Ruler: Master of the Mask or Emperor: Owner of the Mask is my latest watched drama. It is a drama I have been waiting for since a long time ago after both @wow_kimsohyun (as Han Ga Eun) and Yoo Seung Ho (as crown Prince Lee Sun) confirmed as the main leads.
Both were talented child actor/actress and consider young also successful in the Kdrama industry. In terms of acting, they are known as masters of melodrama who could portray emotional scene very well. Hence, both acting is not disappointing at all throughout the drama.
Their acting is a top notch. They don’t have to speak through words. Their eyes, facial expression, and gesture told us all. Not to mention, both visual are absolutely beautiful and handsome.
I also love almost all the supporting cast, be it a protagonist or antagonist. They have their own background story which unfortunately uncovered for only 20 episode drama. From a pitiful Lee Sun, a strong Hwa Goon, a hateful Dae Mok, a smart Woo Boo, a cool Chung Woon, funny Moo Ha, a badass Mae Chang, an irritating Tae Ho, a mysterious Gon, a cutie Kko Mool and many more.The story is kinda heavy, not typical lighthearted, romance, or melodrama that easy to digest as we watched. And this is not, a romance drama that circle on the 2 main leads only (like most of the drama nowadays).
This is a drama about the journey of a pure and innocent crown prince (Seja) to become a true king, a true ruler, a true emperor for his people. But, that is exactly what makes this drama interesting to watch and wait for. The angst is almost in every episodes that make me cringe at the end of it.
Eventhough many viewers comment about the plot hole or undeveloped character and many things, but it’s not enough to make me drop this drama halfway.
Despite of this drama controversy regarding the writing, the directing, also editing, I decide to enjoy the show till the end and support all of the cast and production team who have been working so hard for 7 month during 3 season. They all have done a seriously great job till the end.
After all, it is not an easy task to write, moreover, to write such a deep meaningful historical drama script for only 20 episode (as far as I watch this kind of historical drama, it always more than 20 episodes). And, trust me, the drama is amazing in the beginning, a little bit draggy in the middle, but it is getting better to the end with a satisfying ending.
The cinematography is beyond word, breathtakingly beautiful, especially if @wow_kimsohyun and Yoo Seung Ho are in one frame, they are oozing with charming aura. So many scenes that look as beautiful as a painting, surreal. I can not even decide which I like best since it is too many.
The OST involve many artists and more than I expected. They were all good and ear catching and somehow connected to the emotion in each scene. Even the BGM and the sound effect are worth listening because they are very fit to every scene in the drama. Kudos to the sound director and music director, which make me post the list here. My favorite are songs by Hwang Chi Yeol, K. Will, Hwan Hee, Kim Yeon Ji, and Suran.
Last, this is definitely one of my favorite historical drama, alongside The Moon that Embrace The Sun, Jewel in the palace, Jumong, and The Legend. This drama could have been more than all of those dramas. It have potential to be one. The story idea, the cast, the cinematography, the sound, the music, even the dialogues (lines) are consider high quality. If, just if, the story development is much better.
But hey, there is no perfect drama. A drama can not pleased every viewers. Furthermore, it is only 20 episode historical drama, which apparently is not enough. But one thing for sure. This drama definitely deserved awards.
1. Yang Yo Seob (BEAST) – Couldn’t cry because I’m a man (Ruler OST Part 1)
2. Yang Yo Seob (BEAST) – Couldn’t cry because I’m a man (inst.)
3. Bolbbalgan4 – You and me from the start (Ruler OST Part 2)
4. Bolbbalgan4 – You and me from the start (inst.)
5. Hwang Chi Yeol – Even A Little While (Ruler OST Part 3)
6. Hwang Chi Yeol – Even A Little While (inst.)
7. Kei (Lovelyz) – Star And Sun (Ruler OST Part 4)
8. Kei (Lovelyz) – Star And Sun (inst.)
9. Kim Yeon Ji – Between Seasons (Ruler OST Part 5)
10. Kim Yeon Ji – Between Seasons (inst.)
11. Kim Na Young – I’m OK (Ruler OST Part 6)
12. Kim Na Young – I’m OK (inst.)
13. Yang Yo Seob – Tree (Ruler OST Part 7)
14. Yang Yo Seob – Tree (inst.)
15. K. Will – The Person I Love (Ruler OST Part 8)
16. K. Will – The Person I Love (inst.)
17. Hwan Hee – Shine (Ruler OST Part 9)
18. Hwan Hee – Shine (inst.)
19. Seo Young Eun – Flowing down my cheeks (Ruler OST Part 10)
20. Seo Young Eun – Flowing down my cheeks (inst.)
21. Gavy NJ – Affection/ Love (Ruler OST Part 11)
22. Gavy NJ – Affection/ Love (inst.)
23. Zia – Though I want you (Ruler OST Part 12)
24. Zia – Though I want you (inst.)
25. Kim Greem – One person (Ruler OST Part 13)
26. Kim Greem – One person (inst.)
27. L (INFINITE) – It’s Okay Even If It’s Not Me (Ruler OST Part 14)
28. L (INFINITE) – It’s Okay Even If It’s Not Me (inst.)
29. Suran – Water Orchid (Ruler OST Part 15)
30. Suran – Water Orchid (inst.)
31. Kim So Hyun – Can’t You Hear My Heart (Ruler OST Part 16)
32. Kim So Hyun – Can’t You Hear My Heart (inst.)
33. U Sung Eun – Hidden tears (Ruler Part 17)
34. U Sung Eun – Hidden tears (inst.)
35. Heo Young Saeng (SS301) – Look at you (Ruler OST Part 18)
36. Heo Young Saeng (SS301) – Look at you (inst.)
37. Han Ga Eun theme (Piano cover by Nickey Piano)
38. Princess’s sadness (piano cover by Nickey Piano)
39. Opening music
40. Be worried (BGM)
41. Sad (BGM)
42. V.A. – Monarch Main title (ins.)
43. V.A. – Anger Behind The Mask (inst.)
44. V.A. – Chaotic Tension (inst.)
45. V.A. – Battle for Blood (inst.)
46. V.A. – Toxic flower (inst.)
47. V.A. – Monarch Pizz Comic (inst.)
48. V.A. – Ga Eun Sonata (inst.)
49. V.A. – Destiny Waltz (inst.)
50. V.A. – Advance of the Monarch (inst.)
51. V.A. – Situation (inst.)
52. V.A. – Strong strike (inst.)
53. V.A. – The Beginning Of The Fate (inst.)
54. V.A. – Ramification (inst.)
55. V.A. – Decision (inst.)
56. V.A. – Bright mind (inst.)
57. V.A. – Rattle (inst.)
58. V.A. – Love of the Monarch (inst.)
59. V.A. – The space of secret (inst.)
60. V.A. – Longing (inst.)
61. V.A. – Conspiracy (inst.)
62. V.A. – Carrying out (inst.)
63. V.A. – Pain hearts (inst.)
64. V.A. – Kingdom’s gate (inst.)