First Impressions and Unfiltered Thoughts: Rugal

I often steer clear of OCN dramas, as they usually lean towards darker and more intense content. But when one of my favorite actors was cast in the new webtoon adaptation of Rugal, I decided to make an exception. This show is definitely a far cry from my usual rom-com drama fare. Join Kmuse and I to see if this gritty, action thriller will find a regular spot on our watchlists.

A quick story synopsis from MDL-

Kang Ki Beom is an elite police officer whose attempt to bring down Argos, a nationwide criminal organization, results in a group of masked assailants from Argos killing his beloved wife and cutting out both of his eyes. Kang wakes up in a hospital only to find himself accused of murdering his wife. The NIS then approaches him with an offer to become a member of Rugal, a special team organized by the NIS. He receives two artificial eyes with Rugal’s biotechnology built into them and with them gains unique new abilities with which to take down criminal organizations. Kang Ki Beom and Rugal set out on a mission to wipe out Argos.

From the Page to the Screen

Corruption, greed, revenge, and covert operations cover all the major plot points in a nutshell. Whether it’s the power struggle within Argos or their fight with law enforcement, it’s a ‘take no prisoners’ kind of game. (Seriously, after only two episodes, the body count is ridiculously high. I can’t even begin to guess what the battlefield will look like when the dust settles at the end of this drama.)

MiataMama: I’m so glad I decided to scope out the Rugal webtoon before diving into this drama. I felt mostly prepared for the forthcoming journey. But, there were still several squeamish and disturbing moments that were much more vivid in live-action form. Graphic scenes aside, I find myself liking the mutant super-hero vs. cunning villain vibe.

Kmuse: I haven’t read the webtoon so I am going in totally unaware of what the story was. So far I have not been disappointed since I tend to enjoy the more action-packed violent revenge stories. I just hope that we can have some great plot development along with the pretty actors.

Why is the Bad Guy So Captivating?

Park Sung Woong, enters the scene as Hwang Deuk Goo, the right-hand man of Argos’s leader. He’s devious, quick-tempered and possibly teetering on the edge of crazy. 

MiataMama: I was honestly anxious and horrified every time Deuk Goo came on the screen. . . he’s straight-up scary!! But at the same time, I have been gushing to Kmuse about Park Sung Woong – he gets all the kudos. I just can’t seem to tear my eyes away from his portrayal of this villain. Beware the chilling grins!

Kmuse: I’m a huge Park Sung Woong fan so I was thrilled that he was playing the bad guy in the drama. So far he is by far the most interesting aspect of the show.

Team Rugal

Leading the charge against Argos is the shadow organization, Rugal. Each member has a fancy, bio-tech super-power (and corresponding weakness) to aide them in their fight. Most seem to have been recruited while on death’s door and have varying levels of allegiance. 

MiataMama: This group of bold personalities and special talents kind of feels like the X-Men morphed with the A-Team. I like the group dynamic, but with Ki Beom’s character added to the mix, there’s an uncomfortable lack of cohesion. I’m assuming that will improve with time. While I’m waiting, I’ll just enjoy all the scenes of Choi Jin Hyuk in sleeveless t-shirts and leather jackets!

Kmuse: Am I the only one that feels that this team feels very Matrix? I just hope that their special abilities stay past the first few episodes. I hate when people have special abilities but the special effects money runs out right away.

Final Thoughts

MiataMama: On the plus side, I do like the sci-fi/fantasy element that carries over from the webtoon. It feels like a comic brought to life and I need that bit of fantasy to deal with all the heavy content. And I’m apparently turning into a Park Seung Woo fangirl! At this point, I want to keep watching solely because of his character portrayal. However, I’m not sure I have what it takes to see this drama through to the end. . . For now, I plan to take it one week at a time. 

Kmuse: I am a huge sci-fi fan so the plot itself is really speaking to me. That said, I can’t recall the last time I actually finished an OCN drama. They just seem to lose oomph the longer the stories go. Maybe this will be the show that breaks the losing streak. Crossing fingers.

What are your thoughts on Rugal, drama fans? Sound off in the comments below!

화이팅!

MiataMama & Kmuse

Dramas with a Side of Kimchi

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3 thoughts on “First Impressions and Unfiltered Thoughts: Rugal

  1. You had me at Choi Jin Hyuk in sleeveless tshirts and leather jackets. Really, do we need anything else? I’m more wanting fluffy at this point, but for Choi Jin Hyuk, I am willing to make an exception.

    • I was willing to make that exception too, but I’m struggling to push through and finish the last few episodes. The acting (for everyone) is pretty stiff in this drama. . .

  2. I watched 10 episodes and if nothing changes it will be the first drama that I assess 5/10. I do not know where the error is, but the plot does not stick, jumps with action sites every minute, some high-flying, empty dialogues. Tragedy …. I’m disappointed, the worst drama of OCN, a drama for preschoolers whose superpowers are superhero.

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