Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Friends and Foes

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   George Michael sang in Star People 97: "It's a dream with a nightmare stuck in the middle" and this one sentence perfectly describes the latest mess in Gaksital. I want to say it loud and clear - I don't like the love line there. I just don't. And it's not because I don't like love story in a drama/movie/book in general. I do like it. But a proper one, when I actually can see it. If I don't feel those knots you (or maybe just me) feel while looking at some love on screen, it means I don't care about characters, and I usually have no interest in drama either.
I don't feel "love" there between Kangto and Oh "Pansy" Mokdan. This is why it's this "nightmare" in the middle of an overall great series.
With few ladies we devised even a plot for her - self-sacrifice for her "wuuv", for her country and people. Just, please, disappear. In Capital Scandal we also had a main love interest of our own Seon Woowan (Kang Jihwan), but the girl was brave and had guts! Mokdan is just lukewarm, overcooked noodles.
Enough of this, back to politics...

   However, I do feel lot of emotions from other characters. Like Shunji and Lala - they hate each other with such a passion it's a miracle they are both alive. Both of them are quick to violence and Shunji, as we saw, recently is having problems with keeping his fingers out of his gun (no gutter intended). Their mutual hatred is so fascinating spectacle to watch, I'm really thrilled to just see them on the screen together.

   I'm still waiting for Lala's move. She's definitely having too much strings in her hands and eventually she'll lose some. Or tangle, which would make things more interesting.
And finally we are back (hopefully) to Kishokai topic, and many other high persona involved into this. Kishokai interests me from few points. But one is really unsettling.
Kishokai members want to move the capital of the Japanese Empire to Seoul. Behind that move there is so many things I probably fail to grasp them all. First, from the economical point of view - it's rather a good move. Japan is natural resources poor country, so exploitation of occupied countries was like a newfound well of fortune. Northern Korea (oh, irony, how well thee hide yer blade!) is quite well packed with resources, and of course China, Manchuria and south. Moving the capital to the continent would be shifting the centre of power, the beating heart of the Empire.

   Second, from the political point of view - that would mean tighter clench around all of occupied countries. And this was what Imperial Government needed the most.
But from the ideological point of view - it's a complete failure. Japan would never, ever move the capital that is located on the sacred ground. The heart of sacred Empire! We have to remember we are in the 30's, the heyday of militaristic paranoia and flying nationalism (not much changed anyway, scratch military only). Japan proclaimed their "mission" precisely because of this reason - because Archipelago was the Chosen Land, the Land of Gods and thus, Japan had every right to lead other countries (just google Konoe Fumimaro and his statements). I don't see how Imperial Household would ever agree, how nationalistic officials would agree. But here's the trick - Kishokai is a secret organization. They don't care what Imperial Household wants. It's them who have to be in a real power and moving the capital to the continent would make them master of puppets (or, if we want japanese term: kagemusha). Fascinating topic, really.

   By the way, the time settings for this drama must be somewhere between 1930 and 1933. They mentioned 20 years since annexation (1910) and they also mentioned that League of Nations may not approve Japan's public execution of Mok Dam Sari, and Japan left LoN in March of 1933.

   Another nice situation in the drama - when Mok Dam Sari was sentenced to death, in the room of Governor General we had all those people who begged asked the Governor to sentence Sari to death. What did they not know was the fact that sentence was already passed. It was a farce giving them the feeling of being in power, of having any means to decide in politics, while they are nothing but puppets.

   This is why, on such rich background, love story between Mokdan and Kangto wears thin. It's a forced love story and it's lackluster. Yeah, OK, I do get the first love and all that. But for fuck's sake - they were just kids, kids don't love! Oh, maybe Korean ones do, I'm sorry. Mokdan hated Kangto all she could, and immediately, one second after she took the mask off from his face (really? bleeding guy? really??) her hatred turned to butterflies, unicorns and marshmallows! No questionings, no hesitation! What if it was just a trap? She didn't think that this and only this time Kangto could act as Gaksital to gain her trust? Ah, yes, Mokdan doesn't think, I do get it now, forgive me when I puke.
Their love is as passionate as mashing the potatoes.

   Oh, and by the way, I'm starting the Church of the Awesome Choi Daehun. I know, I'm boring already with my praising of this man, but whatever he does on screen during his 30-second long appearance is pure magic. Incredible. For me, he's the best actor there. Everything he does, be it speaking or a simple gesture is and epiphany of such talent, my English can't describe.