Kdrama Review: Vampire’s Flower
This is an SNS drama with only six episodes based on a web novel of the same name by Shin Ji Eun. And I’m still trying to figure out why they’ve been billing it as Korea’s version of Twilight because it’s NOTHING like Twilight. That particular book series actually isn’t the best to begin with. The first two books weren’t bad, but it was really hard to read the final two for me. I guess, since this has a teen girl and a vampire boy, they want to bill it as Twilight since that’s a standard nowadays. But come on. There has been tons of other teen romance vampire stuff done. Trust me, I know, I’ve read a bunch of them being a total book nerd growing up. Look at L.J. Smith’s Vampire Diaries which came long before the Twilight saga and I like it a whole lot better (not the TV series because it just sucks in comparison to the books).
So, yeah. Don’t believe it when you come across sites billing this short Korean drama as Twilight-esque because it’s not. I haven’t read this web novel, so I can’t comment on that, but since I’ve seen this drama, I don’t really think the web novel will be too much in the same vein of things. At least the heroine is nothing like the angsty and annoying Bella Swan or whatever her name was and while this vampire may be broody, he’s a far cry from the self-loathing Edward thankfully. That is not to say this drama isn’t full of problems, because it is. That in part comes mainly from the fact it’s 6 episodes of like 12-15 minutes or so. It’s hard to get a lot of plot in without enough holes to resemble some Swiss cheese.
Four of the seven members of kpop group A-JAX star in this drama. The leading role is nabbed by Seo Jae Hyung with leader and the eldest member Kim Hyung Kon taking on kind of the second male lead role with members Lee Seung Yeob and Moon Hyo Jun playing supporting roles. As idol actors they do a relatively decent job. It’s not smooth or perfect, but they made an effort and it’s not a bad portrayal given this is a web drama. Kim Ga Eun plays the heroine Seo Young whom you might know as the blonde crushing on Soo Ha in I Hear Your Voice.
The plot revolves around orphan Seo Young whose mother used to run a flower shop. She’s got an annoying boy friend who you know definitely wants to be her boyfriend. He follows her everywhere and always tries to get into her house. She pricks herself on a rose thorn in her mother’s shop and the blood falls to the ground. After she leaves a young vampire name Louis arrives. He’s looking for a flower that is sacred to the vampires. Whoever possesses this bloom becomes the ruler of the vampire world. This bloom was stolen by humans never to be seen again. He smells Seo Young’s blood and something connects. He thinks that a girl with this blood must be able to help him locate the flower.
Thus he has his minions Akan and Baekhan stalk her. He barges in on Seo Young and gets into the house that her friend had tried so hard to get into with great ease. He ends up making Seo Young his slave so that she will help him find the flower. The two quarrel all the time. It’s fairly typical. Of course that quarreling leads to love which proves problematic. To protect Seo Young from the evil Ashel, he plants a kiss on her lips in front of Baekhan and Akan and Reka (not sure how to spell that one) to make her his official consort which brands her with a flower-like tattoo on her neck. Reka shows some interest in Seo Young as well, but he’s a complicated character. He plays both sides and when push comes to shove he only uses people to get what he wants. He used Ashel to get rid of Louis’s father-figure Jaek and he then used Louis to get rid of Ashel.
It’s kind of convoluted isn’t it? But the plot is relatively easy to follow despite how complicated it might sound since there isn’t much to the drama as a whole. Ah, and Louis and his followers don’t drink human blood since drinking blood can make a vampire less human-like in the emotions department. Ashel, of course, is a blood drinker. Vampires are born and not created it seems. A vampire male gets a human woman pregnant and the resulting offspring are vampires. Oddly enough, we see no female vampires, only male.
Beside having our two leads fall for each other in a not-so-believable manner given the time constraints and the fact they don’t have much time together, another plot fall is the coming of age ceremony. Louis is too weak to stop Ashel since he still hasn’t gone through the ceremony. To protect his woman and save the vampire world from Ashel, he goes through the ceremony which ended up with him lying still on an alter glowing gold. Seriously? That needed some work because it was silly and anti climatic. They also could have explained just why this flower was so special and powerful. Maybe they did and I just blanked out on that explanation, but I think that could have been more integral to the story.
I get that Jaek was probably lying as he was dying and he told Ashel that the flower was extinct. The problem comes from the fact that we spent all this time searching for this said flower only to have it completely dry up at the end and the search is given up. There is some big connection to the flower and Seo Young as Jaek’s dying words were for Louis to cherish Seo Young and I don’t think that was just for blossoming love’s sake. I hate build up that ends with nothing, I really do. Of course, this allows us to get that sappy scene where Louis requests Seo Young be his special flower for life.
Jae Hyung’s acting…like I said it was good enough for the drama type, but at the same time, he lacked emotions and he liked to talk in this very low (and I don’t mean as in deep, low as in quiet) tone. He did show some good emotions at the end where he has defeated Ashel and asks Seo Young to be his girl to which she happily agrees. His smile really broke up that mask he was always wearing—an annoyed and bored look.
The ending is definitely open to continuation. One enemy is defeated but we have the power-hungry Reka and some unknown guy in a cloak. There’s still something that can be done. But if it’s not continued, it’s not a major loss. While it’s a bit rushed and lacks substance and some believability, it’s a nice drama to watch if you like vampires, teen romance, and just something to take a break from the usual drama fare. This and After School: Lucky or Not are both great breaks and enjoyable in their own ways even with all their flaws.