FIRST IMPRESSION REVIEW: 7 Reasons Why You Should Watch “River Where The Moon Rises” (And Who Would Love This Type Of Drama)

If you’re still thinking whether you should try watching #ViuOriginal series “River Where The Moon Rises” starring Kim So Hyun, Jisoo, and Kang Ha Neul, here are 7 reasons why you should.

𝟏.) 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞
“River Where The Moon Rises” has a solid storyline. The series is about a princess, Pyeonggang (portrayed by Kim So Hyun), who lost her memories and ended up being trained as an assassin named Ga Jin. The conflict starts when she eventually gets tasked to kill her father, the king, without knowing about her past self.

What will Pyeonggang do when she finds out about her true identity? Will the king recognized her long lost daughter? The synopsis is interesting enough to capture viewers, and the actual execution is also something to look forward to.

𝟐.) 𝐊𝐢𝐦 𝐒𝐨 𝐇𝐲𝐮𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐉𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐨 𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐬
Known as the being paired with actors that gave us second lead syndrome and the “pambasang second lead,” viewers are constantly debating on how this series will actually end, and are continuously wishing for these two to actually get a happy ending — especially after seeing the intro of the series. Still, that spike of curiosity is enough to make you want to watch the series until your questions get answered.

Also, we can’t help but want to see Jisoo’s character finally live happily-ever-after.

𝟑.) 𝐊𝐚𝐧𝐠 𝐇𝐚 𝐍𝐞𝐮𝐥’𝐬 𝐒𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐀𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞
Kang Ha Neul was supposed to play the lead character, On Dal (now portrayed by Jisoo), but had to decline due to scheduling issues. However, he’s still part of the series as he played On Dal’s father, General On Yeop. His appearance may be short, but still impactful. He even has a scene with Kim So Hyun, who also played the lead character’s mother, Queen Yeon.

𝟒.) 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐀𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐒𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐬
This is actually Kim So Hyun’s first time to star in a genre that mixes action and historical aspects. The action scenes here would remind you of other East Asian period dramas as the characters showcase their swordsmanship via a powerful yet elegant choreography in beautiful Goguryeo clothing.

𝟓.) 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐫𝐚𝐦𝐚’𝐬 𝐂𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐡𝐲
The drama combines warm and cool tones with subtle colors, while highlighting various landscapes all throughout the first two episodes. “River Where The Moon Rises” is beautiful work of art, like a refined painting found in art museums.

𝟔.) 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐮𝐛𝐭𝐥𝐞 𝐘𝐞𝐭 𝐅𝐮𝐧𝐧𝐲 𝐎𝐧𝐞-𝐋𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐬
Despite its serious premise, the drama still has some funny one-liners that don’t seem out of place. We’re given a sophisticated story, but the characters — who are pretty young — still tend to somewhat act their age. Plus, there’s On Dal, “the fool.” Although he had to act as a “fool” to save his and his tribe’s life, his quirky habits still seem naturally his. Hence, giving his supposed “sad fate” a silver-lining, as On Dal’s strength is not only physical, but is also seen with his undoubtful resilience and humor.

𝟕.) 𝐊𝐢𝐦 𝐒𝐨 𝐇𝐲𝐮𝐧’𝐬 𝐃𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲
Kim So Hyun plays three roles: the refined Queen Yeon, and the inquisitive Princess Pyeonggang turned into the mysterious assassin Ga Jin. We’ve seen her play twins in “Who Are You: School 2015,” but her roles here has an added layer of refinement as she portrays a warrior with royal blood.

𝐁𝐎𝐍𝐔𝐒: 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐝𝐫𝐚𝐦𝐚 𝐨𝐟 𝐉𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐨 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐜𝐨-𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐊𝐢𝐦 𝐒𝐨 𝐇𝐲𝐮𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐊𝐚𝐧𝐠 𝐇𝐚 𝐍𝐞𝐮𝐥
Jisoo starred in “Page Turner” with Kim So Hyun,” and portrayed one of the brothers of Kang Ha Neul in “Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo.”

If you’ve already tried watching other sageuk (Korean historical or period) dramas that has a modern-day twist such as “Mr. Queen” and “Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo,” “River Where The Moon Rises” — if we can rate sageuk dramas by levels such as for beginners, intermediate, and for experts — is like a level above the previously mentioned “good for newbies” series. “River Where The Moon Rises” has a more serious tone in terms of storytelling and is leaning towards a more typical sageuk drama feel, like the ones you’ll see in “Dong Yi” and “Queen Seondeok.”

Still, sageuk beginners can still enjoy this show as the drama has its fair share of comedic moments. Aside from its historical aspect, those who also love a good series with a birthright synopsis can also look forward to see how the story will unfold. Hence, although the tone is not as light as those sageuk series with time-travel aspects, it also doesn’t go overboard like some makjang (extreme) dramas. Overall, it’s more similar to a full-pledge sageuk dramas, but with some comic relief that doesn’t veer away from the plot’s time setting.

If you’re ready for your first real sageuk drama, but still want to smile and feel kilig while watching, “River Where The Moon Rises” is something you might want to consider.

“River Where The Moon Rises” is available on Viu Philippines.

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