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Joo Won 주원- Welcome Back !

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11 hours ago, kittyna said:

Loving his casual style here :wink: 

 

 

Totally missing the casual Joowonnie on LiLo :wub: (I tried to add this on my previous reply but it didn’t work out :mellow: but still wanted to fangirl a bit :wink:)

Edited by LyraYoo
please do not quote images, thank you.
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@green_cardigan - I'll do a more formal reply later, but since you were wondering about my fanfics, consider this a first response :wink: 

 

(Just a note for any newcomers who want to comment on fics: you don't need to quote the entire post - that would just be too long. Just make sure you mention the title of whichever fic you're referring to, and I'll know.)

 

Spoiler

Title: Your Sister's Keeper

Drama: "Yong Pal"

Characters: Kim Tae Hyun, Kim So Hyun, The Kim Siblings' Mother

Premise: No-one could deny just how much Kim Tae Hyun loved his sister - their mother, least of all. But does there come a point when the sacrifice becomes too much?

Warnings: Violence (including depictions of spousal and child abuse); implied sexuality (including discussions of prostitution)

 

Note on warnings: Although I do try to be subtle and tasteful in my use of mature content like this, please be aware that some moments in this fic can be triggering. Please - your mental and emotional health come first. If anything I have mentioned can be triggering for you, please either take whatever coping measures you need to in advance, or skip over this fic. Thanks!

 

Note on timeline: I'll explain in more detail in the Author's Note, but for now, I just want to say very quickly that all the ages mentioned in this fic are in international reckoning. So, for instance, if I mention Tae Hyun being seven, or twelve, or sixteen or whatever, I mean that literally.

 

Once again, please do not re-post any content from this story on any other website without my permission. You are welcome to share this story, but only by sharing the URL. Thanks!

 

Spoiler

Your Sister’s Keeper

 

Tae Hyun-ah…

 

There are so many things that I wanted to give you but couldn’t.

 

A safe neighbourhood. A good school. The nicest clothes and toys.

 

Instead, all you got was what little your father and I could afford on our simple workers’ wages: a rooftop terrace in a run-down part of Seoul, where the streets and alleyways became your playground.

 

But the one thing you asked for, over and over again, I was finally able to give to you when you were seven years old.

 

From the minute I told you that you were going to have a little brother or sister, you were a devoted older brother. You stopped some of your childish games and started offering to help more around the house. Instead of my reading you a bedtime story before you went to sleep, you started taking charge of that yourself, saying that you wanted to read to the baby, too. And you used to spend hours just talking: telling your future sibling all the fun things you wanted to do with them once they arrived.

 

I don’t think So Hyun could have asked for a better Oppa than you, Tae Hyun-ah. As soon as she was born, you two were stuck together like glue. You held her when she cried; you fed her and changed her; you came home right away after school to watch over her so that I could get a few hours of rest.

 

I know that as parents, we shouldn’t have favourites. But I can’t help but think that, from the start, So Hyun was your father’s little princess, while you were my precious little boy. Your father doted on So Hyun: he would carry her proudly in his arms, making silly faces that made her squeal with laughter. And you, Tae Hyun-ah, were always so good to me: quick, clever, obedient, always asking me if I was tired or if I needed any help.

 

~~~~~

 

Tae Hyun-ah…

 

It breaks my heart to know that there is no way you will ever remember your father for who he was.

 

He wasn’t always the violent alcoholic, or the gangster thug who gambled and drank away what little money he earned. I would never have married him in the first place if he were.

 

But things really did go wrong: bad luck and misfortunes that seemed to happen all at once.

 

It started when you were nine years old, when the financial crisis hit. Many companies went bankrupt; others only managed to survive by laying off large groups of workers.

 

Your father was one of those.

 

We both tried to go out and find new jobs to make ends meet, but while I was able to find something – a part-time job washing dishes in a restaurant – your father was not so lucky.

 

We tried to hide it from you and So Hyun as much as we could. So Hyun was still little; she didn’t notice that anything was wrong. But you, Tae Hyun-ah, were just starting to get old enough to know, and you had so many questions for me:

 

Eomma, we used to have more banchan than we do now.

 

Eomma, why are you never home at night anymore?

 

Eomma, why does Appa look so tired and sad?

 

I tried to answer as best as I could without making you worry, but soon I had my own troubles to worry about.

 

When your father came home one day with a large sum of money, telling us that everything would be fine in a forcedly cheerful tone of voice, I knew exactly what had happened.

 

Don’t blame him for his choice, Tae Hyun-ah – your father was only trying to do his best.

 

But although we did our best to spend the loan money wisely – not using all of it, trying to save up – your father and I both knew that there was no way that we could pay it back. Not with the wages I got from my job.

 

Loan sharks are clever, Tae Hyun-ah. They know that you can never pay them back, so they make you work off your debt instead.

 

Your father tried to hide it from all of us at first. All he said was that he’d found a job as a security guard; only later did I find out he was actually now part of the same gang he had borrowed from, forced to pay off his debt by working for them, fighting for them.

 

But, no matter how much I disapproved of what he had done, there was one thing we both agreed on:

 

We maintained the lie. We continued to pretend. For as long as we could, we hid the truth from So Hyun and you.

 

Then, when you grew old enough to understand, you helped me keep it from your sister, too.

 

~~~~~

 

Tae Hyun-ah…

 

If there is one thing that destroys a man, Tae Hyun-ah, it is helplessness. That’s what happened to your father.

 

Don’t think that he liked his new life, because he didn’t.

 

Your father had good days and bad days. The good days were when he would come tired and sad, but sober. The bad ones were when he either came home drunk or would start drinking afterwards.

 

But remember this, Tae Hyun-ah:

 

Your father never hated me. He never hated us.

 

It was the world he hated. It was himself he hated.

 

We were just the ones to take the brunt of it.

 

I know what you thought, Tae Hyun-ah, every single time you saw the two of us like this: raised voices giving way to slaps and punches, breaking glass and crashing furniture. You, terror in your eyes, would look back and forth between So Hyun and me, wondering which of the two of us you should shield first.

 

But I taught you well, because always, you picked your sister: covering her eyes and ears before scooping her up in your arms and running out the first chance you got to take shelter with the neighbours downstairs.

 

So Hyun would have calmed down by the time I finally came back for you after the coast was clear: your father either gone or finally in a harmless drunken stupor. But you were different. Every single time, once you were safely tucked into bed, you would cry; you would apologize for leaving me behind to face your father’s anger alone.

 

Don’t be sorry, Tae Hyun-ah. Keeping your sister safe is the best way you can help me.

 

~~~~~

 

Tae Hyun-ah…

 

Don’t blame yourself for what happened to your sister.

 

You were just twelve years old, and So Hyun only five. The mistake you made was one that any child your age could have made, and if anything, it was our fault for leaving you two alone for so long, even knowing that she had the flu.

 

I know, when your father and I found you two in the emergency room – fortunately, it had been one of his good days – that you needed us just as much as So Hyun did. Maybe even more.

 

But neither of us saw you. We were so worried, so filled with panic for her sake, that we forgot what it must have been like for you during those dark hours.

 

So if, instead of comforting you, I yelled at you or scolded you that night, please forgive me.

 

And, Tae Hyun-ah, although it will be hard…please forgive your father as well.

 

Your father had no qualms against spanking you or your sister when you were naughty, but I know that the night of the accident, after the three of us returned home, was the first time he took it farther than that.

 

I tried to step in. I begged for him to stop hitting you. I tried to reason with him: that what had happened was an accident, that it wasn’t your fault, that taking out his own frustration at you wouldn’t help a thing.

 

But what broke my heart the most was what, through your tears, you said to me when it was all over and you were safely tucked into bed:

 

Appa’s right, Eomma. If anything happens to So Hyun, it’s all because of me.

 

Do you know what is the worst thing, besides losing a child, that a parent could ever experience?

 

It is seeing a child being forced to become an adult far too soon.

 

~~~~~

 

Tae Hyun-ah…

 

You really, truly are my son. You never let anything keep you down for long.

 

When, to our relief, we found out that So Hyun was no longer in immediate danger – that she needed a liver transplant, but that it wasn’t urgent and that medication could help tide us over until a donor showed up – you put all your effort into your schoolwork.

 

You told me you wanted to become a doctor: one that could heal So Hyun one day, and other sick children, too.

 

It’s a hard road that you chose for yourself. One that most people would find impossible without getting the best tutors, the best schools, the best universities.

 

All of that was out of our reach.

 

You would have no money to support you: only your wits and your hard work.

 

~~~~~

 

Tae Hyun-ah…

 

Life in a gang was taking its toll on your father, and the added cost of So Hyun’s treatment meant that, soon, the bad days far outnumbered the good as our debt grew and he had to do even more to work it off.

 

And you were no longer a child: a little boy who could be fooled with reassuring words and empty promises. You knew and understood everything now: that money was tight, why it was tight, why your father was the way he was.

 

But that didn’t stop you from hating him for it.

 

Now, on his bad days, you no longer looked to So Hyun first. Now, when he moved to strike me, you would run in between us: trying to push him back and, when that failed, taking the beating for me instead.

 

Then, as you grew older and taller and stronger, you started to pay back in turn: shout for shout, blow for blow.

 

Anything to keep him away from us.

 

~~~~~

 

Tae Hyun-ah…

 

When did you start putting this plan together?

 

Since you started high school? Middle school? Even earlier?

 

When I asked you what you wanted for your sixteenth birthday, I thought it would be something like what other boys your age would want: a new pair of running shoes, or comic books, or the newest CD from your favourite band, or even a second-hand refurbished mobile phone.

 

But, instead, you took out a stack of papers you had taken from the hospital during So Hyun’s last check-up: forms that, if I were to sign them, would give you my permission to offer half of your liver to her.

 

You meant well. Your heart was in the right place.

 

But I hope you understand why I told you no.

 

Doing the transplant then would have meant taking you out of school for the rest of that semester, and you simply couldn’t afford that delay in your studies.

 

Besides, an operation would cost so much more than the medications that So Hyun was already taking. And although you did the right thing by saving up your allowance for the past four years, Tae Hyun-ah, there was simply no way that that would be enough.

