Kingdom: Ashin of the North (2021) poster
8.3
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 9,441 users
# of Watchers: 14,946
Reviews: 31 users
Ranked #1225
Popularity #1090
Watchers 9,441

A backstory about the mysterious character Lee Chang's group encountered on their journey north to discover the origins of the infected. Ashin will unveil the mystery behind her identity. The new story will detail what had happened to Ashin in the past in the northern region and how the two characters' fates intertwined. (Source: HanCinema) Edit Translation

  • English
  • Arabic
  • Українська
  • Ελληνικά
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Special
  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: Jul 23, 2021
  • Aired On: Friday
  • Original Network: Netflix
  • Duration: 1 hr. 32 min.
  • Score: 8.3 (scored by 9,441 users)
  • Ranked: #1225
  • Popularity: #1090
  • Content Rating: 18+ Restricted (violence & profanity)

Where to Watch Kingdom: Ashin of the North

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Cast & Credits

Reviews

Completed
the_sapio_nerd
42 people found this review helpful
Jul 23, 2021
1 of 1 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

Thrilling: Beginning to End

I am someone who finished the 2 seasons of Kingdom very recently just to watch this sidequel in real time and I must say that I am so very impressed. I know all of us expected an entire season out of this but they had anyways said from the beginning that it will be just a special episode and I think it's because they had to delay for a 3rd season due to covid so to compensate the audience they came up with this. But who knows whether it was the case or they had planned it from the very beginning.

Anyways Let me review.
STORY & PLOT:
So, as it was clear that the episode will be of 1.5 hours, I expected lots of contents but it wasn't the case. However, I am okay with it since it's just a sidequel showing the backstory of the major storyline that we have witnessed in the season 1 & 2. And as the name indicates, this side story is all about "Ashin", the female character we had seen at the very end of the season 2 holding a sword. It starts with the young Ashin who lives with his family in a border village of refugees. His father is loyal to Joseon and works as an undercover spy for Joseon (Won't tell further details because it's just an episode). The story advances with how her father, family and the entire village is betrayed; Ashin approaching the wrong side to avenge the betrayal; realizing the truth years later and deciding to destroy everything with her own accord and power.

I feel it's more like a prequel which to some extent also clarifies how it all started in season 1. Just as a group of audience had suspected and made theories, the reason the plauge's starting has been made clear. And in the season 3 the main story will be combined with this back story of Ashin as we have already seen her in the ending of season 2.

CAST & CHARACTERS:
Well, there are only a few major characters from the major Kingdom story in this drama along with Ashin, which is played by our yeppo noona, Jun Ji Hyun. Let me tell you that, Ashin's character in this special episode is almost mute. She doesn't have much dialogue but as always, Jun Ji Hyun has proved her acting skills with her performance which is dope.

Other than her, the center of attention in this drama is Park Byung Eun who has played the role of Min Chi Rok, the righteous inspector general in the previous seasons. However in this season he's in a different position of an Army General fighting at the borders and was in somewhat negative character. 2 other prominent figures in this are Koo Kyo Hwan and Kim Roe Ha. All of them did a good job at their respective roles assigned.

DIRECTION & EDITING:
Kingdom has had us thrilled since the first season even though the seasons had only 6 episodes and less than 1 hour duration each. The kind of sound editing always had my heart beating fast and they never compromised with cinematography, which is very enthralling, we must admit. The direction and screenwriting by Kim Sung Hoon pdnim and Kim Eun Hee jakkanim is totally a top notch.

CONCLUSION:
There is not much to say about this sidequel tbh since it's only 1.5hours otherwise one would end up spoiling. Also, less scope of reviewing because it's just an insight or pov of a main story that everyone gonna watch just to fill in the gaps. Anyways, this is a thrilling watch and I definitely loved it. As someone who don't believe in ghosts what scares me are gore, zombie, mutant and monster apocalypse.

Overally, Kingdom just like it's previous has a n adept writing, stupendous screenplay direction and, amazing acting, fabulous performance and catchy editing which cab attract a lots of audience.

LOOKING FORWARD TO THE SEASON 3 AND EAGERLY WAITING FOR IT.

