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Created bySoo Hugh
Based onPachinko
by Min Jin Lee
Directed by
Music byNico Muhly
Opening theme"Let's Live for Today" by The Grass Roots (English ver.) and Leenalchi (Korean ver.)
Country of origin
  • United States[1]
Original languages
  • Korean
  • Japanese
  • English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Soo Hugh
  • Michael Ellenberg
  • Lindsey Springer
  • Theresa Kang-Lowe
  • Richard Middleton
  • Kogonada
  • Justin Chon
  • Brian Sherwin
  • Jordan Murcia
  • Lynne Bespflug
Production locations
  • Simon Brasse
  • Joe Hobeck
  • Erica Freed Marker
  • Susan E. Kim
  • Jacob Craycroft
  • Sabine Hoffman
Running time47–63 minutes
Production companies
  • Blue Marble Pictures
  • A Han.Bok Dream Production
  • Media Res
Original networkApple TV+
Original releaseMarch 25, 2022 (2022-03-25) –

Pachinko is an American drama television series created by Soo Hugh based on the 2017 novel by Min Jin Lee. The series is directed by Kogonada and Justin Chon and stars Youn Yuh-jung, Lee Min-ho, Kim Min-ha, and Jin Ha. It premiered on Apple TV+ on March 25, 2022.[2] In April 2022, the series was renewed for a second season.[3]

It received critical acclaim, particularly for its cinematography, writing, and the performances of the cast, most notably that of Kim Min-ha, Youn Yuh-jung, and Lee Min-ho.






No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [10]Prod.
1"Chapter One"KogonadaSoo HughMarch 25, 2022 (2022-03-25)A0005301001
The narrative begins in 1915 Yeongdo, a small island of the second largest city Busan, in Japanese-occupied Korea with Yangjin, evidently in some anguish, visiting a female shaman's house, where Yangjin recounts that she is married to a kind man with a cleft-lip with whom she has born three sons, none of whom have lived beyond one year, and asks the shaman to "lift the curse" of her childbearing. The narrative jumps to 1989 in New York City, where it follows a young, sharply-dressed Korean-American business man, who we later learn is originally from Japan and is named Solomon, as he attends a performance-review meeting with two of his managers, who inform him that, despite his stellar performance, he has not been selected by executives for a promotion to Vice President, news that prompts Solomon to boldly propose in the meeting that he be sent to Japan in order to close a stalled business deal worth millions of dollars, since he is confident he can cajole a Korean woman who is holding up the deal, in order to secure for himself the promotion and pay raise he covets. Back in 1920s Korea, Yangjin and her husband give birth to Sunja, a daughter, who as a young girl is popular, bright and capable. Sunja's parents—unnamed in the first episode—house male lodgers, at least one of which is a drunken fisherman who, because of anti-Japanese sentiments, is a controversial figure. In 1989, Solomon travels to Japan, where, prior to his business projects, he visits his father's home, where he catches up, seemingly after a long time away, with his grandmother—the elderly Sunja—his father, and a woman who we are meant to infer is his stepmother. In the 1920s, Sunja's father falls ill and dies. Nine years after his death, she is depicted as a regular merchant in a more developed fish market, still popular, bright, and capable, where she locks impassioned eyes with Hansu, a young impeccably-dressed businessman, who evidently has only then become the market's broker.
2"Chapter Two"KogonadaSoo Hugh & Matthew J. McCueMarch 25, 2022 (2022-03-25)A0005301002
In 1930s Yeongdo, tensions between Japanese emigrants and Korean natives evidently remain intense, as Sunja's mother, Yangjin, exhorts the teenage girl not to walk unaccompanied, fearing rumors spread among Korean women about targeted assaults upon them by Japanese men. Sunja, bright and capable, dismisses the exhortation, though is accosted shortly afterward on a solitary walk near the market by a group of young Japanese men, who are within moments of raping her before the dapper and commanding market broker apprehends the men and compels their apology to Sunja. In 1989 Tokyo, Solomon attends a wedding reception of the daughter of a prominent Japanese financier with two colleagues from his multinational corporation based in New York City, Shiffley. Solomon begins to immerse himself in the business culture of the Tokyo offices beneath and beside Tom Andrews and Naomi. Contemporaneously, the elderly Sunja nurses her sister-in-law, Kyunghee, as she reminisces about her past. In the 1930s, Sunja and Hansu become closer, as they share details about their dreams, history, and opinions about the world. Eventually, they make love in the woods at the peak of their romance. In 1989 Japan, Solomon's father, the owner of a pachinko arcade, secures a massive loan to expand his operations, while he and his partner take steps to discover the whereabouts of Hana. Solomon's bid to the Korean woman in pursuit of his business deal is refused, and Hana, who we infer is his childhood friend and/or stepsister, erstwhile missing inexplicably, calls him at work and evidently knows more than is imaginable about his personal and professional life.
3"Chapter Three"KogonadaHansol Jung and Soo HughMarch 25, 2022 (2022-03-25)A0005301003
4"Chapter Four"Justin ChonE. J. Koh and Soo HughApril 1, 2022 (2022-04-01)A0005301004
5"Chapter Five"Justin ChonFranklin Jin Rho and Soo HughApril 8, 2022 (2022-04-08)A0005301005
6"Chapter Six"Justin ChonLauren Yee and Soo HughApril 15, 2022 (2022-04-15)A0005301006
7"Chapter Seven"KogonadaEthan Kuperberg and Soo HughApril 22, 2022 (2022-04-22)A0005301007
In 1923, a young Hansu lives in Yokohama with his single father Jong-yul, who works as a bookkeeper at an underground boxing ring owned by Ryoichi, a yakuza. Hansu earns money tutoring the dim-witted son of the wealthy Holmes family of American industrialists, whose matriarch suggests sending Hansu to Yale alongside their son. Jong-yul is discovered embezzling money from the yakuza, and is about to be executed by Ryoichi's men when the city is suddenly struck by the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, which kills Jong-yul and his would-be executioners. In the aftermath of the earthquake, Hansu finds the bodies of the Holmes family, from whom he takes the pocketwatch he later gifts to Sunja, and encounters Ryoichi, who helps to hide Hansu from a group of vigilantes attacking Koreans. When he finally encounters his family, Ryoichi vows that they will take in Hansu, who still has his "father's debt to pay."
8"Chapter Eight"Justin ChonMfoniso Udofia and Soo HughApril 29, 2022 (2022-04-29)A0005301008