 

Seeing the disappointment on your face nearly broke my heart in two. Especially when I saw how it warred with anger and resentment.

 

How much longer, Eomma? It’s been four years – four damned years during which I could only sit on my butt with So Hyun so sick and do nothing!

 

Just a little longer, Tae Hyun-ah. Just focus on going to school and getting the good grades you’ll need to fulfill your dream.

 

You will have plenty of time to save So Hyun, then.

 

~~~~~

 

Tae Hyun-ah…

 

Other high school students would spend almost all of their time after classes at the school’s study hall and then moving on to private tutoring sessions or outside academies in order to get the best scores possible on their university entrance examinations. But you were different. Every day until you graduated, without fail, you would go to the primary school to pick up So Hyun after you had finished your own classes, then do your schoolwork at home.

 

After all, Eomma, it’s all the same stuff in the same books – plus, it costs less to do it here by myself than with a tutor.

 

Your teachers disapproved, of course: students were required to at least attend the evening study hall. But you fought against the rules, arguing that if studying was important according to our Confucian traditions, then taking care of your family was even more important – and there was nothing anyone could say to refute that!

 

So you struck a deal with the school: they would turn a blind eye to your absence provided that your grades did not slip.

 

They never did.

 

~~~~~

 

Tae Hyun-ah…

 

You are smart: far smarter than your father and I combined. Even without any extra help, relying only on your own effort, you graduated from high school with strong enough marks on the entrance exam to able to get into a medical school for university.

 

Not the best one, but that’s okay.

 

I’m not one of those mothers who need you to be ranked first, after all.

 

You’ve already gone further than so many others of your background would have.

 

You even, now that you were an adult, found yourself a part-time job: the night shift at a convenience store on our block, the manager a friend of ours who let you keep your textbooks under the counter so you could study when there were no customers around.

 

It meant that you didn’t get much sleep – only a few hours on the days that you had work – but you were happy. You told me that you could finally start making money to put towards paying for So Hyun’s treatments, and that that was all that mattered.

 

Just wait and see, Eomma – I’ve got it all worked out.

 

I hope so, too, Tae Hyun-ah. I hope so, too.

 

~~~~~

 

Tae Hyun-ah…

 

Why? Why did you do it?

 

Of all the possible stupid decisions you could have made, why did it have to be this?

 

I should have seen the signs. I should have known that when the money you earned from your part-time job could barely cover your tuition, let alone So Hyun’s medical bills, you would have done anything to make up for the difference.

 

Even if it was doing the one thing you said you’d never do.

 

How the gangsters must have laughed when you went to them to ask for a loan. How they must have gloated about it: they already had your father, and now they could nab you as well.

 

You knew I would disapprove, so you hid it from me. You didn’t ask me for advice or my opinion, so I only found out after it was already done – far too late for any of us to go back – and there was nothing left for me to do but to scold you for it.

 

You promised me that you wouldn’t go down the same path that your father did. You told me that no matter what happened, you would take care of it on your own – that you wouldn’t get So Hyun or me involved in any way.

 

But you are still young, Tae Hyun-ah. You, like so many others your age, believe that even if something bad happens to someone else, you will be different. You will get it together. Somehow, you will be the lucky one that escapes.

 

Real life doesn’t work like that.

 

~~~~~

 

Tae Hyun-ah…

 

I’d told you, but you didn’t listen.

 

It was a trap all along.

 

The gang didn’t want money – it wanted you.

 

They struck without warning, just a few months after you took out the loan. I only found out from So Hyun afterwards, when I got home from work to find her alone:

 

You had gone to pick her up from school as usual, when the two of you were approached by a group of strange-looking men in dark suits. You must have known what this was all about, but with So Hyun around, you did not dare to show any fear. Instead, from what she told me, you only told her to go on ahead first, saying that you only needed to speak with the men and that you would come home as soon as you were done.

 

But what So Hyun thought would be minutes became hours, and when I decided that she had finally waited up long enough and sent her to bed, you still weren’t back.

 

Only after midnight did you call home, using a payphone close to where those men had taken you. Your voice was shaking as you told me where to pick you up, adding that I must not let So Hyun know or call the police.

 

When I finally found you hidden in the shadows in the park you had described to me, the sight nearly broke my heart. Battered, bruised, and bloody, you were trembling, your face pale as a ghost, as you told me what had happened:

 

In just a few months, the debt had already grown far beyond what you could manage to pay back on your own. Even worse, they knew and you knew that sooner or later, you would have to borrow from them again.

 

So they wanted some sort of security now.

 

They thought you would be weak, like your father. They thought you would beg them for mercy and agree to their terms: joining the gang in exchange for amnesty.

 

But you refused. That was your promise to me, after all: that you would never do what your father did.

 

You held out for hours – even when they threatened you, even when they beat you.

 

But these men wouldn’t take no for an answer; they wouldn’t have let you go if you hadn’t agreed to give them something in return.

 

If you wouldn’t join the gang, you had to have something to sell, something that could balance out the cost of the debt. And if you had nothing else to sell, then you had no choice but to sell yourself.

 

~~~~~

 

Tae Hyun-ah…

 

You never told me what happened on those nights you spent working off your debt to the gang at the host bar they ran. Nor did I ask.

 

But I don’t need to ask, because I already know.

 

I know that you didn’t just do what you were asked to on paper: chatting up and flirting with customers over drinks. Even though selling alcohol was your job, most of the money went straight to the house without offsetting your debt. And I know you well enough to know that you wouldn’t dare risk damaging your liver by drinking too much – that was, after all, what had disqualified your father from being So Hyun’s donor, even though they had the same blood type.

 

So for your sister’s sake as well as your own, you soon took things further than that. With those wealthy society women who took a liking to you, those who consistently picked you out of the lineup or who asked for you by name, you started to offer even more. You let them touch you; you let them kiss you; and finally, when you thought the time was right, you let them pull you from the bar to the hotel next door where you let them go all the way.

 

Do not be surprised that I know all this, Tae Hyun-ah. I have known you for almost twenty years, after all. So I already know who you are, how you think, what choices you would make and why.

 

For So Hyun’s sake, I pretended not to know. In my heart, I know that that was what you wanted me to do.

 

So on the nights you came back stumbling and smelling of alcohol, even though I wanted to comfort you like the lost and broken little boy you were, I scolded you for going out partying with your friends. You, in turn, joined me in my charade, playing the part of the rebellious son, brushing me off when I knew that, more than anything, you wanted to come closer instead.

 

And although neither of us said it aloud, we were both silently counting down the days until, at last, you could be free once again.

 

~~~~~

 

Tae Hyun-ah…

 

Even after the debt was repaid and our lives returned to normal, things never really went back to the way they were before.

 

You went back to your studies. You went back to your job at the convenience store. You even took on a second part-time job, this time as a tutor for kids in our neighbourhood who couldn’t afford the higher fees charged by the private after-school academies.

 

But things were never the same again, because you were no longer the same.

 

You didn’t talk about those dark days to anyone, not even to me. But I knew just how deeply they cut you, killing the innocent child inside and creating a jaded adult in its place.

 

You had gotten your first real look at how the rich and powerful live – and you hated it.

 

You hated them.

 

I saw it on the day when, in a rare burst of temper, you gathered up So Hyun’s entire collection of fashion magazines and threw them into the trash:

 

Those designer clothes – do you know how much they cost? These people are willing to pay more for a handbag than what we’d need for your treatment for months – and you don’t want to know what they could get for even less!

 

You hated the way those society women had looked at you, and talked about you, and treated you. You hated how their money and position sheltered them from the darkness we lived in, and allowed them to ignore it at best and exploit it at worst.

 

But more than that, you hated just how much you had needed them, how you had had to rely on them. And now, despite everything you had been through, you hated that you still wanted to become like them.

 

Life had taught you that money was the only way to get what you wanted – health for So Hyun and safety for yourself. And when a man had already hit rock bottom once, what more did he have to lose?

 

~~~~~

 

Tae Hyun-ah…

 

When all else fails, sometimes time is what heals the best.

 

I will never forget the smile on your face as you checked yourself into the hospital alongside your sister.

 

After ten years of waiting – you now twenty-two and So Hyun fifteen – you two are finally going ahead with the liver transplant.

 

We would have done it sooner if we could, but you, Tae Hyun-ah, had finally decided to wait until you had saved up the money on your own. You did it properly this time: using your wages from work and raising funds together with your classmates and our neighbours. It wasn’t quick money, but it was clean. It was money that wouldn’t haunt you like that loan had.

 

You were set to go into surgery before So Hyun, and as the two of you said your goodbyes, I saw her whisper something in your ear that made you smile more happily than you had for years. Eyes shining, you pulled her close, and said something to her in turn.

 

And later, when you woke up in the recovery room and heard the doctor say that the surgery had gone well, you cried tears of joy.

 

Everything that had happened, everything you had gone through – the pain, the fear, the heartache, the sacrifice – all of that was for this one moment.

 

Looking into your eyes as you lay on that hospital bed, it was like you had finally found your reason to live.

 

Gwenchana, Tae Hyun-ah. Gwenchana.

 

Your body has healed So Hyun’s. Now let this joy heal your heart.

 

~~~~~

 

Tae Hyun-ah…

 

It was not your fault. It never was your fault.

 

We all make our own choices, and no matter how hard we try, we cannot control even those we love the most.

 

So Hyun is now sixteen years old; she is no longer an innocent child that you could hide things from.

 

Why, then, wouldn’t she do what she did?

 

It was foolish, of course. I told her that cutting back on her medication would only make things worse.

 

But what could I say when she told me that she was doing it for you?

 

Oppa’s still going to school. Oppa can just barely pay for his tuition – why should I be an extra burden for him?

 

So Hyun is the same as you were at that age, Tae Hyun-ah: knowing that something is wrong, but not knowing how to solve it.

 

For your sake, she lied to you about how much medicine she was taking. For your sake, she didn’t tell any of us when she started to feel unwell.

 

By the time she saw her mistake, it was already too late.

