A Korean Odyssey – A Fine K-Drama But …

My wife and I are big fans of Korean TV dramas. A Korean Odyssey is possibly one of the finest out there. I have read the original Chinese version of Journey to the West. I enjoy the familiarities; I enjoy the Korean twists. What puzzles me most is the plot or rather, a special aspect of the plot. What follows would be classified as spoilers. If you intend to watch this TV-series, read no further (but do come back!).

Main characters are Son Oh-gong (the Monkey King) and his love interest Jin Seon-mi (the ‘female’ Buddist Monk). And then there is the Bull Demon King and his love interest Princess Iron Fan. Secretary Ma – a dog demon who is the faithful follower of Demon King. PK is the pig demon who has a rather intimate relationship with Richie – a human turned zombie and then possessed by an ancient priestess. I think PK sees Richie as a sister that he didn’t have while Richie sees PK as a boyfriend she never had.

We also have the previous incarnation of the Buddist Monk (who was actually a guy but did not make a lasting appearance) and his female guardian (who had been wanting to die but couldn’t). Last but not the least and onto the theme of body sharing, we have the siblings Summer Fairy and General Winter sharing a male body. And we have Jade Dragon (a ‘he’) taking possession of the body of Alice who was PK’s love interest.

So, what’s wrong with the script?

As it turns out, almost all female characters in A Korean Odyssey have to die at least once. Here is the breakdown.

  • Richie was murdered in a car accident and was resurrected by Jin Seon-mi or rather Sam-jang’s blood. Technically speaking, her name was Jung Se-ra.
  • Richie the zombie was killed numerous times, though she couldn’t quite die as a zombie.
  • Richie was possessed by a priestess who in the end, being vanquished willingly. That ended Richie the human, Richie the zombie, and Richie the priestess. All dead.
  • Princess Iron Fan – the love interest of Bull Demon King – has died many, many times throughout the cycle of incarnation. Until she has become … flowers.
  • Summer Fairy has to die in order to save General Winter. Technically speaking, she was dead before this story begins.
  • Jade Dragon has also died. Since all along, we the audience see ‘him’ as Alice and it was Alice who died in the show, I take the liberty of increasing the female body count by one.
  • The female guardian of the previous incarnation of Sam-jang has committed suicide using the sword that she killed the previous incarnation of Sam-jang (whom she loved) – the same sword that Son Oh-gong was supposed to use and kill his love interest Jin Seon-mi, which he did …
  • And Jin Seon-mi was killed and went to hell.
  • You could also count Secretary Ma the dog demon’s award-winning death faking scene as one.

The only female character that survives is the grandma of Bull Demon King’s son (and Secretary Ma of course). The rest of the female cast – all wiped.