13 detective dramas from Asia that will keep you guessing until the end
While must of us love romantic comedies, there's nothing like a thrilling detective drama to really pull you in and have you on the edge of your seat! If you're in the mood for some mystery, these 13 Asian dramas will keep you guessing until the very end.
Wang Kai (Nirvana in Fire) and Wang Zi Wen (Aftershock) star in a romantic thriller that shows crime doesn’t take time off for love. Ji Bai (Wang Kai) is a well-respected detective. Xu Xu (Wang Zi Wen) is a new criminal profiler. Together, they seem like an awkward teacher-student pairing. But in reality, they are actually one of the most competent duos in the Major Crimes Team, solving one case after another. In the time they spend together, Ji Bai begins to fall in love with the rookie under his wing. Unfortunately, when it comes to matters of the heart, the usually brilliant Xu Xu is slow as a snail. But just when it looks like Xu Xu is finally beginning to care for Ji Bai the way he cares for her, a notorious and dangerous criminal dubbed the “Angel’s Killer” reappears after a long period of dormancy. Can the star duo decide exactly where they are in their relationship and catch the dangerous criminal, or will the Angel’s Killer be crossing these two Cupids off his list?
Inspired by a real series of grisly rapes and murders from 1986-1991, detectives from the past and present tap into a mysterious walkie talkie signal that allows them to work together across time. With hindsight and foresight on their side, can these detectives catch the depraved culprit, or are 10 women—including a 71-year-old grandmother and 13-year-old girl—forever lost?
Min Tae Yeon isn't your typical vampire or your typical prosecutor. Rather than drinking blood from innocent strangers, he opts for blood sold on the black market in the posh bars of Seoul. He also has the uncanny ability to tell where the victims of his cases died—and how they died—based on their blood's smell and taste. The only person who knows of his secret ability is Detective Hwang Soon Bum. They end up working together in a new joint department between police and prosecutors solving murder cases. They are joined by rookie prosecutor Yoo Jung In, and intern Cho Dong Man. Together, they solve murder cases, and Tae Yeon must use his "powers" to find leads on seemingly unsolvable cases. The one mystery he can't solve is this: who was the vampire serial killer that made him who he is?
Lee Seung Gi stars in this police comedy as a rookie detective with a genius IQ who ends up butting heads with the hot-tempered team leader of the crime squad, played by Cha Seung Won (Greatest Love). Go Ah Ra and Ahn Jae Hyun (My Love From Another Star) also star as fellow rookie detectives in this police station in Gangnam, Seoul.
5. Tokyo DOGS
New York City and Japan unite when So Takakura (Shun Oguri), an elite NYPD police officer, swears to catch his father's killer. After the coolheaded cop is sent to Tokyo to conduct a joint investigation with bad boy detective Maruo Kudo (Hiro Mizushima), Takakura discovers his most challenging case: his new partner. But when an amnesic woman surfaces with ties to the murderer of Takakura's father, both detectives spiral into a mystery where everything is personal.
6. Crime Squad
Crime Squad is a reunion of sorts for Song Il Kuk (A Man Called God) and Song Ji Hyo (Goong), as the Jumong stars once again team up—this time in a very different kind of drama. Detective Park Se Hyuk, a man still tortured by the death of his daughter, meets Jo Min Joo, an aspiring reporter off to a rough start in the journalism field. As the gruff detective works hard to conquer his case load at work, he's also got his own personal issues to solve, involving a dark history with the new precinct captain Jung Il Do that just may strain their working relationship. A police procedural and office drama filled with action and intriguing characters, Crime Squad is an engaging and emotional crime drama.
Prolific actor-turned-rapper stud So Ji Sub plays Kim Woo Hyun, the only son of a prominent officer. Determined to make his own mark, he breezes through police academy, racking up accolades, top of the class honors, a lot of praise and perhaps a few green eyes along the way. Assigned to the cyber investigations unit, Detective Kim finds himself entrenched in an intense cat and mouse game. But who do you chase when all your enemies are faceless? This hot roster, including Lee Yeon Hee (Paradise Farm), Daniel Choi (Baby Faced Beauty), and Uhm Ki Joon (Scent of a Woman), embarks on a cyber espionage thriller that’ll keep you guessing at every turn.
Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's scientific task force has its fair share of oddballs, but senior analyst — and senior weirdo — Akagi Samon (Fujiwara Tatsuya) takes the cake. Luckily, he works just fine behind the scenes, until he's forced to lead an investigation on a grisly high-profile murder. When Detective Yurine Tomohisa (Okada Masaki) is assigned to the case, he's not only got to solve the crime, but is also challenged with managing Akagi and his team of eccentrics.
The heat is on in Investigation 5, an undercover police unit specializing in thwarting violent crimes. Led by Superintendent Jang Moon Won (Park Sung Woong), this team of young and elite officers, including Cha Gun Woo (Kim Bum), Jang Min Joo (Yoon So Yi), and Choi Tae Pyung (Lee Won Jong), assume new identities and infiltrate dangerous crime syndicates. With only their wits and poker faces at their disposal, can the team complete their missions without blowing their covers in hostile territory?
10. Who Are You?
Detective Yang Si Ohn (So Yi Hyun) awakens from a six-year coma and discovers she now has the eerie ability to see and interact with spirits. She’s paired with Cha Gun Woo (Ok Taecyeon), a cop who believes only in cold facts and solid evidence. As the two begrudgingly work with one another, they develop a knack for solving cases involving supernaturally charged objects in the lost and found center — and eventually develop a lot of romantic tension. Just when things start to make sense, a paranormal love triangle emerges when Si Ohn’s dead boyfriend, former elite officer Lee Hyung Joon (Kim Jae Wook), appears as a spirit...
At Professor Kita’s suggestion, student Moe Nishinosono (Takei Emi) and Associate Professor Sohei Saikawa (Ayano Guo) head to Professor Kita’s research institute where experiments are being conducted in a low temperature research room. In the middle of an experiment, the murder of two graduate students occurs, but how did the killer enter and leave the closed research room? Moe Nishinosono becomes determined to solve the mystery and lures Sohei Saikawa to help her case. Thereafter, the two become a powerful detective force solving murders across Japan.
Rookie detective Natsuki Sahara joins the Ginza Police Station as the top student from his class, and finds himself face-to-face with his father Akimura Shimao, a top detective in the same station who left Sahara when he was just a child. Will father and son be able to set aside their bitter past – and different personalities when it comes to dating – and work together?
13. The Devil
A string of murders brings together a conflicted detective, a psychic librarian, and a mysterious prosecutor with dubious motives in this action thriller starring Uhm Tae Woong, Joo Ji Hoon, and Shin Min Ah (My Girlfriend is a Gumiho). Detective Kang Oh Soo is assigned to two seemingly unrelated murder cases, where the only clues left behind are tarot cards. He is lead to Seo Hae In, a quiet librarian who has the ability to make a psychic connection to an object to discover its history. She reveals to him that the victims were connected to the death of a high school boy years ago. The one common link between the suspects is their defense attorney, Oh Seung Ha, a young lawyer with questionable motives. Find out how everything is more connected than you think in this suspenseful thriller.
Which of these detective dramas do you find the most thrilling? Which ones are you adding to your queue? Comment below!