The first season of Tale of the Nine Tailed amassed a huge fan following not only for the leads but also for the secondary cast. This Lee Dong Wook-Jo Bo Ah starrer fantasy romance drama released in 2020 was a delightful surprise for the fans of the ‘Grim Reaper’ to see him in a new avatar in a fantasy drama. Kim Beom shot back to popularity with his portrayal of the mischievous and scheming Lee Rang. He is more popularly known for his role in the 2009 pan-Asian hit drama Boys Over Flowers.
Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938 Mid-Season Review: Lee Dong Wook and Kim Bum bring back supernatural brotherhood in absurdly campy second season
In Tale of the Nine Tailed, Lee Dong Wook appears as Lee Yeon, a gumiho (nine-tailed fox) who is almost 1000 years old and was the guardian spirit of Baekdusan. After abdicating his post as the guardian spirit exchange for his lover’s reincarnation, he lives as a modern man and helps Taluipa, an officer at the Afterlife Immigration Office to eradicate evils and threatening supernatural beings from the mortal world. Jo Bo Ah appears in a dual role as Ah Eum and Ji-Ah, and is also Lee Yeon’s love interest in both her lives. Lee Yeon and Ji Ah’s love is challenged in the modern times when Imogi, an earth dragon, threatens to kill Ji Ah in this birth.
Kim Bum stars as Lee Yeon’s half-brother Lee Rang. The two share a love-hate relationship with each other from the very beginning. As the story progresses, their relations became amicable but the infamous sibling rivalry stays. Hwang Hee appears as Ko Shin Joo, Lee Yeon’s loyal subject. In modern times, he works as a vet because he can hear what the animals think being a gumiho himself. His loyalty and determination to help Lee Yeon and Ji Ah unite and fight against Imogi is applause-worthy. How the characters face the challenges by Imogi and how they tackle their own personal matters forms the crux of the story. Tale of the Nine Tailed is available for streaming on Netflix.
Eight out of twelve episodes have aired so far and the show has carried its essence still. Lee Yeon and Lee Rang’s rivalry is clearly a delight to see on screen. Hwang Hee reprises his role as Ko Shin Ju in the sequel. His loyalty only grows in this sequel as he helps Lee Rang go back to the present and at the same time put out small fires in the 1930s. Ryu Kyung Soo joins the cast as Cheon Moo Young who is a former mountain god just like Lee Yeon. He takes the stone and flees to the past which puts the rest of the characters in a chaotic hunt to retrieve it.
The supporting cast, whom we loved in the first season, returned in the sequel as well. Some with new characters and some with their old ones. Kim Yong Ji who earned a special place in the audience’s hearts as Yu Ri, a gumiho from Russia and Lee Rang’s loyal follower, appears as a reporter named Eun Ho in the sequel. She might not be a gumiho this time, but she essays her new role with ease once again. Taluipa and Hyunioung’s funny bickering is great to see once again.
Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938 is synonymous with a balanced offering of humour, thrill, mystery and endearing moments. From Lee Yeon’s sass to Lee Rang’s schemes, to the heavenly figures’ razzmatazz, it is a delight to see the ensemble cast in the past whilst trying to get back to the present. The lack of romance angle in this season thankfully does not affect the storyline. The fact that CGI was used in the show is not lost on the viewers (looking at you, baby showing the finger!). Some might even argue that the landscaping and editing at certain places is patchy given that the makers had to recreate the past and also install a diplomatic narrative within the storytelling. In all fairness, it is a job tried and done well.
The show has had a few hiccups but as it comes to a stunning closure with two weeks of runtime left, it promises a plausible and believable closure, albeit with a cliffhanger if the first season was anything to go by! With just twelve episodes, it looks like it might just be a filler to what might come next. If the news is to be believed, a third installment is also in the works and who knows it might take the characters to the future next!
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