Drama Reactions & Reviews
Thing vs. Thing: Comic book heroes of sageukland
by | January 20, 2013 | 87 Comments

javabeans: If American comic book-dom is perpetually confronted with the question “Who’s better, Superman or Batman?” then dramaland is equally confronted with the question… “Who’s better, Superman or Batman?” Because really, they sorta all fall into those archetypes. Just also wearing hanbok and manes o’ glory. Okay, with a fair dash of Robin Hood sprinkled in.

girlfriday: The most famous heroes in Korean folklore are all Robin Hoody types, really. There’s a whole lot of thievery goin’ on among the good guys, though it’s all to restore the balance and punish the corrupt, of course.

javabeans: Because they are all Robin Hood, we almost have to strip away that layer (mm, stripped hero layers) to do any comparing, since that’s just going to be a built-in trait. But who’s got the best cover? The niftiest tricks? Whose revenge cuts deepest?

girlfriday: Who’s got the best girlfriday? The flowiest hair?

javabeans: So many Things, so many other Things to compare them with.

girlfriday: Okay, let’s start with the superhero basics: Powers. Who’s got the best chops around? While Iljimae (and the other Iljimae) have the best fighting skills, it’s hard to beat the wizards.

javabeans: Do we even stop to consider a magic-less Jeon Woo-chi, or is that defeating the purpose? Because once you slap a talisman on him, suddenly he’s just another prisoner up for some torturing.

girlfriday: But without his tricks, Woo-chi’s just… a giggly troublemaker.

javabeans: Without his tricks, one might argue he wouldn’t be much of either. Whereas Iljimae (Lee Jun-ki’s version) would’ve retained his playful personality. And Hong Gil-dong (Kang Ji-hwan’s version) always had that swagger, no matter the situation. I could even argue that Hong Gil-dong gets props for becoming a hero completely accidentally—does that make him even more of one, since he was actively trying NOT to be one and then it just happened?

girlfriday: Or less of one because he sort of tripped and fell into it?

javabeans: It wasn’t merely a case of accidentally being heroic—he would pull all these stunts purely for selfish reasons, and then they got interpreted as heroic, and he got this reputation he didn’t mean to get. HA. On the other hand… dude DID establish his own egalitarian nation. Can’t sniff at that.

girlfriday: If Hong Gil-dong and Jeon Woo-chi were to fight, just for shits and giggles, who would win?

javabeans: WHAT. Woo-chi would have to be possessed by some major evil mojo to turn on his hero’s hero like that.

girlfriday: Well of course. This is just hypothetical!

javabeans: And are we talking about the Hong Gil-dong in Woo-chi’s world, or the Hong Gil-dong in Kang Ji-hwan’s? ‘Cause if we’re talking Cha Tae-hyun versus Kang Ji-hwan, then Kang Ji-hwan would be dead in two seconds flat. With a smirk on his lips, maybe, but totally dead.

girlfriday: Lol. I’d pay to see that battle.

javabeans: On the other hand, in Woo-chi’s world apparently Hong Gil-dong knows the secret of bringing back people from the brink, so maybe he could self-medicate and use some of his own spells. Also, he could ground Woo-chi’s honey, like, forever.

girlfriday: That’s just petty. I like it. But our conclusion can’t possibly be that Woo-chi would beat all these guys, can it? He’s powerful, but the others are so badass.

javabeans: Then we’ll have to turn to other criteria… ‘cause he definitely loses on the hair front. And the cool ninja costumes.

girlfriday: Iljimae wins all those things.

javabeans: The Jung Il-woo Iljimae, we mean. Important distinction!

girlfriday: YES.

javabeans: He also wins on the heartbreaker front, since basically every woman he met fell in love with him. And that was without even trying!

girlfriday: Well can you blame them?

javabeans: You mean like how he was aloof and emotionally unavailable and always, oh, leaving?

girlfriday: Because he was saving people! And stuff! Okay, he was a bad boyfriend, I’ll admit.

javabeans: Yes, he probably wins worst boyfriend. Though all the heroes kinda have abandonment issues. In that they were always abandoning.

