Deep in the mountains, surrounded by a vast forest, lies Moorim School. A martial arts school known to also teach their students life skills and leadership.
Students are provided with living facilities but in turn are responsible for all the cleaning duties themselves. In addition they are assigned turns to take care of cooking meals for their fellow scholars.
Although many covet a spot at Moorim School, only a select few are chosen each year from among the applicants. Students come from both South Korea and other countries around the world.
While the school is credited with having influenced many a great current leader, it is also shrouded in mystery. Few and far in between are the occasions that the gates of this institution are being opened to outsiders. Not even the students families are allowed entrance.
- Shin Hyun-Joo as Headmaster Hwang Moo-Song
- Lee Hyun-Woo as Yoon Shi-Woo
- Seo Ye-Ji as Sim Soon-Duk
- Hong Bin(VIXX) as Wang Chi-Ang
- Jung Eugene as Hwang Sun-Ah
- Shin Sung-Woo as Chae Yoon
- Jang Gwang as Teacher Bubgong
- Jung Hee-Tae as Teacher Kim Dae-Ho
- Kan Mi-Youn as Teacher Yoo-Di (Judy)
- Daniel Lindemann as Teacher Daniel
- Samuel Okyere as Teacher Sam
- Lee Alexander as Yub Jung
- Han Sa-Myung as Choi Ho
- Park Shin-Woo as Ko Sang-Man
- POP as Nadet
- Z.Hera as Jenny Oh
- Shannon as Shannon
- Han Do-Woo as Dong-Goo
- Lee Moon-Sik as Sim Bong-San
- Hong Ji-Min as Ko Bang-Duk
- Lee Beom-Soo as Wang Ha-Oh
- Hwang In-Young as Kang Baek-Ji
Sidenote: That is a long list, I know. But I felt compelled to give all these actors credit for making this drama special with each of their individual contribution to the story. Whether big or small.
In the limelight
Yoon Shi-Woo (Lee Hyun-Woo) is a famous singer, leader of a K-pop band, and already credited as a gifted songwriter.
Known to prefer solitude to crowds, Shi-Woo is often perceived as arrogant and entitled. A perception that on occasion is accurate in describing his behaviour but never his true character.
With his current contract about to expire, Shi-Woo hopes to soon be able to dedicate his time to writing and producing songs. He does not particularly enjoy performing and being in the spotlight.
However, there is a additional reason why he has recently been withdrawing even more than usual from the public. Shi-Woo is experiencing severe onslaughts of headaches combined with temporary loss of hearing.
Knowing that this could threaten his future within the music industry, he hides his condition from those around him. The thought of not being able to continue doing what he loves most, terrifies him.
Doctors seem flabbergasted by his condition and the cause or source of it. The best they have been able to do, is prescribe him an increasing dose of painkillers. These provide temporary relief but do nothing to permanently take care of his problem.
One day, while performing on stage, Shi-Woo suffers one of these episodes after a equipment malfunction. It is only through the quick reflexes of a fan that he escapes major injuries.
The fan, noting something odd about his reaction during the incident, tells him to come to Moorim School. With an insistent look and voice, she proclaims the headmaster at said school will be able to help.
Desperate for help, and with life as he knew it crumbling around him, Shi-Woo goes to look for the headmaster of Moorim School.
Inside a golden cage
Wang Chi-Ang (Hong Bin) has just returned to South Korea after spending much of his life in China. As the youngest son to an influential international business tycoon, he grew up enjoying all the luxuries money can buy.
But although to onlookers he may appear to have it all, Chi-Ang has his own burdens to carry. Being only the son of his father’s second wife, he feels a constant need to prove himself and receive his father’s acknowledgement.
Despite this, he has been resisting his father’s most recent plans for him to enter and graduate Moorim School. He repeatedly finds ways to escape from the bodyguards his father sends to take him to the school by force.
It is during one of these escapes that Chi-Ang ends up in real trouble after falling into the ocean. Not knowing how to swim, he survives thanks to the swift actions of a girl who pulls him out of the water.
