Hwayugi (A Korean Odyssey) Episode 1 Synopsis (Text Only)

List of characters haha

Short synopsis

  • We see the story of protagonist Jin Sun-Mi - she is a human who able to see supernatural but is fairly weak against them
  • Young Sun-Mi was given a task by Mawang, a supernatural whom she thought was a "fairy", but got tricked by Son Oh-Gong, another supernatural stuck in the building, when she was a small girl
  • Important point is that they had a contract such that if Sun-Mi calls out Oh-Gong's name, he will have to protect her. Problem is that he removed her memory so there is no way she could recall his name even if someone were to tell it to her
  • Fast forward 25 years later and Mawang is a CEO of Lucifer Entertainment (managing idols), Son Oh-Gong is Mawang's roommate (no fixed occupation), and Jin Sun-Mi is the CEO of a real estate company 
  • We see Mawang and Son Oh-Gong trying to do good deeds to ascend to heaven (something like gathering karma points). Mawang helps ghosts in his reality TV singing show, while Son Oh-Gong helps to remove a ventriloquist groom who possessed a small boy. 
  • Son Oh-Gong learns about the existence of Sam-Jang, a person who will give him extraordinary strength if he were to eat her
  • Son Oh-Gong is determined to eat Sam-Jang after the Patriarch tells him that he was not considered to be chosen to ascend to heaven
  • The Patriarch consults Mawang to help stop Son Oh-Gong from eating Sam-Jang. Mawang learns from the Patriarch that Sun-Mi is Sam-Jang. 
  • Sun-Mi has become Sam-Jang as punishment for freeing Oh-Gong. She will be attacked by demons all her life.
  • Son Oh-Gong reunites with Sun-Mi in an unhappy manner and is more determined to eat Sam-Jang after she has made him feel uncomfortable and somewhat guilty for making her wait for him for nothing
  • Mawang tries to find Sun-Mi but fails. He realises that he is also attracted to her scent
  • The ventriloquist bride, pair of the groom doll, goes to attack Sun-Mi. 
  • Sun-Mi bleeds and her blood attracts many demons, including Oh-Gong and Mawang.
  • Oh-Gong realises that Sun-Mi is Sam-Jang and wants to eat her. 

Long synopsis

We start the series with a man looking at a news report of a mountain fire in the Gangwon region, before going to a classroom setting where little children make fun of a girl to be a ghost. This little girl is our protagonist Jin Sun-Mi. As her classmates make fun of her, a teacher enters and asks the class to stand. Sun-Mi stands, realising that nobody else in standing - only she can see the "teacher". The teacher then changes to be a ghost (heart attack within 5 minutes I nearly died). Sun-Mi then takes out her umbrella with a talisman inside to shoo the ghost away. After which, the real teacher comes into the classroom and class starts.

After school, the ghost continues to follow Sun-Mi home and grabs her umbrella. A man in full black, holding a black umbrella with a bull handle, then appears to save Sun-mi and remove the ghost. This man is Woo Mawang. Sun-Mi asks Mawang how he managed to remove the ghosts and that she could see evil demons. He asks Sun-Mi for a favour after he learns she is a human who could see the supernatural. She agrees on the pretext that they will swap umbrellas after she has completed the task.

Mawang brings Sun-Mi to a house in the forest, to retrieve a Lady Iron Fan. He needed it to stop the fire in the mountains, and will trade the fan with his umbrella. He tells Sun-Mi to grab the fan and leave immediately, not responding to anything she sees or hears. She agrees and goes into the house.
Sun-Mi takes the fan, and meets Son Oh-Gong. She tries to ignore him but fails to do so when he drops her umbrella and calls out to her. Sun-Mi then tells her that she was here to take a fan for an uncle. Son Oh-Gong guesses it is Mawang who tasked her the job, and tricks her by saying that she was in danger as she did not sign a contract with Mawang. He told her that he could escort her and keep her safe, and asked her to blow out the five rainbow candles while he changes his clothing (similar to the five element mountain??).

Sun-Mi noticed Son Oh-Gong looking too intensely, and guesses that he could not light it out himself. He admits and told her that he would protect her if she removed the lights. She asks for a contract for him to protect her as she was very afraid of the monsters she see. He tells her, "If you call my name when you’re in trouble, in danger, or scared, I’ll appear and protect you." They then agree upon the contract and Sun-Mi puts the candles out. The house then disappears and they appear on a field.

Son Oh-Gong then tells little Sun-Mi that he has to protect her when she calls his name, but he removes her memory of his name. In short, she cannot call his name unless she finds this memory. He then takes the Iron Lady Fan from Sun-Mi and disappears. Small Sun-Mi is left tearing and trying to remember his name.

