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September 7, 2018
MR.SUNSHINE Continuous Dedication, Research and Non-stop Monitoring
Source: tvN // OSEN
By: Jojo Panaligan Manila Bulletin
Netflix’s original Korean series “Mr. Sunshine” is down to its last six episodes and the drama keeps mounting to exhilarating heights.
The story is about Shinmiyangyo or the U.S. expedition to Korea in the late 19th century. A boy born into a family of slaves runs away to board an American warship after witnessing his parents forced to death. He returns 30 years later, as a U.S. marine officer, to his home country that had abandoned him but now in need of his help. He falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter and discovers the dark scheme to colonize the country that he once ran away from.
U.S. Marine Officer Captain Eugene Choi (played by Lee Byung-hun), the slave boy all grown-up. While Eugene had no intention to protect the troubled Choseon, he feels his love for Ae-sin becoming bigger than his hatred towards Choseon.
*Go Ae-sin (Kim Tae-ri) is the noble aristocrat’s daughter and a member of the resistance whose love for her country outweighs everything else. Ae-sin falls in love with Eugene as she is fascinated by the Korean-looking American, his confidence and how he can take action on what he feels is right. Ae-sin lives a double life — as a calm aristocrat’s daughter during the day and a resistance member at night, pulling the trigger for what she believes is right.
*Gu Dong-mae (Yoo Yeon-seok) is the leader of Musin Society, which is a Japanese samurai group. Dong-mae was born into a butcher’s family which was sometimes considered lower than slaves and harassed by everyone in his childhood. Ae-sin saves Dong-mae’s life as Dong-mae was being hunted down, and he later runs away to Japan to later return to Choseon as the leader of a samurai group that will do anything for money.
*Kudo Hina (Kim Min-jung) is the owner of Hotel Glory that becomes an important location for all characters in the series. Hina is a woman who stays strong against any threat and befriends Dong-mae for protection, while at the same time developing a feeling of love towards Eugene Choi. She is the daughter of Lee Wan-ik, a pro-Japanese who sold her over to an old Japanese man for marriage, and she shows her hatred towards her father continuously.
*Kim Hui-seong (Byun Yo-han) is Ae-sin’s fiancé and at the same time the grandson of the aristocrat that is responsible for the death of Eugene’s parents. While originally taking no interest in the life in Choseon, he immediately falls in love with his fiancé, who was pre-arranged by his parents, and fights hard to show and protect his love towards Ae-sin.
Last week, in episodes 17 and 18, Lee Wan-ik becomes more of a threat to Choseon as he threatens the government to put the country in danger. The government looks for a person that Lee Wan-ik cannot dare face up to. Dong-mae is free from confinement and is fully in action, while Hui-seong sends a marriage proposal to Ae-sin. Eugene makes a promise to himself that he will not run away from Choseon again, hinting that he will help out the government for his love.
In an interview we attended in Korea recently, we learned that Kim had to learn fencing and four other languages (French, English, Joseon and Japanese) for her to deliver on what was required of her on the series. Aside from that, she said that being a period drama, just to dress her up for every shoot was very elaborate and required much time and patience.
Kim sees her character as “complex.” That is because Go Ae-sin needed to undergo a lot of transformations to reach one point (as an aristocrat) to another (fighter).
Lee said that you don’t need to know that era in Korean history to understand the series. He said that at the heart of it all are universal values shaped and moved forward by love, patriotism and justice.
Produced by Hwa&Dam Pictures and Studio Dragon, “Mr. Sunshine” comes out with new episodes Saturdays and Sundays.