Written by: Junalyn Cabahug

Photo source: Starship Entertainment

Mr. Sunshine is a South Korean television series written by Kim Eun Sook. It is recorded as the 6th highest rating drama for cable television history with its final episode reaching 18.129% and netting an average rating of 12.955%, which is the second highest average rating ever recorded for cable television. Moreover, Mr. Sunshine was awarded “Drama of the Year” in 2018.

This drama was set in Hanseong (the former name of Seoul) in the early 1900s and focuses on activists fighting for Korea’s independence (Japan was conquering Korea).

The elements of the story were fictitious but most of the scenes were still based on the true history, addition of fictional characters showing the different lives of people during that era. So, you could really learn a lot about their history and culture. After watching all of the episodes, which is a bit long, you’ll realize that every episode is worth-to-watch.

1. The Cinematography

Photo source: Koreandramaph

Outstanding cinematography! Your eyes will surely be in for a feast, and you’ll leave fully satisfied. Obviously, the production team put their best effort to make this show beautiful and unique.

2. The Casting

Photo source: Koreandramaph

The actors and actresses were very well-chosen. They really gave justice to their respective characters. I love how the five main characters portrayed as they used different languages and costumes from different nationalities, such as, Korean, Japanese, and American.

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They had different plans but ended up with the same vision. Thus, you will find yourself missing the friendship, the “bromance” between the three male leads, the badassery between the two female leads, and, of course, the sweet smile shared between Ae Shin and Eugene.

  • Eugene Choi

A Korean boy who was born in a family of slaves and witnessed his parents murdered at the hands of their landlord. He managed to escape and went to United States with the aid of a missionary and returns to his motherland as the captain of the US Marine. He took the opportunity to take revenge to the people who killed his parents.

  • Ko Ae Shin

A strong and smart noblewoman whose parents are members of Korea’s Righteous Army. She was secretly trained as sniper and became part of the Righteous Army.

Despite being noble and being untouchable, she stands tall and fights for the people who are powerless. For the love of her country, she was willing to sacrifice everything.

  • Goo Dong Mae

Son of a butcher who went to Japan after his parent’s death and became a fearless samurai man and member of the Musin society, which is part of Yakuza group. He returns to his motherland Joseon and becomes the leader of the said group.

  • Kim Hee Sung
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A smart nobleman who considered as second to emperor’s richness of land ownership. He stayed in Japan for over a decade. Kim Hee Sung has a big heart and knows how to deal with people. Among the two male leads with guns and sword, Hee Sung uses pen as his weapon. He proves that words is also strong and powerful just like any other weapons.

  • Kudo Hina

A beautiful influential lady who was sold by her father to a rich Japanese old man. She inherits the old man’s wealth when he died five years later. Kudo Hina is a strong, clever widow, and the owner of the Western Glory Hotel.

3. The Plot

Photo source: Netflix

It is such an amazing story to make it even better. Every episode is meaningful. It has friendship, romance, revenge, “bromance”, and war all executed perfectly. They also showcase woman empowerment having such badass and awesome female characters, which I completely loved! It was an unforgettable 24 episodes ride that will forever leave a lasting impression in the viewers’ heart.

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4. The Romance

Photo source: Mr. Sunshine Studio

Mr. Sunshine proves that you don’t need too many intimate scenes in order to portray the love story just to be felt by the audience. It’s a different kind of love that we have seen in today’s dramas — innocent, pure and full of passion kind of love that show how deeply they love and long for each other.

5. The OST

Photo source: Mr. Sunshine Studio

The OST is one of the things that made this drama really great. I’m a real music fan and the music is indeed an essential to make the drama Mr. Sunshine hard to get-over.

It still breaks my heart every time I hear one of their songs that emphasizes the whole story and gives a special feeling that you cannot describe.

Photo source: Mr. Sunshine Studio

Honestly, it was so hard for me to watch another Korean drama after Mr. Sunshine. Even now, I still have trouble accepting how the story ends. It is still heartbreaking.

This drama sets high standard for those K-dramas that also catered Korean history. I would never find another K-drama as good as this. Definitely, I will watch this drama all over again.

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21 thoughts on “5 Reasons why you should watch “Mr. Sunshine”

  1. I totally agree with your comments but in a world so full of pain, it would be wonderful if, at least, the director could let the audience with a bit of hope in such a beautiful and deep love story. I felt hurt by seeing Eugene dead…

    1. There was an online discussion regarding the deaths of the 3 men, and the allegory of Aeshin as Joseon. Eugene was killed by a gun (Guns). Heesung refused to succumb to the threats by the Japanese soldiers as he died when struck by a piece of wood (Glory). Dongmae faced his former colleagues and boss, and fights them alone; his corpse was dragged mercilessly onto the street (Sad Ending).

    2. As a viewer, it enlightened my understanding the historical background between the “rift” of Korea and Japan. Though the characters are fiction but The story itself showed revealed the atrocities during the Korean war. It is a very good movie.

  2. Seriously, one of the best dramas I’ve seen in a long time. The acting was superb, cinematography excellent. Character development engaging. Cannot say enough great things about this series. Bummed out it’s over

  3. I am a Korean drama addict – thanks to Covid. I can no longer watch Western dramas. Mr. Sunshine has left me in emotional turmoil because the characters forces you to share their pain. I could not watch the death of Goo Dong Mae. To me he was the most outstanding of all the characters.
    There is so much to learn from this drama. Sad it ended on such an anticlimax. It would have been good to see Joseon become independent.

  4. This is by far, the saddest yet most fulfilling and touching Korean historical drama I’ve watched. It was heartbreaking how it ended.

  5. Just finished watching Mr. Sunshine for the second time. Subtitles are a poor substitute for hearing the actors in your own language. I would be eternally grateful if they could produce an English language edition.

  6. I was totally addicted and had to binge watch through the 24 episodes. My heart broke and I cried buckets when Eugene died. They could have made a happy ending with both of them getting away. I still can’t get over this.

  7. It is my first time to navigate Korean movies, I also do not watch television much less a TV series.
    Mr Sunshine is my first TV series to watch and I was smitten of the love, friendship, the plot and the development of the story.
    As a history lover, I love the incorporate of facts and fiction as it evolved into the development of each character. I cried buckets, tragic for all that loved yet, a future of the young was borne.

    My hope was for Eugene Choi to have made it. Now, I am looking for more of his movies, Lee Byung Hun.

  8. Mr. Sunshine is remarkable, one of the greatest series I ever seen. All characters portrayed the role exemplenary. However, it’s more satisfying if Eugene Choi and Ko Ae Shin end up together and live happily ever after.

    1. Just finished watching this drama….spent late nights….my best K-drama..perfectly executed…I did not want it to end….

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