Six Flying Dragons

Six Flying Dragons (2015)

8.9
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 1,339 users
Reviews: 9 users

A fiction historical drama about the ambitions and success of six characters based around Lee Bang Won.
Lee Bang Won was the third king of the Joseon Dynasty in Korea and the father of King Sejong the Great. He helped his father King Taejo establish the Joseon Dynasty.

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yankumicho
47 of 51 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 23, 2016
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
Is there any difference? Is there any difference?
I’m asking the world, on deciding life and death
Is there any difference between politics and swords?

These words, from the song “Muiiya,” a Six Flying Dragons OST, emphasize the human cost of both politics and the sword. Six Flying Dragons, as a drama, does the same when it implores the viewer to contemplate the possible outcomes of choice and the effects of those read more choices on relationships and society as a whole. If anything, Six Flying Dragons attempts to answer this question without limiting the answer toward one argument. As a result, this drama and its writers Park Sang Yeon and Kim Yeong Hyeon effectively communicate the answer to this vital question through the display of its narrative and characterization.

Six Flying Dragons’ narrative ponders the above questions by its creation of characters and actions that test the functions of relationships and its lack of limitation of the characters to a particular faction of good and evil. Characterizations are layered and multi-faceted; for example, Lee Bang Won’s early desire for justice masks a desire for recognition and power. One is surely good, and the other is dangerous, but they both exist within the character. Similarly, in Jeong Do Jeon, one can argue that desire for the people masks desire for recognition and power. Where history tries (and goes back and forth) on the bad/good spectrum of these two characters, Six Flying Dragons delivers realism--the reality, of course, that all humans possess a bug which may swallow them whole. It renders choices, not fate nor relative determinism, as the progenitor of results, effects, and conclusions while maintaining neutrality in its tone.

The narrative achieves this as a whole by offering twists and turns on a grand scale. Tiny, even miniscule character introductions turn into important aspects of character and scene later on; conversations between characters that are seemingly benign hold importance at the right moment. Between betrayals and loyalty, is there any difference? may be the question asked here; the question may also be Between two forms of government, is there any difference? Six Flying Dragons, then, explores these subtexts throughout its frames, urging the viewer to contemplate them as well.

Another way that the narrative urges viewers to explore these notions is through its cinematography. The cinematography of Six Flying Dragons colors and frames the narrative in much the same way that the characterization does. Through use of light, dark, colors (in particular, the deep scarlet of blood), the viewer sees the overt versus the subvert. Overt actions are more splashed in light; subvert or covert actions cloaked in darkness. In doing so, Six Flying Dragons plays on the eyes of the viewer at times, asking us whether the subvert cannot be seen in the overt and vice versa. Between light and dark, is there any difference?

The crispness of character aspect and portrayal not only resides in the narrative, but also in the acting of Six Flying Dragons. With a stellar cast at the outset, one could argue that potential for this drama’s outcome was high, but it would be remiss to leave it at that. The cast of Six Flying Dragons supersedes any previous notion of greatness accorded to it; they crash down the barrier of greatness and replace it with excellence of the highest caliber.

While extending regard to the entire cast of Six Flying Dragons, the focus of the show, and the most compelling character-wise, is its main cast. Yoo Ah In as Lee Bang Won and Kim Myung Min as Jeong Do Jeon bring depth and mindfulness to each of their characters. They allow the viewer to see all aspects of their personality. Yoo Ah In, in particular, plays Lee Bang Won with such nuance that the viewer sees the inner motivations of Bang Won’s heart clearly and sees the influence choices make even in expression and emotion. Kim Myung Min does the same; the viewer sees a man whose concern for the people gets lost a bit in the desire for political recognition. The phrase, “You are the same as me,” is a common and apt theme when it comes to the characters, and in their brilliant acting, one can see how this phrase manifests itself throughout the narrative.

Along with the two protagonists (as I refuse to name either an antagonist), Six Flying Dragons peppers the narrative with great acting. From young men to hardened warriors, Byun Yo Han (Ddang Sae) and Yoon Kyun Sang (Mu Hyul) provide insights from those who are not political but honor bound and how choices made by others affect them. Shin Se Kyung (Boon Yi) ignites a fire and demonstrates the plight of the people in politics--how, between love and loneliness, is there any difference? Jung Yoo Mi (Yeon Hee) shows the importance of standing up for values in light of all other desires. These are just a few of the many great performances Six Flying Dragons introduces into the dramatic world.

As the narrative and action set the drama, music sets the tone. In Six Flying Dragons, the music glorifies an already-rich narrative with lyrical power and earth-jolting strength. This OST is quite simply one of the best. A favorite, surely, is the song “Muiiya,” a song with so much meaning that pervades the narrative and asks the viewer to contemplate its short lyric for far longer than the song. One cannot get enough of the sound of Six Flying Dragons. If I could rate the OST, I would give it a 10, hands down.

