[PHOTOS & TRANS] Yoo Ah In And Six Flying Dragons Receive Overwhelming Praise
The 50 episodes of highly popular historical drama Six Flying Dragons closed the curtain with satisfying finale this week after running for six months.
Six Flying Dragons made stable ratings from the beginning, hovering between 16 to 17% nationwide and 18 to 20% in metropolitan areas and maintaining the NO.1 spot in its slot time. Episode 50 finale scored its highest rating with 17.3% nationwide.
In addition, the drama got impressive highest rating moments (based on by-minute) for each episode, floating between 18 to 22.5%, and more impressively is that most of the highest rating moments happened at Yoo Ah In (Lee Bang Won)’s scenes (I’ll show the list in next post).
Episode 50 finale especially broke the record of highest rating moments with 22.5% at the scene of Lee Bang Won (Yoo Ah In) told Moohyul (Yoon Kyun Sang) that he will conquer the Tsushima Island. Yoo Ah In, Six Flying Dragons and other characters swept the Naver and Nate top trending news every week as well.
I was actually hesitant to start this as I wasn’t really into long dramas, despite the fact that our Master Sik starred in it. But everyone who has watched its sequel ‘Tree With Deep Roots’ said that writers and PD were just too precious to skip. And boy was I glad I got on this train. It has been an unbelievable experience! As expected, the drama is mind-blowing. Dialogues are smart and every actor is amazing.
There’s an interesting note from a commenter in Dramabeans about the writers’ intention behind this drama~
One thing this show excels at is not to represent the “real” history or autobiography of Bang Won, but instead to use Bang Won’s journey to offer a subtle and yet explicit critique on the political condition of South Korea now.
I’m confident to say that Six Flying Dragons will go down in K-drama history as one of the best sageuks ever, and I’m so happy that Yoo Ah In took part in this.
I wrote that I was waiting for Yoo Ah In stormy comeback as the “Killer Bang Won” with a “big bang” in my last post about the drama, and I also made a bet on Yoo Ah In that he would steal the thunder once Lee Bang Won aka “Kill Bang Won” was taken to the center stage. He did not disappoint me.
Yoo Ah In came back with the thunder (plus the sexy top knot and all the hottie facial hair!), and proved that he could carry the show with a very strong presence. The last 20 episodes where Yoo Ah In took the baton have been so epic and he showed his acting prowess once again. Praises came from right and left for his interpretation to the complex and layered Lee Bang Won.
Following the finale episode of the drama on March 22, the writers talked about the drama and once again emphasized that Yoo Ah In was the perfect choice to play Lee Bang Won. Here’s the translations from Oh Kay~
“In history, when Lee Bang Won killed Jung Mong Joo, he was just 26 years old. For now, it’s like people who just left military service and went back to study their 3rd year in university. How he thought about changing the country at this age was really surprising,” they said.
“So, we need to find a young actor, and we called Yoo Ah In. We saw him in the 2008 sageuk ‘Strongest Chil Woo’, and we noticed that he used the sword well and was really compatible with sageuk. Later after we talked to Yoo Ah In, we watched his movies ‘The Throne’ and ‘Veteran’, and we firmly believed he was right for the role.”
They added, “Through his acting, Yoo Ah In is the actor who gave us direction on the topics we were troubled about. He told us, ‘If there is any obstacle to the direction of the story, don’t think about the weight of my parts, just cut them’. We were surprised by his cool attitude.” So was I!
Yoo Ah In’s unselfishness definitely allowed the writers to dig the other characters deeper, completely making this assemble of six leads and their supporting characters shine (no characters are wasted in this drama, no matter how small they are). The weight is eventually evened out as he solely received the baton towards the end.
The Six Flying Dragons PD also praised Yoo Ah In in his latest interview with OSEN prior to the finale episode, March 22. YAI International Fans Community translations~
“Yoo Ah In has a very strong personality, he fit well with senior actor Kim Myung Min and grasped the overall structure of the drama correctly. Yoo Ah In shows the depth and diversity of acting beyond his age,” said PD. He added, “The slightest mistake might make us ‘glorified’ or ‘babified’ Lee Bang Won, but Yoo Ah In has created a very convincing Lee Bang Won.”
To the question asking about character interpretation, PD answered, “I didn’t have too much discussion with Yoo Ah In in the early stage of the drama regarding the interpretation of Lee Bang Won. In my opinion, Yoo Ah In is Lee Bang Won himself, because he has a very good analysis of Lee Bang Won of his own. His interpretation on Lee Bang Won is almost a 100% similar with mine.”
