Hello beautiful people!
I hope you all are doing well and are safe 🙏
I have a couple of reviews that you can say were at a back burner, need a refresher and to be worked on more. And this review was one of them!
Peace lol…Either way I apologize for being behind schedule on posting this review. I was going to post it a week or so ago, but I wanted to add a few more things… Also more importantly had to focus on my work too so… peace out 😅✌
But, on the bright side, I was able to get a refresher, touch this review up to make sure I give all of my thoughts on this…especially since this is one of my favorite Korean dramas that I will give my review of!!! I rewatched/binged watch it again cause I like it so much! Slightly off topic, yes I either watch or listen to music while I work remotely. At the office I would listen to music. Music makes me more positive and productive. The ost of this drama I am reviewing of is awesome by the way..
Anyways, back to topic…. I rewatched/binged watched this drama again… Thus…the adding a few more things lol… Also… this is my first K-drama review of the month of April too! Hehe… Woohoo!!
Anyways been a long time coming and finally presenting…
Hotel Del Luna Korean TV Drama Review
Disclaimer: Pictures of the show, cast are not mine. And just add, info on the cast I got from Wikipedia, MyDramaList and Asian wiki.✌️ By the way, just to sneak in, you can find this Korean tv drama on Viki.com
First off… please don’t take what I say seriously… just with a grain of salt, like with music. I do not have a professional degree in film, literature and television… Not at all…nada zilch degree. But I love movies books and tv shows, most especially if they capture my interest somehow. Despite the lack of degree on this area, I will still do this review as a television drama lover and a Kdrama lover… And just to clarify too, sorry if at some points I might run on with my words or have any grammatical errors… but I will definitely be honest about my thoughts and feelings in this review.
Moving on… I will first talk about bit about the main leads…Lee Ji-eun and Yeo Jin-goo…and their characters in the Hotel Del Luna…
Lee Ji-eun aka IU. iU is a South Korean singer-songwriter and actress. While still in middle school, IU auditioned for various talent agencies with ambitions of becoming a singer. She signed with Kakao M (formerly LOEN Entertainment) in 2007 as a trainee and began her music career at the age of 15 with her debut album, Lost and Found. Her follow-up albums Growing Up and IU…IM, brought her success, but it was through “Good Day”, the lead single from her 2010 album Real, that she achieved national fame. “Good Day” spent five consecutive weeks at the top position of South Korea’s Gaon Digital Chart, a joint record along with Psy’s “Gangnam Style”m and in 2019, it was ranked number one on Billboard magazine’s 100 Greatest K-Pop Songs of the 2010s. Aside from her music career, IU has also ventured into hosting radio and television shows, as well as acting. Following her supporting role in teen drama Dream High and minor appearances in several television series, IU starred in You’re the Best, Lee Soon-shin, Pretty Man, The Producers, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, My Mister, Persona (which can be watched on Netflix) and Hotel del Luna, which this review is the focus on..
In Hotel Del Luna, Lee Ji-eun aka IU plays Jang Man-wol. The beautiful but cold CEO of Hotel Del Luna which was formerly called the “Guest House of the Moon” which was located in Myeong-dong Seoul. She has been the CEO for 1300 years.
Yeo Jin-goo is a South Korean actor. Yeo began his career as a child actor, debuting in the film 2005’s Sad Movie . Nicknamed “Nation’s Little Brother”, he went on to play the younger characters of the lead roles in movies and television dramas such as in 2008’s A Frozen Flower, 2010’s Giant, 2012’s Moon Embracing the Sun, and Missing You. He is known for playing the title character in the 2013’s action thriller Hwayi: A Monster Boy, for which he won Best New Actor at the Blue Dragon Film Awards. Since then, he has taken on lead roles in the films 2015’s Shoot Me in the Heart, The Long Way Home, and 2017’s Warriors of the Dawn. He has also starred in the dramas including 2015’s Orange Marmalade with AOA’s Seolhyun, 2016’s The Royal Gambler, 2017’s Circle, Reunited Worlds, 2019’s The Crowned Clown, My Absolute Boyfriend and Hotel Del Luna which this review is the focus of.
In Hotel Del Luna, Yeo Jin-goo plays Koo Chan-sung, the new general manager of Hotel del Luna, following the previous manager, Noh Joon-suk. He is a handsome Harvard MBA graduate, who is hired as an assistant manager at one of Korea’s top hotels. However, he later becomes the general manager for the Hotel del Luna due to a deal his father made with Jang Man-wol twenty years before.