girlfriday: Ha. Woo-chi actually had the opposite problem and was so single-mindedly obsessed with saving his girl that he did nothing else for quite a while.

javabeans: Woo-chi might win for worst girlfriend, actually. Sure, she’s not evil anymore… but there was that whole period where she killed people and stuff.

girlfriday: Aw, but rehabilitated, she’s very nice. Not so much with the killing anymore.

javabeans: Not so much with the anything anymore, is she? I know she’s technically Butterfly, but for a secret hero she doesn’t really do much.

girlfriday: I actually think they should’ve killed her in the first arc.

javabeans: Ooh.

girlfriday: Right? And then he could be all scarred, and then Hye-ryung could be his new sidekick.

javabeans: Uh, I think that would have been way too dark for Jeon Woo-chi. He’s the giggly imp, not Gaksital! Who, by the way, actually does win for worst boyfriend. Scratch that part about Iljimae. He can be runner-up.

girlfriday: Oh, yeah. No contest. Torture is pretty much a clincher in that category.

javabeans: Woo-chi does have the best cover identity, though. Clark Kent with a direct line to the royal grapevine? Bingo.

girlfriday: True. Lee Kang-to had a good one too.

javabeans: He couldn’t change his face at will, but I suppose fraternizing with the enemy was a good way to throw off the scent. And he had more names.

girlfriday: Funny how more names doesn’t actually mean more cover identities. Iljimae should get hero points for his signature plum blossom. I always thought it was so cool that he reforged the gold himself. It skips that money laundering step and adds artistic flair. Woo-chi just leaves notes.

javabeans: What about Gaksital slashing a letter into your dead skin? Okay, that’s not better. But maybe he gets creativity points? Admittedly, he wasn’t unique — the Strongest Chil-woo villain did the backwards Z’s, too. And technically lumping Gaksital in with the sageuk heroes is a bit of a stretch. But speaking of Chil-woo, can he win for worst mask? And worst hair? Because really, Zorro Jesus isn’t a look we should be pushing.

girlfriday: And worst horse?

javabeans: We all know who gets the best horse award.

girlfriday: HORSITAAAAAAAAAL.

javabeans: Hard to believe he doesn’t win for most kills on his scorecard, though. I’m not sure whether Chil-woo gains or loses points for the fact that he was the only hero who really seemed to enjoy killing. They were all bad guys, but still. That drama never made any moral arguments for the fact that he was an assassin for hire. They got downright creative with it. (Horse acrobatics and flaming bullwhips, I kid you not.)

girlfriday: I can’t tell if that sounds upsetting or ridiculous. Imma go with ridiculous.

javabeans: Let this be your answer:

girlfriday: Hm, who had the best moral dilemmas? Gaksital had the most dramatic ones, but I think Iljimae posed the thoughtful questions about what it means to be a hero.

javabeans: I did really enjoy Iljimae’s transition from angry young teenager to thoughtful hero. Return of Iljimae did a really lovely job of growing his character, in a way that was more organic than Gaksital.

girlfriday: Yes, it had the best hero’s journey, by far. Gaksital certainly gets points for darkness, because I don’t think any of these other guys got to be a hero by killing their own brother, but it also skipped a lot of the kind of development I wanted.

javabeans: Best posse? Here Iljimae definitely loses, since he kept leaving them and drove one to near-suicide. Whoopsy.

girlfriday: Again, bad boyfriend. I guess Woo-chi has the best Scooby Gang.

javabeans: I like their division of labor the best. Hong Gil-dong didn’t do so badly himself, setting up his own little commune of righteous bandits to go raiding with. They weren’t as diverse in skills as Woo-chi’s, but they got the job done. And I do wish Gaksital’s buddies didn’t all keep blowing themselves up.

girlfriday: Talk about a bummer. And his best friend’s the bad guy.

javabeans: So’s Woo-chi’s.

girlfriday: Oh yeah. These guys have terrible taste in friends. Or they drive all their besties to evildom.

javabeans: It’s sorta chicken-and-egg, isn’t it? Iljimae addressed this problem by not having any friends. I’m not sure that’s better.

girlfriday: It sure is antisocial. But it nips the problem in the bud.

