Moon Embracing the Sun

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  • Score: 8.5 (scored by 13,596 users)
  • Ranked: #237
  • Popularity: #48
  • Watchers: 26,359

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Completed
Firebird
30 people found this review helpful
Jun 4, 2013
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
I watched this drama because of its good ratings and reviews. I'd say they're really well-deserved! For me, it is a great drama for many reasons. TMTETS was my first historical drama and after watching this, I would love to try more sageuks. It was truly beautiful to watch - the costumes, places, all the historical stuff, not to mention the good-looking actors! It was way too far from the boring drama I expected it to be.

STORY - Interesting storyline! It has great drama, touching romance, some suspense and action, (somehow annoying) politics, and humorous moments. And it gets more and more exciting as the story unfolded. I was easily moved with the story. What else could you ask for? I didn't expect to have lots of laughs from this drama. And of course, you'll see a lot of sad scenes, a lot of crying. But it wasn't until the last episode that I cried my eyes out! Really. Some were really heartbreaking. Some was just too illogical, and too sad, to happen. Other than that, the ending was lovely. (You'll laugh with still tears on your eyes.)
However, I can't get away with its downsides. I think the drama lost some of its energy on the second half. (Or I guess the first episodes were just too good!) I won't say there was no boring moment because there was some time that I just wanted to skip episodes and proceed to the last, I just find it predictable. (But I'm glad I didn't or else I could have lost the story.) BTW, I hate it when one character just can't move on, being so martyr, when he deserves to be happy.

ACTING/CAST - I loved to watch this drama bec. of Jung Il Woo. But in the end, I also learned to love Kim Soo Hyun. For his superb acting, and looks. He gave justice to his role as the King. (Young Lee Hwon was equally amazing.) I couldn't say any flaw. As for Il woo, he has always been good. Though I think I love his character here less. Han Ga In was a real beauty, but I honestly thing the younger Yeon Woo did her role better. I also enjoyed watching the side characters, each of them. The younger actors also did a great job that I quite got sad when their characters got older.

MUSIC - I love Back in Time and the instrumentals. I thinks they we're all perfect for the diff. moods of the series. But to be honest, I didn't get to appreciate its OST until I listened to it after finishing the drama.

REWATCH VALUE - I'm not into rewatching but I suppose I will still watch it in the distant future. :)

OVERALL - I give it a 9 overall. I love it to bits. Definitely a must-see. =))

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Completed
kyjjangyo
57 people found this review helpful
Mar 19, 2012
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
I have always found it hard to finish dramas, but this one was super easy for me! I was checking every week for new episodes ;) It kept me interested throughout the whole series and I can safely say this is my favourite drama ;) Okay, on to the review!

Story - 10/10 I loved the storyline, it was a mix of everything. Sweet, Romantic, Tragedy, Comedy, etc. The only thing that I thought sucked was that a lot of the characters led a really sad life ;( And I won't spoil, but they did take out a love storyline that I would've been very interested in watching!

Acting/Cast - 10/10 One word: AMAZING. This is the best cast I have ever seen... they all had lots of chemistry with each other. Even the young cast was overflowing with potential and I missed them so much when they left! Everyone played their role perfectly. I had decided to watch this drama mainly because of my love for Kim Soo Hyun (since WISFC days, he was genius there), Jung Il Woo, Yeo Jin Goo & Kim Yoo Jung (I LOVED THEM IN ILJIMAE!) and pretty Han Ga In. However, I fell in love with all the other actors too! Lee Won Geun and Song Jae Rim...I found myself wanting them to come on screen every second! They're both such hotties lol~ now I'm a huge fan of the both of them! I also loved Siwan, he did a great job and he was so adorable! I think he even looks better in sageuks than in reality. LOL. Hands down, best cast, I wouldn't change a thing :) *I also loved the eunuch!* lol~

Music - 10/10 Even when I wasn't watching the drama, I had the OST as replay, shuffle, you name it. :) All the songs fit the drama perfectly, even the lyrics. The instrumentals were amazing, just like a lullaby :)

Rewatch Value - 10/10 I would love to watch it again!!! Since it's my favourite drama :) keke~

Overall - 10/10 It was perfect! :) Please go watch it ;)

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Completed
amrita828
24 people found this review helpful
Oct 11, 2014
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 7
Overall 10
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
I have shied well away from Korean historical dramas since I started watching Asian shows. I did try out a few in the past and by the end of a couple of episodes at best I was bored to death, mighty frustrated, totally confused or an unpleasant combination of the three.
Why I decided to watch The Moon/Sun is a long story which I'm kindly going to spare you. Suffice to know, 20 minutes in and I was hooked. This review is therefore dedicated to viewers who, like me, have never been fond of the genre.

