Author: Chang-gyu Kim, Ji-na Song
3-volume set 223*152mm
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|>>>This book is
written in Korean.
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About This Book
The long awaited drama "Taewangsasingi" meaning "The Four Guardian Gods of the King" finally made met its TV audience. The grandiose new drama kicked off by airing a special with a sneak peek of highlights from the drama and behind-the-scenes interviews with the director and actors.
The special, aimed at giving watchers a better understanding of the complicated storyline, sketched out an overall introduction to the drama and gave watchers a taste of the extravagant sets on Jeju Island, as well as the spectacular computer graphics rivaling those in feature films.
The story begins from the mythical period of Korean history. Hwanwoong, the son of God, comes down to earth and marries Woongnyeo, a bear transformed into woman, to have Dangun, who is believed to be the founder of Korea's first kingdom Gojoseon. Hwanwoong is reincarnated as Damdeok, who grows up to become King Gwanggaeto, the greatest ruler of the Goguryeo Kingdom. Playing the love interests of Damdeok are Moon So-ri of the "Oasis" fame, who seeks revenge after she gets jilted by Damdeok, and a newcomer Lee Ji-a, playing Sujini, the reincarnated Woongnyeo.
Just explaining the relationship between these main characters is hard enough, but there are more major characters that cannot be ignored ? Damdeok's archrival Yeon Hogae and four guardian gods reincarnated as Damdeok's warriors. The drama's convoluted network of characters and events is already confusing a lot of viewers.
However, Korea's first ever historical fantasy drama marks Bae's return to television four years after the 2002 drama "Winter Sonata," which catapulted him to a leading Asian star. The show got off to a fairly good start, garnering a view rating of 14.1%, according to TNS Media Korea. The blockbuster drama is already drawing heated debate, as watchers express mixed reactions on the drama's official web site.
Some criticized the excessive use of special effects that overshadowed the narrative, while others applauded the attempt to bring the same grandeur of feature film to the small screen. Still others expressed their disappointment in the monochromatic, unchanging acting of Bae Yong-joon, and questioned the casting of Moon So-ri opposite Bae, because she looks so much older than Bae.
"Taewangsasingi" shouldn't be a stranger to such harsh criticism, as it was embroiled in controversy from the very beginning. It was accused of plagiarizing an epic comic book titled "The Nation of the Wind," which also dealt with King Gwanggaeto and his four guardian gods and the King's quest for Budo, a new city. Although the drama was ruled an original work, fans of "The Nation of the Wind" and its author Kim Jin still insist that the drama's director Kim Jong-hak and writer Song Ji-na stole the key ideas from the comic book.
Also the airing of "Taewangsasingi" was postponed four times before finally making its debut last week. While the cast and the staff supposedly strived for perfection, its astronomical budget of nearly 44 million dollars just kept on piling higher, causing some to question the need for such extravagance. Nonetheless, the drama was made with foreign audience in mind as well. Casting Bae in the starring role was aimed at attracting his fans in Japan and Southeast Asia. The drama is almost certainly destined for export after its broadcast in Korea is over. So sit tight, Bae Yong-joon fans out there. Who cares about the plot when you can indulge yourself in his perfect "just-show-your-front-8-teeth" smile and wind-swept locks.
--- This text refers to the TV drama version of this novel, airing on KBS as of October 2007.
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