‘Pachinko’ season 2: Everything we know so far

The cast of Pachinko in the poster
(Image credit: Apple)

Based on the bestselling novel by Min Jin Lee, the Apple TV Plus drama "Pachinko" became one of the most acclaimed series on TV in its first season, racking up wins at the Critics Choice Awards, the Independent Spirit Awards and the Peabody Awards, among other prestigious honors, and appearing on multiple critics' best-of lists for 2022. Now, more than two years after the first-season finale, the eight-episode second season of "Pachinko" will premiere this August on Apple TV Plus.

Creator Soo Hugh is set to return, along with the main cast members, to continue the decades-spanning story of the Korean family led by matriarch Kim Sunja (Yuh-Jung Youn). The second season will once again span time periods, locations and languages (in Korean, Japanese and English), continuing the mix of historical epic and intimate family drama.

Here's everything we know so far about "Pachinko" season 2. 

'Pachinko' season 2 release date

After a wait of more than two years, the second season of "Pachinko" is set to premiere August 23 on Apple TV Plus. Unlike the first season, which debuted with three episodes on its first day, the second season of "Pachinko" will premiere just one episode a week, unfolding across eight weeks. New episodes will premiere every Friday from August 23 to October 11. All eight first-season episodes are still available, for anyone who needs to catch up before the new season premieres.

'Pachinko' season 2 cast

The main cast of "Pachinko" is expected to return for season 2, which continues the multi-generational story told in Min Jin Lee's novel. Given the sprawling nature of the story, "Pachinko" features many recurring players across different time periods, including younger and older versions of the main characters, and many of those actors are likely to return for season 2 as well.

Since the first season premiered, stars Lee Minho and Anna Sawai have both seen their profiles increase significantly, Lee thanks to his ongoing K-pop music career and Sawai thanks to her prominent role on hit drama "Shogun." Both will be back for season 2, though, and will presumably continue to balance their responsibilities for future seasons.

The one new addition announced thus far for "Pachinko" season 2 is K-pop star Sungkyu Kim of boy band Infinite, who joins the cast as Kim Changho, a character from the novel who didn't appear in the first season. 

Here's Apple TV Plus' official cast list for the new season.

  • Lee Minho as Koh Hansu
  • Yuh-Jung Youn as Kim Sunja
  • Minha Kim as young adult Kim Sunja
  • Anna Sawai as Naomi
  • Jin Ha as Solomon Baek
  • Eunchae Jung as Kyunghee 
  • Soji Arai as Baek Mozasu
  • Junwoo Han as Baek Yoseb
  • Sungkyu Kim as Kim Changho

'Pachinko' season 2 plot

There's still plenty of Min Jin Lee's novel left to adapt in the second season of "Pachinko," and series creator Soo Hugh has said that she envisions four seasons in order to tell the full story. Given the uncertain nature of streaming series, Hugh opted to add an epilogue to the end of the first season, featuring interviews with real-life Korean immigrants to Japan, just like the series' main characters. That doesn't mean that the story of Kim Sunja and her descendants is over, though.

One of the major elements of season 2 will be Sunja's experience during World War II, after she's moved to Japan from Korea and started selling kimchi at a local market. "It's about the story of her, continued from Season 1," Hugh told Deadline. "Even heavier, but still, there's joy."

Sunja's grandson Solomon Baek (Jin Ha) will also have a prominent arc in the new season, as he deals with his new partnership with a Japanese businessman. "With Solomon, I just want people to understand like we're watching a human being in formation," Hugh told IndieWire. "Season 1, he's just clay. His storyline is meant to move at a slow-moving pace, because it takes place over one year. But it's divided into four seasons. Sunja has the luxury of just going through time like a rocket. With Solomon, we're going to get a final form at the end of the series with him."

Those two characters are just part of the elaborate narrative tapestry of "Pachinko," which is likely to get even more complex in season 2. "Not only do we cross-cut time, we have to actually know everything that happened in between because it affected the present day," Hugh told IndieWire. "We realized in the writers room, we're not just breaking one season, we're breaking 80 years." Storylines from that entire 80-year period will continue to play out in the second season.

Josh Bell

Josh Bell is a freelance writer and movie/TV critic based in Las Vegas. He's the former film editor of Las Vegas Weekly and has written about movies and TV for Vulture, Inverse, CBR, Crooked Marquee and more. With comedian Jason Harris, he co-hosts the podcast Awesome Movie Year.