19 March 2014

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Song Jae-rim as Mo Il-hwa in Age of Feeling: A Close Look

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on March 19, 2014
kakashi: When Poong-cha died, there was a lot of sadness. I really grieved for him, because it was so unexpected and sudden ... and so goddamn sad. But we all moved on, some more quickly than others (*sob* I will never forget you, Poong-cha!). When we heard that Kim Jae-Wook had quit the drama due to the change in writer-nims and subsequent unhappiness in how his character would develop (or, I'm guessing, not develop), people were temporarily outraged and also quite worried. Would they destroy yet another awesome drama willy-nilly? Well, some (me included) also said that it was a good move, because his character Kim Soo-Ok was about as redundant as a 6th toe. Also, is anybody (I mean the people that still watch AoF, quite a few less than started it) missing him? No? Thought so. The outrage was short and sweet.
JoAnne: Poong Cha! All my Dobie babies! Where are you? Also - didn't you say that the manhwa even had Soo Ok dying? (yes, absolutely. He dies, and his death turns Ok-ryeon into a freedom fighter) So where did he think his story was going to go anyway? Not that I would have been unhappy with more Kim Jae Wook, one of the most incredibly beautiful humans on the planet and a fellow with a cheeky grin, to boot.
kakashi: Don't get greedy now!  
kakashi: alright, so Kim Jae-wook is gone and forgotten. But when rumors started that Song Jae-Rim's Mo Il-hwa had been written out of this drama as well, there was an uproar that didn't subside. How could they?! Leader Mo?! Noooooooo! It's my second nature to question and analyze things and this strong reaction to Mo Il-hwa's early retirement seemed a bit puzzling, seeing how absolutely marginal his character is. Anyway, that's what I thought BEFORE I caught the Song Jae-rim bug!!!! I wanted to do an intellectual post, you know, a true analysis, but ... fuck it. This is a post to celebrate his awesomeness. I'll just post pictures. Pictures to drool over! Don't mind the text.
JoAnne: Leader Mo became a legend in about 30 seconds. Song Jae Rim may never be a leading man (I'll bomb KDramaland if that happens). He may always inhabit supporting actor territory. But when he can imbue any character, no matter how slight, with such distinct personality and mannerisms that that character immediately becomes a favorite to be talked about long after the drama ends... that is a man you want in your drama.  
buy this and you can eat some (Mo) Il-hwa

Song Jae-rim Mo Il-hwa's story in Age of Feeling

kakashi: We first meet Mo Il-hwa in Episode 4, when he saves young Jung-tae after he is knifed by the evil butcher and his wife. Things are a bit hazy and blurry back then, cause, you know, young Jung-tae almost dies, but it later becomes clear from that scene that Mo Il-hwa doesn't age at all. Indeed, he has vampire qualities: Pallor of skin, strength, creepiness, incredibly sexiness ... It's a possibility. He should be in a vampire drama (Good Doctor's writers are preparing a "vampire thriller fantasy medical drama" later this year!!). Anyway, we learn absolutely nothing about him.
JoAnne: Au contraire! We learn that we all want Mo. Isn't that enough?
kakashi: Gawwwwd, JoAnne, I'm doomed. It's bad when you crush on third lead actors. The wait for new appearances is excruciating!  
JoAnne: I have no sympathy, and you know the reason why. My Aka.
kakashi: The second time we meet him, this time much prolonged, is in Episode 5, after the first time jump in this drama. Gaya and Shinichi are at Dandong, his home. Has he been born here? We do not know. I just know I want to go to Dandong myself if there's a Mo Il-hwa there. This is the first good look we get at him (after watching his awesome boots approach). Had to sneak some Shinichi in as well - wow, he looked a lot better at the beginning of this drama!!
JoAnne: He could afford to buy groceries. Thank you for this gif, which made me laugh until I cried when it happened in the drama.
kakashi: It is established that Mo is a very dangerous fighter. I want to marry him. The first thing I'd do after the wedding night would be to cut his hair though. Those asymmetrical cuts ... so disturbing.
JoAnne: I want to put it in a ponytail on top of his head. Something about the danger of making a deadly man look silly. And then he'll get angry and I'll have to put him back in a good mood. Gee, I wonder what method I will choose.
kakashi: Mo likes himself good teas (me too!). But does he like Gaya? We're not sure ... he seems somewhat intrigued by her, but not in "that" way. He eyes her like an interesting specimen.
JoAnne: He better not be gay. I can't give this one up to the boys. Sorry, not sorry.
kakashi: As long as I can have him, I don't care what else he loves. 
JoAnne: I want to bite his nose. Do you think I was a kitten or a puppy in a former life, maybe? I always want to chomp on things I like.
kakashi: Just to pretend this post also has some content, we learn something interesting at this point: Il Gook Hwae killed his mother. And Mo seems a bit insane.

