Mirror of the Witch: Dark Magic

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The beautiful teasers are what drew me to this fantasy sageuk. Sae Ron plays Princess Yeon Hee, abandoned sister to the Crown Prince. Before the twins were born, the Queen was having trouble conceiving because she was barren. The Queen Dowager, who was extremely controlling, decided to call in a shamaness to use magic to get an heir to the thrown. Furthermore, the kind was a lame duck whose decisions were always overruled by the Queen Dowager, his grandmother. Without heeding the Taoist monks who were in control of the spiritual side of the nation at that time, the Queen Dowager persuaded the shamaness to use black magic to make the Queen pregnant. However, because the children were born through bloodshed from a priestess who was used as a sacrifice, they were cursed. To preserve the crown prince of the twins, the shamaness transferred all the of the curse to the princess instead. It was said that on the twin’s 17th birthday, both children would die. The shamaness made the head Taoist monk use a purifying ritual to burn/kill the princess so that the curse would not come to pass. However, the king ordered the Taoist monk to save the princess instead beforehand. Thus, the princess grew up isolated from the rest of the nation under a talisman guarded house in the forest. Enter, Heo Jun, who seems to be a scam artist in need of 500 nan for some purpose. He makes a hard living trying to sell fake products and gambling. One day, a rich scholar bets that he can’t retrieve a kite that was flying over a “cursed forest”. Heo Jun takes this bet in order to earn the necessary money. He finds that this kite actually belongs to Princess Yeon Hee. He enters her guarded area to talk with her and feels bad that she has been isolated for so long, unable to see the pleasures of the world. Unfortunately, the kite’s strings were cut and neither of them ended up with the kite which had been stuck in a tree. Dissapointed, Heo Jun disappears before her guardians come back while Princess Yeon Hee’s good friend Poon Yeon tempts her to escape her prison to visit a lantern festival.

I find Yoon Shi Yoon to be a fun actor who chooses interesting and variety of different projects. While I have not found his character to be intriguing yet so far, I hope to see how his past has made him this way. He seems like a smart individual, and seems to have a good set of values even if his current occupation says otherwise. Meanwhile, Sae Ron is ethereally beautiful, perfect for her developing role as a princess and future witch. For a girl who hasn’t seen much of the world outside, I’m surprised she hasn’t tried to escape yet or find out why she is trapped like so. This story has hints of The Moon Embraces the Sun and Moon, but is definitely still unique in its own right.

 

 

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Year End Special: Growing Pains

Talent from toddler to teens! I’m so used to seeing these actors playing child versions of adults in my favorite dramas. However, these youngins’ are grown up fast and are now leading men and women in their own dramas! Here are 5 of my favorite child actors that have matured into amazing young adults (teens).

Yeo Jin Gu (18yrs) – Uniquely known by his mature deep voice paired to such a young age and face, he started acting back in 2005. He is commonly paired with Kim Yoo Jung as a child actor for saquek dramas. Furthermore, at such a young age, he has played many difficult roles that require heavy angsting and crying. He has become such a master at these broody roles and has progressed to lead roles now as a young adult. Most memorable performances for me are in The Moon Embraces Sun and I Miss You as the childhood version of the adults and Hwayi, the movie, as a lead role.

Dramas: 16 / Movies: 14

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Hi! School: Love On

Hi! School: Love On

So after I got over the slight squicky-ness brought upon by the premise of a 14 year old Kim Sae Ron (playing Lee Seul Bi) acting as love interest of two Infinite members, Woohyun and Sungyeol (who kept their names more or less in the drama) who are in their early twenties in real life (7 year difference, I think?), I realized that it worked more or less for the drama. Almost in the strain of My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, Lee Seul Bi was originally an Angel, who guided souls on to the afterlife. Lee Seul Bi’s age actually plays into her Angel character who is extremely innocent and naive to the workings of the human world, making her a child who doesn’t even know how to use chopsticks or tie her shoelaces. However, one boy, Woohyun captures her interest and she ends up saving his life when he fell off a school building. However, this act was too much for her and she ended up becoming human after the accident. With still a little power left, she is luckily taken in by Woohyun and his grandmother. Slowly, she learns the ropes to how to live a human life while still trying to find a way to go back to her old Angel life. Meanwhile, her Angel sunbae (who I can see no doubtedly has feelings for her too) watches over her, knowing deep down that she would fall for the human male at the end, and yet still holding back. Furthermore, is intertwined a long-lost family member plot where mothers and sons hope to be united one day. While this plot may not sound like much, even to the point where it may seem a little cheesy, don’t be deterred! I find it adorably cute and breezy. Kim Sae Ron, whom I first saw in Ahjussi has matured a lot since that movie. She has turned into a gorgeous young teenager who has decent acting chops. As for idols Woohyun and Sungyeol, they are 10x better than their other bandmate L in the acting field, in my opinion. While L comes off a little “fake” when acting, I am pleasantly surprised by Woohyun’s and Sungyeol’s nature feel. This cute drama will definitely tide me over each week as I wait for the meatier It’s Okay, That’s Love and the comical Fated to Love You.

-phoenix