No matter how scary vampires are, they are enticing in a way so that explains why many of us couldn't get enough of them, no matter in book or movies. This South Korean drama, based on a webcomic, tells a tale of the 120-year-old battle between an evil vampire and a vampire scholar set in the Joseon dynasty. Trapped in between their battle is a human girl called Jo Yang-sun (starring Lee Yu-bi), who is believed to be a descendant from the vampire bloodline.
Yang-sun doesn't have any idea of her family history; and her memories of her childhood days are fuzzy. Now as an adult, she disguises herself as a male bookseller to make ends meet, since she is the sole breadwinner of the family but there is a history why she cross-dresses to hide her gender. She encounters a mysterious scholar Kim Sung-yeol (starring Lee Joon-gi), who requests her to look for an old memorandum of a Crown Prince who had passed decades ago. This transaction begins a treacherous journey for Yang-sun and also leads to their attraction for each other later, after Sung-yeol discovers her identity as a woman. However, Sung-yeol is a guardian vampire and he is on a hunt for Gwi (starring Lee Soo-hyuk), the evil vampire who uses his powers to control the royal empires for decades and this has led to the suffering of the people. Sung-yeol believes that once he has got hold of the memorandum, he would be able to defeat Gwi using the secret methods written by the late Crown Prince.
Sung-yeol is quite a character as he is a righteous man but there are moments he questions himself when he is in need of human blood; some thing he wouldn't wish to do and prey on the animals instead. Yang-sun, on the other hand, is a diligent and a courageous woman who would do anything for righteousness and love. Gwi may be a ruthless character, but there was a time he did love a human woman. While ultimately it is the good versus the evil, it is the greed of some humans whom I found to be the scariest, as they would sacrifice their own family members to gain power and wealth.
(Gwi, starring Lee Soo-hyuk)
I enjoyed this drama thoroughly. There are actions, intrigue and romance and yes, I liked the characterisations, too. There are some clichés about the vampires but there are also some new ideas too, for example, Sung-yeol wears a black cloak which was passed down from a late old guardian so he is able to walk in the daytime; unlike Gwi who has to hide himself in the palace's dungeon. The story is multi-layered and although there are some minor flaws, they didn't dampen my pleasure of watching it. Because of this drama, I hope to catch more dramas by actors Lee Joon-gi and Lee Soo-hyuk, especially contemporary drama for I am very curious how they would portray in a modern day setting.