Yoo Ah In’s co-star Min Sung Wook shared his experience working with Yoo Ah In in the drama and praised his acting as well. Min Sung Wook plays Jo Young Gyu, the loyal bodyguard of Lee Bang Won (Yoo Ah In). Lee Bang Won and Jo Young Gyu developed a strong camaraderie and brotherhood that touched a lot of viewers’ heart. YAI International Fans Community translations~
Min Sung Wook praised Yoo Ah In, “Both Nam Dareum (young Lee Bang Won) and Yoo Ah In had strong character analysis and perfect acting. I was able to believe that I meant a lot to them as their comrade in the drama.”
He added, “Yoo Ah In has an excellent skill of piercing heart through acting. In fact, I hardly ever discussed about acting with him. But strangely, we just clicked. We talked about it in the last two episodes, and we were like ‘Wow, this is the first time we talked about acting.’ I never discussed about acting because I believed I was in a supporting position. While Yoo Ah In was pushing forward in acting as the lead, I did the best I could to play my part catching him up. Turned out, we both did well though we didn’t specifically talk about our scenes.”
He went on, “Yoo Ah In is an actor who thinks ahead of everyone else, like a mind reader. I recall, while I was thinking about a certain scene and preparing myself, ‘I will do this part like this and then this’, suddenly he came to me and said, ‘Hyung, you’re gonna do this part like this and then this, right?’. I was shocked. I said, ‘how do you know?’. It’s like he could read my mind.”
In his last scene, Lee Bang Won (Yoo Ah In) was sobbing hard after confirming Jo Young Gyu (Min Sung Wook)’s death. Min Sung Wook said, “I was surprised. I thought, ‘you’re pouring so much energy to do so. Where do these strength come from? I don’t know how to pour so much energy like that.’ That thought just ran through my head while I was trying to act naturally as a dead man”.
“I felt strangely nervous than usual and tried not to blink an eye and hold my breath. I thought, ‘this person is pouring so much energy in acting for this dead body. I shouldn’t mess up. If I do something wrong, I will ruin everything. There’s no place for an NG.’ So, we did this scene without an NG,” he said.
In terms of commercial success, it was revealed that Six Flying Dragons has sold out all of its air time for commercials. Demand was so high, reports say, that the drama had to add additional commercial air time. Good!
Here are some comments from viewers, taken from the last ten episodes (translated by kkuljaem)
Mydaily – Naver: ‘Six Flying Dragons’, Yoo Ah In who turns his back on Kim Myung Min, reversal starts
1. [+3,523, -238] Lee Bang Won isn’t as wicked of a villain as Yeonsan. He is his own man and he has great ambitions. Things will turn bloody if his opponents decline the opportunity he gave them. Without Lee Bang Won, there wouldn’t be King Sejong and Hangeul (Korean alphabet) wouldn’t be invented. Bang Won isn’t lenient but he no doubt played a huge role in our history
2. [+1,805, -63] Bang Won and Boon Yi are filming their sageuk version of ‘Winter Sonata’
3. [+1,381, -71] Yoo Ah In is really awesome
4. [+1,161, -60] I really love Yoo Ah In’s emotional acting
7. [+426, -17] Yoo Ah In’s acting is really amazing
8. [+322, -15] How could a 50-episode drama be this amazing? ㅠㅠ
9. [+299, -9] Chills all over when he said “I’m not a kid anymore”
10. [+234, -8] This episode’s ending is really pretty ㅠㅠㅠ♥♥
Newsen – Nate: ‘Six Flying Dragons’, Yoo Ah In’s evil side is starting to come out
1. [+269, -4] I’m too anxious that he’d recklessly succumb to his evil side but Ha Ryun will guide him well
2. [+249, -7] Yoo Ah In is really jjang. His acting got me so focused the entire time. It’s so sad to see how the bug is swallowing him completely ㅠ
3. [+243, -7] Jung Mong Joo -kill
Jung Do Jeon – kill
His brothers – kill
Everyone – kill
Kill Bang Won is coming…!!
5. [+21, -1] I can’t wait to see Yoo Ah In’s hateful antagonist acting soon like what he showed in Veteran!!!!! Looking forward to Lee Bang Won – Ha Ryun comboㅋㅋ
6. [+17, 0] Lee Bang Won broke my heart when he was crying in the end … .