 

As we listened to the doctor as he told us that nothing could be done – that her body was rejecting the transplant; that the liver you had given her was dying; that she would not only need a second liver transplant, but now a kidney transplant as well – So Hyun and I saw the look in your eyes.

 

We watched you break.

 

We watched you die.

 

Even so, you did not raise your voice to scold her. Even though So Hyun herself admitted that she deserved it, you still could not bring yourself to fault her.

 

Instead, you saved the explosion for when you got home.

 

When I found you out on our terrace at home, you were standing so close to the edge that, just for a moment, I feared that you would fall.

 

Of course you didn’t. You had mentioned it once yourself:

 

For as long as So Hyun needs me, I cannot die.

 

But you still let me reach out and pull you back away from the ledge, collapsing into my arms like a lost little boy.

 

Which, no matter how old you are, you will always be to me.

 

~~~~~

 

Tae Hyun-ah…

 

Although the first transplant failed, you still wanted to try again.

 

You told me that it would be impossible for you to give So Hyun your liver again – something about how it grows back after having been cut in half – but you could do the kidney transplant for now so that, at least, she would not die.

 

But to pay for it…to pay for it….

 

I told you to reconsider. What if you wound up the same way you had four years ago? I couldn’t stand by and watch you destroy yourself all over again.

 

You apologized, but you still refused to change your mind.

 

You were your sister’s keeper. For her, there was nothing you would not do.

 

Pride, morals...those are luxuries that I can’t afford. Not when So Hyun’s life is on the line. If one of us has to go to hell, Eomma, at least let it be me!

 

So after years of going straight, you went back to the loan sharks, asking for the money you needed to pull your sister back from the brink.

 

And this time, I knew, there would be no going back.

 

~~~~~

 

Tae Hyun-ah…

 

At least this time, when you started being chased for your debt, you already had a plan.

 

You told it to me, out on the terrace, on the night of the first day of your internship at Hanshin Medical Centre.

 

Unlike last time, Eomma, I actually have something to sell. I am a doctor now; even if I still need to do a full internship and residency in order to be a surgeon, I’m at least qualified as a general practitioner.

 

Is this right, Tae Hyun-ah? What you are suggesting is better than what had happened the last time, and at least you can do it with a clear conscience. At least you will be working to save lives: people who are too poor to go to the hospital, or people who – like you so many years ago – could not go to the authorities for help.

 

But the stakes are also so much higher.

 

Where will you get the supplies you need? The tools? The medicines? Sooner or later, you will have no choice but to steal those.

 

And then, what happens if you get caught?

 

People like Hong Gil Dong – those who steal from the rich and give to the poor – only exist in stories. In the real world, the law is hardly so merciful. In the real world, you could lose everything: your licence, your credentials…even your life.

 

You tell me that that won’t happen. You tell me that things will turn out all right. You tell me that this is only a temporary solution – once you are finished your residency, you will go back to just being a proper surgeon, earning a high enough salary that neither So Hyun nor I will ever have to worry again.

 

But that is still five years away, Tae Hyun-ah.

 

Anything can happen in five years.

 

What will happen to So Hyun, then?

 

Author's Note (in "Hidden Contents" because of spoilers)

 

Spoiler

Okay...if I'd told you that this story originally started as a Mother's Day project, you probably wouldn't believe me, huh?

 

It's true, though. That is how this fic started, but I think we can all agree that it is now quite a different beast. Now, if I had to put a label to it, I'd say that this fic works as a character study, or maybe an origin story. And it is easily one of the darkest fics I've ever done.

 

That being said, there are a few aspects that I want to focus on in this behind-the-scenes feature, so let's go.

 

1. Tae Hyun's Backstory - The Timeline

 

Remember what I'd said in the introduction to this fic that ages were going to be given by international reckoning? Well, there was a reason for that: a lot of the timeline for this story was based on either medical or legal parameters, and even in Korea, ages in those two fields are done by international reckoning (i.e. one's actual age based on date of birth) rather than by the traditional Korean age.

 

Fortunately, Tae Hyun's age in "Yong Pal" was actually shown at one point. It's a "blink and you'll miss it" moment, but in Episode 7, in the meeting of all the doctors to discuss how to save him from his gunshot injury, the Powerpoint slide says that he was 27 years old. Since the main events in the drama were meant to take place in 2015 - something that is mentioned, say, in a formal declaration of death - that meant that, for my purposes, Tae Hyun was likely born at some point in 1988.

 

(FYI: The Chinese Wikipedia actually says he was born in March 1987, but I have no idea who that would make him 27 in August 2015, by any reckoning - so I'm just ignoring that for now.)

 

As for the age difference between Tae Hyun and So Hyun, I decided to go with the real-life age difference between the actors: seven years (JW was born in 1987, and Park Hye Soo was born in 1994). 

 

With these two things set, I went about constructing this prequel here. It hits a number of different points in Tae Hyun's childhood, adolescence and early adulthood, so here's a quick breakdown.

 

Format: Year (Tae Hyun's age/So Hyun's age) - Event(s) - Rationale (ie. why I put this here)

 

1995 (7/0) - So Hyun's birth - Based on the 7-year gap between JW and PHS

1997 (9/2) - Father loses his job, takes out the loan and joins a gang - The real-life IMF crisis and economic crash in Korea

2000 (12/5) - So Hyun's accident, Tae Hyun's decision to become a doctor - Based on the actual age of the child actor playing little Tae Hyun 

2004 (16/9) - Tae Hyun tries to become an organ donor - 16 is the minimum age for organ donation in Korea

2007 (19/12) - Tae Hyun starts medical school, his first debt - 19 is the age when university starts in Korea, and medicine in Korea is taught at the undergraduate level in a 6-year program

2010 (22/15) - So Hyun's liver transplant - Based on the date shown in Tae Hyun's medical history in Episode 7

2011 (23/16) - So Hyun's second liver failure and start of kidney failure, Tae Hyun's second debt - Irreversible organ transplant rejection usually sets in at least one year after surgery

2012 (24/17) - Tae Hyun finishes medical school and starts his internship - This is the year of their mother's death in the drama, and that was set during the internship

 

2. Why a Host Bar?

 

Just want to take a moment to address what is probably the most "WTF?" moment from this entire fanfic: the possibility that Tae Hyun had worked in a host bar at one point.

 

Before I get started, two quick disclaimers:

 

1. This was entirely of my own imagining, and may not actually be the intention of the show's writers.

2. Working in a host/hostess bar does not automatically mean prostitution - there is a significant overlap between the two, but they are two different things. Host and hostess bars run a wide spectrum, ranging from ones where there is a strict "conversation only" rule (i.e. hosts/hostesses chat with customers, but customers are not allowed to touch them) all the way to ones that are just thinly veiled brothels (technically, on paper, sex is still not on offer, but the establishment will turn a blind eye to any that happens on or off premises between workers and clients), and everything in between.

 

So given that, why on earth did I veer into the shadier side of it in this fic? It actually traces back, for me, to a single scene from "Yong Pal" - the one in Episode 4 when Tae Hyun goes drinking with Lee Chae Young (i.e. the Chairman's wife). 

 

See, when Chae Young invites herself to join him, Tae Hyun initially tries to brush her off; he tells her "If you want a man, go to a host bar." Well, I watched the drama in Cantonese dub, and the word that was used in the translation was rather more explicit, such that Tae Hyun ends up using a slang term for a male prostitute. 

 

But the bit from that scene that really prompted me to go ahead with this idea in this fic was the fact that Tae Hyun supposedly "knew" that Chae Young, in fact, was the sort of woman who would go to a host bar - and possibly the shadier sort, too. He could have based his judgment on either a stereotype or on experience - and I chose to go with the latter.

 

Why?

 

Because exploitation and objectification are major running themes in "Yong Pal". If you look closely, there are so many instances where Tae Hyun is talked about and treated more as an object than as a person. There's the whole deal with the 12th floor, there's the way that Chae Young consistently tries to claim ownership over Tae Hyun (she refers to him as her "toy" and also tries to claim him as payment for helping Yeo Jin, which...what? Ew.), there's the way that people like Han Do Joon feel like those like Tae Hyun or Chief Lee could be picked up, used, and then discarded without consequence. 

 

Point is: there is a lot of this sort of social commentary and criticism in the show, and it made sense for me to include some in this fic, and I just chose to do it in the most direct way possible.

 

Just one last reassuring word to newcomers to this forum who might feel likethey've just been thrown into the deep end: fics like this one are an exception rather than the rule, as far as my writing is concerned. Most of my content is of the cuter, fluffier variety :) 

 

 

Once again, if anyone wants to read my other K-drama fanfics or other Hallyu-related writings, a master list can be found under the "About Me" tab on my profile page. Thanks for reading!

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Okay, I'm come back and do a proper replies/pics post later - but for now...PICS FROM THE MEMORIAL DAY EVENT!

 

There are a ton more - as well as videos - on Instagram. But these are my personal favourites from the ones I've seen this morning :) 

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EDIT

 

Okay, looking at these photos again - can we just talk about the huge difference between JW's serious and not-serious faces? Like...dang!

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On 6/5/2018 at 1:01 PM, green_cardigan said:

Finally finished Joowon’s Life Log today! I didn’t want it to end though, I miss him already... They filmed him quite long, didn’t they? Maybe 8 - 9 months or so. I saw him doing a musical, a movie, a drama. I saw him sick, tired, happy, hungry, grumpy (lol), with friends, eating (gosh I love to watch him eat; he clearly loves food but still is surprisingly neat eater). I learned that he’s an early bird and is never late for work or meetings. He hates bees. He always walks in front of a group people and is the first one to enter the room. He’s handsome even when he wakes up but his hair is a hilarious mess ^_^:D

 

Glad that you enjoyed it! :) 

 

I really liked seeing those little everyday quirks about JW as well, because they remind us that, celebrity aside, he's just an ordinary person. So things like how he mentioned once that he ate a whole bag of chips without realizing it (lol - seriously, who hasn't done that before?), or being scared of a certain amusement park ride, or making silly bets with his friends (e.g. whoever loses rock-paper-scissors has to eat the whole lemon slice from their shaved ice), or the way he teases his staff - who clearly love him, by the way - or how he played with someone's dog while all his friends were either still asleep or too hungover to move (since JW doesn't drink, but a number of his friends do).