Twenty-five years later

Sun-Mi is introduced by her employee Lee Han-Joo as the CEO of a real estate company to a couple who is selling an empty office space. She opens her iconic yellow umbrella in front of the couple and counts the number of feet in the room, noticing there is an extra pair of shoes i.e. an extra person/something in the room.

Sun-Mi agrees to sign the contract for the building after the couple confirms that there is nothing wrong with the building. Sun-Mi looks at a file cabinet intensely and a female ghost (similar to The Ring) crawls out of the cabinet just as everyone leaves. Sun-Mi throws red beans (to ward off ghosts) at her, and they both sit and chat.

Sun-Mi ties the ghost's hair and the ghost shared that she starved to death after losing 30kg to audition as a singer. Sun-Mi gives her some food and asks if she had made any deals with fairies. She shared she was losing memory of the fairy she met (aka Son Oh-Gong), but the ghost had not met anyone.

We then move to a reality singing show where Mawang is one of the judges. We learn that Mawang is the CEO of Lucifer Entertainment and is known to be a "devilish over-reactor". While the two judges failed the singer, Mawang dramatically passes the singer. After the show, the contestant came to his room to thank him. He tells the ghost in the body to leave, who appeared to be the ghost talking to Sun-Mi.

He goes back to his office at Lucifer Entertainment where Secretary Ma congratulates him for helping a ghost and a human at the same time. She also shares that Mawang's co-judges were unhappy with his dramatic acts and she volunteers to kill them. He shares that killing was not in accordance with his goal to be an immortal. Secretary Ma then tell him about his roommate who got a speeding ticket and he has to help settle it.

We now zoom in to the roommate, who is no other than our dearest Son Oh-Gong. Man, he looks much better than 25 years ago. Son Oh-Gong is dressed as a priest and goes into a huge house. He is there to exorcise a demon who is possessing a young boy. From the conversation between the demon and Son Oh-Gong, we learn that demons have items that they attach themselves to (somewhat like a Horcrux in Harry Potter). This demon's item is a ventriloquist's doll. Also, the demon shared that he met a descendent of the monk Sam-Jang (AKA Tang San Zang) and huge strength would be awarded to whoever who eats Sam-Jang's flesh. The demon shows Son Oh-Gong the bite marks that he has left on Sam-Jang's neck for him to identify her. While speaking, the doll takes a compass and jumps to stab him, only to be thwarted and attacked by Son Oh-Gong. The demon then explodes into ashes and disappears.

Son Oh-Gong takes a bottle of Martell as a self-proclaimed token of gratitude. The parents were too happy to even complain, and we also realise that Son Oh-Gong wasn't the real hired priest when the real priest came. LOL. Son Oh-Gong now visits the most good looking character in the game, General Frost!!!! General Frost is an ice-cream seller who is also the confidant of Son Oh-Gong. He was sadly reduced to an ice-cream seller after turning earth into a frosty kingdom in the past. Talk about nasty Elsa. Son Oh-Gong asks General Frost for more information about Sam-Jang, but he has no idea. He learns that Sam-Jang's blood smells like lotuses, and would be targeted by many demons. General Frost then asks about Son Oh-Gong's stay with Mawang, which brings the perspective back to Mawang and Son Oh-Gong.

Mawang helped Son Oh-Gong take his congratulatory wreath as well as listen to the security guard nag about the latter's driving skills (or lack thereof). Both men thought that Son Oh-Gong would be promoted back to the heavens for removing the ventriloquist. Son Oh-Gong would be meeting the Patriach (Subhuuti) the next day, while Mawang was feeling jealous and indignant about it.

We then move to an antique shop where a ventriloquist doll who is a bride (uh oh) attracts a woman who tearily ended a phone message for her boyfriend. The woman, after looking at the bride doll, then twitches and has a face equally as scary as the doll (I seriously dislike dolls... and I bet this bride doll is probably the wife of the doll that was destroyed by Son Oh-Gong)

The next day, Son Oh-Going meets the Patriarch, who goes through Son Oh-Gong's reports of exorcism and noted that he has defeated the ventriloquist's doll who is the groom. He has yet to remove the bride to make it count as another exorcism success (I KNEW IT). Son Oh-Gong mentioned that he woudl do it as his last project on Earth, but the Patriarch shared that there has been no decision made to bring him back to heaven due to bad reviews (such as him destroying roads while destroying demons). Son Oh-Gong loses his temper and breaks the Patriarch's table in half, muttering that he should just eat Sam-Jang and forget about going back to heaven.

The Patriarch asked how Son Oh-Gong knew about the Sam-Jang, which affirms the rumors that Son Oh-Gong was initially unsure about. The Patriarch seeks Mawang for help.