javabeans: He had the loneliest hero path, in a wistfully romantic sort of way. You know, the kind of romance that’s only appealing when it’s not you.

girlfriday: You mean when you’re not the one left waiting for him to come back, for years at a time? Yeah, I’d say.

javabeans: What about the guy with the best heroic ending? Uh, I guess that goes to whichever one’s still alive at the end, huh?

girlfriday: Depends. It’s usually one extreme or another: go down in a blaze of glory and sacrifice, or live forever and be a hero in every generation.

javabeans: See, that’s not so much the dilemma with me: LIVE FOREVER, of course! Which is probably why Batman is way more blaze-of-glory awesome than Superman, but Superman’s the one left standing at the end of the day.

girlfriday: Well, that and he’s an ALIEN. That opens up a whole new can of worms.

javabeans: What, is the next Thing vs. Thing gonna be Superman and Vampidols, you mean? One can keep saving the world, but the other one will sing and dance forevah. K-pop FTW.

girlfriday: So, what’s our verdict? Heroes are cool, just don’t date them?

javabeans: Superheroes might have that extra kick of awesome, but they’ll give your heart an extra kick of misery. At least we can admire from afar.

girlfriday: Let the mane-o’-glory-gazing commence.

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87 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. RockPaperScissors

    Thank you! Just love your Thing vs. Thing debates.

     (0)


    • 1.1 Melissa

      Aww, I’m kinda disappointed you didn’t mention Lee Jun-ki’s Iljimae much… He’s my favourite sageuk hero and I really loved his character. (He was one of my first K-drama crushes, haha! <3) Plus, that mane of glory… *^*

      …did my Jun-ki bias show too much? xD

       (2)


  2. latteholic

    LOL! I love your Thing vs Thing.. Awww, and I miss Horsital!
    ^_^

     (0)


    • 2.1 Gg

      Horsital…. Cutest thing ever!

       (0)


  3. snow_white

    wow….nice article :)

     (0)


  4. Mawiie

    Yay! Love the Things vs Things series!

    I had my hope up that if this is the sageukland edition we’d have a modern day version where you’d throw Gaksital against City Hunter, but I guess it won’t happen :P

     (1)


  5. SuitDistracted

    So. Jun-Ki or Il-Woo? I need to know which pretty-boy drama should be put first on my “someday, these dramas” list…All these look good, and I kinda need to see Kang Ji-Hwan be Hong Gil-Dong, but the prettiness…

     (0)


    • 5.1 austriandramalover

      Well I don’t know about the Jun Ki version (still on my list of “dramas to watch”) but I started the Il Woo version and I am 4 episodes in and I really like it.

       (0)


      • 5.1.1 khina

        I’m sure you’ll like Junki’s ver. that’s superb

         (3)


      • 5.1.2 hester

        I have a special place in my heart for LJK’s Iljimae, since it was the first historical type drama I ever watched. He has his overacting moments as always, but there’s something about LJK’s angsty eyes that make your heart bleed. Watch it!

        Plus, it’s shorter than Return of…usually a plus in my book. :)

         (2)


        • 5.1.2.1 SuitDistracted

          Okay, maybe I’ll start with that one, then. Shorter’s good, and a good follow-up to Arang, which I’m finishing…

          Maybe I’ll try an ep. of each. I mean, I am sorely missing Jung Il-Woo, while I’ve got LJK in Arang. (Two of my favorite k-actors in Sun/Moon, and not a single thing about it that made me wanna see it. :sigh:)

           (0)


    • 5.2 Vinn

      Junki’s version was funnier, comedic (he actually had a pretty good posse himself); but Il Woo’s was more… artistic. Both were awesome in their own way, and I’d watch both. Both were pretty too (in all ways, heh.)

      Btw, if Gaksital counts, can Lee Minho in Faith count too :(? He was all sorts of comic book-y! Boy had a sportin mane of glory to boot.

