Gaksital set in the 1930's at the time when Korea was under the control of Japan. The story follow Lee Kang To, a Korean man who is part of the Japanese police force. He betrays his own country to hunt down rebel, independence, terrorists and the leader of this independence movement, "Gaksital". (A Gaksital is a traditional bridal mask worn by, well, brides. Gaksital wears it to hide his identity.)
Roll Call Time!!!!
Joo Won and Lee Kang To: Betrayer of his people, Kang To is a Korean member of the Japanese Police Force. He has dedicated his time to catching terrorist Dam Sa Ri and Rebel Leader Gaksital. Loathing Gaksital so much, he will stop at nothing to catch Gaksital and Dam Sa Ri, even if that means innocent people die in the process. He despises the fact that he is Korean and wishes to erase his ancestry. Kang To reluctantly becomes Gaksital after some unfortunate events happen and his life is changed forever. I'm excited to see the transformation this character goes through when he has to put on the mask.
What I love about this drama is that the hero starts out as the bad guy, not just a guy who isn't nice, but a man who has done terrible things. Kang To has betrayed not only his country and his people, but also his family. The things he has done to get to the position he is in right now are horrible things covered with blood. I love that our hero isn't a good guy, it's a refreshing change. When this drama first came out people started freaking because the hero wasn't Gaksital. Calm down people, don't be too confused, just watch and soon you will understand. Now his change to Gaksital doesn't happen within the first episode or even the second or even the third. Try the sixth or seventh episode so be patent. I promise it is worth it. Joo Won does a fabulous job at his role. Wow. He has mastered the dark, determined, dangerous side. You really think that this person is willing to kill to achieve his goal, not the character, but the actor. And then he smiles and your world is turned upside-down. Amazing actor.
Jin Se Yeon as Oh Mok Dan: Mok Dan hasn't seen her father Dam Sa Ri since she was seven. Because Gaksital seems to have the habit of pulling her out of dangerous situations, she's become a key target in the Gaksital catch. Willing to give her life to the independence cause, she's always in the middle of a fight even if it starts when she's not around.
Mok Dan is not your typical heroine. She's fiery, witty, anything but fragile, and total kick butt. The only reason why Gaksital rescues her from life threatening situations is because she puts herself in the situation to fight for her cause. This character has gone through a lot of hardships and troubles in her life so the actress has the challenge of showing those difficulties while still making the character believable.
Park Ki Woong as Kimura Shunji: Kang To's best friend, Japanese born, Shunji rejects his father and brother to go teach music to Korean children. He wants nothing to do with the police force and wishes to live out his days in peace as a teacher.
Shunji's character is so sweet and kind in the first few episodes. He's there for Kang To, is the perfect friend, and Kang To comes to him in times of need. I absolutely love Shunji and this is going to make it all the worse when he ends of taking his brother's place on the police force and swears the kill Gaksital. I don't want to see sweet Shunji turn bad; this is not a transformation I want to see. I feel the need to mention that despite the fact that he wants nothing to do with his father's and brother's lifestyle, he loves his brother dearly. He knows his brother is a bully and not a very good person but Shunji still loves him endlessly which is why it works when he decides to take revenge for his brother's life.
Park Joo Hyung as Kimura Kenji: Shunji's older brother, Kenji is a member of the police force and in addition to catching Gaksital, he wants to see Kang To dead and is willing to destroy innocent people to achieve these two goals. he also will stop at nothing to win his father's approval and love. Neither of which eh ever really gets.
Evil, evil, evil, evil. I wished him dead from the moment he stepped on the screen. And I got my wish. Now I wish he was still alive so Shunji didn't have to take his place. Kenji is just a total creeper from his toes up to his hairstyle. He needed to die in order for the plot to move along but I'm wishing, for Shunji's sake, that he didn't.
Han Chae Ah as Ueno Rie/Lara: Rie is a Korean born woman trying to hide her heritage by posing as a Japanese lady. She's dangerous and is a performer at a night club where she goes by Lara. Rie is an interesting character cause she's a bad guy but I see her turning in the distant future. I say distant cause I know it will be very distant based on how evil she is right now.
Shin Hyun Jun as Lee Kang San: Kang To's "idiot" older brother. Kang San was captured and tortured by the Japanese police when he joined the independence movement and was left mentally disabled. The two brothers got a long great, loving each other to no limit before Kang San was captured but after he turned into the village idiot, Kang To seems ashamed of him though eh defends him when the village picks on him. Kang San's death is the turning point from Evil Kang To to Gaksital Kang To.
I feel bad for this character. No one respects him and he is constantly being made fun of and getting beat up. His death is a hard one to take because it means an end to Kang To's innocent days. I say innocent because Kang To has no idea the reality check and the slap in the face he gets when Kang San dies. Life was difficult when he was the bad guy and a betrayer? Well be prepared for a punch in the gut when you have to be the good guy.