actions.
22. Koala Kid
Aired On – January 12, 2012
Koala Kid is a South Korean animated movie. It was released in South Korea on January 12 2012. The movie was directed by Kyung Ho Lee. Koala Kid takes place in Australia.
The movie portrays the life of Johnny, a white koala, who is teased for his colour. He joins a circus show. However he is disappointed to not be a part of the top act of the show – The Wild Bushman. While being there, Johnny checks it out and accidentally, becomes a part of the act.
While travelling to a new location, Johnny and his crew members meet with an accident. Johnny saves himself on a rock but it ultimately breaks and he slides along the cliff. Hamish, another member of the circus, introduces him as the famous Koala Kid.
The cast of Koala Kid includes Rob Schneider, as Johnny the Koala, Bret MCkenzie as Hamish. The other cast members include Frank Welker, Chris Edgerly and Nolan North among many others.
The film grossed over 4.6 million dollars at the Guatemalan Box Office. Koala Kid is also known as The Outback.
23. Aachi and SSipak
Aired on: June 28, 2006
Episodes: 1 episode (90 minutes)
This animation features comedy and its comedic element shows two of the vital societal conditions we are dealing with. The unlimited use of natural resources is gradually decreasing the level of fuel. In the near future we may be left with none at all. The plot of the story starts here.
The world runs out of traditional energy sources. One of the new found energy sources is Human excrement. To make sure that the citizens produce as much excrement as possible the Government has implanted a chip in their anus at birth. It chips gives the citizen ‘juicy bars’ as soon as it detects excrement. These Juicy Bars are highly addictive narcotics. This is what shows us the second societal issue that deals with the increasing addiction of drugs.
These juicy bars can sometimes transform their users into mutant blue ninja with extreme constipation. This addicted people has made a group called ‘Diaper gang’. This underground gang aims to collect juicy bars.
Aachi and Ssipak are two crooks who steal and sell juicy bars on the road. One day they meet a beautiful woman who has the chip of every Diaper gang member installed in her anus. Therefore with every dump she produces a lot of juicy bars. Aachi and Ssipak see her as an opportunity to be rich. But the Government as well as Diaper members are behind her. The rest of the story is about how Aachi and Ssipak protect her. This is a Toilet comedy with matured elements and is definitely not meant for kids.
24. Dooly the Little Dinosaur
Aired on: 1987
Episodes: 13 episodes
Dooly the Little Dinosaur is one of the most commercially successful animations of South Korea. Almost like Pororo, it is a representative Character of the Country. It is very popular with kids. Originally it was created in 1987, but due to its high popularity it was also printed later.
The story is about Dooly, a little Dinosaur who was kidnapped by aliens. They experimented on him to give him magical powers. After returning to earth, he was trapped inside a glacier for about 100 million years. When the Glacier eroded and he was set free, he made his way to Seoul.
A little girl named Younghee found this 4’6″ tall Dinosaur and thought it to be a doll. She carried Dooly home where he stayed with her father Kildong and elder brother. Dooly is a mischievous kid who loves to play with his friends and often gets hit by Kildong for being annoying. He is loyal to his friends. He sometimes finds himself in danger and uses his magical powers to get out of the situation.
This anime was rebroadcast in 1993, 1996, 1998, 2003, and 2009. The most astonishing fact is the channel only recorded an increased viewership every time.
25. The Underdog
Aired on: January 16, 2019
Episodes: 1 episode (102 minutes)
This animation film is one of the most popular anime and its popularity rose from the very day it was released. It was opened at the 22nd Bucheon International Film Festival in July 2018. All the tickets sold out within 9 seconds recording the shortest time for a movie released in BIFAN to be sold out within this much time. It has been broadcasted in some other countries and gained high popularity there as well. The subject that it deals with has been the main attraction for the viewers.
The story is about stray dogs who have been abandoned by humans. These stray dogs try to find a sanctuary for themselves, a place where there will be “no humans”. They gradually learn their own identity and meaning of freedom. The story has some cute and strong characters like Moongchi, Bamyi, Jjangah. Moongchi is a character who got separated from his owner and this abandonment has affected him in an adverse way. But he decides to subside his depression and discover a new realm leading a pack of stray dogs.
This animation is often regarded as one of the most inspiring one that leads the viewers to think about the importance of learning about self-identity. This is the reason the characters have been featured in several other movies.
26. Robot Taekwon V
Aired on: July 24, 1976
Episodes: 1 episode (85 minutes)
Robot Taekwon V is an animation about a team of heroic robots who goes out to save the world from dangers. The film was influenced by Mazinger Z. Robot Taekwon V was introduced so that Korean children can have a hero of their own.