Captivated by the details of folklore scattered throughout this drama, I decided to read up on their historical dependability. I so found out that the Saeguks of the past were all based upon true facts derived from Joseon annals, while the newer productions often deviate from this norm, by either introducing a few fictional facts on a documented background (fusion Saeguks) or creating a fantasy world in terms of characters, plot, even costumes. The Moon embracing the Sun falls into the latter category, so if what you look for is a lesson on how royalty lived in the Joseon era, you'd better forget this drama. This isn't a perfect Saeguk by far, possibly not a perfect drama either. It is, however, a perfect fairytale and in this light I believe it fully deserves the high marks many of us awarded it and the success it attained in Korea.
.
The fairytale elements are all there from the very beginning. Prepare yourself for a journey into magic, undying love, friendship, betrayal, hate, tears, laughter, curses and so on and so forth. A childlike approach to the viewing is needed, lest you want to spend your time wondering at its credibility or lack thereof. And because a work of fiction should never be judged outside its narrative context, it is undeniable this story works, and works well. Now that I have completed it, I fully understand the complains of those who wished for a different epilogue for some of the characters, but personally I was prepared to face losses and would go as far as to say they were a necessity induced by the premises of this story.

I won't spend too many words on the acting. Everybody has sang praises for the teenagers' cast, which I second. Nevertheless, the adult cast was outstanding, Han Ga In included – it was truly hard to surpass the grace, beauty and artless charm of the 13 year old Yeom Woo. Han Ga In didn't steal my heart at first but sneaked into it with steadfast progression. She has one of the most pleasant voices I know. I was literally mesmerized by Kim Soo Hyun, but I won't lie: I have a hard time separating my hormonal reaction to my logical thinking, when it comes to him. Whatever the case, he gave life to a multilayered, unforgettable character.
I'd love to talk in detail about each and every endearing character – see on top the Eunuch and Wun – but I fear this is becoming long enough.

I thought the transition from children to adults was marvellously made, and not surprisingly my very favourite scene is the 8 years jump, both on a visual as well as an emotional and symbolic level.
There have been times when I wished they had made use of more open-space sets, but not only I have not enough experience in period dramas to know whether this is often the case, but following what I wrote before, the enclosed setting works well in creating a sort of fantasy bubble out of time and reality.
Little visual details made my day, and I have no qualms in declaring this drama displays the most beautiful letter ever shown on screen.

A huge part of this drama emotional impact is played by the music. Mainly instrumental and with lovely insertions of traditional instruments such as zithers, harps and lutes, it would be perfectly fit for a grand period movie. Notable mention for the minor key pieces, especially 'Like Petals, Like Flames', 'The Sorrow Song of Love' and the enchanting 'Butterfly Dance'. They all play on the viewer's emotion and are wonderfully suggestive of the scene they soundtrack.

As for re-watch value… I am toying with the idea of starting afresh next week. I suppose this says it all.

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Completed
yessie91
15 people found this review helpful
May 12, 2013
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 10
I absolutely positively love and adore this drama it is currently first place in my heart and it took the place of princess man which is an extremely significant feat since that drama is on a whole other level as well. what put this drama over the top for me was the acting talent that was casted. the child actors were simply amazing and beautifully casted to compliment their adult counter part which I have rarely seen done with so much success in my eyes. and the adults acting was not lacking what so ever. the story was good I liked it and kept me well engrossed and coming back for more at the end of each episode which I love my dramas to do. I highly recommend seeing this drama maybe three or four hundred times lol

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Completed
phamtastic
17 people found this review helpful
Mar 10, 2014
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 7.0
I've always disliked watching historical dramas because I found them to be boring. Silly me. I finished this drama so fast because it was so good and all the cliffhangers made me want to die. I heard this drama was really good and Kim Soo Hyun was the main character so what the heck why not! I have to say this drama is sad but VERT BEAUTIFUL. This drama has a fantastic cast. A round of applause to the child actors for doing an outstanding job. They can sure move me to tears. My heart was constantly broken for Yeon Woo and dang I thought Kim Soo Hyun already acted terrific. He takes it to a different level as being King. My heart also goes for Prince Yangmyung ): I thought every supporting character had some light and story and it contributed well to the plot. Character development and chemistry between all the actors were simply beautiful. This drama basically played with my emotions LOL but I for sure will be watching more periodic dramas from now on!