Osen – Naver: ‘Six Flying Dragons’, Yoo Ah In outraged over Kim Myung Min’s cries… Kill Bang Won is coming
1. [+2,063, -27] I think Bang Won has so much affections for Sam Bong who’s also a decent person but that alone isn’t enough to take him along with his plans… Sam Bong’s crying scene made me feel like I was also betrayedㅜㅜ
3. [+1,153, -31] The acting just gets better each episode. How does1 hour fly by so quick?
6. [+351, -7] Kill Bang Won’s expression in the end: “How dare you bother my teacher”
7. [+225, -6] I’m having fun watching Kill Bang Won’s transformation. Yoo Ah In’s such an amazing actor
Osen – Naver: Yoo Ah In reveals his plans not to Shin Se Kyung but to Gong Seung Yeon
1. [+923, -9] Lee Bang Won is so ambitious ㄷㄷㄷㄷㄷ
3. [+781, -44] Wow Yoo Ah In’s acting is really amazingㄷㄷㄷㄷㄷㄷ As expected of Kill Bang Won and Sejong’s mother
Osen – Nate
1. [+1,148, -28] Did y’all see Lee Bang Won’s gaze in the end?ㅋㅋㅋ His eyes are shooting daggers ㅋㅋ
2. [+881, -19] Why does time go by so quick? The best part of this episode is Jung Do Jeon’s crying scene
3. [+630, -14] The actors are really good at expressing emotions
4. [+273, -6] Kill Bang Won’s face in the last part is so on point “Nobody can touch teacher except me”
Star News – Naver: ‘Six Flying Dragons’, Yoo Ah In’s Seonjukkyu tragedy, Kim Myung Min makes a decision
1. [+4,792, -89] What’s more tragic than the Seonjukkyu Tragedy is that they didn’t include a preview for next week’s episode
2. [+3,176, -68] Like what Jung Mong Joo said, the Seonjukkyu tragedy will be the talk of town 624 years from now
4. [+1,787, -63] Goosebumps the entire time
5. [+1,028 , -56] Lee Bang Won’s speech from ‘Deep Rooted Tree’: He (Jung Do Jeon) did nothing. I killed Jung Mong Joo. I went to Ming as a hostage in his place. I overthrew the King of Goryeo King and established my father as a King. Even if there were many who wanted to kill Jung Mong Joo, they couldn’t do it due to their excuse of moral duty. Others, wouldn’t dare to dirty their own hands. Joseon has been founded by me. I have done it by dirtying my own hands. It is only right that I have all the power. That is my Joseon and my great cause.
7. [+898, -61] In Bang Won’s stance, if he doesn’t kill Jung Mong Joo, Lee Seong Gye’s influences will perish. I feel bad that Bang Won’s getting criticisms here and there ㅠㅠ
8. [+744, -23] If Six Flying Dragons ended last year, Yoo Ah In would’ve won the Daesang instead of Joo Won
9. [+752, -47] Ah, Yoo Ah In’s acting was the best today. Who would’ve pulled this role better than him? Lee Seong Gye’s inkstone shot was the best too
Xports News – Naver: ‘Six Flying Dragons’, Jung Do Jeon’s tragedy is this episode’s best 1 minute…recorded 22.2%
1. [+563, -18] Dansimga’s lines are the best.
2. [+443, -18] I personally think Yoo Ah In and Chun Ho Jin’s conversation scene is yesterday’s best scene!!!
6. [+87, -2] Lee Bang Won and Lee Seong Gye’s acting in yesterday’s episode gave me goosebumps~~
Osen – Naver: ‘Six Flying Dragons’, Yoo Ah In who wants to become a king, joins forces with the Nameless
1. [+2,823, -63] Yoo Ah In’s acting is just crazy. Killer Bang Won gave me shivers went he turned mad in the end ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ Finally he’s joined forces with the Nameless and starts his conflict with Jung Do Jeon ㅋㅋ
3. [+1,844, -67] Yoo Ah In would’ve won the Daesang if Six Flying Dragons ended late in the year.. How can he be so amazing at acting?
