Arang and the Magistrate Review

Released Year: 2012
No of Episodes: 20
Main Leads: Lee Joon gi and Shin Min-a
Genre: Historical, Fantasy

This historical horror-romance drama, ‘Arang and the magistrate’ depicts the story of  Arang, who died unjustly and returns as a ghost as she wants to reveal who killed her and the reason for her murder.

Kim Eun-oh, a Nobleman (played by Lee Joon-gi) comes to a village called Miryang in search of her mother, who resented him. Kim Eun-oh has the special ability to see, hear and touch ghost. As previous encounters with ghosts nuanced him, he doesn’t want to help them and due to that he pretends and ignores them when they (ghost) ask for favors. 

A-rang (played by Shin Min-ah) had lost her memory as she has become a ghost but still, she wants to know the reason for her death so that she could rest in peace. Desperately, she tries to seek help from the magistrates whoever appointed in Miryang, but after seeing a ghost, none of them survived. And finally, when she finds that Eun-oh can see her, she tries to get his help by making Eun-oh, a Magistrate!

Despite Eun-oh rejecting her request initially, he accepted to help her as he saw Arang having his mother’s unique hairpin which he had already presented to his missing mother!

The Jade Emperor finally gives her a time of 3 months to become a human in order to find what she wants! if not, she must face severe consequences.

Then the story revolves around her mysterious death, and how Eun-oh’s mother and Arang is connected, and also they had to escape from the ghost Reaper, who strives hard to collect Arang’s soul. In-between, Eun-oh falls for Arang! 

Finally,

The story reveals, 

1. Who killed Arang? 

2. Where is Kim Eun-oh’s mother? 

3. What’s joo-wal’s hidden identity? 

4. How Kim Eun-oh’s mother and Arang are connected? 

5. Will the ghost Reaper collects Arang’s soul finally? 

6. Will Eun-oh and Arang continue their relationship? 

7. What will happen to Arang? Will she able to retain her human form? 

The story is loosely based on the famous folklore with slight modifications in the beginning and in the end. The story travels very interesting in the beginning and as usual, takes a slow in the mid episodes. This is basically a fantasy drama, so expecting logic would be baseless! I’m not going to evaluate scene by scene as what all might want is to see if the overall storyline is good. The story is funny because of those ghost scenes especially in the beginning episodes with (then and there) romantic scenes, if you expect too many romantic scenes, then hold it, this drama is not for you! 

In the mid episodes the mysterious knots are untied one by one. The in-between sub ghost stories are extra fittings added to make the main story interesting. Well, it worked though. 

In the last few episodes, it takes a serious turn as some again wanted Arang (in human form) to be killed. Well, I don’t think that any can predict this story since its quite different. 

 if you want to watch a fantasy drama, especially ghost centric one, then give it a go! It’s a good one. 

Let’s see the characters, 

Lee joon gi as

         Kim Eun-oh, a person who can see, touch and hear ghost. Needless to say about action scenes, Lee Joon gi is a master in it. I just loved how Eun-oh handles, interrogates ghost. However, I still wonder why joon gi does not get romantic scenes like other actors. Despite of whatever genres, normally Korean dramas are of plenty of romantic scenes, why not for Joon-gi then? Well, shall see in the future! I missed that in Eun-oh’s portrayal. 

Shin Min-ah as

             Arang, the ghost who died unjustly and returned as ghost to find out the mystery in her death. That was the 1st time I saw her (I don’t know her before) and really I don’t think none other would have done justice to this role like shin min-ah! She nailed it as a super cool ghost and I loved her performance, but I find her looking different when I watched her in other dramas.

Yeon Woo-jin as

    Joo-wal, a mysterious man, one of the main characters in the drama, he has done his part well. The mystery of arang’s death is centered on him! If I say more, that would be a spoiler, so this character’s personality cannot be revealed. Then you can assume how important this role is. Joo-wal’s character always will be in a helpless mind, which has been well expressed by Yeo Woo-jin. 

Yoo Seung ho as 

          The jade Emperor, who tracks Arang and Eun-oh.This god of heaven who always calm, and yes sometimes funny! Only has small role unlike joo-wal’s character! I like the scene when jade Emperor says ‘some one is talking behind my back’ when he heard Arang scolding him badly, Hilarious! And that smile, what a divine smile that is. 

Kim Yong-gun as Lord Choi

    The main antagonist, as usual villain type role in fantasy drama! 

Interesting Facts:

  • comeback drama for Lee Joon-gi after his military service
  • First drama of MBC after 5 years.
  • Arang and the magistrate Drama rights sold to Japan for around ₩4 billion for the entire series, which means roughly ₩200 million for every episode which is the then highest for MBC.
  • Average Nationwide ratings is 14.3% as per TNmS Ratings.
  • Lee Joon-Gi received the Outstanding Korean Drama Actor Award Seoul International Drama Awards.
  • Lee Joon-gi and Shin Min-ah, won Best Couple Award at MBC Drama Awards.
  • Arang and the Magistrate became a breakthrough drama in Yeon Woo-jin’s acting career.

Ratings:

This is just a personal rating from Allsorts Kdrama and not upon any channel or user ratings.

 4.7/5

(Great drama!)

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