The priest and his disciple.
What They Say:
Episode #8: “The Chosen Door”
“There are many books in this world I do not know. It makes me angry.” Ik-Soo suddenly announces he will travel with Yuna and Hak to see the world. Yoon is upset and unable to contain his anger. Though Yona and Hak understand his feelings, they are unable to do anything but watch in silence.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Yona is thrilled to see that Yun made her a new outfit, even if they’re quaint by her standards, and it looks like it’s the outfit we’ll be seeing Yona in for most of the rest of the series. At the same time she sits down to trim her uneven hair, but Yun sits her down and does it for her. Yona points out how kind he is to be helping her out despite his hatred of royalty. Yun doesn’t take the compliment well.
Yona approaches Ik-su to tell the hermit priest that she can’t just take Yun with her like he asked unless Yun agrees to it himself. Yun overhears the conversation and confronts his master. The young assistant is angry, and all Ik-su tells him is that he should go see the world.
Yun runs into Hak down by the river but the discussion runs more towards why Hak would risk his life for a princess. Hak calmly asks Yun in turn if he always ways his life against someone he’d want to protect.
Finally we’re treated to a flashback of Yun and Ik-su and how the two met. Eight years ago Yun was just a lone orphan trying to survive during a famine when he finally decides to resort to mugging someone to eat. He targets a lone wandering man who turns out to be Ik-su. Rumor had it he’d been handing out bits of gold, but he’s all out. After Yun attacks him he’s guilt stricken and tries to make amends by taking care of Ik-su’s wound.
Ik-su explains to Yun what he does as a priest and teaches the boy how to make sandals out of straw. Yun is good at it, and it’s enough to provide him with something to barter with to earn enough to eat through the winter. Ik-su leaves for the city, however Yun remains lonely and wishes Ik-su would return to visit and teach him more. When the priest does return he’s in even worse shape then when he left. He doesn’t tell the young boy why he can’t go back to the city, but does tell him he was mugged. Yun demands to go with him, away from the people even if it means a tough life.
Back in the present Yun makes a pair of sandals for his mentor once again, and Ik-su actually recovers from a trip instead of falling flat on his face. Yun finally agrees to go with the others, out to see the world, and tells Ik-su that he knows that Ik-su wouldn’t send him off unless it was the will of god. Ik-su finally breaks the confident act and let’s his emotions show through about loosing his pupil. I expected that maybe Ik-su saw a bad future in store for himself or his student, but if he did then he doesn’t tell anyone, including the audience. Hak, Yona, and Yun head off on their journey, and Yun finally starts to lighten up at the prospect of seeing the world.
We get a look at what drive Yun and why he’s so attached to his mentor and no one else. The past shows a country which has not had an easy time of it, with famine and violence only eight years before. Yun becomes much more approachable by the time the episode is over, and the disaster attracting duo could use someone with Yun’s healer skills. Not exactly an action filled moment for this series, but with the small group finally setting out of their journey I bet we can expect more action soon.
Episode Grade: B
Streamed by: Crunchyroll & Funimation
Review Equipment: 27” iMac running OS 10.9.5, via Safari 7.0.6, FIOS 15/5 Mbps connection. Your milage may vary.