4. [+1,275, -37] Kill Bang Won and Jung Do Jeon’s strife is starting
5. [+651, -26] Who cast Yoo Ah In for this role??? You deserve a bow.. Wow he’s ridiculously good, especially today. I can’t help but write a comment ㅋㅋㅋ Why is he so talented? Please give him the Daesang
6. [+597, -19] Lee Bang Won is really intelligent even in reality, although that’s deeply buried within his savage image. He has the ability to entice others and attract followers. Yoo Ah In’s interpretation is compelling. Lee Bang Won’s a true main character
7. [+508, -9] Lee Bang Won be like, use the Nameless and kill them in the end ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ
8. [+417, -14] 1 hour feels like 10 minutes.. Only 6 weeks left. I’m so sad
9. [+338, -8] What I’m getting from Bang Won’s conversation scene with the Mugeuk, is that the Nameless is the personification of the bug that’s in him. Later on, the Mugeuk will lure Bang Won and he will ultimately give in
tv Report – Naver: ‘Six Flying Dragons’, Ambitious Yoo Ah In is sexy
1. [+456, -13] He’s so good to the point that I can’t feel that he’s acting anymore
2. [+330, -15] His understanding of mentality is at psychologist level~ He expresses so much sexiness through his face and his voice is honey
3. [+273, -12] Rise, Kill Bang WON~~~~~
4. [+105, -3] Yoo Ah In deserves the praise he’s getting for his acting. He was exploding with charisma yesterday. He’s so handsome and sexy ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ
5. [+104, -3] His eyes were intense in yesterday’s ending scene and I can’t stop myself from being immersed!! 1 hour go by in a flash when you watch this drama ㅠㅠ Do I have to wait another week?
6. [+95, -2] Yoo Ah In adds his own sexy spin to his character ㅠㅠ Yesterday’s episode was jjang!!
Osen – Naver: ‘Six Flying Dragons’, how it became the pride of public broadcast
1. [+2,773, -45] It’s ending today. My Mondays and Tuesdays have been happy thanks to Six Flying Dragons. Great job
2. [+2,330, -52] A drama with no acting hole, the story is solid, the lines are goosebump-inducing, scene stealer stars took part and most importantly, Yoo Ah In’s acting has been insanely good as Lee Bang Won
3. [+1,892, -47] Six Flying Dragons is such a good drama, I’m so sad to see it go… Actors, thank you for your hard work
4. [+1,709, -63] What will I watch now? ㅜㅜ The drama’s at its peak popularity, they should’ve added 10 more episodes
5. [+380, -13] You know a drama is amazing when you sit through all 50 episodes of it ㅎㅎㅎㅎThe best drama, Lee Bang Won is epic
Naver: Six Flying Dragons Finale
1. [+190, -14] Best ending out of all the dramas I’ve seen..
2. [+149, -15] I’ve always waited for Mon/Tue to watch this. I’m so sad it’s over ㅠㅠ Six Flying Dragons thank you!
3. [+138, -12] Six Flying Dragons has been the best these past 6 months
4. [+55, -2] I see some comments bashing Shin Se Kyung but I’m just so thankful to the production team that Baek Jin Hee didn’t get the role
Xports News – Naver: ‘Six Flying Dragons’, Yoo Ah In as Lee Bang Won, a king’s lonely path
1. [+4,000, -64] Why did I feel sad watching the six dragons’ get-together scene in the last part? ㅠㅠ I shouldn’t be too attached to a drama but… ㅋㅋ
2. [+3,249, -69] Thank you so much. It takes hard work to produce a masterpiece like this!!!!
3. [+2,991, -68] Lee Bang Won’s charm is his hidden tenderness behind his icy nature ㅎㅎ
4. [+2,919, -61] Deep Rooted Tree in Six Flying Dragons‘ last episode.. Should I watch that again…It’s over ㅠㅠ
5. [+2,702, -57] Actors, staff and writers, thank you for your effort. This drama has made me happy. Thanks again
Dramabeans residents and recapper also showered Yoo Ah In and Six Flying Dragons with praises~
“One of the most brilliant things that the production team did for this show was picking Yoo Ah In to play Lee Bang Won character. I totally can’t imagine other Korean actors in their 20s who could portray Lee Bang Won as perfectly as Yoo Ah In. That man should get a Daesang, he is much more than deserve.”
“Yoo Ah In made Lee Bang Won a rich layered character with amazing transformation from the boyhood to manhood in a span of 50 episodes.”
“Believe it or not, this is actually my first time watching Yoo Ah-in’s drama. Though I didn’t really like Bang-won in the beginning, now he’s becoming my fave, thanks to his superb acting too. Team Bang-won all the way! Now I have to start watching his other shows.”
“That we can see not ‘just’ someone taking ruthless actions, but the (at least his) why behind them, and that it isn’t ‘easy’ (I’m mouth-agape at scenes where there seems to be a prayerfulness or some kind of sacred pause). We see so many people in his (Yoo Ah In) expressions – his youthful idealism, his fiery sense of justice each step of the way, his frustration at being the only one to act and take blame. Amazing.”