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Completed
Doremeduck
35 people found this review helpful
May 15, 2012
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.0
I was a little hesitant to start watching the drama, because of the storyline. It didn't seem like it was going to be a good drama. When I started watching it I really did expect the story to be overtaken by the conversation of politics and sadness, but it was the exact opposite. The romance in this drama was so beautiful! There was, of course, some political talk, and sadness, but it was replaced with very humorous moments that I have not ever seen in a historical drama before. There were times when I was desperately heartbroken, and others where I was literally unable to breathe, because of something being extremely hilarious. The acting was great all the way through. I have to give huge props to all the actors who played the younger versions of the main characters. They all did a wonderful job, and are beyond their years in the world of acting. I loved, loved, loved Soo Hyun in this drama. He took his character to a knew and complex level. The music was absolutely beautiful!! I can still not get over the music that was played throughout this drama. It had an eerie grand warrior feel to it, if that makes any sense. I would rewatch this drama in no time. I really enjoyed it, and I'm sure anyone who watches it will. Overall, I give this a 9. Based on my personal rating I gave this drama a 10, but I feel that the storyline wasn't the absolute best, but you really cannot judge a drama based on it's initial plot. Loved this drama, and you will to. So! stop reading this review and go watch this drama!!!!!!

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Completed
manicmuse
25 people found this review helpful
May 5, 2012
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
I have mixed feelings about this drama. Maybe my expectations were too high, because of the great reviews, and because of how much I was pleasantly surprised by Sungkyunkwan Scandal (both were based off of books by the same novelist). Don't get me wrong, there are many great things about this drama, but towards the end I felt myself losing interest.

During the first half of the series I was extremely excited. The story of the royals plotting, and scheming, was great. I loved following their rivalries, obsessions, and ruthless ambitions. I thought it was even more impressive considering the fact that most of the main cast was so young. The performances by the teen actors were really great. I think Kim Yoo Jung, and Yeo Jin Goo could rival any adult couple with their performances. l loved watching all the relationships develop, and the fact that there were such strong backstories for the characters. I loved some characters, and loved to hate others. I was instantly hooked, but then all the characters grew up...

Once the characters matured, the show lost some of it's spark for me. I'm not sure if it was because of the pacing, or the constantly depressing tone. It was clear from the first episode that this story would be tragic, but many times in the 2nd half I was bored watching characters cry & scream over the same things. It also seemed irrational for so many characters to be so determined to be with people who didn't love them, so it was harder for me to sympathize with them. The story always managed to pull me back in however with new revelations, or a great scene, but there were still long periods that felt repetitive. This made it much harder to stay excited.

I can't really blame the adult cast, because many of the adult cast members matched their younger counterparts well. I thought Kim Soo Hyun did well as the king, and he really seemed like an older Yeo Jin Goo. Jung Il Woo didn't really look much like his younger version, but I knew to expect a great performance from him. The Queen, Seol, and Jan Shil were all great casting matches. I think the most flawless transition between the young and older version of the character was Jin Ji Hee and Nam Bo Ra. I also think that Nam Bo Ra had one of the most moving scenes in the entire series. On the other hand, one character that was a disappointment was Song Jae Hee as the older Heo Yeom. He just seemed so much older than the rest of the cast, and It was distracting hearing him described as being so handsome when, no offense but... he's one of the least attractive men in the cast.

I think one of the biggest character issues I had was with Wol/older Yeon Woo. I thought she visually matched Kim Yoo Jung, and gave some good emotional performances in some scenes, but she lost all of her charm. She transformed from a young but wise independent thinker, into a willing doormat with a blank wide eyed stare. I really had a hard time believing that such a well read young girl would be so self sacrificing towards the king. I think it also effected their romantic moments together. I think Han Ga In meant for her performance to be melancholy, and altruistic, but instead she often looked bored to me.

Even though all of the main characters had at least one epic crying scene, i barely teared up while watching this. Nam Bo Ra, and Yeo Jin Goo came the closest to making me cry, but I did not have an emotional reaction to many of the sadder parts, which is crazy since the 2nd half is mostly sad parts. Even when characters died my eyes were dry, and I am often a crybaby. I enjoyed watching the relationship between wol, the king, the prince, and the queen, but it lacked enough chemistry to get me emotionally invested in their stories. You still may want to keep tissues nearby just in case, a lot of them.