Despite its 50 episode length, I need to rewatch this again. There remains much more for me to glean from the drama’s depths, much more for me to contemplate about character, much more for me to study about politics and choices. From someone who could not watch a long drama until last year, I could not get enough. I could go another 20 or 30 episodes if only to see more of this drama’s richness and characterization.

Overall, Six Flying Dragons provides me with the overarching question, Is there any difference between politics and swords? My answer to that question...well, I will let that remain a mystery to the for the new viewer. Instead, I will sit here in the grey, where these questions keep being pondered. Instead, I implore the new viewer to ask themselves these questions while watching and see if they can find a conclusive answer as well.
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wonhwa
16 of 17 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 25, 2016
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 9.5
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
In a time of injustice, what means are legitimate to right the wrongs? What happens when efficacy clashes with idealism, loyalty with morality, when the codes of the scholar, the warrior, the peasant and the noble founder on the shoals of ambition, love, envy, and self-preservation? Six Flying Dragons sets up six (well, actually, seven) protagonists, real and fictional, male and female, elite and ordinary, and sends them hurtling into the chaos read more of a collapsing nation as they struggle to conjure something better from its ashes. As a microcosm of the wider world, their intertwined stories allow the writers to explore how every choice, for good or ill, ripples through society, and to humanize both the triumphs and the costs of revolution.

On a technical level, the screenwriters’ ability to juggle so many through lines is stunning. Set-ups in early episodes lead to powerful payoffs hours down the line, and little time is wasted, with each scene deepening characterizations, drawing parallels, establishing new conflicts and reinforcing themes. Fictional elements are well integrated with the actual history, and while liberties are certainly taken, this is a much less romanticized world than that of most fusion sageuks. Reality constantly intrudes in all its messy brutality, and show embraces this, refusing to whitewash the actions of its characters. For me, the only misstep was the writers’ attempt to create a grand, overarching mythology running from Queen Seondeok to King Sejong. It felt forced and unnecessary, an in-joke that distracted from the story at hand, and its corresponding secret society was the least convincing aspect of the show.

The directing is initially a bit awkward, but as things progress, the editing calms down and the fabulous ensemble cast takes center stage, riveting in all their flawed, passionate, terrible humanity. Dark but never cynical, violent but never gratuitous, grim but never hopeless, the show cares for all its characters, and it makes you care deeply too. They often lose their battles, but they fight with everything they have, refusing to stop seeking, striving, dreaming. They can’t go on, and yet they do. And because of them, Six Flying Dragons soars.
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Make a Recommendation More recs (4)Recommendations

If you like the politics and plotting aspect of Six Flying Dragons then you will like Empress Ki. Empress Ki has more romance but it also has great acting and a well written plot. Like in Six Flying Dragons you will find the extended cast has a variety of characters that the writers try to develop throughout the story.

Similarities:
politics
plotting
great acting
strong female characters
action
Recommended by silvermcv
They mention several times Queen Seon Duk and Bidam.
Also Bidam actions in Queen Seon Duk have consequences in Six Flying Dragons.

Other similarities:
- Same writers.
- Politics.
- The "bad" characters are also very charming.
- Strong female characters.
- Both dramas tell historical events.
- Almost there is no romance (Is more subtle compared to SFD).
- Action.

They have more things in common, like the treatment of the characters and the drama structure (the sequel A tree with deep roots also follow the same structure).
Recommended by ireth

Comments (1127)

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  • Reply
    souldoc70 9 hours ago

    Superb script , great acting especially Yoo Ah In, Kim Myung Min , Gil Tae Mi and General Yi Seong Gye

  • Reply
    Betty_Boop 10 days ago - edited

    i love every episode. the saddest part when GiTae Mi died.. hes d best character lively ,funny and colourful of all..

  • Reply
    shrimp 11 days ago

    The only thing i'd change in this drama is the actress playing Boon Yi. It's long but you will enjoy every episode trust me.

  • Reply
    elviradwitiya 11 days ago - edited

    Do I need to watch tree with deep roots first before watching this? As this was the sequel of TWDR?

  • Reply
    shadow 21 days ago

    Best KDRAMA ever. i watched 6 month ago. Signal is nothing compared to this drama. MDL rating is kinda fraud. Not sure who rate signal better than SFD.

  • Reply
    Arielle 24 days ago

    Mu hyul 'droolsssssss'

  • Reply
    silvermcv 25 days ago - edited

    Great drama. I highly recommend watching it and Tree With Deep Roots. I do hope the writers decide to do a third series.