 

On 6/5/2018 at 1:01 PM, green_cardigan said:

Okay, your way of describing Joowon is way too dangerous... I tried to picture him in my head like this and almost lost it. I don’t know if my heart can take your fanfics if you manage to mess my head with a mere three paragraphs. J

 

lol - Well, rest assured, since I seldom include physical descriptions of JW's characters in my fanfics. (Why would I need to when you all already know what he looks like?)

 

Of course, it's not that I don't include those sorts of descriptions at all, but only in moments where they're relevant to that scene. So, for instance, here's one such example from one of my "Nae Il's Cantabile" sequel fanfics.

 

Quote

By the time we get to the intermission, Nae Il looks to be in a trance herself. Humming the opera’s beginning overture to herself, she sways in time with the music as we get up to walk about in the theatre’s lobby. The area isn’t all that large, especially with so many people from the audience milling about, and I cling desperately to her hand, lest we be separated, as she weaves her way through the crowd towards a corridor filled with display cases, each one featuring marionettes from past productions. Only once we are inside do I release her, giving her free rein as she dashes from case to case.

 

“Aren’t they amazing, Orabang?” she asks, her face just inches from the glass as she peers into the display.

 

“Mm,” I hum in response, adding a noncommittal nod.

 

To be honest, I find some of the marionettes, especially those with more grotesque features, rather unnerving to look at. It’s fortunate, then, that the ones used in this production of The Magic Flute have been an exception: with long heart-shaped faces – high cheekbones tapering down to pointed chins – aristocratic features and narrow slanted eyes, the marionettes we have been watching in this show have a certain ethereal fox-like beauty to them.

 

“What,” Nae Il quips back as soon as I tell her this, “like you?”

 

My jaw drops and I stare at her, incredulous.

 

“Mwo?”

 

But I don’t get a chance to demand an explanation from her, because, just then, the bell rings signalling that the intermission has come to an end and it is time for us to return to our seats.

 

But otherwise...yeah, I don't do that sort of physical description much :tongue: 

 

I'll save pics for another day, since I've already shared a bunch from today's event in Korea. So stay tuned for that!

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Thank you @mxxella This was the first time I watched South Korea’s Memorial Day ceremony, and it was very touching. It’s important to remember those who gave their life for the country and for the freedom of its people. I put rest of my thoughts under the spoiler

 

Spoiler

In Finland we have a song called “The Evening Call of a Veteran” where they sing:

 

“Foster, the brothers will be gone soon

Remember, the country is precious to them

Tell the grandchildren by songs

May the memory never dim”

(source)

 

The veterans sing the song every year on December 6th and whenever I hear it I have to fight not to cry. I think it’s important that the younger generations acknowledge the sacrifice their grandparents and grand grandparents made so that their children could live in a country of their own, speak the language of their own and decide how the country is being led.

 

 

I’m proud of Joowon and that he was an important part of the ceremony this year. I’m sure it was important to him as well. 

 

@kittyna Your fanfics are lovely and really well written! :wub:  Naeil’s Cantabile is a drama where I would’ve wanted to see more development in the main couple’s relationship. Although I love how different Yoo-jin and Na-eil are and they still have so much in common and have very close, trusting relationship, there are so many things that didn’t happen but I wanted to see so bad. For example, Yoo-jin never confessed his feelings to Nae-il, who, on the opposite, confessed to him the first time they met. They never kissed (my biggest regret. Every drama should have at least one good kiss scene, right?). They were discussing about marriage and living together (at least Na-eil did) but their “relationship” was so subtle I sometimes wondered if they were a couple at all. If being a little disappointed with the romance, the drama was still very entertaining to me, with many lovable characters.

 

My thoughts are still lingering on Life Log... I haven’t gotten time to watch any dramas lately but I wish I could watch one movie from Joowon. So far Steal My Heart is the only one I’ve seen. Any recommendations? I could watch SMH again since it was such a cute, fun movie :D

 

And do you guys know where I could find more pictures from this photoshoot? Every single picture I’ve seen has been amazing and I need more 

 

Spoiler

 

 

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Okay, something pretty neat just happened here on my end: someone got in touch with me on my Pinterest account, saying that she's a reader here who recognized me over there. So, just a quick shout-out to said reader: Thanks for the greetings and good wishes!

 

 

1 hour ago, green_cardigan said:

This was the first time I watched South Korea’s Memorial Day ceremony, and it was very touching. It’s important to remember those who gave their life for the country and for the freedom of its people. I put rest of my thoughts under the spoiler

 

  Hide contents

In Finland we have a song called “The Evening Call of a Veteran” where they sing:

 

“Foster, the brothers will be gone soon

Remember, the country is precious to them

Tell the grandchildren by songs

May the memory never dim”

(source)

 

The veterans sing the song every year on December 6th and whenever I hear it I have to fight not to cry. I think it’s important that the younger generations acknowledge the sacrifice their grandparents and grand grandparents made so that their children could live in a country of their own, speak the language of their own and decide how the country is being led.

 

That's really awesome - thanks for sharing!

 

Here in Canada, the main memorial/veterans' day is November 11, which we call Remembrance Day - in some other countries, it's called Armistice Day, and was chosen due to it being the official end of World War One. Maybe you guys have already come across the main song/poem that is used, In Flanders Fields by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, who served in the Canadian military at the time and composed the poem while mourning the death of a fallen comrade:

 

Quote

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

 

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

 

Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915 
during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium

 

Okay, cultural exchange aside...moving back to this forum's main star. :wink: 

 

1 hour ago, green_cardigan said:

Naeil’s Cantabile is a drama where I would’ve wanted to see more development in the main couple’s relationship. Although I love how different Yoo-jin and Na-eil are and they still have so much in common and have very close, trusting relationship, there are so many things that didn’t happen but I wanted to see so bad. For example, Yoo-jin never confessed his feelings to Nae-il, who, on the opposite, confessed to him the first time they met. They never kissed (my biggest regret. Every drama should have at least one good kiss scene, right?). They were discussing about marriage and living together (at least Na-eil did) but their “relationship” was so subtle I sometimes wondered if they were a couple at all. If being a little disappointed with the romance, the drama was still very entertaining to me, with many lovable characters.

 

I didn't mind that there wasn't much romance in "Nae Il's Cantabile" itself, because when I was watching the show, I did feel like neither Cha Yoo Jin nor Seol Nae Il were quite ready for that yet. With Yoo Jin, I think he was still really new to opening himself up to people like that - even friendship seems to be unfamiliar territory for him, let alone romance! So if he wasn't quite ready to really think of himself as Nae Il's boyfriend and do the really overtly romantic stuff (confession, kiss, etc.), I was cool with that.

 

Actually, in hindsight, as I rewatched different moments in order to write my sequel series of fanfics (which, if you haven't read them yet, does include the romance you seek :wink:), I noticed that there were a number of moments when I think Yoo Jin was confessing his feelings to Nae Il. He just did it in ways that aren't the really flat-out "I like you" or "I love you" moments we often imagine - and this one is my personal favourite (yes, even more than that awesome backhug)

 

 

What I love about moments like this is just how subtle and personalized they are. He knows, and she knows, and that's enough. :wub:

 

As for Nae Il, I think she was aware of her feelings for Yoo Jin the entire time - like you'd said - but I also think she's not quite emotionally ready for a serious relationship yet for the majority of the drama. It quickly became apparent to me how unbalanced the dynamic between Yoo Jin and Nae Il was, particularly earlier in the show. I don't just mean that in terms of, say, musical skill or performance experience, but in the give and take that should exist in any strong relationship. Yoo Jin's clearly acting with Nae Il's interests at heart, but it was only in the last few episodes of the drama that I saw Nae Il reciprocating in the same way.

 

So, for me, the end of "Nae Il's Cantabile" was less about reaching the point when a relationship becomes official, but more about seeing these two characters grow and mature so that, in the future, they could take things further. Which is, actually, why I have my "Seolleim in Salzburg" sequel series in the first place: exploring just how far the characters could have come in the months and years after the events of "Nae Il's Cantabile".

 

1 hour ago, green_cardigan said:

My thoughts are still lingering on Life Log... I haven’t gotten time to watch any dramas lately but I wish I could watch one movie from Joowon. So far Steal My Heart is the only one I’ve seen. Any recommendations? I could watch SMH again since it was such a cute, fun movie :D

 

If it's a "Life Log" high you're coming off of, I actually recommend checking out "Fashion King" if you could find it. It's the film that JW and most of the friends you see him with were working on during the early episodes of "Life Log", so...hey, might as see how their hard work paid off.

 

As a film, "Fashion King" really shouldn't be taken seriously at all. :tongue: It's kooky and zany, and maybe even a little bit insane, but if you peel back all the stuff happening on the surface about fashion and vanity, there's a really compelling story about high school bullying that I think, in this day and age, is quite relevant. Woo Ki Myung (JW) has a very interesting journey that goes from wanting to cover up his past as the class outcast and trying to fit in with the popular kids to finding worth in his own passion and interest regardless of what people think. There's also a strong message here about who counts as a good friend or a bad friend, and how sometimes the people who are best for us are the ones we take so much for granted that we don't notice them.

 

Just a quick word of caution, though: make sure you get the right one. :wink: There is also a Korean drama titled "Fashion King", but it's the movie you're wanting here.

 

1 hour ago, green_cardigan said:

And do you guys know where I could find more pictures from this photoshoot? Every single picture I’ve seen has been amazing and I need more 

 

I don't know which sources you have looked to yet, but I do know that this shot is from the June 2017 issue of Singles magazine - so using that date and publication title might help you find more. :)

 

In the meantime, here are my pics for today!

 

(Sorry for the lack of a Throwback Thursday post this week - my Thursday (i.e. yesterday) was super-insanely-busy, so I just had time to pop online once, and not enough to actually post anything. That will resume next week, then, and this will be my usual everyday miscellany post.)

 

Spoiler

lol - So cute!

 

 

Another awesome shot from the Memorial Day event.

 

Kudos to the photographer, by the way - this looks like something straight out of a movie musical!

