The Bridal Mask

The Bridal Mask (2012)

Your Rating:
Ratings: 8.7/10 from 7,142 users
Reviews: 87 users

Lee Kang To is an ambitious and callous Korean officer employed by the Japanese colonists. Despite his mother's disapproval of his work and his own brother's antagonistic history with the Japanese, Kang To continues to play by the colonist's rules in hopes of becoming successful and bringing his family out of poverty. However, a mysterious figure wearing a traditional Bridal Mask always seems to get in Kang To's way. The Bridal Mask read moreappears as a Zorro-like figure who protects the people from the Japanese colonists' oppression and abuse of power. An unexpected turn events brings Kang To to cross paths with the mysterious Bridal Mask, changing his future and the nation's history forever. ~~ Based on the hit manhwa series of the same name.

  • Native title:

  • Also Known as:

    Gaksital ; Bridal Mask ; Doll Mask

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130 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Sep 7, 2012
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
Gaksital is what happens when you put together an amazing storyline with complex characters, excellent actors, epic cliffhangers, and breathtaking music.

Gaksital’s genre is not a genre I’m usually inclined to, but I was immediately captivated when I first read about its synopsis. At that time, I knew this drama was going to be phenomenal, and I was right. I started watching it as soon as it aired, and I never looked read more back. Gaksital made every single week of its run memorable for me. I don’t think I could ever forget the mental and emotional memories this drama has given me. It gave me so many feelings that I don’t think I know which is which anymore.

What made this drama so intense was the conflict between the two male leads. Kangto and Shunji defined Gaksital. They were the heart of the show, and I don’t think this drama would have been that successful without those two. Joo Won and Park Ki Woong definitely deserve some awards for their outstanding portrayals of these intricate characters.

Action-packed and beautifully written, Gaksital is a once in a lifetime drama that would surely strike one’s heart.
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48 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Sep 10, 2012
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
1) The reason I watched this:

I was planning to watch this drama after it finish airing because I thought it would be a nightmare to wait for the following episodes yet I found an MV about the first four episodes and couldn't wait any longer so I end up watching those four episodes back to back and that's how the journey began.


Generally speaking, the drama's storyline is unique; gathering read more numerous factors of perfection to create marvellous events with amazing changes each episode. Moreover, script writers knew how to keep viewers interested even if there were unwanted events during the episode, its ending will leave you impatiently wondering about what will happen next. This drama's story is an intelligent combination between breathtaking events, amazing characters changes and great action moments.

Positive Points:

*This drama had one of the most outstanding story's development since it went deeper and deeper every episode in order to show many angles and many events that became greater with each episode passing by.

*Script writers knew how to insert "epic moments" in order to drag the audience intention, when we're not waiting for something to happen, it surprises you and give you the "OMG" moment; that was intensively present in this drama. I just love it when a storyline surprises me, it makes it hard to predict anything from the beginning till the very last end.

*Main Genres:

--->Action: Even though this is mostly an action drama, fighting scenes weren't randomly present, it was calculated in order to make viewers eager for those scenes. The action in this drama has delivered a lot of emotions especially when the situation get intense.
The action scenes were always exciting to watch whether it's because of the storyline that lead to action development or because of characters who had amazing gestures and moves during action sequences.
This drama's action differs from other action dramas, the national hero element(Gaksital) gave the drama uncommon plot changes but that doesn't deny the fact that martial arts were perfectly present. I've seen martial arts in other Korean action dramas and I have to say that it didn't feel like Bridal Mask's martial arts; it was smartly added in a fascinating way to make it absorbing: It was flawless.

--->History: This drama was set in the 30's during the darkest period of the Korean history. At the beginning, it may seem disregarded because "Joeson"'s history is none of our concern yet as the drama goes on, events will make it impossible to imagine this drama in another era. Watching historical dramas may seem boring for some people but this drama's setting wasn't the ancient history which made it modern enough to enjoy watching it.
The historical element has made the plot more expressive because the writers focused on the historical side more than the fictional side.