    • Reply
      ykflower 19 days ago

      Is it a happy ending ?

    • Reply
      silvermcv 18 days ago
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      ykflower 17 days ago

      I can't handle unhappy ending it gives me hard time lol I was interested in this drama cause of Yoon Gyun now I am having a second thought cause I was hoping for happy romance as a big part of the plot ,thank you :) plz feel free to send me any recommendations any time with that conditions LOL

    • Reply
      silvermcv 17 days ago
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      ykflower 17 days ago - edited
      Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Mikado 25 days ago - edited

    I'm so impatient. what episode does Mu hyul introduce? :)

    • Reply
      Fortuna 10 days ago

      Do you mean actor Yoon Gyun Sang's character? He's introduced early on...I can't quite remember but definitely before 15.

    • Reply
      dearnadallas 10 days ago

      He shows up in episode 5

    • Reply
      DianaCarvalho 10 days ago
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      Fortuna 10 days ago

      Gotcha. :)

  • Reply
    Arielle 25 days ago

    The drama was perfect till gil tae mi aigoo crying

  • Reply
    Mikado 26 days ago - edited

    it took me a while to start this drama coz its 50 episodes. Im starting it right now and I'm in episode 5 without noticing it.. It's true what they say that you will not notice that you already watch 1 hour for every episode. I'm nervous coz I've became emotional esp. in episode 1 and 4..

    My favorite character right now is SaBong.. I think he cares so much for their nation. But I'm waiting to see Mu hyul to grow up. I think he will be funny character..hahaha

    oohh I love the song that Sabong sang in episode 2. what's the title?

    Looking forward for the next episode. I hope it will not drag...

  • Reply
    dina Jun 24, 2016

    I'm happy that I waited for it to finish, to focus calmly on it; like, okay, I have all the episodes, I can watch it in peace..but hell! no! you cant watch this in peace, I cried and cried..and only in ep;10 I thought this is what PERFECTION should be...from the younger actors to the old ones, I love it..I knew, I'll love it and it didn't fail me..each scene is made in order to progress smth, nth is done out of filling the only thing it fills is your heart with this sadness and hope, hope for a better future and even though we all know the history, but tht doesn't bother it.

    Seeing all the revolutionary talk is quite sad right now, being lived a revolution myself and seen it taken away by politicians and you only left with the blood of ur loved ones, being able to relate to those youth talk and actually feeling the same, loving their power and hating the fact that sometimes you can do nth, or u actually has been played, seen all this on screen, makes me love korean drama more..I enjoy all the romcom/ mystery dramas..but to have this one is really heartwarming..there is a huge generation that is fighting but while doing that one can't stop focusing on living, small victories needs to be happy about it....I'll be watching, crying, laughin with them...I'm not planning on finishing it soon though:D

  • Reply
    justine Jun 23, 2016 - edited

    I just finished watching this masterpiece (yes i waited for the drama to finish and then marathoned it) and I feel so empty now. i dont think i'll be able to move on

    I was hesitating to start this drama because 50 episodes and shin sekyung. I must say, SSK's acting improved idk maybe it's just me. The way she portrayed Boonyi is just right and I could not imagine any other actress to play that character, personally. Will I watch her previous work? maybe not but i will sure be looking forward to her future projects.

    What pushed me to finally watch this is YOOAHIN (the bae), yohan and and well, yoo ah in lol
    The writers did an amazing job in incorporating the historical references in the story. The script was brilliant, the cast is exceptionally outstanding, the soundtracks are sooo good that it will make you extra emotional all throughout thai wonderful mess.

    Overall this drama is very well executed, even if you're not a sageuk fan i think if you give this one a try you will not look at sageuk the same way.

    It is safe for me to say that this one is one of the best that i've watched ever. Signal and SFD are by far the best drama for me this year.

  • Reply
    Mulpi Anwar Jun 22, 2016 - edited

    Six Flying Dragons and Nirvana in Fire are best drama in 2015. If we talk about fight, i'll choose SFD and all of Mu Hyul's Families are my favorite. But if we talk about politic i'll choose NIF. Politic in this drama is soo elegant.

  • Reply
    duermevela Jun 19, 2016

    I still can't move on... I have goosebumps everytime listening to the OST!

  • Reply
    kristel0714 Jun 16, 2016

    What's this? I'm more into the romance between yeon hee and dang sae

Details

  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

    Drama
  • Episodes:

    50
  • Aired:

    Oct 5, 2015 to Mar 22, 2016
  • Aired On:

    Monday, Tuesday
  • Network:

    SBS
  • Duration:

    60 min.

Statistics

  • Score:

    8.9 (scored by 1,339 users)
  • Ranked:

    #21
  • Popularity:

    #40

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