In August 2018, Apple Inc. obtained the rights to the series, which was given a series order in April 2019.[11] The reports also included that Soo Hugh would act as showrunner, writer, and executive producer for the series. The production company, Media Res, would also produce alongside Hugh. In October 2020, Lee Min-ho, Jin Ha, Anna Sawai, Minha Kim, Soji Arai, and Kaho Minami were announced to star, with South Korean filmmaker Kogonada and Justin Chon set to executive producer and direct four episodes each.[12] Soo Hugh said it took six to seven months of worldwide search to cast the main actors and that she had asked all her actors to audition for their roles.[13] Filming was set to commence on October 26, 2020, in South Korea, Japan, and North America.[14] Lee Min-ho said he had finished filming in Busan, South Korea, in December 2020 and that he was preparing to film in Canada.[15] Filming in Vancouver was scheduled to take place between February 6 and April 9, 2021.[16]

The show's opening theme song is "Let's Live for Today" by The Grass Roots. Hugh said she originally thought about selecting "Out of Time" by The Rolling Stones but they were unable to secure the rights to that song. The title sequence was shot several times with different songs until "Let's Live for Today" was added during post-production.[17]

On April 29, 2022, Apple renewed the series for a second season.[3] Filming is scheduled to take place in Toronto from January 9 to March 27, 2023, and in Japan from March 27 to June 16, 2023.[18] Leanne Welham will direct four episodes of the second season.[19]


The series consisting of 8 episodes, produced in three languages, Korean, Japanese, and English premiered on March 25, 2022, on Apple TV+ with 3 episodes. One episode was released every Friday until April 29, 2022.[20][21]


Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the series is "Certified Fresh" and holds an approval rating of 98% based on 57 critic reviews, with an average rating of 9.20/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Intricate yet intimate, Pachinko is a sweeping epic that captures the arc of history as well as the enduring bonds of family."[22] On Metacritic, it has a score of 87 out of 100 based on 29 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[23]

The standalone "Episode 7" starring Lee Min-ho and directed by Kogonada is listed as one of the best TV episodes of 2022 by The New York Times,[24] Rolling Stone[25] and Collider.[26]

