South Korean actor Song Joong-ki couldn’t have asked for more this year. Thanks to “Descendants of the Sun” and its grand success, he gained an international star status and huge fan following. Now, Song Joong-ki is the most-searched “Hallyu” star online and, according to YouTube worldwide search data, the K-drama had reached greater heights than “Gangnam Style” that captivated the world during 2012-13.
Even months after the drama ended, it remains to be a top Korean search term.
After it rewrote local television history earlier this year, the military-romance drama became immensely popular worldwide and was sold to over 30 countries, including the UK. Its lead characters Yoo Si-jin (played by Song Joong-ki) and Kang Mo-yeon (Song Hye-kyo) and their on-screen romance were cherished like never before.
In China, it aired simultaneously with South Korea’s broadcast where it was streamed on iQiyi—2.3 billion times by April.
In Japan, the drama premiered in June on the cable channel BS Sky PerfecTV! and reports claimed that the drama was sold for $100,000 per episode.
A Chinese film adaptation produced by Huace Film & TV and directed by Zhang Yibai is planned.
While most of the Web searches for “Descendants of the Sun” originate from Taiwan, South Korean, Macau, Thailand and Singapore, the drama is also trending as far as the UK, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the US.