--->Romance: Actually, it could be considered as a negative point since it hasn't deliver a lot of emotions. However, for an intense drama that's full of action, it was the right amount. It's true that it was light but it had deeper meanings since most of the romantic stories started in the past and continued in the present.
The romantic flashbacks were smartly added, it wasn't like most of other dramas that add flashbacks to gain space in the drama's time, it was present were it needed to be.

Negative points:

*As for me, I didn't sense any negative points in this drama's storyline yet there were some political talks that bothered some viewers since it took a lot of space yet that doesn't affect the general story not even the slightest bit.

*Another point: some people wouldn't enjoy this drama if they didn't watch it while it's airing because there were too many repetitive scenes at the end of some episodes.

Story: 9.5/10.

3) Acting/Cast:

*Joo Won:

I haven't seen Joo Won in any other production so I was introduced to his acting skills through this drama and what an introduction! I was so trapped in his acting skills especially at the first episodes and as the drama went on, I became certain that he has an outstanding acting and let's not forget action scenes that were perfectly done.
The role was grasped in an amazing way, I've felt the actor through his screaming, his moves and everything that he's done *Claps*
Speaking about the character, Kang To amazed me ever since the drama began. I was moved by his personality and his charisma. As the character changed, it was like there was another person: Different perspective and different actions that built a whole different character.
Whether it is Lee Kang To, Sato Hiroshi or Gaksital, the character will give you an amazing ride to make you fall for it more and more with each episode passing by.

*Park Ki Woong:

I've only seen him in an horror film before so I am not very familiar with his acting skills. Here, his acting reached me in a perfect way plus the action scenes where he took part were done in a great way. We've got to give credit to Park Ki Woong for his amazing acting skills and his incredible way of portraying the role.
Shunji's character is an unpredictable character, it had many crucial changes that made it unbearable somehow. The changes in Shunji's character are beyond belief, the personality switch was incredible. It was sort of synchronized with Kang To's character transformations yet Shunji's deviation was much profound.

*Jin Se Yun:

I haven't seen her in anything before, I would rather not to judge her as an actress so let's say this was an introduction. However, it would have much better if this role was portrayed by a mature actress.
Mok Dan character didn't appeal to me like Kang To's and Shunji's, that's all what I will say.

*Other cast: Starting with Rara to every supporting role, this drama has an amazing cast that knew how to pull off their character in a great way. There were many characters that can stick in your mind because of their acting skills or their action performances. It was well chosen even though I don't recognize half of them.


--->Bromance: The bromance in this drama was consuming from the beginning until the end; there was a lot of hard and sweet moments between Kang To and Shunji. The conflicts between the lead males made this drama more captivating. Everything that happened between Kang To and Shunji was interesting to watch; it was one of the most exciting relationships in this drama.

--->Romance: Like I said earlier, the romance was light so we can't possibly talk about chemistry but the side romantic stories were good.

--->The triangle: This drama's triangle is nothing like other Korean dramas triangles, it was gripping due to Shunji who was nothing like other Korean second lead males and Rara who's also different from any other second lead females.

*Appreciated characters: While watching this drama, I liked many characters like Katsuyama and Abe; those characters aren't very important in the drama's storyline yet they left a great impression.

Cast: 9.5/10.
Acting: 10/10.

4) The ending:

Many people were surprised by the ending. As for me, I thought it would be a similar ending ever since I started watching the drama because an intense drama can't have a calm ending.
I appreciated the ending, it was a realistic closure for this type of drama plus it makes sense.
The closing scene is masterpiece of art, it was so great to watch.

The ending: 9.5/10.

5) My impression (How did it affect me):

*I was captured by this drama ever since I started watching it, I kept impatiently waiting for its episodes to come out every week; it literally made me obsessed over it.
*This was one of the few dramas that I didn't skip any parts while watching it. 28 episodes is considered long somehow but I haven't felt those 28 hours passing by.

*Is this drama memorable: Absolutely! This drama gained a spot in my favorite dramas list, it's one of the greatest Korean dramas that I've seen so far, it brought me the unexpected and the originality.