Now…I will move on to the short summary and recap of Hotel Del Luna Korean drama…
The story takes place 1300 years back with Jang Man-wol, a beautiful lowly commoner but skilled warrior is dragging a wagon with a huge crate filled with her dead people’s belongings. She runs into a old woman named Mago and the inn she is looking for the Guest House of the Moon… which is the refuge for the dead before they go into the afterlife. A refuge, humans can only across under special circumstances such as being invited to come to the hotel or during the lunar eclipse.
Jang Man-wol came for the Guest House of the Moon, to help bring her dead people’s souls to refuge in exchange for her repentance for having blood on her hands as she drank a weird tea from Mago. Man-wol then suddenly gets into an altercation with some warriors who turned out to be spirits and had her end up stabbing a tree with her sword, that represents her soul, which gets absorbs by the tree… This leads her to become the new owner of the Guest House of the Moon, which appears next to the tree. This Guest House of the Moon is very special because all its clients are ghosts and is not visible in its true form during the day. This being Man-wol’s punishment for her sins as well as giving her the responsibility to take care of the ghosts, who comes across her hotel before they pass through to the afterlife to move on into the cycle of reincarnation.
As Mago, drags away the wagon filled with Man-wol’s people’s belongings, thousands of fireflies rise up from the wagon and follows Mago to the afterlife… But as they go away, one firefly decides to stay behind at the Guest House of the Moon…
1300 years later… the Guest House of the Moon…is now referred to as Hotel Del Luna and its located at Myeongdong, Seoul. And Jang Man-wol is still the CEO of the hotel. Due to a huge sin she committed a millennium ago, she has been stuck at the hotel catering to the dead before they pass on to the cycle of reincarnation… Also as a result of manipulation by Mago, Man-wol meets Koo Chan-sung’s father and makes a deal for his son to work for her after 20 years in return for his life and money.
With his new found wealth and life, Koo Chan-sung’s father takes Koo Chan-sung abroad where the young man grows up as a sincere perfectionist who is level-headed, but also has a soft heart. Koo Chan-sung comes back to South Korea after his father’s death to be an assistant manager at a multinational hotel corporation, only to run into Jang Man-wol and he ends up fulfilling the agreement his father made with her and becomes the manager of Hotel Del Luna.
Through Koo Chan-sung, we are introduced to the mysteries and the secrets behind the Hotel and its owner…especially her tragic past…in the process of catering their dead clients before they move on into the afterlife for their next phase, which is reincarnation.
Finally, I will talk about my thoughts and overall review on Hotel Del Luna …
First off, this drama came out early last year, so it took some time for me to get around watching it. I was honestly putting off watching it but I also heard many good about this drama that a month ago I decided to finally watch it. And I recently rewatched it as well to touch up is review…
I absolutely love the many guest appearances in this drama…
And out of those many guest appearances, I happen to have three that I like so much and really stuck out to me…
First off is Lee Joon-gi who plays the priest who would’ve become the human general manager of the hotel! But he was too crazy and overzealous for our main female leader’s taste! Lee Joon-gi btw is an awesome actor! Love him in kdramas Lawless Lawyer, Scarlet Heart Ryeo and Scholar Walks The Night, Two Weeks, Gunmen in Joseon, and his appearance in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter! Btw I will rewatched all of these shows I’ve mentioned and likely make reviews of them as well 😅✌
Secondly and also on a bittersweet sad note…this was one of the last shows, former f(X) Sulli made an appearance in and she was enchantingly beautiful and sophisticated… But she will live on through film and music as well as her bubbly and outspoken personality. May she rest in peace. Anyways she did well in her short appearance in this drama and I loved she made an appearance here since it been so long since To A Beautiful You a Korean remake version Hana Kimi. Also I usually don’t enjoy remakes of shows but ended up I adored her in the Korean Version of Chinese’s Hana Kimi which is actually based on a Japanese manga Hanazakari no Kimitachi e. A Japanese version came out as well twice actually, in 2007 and 2011! Btw I do plan to watch, rewatched and read all these versions at one point and likely make reviews of them as well 😅✌ Anyways Sulli also starred in Kim Soo-Hyun’s last movie Real just before he begins his mandatory military service..
Anyways this leads me another and the last great appearance that stuck out to me…
Kim Soo-Hyun making a cameo at the end of the drama! An awesome short cameo which makes makes me anticipate and wish for a Hotel Del Luna sequel! I love Kim Soo-Hyun! He is such an awesome dynamic character. If Hyun Bin from Crash Landing on You, was the craze now. He was definitely the one then because of My Love From the Star and Moon Embracing the Sun, and Producers. Btw I will rewatched all of these shows I’ve mentioned and likely make reviews of them as well 😅✌ On a side note, he also made an awesome cameo in Crash Landing on You too! Btw both Hotel del Luna and Crash Landing on You are his first appearances after completing his mandatory military service! So I can’t wait for his official k-drama comeback!