The plot revolves around two sets of people. A mad scientist Professor Karp who wants to dominate the world. To do so, he is kidnapping world class athletes to form an army. To save the world from Prof. Karp’s army, Dr. Kim creates a robot named Taekwon V.
His son and Taekwondo champion Kim Hoon pilots the robot. He operates it either mechanically or by his movements, which is mostly inspired by Taekwondo. Hoon’s childhood friend Kim Cheol associates him in his mission. He wears a tea kettle on his head with eye holes, for his avatar. There is another member in Hoon’s team, his girlfriend Yoon Yeong-hee is also capable of piloting the Robot and very similar to Hoon, her movements are also inspired by Taekwondo.
This team is like a super-heroic team that fights the monsters to save the world. This gradually earned a huge popularity with the Korean viewers that it made way for several sequels and comic books.
27. Empress Chung
Aired on: August 12, 2005
Episodes: 1 episode (93 minutes)
This anime is the only anime that was simultaneously released in both North Korea and South Korea. This film was featured in Annecy International Festival and was showered with several awards in Korea. This animation is about a Korean folktale. It received a huge applause from the audience because of the renewed representation of that Folktale.
This Folktale is about a young girl named Shim Chung. She gives her life to a sea dragon, so that her blind father Shim Hack-gu can get back his eyesight. Hack-gu lost his eyesight when there was a conspiracy and his life was threatened as well.
Later when Chung-Yi grows up she gets to know that she can recover her father’s eyesight if she can collect three hundred Gongyang-mi. She went into the sea where a monster was waiting for her.
She survived the crisis with the help of a sea fish. The Dragon King also helped her to return to the world on a lotus flower.
The rest of the story revolves around her generosity and filial piety. Her sweet, caring and loving nature is rewarded, she becomes an empress.
The folktale deciphers Empress Chung as the symbol of love and self-sacrifice, which are some celebrated qualities in a human being even in today’s world. Therefore, the ancient tale has not lost its relevance and its animated version ended up earning praise and acknowledgement from the viewers.
28. Shimajiro and Rainbow Oasis
Aired on: February 4, 2018
Episodes: 1 episode (53 minutes)
This is one of the animation movies that has been released in several countries and earned a huge box office collection from almost all of them. This movie is basically meant for children, but nonetheless the adventures of Shimajiro and Coco is a favorite of all the viewers, beyond any age barrier. This is the reason this anime has been released and re-released in several countries, even in South Korea itself.
Shimajiro while roaming around the desert meets a girl Coco. She was separated from her mother in a sandstorm. He decides to help Coco to find her mother. He lives behind Dr. Roarson to repair Dig-Bug robots so that they can return home. The main attraction of the plot is the adventure of Shimajiro and Coco as they were almost at the middle of a desert, but then they try their best so that they can find Coco’s mother.
This movie has a tiger as its main protagonist. This is often said to be ideally designed to fit the first movie experience of a kid. The frames are set in a way so that it can get undivided attention from a child. There are parts of the movie that have sing-along and dance-along parts to encourage the child viewers.
29. Doraemon: Nobita’s Chronicle of Moon Exploration
Aired on: 14th August, 2019
Episodes: 1 episode
Doraemon and Nobita are two characters who are widely known to all the children across the world. The robo-cat and the school kid were the ones who introduced a lot of human values to the young children while entertaining them as well. This animation film is an addition to Doraemon and Nobita’s adventure. This particular film is of Sci-fi genre, and hence gained a lot of popularity on its release.
Nobita sees the moon suddenly turned yellow. When he tells it in his class, his friends make fun of him. But, Doraemon gives him the “History Explorer’s Club badge”. Doraemon and Nobita go to the Moon. On reaching the Moon, Doraemon pulls out the Animal Dough-making bucket. They create bunnies there that will create their own colony. But, later when Nobita tells this to his friends they find it to be funny.
That day a new student joins the class, whom the teacher introduces as Luka. They get to know that Luka is from the Rabbit colony of the Moon. Though initially Nobita and Doraemon were worried, they later find out how the colony is made with help of Luka and his sister Luna.
30. The Nut Job
Aired on: January 17, 2014
Episodes: 1 episode
This move denotes a milestone of Korean animation movies. It is a movie that reached the milestone of being released in 3427 theatres in America and earned 20 million USD in its opening weekend itself. This animated movie features some interesting truths about life and friendship, making it one of the most favourite of the viewers.