       (0)


      • 5.2.1 Farhana

        Agreed! I was reall hoping to see LMH mentioned somewhere! He had an adorable posse! Especially since one was a wolf boy that he humanises who remains ever-loyal to him… Haha

         (0)


      • 5.2.2 SuitDistracted

        Good points–I was asking not because I didn’t want to watch ‘em all but because a girl’s gotta prioritize. A girl also has five other dramas she should get her butt finishing.

        But so many favorite dudes!

         (0)


      • 5.2.3 Wang

        Gaksital is a manhwa hero, while LMH character in Faith isn’t, so he can’t be compared here

         (0)


    • 5.3 Kaka865623

      Jun Ki version is the best! He was absolutely fantastic, best Iljimae ever! I’m sure you will enjoy it.

       (1)


    • 5.4 latte

      Well,many viewers like Junki ver. more cuz it’s a pretty light-hearted and funny drama to watch and it got high ratings in korea too~!!!

       (1)


    • 5.5 pogo

      They’ve each got their own strengths, even if Jun-ki is young and overacting a teeny bit in his version he has a really nice relationship with his dad……

      But for my money, if you want sageuk LJK you’re better off with Arang and the magistrate (also, better love story and better chemistry with costar there). Satto is pretty comic-bookish himself, even if his mane of glory is always neatly tied up.

       (1)


      • 5.5.1 SuitDistracted

        Almost finished with Arang! Truly excellent, though I think Second Lead Boy’s story is more interesting, not just his acting…

         (0)


        • 5.5.1.1 pogo

          yeah, there’s nothing quite like a villain for whom you can feel a bit sorry (or very sorry, in this case) – I remember how we wondered about Second Lead when it was airing, and when the twist came….WHOA.

           (0)


    • 5.6 Soo Won

      I was already fangirling both lee junki and jung ilwoo when i started watching their iljimaes! LJK version is one of my all-time saeguk faves whereas i couldn’t get myself to finish JIW’s!

      LJK version is a pretty lovable drama! i especially loved how they defined a hero there… how he transforms from a happy-go-lucky careless guy, into a vengeful son seeking the truth behind his family’s murder, and eventually a hero who puts others before himself… and how he practices his father’s thoughtful words of “never use a sword to kill” everyday, ’till the very end…

      i presume it was far from a big budget drama though, and lacked the extra awe it could give, had only a bit more money been spent… it actually looked funny how they managed to reduce the number of essential (most needed) extras to around thirty (where the conflict had led me to expect at least a few hundreds!) in latter episodes.

      i loved the drama however, and many others did too (considering the good ratings and all…) it just had the right mixture of angst and those cute antics only LJK can pull off! it was an enjoyable piece altogether! :D (yes, the heroine was more than annoying, i just kept asking myself how he could possibly fall for her,… but alas! no matter how much you ship the second lead, it just never works for them in dramaland!…)

      on the other hand, JIW version… well i only watched about 4 episodes, fast forwarded another 4, and then totally gave up! the story-telling was so… WEIRD to say the least! the whole story is narrated by this annoying voice and the senseless going back and forth in time (those old ages and then the modern Seoul!) and how they try to be funny in the most silliest ways!

      i don’t really know what there IS to call artistic (as i have heard it quite a few times in comparing the two)! well, it’s not like i consider myself that much oblivious to art… but i couldn’t really find one thing about the whole drama to be artistic, or even likable,… except for the pretty face of JIW and well, the kid lee hyun woo of course!

      SO, i personally recommend you to watch LJK’s iljimae ASAP! and for the other one… you’d better decide for yourself! ;)

      good luck! :D

       (1)


    • 5.7 Jan

      I loved LJK’s Iljimae. It was the first drama of his that I watched, and he wowed me with his amazing acting and kickass fighting skills.

      I never thought that he was over-acting, because to me, he was the quiet and introspective noble Gyeom underneath who was putting on the deliberate pretence and act of a loud and exaggerated ruffian Yong, to throw his enemies off the track.

      The family relationships in this drama were also done very well, especially Iljimae’s relationship with his adopted father and their scenes together really touched my heart.

      By the end of the drama, I felt that they managed to flesh out most of the characters who were really colourful, and my favourites were Iljimae’s adopted father and his teacher.

