Island Review

REVIEW: Island

After a public misstep, the haughty daughter of a chaebol family, Won Mi-ho (Lee Da-hee), is banished to Jeju Island by her father to reflect on her actions and teach at a high school. Mi-ho is only accompanied by Butler Chang (Oh Kwang-rok), whom Mi-ho is closer to than anyone else in her family. Little does she know that evil is festering on Jeju Island; the lust demons are desperate to break free of the island to wreak havoc worldwide. As soon as Mi-ho hits the airport, she is pursued by these lust demons, and the mysterious Van (Kim Nam-gil) shows up to save her. Mi-ho hires Van to protect her from the demons, and it’s clear that there’s something different about him.

Island Review

Mi-ho ends up being the reincarnation of Wonjeong, a person from Van’s past that was destined to create a permanent barrier to hold back the demons. With her appearance on Jeju Island, an exorcist, Father Johan (Cha Eun-Woo), is despatched to protect her until the barrier can be set up. However, Goong-tan (Sun Joon), the villain behind the scenes, wants to prevent the reconstruction of the barrier and repeatedly attempts to prevent the reawakening of Wonjeong by killing Mi-ho. Like Van, Goong-tan was trained from an early age to fight against the lust demons. With the introduction of Goong-tan, more is revealed about the events from the past regarding Wonjeong and Van.

Island Review

Like many streaming services, Amazon is getting into the k-drama game by purchasing the rights to be the sole broadcaster of some shows. I was glad that Amazon chose to drop two episodes every Friday as the show aired rather than holding the episodes hostage like other Western streaming services.  Island was a good choice for the streaming service.

Island had everything I love in a series; it was a slightly outlandish fantasy with some seriousness and carnage sprinkled throughout. Interesting characters with hidden and/or dark pasts, terrible CGI monsters, fight scenes, questionable acting, and an idol as a priest, I loved it all. Was the acting mind-blowing? It was not; Kim Nam-gil was hit-and-miss throughout the twelve episodes. The character of Van could have been better written; perhaps it was the acting. Who knows? It wasn’t so bad that it hampered my enjoyment. I also enjoyed the series’ mythos, which blended Catholic and Buddhist mysticism to fight against demons.

Island Review

Like many k-dramas, Island was based on a webtoon. I started reading the webtoon after I finished the series, so I can’t comment on the adaptation aspect. But, at this point, I much prefer the television series instead of the webtoon.

Amazon needs to consider a more robust translation team. The subtitles were OK, for the most part, but left something to be desired. This is primarily a personal problem, as I prefer more detail, like translation notes for context. Since this is more of a preference, it does not impact my rating.

Island was just fun. It made me smile, and I laughed with delight during the grand finale. The end of the series was left open, and I would be all in for another season. If you enjoyed Netflix’s Sweet Home, this series is right up your alley.

Island | December 30, 2022 (United Kingdom) 7


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