My impression: 10/10.

6) Overall:

It doesn't matter what genres of dramas you like to watch, this drama have the potential to make you go obsessed over it. I recommend it to anyone who's looking for a great storyline with breathtaking acting skills and amazing music and let's not to forget the marvellous action scenes.

Overall: 10/10.
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Make a Recommendation More recs (41)Recommendations

Both story take place at the same period of time and deal with resistance against japanese occupation. The relationships develop in a quit similar way. The lead person goes undercover and sacrifice things for the mission.
I felt like Rookie Agent Rouge is a kind of female version of Bridal Mask.
Recommended by real_Mokona
Bridal mask is probably the best" jeoson / japan" era dramas.. i just love it, i am not comparing these two drama for they are different in theme but overall here are the similarities i saw:
1- the jeoson / japan era.
2- the freedom seekers and under-covered agents plus the under-covered male / female lead.
3- the bromance <3 (esp Chicago typewriter).
4- the war romance.
5- the old story of the male saving the female (become their first love).
6 - the goal of freeing the country which comes before anything else.
basically the main points u will notice too if u have seen both dramas.
and they are both worth watching although to me bridal mask is on a different level <3 :).
Recommended by misha2pm

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Comments (194)

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  • Reply
    IoanaXM 8 days ago

    Gaksital is simply a masterpiece. Lee Kang To just stole my heart a year ago when I've watched it and he's still keeping it. God how I wish to erase it from my head just to watch it all over again and again and again

  • Reply
    Otps4Life Jul 8, 2017

    I tried watching this drama several times,but I can never finish it-.- I might try it again tho

  • Reply
    dramaconnoisseur Jul 3, 2017
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    dramaconnoisseur Jul 3, 2017 - edited

    This drama certainly has its surprises. I honestly liked the ending (though I didn't expect to bc I've been reading the comments), the story-line (!!!), the values it gives off, the acting, and everything about this drama. What makes me gave a 9 instead of 10 is...

  • Reply
    nela Jun 29, 2017 - edited

    is it a happy ending?if not, I'll dropped this.
    I'm in episode 2... i

  • Reply
    EmpyreanConqueror Jun 28, 2017 - edited

    I've watched enough sad dramas this month. Reading from the comments this has a sad ending so......................... Anyone can recommend me any dramas that have a good ending?

    • Reply
      fifi Jul 16, 2017

      the princess man

    • Reply
      EmpyreanConqueror Jul 16, 2017

      I read about the princess man awhile back ago but couldn't be bothered to watch it, thank you for telling me it has a good ending. I will now watch it <3

  • Reply
    MarjieJoseJavier Jun 7, 2017

    "..No matter how strong a boulder is, it's dead, while no matter how weak an egg is, it's alive. As time passes, a boulder will break, and become sand, but someday, a chick will hatch from an egg and step on that sand.." And this is why Bridal Mask is a masterpiece.

  • Reply
    _Ahsen_ May 27, 2017

    I need a rewatch

  • Reply
    DefuseAButterfly May 14, 2017 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    UnderHype May 9, 2017
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Anonymia Apr 15, 2017

    This drama was simply epic. I loved every moment.

  • Reply
    Asianstan Mar 28, 2017

    Oh hello sweetie

  • Reply
    Panda Mar 21, 2017 - edited


  • Reply
    KarolK Mar 19, 2017 - edited

    the best asian drama ever made!!! absolutely nothing can beat this!!

    • Reply
      Joowonholic Apr 6, 2017

      I can't agree more!!!

    • Reply
      dramaconnoisseur Jul 3, 2017

      If you like this drama do watch Nirvana in Fire, I think it has similar vibes and also gives you mixed feeling.

  • Reply
    irish Mar 11, 2017 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    May 30, 2012 to Sep 6, 2012
  • Aired On:

    Wednesday, Thursday
  • Network:

  • Duration:

    1 hr. 5 min.


  • Score:

    8.7 (scored by 7,142 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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