"Blade Man" is at its best when it works on human relationships and at its weakest when it tries to integrate story elements and politics. The relationship between Hong-bin and Se-dong, and Hong-bin and his family is strong and relatable. Madame Yoon and her personal agenda is wearying and unengaging. The stark contrast in the show's strengths and weaknesses mirrors the abrupt changes between scenes, which is surprising as the transitions between scenes were so strong in the earliest episodes.
The strongest part of today's episode was the solid connection between Hong-bin and Se-dong. They are both sincere characters, she in her concern for others, he in the expression of his emotions. This episode has them both visibly molding each other. He opens her to be more honest with her feelings, and she influences him to consider others more. Hong-bin knows his transformation is dangerous, especially since it is fueled by rage for his father, and he takes an active hand in avoiding his father to prevent hurting him. That's a big step for this character. The next will be for him to share his secret with Se-dong.
Hong-bin's secrecy regarding his transformations is logical, but there is only so long the secret can be effectively kept before it starts to drag. There have been a few almost-discoveries on Se-dong's part, but the real one needs to come soon. Mostly the show needs more active revelations regarding the mystical transformations. Right now all the characters, and the audience, has to go on is a bunch of suppositions that aren't satisfying.
More satisfying than the transformations is the developing relationship between Chang and Hong-bin. They are inching towards each other, but each step is extremely rewarding. While Hong-bin's inflexible father makes the same mistakes he made with Hong-bin with his youngest son Hong-joo, Hong-bin is doing the opposite with his son. He speaks with the child rather than yelling at him. He refrains from hitting him and instead listens to Se-dong's input about the child's feelings and needs. Hong-bin's father merely explodes at his children and instills resentment and fear rather than fostering a healthy relationship. Perhaps he will change with his grandson. Or perhaps he will let Madame Yoon manipulate him into cruelty.
The other fun thing about this episode was how much Hong-bin enjoys the freedom of the physical power his transformations provides. He can race cars, climb building, and hulk smash things. It's an outlet for the helplessness he feels against his father. Again, the more we know about his powers and transformations, the more effective his reactions will be, especially since the editing in the show is getting sloppier. Transitions between scenes is choppy and it seems like needed elements are being thrown in because they are necessary. However, they are not organically integrated into the overall story texture. The actual construction of "Blade Man" gets sloppier as time goes on, which is to be expected of the grueling schedules K-dramas function on. But it still isn't an effective way to storytell.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 7"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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