For the last year or so, I’ve become really interested in Korean pop culture and I’ve found the internet to be my primary – almost exclusive – source of this.
Browsing around, I’ve actually discovered an online community of non-Koreans just as facinated with Korean pop culture as I am.
Soompi is a great sourse for eveything Korean: news, music charts, fan clubs, blogs, forums – they got it all. It could be called the “hub” of the non-Korean community onlince. Highly recommended.
One of my personal favorites.
Alvin Lim “Coolsmurf” is the author of blog Coolsmurf Domain. He posts all sorts of entertainment news, drama reviews, episode summaries, etc. He used to have a fabulous YouTube account too, but it was suspended >.< Many people were upset when Coolsmurf when it happened. They even got a petition going! His current YouTube account doesn’t have quite as much – he’s being more careful now. But there’s a still a lot of great stuff on there.
Coolsmurf was especially well known for subbing clips of the “X-man” variety show. Fortunately for us, a fan of his got permission to re-up his X-man videos on YouTube. See them on yupitsback‘s channel.
K-popped! is a quality site maintained by three girls “passionate about korean pop culture.” They’re pretty straight forward: “We’re Malaysian. We’re hooked on all things Korean. We blog here.”
POPSEOUL! is another good blog about Korean entertainment run by several authors. It’s as current as you can get and covers a pretty wide range. They’ve got spunk and attitude, but POPSEOUL! can get a little catty sometimes, and that gets on my nerves…
Dramabeans (also called Javabeans) is another quality blog primarily about Korean dramas, but is a great source for news and interesting discussion. I like this one because it’s not just about the newest celebrity gossip. The author “deconstructs” korean culture – for instance, discussing the phenomenon of the uljjang or modern takes on the traditional Korean hanbok.
Though gomdori has been a part the online non-Korean community for some time, her blog is still pretty new. She’s been subbing for some time – many of her YouTube accounts have been shut down for copyright infringement. Her current YouTube has loads of subbed videos (especially tv shows featuring Super Junior and DBSK… Okay, so I’m biased.) This blog has all of her new subbed products.
gomdori also has another blog – ever newer – which is called gomdori’s everyday news. She selects articles that are interesting or important, translates them and posts them.
Muish is quite the veteran of the online non-Korean community, as well. She’s had multiple YouTube accounts, all suspended. Many people have re-uploaded her videos and you can find them scattered across YouTube. Her current YouTube account is called muishiessi. It’s sort of small at the moment, but I’m sure it will grow larger. I really like the things she chooses to sub – she has good taste.
muish also has a new WordPress blog – Muish’s Ramblings – where she shares how to make subtitles, among other things.
Where to watch Korean dramas:
YouTube always works, of course, but there are some really great sites that cater to drama-lovers in particular.
MySoju is a site made by drama watchers, for drama watchers. They have a long list of dramas, with a link to an outside hosting site for each episode. The nice part about this is, MySoju never gets in trouble for having videos up illegally. The bad part is the links are liable to be broken every once in a while, which can be VERY irritating if you’re in the middle of a drama. But mostly MySoju is pretty good about keeping the links up to date.
Their selection is very wide – loads of Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese dramas & movies. The list grows every week. There is even a new section for Hong Kong and Mainland (Chinese) dramas.
Crunchyroll is a fun site for fans of any Asian media. Unlike MySoju, which started as a Korean drama site, Crunchyroll has EVERYTHING. And, as opposed to MySoju, Crunchyroll actually hosts its own videos. The down side of this is, Crunchyroll is compliant with copyright laws – series are liable to be licensed and removed at any moment. Despite this, Crunchyroll is one of the bests sources for Asian entertainment.