KBS2’s “Age of Feeling” is an intricate and action packed drama with plenty of fight scenes. The drama is about the various gangs that rule and operate the smuggling underworld of China. In the first two episodes, we are introduced to a slew of gangsters and criminals that play a role in the smuggling operations of illegal American goods into China from North Korea.
The first scene of the drama starts of with the thrilling scene of Deguchi Ga-ya stabbing someone in the middle of the night. From there, the action keeps rolling with another fight scene between main character Jung Tae and an opponent during a black market showcase fight in Manchuria 1936. Jung Tae loses the contest, but we learn later that he purposely lost the fight when the two fighters go at each other again in the bar. After the fight in the bar ends, he is approached by an older influential looking character who informs him that his father has passed away and is being buried in Shanghai. Jung Tae replies that he doesn’t have a father, but the man hands Jung Tae a ticket to Shanghai, and Jung Tae finds himself of a boat to the Shanghai. We also learn that Deguchi Ga-Ya is also on her way to the city by train.
Now we go into a flashback eight years ago to the border city of Shin Ui Ju in North Korea along the Yalu river. We see Jung Tae as an innocent teenager making an honest living pulling carriages. He sees the younger Dagechi Ga-ya being beaten by two men, and he intervenes and saves her. In this scene, we learn that there the two things that Jung Tae hates in this world: men hitting woman, and his father. Instead of being thankful for Jung Tae’s help, Dagechi Ga-ya slaps him across the face with a sharp object causing him to bleed. I think this foreshadows the complicated relationship the two will share in the future.
We are given more insight about Jung Tae’s early life in the episode. His best friend Jjang Ttol talks a lot, but also knows a lot of what goes on in the streets. However, he is also naive and causes many problems for Jung Tae. In fact, Jjang Ttol was responsible for losing all of Jung Tae’s hard earned savings in a scam to become a smuggler. He was scammed by a neighborhood gangster posing as another gangster. This event will become the starting point of Jung Tae’s entrance into the underworld. In order to get his money back, Jung Tae fights the Dobinori gang, who he thinks is responsible for the scam. He doesn’t succeed, but his toughness and spirit impresses the gangsters.
We also see Jung-Tae’s sick little sister Chung Ah who requires an expensive operation to make her healthy. Her sickness is what causes Jung Tae to try getting riches in the smuggling operations. We are also introduced to Ok Ryeon who is in love with Jung Tae. She works at the medicine shop and her mother is a courtesan.
The second episode begins with the members of the Dobinori gang and Jjang Ttol discussing what happened. Hwang Bong Shik is the tough leader of the Dobinori gang and Poong Cha is the second in command. Jjang Ttol explains the situation in detail, revealing that the Boolgum gang has been impersonating members of the Dobinori gang. The Dobinori decides to act against the Boolgum gang. Jang Tae also joins the Dobinori gang in this episode. He is given the details about the gang, and learns that the train runners of the smuggling operation are well paid, but also the most dangerous jobs of the gang.
We also see Dagechi Gaya smuggling things, and this is the reason why she is always getting attacked. In this episode, she is saved by a mysterious Japanese man. We also meet Jung Tae’s father, and Jung Tae tells him to never to show up again. Jung Tae’s father actually saved Jung Tae’s sick little sister by taking her to the hospital. The second episode ends with Jung Tae jumping off a bridge to prove his toughness to become a train runner.
The drama just began, but we are introduced to many different factions and characters. The drama might require additional viewing to fully understand what is going on. The drama is action packed and it’s interesting to see the way people lived in the 1930’s. The different accents and vintage culture makes this drama particularly captivating. You can watch this drama on KBS2 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9:55pm.
*Kpop1stop enjoys action packed and vintage dramas. He hopes that there will be more dramas about the “old days.”