I’ve only started on ep1 and I’m falling in love with Bride already. I did manage to read part of the manhwa which Bride is adapted from, and I can safely say Bride’s narrative is only loosely based on its original.
- Nam Joo-hyul (from Cheese in the Trap) as Habaek (Water God). He travels to Earth to look for the missing stone which will guarantee his succession as the next Lord over the Earth/ Water/ Air Gods.
- Shin Se-kyung (from The Girl Who See Smells) as Yoon So-ah. Psychiatrist, but not a one that makes money. So-ah is laden with debts (though it seems not entirely her fault), and is later saddled with (what she thinks) a nutcase who calls himself a Water God.
- Im Joo-hwan (from Oh My Ghostess!) as CEO Hoo-ye. Successful but otherwise a little chilly businessman.
A little (blind?) girl and a monk walk alongside, and we get an exposition of how Bride’s world operates as Monk explains that the Gods and Humans live in separate spheres. And there are 3 Gods – Air, Water and Earth. Each of them tussle for supremacy to lord over the other 2.
The succession race is officially on as the sacred water runs red in Heaven. Habeak (who is the popular choice as the next Ruler) is told to track down the last rune on Earth that will guarantee his leadership. Annoyed at having to handle this “mundane” task personally, Habaek travels with his trusty servant, Nam Soo-ri, to Earth. Habaek’s advisor also tells him of a Water God follower on earth that will aid Habaek in his search, but being an arrogant God, Habaek confidently says he can manage on his own.
On earth, we are introduced to So-ah. A psychiatrist who tries her best, but isn’t exactly making money for her clinic. She is loaded with debts (and there are hints that she took over the debts from someone else) and to make her day worse, she meets Habaek (who propelled (stark naked) into her from Heavens and knocked her unconscious). Her following encounters with Habaek, with him introducing himself in the third party and as a Water God, has So-ah categorising him as a nutcase.
During a trip back to Gangwan-do to try to sell her ancestral land (which the real estate agent refers to as juz a “patch of rock”), So-ah meets Habaek again. Unknown to her, her “patch of rock” happens to be a sacred place which is handed down by generations of Water God’s loyal followers. So-ah supposedly is Habaek’s servant on earth.
Unfortunately, Habaek lost the talisman which can command So-ah’s services during his trip on earth.
That doesn’t stop Habaek from ordering So-ah around though, and when So-ah stubbornly refuses to give in to Habaek, he resolves to use his “ultimate” command – he kisses So-ah.
Fantastic cinematography – I love how Bride portrays the home grounds of Habaek and the other Gods. It is much like a Final Fantasy game, very surreal, very pretty. Having said that, it is very hard not to compare Bride with another “fantasy-related” Kdrama – Goblin. Both dramas have a mystical world that lies on the borders of “reality”, populated by Gods and demigods who frequently transit to earth.
Like Shin, Habaek possesses the natural arrogance that comes with his status. But while Shin isn’t a stranger to the human world (having been one himself and he has been living among humans after being made an immortal), Habaek is still (blissfully) unaware that he is a fish out of water. I can’t wait for the shock that he is utterly helpless and dependable on So-ah (a mere human) to hit him soon. Moreover, he has lost his magical powers while on the way to earth. So he’d really need to do things the “mere human” way instead of being able to command nature to bend to his commands.
On the romance front, Bride is getting along pretty fast. While So-ah views Habaek as a “client” (aka loony), she can’t help but be attracted to his good looks and his charisma. The fact that she has to slap herself away from ogling him says a lot. While Habaek may still not be aware of his attraction to So-ah (it will take a lot to get through his pigheaded arrogance), he does note that she is “pretty”, enough to convey several “graces” on her – from ordering her to rest, while dictating Soo-ri to look for petrol and help, and later kissing her.