Critics' top ten list


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
AAFCA TV Awards Best International Production Pachinko Won [28]
American Film Institute Awards Top 10 Programs of the Year Won [29]
Artios Awards Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Pilot and First Season Drama Series Mary Vernieu, Michelle Wade Byrd, Ko Iwagami, Corinne Clark, Jennifer Page Nominated [30]
Asia Contents Awards Rising Star Award Kim Min-ha Won [31]
Busan International Film Festival Beyond Cinema Award Won [32]
C21 International Drama Awards Best Non-English Language Drama Series Pachinko Won [33]
Clio Music Awards Silver Winner Pachinko "Epic" Won [34]
Bronze Winner Pachinko "Home" Won [35]
Dorian TV Awards Best Non-English Language TV Show Pachinko Nominated [36]
Edinburgh TV Awards Best International Drama Pachinko Won [37]
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Main Title Design Angus Wall, Nadia Tzuo, Florian Hoffmeister, Ante Cheng, Nathaniel Park, Lucy Kim Nominated [38]
Golden Trailer Awards Best Foreign Spot for a TV/Streaming Series Pachinko "Home" Nominated [39]
Best Music for a TV/Streaming Series Pachinko "Home" Nominated
Gotham Independent Film Awards Breakthrough Series – Long Form Pachinko Won [41]
Outstanding Performance in a New Series Kim Min-ha Nominated
Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards Best Streaming Series, Drama Pachinko Nominated [42]
Best International Series Nominated
Best Writing in a Streaming Series, Drama Soo Hugh (for "Chapter One") Nominated
Humanitas Prize Drama Teleplay Won [43]
LMGI Awards Outstanding Locations in a Period Television Series Pachinko Nominated [44]
Rose d'Or Awards Drama Nominated [45]
Satellite Awards Best Miniseries & Limited Series Nominated [46]
Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in Drama Nominated [47]
Outstanding New Program Nominated
Art Directors Guild Awards Excellence in Production Design for a One-Hour Period Single-Camera Series Mara LePere-Schloop (for "Chapter One") Won [48]
British Academy Television Awards Best International Programme Soo Hugh, Michael Ellenberg, Lindsey Springer, Theresa Kang, Richard Middleton, Kogonada Nominated [49]
British Society of Cinematographers Awards Best Cinematography in Television Drama Florian Hoffmeister (for "Chapter Three") Nominated [50]
Critics' Choice Awards Best Foreign Language Series Pachinko Won [51]
Independent Spirit Awards Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series Soji Arai, Jin Ha, In-ji Jeong, Min-ha Kim, Kaho Minami, Lee Min-ho, Noh Sang-hyun, Anna Sawai, Jimmi Simpson and Yuh-jung Youn Won [52]
Peabody Awards Best Entertainment Pachinko Won [53]

See also


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  2. ^ a b c d Del Rosario, Alexandra (January 26, 2022). "'Pachinko': Apple TV+ Unveils Premiere Date, First Images For Drama Based On Min Jin Lee's Novel". Deadline. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Lash, Jolie (April 29, 2022). "'Pachinko' Renewed for Season 2 at Apple TV+". The Wrap. Retrieved April 29, 2022.
  4. ^ Kim So-yeon (August 3, 2021). "[단독] 이민호·윤여정 출연 애플TV '파친코', 신예 윤서호 발탁" [[Exclusive] Apple TV 'Pachinko' starring Lee Min-ho and Yoon Yeo-jeong, new rookie Seo-ho Yoon selected]. Korea Economic Daily (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  5. ^ Jung Ha-eun (July 23, 2021). "[단독]한준우, '파친코' 요셉 役 캐스팅…이민호X윤여정과 호흡" [[Exclusive] Jun-woo Han, cast as Joseph in 'Pachinko'... Breathing with Lee Min-ho X Yoon Yeo-jeong]. Sports Seoul (in Korean). Retrieved July 23, 2021 – via Naver.
  6. ^ Jo, Hyun-na (August 25, 2022). "[WHO ARE YOU] '카터' 배우 정소리" [[WHO ARE YOU] Actor Jung So-ri of 'Carter] (in Korean). Cine21. Retrieved August 28, 2022 – via Naver.
  7. ^ "ELEOS S1 Double Yellow Collated Draft (101)" (PDF). Deadline Hollywood. June 9, 2022. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 9, 2022. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
  8. ^ Jang Jin-ri (April 6, 2022). "파친코' 이지혜, 각본가 수 휴도 극찬한 신스틸러…"립싱크 전혀 안해"" [Pachinko' Lee Ji-hye, scriptwriter Su-Hyu also praised the scene stealer... "I don't lip sync at all] (in Korean). spoTV News. Retrieved April 6, 2022 – via Naver.
  9. ^ Yoo Byung-chul (April 26, 2022). "파친코'에 등장한 정웅인, 이민호와 끈끈한 부자 지간 호흡 맞추며 진한 울림 선사" [Woong-in Jung, who appeared in ‘Pachinko’, and Lee Min-ho and Lee Min-ho are closely related to each other, giving a deep resonance] (in Korean). Korea Economy TV. Retrieved April 26, 2022 – via Naver.
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