      And, Thanks for the wonderful pics of LJK’s Iljimae. He looks gorgeous and his glossy hair in the first pic looks good enough for a shampoo commercial!

       (0)


    • 5.8 Bellaaaa

      I recommend you to watch Lee Jun Ki version,it was too good. Lee Jun Ki can change his character’s mood easily.
      the part when he cried it was so emotional.OMG! I cried buckets while watching that moment,he’s such a brilliant actor.Currently watching The Return of Iljimae (which I’ll drop if it doesn’t get better in the next). Nevertheless, i’ve become Lee Jun Ki big fan since the drama.

       (0)


    • 5.9 Tran

      A lot of people recommended Jun-ki ver. but I liked JIW version a lot more. They’re quite diff so it’s up to you. LJK version is … more light-hearted and fun? while JIW version is a bit dark and can be a bit depressing lol but the cinematography of JIW’s Iljimae is beautiful!!! and the acting was, in my opinion, much better. The soundtrack for both drama are awesome.

       (0)


    • 5.10 KateCarla

      I couldn’t get past the first episode of return of Iljimae. It was so exaggerated and I couldn’t help comparing it to the Iljimae with Jun Ki. Since i love Iljimae so much i cant help but to think return of iljimae to be so boring.

       (0)


  6. Dominique

    Someday, I hope to see a biopic serial drama of the first president of South Korea, Lee Seung Man, especially covering his early years BEFORE America liberated Korean peninsula from Japan. Dramatic possibilities include: where and how he went wrong, how he might have changed the history and avoided the chaos that ensued after he was forced to leave the office, etc.

    Next on my list are real-life heroes, as opposed to made-up characters like Gaksital, who actually gave up their lives to protest Japanese rule, such as Ahn Joong Geun.

    Saguek, on the other hand, is coming out of my ears. Especially the ones taking place in Josun dynasty, which has the dubious honor of losing its kingdom to a foreign nation.

     (0)


    • 6.1 VB

      I second your hope. Korea has such a rich history, they don’t always have to go back to Joseon or Goryeo for good herolore.

      But uh, that’s not to say I’m complainin’ about the sageuk hairstyles. Jung Il-woo looks so pretty, I might just watch The Return of Iljimae. Good bye holiday weekend…

       (0)


    • 6.2 Laeah

      Well.. then they’d have some random white Surprise actress running around speaking whatever non-native language terribly and ruining any kind of seriousness. Let’s just not go there.

       (0)


  7. mywhiteyasmin

    Keke, miss your Thing vs Thing so much. Once again, you succeed making me laugh.

    ps: just want to say, Jung il woo is so Pruuuuuuty in Iljimae *heart*

     (0)


  8. eevee

    The HORSHITALLLL part cracked me up bad! I also very much enjoy your Thing vs Thing blogs. :P

     (0)


  9. MariD

    You ladies are hilarious! Now I have to go add 3 more shows to my queue.

     (0)


  10. 10 a_diva

    this is my response to all these heroes: “meh”

    none of them look as good as yoo an in with his mane of glory so i just can’t muster up the energy to care. *flips open the mac to watch SKKS yet again*

     (0)


  11. 11 VB

    Thanks for this post! It cracked me up so much. Interesting showdown picks. Does City Hunter not count as a Robin-Hood type hero? Fighting to restore the country and punishing the corrupt/evil five? Anyways, looking forward to future Things. vs. Things!

     (0)


  12. 12 TS

    Yet somehow none of these dramas appeal at all. I like strong female leads, so perhaps that’s the reason.

     (0)


    • 12.1 javabeans

      Does this count as a strong female lead?

       (0)


      • 12.1.1 Vinn

        BAHAHAHA. I have a huge desire to suddenly go watch me some Il Woo iljimae.

        On a serious note – I thought whatshername (the female lead in Il Woo’s Iljimae, the one he ends up with) was strong. Not like kick-ass Hajiwon in K2H strong, but she had real inner (mental) strength.

         (0)


        • 12.1.1.1 Betsy Hp

          I agree with your serious note. I’m not sure if her willingness to put up with his issues negated any of that, but even if it did she didn’t just sit around waiting for him.