Anyways back to my Hotel del Luna review…
I totally love this show! And that is saying a lot since I don’t get into too much ghost theme stories cause ghosts honestly scare me more then vampires and zombies.
Anyways, I love this show because to me I felt that it was well-thought out. I found it interesting that how the characters all relate to each other especially now the people in Koo Chan-sung, our male lead’s life, play or are somehow reincarnated versions of the people in Jang Man-wol, our main female lead’s past life.
This leads me a couple other things that I like and enjoyed about this drama!
I thought that the actress and actor who played Koo Chan-sung and Jang Man-wol, respectively Yeo Jin-goo and , Lee Ji-eun aka IU, did a fantastic jobs in their roles and that their roles with tailor-made for them. Lee Ji-eun aka IU is a versatile talented young woman. A singer, songwriter, host and a actress. I felt her role as Jang Man-wol is her best role yet. This is because for once she plays a different, mysterious and stronger character since she usually plays cute, somewhat girl and vulnerable characters. To me this and her role in Netflix’s Persona is a definite level up to her. As Jang Man-wol, I love how Lee Ji-eun aka IU expresses her character’s mysteriousness and fierceness…that there is multiple layers to her personality and her buried vulnerability that is the result of her dark past. Yeo Jin-goo on the other hand is as always is an amazing young actor. I remembered him well for his short role as the young Crown Prince Lee Hwon / King Taegong in the popular 2012 Korean historical-fantasy drama Moon Embracing the Sun opposite Kim Yoo-jung who played the young Heo Yeon-woo whom he also had another short role with in 2008’s Iijimae. It was his short part up with Kim Yoo-jung I am highly anticipating a reunion project this time both of them as the main leads! But one thing for sure, I love this Yeo Jin-goo and Lee Ji-eun pair up as well, and this definitely makes me want and anticipate and future reunion project with the both of them. Anyways Yeo Jin-goo definitely deserves his nominations and awards for his acting. Definitely a rising star in my opinion.
I greatly enjoyed the dynamics both the main, supporting and minor characters have with it each other! I will not expound too much but because of Koo Chan-sung’s addition to Jang Man-wol’s life…their business-like relationship and respect that Jang Man-wol and her long staying ghost subordinates / Hotel del Luna team and supernatural ally entities have for each other develop into something more or the love that always been there have been expressed more. I really like that a lot. Just to add a tad more to that… Jang Man-wol’s ghostly hotel team are a mix of adorable and awesome and interesting personalities with their own set of grudges, regrets and/or pain on way they are still remaining on earth serving their fellow spirits in Hotel del Luna and have not passed on yet!
From the supernatural allies , I thought Ma Ho Shin played by Seo Yi Sook is totally awesome! Ma Go Shin if I understood correctly is the one in charge of life and death, Joy’s and sorrows of human beings. She is a 12 Gods / God sisters with 12 distinct personalities and roles to fulfill their duty. As for the actress playing Ma Go Shin, Seo Yis Sook… I remember her in her past works especially supporting role 2017’s Korean drama “Bad Thief, Good Thief”! She was amazingly irritating but hilarious there! Really one of the most talented versatile veteran Korean actresses in my opinion. She always stands out in role.
And back to the main pair and also, not to expound too much, I greatly enjoyed the ghosts that Koo Chan-sung and Jang Man-wol come across that help them learn from each other and about it eachother, making them slowly come to a deep understanding and even love.
Another awesome thing about this drama is the OST! It is amazing! The songs were perfect for this drama! They are definitely tailor made for it! The artist for those songs are amazing as well! My favorites though are Monday Kiz & Punch “Another Day”, 10cm “Lean On Me”, Taeyeon “All About You”, Gummy “Remember Me”, IU “Our Happy Ending” and Heize “Can You See My Heart”.
Anyways this is an awesome Korean drama! It is definitely high on my growing recommend list!
Anyways if you made it up to here… Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review of Hotel Del Luna!!! Hopefully, this review builds your curiosity in checking out this awesome Korean drama and other Korean dramas!!!
Once again, if you are interested in watching the drama… Hotel Del Luna can be watch from the Viki app on your phone or Fire TV/stick.
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I’ll be back again for another review real soon 😘✌
But til then…a
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