I've been disappointed with most Korean dramas even when they start off with different plots and settings, because at the very core of them, they're built with the same skeleton of a plot. As soon as a character walks in, I automatically know if it's going to be the clingy former female love interest or smug bachelor who participates in the nerve-grating, tiring love quadrangle. Even the main couple of a Korean drama won't even capture my interest because the guy is too hung up on his ex-girlfriend or he's just a jackass who knows the right things to say and do to make a girl cry. Either it's him or the girl who's too weak-hearted to defend herself in a mortifying situation.
stagnated was the one that first picked up the series. She was curious about it because Han Ji Min is one of her favorite actresses, and I just let her do her thing while I was reading Mars. However, within the first 10 minutes of the show, I dropped the manga and joined her because I was too distracted by THE EXCELLENCE of it. So hear me out.
Based on the novel "Sad Story of the Capital (경성애사, 京城哀史)" by Lee Sun Mi (이선미), this drama portrays a love story during the 1930s during the independence movement.
Na Yu Kyung (Han Ji Min) is a book store owner and a lobbyist, as she is a purist of Korean culture. Sun Woo Wan (Kang Ji Hwan), the youngest son of a rich and famous family, is involved in the independence movement with his magazine that records scandals and spreads lewd content to the public. Yu Kyung and Woo Wan meet under strange circumstances, which sets both of them under disagreeable terms with one another. Lee Soo Hyun (Ryu Jin) is a Josenjing who rises amongst the ranks of the government; his connection with Woo Wan goes way back into the past as childhood friends. Then there's Cha Song Joo (Han Go Eun), a famous courtesan of the time who is acquainted with Woo Wan and secretly admires Soo Hyun. Through scandal, bets, and mere coincidences, the four become entangled in a great development of romance and suspense.
I totally stole that from Annie's post at d-addicts, but I helped write it anyway.
I didn't include all the characters because it might've gotten long, and I wanted to avoid spoilers, but I'm not sure if I could do that successfully. Forgive me! Have any questions? I'll answer them.
Sun Woo Wan is a playboy. It sounds overdone, and it really is overdone, but I'm not sure what is it about him that I just like. I don't favor his sort of character in any other series because these guys usually go running back to their mothers for favors or know how to weasle their way out of any sort of predicaments. Like other playboys, he has a backstory which involves someone's betrayal and another's death. I do like his reasons for loafing about, and he never gives me a reason to smack the monitor. I do smack the monitor a lot when a loathed character comes into a scene. He's adorable and not entirely pathetic.
Na Yu Kyung is a bookstore owner. Also known as Jo Ma Ja ("The Last Woman of Josun" or something like that), she absolutely refuses to conform to foreign ways. She's prude and sometimes a little preachy. Compared to everyone else, she's so little. Although cute when a little peeved, she actually packs a mean knuckle sandwich when rubbed the wrong way. I usually like characters like her because they always put up a front and live by their convictions.
Cha Song Joo is a famous courtesan. Beautiful and well-known among leading politicians, she has an air of independence about her, but that's not entirely the truth. When she first appeared in the show, I was hesitant about liking her because I feared she would become the possessive and two-faced typical Korean girl that plays a rival interest with the leading male character. Instead, I discovered that she's very warm, and she connects very well with all of the lead characters. I want to say so much more, but the spoilers are stopping me! She's a refreshing character, really.
Lee Su Hyun is a policeman working with the Japanese government. He was close to Woo Wan when they were younger, but due to some events that had no proper explanation, the two were torn apart by loss and deceit. Some plot twists had me feeling indifferent about his character. But he's dark. I can't say why or how, but he's dark. I'm not even sure what I can say about him without spoiling anything. I honestly believe that stagnated favors him the most out of the series, but she hasn't admitted that just yet.
Ueda Sachiko is... Psycho Sa. Almost no one likes her. Well, no one likes her, but she's all sorts of crazy fun. But maybe she's just crazy. I included her just because she might kill me for not doing so.
Ueda Mamoru is whipped. Well, he's the head chief in the police department, but no one actually listens to him. He's short, too.
Yamashita Kouji is sort of mean. But Annie and I call him Guppy because we think it suits his face. He's not exactly important; I just posted about him because I like calling him Guppy!
I can't remember all of their names, but they're part of Woo Wan's posse. Just look at those screencaps. Well, the screencaps don't even do them justice.
Woo Wan and Yu Kyung
These two? Watching them on-screen with their antics sets me in fits of laughter and squeeage. I don't get impatient when they quarrel because they seem to make up right away, and there's a bond of trust between them that I'm fond of. That bond's tested from time to time, but their relationship seems indefatigable.
Su Hyun and Song Joo
I think it's appropriate to label this couple as the more adult pairing. Seeing as I'm not done with the series, I can't say that it's official... yet. Some people mention it, but not a word is uttered around these two when they're in the same room. The UST is so thick in the atmosphere, and their love is absolutely tragic. I say it every time I see them together. You can tell I'm not the best person to watch anything with. I talk to the screen too much.
Sachiko and Mamoru
I included this one for kicks because they're cracktastic. He's whipped. She's psycho. I think they're adorable. ♥
I'm attracted to most of the hairstyles and clothing in this series. I think the producers definitely took advantage of the time period to delve into an amalgam of style, what with the Korean, Japanese, and Western mesh of clothing and hair.
I primarily like to pay attention to Song Joo's hair and clothing because she seems to dress up the most among all the other characters. She's definitely a foil for Yu Kyung's character. While Yu Kyung sticks with her white top and black bottom about 98% of the show, Song Joo never appears in the same outfit, and her sleek appearance is very sultry as opposed to Yu Kyung's very conservative style.
But I honestly don't get why people slip up with the clothes sometimes. Annie and I call this outfit "THE HIGHLIGHTER" because it's so bright and yellow. Yu Kyung's face? Bahaha! Erk.
This is how you handle your drunk friends when they don't shut up!
I want to be Woo Wan's biggest fan. *shot for bad pun*
If you don't watch this series, Yu Kyung is going to make you strip at gunpoint!
I'm sure you can find this series at jdramas, d-addicts, or Clubbox. stagnated got it via Clubbox, but I suck at working the thing. Anyone interested? At all?
Oh, question. Can someone look at this and tell me if the Japanese is backwards? I've been boggled about all the Japanese text ever since the characters started reading the "Shirachi" sign as "Chirashi" in episode one. Then after that episode, the translators changed it to "Jirashi." It seems fine when they read vertically, but horizontally? D: