To start off: I love Lee Junki; I love historical dramas. This drama is clearly up my alley and forever relevant to my interests. AKA This means that there might be some kind of bias, however, I am not huge into K-dramas at this moment. That may help with not making my bias so bad.
The start of Iljimae is interesting. It starts with the generic map on the table a knife being thrown at it to mark a location and the other people going “but but but that’s impossible!” Then it has our hero going “난 일지매 니까” which is his way of going “I can do it for I am Iljimae!”
Now we are forwarded to the scene where he attempts to break into the said impossible place. He is dressed as an older man with ice for the ceremony. After prodding he gets in…here’s where I can see why it’s called a fusion historical drama, he removes prosthetic skin. That wasn’t available then. He then starts running on the roof tops and it’s a mixture of Batman and Harry Potter coupled with cool roof jumping.
The huge robbary/fight scene occurs after he breaks in the chamber in a way that would make Batman proud and he ends up getting away for he is Iljimae.
No, that is not the end of episode! Amazing, right?
We are then taken to a hill side that has a blind man that can tell fortunes stating that someday there will be something that is very popular with the people that will burn as red as the sun. This man is promptly killed and his village ransacked for his wife so that she too may be killed. Everyone in the village is murdered. However, the wife having somehow had forewarning was able to run. She eventually sends her children off without her and she is then murdered.
Then we are obviously in a flashback (I’m not 100% on the hillside scene) and we see little Iljimae (called Gyeom) and a boy named Cho-dol and towards the middle/end we see a girl named Eun-Chae. These people are given a lot of attention especially Cho-dol so they’re definitely going to be important later in the story.
The episode ends with Gyeom’s father being attacked…that’s it! It’s a cliff hanger!
I’ll give this episode a 7.5 out of 10 mostly because the obvious “that couldn’t happen” and well, it’s mostly back story at this point. We’re, obviously, not into the meat and potatoes of the series yet but we’re going to get there and it’s going to be a fun ride from the looks of things.