 

 

JW signing autographs

 

 

Looking back on that super cute-and-fluffy cooking scene from "Yong Pal" - If you wanted more such moments from "Nae Il's Cantabile", @green_cardigan, then for me, it was "Yong Pal" from which I wanted more. Kim Tae Hyun and Han Yeo Jin's story is awesome as it is, but I felt so bad for them that each time they could be happy together, the moment would be so short before the real world came crashing back in again (the bit at the church, and this night in particular).

 

 

Behind-the-scenes shots from Mountia photoshoots - I think Mountia is the single longest endorsement JW's done (2012-2017...possibly even longer if they renew the contract after he's discharged); it's like they can't be separated anymore :tongue: 

 

The second one's a slideshow :wink: 

 

 

 

 

Finally, speaking of cute and fluffy romance in "Yong Pal"...that's gonna be the subject of my next fic! Haven't started writing it yet, but enough "beats" (what I personally call the little moments that just come really vividly to my mind around which I construct my fics) have come up in my brainstorming that it's actually gonna happen :wub:

 

I'm excited - it's my first time writing Han Yeo Jin as a character, and, besides...I do like me some cute romance.

 

(Not smut, though - I don't and won't ever do that! <_<)

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Just showing how new I am to the JW fandom in the grand scheme of things, I had no idea that June 9, 2018 was the 8th anniversary of his K-drama debut!

 

Okay, I did know he started with "King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu" in 2010, but not the specific date when it premiered. But, although it is still June 8 where I am as I am writing this (blame time zones - by the time any date comes around for me, it's almost over for the majority of you guys over in Asia :tongue:), I've already seen a lot of great tributes:

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, while not a single post, I really highly recommend you check out the recent posts by jjenny1430 on Instagram - she has, for the 8th anniversary celebration, reviewed all of JW's main dramas in individual posts. So definitely check those out when you get the chance!

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Just popping by to share some miscellaneous pics!

 

Spoiler

Cute shot from the 2017 Hong Kong fanmeeting

 

 

A few behind-the-scenes shots from photoshoots

 

 

 

And this one from "Yong Pal"

 

 

I'm loving the cool and slightly serious vibe in these shots

 

 

Hanging out in New Zealand (he was there for a Mountia shoot)

 

 

 

 

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Well, its better to follow your wisdom to post pictures through url.  Here is one collage of the many cute faces of Gilro.   

 

Spoiler

 

And don't miss our Chibi Shi-on na! 

I can't remember where I got this but anyway credits to the owner for such a great work!

 

 

On 2018/6/5 at 1:26 AM, kittyna said:

I can't say I know from personal experience, so @soomoi may have to help me out here. But here are some of the most common comments I've seen/heard from those who have seen JW in person - either at fanmeetings/autograph sessions or just by chance.

 

First of all - that he's actually not all that photogenic. Not that he looks bad in pictures (which is usually what we mean when we say someone isn't photogenic), but that he apparently looks way better in person than on camera.

 

So, for instance, I've seen people talk about how he's got a smaller and more pointed face in person (when he sometimes ends up looking chubby in photos), he's got a lean wiry build with a noticeably slim waist, and that he's got a sharp arresting quality in his eyes that just grabs your attention so that you can't look away.

 

From those who have actually, say, gotten up close and personal - getting an autograph or a handshake - I've heard that JW's touch is genuinely warm and friendly, and that his hands are big and strong and just a bit rough - definitely a guy's hands - and make you feel safe in their grip.

 

Dear Kittyna, you are the most delicate writer.  Very precise.  Very meticulous.  Couldn’t agree more, except on the hands part which I’ve never have that lucky touch.  But I’ve seen the same comments from those who did.  So for those lonely souls of fangirl missing JWonnie, your paragraphs will serve us well into fantasy of meeting him up close.  Just close your eyes…:ph34r:

 

 

On 2018/6/6 at 1:01 AM, green_cardigan said:

Okay, your way of describing Joowon is way too dangerous... I tried to picture him in my head like this and almost lost it. I don’t know if my heart can take your fanfics if you manage to mess my head with a mere three paragraphs. Joowon has very beautiful eyes even on TV, yet to meet him and have an eye contact with him *fans herself* I’d probably forget my own name or how to breathe. And he truly has nice hands and fingers

 

If my eyes get caught by his eyes, I will certainly be petrified. :flushed:

 

On 2018/6/6 at 2:05 AM, green_cardigan said:

Totally missing the casual Joowonnie on LiLo :wub: 

 

 Have you started the One Night 2 Days marathon?  Wonnie and his hyungs will bring you lots of joy and tears of joy :lol:

 

On 2018/6/8 at 10:15 PM, green_cardigan said:

And do you guys know where I could find more pictures from this photoshoot? Every single picture I’ve seen has been amazing and I need more 

 

Here is the official video

 

On 2018/6/6 at 10:28 AM, kittyna said:

Title: Your Sister's Keeper

Drama: "Yong Pal"

 

My heart was aching when I read your fic.   Its amazing how much work you must have done to fill up the prequel timeline.  I didn’t think in such a depth as you did even though you only watched it once (?!).  The darker side suits the drama very well indeed.  Good job, well done!  I expect more from you now, hehehe…

 

 

On 2018/6/6 at 8:30 PM, kittyna said:

Okay, looking at these photos again - can we just talk about the huge difference between JW's serious and not-serious faces? Like...dang!

 

Nice work of you picking the event photos.  Eye candies to die for.  I have to complain on behalf of Ha Neul – just because he was standing next to JW made him looked shorter than Ji Chang Wook, when both of them were of the same height!  Oftentimes on the near side of the camera, JCW looked much taller than JW but he was actually shorter by a few centimeters. Camera tricks!

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52 minutes ago, soomoi said:

Here is one collage of the many cute faces of Gilro.

 

lol - Thanks for sharing! I loved JW's many comical facial expressions as Han Gil Ro, even if "Level 7 Civil Drama" as a show was just "okay" for me. It wasn't bad, and I still highly enjoyed it, but it isn't the sort of thing I could really dig into in depth and flesh out and stuff - like I do with my fics :wink: It's fun for entertainment's sake, and that's it, as far as I'm concerned.

 

Still, my favourite thing about shots like this is that they show just how much fun JW must have had while filming.

 

58 minutes ago, soomoi said:

Have you started the One Night 2 Days marathon?  Wonnie and his hyungs will bring you lots of joy and tears of joy :lol:

 

I totally second @soomoi on this one, @green_cardigan - 1N2D features a younger and more innocently naive JW than what you see on "Life Log" (because he was 1) actually younger then, and 2) the maknae by a long shot whereas he was with his peers on "Life Log"), but that's what really endeared him to fans, especially since this was, at the time, one of the first real glimpses people had at his real-life personality. It was great seeing him being the good and obedient maknae (in contrast to the more conventionally funny naughty/mischievous maknae), and all the hyungs were so protective of him.

 

What's even more mindblowing about 1N2D, I think, is that the show was filmed concurrently with his dramas and films. So, at the start, he'd just finished "Ojakgyo Brothers", and then, over the course of his run on the show, he did "Gaksital", "Level 7 Civil Servant", "Good Doctor", and "Catch Me" before finally dropping out to concentrate on "Ghost".

 

But even more than that, I think, was that in watching 1N2D, we could watch JW growing up and really coming into his own as an adult: he started off such a wide-eyed innocent kid, but his time on the show coincided with a real-life offscreen period of significant personal growth, where - from what few hints are shown on 1N2D itself - he was dealing with a lot of new challenges and feelings that he hadn't encountered before.

 

Basically: if you want to see how someone so childishly innocent wound up becoming the strong and confident young man you saw on "Healing Camp", then 1N2D is a must-watch :) He leaves the show very much still a work-in-progress, but you see him taking the first steps towards finding that inner strength here.

 

1 hour ago, soomoi said:

Here is the official video

 

Thanks for finding and sharing that! :D 

 

1 hour ago, soomoi said:

My heart was aching when I read your fic.   Its amazing how much work you must have done to fill up the prequel timeline.  I didn’t think in such a depth as you did even though you only watched it once (?!).  The darker side suits the drama very well indeed.  Good job, well done!  I expect more from you now, hehehe…

 

Okay...watching it "once" may be a bit misleading.... :unsure: In terms of watching the whole drama from beginning to end, then, yes, I've only watched it once. But in order to write any of my fanfics, I re-watch the parts I am using for reference over and over again to make sure I get the specific details I'm looking for.

 

So, for instance, for this fic, here are some of the scenes I re-watched multiple times:

  • Episode 1 - The flashback featuring Tae Hyun with So Hyun and their mom when he's just starting his internship
  • Episode 2 - The flashback about Tae Hyun's mother's death
  • Episode 3 - The "house call" that he makes to the hotel (this is to get a better sense of Tae Hyun's reaction to the girl patient and the Hallyu star rapist)
  • Episode 4 - Tae Hyun's phone call to So Hyun (to see how his relationship with his father differs from So Hyun's), the nighttime drinking scene between Chae Young and Tae Hyun (i.e. the whole host bar bit), its aftermath (Tae Hyun waking up in the hotel room, and his being blackmailed with the photo/video evidence), the whole nuclear reactor scene (continuing on from Episode 3, but also for Tae Hyun's description of his father and his entire childhood)
  • Episode 5 - Tae Hyun's attempts to find treatment for So Hyun in the US (in particular, the specific sort of treatment - immune system transplant followed by a liver transplant - in order to get a better sense of So Hyun's condition)
  • Episode 7 - Tae Hyun's medical history, as explained during the doctors' conference
  • Episode 9 - Chae Young's attempt to bargain for Tae Hyun's life (i.e. where she basically says, "He's my toy, so no touching!"), the flashback to So Hyun's accident, including how Tae Hyun describes his decision to become a doctor (this is where I got the idea that he both hated and wanted to be like the rich/powerful)
  • Episode 10 - Tae Hyun's reaction to So Hyun going up to the 12th floor, including his offer to trade his life for hers (inspiration for my line, "For as long as So Hyun needs me, I cannot die")

Not to mention all the other miscellaneous topics I looked up in order to fill in the details I wanted (history of the IMF crisis - which, to be honest, I still don't get - stuff about liver and kidney health and transplantation, more on Korea's sex industry than I wish to admit right now...you get the idea).

