Okay, let’s get rolling and get things done. Next on my to review list, Ruler of the Mask (aka The Emperor: Owner of the Mask)!

Why did I watch

Well, I was really anticipating for Kim So Hyun to star on a sageuk drama again. With Yoo Seung Ho acting opposite her, I couldn’t ask for more. With these former child stars who are now both grown up actors, no drama could go wrong, right?

Lee Sun (left) and Han Ga Eun (right)

Plot

Set during the Joseon period, Lee Yoon connived with the powerful group of nobles called Pyunsoo to gain the throne. As part of the induction, the new member needs to take an addictive drug. One should take this pill regularly (once a month, if I remember correctly) or he will die. Only the Pyunsoo leaders can produce the pills, hence, their power to manipulate their members and raise a puppet king.

Shortly after the birth of the crown prince, Lee Sun, Dae Mok, the leader of the Pyunsoo group, came up with an evil plot to poison the first-born. In exchange with the antidote, Lee Yoon had no choice but to make a deal with the Pyunsoo group. The conditions were for the group to have full authority over the Bureau of Water Supply and for Lee Sun to join Pyunsoo once he reached the right age.

To protect the young prince from the evil group, the king had him wear a mask to keep his face hidden. The plan is to have an impostor get inducted in his stead when the time comes for Dae Mok to summon him for induction.

Yoo Seung Ho as Crown Prince Lee Sun

The good

Good thing about it? Well, Yoo Seung Ho’s dashing. 😍 Like Kim So Hyun, it’s nice to see him in traditional clothes again. It’s been five years since he took a role in a historical drama, Arang and the Magistrate and I’ve missed him badly. Hahaha.

The not so good

Killings, killings and killings. Seriously, I was like “man, who else has to die?” every single time. Hahaha. And yes, I admit that it all boils down to the not so well-written plot. Sorry, writers-nim but I couldn’t blame anyone from the cast this time.

My favorite character

Disclaimer: When I planned to include a My favorite character section in every drama review I’ll write, I decided that the two leads should be excluded from the options, as much as possible, so don’t get surprise with my choices. 😅

Yes, my already quite obvious pick is Hwa Gun. I don’t know…maybe I just felt sorry for her. I’m actually not so fond of Yoon So Hee that’s why I was quite surprised that I find myself drawn into Hwa Gun. I guess I’m just into female characters with strong personality. The only thing I don’t like about her is that she’s willing to sacrifice her all for love. Everything has a limit, girl.

Yoon So Hee as Kim Hwa Gun

But don’t get me wrong, I’m also a fan of Ga Eun. I like her brevity and wit (and I definitely still root her for the crown prince). Kim So Hyun never disappoints. It’s just that Ga Eun’s not so much different from your typical sageuk female lead. I expected a little bit more from her with intriguing characters like Hwa Gun around. I’m not surprised Kim So Hyun picked Hwa Gun when asked if given a chance, which character aside from Ga Eun would she be wanting to portray.

To watch or not to watch

‘Cause I’m a fan of both the leads, I would say yes! I may be a bit biased but I think their hard work deserves some recognition. Though I wouldn’t say it could be lined up to other epic, legend sageuk dramas, this series is worth checking out. And duh, every drama addict must watch this beautiful scene. Hahaha. Hands down to the techinal group. 🙌

P.S.

I actually had my doubts how L would pull off a character like Sun. I don’t know, maybe because I haven’t seen him star in any historical drama before. I thought his complexion’s too white (lol) and his voice’s too small to portray a poor, shabby commoner. But girl, the boy could act. Yes, there were times when his character seems unreasonable (I’m blaming the script) but overall, I would say Myung Soo did a pretty good job.

Kim Myung Soo (aka L) as Commoner Lee Sun

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