Lost in Fiction-land

This won’t do. !@#$. What’s with this blogging block one is currently in: unable to string words into coherent sentences; dreading the publish button so much that one is stuck forever drafting. So one looked up last year’s first post for inspiration, which was about a korean drama. Yet that line of thought goes nowhere since one has been in a state of dissatisfaction with kdramas after “Signal” ended in march 2016, which needs a separate post.

One needs to re-calibrate one’s expectation and keep in mind that “Signal” is the exception to Kdrama laws. This re-calibration will probably take years, judging from previous “Misaeng” effect. Or until both dramas’ director, Kim Won-Seok, comes with a new one.

This really won’t do. Yet one insists on conjuring something to post that one shall just do this the haphazard way then…

*cue for Bob James and Nathan East’s “Turbulence”*

The Thief of Wind Dust
Kichō, Thief of the Wind Dust (Enigmatic Gale), Rin Setsu A

One of the most interesting characters one encountered last year is the mysterious and mischievous mastermind, master manipulator and trickster Thief of the Wind Dust of “Thunderbolt Fantasy”: Rin Setsu A. His people-tinkering is ethically questionable yet somewhat refreshing, his idea of amusement is thrilling, his putting down Bones of Creation is ultimately satisfying, and his non-breakdown outbursts afterwards are particularly hilarious.

“I don’t believe in removing evil of this world. It’s far more fulfilling to make a mockery of those who embody it.”

Rin Setsu A, Thief of the Wind Dust

He must have stuck inside one’s head that, for weeks now, another character one has crafted with similar ideas has been in protest against one rewriting him. Again.

“Don’t you dare make me don such weird clothes and head gear and even weirder hairdo!”

Hah! Yours aren’t exactly normal either! One taunts.

“Stick to the 21st century setting and sensibilities! State-of-the-art gadgetry! Not a magic smoking-pipe!”

To that, one could only bow in submission.

Kim Ji-Dwi, Sam Maek Jong, King Jin-Heung
Kim Ji-Dwi, Sam Maek Jong, King Jin-Heung

However, one must have still kept the Thief in mind when one caught early episodes of “Hwarang” a few weeks ago. As soon as Sam Maek Jong (Park Hyeong-Sik), aka the young King Jin-Heung (a real historical figure) in hiding, graced the screen, one was struck by the vibe and couldn’t stop thinking, ‘Kichō?!’

Both have too many aliases. Both live in shadows and hide their identity—due to necessity for one and by choice for another. Both are cloaked in mysteries. One sort of understands how one would immediately link the two characters.

There’s no doubt that garbs and hairdos heavily influence such association. But a stronger and visible link would be the voice. Just like the japanese voice over, the actor’s voice has warmer tone that can convey mischief and playfulness as well as heft and depth. One can easily see (and hear) the scenes in which the Thief visits Lady Kei Gai’s forest, cajoling while subtly threatening her to help him and exchanging pleasantries while burning down the site. Hahaha.

Yup. At the moment, one would put forth Park Hyeong-Sik as first candidate to play Rin Setsu A if ever a korean live version of the tale were made. Though one dreads the usual kdramatisation (or butchering) of the story—unless, perhaps, it’s Director Kim Won-Seok’s production? And this brings forth the number one reason one’s mind may have made such association: lamenting the lost opportunities of what Sam Maek Jong and other characters in “Hwarang” could have been.

The premise, or what one thought it was, of the show has been interesting: a future these youths want to live in. Is it one inherited from a past and present that have been full of conflicts and bloodshed? Or will they be able get passed them and build a better future for all? And for the young king, what kind of king he wants to be? Right. These are stuff right up one’s alley.

Or has one mistaken this for another story? Because, as one checked the middle episodes, one found that the plot has gone berserk. The poor young king is stuck in the usual love triangle (or is it quadrangle?) tropes that one wants to shake him and yell, “oi, young man! You’ve got some king-ing to do?!”


Let’s just turn the TV off for now before one’s blood pressure reaches dangerous level for you-know-how might come crawling out of it…

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