Tale of The Nine-Tailed Review
Tale of The Nine-Tailed. I personally like to call it ‘Inuyasha’s live-action adaptation’. Because the story and the characters are exactly the same. The story begins when a gumiho is in love with humans. However, they are trapped in tragedy and cannot be together in the past. The immortal fox is waiting for his first love of humans and finally meets again at this time, 2020.
Basically, gumiho and humans cannot be married because of their different species. So then, the tragedy was ruined again and caused by the same enemy. Well, the 16 episodes tell how the gumiho clashes with his nemesis and his efforts with his partner to ‘against fate’ as hard as they can.
The difference with the Inuyasha series is the main character behind it switched. Sesshomarou as Lee Yeon, Kikyo/Kagome as Ah Eum / Nam Ji-ah, and Inuyasha as Lee Rang. Naraku as Lee Tae-ri (Imoogi). Lee Yeon’s dream is to live with the human she loves. Meanwhile, Tae-ri wants to be loved and to take revenge on Lee Yeon. Lee Rang, Lee Yeon’s younger brother, is arguably a tritagonist and his action can influence the story.
Episodes 1–10 shown the whole mystery. 11–13 story tension rises slowly. 14–15 have a calmer pace and reach the climax. Then episode 16 is the ending of the story, which is how everyone lives their life again.
To be honest, I am quite disappointed with the basic idea because it turns out to be a relationship and family.
Imagine, the gumiho’s dream for a thousand years is very simple: to live together with his loved ones. Even a similar narrative is shown by the fox’s enemy, Imoogi, who wants to become a beloved existence because of being born unwanted. But, if we think more deeply, isn’t love really a basic need and arguably the most important? Not only humans, all creatures too. There is no life without love. Well, finally, this series is exactly a romance story under the guise of an urban legend.
Cast and The Characters
I think Lee Dong Wook succeeded in playing the lonely Lee Yeon character. His humor and cool/savage attitude enliven every scene, in every episode. He is smart. Sometimes using English, with a distinctive accent. He becomes a cool character and loved by many people even though he is arrogant. His personality is annoying but his kind heart can attract many people into his circle of life. Lee Dong Wook’s acting looks very natural. As if it was himself.
The selection of Jo Bo Ah as Ah Eum/Nam Ji-ah was accurate. If the character played by IU, Moon Chae Won, or Seo Ye Ji looks doesn’t feel right. Ji-ah is described as an intelligent, and independent woman. It feels like she represents the emancipation of women. Even in some scenes, it looks very overpowering for an ordinary human. Even so, she still has a sweet and loveable side, typical of the main character in the romance series. Moreover, her adorable voice when talking to Lee Yeon is no joke. Oh noona … why do you so cute.
Kim Bum appears as Lee Rang who is annoying but can also care about certain things. Sometimes immoral, sometimes helpful. A good boy with trouble maker appearance. Suitable to be said as a naughty, tricky, and cunning character because they often create problems. Even so, Lee Rang is actually a weak figure who is afraid of being abandoned and also loves his brother. But he is rarely honest about his own feelings.
The rest characters are just ordinary, although they can be said to be consistent. Like Yuri, who always used as a tool that anyone can use, and Shin-ju who is acting as a helper from start ‘till the end LMAO. Oh, there is one plus point, the selection of annoying characters like Eudoksini is very fitting. But it seems like almost all kdrama series are good at something like this.
The Cinema tone is balanced. When performing romantic scenes, it’s calm vibe emerges. But when the occult parts, ghosts, etc. appear, the vibe is darker but not creepy.
And what I don’t like, the fighting scenes are often quickened, the tempo is fast. Maybe because this is the romance genre, this part can’t be too extreme. In fact, you could say that the final set of battles was less magnificent.
The thing that is quite memorable is the scene of Lee Yeon and Ji-ah’s first meeting: sight in the rains. And of course, this series adopts the standard romance drama scene: a kiss in the rain.
There’s a part that I really like when Lee Yeon makes a farewell video for Lee Rang to watch sometime in the future. The dialogue script is great, it looks like it really connects the past and the future. The typical conversation between siblings who always collided with silliness was also felt. Good job.
Many scenes are made for the audience to think and start guessing. On the one hand, sometimes it looks too easy to predict the next scene. The other side of the audience was made mind-blowing.
An example is a way Ji-ah found Lee Yeon. Lots of clues on location like the torn wedding dress, bloodstain, fox fur. As if in time Ji-ah would find Lee Yeon with investigative work. The unpredictable one is the collaboration between Lee Yeon and Lee Rang against their enemies. Unexpected.
It feels like this series is similar to Hotel Del Luna. Several sounds have a matching vibe.
The ending is just right and arguably consistent as it was narrated from the beginning. It just feels so cliché.
There are a few details I would like to add away from what I described above.
I didn’t really count the number of OSTs but none of them stuck in my ear.
The red umbrella given by Ah Eum that Lee Yeon always carries is interesting. He has a special characteristic plus it is useful when rains come out. LOL
There is a part that is quite ridiculous I think is when Lee Yeon and Ji-ah got married in the mountains. Two main characters celebrate their wedding without any visitors. What does it mean?
Satto’s mirror is an overpowering item. Just imagine, grandmother’s attack can be reversed.
Some interesting details are inserted in the story: there is no reincarnation due to suicide and the fox contract is visualized with a ring seal. Interesting. Suicide is never permitted in any religion. The ring is an interesting representation to symbolize the bond.
Well, my overall rating for this series is 7.5 / 10. There are some parts that I think are cringe but the overalls are still cool to watch.
Plot Hole/Unanswered Stories
After this series is over, several things bother me. Because I don’t have the answer yet. Either it hasn’t been shown in the series, or I missed the details. If you know, you can leave a comment.
· Why can’t Jiah’s mind be read by Taeri? Is it because she is also an Imoogi? And why does Taeri loves Ji-ah?
· Why was Jiah born special? Why wasn’t her memory erased even though Lee Yeon was brainwashed her twice?
· When Lee Yeon fell into the River Styx, why didn’t Lee Yeon’s existence disappear? Is it because of Lee Yeon a gumiho? Or is it just the monologue part of the story?
· What about Satto? Dying? Cured? Die? It is not clear even though there is a clue in some episodes.
· The grandmother returned to her original body. How is the process of escaping from petrification?
· Finally, actually Lee Yeon is a human or a gumiho? The series ended cliff-hanging. Is he lying as a human? Or he got his power again from grandma? Or he can return to being a gumiho when full moon moment?