Shark (2013)

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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,091 users
Reviews: 10 users

After being left for dead and witnessing the death of his father caused by a hit and run accident, Han Yi Soo / Yoshimura Junichiro returns to Korea from Japan after changing his looks and identity to take revenge on the people who caused his family’s downfall. While using Jo Hae Woo, the daughter of the main mastermind that he was actually close to when they were young, he finds himself truly read moregetting attracted to her. Meanwhile, Oh Joon Young is the man that Hae Woo got married to while thinking that Yi Soo had died becomes suspicious of his real identity and motives. Will Han Yi Soo be able to take back the hotels that belongs rightfully to his family and expose the dirty secrets of his enemies.

  • Native title:

  • Also Known as:

    Don't Look Back : The Legend of Orpheus ; Sangeo

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23 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Aug 2, 2013
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
I just finished watching this drama like 2 minutes ago. A lot of people didn't like the ending, but I did. I couldn't think of other ways to end it. This drama, I really enjoyed it because it's not only revenge, but you learn about other things along the way. Well you will need to watch it to know what I mean. This was a good drama in my opinion and I read more would watch it again, but not a for a while because then if I watch it a right away it will lose it meaning. So maybe in a few years or so. There were some part that was draggy, but overall it was a good drama. But I wish they would focus more on the other characters other than Hae Woo and Yi Soo. This drama was kinda similar to Bad guy, but in the end it was a lot different. I enjoyed the soundtrack. I have to admit after watching this drama I as curious about the Legend of Orpheus, so I am going to read it about it. Well at least I learned something from this drama is that Revenge is not a way to solve a problem.
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7 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jan 10, 2017
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
Who goes to heaven? The one who doesn't repent?
Or the one who does?

Before I start I should mention that this is definitely “unpopular opinion” but that makes me all the more determined to write a review so here goes :)

I have been keeping this drama for the right time because I’m a revenge-themed drama LOVER and I have practically seen everything Korea has to offer in that category. Moreover, read more I especially have seen everything I want to watch for Kim Nam Gil… so I kept this one mainly because it doesn’t seem that he will be back to dramaland anytime soon. However my craving could no longer be suppressed anymore not after I realized that it is written by the same writer of The Devil, Memory and Resurrection.

Shark is not just a simple “revenge drama” with an obvious/repetitive plot, although I can’t say the plot is original but what strikes me here the most is the allegories that the story has offered in form of shark and Chagall’s painting “Orpheus”. The shark fish symbolizes that life must goes one as shark has to keep moving in order to live. The “Orpheus” painting features in some scene to remind us that this is a story between man and woman that cannot be together. The painting depicting the sad myth of Orpheus where he travels to the underworld to save his wife, only to lose her in the end because he looks back before they’ve both reached the upper world. An alternate title for this drama is actually "Don’t Look Back: the Legend of Orpheus". Shark is beautifully written and photographed, and it unfolds like a good book rather than just a television show. It has the depth of a Greek tragedy (references the story of Orpheus).

The story takes its time to establish the back-story of its hero and heroine, teenagers sincerely in love who are torn apart by a cruel turn of events that establish the revenge motivation. The plot reveals its layers like a good mystery novel, and has many eloquent scenes, the most powerful of which often feature no dialogue at all! This is what I call the perfect revenge drama, where there are so many victims, and yet the overall message is not really one of despair, but rather that love will triumph over revenge any day. It is the kind of revenge drama that haunts you with its inevitable tragedy. The origin of the revenge plot takes its time to reveal itself in exquisitely well written details. We get to know and care about major characters in their youth, and then follow them with interest into their adulthood. Shark had me hooked within its first few seconds, which reveal a teenage boy speaking directly into the camera, answering questions from an unseen young girl. That conversation replays over and over in Shark, and its poignancy becomes more and more touching when you see everything that happens.

The cinematography was lustrous and breathtaking on Shark, beyond beautiful! Many of the images were like classic paintings! I would freeze the images just to STARE at them in amazement! Images of beaches, lakes, woods, nighttime and daytime skies, gardens, picturesque streets and buildings, not to mention startling human facial close-ups on occasion, were all unforgettable.

This is not a romantic drama and certainly not a drama you’d watch for the romance. I’m very happy that the romance element was kept at its minimal and that it did not distract the core story. However it is fair to mention that the tension between Yi Soo and Hae Woo was indeed a bonus to the revenge line. It was astonishing well crafted and well acted. The tension between them was amplified by the fact that she is representing the law, and he is determined to be a criminal. It made the story all the more intense than it already is and looking back at all the revenge-themed dramas that I have watched I must say it is very rare that the level of intensity and romance is kept as subtle as it is in the case with Shark.