           (0)


        • 12.1.1.2 Mawiie

          That would be Yoon Jin Seo :P
          I agree with you on that part. I like how some sageuk heroines, despite their standing in the society of that time, can be so strong and upright. They can not always fight physically, but their mental strength is really admirable. Both princesses from Princess’s Man would be another example, and to some extend, even HJW’s Hwang Jin Yi (interestingly one of her less kick-ass role)

           (0)


          • 12.1.1.2.1 TS

            The Princess’s Man is on my to-watch list mainly because I liked both princesses in the first episode a lot. In fact, I might as well just re-start it. But first, two movies: The Warrior and Sword With No Name.

            Hwang Jin Yi, somehow, couldn’t get into it, though the character is interesting.

             (0)


          • 12.1.1.2.2 pogo

            oooh YES, TPM had awesome female leads, and both had their own thing going on but managed to be strong without making their characters feel like they were modern-day girls stuck in a sageuk world.

            I also liked Shin Mina in Arang and the Magistrate (even with her softening as she recovered more of her human memory and fell in love) and Kim Min-seo in Sungkyunkwan Scandal even though she wasn’t a lead there her character outshined everyone else every time she was on screen (the only person who managed to hold their own against her was Song Joong-ki)

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      • 12.1.2 Betsy Hp

        LOL!

         (0)


      • 12.1.3 TS

        Hahaha, close enough! I might just check that episode out!

         (0)


      • 12.1.4 ravens_nest

        Iljimae in drag was the best decision that show made. His pretty face contrasted with his insane height…omfg. XD

        When he said he was on his period to get out of entertaining those men, I died laughing. And how the writers kept referencing his prettiness was just icing on the cake.

        Hey, maybe the next Thing vs. Thing should be “Men in Drag.” lolololol

         (0)


      • 12.1.5 kahlanrich

        BEST ALTERNATIVE EVER!

         (0)


      • 12.1.6 Waca

        Hahaha! That drama was on my to-watch list, but now I can’t wait to start watching it!!! :D

         (0)


      • 12.1.7 Gaeina Lee

        LOL!
        Now that you remind me of the beautiful gisaeng, I want to watch it again.. ^^

         (0)


      • 12.1.8 ck1Oz

        EEP.
        What? None of you fans ever said anything about drag?

         (0)


  13. 13 yammy

    ah this was such a great post! thank you. I was laughing out loud the whole time and getting weird looks from my roommate. Makes me want to watch the ones I haven’t watched.

     (0)


  14. 14 Porcelain

    This remind me of AGD where the guys were all like Batman, Superman, Spiderman… And Jung Rok was all like “Taekwon V jjang!”

     (0)


  15. 15 queencircles

    Should I actually watch jeon woo-chi? Its it any good? I was just reading the beginning comments and the first half didn’t look totally favorable. It seems like it’s picked up a bit, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it to put it on my list…

     (0)


  16. 16 Betsy Hp

    …and now I feel a strong urge to re-watch “Return of Iljamae”

    Hilarious Thing vs. Thing as always, thank you!

     (0)


  17. 17 bd

    The Hong sister’s “Hong Gil-dong” was mediocre – both in its writing and acting (even KJH’s acting was a it one note); hope someone else does a better version of it.

    As for manes of glory, the best one I’ve seen thus far is Yoo Seung-ho’s in ‘Warrior Baek Dong-soo.”

    Don’t know what the deal was w/ his hair as the deity in “Arang” (looked like he was wearing an ajumma wig).

    Speaking of Korean folk-lore heroes – does anyone know anything of a hero by the name of Koong-hoo (or something thereabouts)?

     (0)


  18. 18 maynopin

    Horsitaaaaaaal!!

    A horse so bad-ass it need its own mask!:)

     (0)


    • 18.1 TS

      They should try the ass I was riding today: I think he was part mule. Bad horse.

