Move through Fantasy and Reality while watching Asian Drama!
Description: A drama based on the 1930s about a hero named Lee Kang To (Joo Won) who was skilled at martial arts, fighting against the Japanese during the Japanese colonial era. He also known as ?Gaksital? because he always wears a mask to hide his face. ?Gaksital? is one of those traditional play masks specifically the rosy-cheeked one reserved for the bride. Lee Kang To appears to be outwardly dim, but he?s actually active in the independence movement against the Japanese imperialist regime during one of the darkest periods of Korea?s history.
The Beauty of Imperfection.
From the start of this series, I was already so touched by Kang To’s family situation that I wanted to cry. What is really interesting and well made about the series is not the general plot but rather the individual characters, their feelings, and their stories.
For instance, take Kang To, the main character and hero of the series. The beginning confused me because, to be honest, Kang To looked more like the "bad guy" of the whole show who’d hit a girl and treat her badly, not to mention the fact that he was a part of those "hateful" soldiers who couldn’t care less about the citizens. But then as the series progresses, you’d realize that Kang To isn’t exactly a bad guy, yet he isn’t exactly the perfect hero either. He is a developing character who slowly chooses the path of righteousness as he learns more about the world and meet new people. Kang To is somewhat hateful, he enjoys his comfort and wants to live in comfort. However, we’d understand him as the series progress, we’d know that he doesn’t want to be the bad guy, he’s just often misjudged and he doesn’t have the strength to stand up for his beliefs. He isn’t super hero perfect, but his character is a powerful and growing one.
The main girl of the story, Mok Dan, isn’t your typical innocent, overly feminine character either. Although she keeps her femininity, she is as strong as she can be. Not only does is she pretty strong on the outside, allowing her to fight back longer than would a normal female lead, but she is very strong-willed as well. Of course, the series still follow some of the typical gender expectations of our society as Mok Dan still generally needs to be saved by someone or something, I think it was for the best since women nowadays are portrayed in either the weak or strong extremes.
To top it of, the male and female leads are nearly polar opposites. It is already interesting enough just to see them together.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the overall plot is bad, but I feel that it’s the characters that make this series special not really the plot since the whole "super hero" thing is kind of old. To me, it’s the characters that makes the "hero" aspect more imperfect, vulnerable, and at the same time, realistic.
I definitely recommend a try for this series..