Suffice it to say that every character in Shark is carefully drawn to reveal genuine human beings with their own emotions and agenda. However KNG’s Yi Soo/ Kim Joon is the heartthrob of Shark! You will be entirely captivated by the dark-eyed grace, gentleness and menace of Nam Gil in this complex role (even though he does bad things, my heart broke for him). His facial expression switch from cruel cold revenge seeking man, to a broken lonely soul who is inside desperately calling to be saved. When it comes to acting through facial expressions and even without many dialogues it’s always KNG who leaves me breathless. Yi-soo’s revenge is a well thought out and carefully executed. His desire to seek revenge is perfectly understandable, yet because it is so easy to feel for his character’s plight, it is difficult to watch him move further and further into the dark side.

Son Ye Jin: Her portrayal of a compassionate, righteous prosecutor and a true friend/lover was very much convincing. Hae Woo serves as the moral conscience of the drama. I can’t say that I love her character and I can see why most didn’t but I understand her character giving the circumstances and tests she is put through the entire time.

The soundtrack was lovely and haunting, just perfect for this poignant story of two people caught up in a web of intrigue, murder, and revenge. When the drama had aired in 2013 I was already in love with BoA’s "Between Heaven And Hell" before I even get to watch the drama! It caught my ears and heart when my friend sang it and I couldn’t help but fall in love so imagine how I felt while finally watching it through the eyes of the story.

Shark is about revenge, about how there are consequences and reactions for every action, it’s about love but it’s not a love story, and it’s about finding those truths and then facing them. Shark is very good at being this well-oiled machine. It’s thought out and there is a strategy and enough metaphors (sharks! Orpheus!) to make it interesting. It has twists and turns that don’t feel forced and very little slip ups even though there are more characters in this than one would have thought. The ending may not be the best way to wrap up things but it certainly isn’t the worst way, I embraced the ending here (with its flaws) and appreciated it much more than some of the many other revenge-themed dramas that I’ve seen.
If you are a revenge-themed drama fan or a melodrama fan don’t let this one slip away from you! In the end we might like some "gems" that other people may have considered "waste", you never know.

Kim Nam Gil has once said, “I experienced a slump when KBS2’s ‘Shark’ didn’t receive a lot of love.” I would like to tell him that just as there are people who didn’t appreciate Shark there are those who did and even watching it in 2017 this is such a wonderful revenge drama, so thank you for making it happen and thank you for being part of it.
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Make a Recommendation More recs (9)Recommendations

Both stories are revenge based dramas. Also the male and female leads knew each other when they were younger and also the parent of the female lead is the bad guy..
Recommended by IzzyDramaLover
Same actor, same story, same vibe. Only the cast is different. Moral of the story: if you're looking for a dark, vengeful plot, always look for Kim Nam Gil.
Recommended by Nelly

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Comments (44)

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  • Reply
    MrBanana May 23, 2017

    I still feel like I am in crazy world to see Shark with a 7.7. It deserves AT LEAST 8.5.

  • Reply
    MrBanana Feb 20, 2017 - edited

    This is one of the best revenge dramas I've ever seen! Absolutely amazing!

  • Reply
    Raza Nov 14, 2016

    This is one of the weakest revenge dramas I've ever seen! Absolutely dead!

  • Reply
    jxsilicon9 Aug 26, 2016

    So is Hae Woo marriage over at the end?

  • Reply
    Kizzofdeath Aug 24, 2016 - edited

    someone said this drama is great! but i think we have a diff opinion.. for me 5/10 i think because everytime i watched i fell asleep.. i dont know why LOL

    • Reply
      jxsilicon9 Aug 26, 2016

      Yea,there are boring parts. I primarily like all the revenge parts. The rest is okay.

    • Reply
      Kizzofdeath Aug 27, 2016

      true also this drama is predictable im in epsiode 17 but i thinki will not abnle to finish it,,,

    • Reply
      joannesmith Mar 19, 2017

      its funny, i keep falling asleep too. But i love the drama and story. I think its because the lead girl moves practially in slow motion. when she walks, talks, moves her hands, whatever it is....I am a little more than 1/2 way thru but I do plan to continue to forge ahead! Maybe it just needed less episodes to convey same story.

  • Reply
    jxsilicon9 Aug 11, 2016

    Who killed the corrupt detective in episode 3? Was it Kim Soo Hyeon?

  • Reply
    MoonlightSin Jun 24, 2016 - edited

    WHY IS THIS DRAMA A 7.7?! THIS DRAMA IS GREEEAAAT. If you watch till the middle/end, it's amazing. The acting is amazing. The plot is perfect. Everything is perfect!!