       (0)


  19. 19 Funnylittlefishy

    Awwww…. Y’all didn’t talk about warrior baek dongsoo! That was a comic book adaptation of a sageuk martial arts hero, and holy manes of glory…. Everyone I that drama had HAIR I mean…. Wow. Every good hero needs a tragic bromance IMO XD

     (0)


  20. 20 shbeckles

    How fitting, I literally finished the last episode of Hong Gil Dong an hour ago! (Still reeling a bit from the ending, even though I expected it…)

    Mmm, definitely need to see Return of Iljimae stat — for totally nonsuperficial reasons, of course!

     (0)


  21. 21 trotwood

    “Because really, the Zorro Jesus look isn’t one we should be pushing”

    I spit out my milk laughing at this one. I love these thing vs. thing posts.

    And oh, the hair. What is the hair problem? It is right up there with the dress shoes and no socks problem.

     (0)


    • 21.1 TS

      Right up there with dress shoes and no socks: too funny!

       (0)


  22. 22 Yami

    do a thing versus thing on sidekicks. I loved this article and it could serve as your criteria. http://natechenpublications.com/2012/11/28/tips-for-minor-comic-book-characters/

     (0)


  23. 23 Ivy

    So funny – I love this posts :-D
    Haha, I need me more Ilijamae

     (0)


  24. 24 Enz

    I reckon you girls are just missing jung il woo and wanted an excuse to post his pics liberally. THANKS!! I miss him onscreen :(

     (0)


  25. 25 Ivy

    Hmmm, heroes sure aren’t the best boyfriends, yet by loving them – helping them even in a small, small way – the girlfriends are part of something bigger <3

    Hehe, just having a bf like Iljimae would be worth the loneliness or maybe not :-S

     (0)


  26. 26 Waca

    “But speaking of Chil-woo, can he win for worst mask? And worst hair? Because really, Zorro Jesus isn’t a look we should be pushing.”
    BWAHAHAHA!!! Wow that made my day!
    Thank you, javabeans and girlfriday, your Thing vs thing are always so entertaining! Even half the dramas you speak of are still on my to-watch list, you make it so clear that I could really enjoy the humor!

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  27. 27 ck1Oz

    Oh I say, can I say I haven’t watched any of them except Gaksital?

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    • 27.1 Lilly

      I read the mention of Iljimae everywhere on different sites for two years before I looked it up and watched it on Dramafever.

      I was so glad I did. It was great.

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  28. 28 7258salt

    Isn’t city hunter based on some comic book thing? Or is it just anime?

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  29. 29 cheekbones

    I’m not that interested in sageuk so I’m not familiar with many of the things you two talk about.

    But, Zorro Jesus just got me laughing so hard ! :D

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  30. 30 meanrice

    Oh to a Thing vs. Thing on manwha adaptations, boys over flowers, goong, my girl, absolute boyfriend, playful kiss, mary stayed up all night…i say count the Tiawanese drama skip beat since siwon and donghae are in it. So much pretty, maybe too much pretty?

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    • 30.1 ilikemangos

      Oooh.
      I say YES for a thing v thing for manwha adaptions.
      Those would be hilarious.

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  31. 31 oftheshore

    How about a chaebol vs. chaebol post? I know it would be very long, but there are several categories of chaebols you could group the characters into (quirky/stupid/lazy/clever/arrogant), and it would also be interesting to compare chaebols by gender. It seems that male chaebols, no matter how stuck up they are, tend to get the girl, whereas female chaebols more often end up being forever alone. The research questions could include:
    (1) Is there a statistically significant difference between M/F chaebols?
    (2) On avaerage, how lucky are chaebols in their love life compared to, ahem, poor peasants?
    (3) How is chaebol arrogance related to the relative size of their daddy and mommy issues?
    (4) Approximately, how many chaebols have been educated abroad (and where)?

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  32. 32 martha

    This made my morning! Thank you guys for the early laughter.

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  33. 33 owl

    Such a good morning, Monday read – thanks jb and gf!

    “…it’s hard to beat the wizards.” Always.

    I wonder what a composite superhero would look like with the best mane of glory, posse, personality, magic, martial arts skills, cover identity, intentions, horse, and is boyfriend material? ~ Nah, wouldn’t leave enough to the imagination.

