Best Apps to Watch Asian Dramas

None can deny the importance of mobile apps in our current community; people don't always watch dramas on their PCs or laptops anymore. Asian dramas are popular amongst youngsters starting the age 14 and above, and that's the same age demographic for the majority of app user. Korean dramas, Chinese dramas, Japanese dramas, and Thai dramas are particularly popular amongst the international audience. Therefore, as a guide for newbies and experts together, this article will gather as many of the popular apps to watch Asian dramas as possible. 

1. Best Apps to Watch Korean Dramas

While most Korean Drama apps also stream Chinese and Japanese dramas, it is still essential to divide the apps as there are popular apps specifically for each genre. For Korean dramas, popular choices include Viki, OnDemandKorea, Netflix, Kocowa, and Viu. Most of these apps are available on both the App Store and Google Play Store. 

1. Netflix 

This infamous online streaming platform recently added hundreds of Korean dramas to their portfolios. It seems like after the BTS craze, Netflix managers finally recognized the importance of Korean dramas as the company is heavily participating in buying, producing and participating in Korean dramas and variety shows now. Netflix even started a youtube channel only to market its Korean content and connect with the fans. Even gave fans a name following the popular branding strategy of Korean agencies. Fans name is Swoonies, and Channel name is The Swoon. If you are a Korean Drama fan with access to Netflix, download the app from the App Store or the Play Store. Don't forget to check out Netflix Party, through which you can watch with friends from all over the world. If your country is still under lockdown because of COVID-19, a party is what you need to refresh. 

2. Viki 


Viki is a free app to watch Asian Dramas. As long as you are willing to watch a couple of advertisements here and there, you can use Viki for as long as you want, or if you hate advertisements, you could pay for a premium account. Not all the content is available all over the world, even with a premium account. Still, Throughout recent years more and more of the Korean and Chinese content became available almost everywhere. Viki is available on the App Store for iPhone and Google Play Store for Android. If you would like to watch dramas with others also, Viki has a Watch Party feature only available in the united states. It is a bit different from Netflix, though, as you can not choose what to watch. Viki uses its content to set an airing schedule for certain dramas, and you can enter the party whenever your show is on. You will find yourself in a chatroom with people who are immersed in the same show you love. In a way, if most of your friends do not love Asian dramas, watching on Viki is definitely better than Netflix. Try out Viki Learning Mode if you are interested in learning Korean, it could really help you!

3. OnDemandKorea 


With channel partners like KBS, MBC, and SBS, OnDemandKorean has a large library of free and paid content. It is only available in North/South America, so, unfortunately, you can not view the content unless you live in North or South America. Very few content is subbed as well, so that is another huge issue for this application. You could search for your favourite show and find it only to discover that it is unsubbed. They mentioned that they would increase their subbed content soon, but until then, you are stuck with few choices.

4. Kocowa


Another North and South American exclusive app for Korean TV shows, this app was created by the top TV channels in Korea to help viewers enjoy quality subtitles within 24 hours of the airing date of the drama. The "Taste24hr" feature where you can watch the latest episodes of dramas immediately after airing is the best feature in this app. Subscriptions come with a 30 days free trial for this app, and the company also features exclusive dramas produced by Kocowa. 

5. Viu 


A popular amongst drama lovers all over the world, this platform offers all types of Asian dramas even Indonesian and Hindi dramas for those who are in love with them. As a fan of Bollywood, Korean variety shows, Kdramas and unique series from all over the world, watching things for free on Viu was always a pleasure. Most of the content is free to watch, and the adds are way less than other competitors like Viki, subs might not be available in your language though so that might be a problem for some. Also, Viu offers different content based on where you are so you might be surprised by how different the content is if you travel from one country to another. Viu also has Viu originals all over the world, although most of them are not Korean. 

2. Best Apps to Watch Chinese Dramas 

Youtube is probably the best place to find subbed Chinese dramas. Many companies have official Youtube Channels where they upload their shows. For a list of legal youtube channels to watch dramas check out my previous blog "8 Legal Youtube Channels to Watch Asian Dramas". Other than Youtube, previously mentioned apps like Viki, Netflix and even apps like Hulu have Chinese content for their users. Still, Chinese only content is found subbed in very few apps as follows: 

1. Mango TV

Mango TV
This is one of two major Chinese apps for international users. Mango TV offers subbed dramas, variety shows, and original content as well. It requires a paid subscription and apparently, not all the content is subbed so you might end up paying and not watching one of your dramas because it is not subbed. Mango min-originals are one of the main reasons people subscribe to this app as many of them are very fun to watch and funny. 

2. Hotpot TV

Hotpot TV
Hotpot started fairly recently. However, it did more than any other app in terms of grabbing the attention of international watchers. All the content is free with few advertisements; however, unlike the website, the app is restricted to certain countries. Hotpot TV website is not restricted to certain countries or anything, so you might need to check the site if this one is restricted on your phone. Almost all the content is English subbed, including Taiwanese dramas as well and they do take requests if you wish to watch a certain drama on their websites.

3. Best Apps to Watch Japanese Dramas

Unfortunately, Japan is very late to the game when it comes to marketing their dramas. Although they are very popular online, Japanese dramas are very hard to find legally because somehow companies in Japan are still unable to comprehend how beneficial it is to spread your culture and artistic works. In terms of Japanese drama, Viki and Netflix are the main sources of Japanese dramas for international fans. There is only one more source for very few dramas afterwards, and that is Crunchyroll. 

1. Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll, where many animes are daily uploaded, has a library of less than 20 Jdramas that you can watch alongside your daily dose of anime. It is not a lot; however, as anime is more popular internationally, I think we should be grateful we at least have few dramas to check out here. 

Don't forget to comment if you know more apps than the previously mentioned ones. 


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