    • Reply
      BB78 Jun 27, 2016

      OMG thank you so much Today I started watching it for the fourth time already and after 4epsiodes i still think WOW this is soo good!
      Music, Camera, Plot and Actors everything is soo good.
      You know many Books will be turned in to movies or Dramas but there always seems to be missing some 1-2% compared to the Book version. But here I would say you could write a book about this Drama and it will be soo good.
      As far as i remeber i didnt have that good ratings in Korea because it was running against some other Drama that became a huge hit.
      SADLY this is one of the reasons why we cant see Goddess SON YE JIN on the small screen till now.
      That pain that Yi Soo goes trough i never felt it so real in any other drama just watch it either love it or hate but you will have something to write here xD

    • Reply
      MoonlightSin Jun 28, 2016 - edited

      I think the problem in this comment section, is that many people didn't give this drama a chance! And that is irritating! I dont know how they weren't captivated by the first episode or the second episode! It's literally my favorite drama and i do feel like rewatching it! After every episode, i was tearing up from the amazing acting. Every episode was ending with a cliffhanger. I dont understand how this drama is rated so lowly!! I seriously thought it would be rated an 8 or 9 in here. I wish people would be more patient and wait for the action to begin! This drama deserves more than what it has. EVEN BOA MADE AN OST FOR THIS. THIS IS HOW AMAZING THIS IS. I forgot to mention that even the music OST is PERFECT for the drama! It builds suspense. And.. It's just great.

    • Reply
      sanasoufi Jun 29, 2016

      That's cuz most MDL members prefer romantic comedies aka cute dramas. If you liked this one I highly recommend another low rated drama Queen of Ambition. For me the best drama I've ever seen.

  • Reply
    Kat Mar 1, 2016

    This drama was so bad! Jo hae woo was so annoying!

  • Reply
    AydinLan Oct 29, 2015

    One of the BEST dramas I've ever seen!!
    It's one of my top 3 dramas...Kim Nam Gil acting is so perfect!! I got addicted to it . The ending of each episode makes you hurry up to click on the next episode . So exciting!!

  • Reply
    Jacleen Oct 20, 2015

    Kim Nam Gil, woah, that dude can act! Son Ye Jin, amazing as always. The whole cast was great actually, but it was a too long. Still, I really liked it, except the last 10 minutes, i will erase the end from my mind . :(

  • Reply
    Figani Apr 30, 2015

    Does anyone have a link of the full ost of this drama? I'm trying to find the romantic melody but I can't find it :(

  • Reply
    Ziran Apr 7, 2015 - edited

    After having watched 'Resurrection' (by the same writer & producer) this drama largely fails in comparison. Mostly this is due to the acting though and not the production.

    Kim Nam Gil while charismatic had a tendency to overact and pose wayy to much, and wasn't able to bring the intensity that was required in the more dramatic scenes due to him being stuck in his "Cool-introverted mindset." Yes having a good voice + looks is a plus, but if you cant merge that with making your character believable and real it's of no use.

    And even worse, we have Lee Soo Hyuk... What the hell is he doing acting? Seriously his character was soo important to the series, yet all LSH did was pose? No range in his facial expressions and his voice was the same all the time.

    Really that's what brought the quality down for me. Story-wise it was very good, although I felt it was slightly too long and could be cut down 5-6 eps (True for most KDramas though so I wouldn't pass that as a flaw).

    All in all I'd give it a 7.2 out 10, but if you’re on the look for an excellent revenge drama, I'd definitely recommend Resurrection (2005)!

  • Reply
    jxsilicon9 Mar 1, 2015 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      bLoodYThoughtS Mar 11, 2015

      LoL I shouldn't have click it ... tsk

    • Reply
      mica Mar 12, 2015

      I second that! .__. Curiosity got the best of me.

    • Reply
      WEPserioja May 8, 2016

      And i was 3rd..... DONT CLICK IF YOU WILL WATCH DRAMA.

      Ps: will be better for you :D

  • Reply
    Queen_Makjang Jan 25, 2015

    I love a good revenge drama!

  • Reply
    BB26 Aug 22, 2014 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      DiaNine Aug 23, 2014
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      BB26 Aug 26, 2014

      Hallelujah someone agrees with me !!! :D

    • Reply
      MinaVIP Sep 6, 2014 - edited
      Reveal Spoiler »


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    May 27, 2013 to Jul 30, 2013
  • Aired On:

    Monday, Tuesday
  • Network:

  • Duration:

    1 hr. 5 min.


  • Score:

    7.7 (scored by 2,091 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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