 

So, in short, any one of these fics I write has its own distinct set of challenges and a lot of preparatory work goes into them. I usually don't break down the entire process like this, but...yeah, here it is :tongue: 

 

As for the darker aspect of this fic, I'll just say that I'm only going there since "Yong Pal" itself did. It's not the only drama that inspired this fic, to be honest (I also was influenced by a subplot in "The Suspicious Housekeeper", a scene in "Secret Love Affair", and a good chunk of "Bad Guys"), but the drama was already a really unflinching look into the darker underbelly of urban life in Korea to begin with, so....

 

Finally, please feel free to backtrack through my other fics if you want - they're all accessible via my profile page :wink: 

 

1 hour ago, soomoi said:

Nice work of you picking the event photos.  Eye candies to die for.  I have to complain on behalf of Ha Neul – just because he was standing next to JW made him looked shorter than Ji Chang Wook, when both of them were of the same height!  Oftentimes on the near side of the camera, JCW looked much taller than JW but he was actually shorter by a few centimeters. Camera tricks!

 

lol - True. It's like there are three really tall guys - JW (who was, without a doubt, the tallest), Kang Ha Neul and Ji Chang Wook - and then there's the little tiny Im Si Wan :tongue: To be fair, Im Si Wan's also not short in any objective sense - I don't remember how tall he was exactly, but just to look at, I think he's about average height in Korea...? But he is shorter than average by Hallyu standards (since entertainers tend to be taller on average than the general population), and so he just ends up looking tiny here.

 

It's like this one moment I saw from preparations for the Grounds Forces Festival last October where ISW was following JW around everywhere with this little electric fan, and the reporters were teasing him for turning into Jang Geu Rae (his character on "Misaeng") and talking about how cute he was.

 

(By the way, I was coincidentally listening to the "Angel Eyes" OST while I was writing out an earlier part of this reply - and totally basking in the sound of Kang Ha Neul's voice in the process :wub:)

 

And now for today's pics!

 

Spoiler

I don't know why this shot from "Yong Pal" cracks me up so much - it just does. Maybe it's the contrast between the two guys' expressions...? Like, it honestly looks like those pics that you can make a "Silly Caption Contest" from :tongue: 

 

 

JW Omurice???

 

 

Really liking how this shot turned out - From this Instagram slideshow: https://www.instagram.com/p/BjyJ4Prgtd7/

 

 

eae5667b42ca9cf2f9941d8750212bc6.jpg

 

A simple but oh-so-gorgeous behind-the-scenes shot from "Nae Il's Cantabile"

 

 

His laugh is totally contagious!

 

 

 

JW fanart, based on one of his earlier photos:

 

 

 

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On 6/8/2018 at 6:49 PM, kittyna said:

Actually, in hindsight, as I rewatched different moments in order to write my sequel series of fanfics (which, if you haven't read them yet, does include the romance you seek :wink:), I noticed that there were a number of moments when I think Yoo Jin was confessing his feelings to Nae Il. He just did it in ways that aren't the really flat-out "I like you" or "I love you" moments we often imagine - and this one is my personal favourite (yes, even more than that awesome backhug)

 

Omg I can’t wait to read those! I kinda wanted a whole SEQUEL to the drama because so much was left untold. And this is one of my favorite moments too! :wub:

 

On 6/8/2018 at 6:49 PM, kittyna said:

If it's a "Life Log" high you're coming off of, I actually recommend checking out "Fashion King" if you could find it. It's the film that JW and most of the friends you see him with were working on during the early episodes of "Life Log", so...hey, might as see how their hard work paid off.

 

I managed to find Fashion Kind and watched it last weekend. You were absolutely right; the movie was hilarious (except for the bullying, which always triggers me; those scenes where JW’s character was humiliated made me feel really uneasy) and the familiar faces kind of made it even funnier because I had seen how JW’s friends were in real life and seeing them in totally different characters... I was crying because laughing so much. Well I always cry when I laugh, but yeah, I don’t regret watching it. And that birthday song scene... oh my dear heart... I had seen it before but still it was totally adorable! *insert heart emojis here*

 

22 hours ago, soomoi said:

Well, its better to follow your wisdom to post pictures through url.  Here is one collage of the many cute faces of Gilro.   

 

Thank you for posting these cuties! I still haven’t finished 7GCS, I think there are a few episodes left, but now I miss Gilro so maybe it’s time to finish it! ^_^

 

22 hours ago, soomoi said:

Have you started the One Night 2 Days marathon?  Wonnie and his hyungs will bring you lots of joy and tears of joy :lol:

 

21 hours ago, kittyna said:

I totally second @soomoi on this one, @green_cardigan - 1N2D features a younger and more innocently naive JW than what you see on "Life Log" (because he was 1) actually younger then, and 2) the maknae by a long shot whereas he was with his peers on "Life Log"), but that's what really endeared him to fans, especially since this was, at the time, one of the first real glimpses people had at his real-life personality. It was great seeing him being the good and obedient maknae (in contrast to the more conventionally funny naughty/mischievous maknae), and all the hyungs were so protective of him.

 

I’ve seen only some parts with JW from here and there. Since you two recommend it I definitely need to check it sometime, although I don’t usually watch Korean TV shows. I used to, but after seeing the rise and fall of my favorite TV star I couldn’t watch them at all. It was Joowon who brought me back to dramas so who knows maybe I start watching reality shows again :D

 

@soomoi Thank you so much for sharing the video! It has been bothering me since I saw the first photos from that photoshoot.

 

Yesterday I was watching Joowon V LIVE videos and here he was talking about finishing My Sassy Girl filming earlier that day, and how he had his hair cut and bleached. And he pointed at his shoulder and said that his hair was that long before cutting it because he had to wear it in a bun during the filming. Did he only joke about how long his hair was? I’ve never saw his hair longer than this:

 

Spoiler

Joowon is so cute with his hair curled like this! Cherub-boyfie concept :wub:  (Pictures from here )

 

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beansbins9.jpg

 

Oh! Almost forgot... Happy 8th Anniversary (since debuting as a drama actor) to Joo Won and to all his fans who are waiting for him! :heart:

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2 hours ago, green_cardigan said:

Omg I can’t wait to read those! I kinda wanted a whole SEQUEL to the drama because so much was left untold. And this is one of my favorite moments too! :wub:

 

The sequel fics are grouped together as a series - "Seolleim in Salzburg" - and are accessible via my profile page. This collection of fics, which is still ongoing by the way, is the single largest project I have going on on this site. I don't plan to add any new installments until sometime in July, so you'll have time to get yourself caught up if you start reading them now :wink: 

 

2 hours ago, green_cardigan said:

I managed to find Fashion Kind and watched it last weekend. You were absolutely right; the movie was hilarious (except for the bullying, which always triggers me; those scenes where JW’s character was humiliated made me feel really uneasy) and the familiar faces kind of made it even funnier because I had seen how JW’s friends were in real life and seeing them in totally different characters... I was crying because laughing so much.

 

Yeah...it was really weird to see, say, Min Jin Woong being so mean to JW whilst in character when I knew that they were BFFs in real life - seeing Min Jin Woong as Lee Sang Chul in "Yong Pal" felt a lot more right, for instance. But I think the one among JW's fans that really stole the show for me was Shin Ju Hwan; his character in "Fashion King" was just so over-the-top funny :D 

 

The bullying was painful to watch, especially given the way that social media was involved (i.e. sharing humiliating videos online to the entire school), but I do think that it's something that needs to be addressed in our modern 21st century society. Given that, I really liked "Fashion King" as an underdog story, especially when Woo Ki Myung started to grow closer to his band of fellow misfits. :) 

 

2 hours ago, green_cardigan said:

I’ve seen only some parts with JW from here and there. Since you two recommend it I definitely need to check it sometime, although I don’t usually watch Korean TV shows. I used to, but after seeing the rise and fall of my favorite TV star I couldn’t watch them at all. It was Joowon who brought me back to dramas so who knows maybe I start watching reality shows again :D

 

I get how that feels, at least to some extent. To be honest, I haven't completed Season 2 of 1N2D (i.e. the season JW is in) because of something similar. Nothing wrong with JW, of course (I wouldn't be here as a fan if there were), but that sort of rise and fall and scandal surrounding another cast member made me gradually slow down my viewing of the show until, at one point, I simply...stopped. Add to that the fact that I was almost entirely through it, so was coming close to JW's own leaving the show, and I guess part of me is still reluctant to see it through.

 

2 hours ago, green_cardigan said:

Yesterday I was watching Joowon V LIVE videos and here he was talking about finishing My Sassy Girl filming earlier that day, and how he had his hair cut and bleached. And he pointed at his shoulder and said that his hair was that long before cutting it because he had to wear it in a bun during the filming. Did he only joke about how long his hair was?

 

That's a really good question. Personally, I think he's joking, since there was a behind-the-scenes video where the wig he was wearing came off by accident, and you could see that his hair was at its usual length underneath :tongue: 

 

 

But that being said, the topknots that you see in period dramas are done by taking a shoulder-length hairpiece and styling that after it's already been put onto the actor's head. There's a full explanation here - it's in Korean, but I think the photos should be pretty self-explanatory.

 

These photos also show the biggest clue that these actors are wearing wigs - the fact that you can still see the short hair on the back of the neck (if the actor had actually grown his hair that long and then pulled it up into the topknot - as would probably have been the case historically - you wouldn't see that). If you look closely in photos from "My Sassy Girl", that same feature is noticeable on JW. :wink: 

 

11e63a998e8bcdfa6b6c1ffb303f38fa.jpg

 

Contrast that with this shot that shows Moon Geun Young (right) in "Painter of the Wind" - since her character is a girl who's disguised as a man, she actually would have had long hair at the time of filming. You can see here how her hairstyle on the back of the neck ends up looking different from JW's because of how her hair is actually long enough has to be essentially flipped up and pulled into the hairstyle:

 

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One last tidbit: this whole wig application/styling process is usually one of the first things that an actor in a period drama does in the morning, before getting into costume, which is why there are also photos from "My Sassy Girl" filming that show JW with the hairstyle but still in his normal street clothes.

