Legend of the Blue Sea Korean Drama Review


Legend of the Blue Sea tells the story of a mermaid (Jun Ji Hyun) who goes to Seoul to find the human man (Lee Min Ho) she loves.  As she tries to adjust to life on land, the two begin a romantic relationship.

Legend of the Blue Sea was a fantastic drama! It’s a beautiful love story with that twist of fantasy. Romance, humor, and drama along with a gorgeous couple that have many obstacles to overcome on their journey to happiness makes this a wonderful drama.



The drama follows two story lines, one in the modern time and one in the Joseon era. We flash back to the historical portion to learn the back story of our characters. In the past, the love story of the human, Dam Ryung, and the mermaid, Se Hwa, unfolds bit by bit throughout the drama. The main story is set in the present where their modern day selves reunite and begin their romance again.


Jun Ji Hyun plays our mermaid Sim Chung. Sim Chung has a fun innocence to her. Adjusting to life on land is quite hilarious with everything being so new and strange. Jun Ji Hyun was very funny in her portrayal of Sim Chung. I also really enjoyed Sim Chung’s dedication and love for Heo Joon. She loves him plain and simple.

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I did have a couple minor issues though. Sometimes I felt like Jun Ji Hyun was trying too hard to be funny which pulled me out of the drama. This wasn’t all of the time though. The other thing was that Sim Chung as a character has such an innocence to her whereas Jun Ji Hyun has a more mature presence as a whole. She just didn’t seem to completely fit that.

But again, these were minor issues. And as the drama progresses, her character matures and becomes more serious which I felt was a better fit. So I ended up really enjoying her character as a whole.


We then have Lee Min Ho as the conman Heo Joon Jae. And I really loved him in this role! Lee Min Ho just has this presence and charisma that makes him shine in dramas. I particularly liked him as Joon Jae since he got show many different sides of himself. He’s very lively and it was so much fun watching him reluctantly fall in love with Sim Chung.

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He also gets plenty of opportunities to show off his dramatic side. In the past, he is full of intensity. In the present, he starts off as a somewhat immature, but kindhearted conman. He made me smile so much with his funny expressions and lively personality.

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But then he completely drew me in with his emotional portrayal of Joon Jae. Joon Jae faces so many difficult and heartbreaking moments. My heart just went out to him. And Lee Min Ho always has this ability to pull me into his character’s feelings to such a deep degree. I was impressed yet again with this role.

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We have Joon Jae’s fellow conman friends Nam Doo (Lee Hee Joon) and Tae Oh (Shin Won Ho). Nam Doo loves money and is always on the lookout for his next big scam. Tae Oh is the quiet one with a talent for all things technology related. He also sports an adorable pouty face.


Lee Ji Hoon plays Joon Jae’s stepbrother Chi Hyun. He’s been at odds with Joon Jae from the beginning, and he’s an interesting character on many levels. I was very pleased with Lee Ji Hoon’s portrayal of him.


Shi Ah (Shin Hye Sun) is the other woman in Joon Jae’s life. She’s been a good friend for a long time, but she wants to be more. Luckily, this is a case where our main lead has zero interest in that sort of thing.

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Of course, we have our villains to cause trouble for our lovers. Joon Jae’s stepmother (Hwang Shin Hye) is a force to be reckoned with as is Dae Young (Sung Dong Il) who causes problems for our lovers in both the past and the present.

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I really adored the historical portion of the drama. Even though it only got about 10 minutes per episode, the story felt so rich and full. The romance was also very tangible between Dam Ryung and Se Hwa.


I loved Dam Ryung’s passion for Se Hwa. The world always seemed to be against them, and he would stop at nothing to protect her from those who wanted to harm her. Their love story was beautifully tragic with a richness and fullness that had me glued to the screen. I was completely swept up in their romance.


Luckily, their beautiful love story continues in the present. I loved Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun as a couple. They are what make this drama shine. I adored all of their interactions from Joon Jae’s humorous reactions to Chung, his falling for her, and the lovely romance between the two.

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What starts as a more humorous relationship blossoms into a dedicated love. I greatly enjoyed watching Joon Jae fall deeper and deeper in love with Chung. Then as their modern day lives begin to parallel their past lives, the stakes get higher between the two, including their devotion to each other.

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This couple just made me happy on so many levels. There’s just something about a fated love story such as theirs that hits all the right spots. They are definitely everything I love in a romance drama.


In the first half of the drama, I personally found most of the other parts of the drama to be on the mediocre side. Nothing bad, just not very engaging. I was also pretty neutral towards all of the other characters. The main plot is also pretty slow to get going. Luckily, I enjoyed the developing romance so much that this didn’t really bother me.

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But things greatly improve on all fronts in the second half. The plot thickens with the stakes being raised and secrets coming out. I also warmed up to several of the supporting characters which made me more interested in their story lines. The romance also deepens during this time period. All of this comes together to deliver a lot of drama and tension that I just loved.


Legend of the Blue Sea pulled me in with the romance and set it up beautifully. That was enough to carry me through some of the slower parts. Then the drama just gets better and better with every aspect of it improving along the way.

Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun made such a beautiful couple, and I completely enjoyed their past and present love stories that was filled with laughter, heartache, and romance. Legend of the Blue Sea is simply a beautiful love story.

