Eventually there comes a time in everyone’s television watching life where you will run out of shows in your native language. You could go hit up a foreign language course or even simpler you can throw on captions and dive into a whole new collection of stories out there. Dust off your sixth grade reading comprehension certificate and start using that brain to check out these six Asian TV shows worth the subtitles.

“The Future Diary”.

At any time you stop and think to yourself how dark the current scene is just wait a few minutes and it will get darker. A borderline insane tale of the fight by a chosen few to become a god, “The Future Diary” throws a handful of funny moments amongst the ever brutal and immoral choices that pervade the ongoing story line. If you can get past the fact that Yuno is trying to destroy Yuki’s chance for a relationship with another girl, the giant pink bunny costumed antics of Yuno in “Interference” are worth storing in your head for an imaginative prank in the future.

“City Hunter”.

Betrayal, revenge and a dash of romance makes for an Asian action TV show that the price of reading the subtitles won’t even register. “City Hunter” sets a mentor and his kidnapped charge on a righteous path to ensuring that those responsible for the death of the mentor’s old military team, and his young trainee’s mother, do not go unpunished. Episode 9 promotes the idea of using Russian Roulette as the tool of choice for quick interrogations in an excellent scene.

“The Iron Empress”.

“The Iron Empress” is a  historical drama with enough episodes to delve deeply into the motivations of a queen hard set on restoring the might and territory of her family’s rule. Fraught with intrigue and familial tension this Asian TV show is not for those with a short attention span, as the full series should be viewed in order to capture the wide sweeping effects and consequences of the family’s manipulations. In an impassioned argument between grandson and grandmother, the discussion as to whether the Queen has a heart in episode four is a scene bleeding with pain on faces and in words.

Secret Investigation Record”.

Beginning with a ritualized murder and a UFO flyover, “Secret Investigation Record” starts out with an entertaining story and keeps going throughout the series. Mysticism, the supernatural and every day life come under the gaze of an inspector and his assistant in the 17th century as they seek to solve crimes that seem to have otherworldly elements to them. This past version of Mulder and Scully play off each other with great effect starting from their first case together in “The Curse of Silla Gold”.

“Fugitive: Plan B”.

False assumptions, a disgraced investigator and hidden treasure all lead up to a show that has layered lie upon truth over and over again. Solid acting and a show that never forgets the original murder that spawned the wide reaching consequences make “Fugitive: Plan B”: a serious contender for a show well worth any potential eyestrain you suffer. Filled with recriminations and guesswork, episode seven still manages to pull out a punchfest near the end, adding a little speed to the necessary slow pacing.


The ghost in “Possessed” couldn’t care less about helping with making pottery or finding a soul mate for you but really, really loves revenge. The ghost of one twin takes over the body of the remaining twin and starts using her new ability to reach out and kill someone. With tense emotional content exploding all over in episode one, you get a drama that fiercely deals with the effects possession might have on a young woman, which creates an Asian TV show worthy of being understood.