“Yoo Ah In constantly bringing the chills and goosebumps with his scenes! He is doing such a stellar job in conveying the character’s inner conflict and vulnerability.”
“Really enjoyed the layers to Bang Won’s portrayal and the willingness of the writers to showcase both his good qualities and his brutality. I honestly think the sympathy for Bang Won is more rooted on the fact that Yoo Ah In’s portrayal of Bang Won is just so captivating.”
“Kudos to the SFD team, you have been doing a great job since Day 1! And Yoo Ah In, hands down to your acting. He’s definitely one of the best actors of Korea right now!”
“As a viewer, even though you see and gape at the ruthlessness, seeing how torn up he is still gets at you because though he made those tough decisions, you see his struggles too because they have been portrayed so well and so real. And so as a viewer you have this complex emotion of not being able to help yourself but feel upset together with him and for him, yet at the same time gaping at his disdain and ruthlessness. This is where this drama has done really well in showing the multi facets of this character. A character that isn’t just black or white, but with some shades of grey, and with multiple layers of emotions and thoughts.”
“It seems so redundant to keep declaring a new episode as the best episode yet, but here we are, after weeks of episodes that were just good. Some were even great. (Practically an insult for this show, an unattainable goal for so many others.) Powerful, stirring, brilliant—you name it, Six Flying Dragons is it.”
“It’s been one hell of a journey, and Six Flying Dragons delivers a solid finale for an altogether solid, engaging show that I’m still not ready to let go of just yet. Weirdly enough, I didn’t go into this finale with the usually omnipresent fear that one hour could ruin everything, but maybe it was out of assurance that we were in very sane, capable hands. That the show didn’t betray that trust, or its viewers, is an achievement in and of itself. Counting every other achievement aside from that, well, you get what we’ve spent the last six months watching: Awesomeness.” – HeadsNo2
Netizenbuzz residents joined the wagon~
“Yoo Ah In’s portrayal of Lee Bang Won is perfect.. he nailed it to the point I can’t picture anyone else as Lee Bang Won. It’s not easy to portray a historical figure that’s been known as ruthless (a.k.a ‘Kill Bang Won’) but he managed to get everyone on his side through Six Flying Dragons (though I admit it is also thanks to the writers but still, Yoo Ah In brought it to life).”
“I’m seriously amazed at the power of art. Last week I found myself not only rooting for sane normal folks to murder people in their beds (The Walking Dead) but for our villainous future tyrannical Bang Won to murder Jeon Do Jeon and the Crown Prince.”
“I’m just holding onto my seat as we’re careening at top speed for the last episodes. It’s as if we’ve been on a roller coaster and we’ve just tipped over onto the last few rounds. Fantastic production and performances. It certainly knows how to stir the pot of emotions within its viewers.”
The drama addicts and historical buffs in Soompi forum chimed in~
“To me this drama is Oscar worthy. If it had been an American movie, it would have taken home all the gold. Would remind me of when Lord of the Rings did that some years ago.”
“I can’t think of anyone in their 20’s too who can portray Bang Won with the same intensity and depth like Yoo Ah In had amazingly did. There are lots of young good actors but Yoo Ah In does embrace his characters perfectly and with conviction. I think he likes to play roles that will exhaust all he can give and characters that are shady, [in between hero and villain like characters] and that’s where his edge is as a young actor. He has so much to give while personifying this character of Bang Won and we viewers see and appreciate all that.”
Yoo Ah In and all the casts threw some “BTS scenes” and spammed us with joyful photos from Six Flying Dragons filming through their SNS while the drama was airing towards its finale. Looking at their pictures, we know they had a lot of fun during the six month-shooting despite the harsh weather and mountainous location. It’s a bitter-sweet seeing they grew closer to each other off screen but had to bid farewell in the end. Here are some of their BTS/filming pictures (including screencaps)~
Yoo Ah In posted these couple photos of “Lee Bang Won” in his instagram on Monday, March 21~
translations: “Hongsik Bangwon Ain”
translations: “and also him”
After wrapping up the filming, all the Six Flying Dragons drama team and actors had an athletic competition last Saturday, March 19 (it’s true!), and took a commemoration photo together at SBS station 🙂 And on March 23 they had a farewell party at a traditional restaurant. Report on this coming soon!
Six Flying Dragons, you are awesomesauce! Yoo Ah In, thank you for choosing this project and giving us six months of excitement and memorable performance. We’re so proud of you! Stretch your arms and legs. Have a good rest now 🙂
Source: Nate, Naver, OSEN, Instagram, SBS