We go into a concert where the singer PK hypes up an arena and spirits fly into a crystal ball with a bull figure (because it's planned by Mawang's Lucifer Entertainment). They are capturing energy of people (for some reason that I'm not sure). The Patriarch then approaches Mawang and tells him about Son Oh-Gong wanting to eat Sam-Jang. The Patriarch also reveals that the child that Mawang asked for help, also the child who freed Son Oh-Gong, is Sam-Jang. She was given Sam-Jang's fate of constantly being attacked by demons as a punishment for freeing Son Oh-Gong from the five element mountains. Ok so now we know that Jin Sun-Mi is Sam-Jang.

We go into Sun-Mi's POV where she visits the family where the little boy was previously possessed by the demon. Han-Joo spots the woman possessed by the bride doll and is scared by her. Son Oh-Gong finds the antique shop to look for the bride doll, but realised that she has been taken away. The nearby purplish jar shares in its smoke that the bride doll had possessed a passerby. Son-Oh Gong buys the jar after calling his "brother" Son Oh-Jung (CEO of a phone company, something like Samsung) for money. He brings the jar to General Frost and gives it as a gift to him (to give more warm energy to the place so as to nullify General Frost's cold energy).

After visiting the family, Han-Jo drives Sun-Mi back to the office. On the way, Sun-Mi spots a supernatural being on top of a car, wanting to harm the driver. She shouts at the driver to ask him to wake up, unfortunately making him angry and swearing at her. Thankfully, the supernatural being gave up trying to harm the driver and left. The car stops at a junction and Sun-Mi meets Oh-Gong. He waves to her just as how he waved to hear 25 years ago, recalling her memory. She chases after him and ends up at a garden. He sarcastically asks her why she had not been calling his name, and she told him that he was not worth it and she had no intention of calling him even though she knew his name. The conversation did not end well with both people being angry and walking out on each other.

In the meantime, Mawang goes to Sun-Mi's company to look for her. As she was still with Oh-Gong, he looks into the office and smells her shoe, being entranced by the smell of the lotus. He gets caught by Han-Joo and leaves LOL -_-

Sun-Mi is approached by the angry driver whom she scolded before (and also saved his life). As he raised his hand to hit her, Oh-Gong controls him and makes him mirror Oh-Gong's moves to hit his head. He flees in utter fear. Oh-Gong asks Sun-Mi if she remembers his name again, and warns her to tell the truth before he kills her. She tells him the truth that she had not remembered and she would also stop waiting for him to protect him, as she was never in his mind the 25 years that she was desperately hoping for him to appear. This hits Oh-Gong's conscience and he goes to the bar to talk to a lady, who is the pitcher that he gave to General Frost. The lady helps him to decipher what Sun-Mi meant by she was waiting for him desperately, by showing him an analogy of wanting to drink but being unable to do so. He still feels uncomfortable about it, and thinks that the best solution to get rid of this feeling is to eat Sam-Jang (not sure how this comes into play..?!)

The woman being possessed by the bride doll follows Sun-Mi into her house, as she saw Sun-Mi with Oh-Gong (killer of the groom doll) and assumes she is also an enemy. Sun-Mi spots the doll in her house and uses her umbrella on it, revealing the ghost of the doll. The ghostblow out all the lights, leaving them in darkness. Out of nowhere, a photo frame falls and hits Sun-Mi, making her bleed (o m g). Sun-Mi runs into the room to get a cloth and stop her bleeding as she tells herself that bleeding is bad. The scent of the lotus flower (in her blood) attracts many ghosts, including Mawang and Oh-Gong. Oh-Gong goes to Sun-Mi's house and defeats many ghosts. He also killed the bride doll and protected Sun-Mi from her.

Sun-Mi looked at him happily, thinking that he had protected her. He then saw a bite mark on her shoulder and realised that she is Sam-Jang. Mawang also arrives at the roof of Sun-Mi's house and defeats other demons. He is displeased that Oh-Gong had also found Sun-Mi.

Sun-Mi asks Oh-Gong if he was here to save her again. He said, "no, I came to eat you".

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My Comments
MAN THIS SYNOPSIS IS LONG!!!! The content is so rich and I would have split the episode into 2 or 3 to make it more digestible. Not sure if all shows are 1.5 hours long, I would think 30 min is enough. Anyway I enjoyed the link between the characters in Hwayugi to Journey to the West! Quite interesting that Sun Wu Kong (Son Oh-Gong) is the antagonist and the bull demon (Mawang) is the hero - a very interesting twist indeed! Sun-Mi is also very pretty and quite weird, which makes the show more intriguing. I definitely enjoyed the presense of her sidekick Han-Joo as he is really comical!! It would be awesome if Han-Joo met Secretary Ma LOL. General Frost is very charming as well I hope we get to see more of him!!

I predict that the twist will be twisted - Son Oh-Gong will be the hero and Mawang will be the villain in the series. Let's see if my prediction will be right!

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