 

2 hours ago, green_cardigan said:

Joowon is so cute with his hair curled like this! Cherub-boyfie concept

 

Personally, at that length, I preferred his hair straighter (this was just coming off of filming "Nae Il's Cantabile", so it's essentially Cha Yoo Jin's style, curled :tongue:). But those Beansbins Coffee ad photos are cute regardless :) 

 

And now for my own pics for today:

 

Spoiler

A few miscellaneous shots from "Yong Pal"

 

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(Loving how this third one turned out in particular)

 

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(And let's include some behind-the-scenes stuff, because why not?)

 

 

JW as Chen Xi in the (upcoming) Chinese drama, "Love Express" - I love the boy-next-door vibe he's got going here.

 

 

Not a whole ton to say here - I just like this

 

 

 

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Looks like it's quiet again, so here are some miscellaneous pics for today

 

Spoiler

Loving how he looks in casual clothes like this - T-shirts, jeans, hoodies...you get the idea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, he cleans up nicely as well :tongue: 

 

 

 

 

So, apparently, back shots are a thing now?

 

 

And ending it off for today with a behind-the-scenes pic from "Nae Il's Cantabile" - Group huddle time!

 

 

 

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Just stopping by with some pics for today.

 

Spoiler

Combining the romances from "Good Doctor" nad "Yong Pal"

 

 

Matching poses from JW and Kim Tae Hee - The photos are not connected in any way, but I like how this fan put them together like this.

 

 

I like this collage of images of JW and Kim Young Kwang together for GGIO2

 

 

Since @green_cardigan mentioned liking this look on him...

 

 

 

Cute screenshot from one of JW's V Live broadcasts

 

 

Bedhead and shirtless (albeit wrapped in a throw blanket)?!?! In hindsight, it looks like "Nae Il's Cantabile" just decided to throw us right into the deep end as far as eye-candy is concerned :tongue: 

 

 

 

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Just popping by with today's pics - and, once again, it's Throwback Thursday time!

 

Spoiler

I love what the fan who edited the picture did to this shot of JW as Hwang Tae Hee

 

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Interesting "bad boy" look here - I remember he had a similar jacket in "Ojakgyo Brothers", actually

 

 

Some miscellaneous Gu Ma Jun pics

 

 

Just an FYI for the newbies: "Ghost" is the most recent I usually go when choosing stuff for the Throwback posts. So here's a shot from that - this was from a public rehearsal that was open to the press prior to the show's premiere

 

 

Nice fan-edit for "Good Doctor"

 

 

And I'll end this off for a throwback within a throwback :tongue: - A shot from one of the flashback scenes in "Gaksital"

 

 

 

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Once again, here I am with today's pics!

 

Spoiler

Kudos to the fan who posted this tribute to one of my favourite scenes from "Nae Il's Cantabile" on Instagram :) I remember getting serious "Phantom of the Opera" vibes watching this - and since that's one of my favourite musicals of all time, that meant double the fangirling :wink: 

 

(On a random side note, my heart wants JW to be cast in a Korean production of "Phantom" someday, even though my head tells me that his voice is a tad too contemporary-sounding for it)

 

 

The many faces of JW as the maknae on 1N2D

 

 

I know a lot of fans like seeing JW in his real-life nerdy glasses - so here we go!

 

 

This shot is just so cute :)

 

 

Impeccably dressed, but still casually cool

 

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I think this shot is from a magazine or a newspaper of some sort - it's really overtly stylized, but I like how it turned out

 

 

Finally, to end it off for today - a shot from the script-reading for "Yong Pal"

 

 

 

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Here I am with today's pics!

 

Spoiler

Cute collage of images from the cooking segment on "Life Log"

 

 

I've always liked this quote from his appearance on "Healing Camp"

 

 

Looking cool in the moto jacket

 

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JW with his BFF, Lee Se Wook - This shot is from "Life Log"

 

 

A behind-the-scenes shot from "Yong Pal"

 

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And some more from "Nae Il's Cantabile" - Cute matching poses, again :) 

 

 

JW and his mini-me in "My Sassy Girl"

 

 

 

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Quickly visiting here to say hi before camping in front of TV for the World Cup... thank you @kittyna for your daily pictures and captions, and special thanks for answering my questions so well! I know my questions can be a little silly sometimes but it’s like when you fall in love with something; you want to know every little detail about the subject (or the person) :D

 

On 6/11/2018 at 10:10 PM, kittyna said:

the topknots that you see in period dramas are done by taking a shoulder-length hairpiece and styling that after it's already been put onto the actor's head. There's a full explanation here - it's in Korean, but I think the photos should be pretty self-explanatory.

 

Thank you for sharing this piece of information, I love how detailed you are ^_^

 

On 6/12/2018 at 9:45 PM, kittyna said:

Loving how he looks in casual clothes like this - T-shirts, jeans, hoodies...you get the idea

 

I agree, Joowon looks really good in casual clothing. Baseball caps are my weakness.

 

On 6/13/2018 at 10:32 PM, kittyna said:

Since @green_cardigan mentioned liking this look on him...

 

I like it very much... :wub: I hope that when JW’s been discharged from the military he will grow his hair out again. Of course it depends on what kind of role he’ll do next and what the character is meant to look like.

 

On 6/13/2018 at 10:32 PM, kittyna said:

Bedhead and shirtless (albeit wrapped in a throw blanket)?!?! In hindsight, it looks like "Nae Il's Cantabile" just decided to throw us right into the deep end as far as eye-candy is concerned :tongue: 

 

The first episode of Naeil’s Cantabile had almost too much eye-candy to handle at once. I think I threw my iPad off my hands a couple of times because I had to calm myself down. But it was the story that instantly drew me in, I fell in love with Yoojin and Naeil right from the start.

 

Okay, the match started... just a couple of things; is this Joowon’s real eye color? I noticed that in many pictures his eyes are this beautiful brown color, but it’s possible the color is from contant lenses. While I was searching for information about his eye color I found this post. Thank you mrdimples, I had a lot of fun reading it ^_^ I wanted to read the other parts too but this was the only one that still existed.

 

Spoiler

 

It looks like JW had contact lenses here but could they be colorless..? Nvm the color, his eyes are beyond beautiful anyway...

 

PYH2012091713230001300_P2_59_20120917190

 

PYH2012091713260001300_P2_59_20120917190

 

Sorry for keeping it short this time, I try to return here sooner than later.

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2 hours ago, green_cardigan said:

Quickly visiting here to say hi before camping in front of TV for the World Cup...

 

Camping out for the Germany-Mexico match? Are you a fan of either of those, by any chance?

 

(Sorry - I know it's not all that JW-relevant, but I'm just wondering, since I've got a soft spot for Germany myself. Not a huge die-hard know-all-the-details fan, but I definitely like seeing them doing well :))

 

2 hours ago, green_cardigan said:

The first episode of Naeil’s Cantabile had almost too much eye-candy to handle at once. I think I threw my iPad off my hands a couple of times because I had to calm myself down. But it was the story that instantly drew me in, I fell in love with Yoojin and Naeil right from the start.

 

Cha Yoo Jin appealed to me immediately as a character, but Seol Nae Il did have to grow on me for a while first. Her quirky side was really funny, but it took me some time before I could really take her seriously as a character :tongue: But I really like both of them now, and think they're a really sweet pair in their own understated way.

 

2 hours ago, green_cardigan said:

Okay, the match started... just a couple of things; is this Joowon’s real eye color? I noticed that in many pictures his eyes are this beautiful brown color, but it’s possible the color is from contant lenses. 

 

2 hours ago, green_cardigan said:

It looks like JW had contact lenses here but could they be colorless..? Nvm the color, his eyes are beyond beautiful anyway...

 

I know that JW wears contact lenses in real life (as in, he actually needs them), although I sometimes worry for just how healthy that is in relation to his schedule. In other words, I know that you're supposed to limit how long you wear the contacts and you're not supposed to wear them to bed, because that could end up drying out your eyes and decreasing the amount of oxygen they get, but when JW's got a schedule that sometimes even entails him going without sleep for hours on end, let alone changing into his eyeglasses...yeah. It is a bit worrisome. :unsure: I guess that's part of the price of being an actor in Korea, but still...that can't be good, like, ten or twenty years from now, right?

 

But anyway, I digress.

 

I personally don't think those are coloured contacts, but more a trick of the lighting. The thing about "black" hair and "black" eyes - which is oftentimes how East Asian features are described - is that, well, they're not really black. It's usually some deep shade of brown that, under bright lights, can end up looking surprisingly light. So, for instance, if I took my hair - which would almost universally be called "black" and hold it up to the sunlight, it shows up as almost a mahogany sort of colour. The same can happen with eyes, too. You can see that there's some really strong/bright frontal lighting in these shots, and that's being reflected back in his eyes.

 

2 hours ago, green_cardigan said:

While I was searching for information about his eye color I found this post. Thank you mrdimples, I had a lot of fun reading it ^_^ I wanted to read the other parts too but this was the only one that still existed.

 

Thanks for sharing this article! I've never actually seen it or read it before, but now it's giving me plenty of fodder for responding/feedback. So here goes - my replies to the points brought up by mrdimples :) 

 

Quote

The shape is oval and yet has all the right angularity to make him look manly instead of feminine. Perhaps this is the reason why people will not quickly label him as a “Flower Boy”.   He looks very good whether it is face on, at an angle or side. I have a fondness for his side profile. Here, you can see the perfect lines, the slight slope of a forehead, the nice masculine brow bridge, the straight nose and the perfect mouth and chin.

 

I definitely think that JW doesn't have the "pretty boy" or "flower boy" sort of features - which I associate with a really prominently pointed chin/jawline, a thin high-bridged nose, big eyes, etc. However, that being said...he pulls off drag surprisingly well under the circumstances :tongue: 

 

 

It's also this combination that leads me to think that he is completely or almost completely natural - because the "flower boy" look is the one that's usually associated with cosmetic surgery, anyone who doesn't conform to that makes me wonder if their features are real, in a "If he could have gotten plastic surgery, he wouldn't go for this sort of look, would he?" kind of sense. However, I don't actually have a clear or definitive answer to that question.

