K-Drama Reaction: Hwayugi | Episode 2

Is this the start of Jin Sun-mi’s fairytale?

Not a Fairy-godmother

Lucifer Entertainment CEO Woo Ma-wang (Cha Seung-won) is not the fairy-godmother Jin Sun-mi (Oh Yeon-seo) needed. For starters, Ma-wang also has the urged to eat Sam Jang just like other monsters who smell her lotus scent. Nonetheless, Ma-wang still tried to help our newest heroine in her mission to remember Son Oh-gong’s (Lee Seunggi) name. He’s not doing it for charity though as it was apparent he has ulterior motive to get rid of the infuriating Monkey King. I’m guessing there is more on Ma-wang and Oh-gong’s history than just the latter being an irritating housemate.

Not a Damsel-in-Distress

K-drama female leads can be classified into two: TSTL and kick-ass heroines. The former drives me crazy while I have a mixed opinion for the latter as they sometimes become too stubborn to handle. I can’t place yet what category Sun-mi falls into but I like how she can be independent yet honest with her dreams of companionship. Her faux request to Oh-gong to go on a Christmas Eve escapade showed the vulnerability of someone who lived alone for a long time. Although Sun-mi used it to give a magical gold bracelet that she and Ma-wang bought from a General Store where mythical creatures frequently go. The gold bracelet would apparently tie Oh-gong up to Sun-mi and it will cause heart pains (the literal kind) if Oh-gong tried to break their contract to protect her. Now, you probably argue that Sun-mi needing Oh-gong’s help would count her a damsel-in-distress. I beg to disagree. It was just her being honest that she can’t fight all those monsters alone. Sun-mi’s honesty about what she is not capable of actually drew me to her. I like how she is capable of standing on her own but also know when she needs some so-called rescuing.

Not a Prince

I’m glad K-drama writers are starting to create male leads that are far from the usual chaebol and bordering-to-tacky heroes. Although some cliche moves can still sweep me off my feet, refreshing characters are so welcome. That is why I really love Oh-gong and Sun-mi’s relationship bond by this magical contract. We probably know where they will go but these first two episodes excite me for their journey. For now, their need for each other is superficial and comes from their need to survive. Oh-gong and Sun-mi may not be your typical prince and princess in a fairytale but their story is still worth following.

Maknae’s Episode Verdict

The main set-up has become clearer in this episode and it proves the drama is really shifting away from conventional characters. It perfectly balances lighthearted and hilarious scenes to poignant moments like when Sun-mi told Oh-gong she still wanted to live despite her gloomy situation.

I was ‘on-leave’ from K-drama world when the editing snafu happened but as a casual viewer with no qualms about CGI techniques whatsoever, Hwayugi’s cinematography and directing seems on par with that of Goblin. I can see why people keep on comparing this new series to the 2016 tvN hit. Aside from that though, I can’t see any similarities. Let’s see if Hwayugi continues to live up to expectations!

Afterthoughts of a Dongsaeng

– Lee Hong-ki finally made a proper appearance!

– I’m really digging this subtle couple!

<< K-Drama Reaction: Hwayugi | Episode 1
<< First Impressions: Just Between Lovers, Hwayugi

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