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Completed
WandereR
32 people found this review helpful
Jul 23, 2021
1 of 1 episodes seen
Completed 9
Overall 9.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0

True North

For fans of the critically-acclaimed Kingdom series, this is a much-awaited production that has been a long time coming. Officially designated as a Special Episode and “Sidequel”, Kingdom: Ashin of the North is a feature length film that serves as the prequel to and the basis of the upcoming season 3 (as I understand it at the time of writing). For viewers who are interested in watching the entire series and have not seen the preceding seasons, I would advise starting off with those before embarking on this one. Both seasons 1 and 2 released only 12 episodes between them so it won’t take too long for viewers to get up to speed with the complete sequence of events.

The production team remains the same, with Baeksang-winning screenwriter Kim Eun Hee as the creator and showrunner, as well as the art direction and special effects crew. The only notable change from season 2 is that Kim Seong Hun, who helmed the first season, replaces Park In Je in the director’s seat. The franchise is developed by AStory while the production and distribution rights are retained by Netflix. Unlike the first 2 seasons which were filmed on location in Gyeonggi and North Gyeongsang Provinces, principal photography this time took place solely in Jeju Island.

In addition to the gorgeous panoramic vistas of the new filming locale, the overall tone is somewhat darker and more chilling, in comparison with the earlier seasons. Nonetheless we do get the exact high standards in production values and overall quality of the cinematography, set designs and, of course, the special effects encompassing the visuals and the zombie makeup, which is particularly praiseworthy. The action choreography and the stunts involving said zombies and humans alike deserve as much acknowledgment. The original score is composed primarily of dramatic orchestral music while the ominous BGM is generously applied throughout to great effect as well.

In case anyone’s forgotten, here’s a quick refresher. During the ending scene in the final episode of season 2, our protagonists Prince Lee Chang (Ju Ji Hoon) and Seo Bi (Bae Doona) find themselves in a creepy, dilapidated and seemingly deserted village in the northern borders while investigating the origins of the saengsacho, the source of the scourge that plagues their kingdom. Cue the dramatic entrance of a new character right before the end credits begin rolling - the mysterious female figure in a dingy room filled with chained up and boxed up creatures, presumably zombies. Who is she? Is she a villain who created or started the outbreak? Why is she smiling? Well, now we finally get the answers to all our questions and more.

She’s none other than the titular Ashin of the North and this special episode chronicles her origin story. From her humble beginnings, the calamitous circumstances that ensued thus setting off an irreversible motion of fate-altering events that kicked off in the North before eventually engulfing the whole peninsula of the Joseon Kingdom. Epic, cataclysmic, action-packed, thrilling, evocative, and incredibly brilliant. Kim Eun Hee has done it again and expanded on the original concept within the space of 90 minutes to set up a new direction for season 3. You’d expect nothing less anyway from the screenwriter who brought us Signal.

The main cast this time around is headlined by the wonderfully experienced and award-winning Jun Ji Hyun as the eponymous character. With a screenplay that is fully devoted to her character, she carries this show with consummate ease as she projects an aura of darkness and conviction alongside her dynamic range to breathe life into the mysterious Ashin. During a recent interview with Kim Eun Hee, she stated that the role of Ashin was written specifically with Jun Ji Hyun in mind, because of how impressive she had been in the films The Thieves and The Berlin File, incidentally both of which I had watched some time back. Although she is most well known for the dramas The Legend of the Blue Sea and My Love from the Star which established her reputation as a romcom specialist, JJH is extremely versatile and adaptable to diversely multifaceted roles than people give her credit for.

In any case, I thought she utterly nailed her portrayal here that enabled viewers to be engaged in the story and invested in her character’s journey of evolution. Acting chops aside, her action sequences are quite realistically executed as well. She appears very fit and certainly looks the part of a fearsome bow-wielding warrior. I think she has lost even more weight as can be seen in her recent photo calls promoting this show. Meanwhile the talented and prolific child actress Kim Shi Ah portrays the young Ashin while Park Byung Eun returns as Min Chi Rok of the Royal Commandery.

No amount of words will do justice to the spectacle that is Kingdom: Ashin of the North, because seeing is absolutely believing and there is much to be observed in this production indeed. The only downside for me was that it was too short - I wanted...no, needed more! 16 months was definitely worth the wait, especially now that we know for a fact there’s more to look forward to in the horizon. I only hope the wait won’t be as long.

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Details

  • Special: Kingdom: Ashin of the North
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: Jul 23, 2021
  • Aired On: Friday
  • Original Network: Netflix
  • Duration: 1 hr. 32 min.
  • Content Rating: 18+ Restricted (violence & profanity)

Statistics

  • Score: 8.3 (scored by 9,441 users)
  • Ranked: #1225
  • Popularity: #1090
  • Watchers: 14,946

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