Island is a K-drama that has a great premise and cast. I want to be as honest and transparent in this review as possible, and tell you why I love this show so much, for all it is, and for all it isn’t. So is it worth watching? see my Island K-drama review and complaints below.
Title: Island (아일랜드)
Episodes: 12 (with 2 Parts)
Release Date: December 30, 2022
Genres: Action, Thriller, Horror, Fantasy
Country: South Korea
Original Network: Amazon Prime, TVING
Available On: Prime Video
Synopsis and Plot Summary
Island K-drama takes place on Jeju Island. This Korean drama tells of a group of people who fight against evil and protect the world from destruction.
Van is a man who was raised to protect the world from evil. Since childhood, he was trained to protect many people.
As an adult, he also fights crime and kills possessed victims. He is a cold person and rarely shows emotion in his actions. However, he harbored many panicked thoughts and still harbored a great deal of guilt.
Then there is Won Min Ho, a woman who comes from a family that runs the large corporation Daehan Group. He has an arrogant and selfish attitude which often causes his father big trouble.
That made his father then banish him to Jeju Island and there he worked as a middle school ethics teacher. But he doesn’t know that an island is a place where evil roams freely. Won Min Ho then becomes involved in a case related to ghosts.
Meanwhile, John was a Catholic priest and he often performed exorcisms. The purpose of expulsion is to protect life and purify evil. They all meet on the island and together join to live.
Island K-drama Ending Explained
K-drama Island had an ending that left the door wide open for a possible Part 3. Though to be honest, I don’t know if I wanted a continuation and I honestly would have preferred to have a cohesive finale.
In episode 12, Yo-han restrains Goong-tan and Van comes to Mi-ho, who is doing a barrier ritual. Gently enveloping her in a gentle embrace, he took her hand – and pulled it up to his eyes.
Mi-ho immediately realizes what he’s trying to do, and she struggles to push him away. But Ban calmed his protests with fervent and weary pleas – these centuries of fighting had exhausted him. He just wanted to rest now.
Meanwhile, the Fragment returns to its rightful owner, and Van leaves as his demon blood takes over. Mi-ho struggles to hold back his grief and complete the barrier, the two brothers engage in one final battle.
Their blades clashed, and one pierced the other, crushing its weaker counterpart. Goong-tan has won, and he stabs Van on his sword.
But Van is not dead. With the last of her strength, she stabs Goong-tan with her broken sword, just as they started, so they will end together.
Finally, Mi-ho clears the barrier. The devil runes receded from the brothers’ faces, and they shattered amidst the waves of light.
Wearing an expression of satisfaction that Van followed him to hell, Goong-tan leaves with one last smile. On the other hand, Van had sadly resigned himself to his fate. Though Mi-ho’s nostalgic flashback sequence suggests he’s not without regrets.
Just when you thought this story was finally over, the show gives us one last curveball. The White-cloak Cult has finally made its comeback, after sitting cross-legged for most of the show.
Taking advantage of Yeom-ji’s past rescue by the cult, a henchman controls him to retrieve a dagger that one of the monks had hidden before being slaughtered by the brothers.
Time passes and now, Yo-han is back to running exorcism duties in Vatican City. But so far, the demons still taunt him about the people he couldn’t save—namely Soo-ryun, his brother, and Van.
Mi-ho returns to Seoul, but things aren’t much better; he is now the president of the company, but the events on Jeju Island have left an indelible mark on his soul.
Normalcy is certainly not in the books for the two, as both feel a shift in energy at the time of the dagger’s retrieval.
This bad premonition is confirmed by the clatter of Van’s dagger, which Mi-ho keeps on display in his office. With a phone call to Yo-han, Mi-ho is sure what she must do—it’s time to save the world again.
Island K-drama Review
I started this K-drama with high expectations and I also wanted to watch Cha Eun Woo’s dramas and tv shows. Here he does his job superbly and very well.
But before that, I find it strange why they divided it into 2 parts is lacking and I really don’t understand the logic behind it. And this with 2 parts which have a total of 12 episodes.
I refuse to call it a season because it’s not – it’s the same story, the same arc, the same characters, and a direct continuation, right?
The 6 episodes we got were also really just character introductions and plot – nothing less, nothing more. And I don’t even think the prelude is good for multiple elements.
As for his character, Van has no personality and the only interesting and entertaining aspect of his character is some of the reactions he gives when interacting with Won Mi Ho. I like Kim Nam Gil, but not this role and he just doesn’t fit here.
Then Won Mi Ho’s character is fine and I like his chemistry with the other characters. Min Ho’s character is a good woman who is perfect for the role of Lee Da Hee, her destiny. She is magical, so beautiful and there are no more words to say.
The last thing for the cast is how perfectly they portray their emotions. Won Min Ho will totally make you cry or laugh for that matter.
The character I like the most here is Kang Chan Hyuk/ Johan, played by Cha Eun Woo. I hope in the future he takes on many roles like that, according to his personality.
Yes, the more “emotional” scenes are often lacking, but overall it’s much better than many of his previous appearances.
I love how Pastor Johan is honestly a novice compared to the forces he has to fight against and he is too self-assured for his own good. I especially like testing Van and how far he can push before Van starts hitting back.
To be honest, I wasn’t even a fan of Cha Eun Woo before but he was fantastic in this drama and I’ve never seen any of his past work. Because he plays a lot of cold male lead characters in K-dramas.
The main actors do a good job of acting but are not helped in the least by the skewed scenario. Indeed, it is very difficult to understand some of the characters’ actions, but also specifically to believe in the relationship between them.
The acting of other supporting actors is also good. But the play didn’t give them a chance to really show their potential. I look forward to watching their performances in future dramas.
The chemistry and bond that forms between the female lead and the 2 male leads seem to get very strong too fast which also causes some scenes to feel very flat.
For the plot of the story on “Island” space and time are relative in many ways. The premise is quite interesting with “Island” combining a successful mix of moods like KDrama that knows how to bring together the world of myth, demon realms, and human tragedies with luminous impulses, heroes in various robes, and even humorous tunes.
The pace might increase at times, but this KDrama isn’t about madness, but more of the serious kind. It offers an epic story, one that transcends time and space and is very entertaining at the same time, if you don’t get bogged down by the slightly creepy characters that pop up every now and then.
For production, it is highly questionable in the CGI department. Just a manifestation of great power/energy. The barrier set up by the “villains” looked incredible.
But then, the possessed designs are laughable, the execution is shoddy. I like tree spirit monsters, but that’s about it.
Worst of all? CGI models for the actors when they do crazy fight scenes – the motion is terrible. Then we also have awkward scenes where the use of armor and lines is very obvious. I don’t think they practiced enough..
Despite all my complaints about this Korean drama, everything else feels quite satisfying and this is one K-drama worth watching.
Island Korean Drama Cast
Kim Nam Gil as Van
Lee Da Hee as Won Mi Ho
Cha Eun Woo as Kang Chan Hyuk / Johan
Sung Joon as Goong Tan
Go Doo Shim as Keum Baek Joo
Oh Gwang Rok as Butler Jang
Heo Jung Hee as Boo Yeom Ji
Park Geun Hyung as Leader Jong Ryung
Jung Soo Bin as Lee Soo Ryeon
Yoo Seung Ok as Han Soo Jin
Kim Sung Oh as Yool
Overall, this is a one-off watch, for me. I won’t be re-watching this drama (because there’s too much to watch). Considering all aspects of the game, I would basically rate this Island K-drama review 7.5/10.