JoAnne: Ah, the days when we thought that Mo could possibly be a bad guy. He might do bad things someday, but we know he will do them because he is forced to - not because he wants to. Back then? We weren't so sure. And we weren't so sure we minded, either way.
kakashi: He wouldn't be the first BAD guy in this show we are madly in love with (side-eying Aka-loving JoAnne).
JoAnne: *sobbing* there's not even enough of him to make a POST.
Crazy? Me?
kakashi: In Episode 6, grown Jung-tae has the honor to meet the never-aging Mo Il-hwa. I can't say for certain Mo doesn't like boys. I find it all very erotic. He throws a knife at Jung-tae and then asks to have it back. I mean ... come one. He then babbles about killers and having to be alert – and throws the knife again, this time cutting Jung-tae’s ear, only so slightly. See? Not alert. 
JoAnne: That's because Jung Tae likes girls. Put a woman in that room and see if every one of her nerve-endings isn't in a high state of readiness.
kakashi: Three steps away, that’s a safe distance (if the opponent does not have a sword). Two steps: that’s “life or death”, the distance within to kill or be killed. One step: that’s the “death distance”. Yeah. I'm dead alright O___o
kakashi: Mo wins. Of course. That's how it should be. 
JoAnne: Starting to feel more comfortable that Mo is a good guy, this is the scene that did it for me. He just takes that whole rumor of inscrutability too far.
kakashi: No Mo in Episode 7 (bleh), but in Episode 8, he comes to save the day ... and Jung-tae. But he takes his fooking time, while Poong-cha dies (*sobbing*). And first, he stands around in pink morning glory (with Seul, the toad). And that? There on the right? Is when he called me to tell me how much he loves me.
JoAnne:  One, two, Mary's coming for you...three, four, better shut the door...
kakashi: Time to admire his profile ... and his eye. His eyebrows are also quite nice, but we just need to imagine them. Like other things. Why is there only one person that gets to take his shirt off all the time?! 
JoAnne: Currently I believe he is quite slender but there was a time when Song Jae Rim was VERY buff and not just muscle-y in that 'I have definition because I only have .00000005 body fat' way. Bigger, long-haired, half -naked Song Jae Rim would have been an unbearably sexy Mo though. I don't think we could have stood it.
kakashi: Let's admire his boots next and his strutting. I so LOVE it when they strut. Alright, and let's admire his face in the natural light, against the blue. He looks damn young though. 
JoAnne: He's also really pale.
kakashi: To add some more content ... there's a fight between him and Gaya ... Gaya has her two short knives but Mo is armed only with that insane coolness and superhero superspeed (and superhero hair).
JoAnne: Love how he fluffed his skirt.  This guy really thought about his movements in the characterization and he is just a genius.
kakashi: She hurts him. Baaaaaaad Gaya! He'll need that hand to .... I'll censor this. I haven't rated this page 19+ yet but I'm beginning to think I might have to.
JoAnne: Kids, show this page to your mother. She'll thank you.

kakashi: The fight continues in Episode 9. Fights are hard to gif, unfortunately, but have at least one hellofasexy screencap. I'm falling in love with his red ears right about NOW. 
JoAnne: Do you think he's got the matching eye to Aka under those bangs?
kakashi: Mo in the forest ... nice. This background looks particularly good behind him. It brings out the color of his skin. Unfortunately, his home base is attacked while he looks good in the forest.
JoAnne: When he smiles here he reminds me of my cute Joon from MBlaq.  I can't stop staring at his lips. They're not as full but his mouth is so...mobile. It makes me think things.
 
kakashi: More fighting. The possibility that Mo could die is becoming a constant thought from about now on. There is no telling with this show. 
JoAnne: But the show needs a character like Mo, so that would be stupid.
kakashi: By the way, I'm glad he has more than just the one dress. Or maybe he has several sets that look exactly the same? My husband does that. When he likes something, he buys about 4 or 5 items.
JoAnne: It just makes sense.
kakashi: Alright, and after that beautiful staring into empty space, Mo disappeared from the drama. And then, rumors started that he had been "written out" of the drama like so many others. Like ... NO MORE MO!
JoAnne: To be fair, the only person I ever heard talked about was Kim Jae Wook... but when Mo wasn't around and wasn't around and wasn't around we just assumed he was written out too (or I did anyway) and that was just not cool with me at all. Or anyone else, for that matter.

kakashi: But they heard us ... *sobs hysterically cause relieved but oh the tension*, he comes to Shanghai in Episode 15! The show starts teasing us about a possible love-story with So-so and Song Jae-rim gets a LOT of screentime in Episode 16.
JoAnne: MoSo needs to happen.
kakashi: While some of us ship SoSo and MoMo, an alternative pairing would be Mo and Jung-tae.
JoAnne: That'd be fine with me. Once a year or maybe twice, just a casual fishing trip or something...with cameras.
kakashi: See how much they like each other? They have such great chemistry!
JoAnne: I feel like they are actual friends.

kakashi: Yes, Song Jae-rim, your beauty makes me dizzy and I have nothing else to say. Is there anything else? Oh yeah ... he hasn't died. Yet. Will we get the MoSo couple? Or will it be the MoJung one? Stay tuned. In the meantime, I will watch WTFParis.
JoAnne: Where we will root for KeBu, yes!
kakashi: Stay tuned for Nail Shop Paris Squeecaps, people! Coming up!  

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