The 7 Best Characters In Bulgasal: Immortal Souls


Spoiler Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Bulgasal: Immortal Souls.

Released on December 18, 2021, Netflix’s original series Bulgasal: Immortal Souls has earned praise for its handsome production design, rich Korean history and mythology, and well-drawn characters at the center of the epic historical fantasy. The show centers on two main protagonists, an immortal named Dan and a reincarnated woman named Min, who clash over a 600-year-old curse that threatens their existence.

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With unpredictable character arcs, heroic acts of courage, flashes of empathetic humanity, and more, the most compelling characters in Bulgasal add much-needed pathos to the otherwise violent monster-hunting affair.


Nam Do-Yun

Nam wears a yellow coat in Bulgasal

One of the most fascinating characters in the superb time-travel K-drama is Nam Do-Yun (Kim Wooseok), a supremely gallant young man who finds the monstrous Bulgasal more intriguing than terrifying. As such, Nam follows the beast around like an inquisitive sidekick and often provides the much-needed moments of levity on the show.

As a curious conduit for the audience to get up close and personal with the Bulgasal, Nam’s tragic fate following the car accident comes as an emotional gut punch. The way in which he is suddenly devoured by a monster proves how quickly even the most likable character can come and go on the show.

The Shaman

The shaman wears a dirty robe and hood in Bulgasal

Although she has limited screen time, the Shaman (Myung-Shin Park) makes a major impact on the sublime Netflix original series. As the mystical medicine woman who predicted the Bulgasal curse 600 years prior, the Shaman feels an intrinsic sense of responsibility for the monster’s presence.

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Later, when the Shaman is reincarnated as Hye Suk, she vows to provide Hwal with animal blood as a debt of gratitude for staying alive. With words of wisdom to live by, the Shaman has some of the best quotes on the show, including the time she exhorted the villagers that “unless they untangle their twisted karma, they will continue to be intertwined into each other’s fates.”

Dan Geuk

Dan Geuk expresses concern in Bulgasal

When General Dan Geuk of Goryeo (Jin-Young Jung) is introduced on the stellar Netflix K-drama, he saves young Hwal from a band of villagers out to kill him. Afterward, he names the boy Dan Hwal and proceeds to train him for the next 17 years as a skilled monster hunter. The de facto father figure is stern but loving, with Jung giving one of the most gravid performances in the show.

Aside from shaping Hwal’s life as an avowed monster hunter, Geuk consigns his daughter Dan Sol to marry Hwal against her will, which further tests Hwal’s resolve and leads to his daughter’s unpredictable course of action.

Dan Sol

Dan Sol wears a green and purple kimono in Bulgasal

Largely meant to provide glimpses of Dan’s past as a loving family man and devoted husband, Dan Sol (Gong Seung-Yeon) is Dan’s wife from his former time as a human. However, Sol is largely unhappy, forced to marry against her will and persist in a loveless marriage under the direction of her strict military father.

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Aside from feeling for Sol’s domestic trappings, she reveals a major secret upon giving birth to a baby, which she must protect at all costs due to its sensitive nature. Sol’s heartened switch from an unhappy wife to a loving mother is one of the most delightful aspects of the show.

Ok Eul-Tae

Ok Eul-Tae talks on the phone outdoors in Bulgasal

One of the major dramatic revelations of the binge-worthy historical K-drama comes when Hwal learns he isn’t the only monster left alive. The remaining Bulgasal happens to be Ok Eul-Tae (Joon Lee), a powerful beast that can only be defeated by Dan. However, Ok Eul-Tae cannot kill Min due to her twin sister’s unlikely fate, prompting him to ask Dan for help.

Fortunately, Dan does not take the bait and vows to deliver Min to prison rather than slay her, revealing Eul-Tae to be a master manipulator who may be the one behind the death of Dan’s family in the first place. Arguably the real bad guy, Eul-Tae’s impact is hard to ignore.

Dan Hwal

Hwal wears chains of armor in Bulgasal

In stark opposition to Min-Sang Un, Dan Hwal (Lee Jin-Wook) is the titular male protagonist whose perspective much of the series is seen through. Cursed to be an immortal monster named Bulgasal, a term that derives from Bulgasari and translates as “an imaginary monster” and “impossible to kill” Dan’s dogged quest to reverse the curse by confronting Min in ruthless fashion provides the crux of the excitement and entertainment.

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Sympathy is instantly conjured for Dan when he’s introduced as a cursed infant who is adopted by a military general only to be targeted for death by the general’s men. Later, when he turns into Bulgasal and hunts Min, Dan’s nature completely changes but thanks to the tremendous acting by Jin-Wook, he remains sympathetic throughout. He’s the monster and the hunter, a compelling dynamic rarely seen.

Min Sang-Un

Min smiles indoors in Bulgasal

Min Sang-Un (Kwon Na-Ra) was an immortal soul who reincarnated as a human being, only to foist the curse upon Dan Hwal and spark a vicious vendetta against herself. Yet, through deft writing and rich characterization, Min is just as easy to root for as Dan, which makes their fierce opposition so juicy and dramatic. As such, Min is one of the most badass female leads in any recent K-drama.

As Dan waits for Min to reincarnate, his patience is severely tested when rival demons get the first crack at impugning Min’s corrupted soul. This prolongs their eventual clash and ultimate union and inherently raises the stakes, especially when Min channels her sister’s dying words as sage advice to find the monster once and for all. As the main female protagonist, Min is an extremely well-rounded character with flaws and virtues alike.

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