There was so much staring, waiting, and soulful music this episode of "Blade Man" that it should've been a music video rather than an episode of K-drama. So little happened that most of the episode seemed like an attempt to fill the time slot. The lack of action and the abundance of face shots and moody lighting was probably an attempt to create a contemplative mood. But it backfired and made the episode drag instead.
There were a few important elements that were explored, but they could've been handled differently. Either they could've been developed much more succinctly and left more time for other events, or, they could've been developed more slowly and much more in depth. The second option would've allowed for a more thorough character exploration of multiple characters. Instead, the show sent Chang away to stay with his grandparents so he was effectively unused; it utilized a time skip that could've been done away with in order to better show the audience the demons that Hong-bin was fighting. Screen time was wasted with flashbacks and monologuing by Secretary Go. Normally Go isn't a utilitarian character, but this episode had him playing exposition fairy because Hong-bin didn't speak for the first twenty minutes.
Those wasted twenty minutes paid off when Hong-bin learned about controlling his powers via his emotional state; this payoff wasn't worth the hype, especially since Se-dong did an equivocal amount of moping and thinking and lack of speaking. The concept of the characters learning without words was well-conceived, but badly executed. There is so much great raw material in "Blade Man" that falls victim to poor execution: Hong-bin's anger issues that stem from family issues; Se-dong's fear of abandonment; Hong-joo's experiences with his father that mirror Hong-bin's. Even Madame Yoon's insidious way of weaseling her way into Hong-bin's family is a clever villain tactic that has been clumsily used. We continue to discover that she has her hand in many of the tragedies and hardships in Hong-bin's family, but we only get snippets. We need more of her current relationship with Hong-bin. Frankly, we need more of a lot of things in "Blade Man".
The fact that Hong-bin accidentally hurt Se-dong is another fantastic idea, but it was butchered. We skipped the harmful incident itself, skipped the healing process, and proceeded directly to the emotional coping. In this case it would've been much better to show the entire incident and the emotional reactions of both Hong-bin and Se-dong. It would make her reaction to his transformations (whenever she does learn about them) much more impactful. Let's hope that "Blade Man" skips fewer opportunities and digs into the revealing character explorations.
Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 10"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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