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  34. 34 Carole McDonnell

    I seriously have to watch Lee Jun-ki’s Iljimae. I totally love the Jung Il Woo version and had to laugh when you talked about all the women falling in love with him. The narrator of Return to Iljimae wins hands down for wit, playful intrusiveness/and snark. My favorite line from her went something like: “Why are there always women ready to help Iljimae? Is it fate? Is it because he is handsome? Is it because he’s the hero of our tale?” Something like that. It cracked me up. There’s a lot to be said about the narrator of a heroic sajeuk. After all, a hero must have someone who sings his greatness. I’m not up on how many sajeuks have narrators and whether folks like the intrusiveness or not but Iljimae’s female narrator just totally won my heart.

    Anyway, i’ve gotta see Lee Jun-ki’s iljimae and now Hong Gil Dong. Am now marathoning The Devil. All this catching-up!

    Thanks for thing vs thing.

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    • 34.1 ffiza

      Ha, I also like when the narrator in Return of Iljimae is snarky. In one scene I remember : “I’m not sure if the word ‘though’ exist at that time” when Iljimae adopted dad said it.

      And on the topic of heroes love-life, how true is that it is only romantic when it is not us.

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      • 34.1.1 Carole McDonnell

        LOL! oh that was funny. I didn’t remember it but thanks for reminding us.

        Yeah, pretty boy boyfriend always disappearing….not so good in real life. :-)

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  35. 35 ailee

    “heroes are cool, just dont date them!” my fav quote of the week.

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  36. 36 Bamsa

    Haha, I loved this version of Thing vs. Thing. All the supereroes are cool. The only one I haven’t seen is Woo-chi. For some reason after watching 1n2d I don’t think I can see Cha tae hyun in a saguek role. Maybe I should give it a try.

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  37. 37 spazmo

    eric’s strongest chil woo… that was funny, talk about worst mane o’ glory… second only to yoochun’s bad wig in RP…

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  38. 38 mav

    I am of the believe that JB and GF should write their own super hero story, mane o’ glory and all that jazz

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  39. 39 Nallali

    Honestly, Return of Iljimae was alright at best. I went to your ratings section and saw you guys raving about it so i thought i might pick up from ep 1 where i’d previously left off but it wasnt THAT good. Esp the whole bit where he had a thing with Sandara Park’s character…boring!

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  40. 40 kfangurl

    Love these convo posts – always so much fun!! :D

    Also, I loved Return of Iljimae!!! It made a big Jung Il Woo fan outta me ^^

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  41. 41 Izzu

    LOL Horsital~

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  42. 42 Yue

    I think I broke a rib laughing. It’s just funny, I agree though, Iljimae have the loneliest journey – but, it’s a path he chose mostly by himself. So, I can’t feel sorry for him – same with Gaskital. But, Woo-chi is just awesome xD

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  43. 43 sadako92

    I can’t believe you put Jung Il Woo’s Iljimae on a pedestal when talking about heroes with a “comic book feel”, especially compared to Lee Jun Ki’s version. Jung Il Woo’s Iljimae is nothing near a comic book hero. This pretentious show tries so hard to be above the genre, that you never get the feeling that you’re dealing with a hero here. Not to mention that Jung Il Woo’s interpretation is very flat.

    Lee Jun Ki’s Iljimae is on the contrary the most awesome comic book hero Korea has produced recently, along with Joo Won’s Gaksital. Here you get the energy, the tension, the metamorphosis of the character, the burden he has to bear, the loneliness… In those two shows you get shiny performances from bold actors who really give their all, and are not simply a spineless director’s puppet. Actors who can also pull off great action scenes on top of that.

    As for Jeon Woo Chi, it was so disappointing… It’s a useless drama. I love Cha Tae Hyun but he doesn’t fit the role which is very badly written, especially in the first part of the drama (even if Uee’s role is much worse of course). Kang Dong Won was so much better and funnier.

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  44. 44 Rowanmdm

    I found this post after reading the recap of Return of Iljimae and now I am going to track down Woo-Chi as I haven’t watched it before and now I’m all kinds of curious.

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  45. 45 Josephine

    Can anyone tell me what drama the first guy in the first picture was in? The guy before Kang Ji Hwan. I’ve watched the other three. Really want to watch his too.

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