Melody

A Korean Odyssey is a modern spin-off of the Chinese classic novel, Journey to the West (西游记)in which it depicts a tale of a Buddhist monk and his three divine protectors' mission and their journey to the 'western regions' to obtain Buddhist sacred texts and how they are met with various obstacles and challenges during their pilgrims journey. At its heart of the original story is the spiritual insight of the experiences they encountered and how teamwork and perseverance will push them onto their path towards enlightenment. 

While A Korean Odyssey retains the main cast of the original work, some of them have their roles switched (for the addition of the romance element) and I've to say the idea is a refreshing one. For instance, the Buddhist monk in the original work was re-script as a female human, Jin Seon Mi (starring Oh Yeon Seo), who is able to see otherworldly beings in this spin-off. Her encounter with Ma Wang (starring Cha Seung Won) (based on the Bull Demon King) as a girl is the start of everything after she has freed Son Oh Gong (starring Lee Seung Gi) (based on Sun Wukong), the Monkey King, from the Five Elements Mountain and a contract was sealed between them as a result. Now an adult, Seon-mi become Sam Jang (based on Tang Sanzang) since she was the one who has released the Monkey King from his prison. Son Oh Gong becomes her protector due to the magical bracelet (originally a head band) which bound him to her commands. 


What follows is a series of events which allow Sam Jang to interact with a few deities-like characters (and dispose of a few ghosts snd demons along the way with the help of Oh Gong) but the highlight would be the romance between she and Oh Gong and Sam Jang's summon to destroy a powerful black dragon before it escape into the world and causes destruction. 


While A Korean Odyssey tells a different story from Journey to the West, a few things retain such as the characters' characteristics and their abilities (for obvious reason) as well as the philosophy behind the original story, which is seeking true light in a dark world surrounded by the evils. The romance between Sam Jang and Oh Gong is a bold creation yet an original, refreshing idea. I absolutely loved the additional romance element and how it plays into a bigger scene in this story as it moves towards the finale, whereby one of them has to choose and make a decision surrounding the heavenly summon. A wonderful fantasy with a twist and I'd recommend this to anyone who loves this genre as well as fans of Journey to the West who don't mind a new perspective. (Trailer here.)

(My favourite OST - When I Saw You)

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7 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    This one sounds crazy! It might be a bit advanced for me.


  2. Melody Says:

    Jenny - Crazy is one word to describe this, but fun is another. ;)


  3. jenclair Says:

    This definitely has my interest! Thanks, Melody!


  4. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Hope you'll enjoy it! :)


  5. Iliana Says:

    Love how you always review such interesting movies that I haven't heard of!


  6. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I'm always in search for more interesting dramas like this. Can't get enough of them and nowadays I'm watching more Korean dramas than anything. ;)


  7. Suey Says:

    Hi Melody! My friend Jenny keeps telling me about your blog and I agree, we need to be friends! Because yes, I too watch and then review kdramas on my blog. (Also, I post a bit about kpop since, you know, that's part of my whole obsession.) For instance, I also just watched and loved Hwayugi and here's my review: http://sueysbooks.blogspot.com/2018/03/kdrama-review-hwayugi-korean-odyssey.html Your review is much more "scholarly" than mine! LOL... mine is a bit all over the place, but hopefully it conveys my feeling for this one. I've just started an older one (I Hear Your Voice) because I'm still trying to catch up on the good ones from the past. LOL. Anyway. Here's to kdramas. I love them... so so much.