Bulgasal is about a young child who was cursed by a fearsome monster in the mountainous regions of South Korea. He lives most of his childhood hated by the people who surround him and left out in the wilderness on his own to die. Until a kind hearted soldier adopts the child despite warnings from the people. The soldier gives him a name, Dan Hwal and raises him to be a monster hunter. For the most part Hwal is a functioning human being, but he struggles to connect with anyone around him, except his adopted father. Then the fateful day comes when Hwal loses everything, including his to soul to the one and only monster that cursed him in the womb, Bulgasal. He becomes Bulgasal himself and promises to avenge his family by killing the former monster after her reincarnation and regaining his soul.
Hello dear reader! I hope the holidays have treated you well and the New Year sees you healthy. I have taken an extremely long hiatus and I apologize, but I am now back on track hopefully. So, I have started many dramas but I have also dropped many. Some that I finished were done but not without some struggle. Anyway, toward the end of 2021 there were a number of popular historical dramas one of which I found equally amusing and aggravating, The Red Sleeves. If you have a chance I suggest to
watch it dear reader! When that one finished I was in need of a new drama and Netflix was advertising for their new drama, Bugalsal. It caught my attention and I decided to give it a try. When I say I wasn’t disappointed with the outcome I am putting it too lightly. I was sucked into the story from the first episode.
I rate my dramas on mainly two categories, storytelling, and direction. Under Storytelling, I take into account not just the acting, but the writing, and music as well. It is usually presented as a percentage. Under the category direction, I consider both editing and direction, editing counts for 2 points while direction counts for 3. It'll be out 5. I call them my sticky notes because that tends to be what I write my thoughts on when I'm watching. On my sticky notes I gave the series a 95% on story telling and a 5/5 for direction.
If you are under the impression that this series is going to be like Goblin you may be
met with either disappointment or confusion, dear reader. The only similarities the two series share are a basis in Korean folklore and a monster who lives for thousands of years. Bulgasal has way more gravitas to it than Goblin. Likewise the writing and story arch for the series is better plotted and planned out. This is, of course, in my humble opinion.
The cinematography is just absolutely top quality and it was the first thing to capture my attention in this drama. I just absolutely love the cinematography of this series. There is beauty in the scenery of South Korea’s countryside and how the director
shoots it just presents it like a timeless painting. The costuming is amazing especially
during the ancient eras of Korea. The opening scene in particular is the crowning glory of both the costuming and the makeup department, which is important since it sets the tone for the whole series and they succeeded. I could go on about this but let's just wrap it up to say, the director does well in staging everything outside and finding beautiful and calming scenery that contrasts to the deep complex storyline.
I do have some qualms about the main female lead. The way she is written and the way she is acted is just a little annoying. She always does the opposite of what she is
told and winds up needing to be saved, she’s constantly in tears, and has annoying moments of helplessness often. Honestly, if the other twin survived past the first episode I think the character would have been much more interesting. Her twin had a bigger sense of responsibility, took charge of her troubles, and thought things through. I thought perhaps they’d make her a little more like her twin when they time jumped to her older self but the character remained mostly the same.
The writing has some strong moments, but I feel that in some characters they fail to create better character growth as the series unfolds. I also feel there are many
opportunities for things to be cleared in the main cast and they are ignored for the sake of anticipation. I think the plot of the series is good enough for the rest of the
series than to generate anticipation about whether the main leads will settle their past lives or not. Letting them know who they were may clear up any misconceptions they have about each other, especially where the main lead, Bulgasal is concerned.
I love how both male leads are in different shades of grey. The good guy isn’t wholesome and pure. He’s not the typical hero. He was spurned, cursed, feared, and hated for a good chunk of his life. He’s grumpy, cold, and much like a monster in the sense that he doesn’t know how to respond to the humans around him. Yet, he has a soft spot he only struggles to show his affection to those around him. As for the main villain he’s a little psycho but has a soft side, a lost childlike side. He's confusing, which makes his character intriguing. He's a monster and not afraid to display it. He's ancient and bored, yet he wants to live longer. It's strange.
I am thoroughly enjoying this series. I love the main actors and have little to no qualms about their performances. Even though I have a problem with the main female lead, she’s still doing enough to keep me interested in the show. The story and the direction marry well with each other. It's nice to see the three main components of a show cohesively intertwine. I highly suggest this series, dear reader. Let me know what you think about the series down below! I'd love to hear from you. Anywhoo, goodbye and until next time, dear reader!