Dear Reader, since I have the time, and having been reminded by the community in the Hibike discussion, I decided to re watch Painter of the Wind – my favourite Korean TV show ever and really, one of my top 3 shows in existence. There are still shows like Xena, TTSCC and Buffy and those are like my guilty pleasures. Xena was like, the show that made the word ‘subtext’! It deserves all the respect!
PotW aired all the way back in 2008 starring the two world’s favourite Moons – Moon Geun-Young and Moon Chae-won. Wipe that grin off your face, they are not sisters! Anyone into Korean culture should know who Geun-young is and only the core fans know who Chae-won is. I have to confess that I did not know who she was too before seeing her in PotW.
In the 2008 SBS drama awards, Chae-won and Geun-young won the very first, and as far as I am aware, the only yuri best couple award for their roles in Painter of the Wind.
Geun-young played our heroine Shin Yun-bok, a daughter of a famous artist that was killed when she was young due to a scandal on a political scale. In order to save her and for her to be able to utilise the talents of artistry passed down to her from her father, she had to disguise herself as boy since women were apparently not allowed to go into that profession. Yun-bok grew up with the lads as a boy attending the art school with a dream of being the King’s painter.
Chae-won on the other hand played the Gisaeng (Female Entertainer) Jeong-hyang, who was the pride of the town and everyone wanted a piece of her (just like any other love interest for the main character really). But her story was not a fun one. As she tells Yun-bok this very first episode – She is no wild flower that is free for anybody’s picking.
So, why now after all this time? A Reader of mine asked me a long time ago to write about it and I said I was waiting for better subs, which I thought would be coming with the DVDs. I watched the series again when I bought the boxset. The Taiwanese version that I got had English subtitles with it but the DVD quality was not one to write home about. And so I waited for the HD episodes which showed up and when I tried to rip the subtitles from the DVDs to use on the HD episodes, I failed miserably. I could only get the subtitles as idx/sub files and I needed to re-time them to fit the TV since the TV ones had that intro with the ratings.
I somehow forgot about it since then but then came Hibike Euphonium and the ship wars that followed and I was ready to laugh at such childish wars. Seeing all those heated battle, I sat there just reminisced of the years long gone. To think that people are having ship wars over Shuichi! If anyone is like that over Hibike, I think they would simply commit suicide watching PotW. It’s been over 7 years and I still FEEL! But all was worth it! Having said that, I know of people who still don’t think that PotW had a GOOD YURI END. Hopefully if such a person still exists, my run through of the series will erase those doubts.
If this were any other series, it would be a reverse harem, a la Ouran Host Club. Yun-bok was a girl disguised as a boy in an all male school. She had three potential love interests in her step brother Hyung-min (who knew her secret), her rival in school Hyo-won as best protégé and their new teacher Hong-do, who fell in love with Yun-bok and was probably who the other audience that was not shipping the yuri were supporting. He was this close to winning the Yun-bowl but thankfully her finger was already bound with a red string to someone else.
Now, before we proceed, if you are new to this show, I warn you. Just like any Korean Drama you know of, the drama is too intense and the feels sometimes go way to deep. Not to mention the het side had the upper hand all the damn time! But unlike most times that I just simply cannot stand it, this time I could not help but take all them feels on and cry like a pansy every other episode. Every episode is an hour long. Twenty hours of feels, can you handle them? If you are sure, well then let us be on our way…