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Korean Drama-"Iljimae", Two Faces of an Action Hero

Updated on April 20, 2015

SBS "Iljimae" Vs. MBC "the Return of Iljimae"

Two Iljimae: Jung Il Woo Vs. Lee Junki

The name, Lee Junki, first came across my attention is when the movie “The King’s Man” was released a few years back. I heard that he’s really good in the film, but never get the chance to see it. A couple years later, he played the leading role in SBS’s version of Iljimae. Again, I heard lots of buzz over it, but wasn’t enthusiastic enough to watch the series. Often, I notice his pictures in the entertainment news section. My initial impression of him was that he is a very feminine looking guy (specially his eyes and mouth), which I don’t particular think is a bad thing (many good looking men give out that notion). We all have different tastes. Certain people strike you more than others. There is nothing wrong with that. I am sure Lee Junki is a good actor; however, he is NOT my “cup of tea”.

On the other hand, the main reason I decide to watch MBC’s Return of Iljimae (with great infatuation and interest) is because of Jung Il Woo (aside from the excellent script, director, and casts). Something about him draws me right in. I find myself lost in his gaze. He may not be the prettiest man I have ever seen, but he surely captures my attention. Young (only 21 years of age at the time), tall (184cm in height), slender (a bit too skinny in my opinion, especially in his European Vacation Photos, but fit enough for the drama), and handsome (with still a boyish looks). With the help of this brilliant drama series, Jung Il Woo seems to mature beyond his youthful years. Above all, he does a good enough job to convince me that he really sustains the spirit of Iljimae, the dynamic hero, witty, brave, fair, who is the embodiment of honor and integrity.

Honestly, I haven’t really watched Lee Junki’s Iljimae, only clips of it (wasn’t impressed), so I don’t think I have the right to judge who is the better Iljimae. The other dramas I saw Lee Junki stars in are “My Girl” and “The time between dog and wolf” (the scripts could be better).

Jung Il Woo, on the other hand, is very cute, sweet and loveable in the long running popular sitcom, “High Kick”, sometimes also called “the Unstoppable High Kick”. (In the series, he plays a rebellious high school student, courageous, righteous, and always fights back when others challenge him. He falls in love with his English teacher, also his uncle’s girlfriend.) The series has 167 episodes, long, but worthwhile watching.

Below is a link to the theme song that I love very much, also with some wonderful clips from the drama. Hope you enjoy it!

Final words

Personally, I like Jung Il Woo’s portrait of Iljimae better. I think he has done an excellent job in MBC’s “the Return of Iljimae”. Please follow my future postings regarding this Drama Series. Thank you!

Korean drama & movie on Amazon


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    • Dreamlin profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from New Jersey, USA

      Thank you!

    • Ingenira profile image


      5 years ago



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