The story is set in a fictional town of Oakton city, in the 1940s. A purple squirrel named Surly and his mute rat companion named Buddy lives in Liberty Park. They are almost outcasts because of their nature of stealing. There was once a scarcity of nuts.
There is a group of urban animals led by Raccoons who ran out of food during winter. They try to compete with Buddy and Surly to get food from Lucky’s cart. But they end up destroying it. The rest of the story is about how they end up getting food for themselves.
Surly was banished. Then they came to the city. Gradually the other characters also move to the city to find food. But there is some tough situation they face while doing so.
There is a nice visual treat for the viewers as the directors decided to make Psy an animated character who dances with the rest of the animals as he performs “Gangnam Style”.
31. Speckles: The Tarbosaurus
Aired on: January 26, 2012
Episodes: 1 episode
This is a 3D movie made in South Korea featuring a troop of Dinosaurs. The CGI of the movie is remarkable. It was released in a number of countries and earned recognition for high quality graphic imagery. Though the story features Dinosaurs, the main theme relates with some common human emotion, like love, hope, fear.
The story is set in the Cretaceous period, where a young Tarbosauraus, Speckles lives with his siblings and mother. When there was a fight for claiming territory, a Tyrannosaurus named On-Eye kills his mother and his siblings also die. Speckles eventually meets a female Tarbosaurus Blue-Eye. To survive they found a territory for themselves. Eventually One-Eye tries to usurp this land as well. This time they successfully fled him and regain Speckles’s old family land as well.
Speckles had to run away with his wife and children when there was a volcanic eruption. In this Blue-Eye gets injured and eventually dies. Speckles settled to a kind of fertile land with two of his children. One-Eye again attacks them and eventually kills another child. The fight between Speckles and One-Eye goes on as the third child known as Speckles Junior falls into the ocean. After a long fight Speckles saves his child and One-Eye is eaten up by a pair of Tylosaurus. The story ends with a general tone of optimism, where Speckles lives with his son happily.
Aired on: August 11, 2001
Directed by Joonbum Heo under the Cinepic production, Cubix was aired solely for entertainment for children. But even adults saw the value in it and it was aired in the United States with the title “Robots for Everyone”.
The plot is set in 2044, where a red-eyed boy Connor is fascinated with robots while his father Graham dislikes robots and never supports his son’s interest. But this is about to change as they move to BubbleTown where robots are a common occurrence and there are as many robots as people in the city.
Connor is ecstatic after moving to this town but he is disappointed when he discovers that everyone owns a robot in the city except him. In a chain of events, he meets Hela, a robot mechanic and he wants to join her. But to become an employee in the mechanic shop, Connor needs to prove his worth by fixing a robot within 24 hours.
A robot in the shop goes vogue and leaves the Botties’ Pit leaving the shop in despair. Connor is trapped inside the shop with Cubix and at the end of the day the robot jumpstarts to life.
33. Dalam-iwa Goseumdochi
Aired on: 1977
Also known as Squirrel and Hedgehog, this anime was produced in North Korea and was discontinued in 2013 as the government changed the broadcasting schedule and content.
The story of anime is too relatable for the people of North Korea. It features a squirrel and hedgehog in their teenage years and their sole aim is to fight an evil army to save their Flower Hill from the Weasel empire.
It was one of the most popular shows in North Korea before being sacked. The anime depicts a reality that can be considered too violent for kids. The teens act as undercover spies to get information from the enemy base. Furthermore, the propaganda and violence is too heavy and the show initially targeted the kids.
Aired on: 23 October 2014
Written and directed by Hyemi Park, this is another futuristic anime based in the year 2070. The earth has been destroyed by a series of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and Korea has been hit the worst. Hajin has been an orphan who is escaping jail and from the clutches of human traffickers. She embarks on another adventure out to the sea with pirates in search of precious crystals.
To reach their destination and win their prize, they have to face the ferocious guardians of the volcano. This is where Hajin’s special talent comes into play. She has the ability to talk and summon whales. But we have to watch the movie to figure out whether this power is a blessing or a curse.
Aired on: 19 January 1996
We discussed some futuristic anime, but this one is rather set in a fictional historical setting that dates back to four billion years. The setting is the Andromeda nebula, where the Omega program project was launched and from that project emerged the human race.
But the human race was not the only end result of the product. The program gave birth to a form of evil which can only be destroyed by the Delta boy, who is a part creature and part supercomputer who was responsible for the start of life. His only focus is to stay alive for long enough so that he can save the Earth in the process.