8 Reasons Why You Must Watch Disney+ K-Drama ‘Vigilante’ Starring Nam Joo-hyuk
Nov 8, 2023   •   Meryl Medel
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Nov 8, 2023   •   Meryl Medel
Disney+ is on a roll with its original Korean content catalog and the latest one in the lineup is no exception. Action-thriller series Vigilante is set to be a gripping watch for viewers worldwide.
ICYDK, the series is adapted from the hit Korean webtoon of the same name by Kim Kyusam and CRG. The webtoon was first published in 2018, with the last episode posted in 2020. In Naver Webtoon, it received a 9.9 out of 10 rating. Vigilante is currently being translated into English on the English Webtoon platform.
[NEWS] #VIGILANTE Original Creator Impressed: “Top-Notch Casting, Beyond the Webtoon in terms of Thrills and Action.”
— ɴᴀᴍ ᴊᴏᴏʜʏᴜᴋ ෆ (@jjwogiverse) October 31, 2023
The series follows Kim Jiyong (Nam Joo Hyuk), a star student at the police academy who moonlights as a vigilante driven by a thirst for revenge. He’s tired of seeing the legal system fail and repeat offenders be set free, so he takes matters into his own hands. As a martial arts master and bookish academic, he combines his inside knowledge and his fighting skills to pursue non-repentant repeat offenders and deliver his own violent form of justice.
But when the media catches on to his attacks, Jiyong will be forced into a cat-and-mouse game to continue pursuing criminals while avoiding being caught himself.
It’s dark, it’s gritty, it’s intense. Which is quite rare in K-dramaland. While there are several vigilante-centric K-dramas like City Hunter and Healer, they aren’t exactly noir like Vigilante. The only other drama that comes to mind is probably Taxi Driver.
As a police procedural, Vigilante on Disney+ is somewhat formulaic with new criminals to be solved (or beaten up, in this case). But the way it’s structured allows you to see things from both sides, namely the perspectives of the vigilante and the police.
You’ve seen Nam Joo-hyuk as the charming college boyfriend Jung Joon-hyung in Weightlifting Kim Bok-joo, the clueless yet cute genius Nam Do-san in Start-Up, and the hardworking yet captivating Baek Yi-jin in Twenty-Five Twenty-One. He has established himself as the resident K-drama boyfriend in his previous roles. But this time, he’s introducing himself as an action star in the vigilante Kim Jiyong, and we can’t take our eyes off him.
In a press conference held last November 6, director Choi Jeong-Yeol described Nam Joo-hyuk as the perfect actor to show the duality of Kim Jiyong, since he looks like a fresh youth who’s also a star student, but he can also deliver a glare full of rage fitting for a dark hero.
Aside from Nam Joo-hyuk’s Kim Jiyong, the other characters are also set to capture the attention of viewers. From Kim Soo-jin’s persistent journalist Choi Mi-ryeo to Lee Jun-hyuk’s free-spirited yet mysterious chaebol heir Cho Kang-ok to Yoo Ji-tae’s monster detective Jo Heon, you will want to follow their arcs throughout the series. It’s especially interesting to note how each character has clashing convictions, particularly in the legal system.
The contrasting beliefs and convictions will push viewers to think about the legal and justice systems in place not just in South Korea, but in their own countries.
When asked about what message he wanted to convey through the show, director Choi Jeong-Yeol said he wanted the show to be a food for thought. He wanted it to be entertaining, but he believed it would be good if viewers could think about whether the current legal justice system is working, if it’s right or wrong, and similar questions.
The show has been grounded in more realistic situations through the help of creator and consultant Moon Yoo-seok, who was also a former judge.
In the webtoon, there are a lot of things happening, and they had to pack most of it in 8 episodes. So according to the director, he wanted to make sure that the show was speedy and tense throughout. So expect cliffhangers that will keep you waiting for what’s coming next. You definitely won’t be able to put it down.
You can stream the first two episodes of this eight-part series starting November 8, exclusively on Disney+. Two episodes will be released every week.
Watch the Disney+ trailer for Vigilante here:
How excited are you to watch Vigilante on Disney+?
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