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Review – Kingdom: Ashin of the North

Ashin, what was her life in the North? Serene, but strong, reminds me of the face of the person who is not afraid of wounds. The story of ashin who hid deep in that far away. The world of the Kingdom is expanded more; we get a look at other regions, characters — and the genesis of the zombie apocalypse itself.

THE DRAMA PARADISE | Review - Kingdom: Ashin of the North

Kingdom Ashin Of The North (Kingdom Movie): It is about a mysterious character named Ashin, played by Jun. Ashin is an heir of a tribe living in the north in the special episode, and stories of what happened to her are told. In the show, Ashin encountered a group led by crown prince Lee Chang, played by actor Ju Ji-hoon, on the way north to learn more about saengsacho, a herb that turns people into zombies.

Netflix Kingdom: Ashin Of The North is a 90-MINUTES episode like season 2’s spin-off and is expected to play the role of a stepping stone leading to season 3.

THE DRAMA PARADISE | Review - Kingdom: Ashin of the North

We meet ASHIN as a young girl, first played by Kim Shi-ah, a comparatively new child actress. She’s a part of a clan that’s ostracized by everyone and lives on the outskirts. Ashin’s father, though, has been faithfully serving Joseon and frequently reports to MIN CHI-ROK (Park Byung-Eun), and under his real-life cover of a trader/butcher, he’s employed as a spy. Within the middle of this, we catch up with their family and, therefore, the mayhem happening within the country.

When Ashin returns to her village at some point, it’s been pillaged by another tribe — actually, “pillaged” doesn’t roll in the hay justice. The tiny village is burnt to ash, and everybody is hung from poles for all to ascertain. Ashin is alone and filled with rage.

THE DRAMA PARADISE | Review - Kingdom: Ashin of the North

She finds Chi-rok and begs him to avenge her father and for her village. This is often a powerful scene within the drama, with Kim Shi-ah giving an excellent performance. However, it also highlights the entire grime and ruggedness of this complete production — aesthetically, tonally, and thematically. Often, scenes are so dark you’ll hardly figure out what’s happening. The villages and houses are drained of colour.

The story leaves many questions unanswered because it draws to an in-depth. Ashin may need been liable for the genesis of the zombies, but how does she manage to keep all of them in check? What was it like when she learned the facility of the flower? How did she keep herself safe and keep the zombies hidden for therefore many years? Is she somehow immune? Is that why she will stand on the roof together with her bow and arrow, watching zombies destroy the whole town without a flicker of feeling?

While Ashin might answer some juicy backstory questions on the planet of Kingdom, it does introduce more. It also ends with what seems like a finale that’s meant to steer directly into Season 3 — which may really is a good thing because the more we see of Ashin and reach this day, the more we would like to ascertain how the stories converge when the characters might meet, and what is going to happen when, and if that happens. There’s an extended wait until the remainder of the story is told, but within the meantime, we’ve got an honest piece of backstory to chew on.

THE DRAMA PARADISE | Review - Kingdom: Ashin of the North

Final Thoughts

The special does exactly what a prequel needed to do. It gives us more epic characters and battles. Simple enough to understand but complex enough to be invested in – a revenge plot with a bite.

Moreover, props must go to the costumes and sets design for absorbing viewers into the Joseon period. Almost with no flaws – the cinematography continues to amaze, and the acting from the entire cast (both alive and dead) is outstanding.

In my opinion, the only minor thing I felt sad about, is the runtime at only 90 minutes – it needed to be longer. However, Ashin of the North was always described as a special episode, not a separate TV movie.

It doesn’t matter if you are a die heart fan of Kingdom or only just started the franchise with this special, Ashin of the North is a thoroughly enjoyable rollercoaster that most non-Korean dramas viewers will love from start to finish.

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THE DRAMA PARADISE | Review - Kingdom: Ashin of the North
About the author

Neha Garia is the founder and Editor at The Drama Paradise. She is a long-time K-Drama addict and K-Pop lover. Her favorite K-Pop artists are BTS, SF9, ATEEZ, and INFINITE but there are many more groups she is having a look at. Her favorite actors include Nam Joo-hyuk, Kim GoEun, and Kim TaeRi, to name a few. She hopes to share her love for Korean culture with people across the globe.

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THE DRAMA PARADISE | Review - Kingdom: Ashin of the North