Around the time of the American Revolution, a Korean martial artist and swordsman named Baek Dong Soo and his group of what we would in modern terms title “kung fu bums” saved the dynasty of Korea from assassination. That is not a teaser for the excellent manga-inspired series Warrior Baek Dong Soo, which I highly recommend on Hulu+ or Dramafever.com.
As in, why are you reading this and not watching this yet?
What kills me is that this amazing action and historical melodrama series is not licensed for sale in the USA. How can a manga-oriented, action-loving, entertainment-centered culture like America, a culture with a LOT of Korean immigrants and even more adherents to Korean martial arts, NOT have this series for sale?! Honestly! Does everyone with Korean family just borrow a copy from Cousin Park or Uncle Kim?
The good news is that it is available streaming on video.
This series has a lot to like. It has depth, following the main character from his birth through his early twenties. It has an amazing series of foils for characters. The Sword Saint, most famous swordsman in Korea is frenemies with the Sky God, elite leader of the Heuksa Chorong (translated as Black Ninjas). Short of Byzantium, no one does corrupt bureaucracy the way Confucian monarchies do corrupt bureaucracy, so that a villain we love to hate can sit down to tea with the man he’s planning to assassinate, they both know it, and the structure of society demands the niceties be observed. Folks, that is a recipe for superlative drama.
Three young men grow to manhood as martial artists and warriors, just far enough on the outside to deal with the secret war between the shadows of the Black Ninjas and self-appointed martial artist protectors of the crown prince! Loyalty and friendship, ill-fated destinies, romance, beautiful scenery, a secret book of war that threatens the balance of power, more swords than you can swing a… cat at, some decent if slightly overplayed soundtrack, beautiful circular Sino-influenced Korean martial arts, bright colors, and melodrama oozing out of various orifices…
This series is nerd porn.
If you are reading this sentence, you fail, because you still haven’t started to watch it yet.