 

Quote

He has one of the most beautiful eyes I have seen. In Dramabeans Review of Ojagkyo Brothers, girlfriday described Joo Won thus “as he has maybe the prettiest eyes of any human being ever.”  To top it all, they are the liveliest when he is acting. For a Korean man, his eyes are bigger than the norm and he has double eyelids too. My personal preference is actually men with smaller eyes and single eyelids, don’t ask me why. But I cannot escape the pull of Joo Won’s stare. His eyes can emote so much that people describe him as “acting with his eyes” With that pair of beautiful, thick lash framed eyes, he is able to convey both happiness and bitterness, love and loath, realization and bewilderment, stoicism and vulnerability and the whole gamut of emotions.

 

lol - I'm with mrdimples here: JW's eyes are among my favourite features of his, too :) 

 

I think what stands out to me more than anything is the shape of his eyes. So, when I look at them, I notice right away that there's a really pleasant curve on the bottom eyelid coupled with a slightly straighter line on top: these give his eyes a slightly slanted look that immediately commands my attention. Personally, I think JW's got the elusive "phoenix eye": the eye shape that is considered classically beautiful in Chinese culture, which is characterized by an inner corner that dips slightly downwards, a gently upward curve (more long than round) across, then a more noticeable upward curve on the outer corner.

 

As for the eyelids, that's the one feature that I'm not 100% sure is natural - mostly because I've heard just how good Korean cosmetic surgeons are at creating a natural-looking artificial double eyelid. Personally, my guess is that JW's eyelids are natural, but, again, that's the one feature that I have some reservations on. Mind you - I think they're beautiful either way, so their origin isn't that big a deal for me.

 

Quote

As beautiful as Joo Won looks with his big and expressive eyes, he is also drop dead gorgeous with his eyes closed. It is hard to explain but just look at these snapshots and you will probably agree.

 

Glad I'm not the only one who thinks this! I just think his eyes, when closed, have this really captivating soft curve to them :) 

 

Quote

Another of Joo Won’s outstanding features is his prominent high cheekbones. They make him stand out and coupled with a pair of killer dimples, his smile is just simply gorgeous. Whenever I see Joo Won smiling on screen or even in a still photo, my heart just burst with joy, the sun shines brighter, the birds sing sweeter and the air just tingles. He truly has one of the best smiles I have seen. . In Baker King, Ma Jun didn’t smile much and when he did, it was those cynical or ‘evil’ smiles. Still, I could not help noticing the dimples. . This guy has insanely huge dimples, not the tiny type. They lend such sweetness and make him totally adorable. They are what make his smile so unique and devastatingly awesome.

 

I think the cheekbones/dimples are one of those "either you love them or you hate them" sort of features. I definitely think this is one of those features where the lighting, camera angle, etc. really matter: sometimes, on JW, they look really beautiful and add a lot of character to his face; but other times, there is something almost off or disproportionate about how they look, or they might make his face look oddly sunken at times.

 

Definitely a useful trait for character acting, though :wink: 

 

Quote

I read somewhere of comments that Joo Won has thin lips, I beg to differ. He has one of the nicest lips I have seen on a man’s mouth. Actually, excuse my bias. I think it is the best.

 

lol - I am one of those who think JW's lips are on the thinner side, but that's actually what I like about them. I think they really suit the rest of his face, and are also very much a guy's lips :) 

 

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Joo Won got a beautiful nose as well. Straight, not aquiline, no hook or curve. Slim, not fleshy or small. No flair in the nostrils, only when he is angry but that makes him look even hotter and more exciting. It tips very slightly downwards when he is scowling or eating but as one fan said, it just makes him cuter that way. But mostly, it is nothing short of perfect.

 

Okay, mrdimples put it better than I ever could! JW's nose is the one feature I have a hard time describing, but that's because it's so...his. It looks so straight and high from the side - almost to the point where I start to wonder if it's fake - but then I can tell from a frontal shot that the actual bridge (the part between his eyes) is not all that prominent, but is actually broad enough and flat enough to feel "Eastern" and convince me all over again that it's real.

 

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I cannot miss out the fact that he has got a terrific jawline as well. I never knew how important an actor’s jawline is until I start noticing screenshots and stills of drama kiss scenes. Actors will tell you that in filming a kiss scene, it’s not just the kiss which has to look good, the angle of the shot is also very important. And to make it perfect, it’s a must that the man’s jawline look well-defined, strong and masculine. Joo Won’s jawline does the job all too beautifully.

 

I didn't notice this feature until I watched "Nae Il's Cantabile". Then Cha Yoo Jin and his high-necked turtlenecks completely did me in :wub:

 

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Now, his ears, you can best appreciate it in the type of haircut that has been featured in a couple of photos above. I really do not know how to describe the anatomy of an ear but do I even need to? Just one word, yes, you guess it. Perfect.

 

So mrdimples ran into difficulties here, and I don't blame them :wink: But one thing I personally have noticed about JW's ears, especially when you view them from the front, is that the inner ridge/fold is actually quite prominent, and even juts out slightly more than the actual crest (i.e. the top/outer curve). That sometimes makes his ears look almost pointed when viewed from the front - like an elf :tongue: 

 

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Taking a break from perfection, shall we look at the so called blemishes on Joo Won’s face? It is rather scary at times how sharp devoted fans’ eyes can be. They scrutinized every inch and millimeter of their idol’s body, celebrating in new discoveries no matter how tiny or *gasp*, even in imperfections. For the record, Joo Won has 3 moles on each side of his face and 3 more on his neck and collarbone. I am sure he has more but sorry to disappoint you, that’s strictly out of boundary. For now, the mole fetish fans have been staring so hard at his moles that they are seeing stars. They call the ones on his face the Dipper. 

 

lol - Never thought about that before! But I like small "imperfections" (which I don't actually think are imperfections, by the way, but I digress) like this, because, again, they lend character to his face, and he needs that as an actor. I don't think actors should have perfectly beautiful/handsome faces, because those feel less versatile and emotive.

 

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The thing about Joo Won is that each and every feature of his face is so beautiful. The more you look, the more you realize how perfect each is and you cannot help but marvel at how perfectly they all come together. In addition to this, the other amazing thing about Joo Won is not just how handsome he looks but how versatile he can look. One moment you see an innocent and cute young man, next, you see a man whose intense looks and masculinity just oozes sex appeal.

 

I think this one comment sums it up for me: it's not that I think JW looks perfect (because I don't think a "perfect" face exists outside of the eye of the beholder), but I do think that every single one of his features works for him and feels perfectly in place, which contributes towards the film/stage presence that we all love. So, rather than describe him as "handsome", I would say that he's "striking" :) 

 

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Standing at 1.85 metres tall, Joo Won’s height is ideal for leading man roles. Coupled with that, he has a very good musculoskeletal frame of a body. He is sporty but definitely not the type who pumps iron in the gym. Hence, he is not overtly muscular nor does he have the 6 packs for abs. However he far compensates by having a very nice set of broad shoulders, long torso and long limbs. 

 

lol - Maybe I'm used to seeing a lot of Korean actors and celebrities with super-broad shoulders, but I actually don't register JW's as being particularly broad. :tongue: In fact, I sometimes think they're a bit narrow, and I have definitely noticed that they slope a bit (in other words, there isn't that strong 90-degree angle where his neck and shoulders meet, but more of a gentle slant). However, I do like guys with a more lean/wiry build, so that makes JW's look right up my alley in this department :wink: 

 

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For someone who does not work out, we can still see that he has got the Mesomorph type of body. He has long arms and his deltoid and biceps are huge though not the best defined out there due to lack of workout. In Bridal Mask however, he seemed to have improved in beefing up his arms. You can see them most prominently when he is only wearing the Gaksital inner vest.

 

If I think JW doesn't have the most masculine-looking shoulders, I do think his limbs more than make up for it. Most of the bulk he develops from working out (those who have watched "Life Log" will notice this) seem to be on his arms and legs - and he definitely is a mesomorph in the sense that even a small amount of movement in a given moment will give him noticeably larger muscles (even if just temporarily :tongue:)

 

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His thighs are also surprisingly muscular and nicely shaped. One fan commented that his is quite unusual because many Korean guys have ‘chicken legs’

 

JW has commented himself on this - that he's got a small waist by a man's standards, but has thicker thighs. It comes from some of his favourite sports: running, soccer/football, etc. :) 

 

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Joo Won seems to be very shy or conservative about showing his body. I can count easily with one hand the number of times he went shirtless and it was not even a frontal view. Most of which lasted a mere second. I am not sure if it is a lack of confidence or just being conscious about such things. 

 

My guess is that JW is a bit conservative about these things. So he's mentioned before that, when filming shirtless scenes, he prefers to be shown from the back than the front, or that he liked to tape the gaps between the buttons on his shirts so his chest isn't exposed inadvertently.

 

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Softy at Cadence nicknamed it “Bubble Butt”. Contrary to popular belief, I am no expert when it comes to this part of the human anatomy. Curious as to the meaning, I googled these words and found them on online dictionary “Urban Dictionary” where the most popular definition describes it as not so much of big as it is rounded, tight and firm, usually complementing a slender body.

 

lol - I didn't notice this at first until I started seeing fans pointing it out, and now this is one feature that I can no longer un-see, if you know what I mean :tongue: 

 

Whew...after all of that, time for pics on my front!

 

Spoiler

Just looking casually cool, as usual

 

 

Since today's discussion has been about his features, this shot sums up some of the more notable ones

 

 

One thing mrdimples didn't mention, but that I love on JW - his chubby cheeks :tongue: They just make you want to squish them, in a very mothering sense (and, yes, in both of these shots, it's his drama mom doing it :wink:)

 

 

A really gorgeous profile shot from "Sweet Sixteen"

 

 

Really liking this shot of JW as Han Gil Ro in "Level 7 Civil Servant"

 

 

Happy and jumpy JW

 

 

 

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