Speaking of story... The plot itself was a good one, but the pacing of the episodes got worse and worse. There were too many repetitive scenes ( i said this already didn't i. irony...), which fueled much of my boredom. There was also too much reliance on flashbacks, including a flashback of a scene that happened seconds earlier. I didn't lose interest in the story, I just lost patience with how it was being told. The last episode is a perfect example of that. They rushed through endings for major characters, some pretty tragic endings, then filled the time with a silly story about learning to play an instrument. I was satisfied with the ending, but not moved by it.

I would recommend this drama to people who like tragedies (like 49 days, or Sorry I love you). Those looking for more romance (like in Sungkyunkwan Scandal, or Goong) may be disappointed. Those looking for comedy will find some funny moments, but not enough to balance all the crying, sulking, and screaming. Overall I liked the story, but thought the drama was inconsistent. I doubt i would watch this again, but maybe I'd like it more the 2nd time since I now know what to expect.

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Completed
xxtristaa
14 people found this review helpful
Mar 18, 2012
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Never a dull moment in this drama! I have never been a fan of historical dramas but after watching this drama, I am beginning to like them. The story line is amazing! With betrayal, love, friends, death. The story just flowed I was never bored at all! As for the cast and acting, I was shocked, I was amazed at how well the children actors acted it was realistic. The adult actors were good as well, they were able to convey their emotions well. I'm not going to lie but there were times that I actually cried,which does not happen a lot. I guess it might be due to the story line, the actors and of course the MUSIC! Every drama I watch the two things that ALWAYS catch my attention is the actors (how well they can act and how they look :P ) and music (If the music isn't good then I won't watch it). I would totally re-watch this drama again and again. I am amazed at how this drama stole my heart, when I watched the first episode I was sort of iffy but, as the story progressed I go into and before I knew it I was cheering alongside the main actors. Overall, this drama is rated 10!

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Completed
mcbrayer77
10 people found this review helpful
Oct 28, 2013
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
Im going to try and keep it short and not ramble on this one but its gonna be hard cause there is so much to say. Basically all you really need to know is this is probably in the top 3 best drama's I've ever watched.

STORY: This story is unique and interesting. Right from episode one it picks you up and shakes your emotions and is like "not today trick!" From the very beginning it is heart wrenching and wonderful. I love especially how throughout the drama there is only one underlying plot line, instead of a bunch of side stories. This held the drama together and added continuity, every part of the story felt like it was meant to be there. There wasn't any sort of filler parts to add length to the drama. And come on this love story is to die for, it is just oozing with deep intense love you can't not love it.

ACTING: Holy freaking meatballs the acting is the best part! The child actors in episodes 1-5 were all phenomenal, especially the leads but really all of them were great. I was impressed at how well they were able to express their characters capacity to feel. Their characters are young but they are dealing with adult problems and emotions, and the actors were able to emote these complicated feelings very well. And might I just add that Kim Soo Hyun is an actor that was made for crying. Literally one of the best male criers out there right now. When he cries its an ugly cry but its so realistic it makes you feel his pain so intensely. His performance especially was outstanding.

MUSIC: The music was okay, there were some especially pretty instrumental songs at parts but it was really nothing special.

This is a great drama, I cried many times, I literally laughed out loud many times, and it has the perfect amount of suspense at the right times to make you want to watch the next episode. Like I said before this is one of the top 3 best dramas I've ever seen and definitely THE BEST historical drama I've seen. I recommend it to anyone.

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Completed
KDramaCucko
16 people found this review helpful
Jun 18, 2013
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 5.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
I think this drama is a bit overrated.
I love the young characters. Their acting is sooo good!
However I just don't really feel it from Han Ga In, but she's very pretty :)

The OST is good. It fits well with the drama

The love in the story was touching and sweet.

This drama didn't go deeper than I expect the story to be.
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Completed
valeronova
7 people found this review helpful
Nov 6, 2013
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
I think this was the first historical drama I ever watched and wow, it was a pretty epic first.

First I have to say that I was in love (and completely heartbroken) by the young actors. They really drew me in and made my decision to stay and watch.

The story was overwhelming in all the best ways so I guess the only complaint I really have is the way I felt it dragged on towards the end. It really wouldn't stop me from watching again, though.
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Completed
Danya
8 people found this review helpful
May 29, 2013
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.0
This drama is just amazing it makes you cry in the last tow episodes it is very touching beacuse of their love that still burning after all of these years and their acting was just amazing they make you cry with them and they make you live with them in thire happy and sad times and it talkes about how love is strong and their episodes has funny and very sad times it feels like you are with them and the cast was perfect and i likes how the chirldren lookes really like when they are old it is all just perfect and the songs in the drama are soo great and touching loved it!!!.

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