My Rating: 8.5/10

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About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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17 Responses to Legend of the Blue Sea Korean Drama Review

  1. Joyce Brand says:

    Thanks so much for this review. My very first kdrama, “the first time I was kissed by a kdrama,” was City Hunter. I have never loved Lee Min Ho quite as much in any of his other dramas, even Boys Over Flowers. This may be the one to reawaken my love for Lee Min Ho.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      You’re very welcome 🙂 City Hunter was my second drama, so it definitely sold me on Lee Min Ho. His character is just so intense and cool in City Hunter that I think it’s hard to rival. I did love him in Boys Over Flowers too. Apparently, I’m also an oddity in that I also loved him in The Heirs.

      But there is a lot to love about his role in Legend of the Blue Sea. He is quite funny and really gets to show that side of him in this one. But then he also does what he does best by delivering an intense and passionate performance that is just perfect for a swoon-worthy romance drama. The drama’s not perfect, but I sure did love Lee Min Ho in it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. raistlin0903 says:

    This one is still on my to watch list..correction novel, and I have read some great things about it from other reviews as well. Interesting thst it plays out in both the present and the past, which is a thing I liked about Goblin as well 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I think it has been pretty well received overall. And yes! I have to say I’m loving the dual timeline and reincarnation concept that seems to be popping up more lately. It makes the love story feel very big and fated 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. Fred says:

    Trivia: Did you know that Jun Ji Hyun was the first pick for the role of Mi Ho in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho? She turned it down. Shin Min Ah got the role instead.

    While watching Legend of the Blue Sea, I had this trivia at the back of my mind. I asked myself ‘What if Jun Ji Hyun took the role of Mi Ho instead?’. Would it still be my favorite? The answer: maybe not, though it would still be in my Top Ten.

    After watching Episode 1 of Legend of the Blue Sea, I realized that Shin Min Ah was really the perfect one for the role – both of My Girlfriend is A Gumiho and Legend of the Blue Sea.

    I’m not saying that Jun Ji Hyun was not okay. Only that Shin Min Ah, with her lovable smile and dimples (LOL), is better. Although I watched only a few movies, my favorite one is My Sassy Girl (starring Jun Ji Hyun). She was perfect for the role. I re-watched that movie probably around 5 times already.

    But for the role of the cute, innocent, give-everything-up-for-love mythical creature coming to the human world? That is only Shin Min Ah. Hahaha.

    Anyways, overall Legend of the Blue Sea was a good drama. The story line was good. It was not predictable and there was enough suspense to make me watch til the end. I just did not feel as much emotions as I did in My GIrlfriend is A Gumiho, City Hunter, or Pinnochio. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I actually do recall reading that Jun Ji Hyun was originally offered the role. And we think alike because I actually thought about that while watching Legend of the Blue Sea too! And you’ve pretty much summed up my thoughts on the idea 🙂

      I also truly believe that Shin Min Ah was simply made for the role of Mi Ho. I’ve thought about a few actresses here and there if they had been in the role, and while I think I still would have loved the drama, Shin Min Ah was such a key component in making it my favorite drama. She embodies the character and has such a cute and romantic chemistry with Lee Seung Gi. That pair moved me like no other drama couple!

      And she would have been wonderful in Legend of the Blue Sea too. I liked Jun Ji Hyun in the role, but I don’t think she quite had that playful innocence that just pulls you in. I preferred her when she was more serious as the drama progressed. Like you, I still really loved Legend of the Blue Sea though. Not like Gumiho, but that’s pretty much impossible, lol 🙂


      • Fred says:

        I guess it’s now time for me to re-watch My Girlfriend is A Gumiho. I just cannot anymore take Cha Dae Wong’s Director seriously because he was so evil in Legend of the Blue Sea haha. I am really hoping that Shin Min Ah will have another amazing drama that can rival My Girlfriend is a Gumiho. I think Tomorrow With You was the second best drama of Shin Min Ah but it just couldn’t quite measure up to Gumiho.

        The role of Jun Ji Hyun I am excited about is My Love From The Star. I haven’t watched it yet but judging from the trailers I think that strong, independent woman is the right fit for her. Might watch it after re-watching Gumiho. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          Now that sounds like a good plan! It’s always a good time to re-watch My Girlfriend is a Gumiho 🙂 And it will definitely help with Director Ban, lol. I too want to see Shin Min Ah in a role to rival Gumiho. I also think Tomorrow With You was her second best role. Not quite to Gumiho level, but she did have a lot of that signature charm and fun.

          My Love from Another Star was a fun drama. Most people thought that Jun Ji Hyun was made for her role in it, and I think I would agree. I think it suited her comedic side perfectly and she really got into it. Plus she was still a very strong woman. It was a great fit for her 🙂


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  6. Hannah says:

    Wow this story is very beautiful I really loved it and it was so awesome

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Just started watching this one. It’s one of the very few Kdramas that got me hooked within the first few minutes of the show.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is one of the very few Kdramas that got me hooked with the first episode.
    Jun Ji Hyunwas is very good as the mermaid. As her character lost some of her naivety as we get into later episodes she loses a little bit of that charm. The flash backs were done well. Supporting cast was good. Hwang Shin Hye and Lee Ji Hoon were the type of villains you love to hate. On the down side this show has that dreaded Kdrama disease: the long separation. SPOILER While the ending was a happy one it was too short and seemed rushed. This is a show well worth watching.

    Rating: 8/10

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      This one hooked me right away too 🙂 Great first episode! And yes, Jun Ji Hyun was fantastic and so charming here. Lots of fun! Great story and cast all around. Aside from the separation and quick ending, it was at least very happy. Such a good drama. I’m glad you enjoyed it too 🙂


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