Chi-Ang is immediately smitten with his rescuer, a feeling that is not reciprocated by her.
Upon discovering that she is a student at Moorim School, he agrees to follow his father’s wishes. However, he has a condition: His father must promise to let Chi-Ang take his Mom back to China with him after his graduation.
Having obtained a positive answer to his request, Chi-Ang is ready to start life at Moorim School. He looks forward to being near the girl he is in love with, and is happy in the hope that his and his mother’s freedom are in sight.
Leading a double life
Sim Soon-Duk (Seo Ye-Ji) grew up without a mother and was raised by her father, who is blind. Both take care of each other but are also looked after by a close female friend of her father’s.
Soon-Duk works part-time while attending school, and is overall content with her life.
She only wishes to be able to tell her father that the school she attends is Moorim School, located in the mountains close to their home. Because despite their close relationship, she has been hiding this fact from him.
For reasons he refuses to tell her, her father has always maintained a particular dislike for Moorim School. To a point where any mention of that name puts him into a frantic and upset state.
Although she hates keeping secrets from him, Soon-Duk enjoys studying there too much to risk having to give it all up, were she to tell him the truth.
At Moorim, Soon-Duk has earned herself a spot among its top students. With her advanced skills in martial arts, she is often tasked with training newly enrolled peers.
Over time she has also found a close friend in Hwang Sun-Ah, a fellow student and her roommate who happens to be the headmaster’s daughter.
Obedient Daughter vs. Dedicated Fangirl
Hwang Sun-Ah (Jung Eugene) grew up within the walls of the building housing Moorim School due to her father’s position there as the headmaster.
Although the school and its surroundings are her world and she loves it there, Sun-Ah longs to explore what lies beyond that. Much to the dismay of her father, who is constantly concerned about her safety. He is strict and does only occasionally allow her to leave Moorim.
Regardless of her father’s strict instructions and watchful eye, Sun-Ah continuously manages to escape for a few hours. And there is one main reason for her to do so: Yoon Shi-Woo.
Sun-Ah is a huge fan of Shi-Woo and feels strangely drawn to him. She tries to attend as many of his concerts and fan-meetings as possible.
It is during one of these that she briefly gets to meet Shi-Woo up close but not in a way she would have ever imagined.
Hwang Moo-Song (Shin Hyun-Joo) has been Headmaster at Moorim School for well over a decade. He exudes a quiet yet authoritative demeanor, which never fails to command the respect of those around him.
However, those who know him readily admit, that despite being strict and serious, he is always fair and just.
Moo-Song is a intense observer of people, always trying to discern their true intentions. Moorim School is a sacred place to him and protecting it from all forms of evil is his life’s mission. He knows only too well that people and things are not always what they appear to be.
Year ago he lost his best friends in a seemingly random attack. However, Moo-Song is aware that they were targeted by someone close to them. But even after all this time and all his efforts, he has not yet been able to find out who was behind the attack.
These events of his past are also the reason he keeps a close eye on his daughter Sun-Ah and insists on her not leaving the school grounds.
As if Moo-Song didn’t have enough on his plate already, Shi-Woo and Chi-Ang arrive at Moorim School. His sharp mind immediately senses a change in the atmosphere upon their arrival but he is unable to determine which of the two are the cause for this.
There are several reasons why “Moorim School” holds a special place in my heart. Let’s talk about them, shall we?
- It features international actors and characters, which means the use of different languages throughout the drama. As a multilingual myself, this is always a thing I welcome in any drama/movie project.
- We have not one but two strong female leads.**claps enthusiastically **
- The appearance of Alexander Lee Eusebio **yay** who I personally wish was in more drama projects.
In addition to the above, I appreciate the overall focus of the story on forming young people’s minds in a positive way. Helping them find the good path in life and achieve real happiness and success.
However, it would not be a K-drama without some romance, right? Despite it’s sometimes more serious and darker arcs, “Moorim School” certainly does not disappoint in the romance department.
Look forward to amazing chemistry between several of the dramas characters as well as their enchanting love stories.
Until we drama again,
To read more about our fave K-dramas, go here.