The 600 Year Revenge Mission
Episode 2 of Bulgasal: Immortal Souls begins with Hwal grabbing the sword, growling maniacally, and stabbing this red-robed woman through the heart.
Hwal is blinded by rage, but as the pair stare at one another, swords sticking out from their bodies, she dissolves completely after admitting she despises him.
The other soldiers show and are shocked that Hwal is still alive, despite being impaled with a sword. As he lets out a feral, guttural growl, the soldiers believe that Hwal has become Bulgasal and stick him with their swords. His back is a mosaic of blood and blade, as the Royal Court put out an order to kill Hwal.
With the soldiers looking relentlessly for him, there appears to be no sign of our protagonist. Well, he is out there, and he actually appears before his father.
The General pulls a sword on Hwal and demands to know the truth. Hwal drops to his knees, pleading with him for death. Hwal is wracked with guilt and welcomes this release, especially as he feels responsible for A-Chan and Sol’s deaths.
The General is unable to do this though, instead telling him to go into exile and live in the shadows instead. Dropping his sword, he walks away.
Unfortunately the Royal Guard happen to be watching all of this and when the General tries to question their authority, he’s stabbed in the gut for his troubles. Just before he dies, he pleads with Hwal to promise him never to feed on human blood no matter how much he wants to.
It’s here we learn that Hwal has become Bulgasal because the former Bulgasal (the one inside the red robed woman) has jumped across to him. In doing so, this woman will now get the chance to reincarnate as a human while Hwal is forced to remain immortal and tormented by this hell. He promises to get his revenge and make her pay for doing this to him
We then skip forward to 1593 during the Japanese invasion of Korea. Hwal sticks to the shadows, doing his best not to feed on human blood but struggling in the wake of all this devastation.
We then jump 3 years later. Hwal is still searching for this mysterious woman. On the way though, he runs into a strange old man, who happens to be a reincarnated monster, now residing as a human. Now, I say human but his freakish speed and fangs give him away as a monster.
Anyway, Hwal realizes that he’s not after the mysterious woman, despite claiming to recognize her face, and instead is determined to gain revenge on Hwal. Or, specifically, on the Bulgasal that’s inside him right now. He wants to be the next soul too turn immortal but Hwal kills him for his troubles.
Years pass following this encounter. The world changes, turning into the urban jungle we know today. Before we reach 2021 though, we settle on 2006 where a robed Hwal runs into the reincarnated version of one of the kid villagers who gave him food all those years ago. He runs a detective agency and he hands over a picture of a woman – the same woman he’s hunting – and a gold bar for his troubles.
Now, this woman happens to be Sang-Yeon who lives in Sangyong with her sister Sang-Un.
Sang-Yeon is incredibly paranoid and for good reason too. She suddenly realizes that Bulgasal is near, typified by our next shot as Hwal rocks up to her house in his car. The same car that’s been trailing the family for a while now.
Dspite getting on the bus to safety, the two girls are chased by the bus driver who follows them and claims he knows who they both are.
He can apparently smell Sang-Un’s soul, which confirms that he’s one of the monsters from before, which have been reincarnated. Sang-Yeon knows about this and implores her sister to stay vigilant. They can’t trust the police and they can’t go home either.
Instead, Sang-Yeon visits her “sister” and implores Sang-Un to stay behind while she heads off alone. This is her fonal chance to find the sword and put an end to the drama that’s unfolded for the past 600 years.
Somehow she knows everything that’s occurred, with her memories intact. How? Well, that’s not initially clear but let’s run with it for now.
Against Sang-Yeon’s wishes, Sang-un rings home and speaks to her mother. She struggles to hold back tears as she encourages her mum to come and pick her up.
This is obviously the wrong move, especially as Sang-Yeon and Sang-Un are twins. Sang-Yeon shows up though and implores them to leave. And just like that, all the lights turn off and Hwal appears, ready to enact his revenge mission. Sang-Yeon and the others are out of time.
They make it into their apartment but Sang-Yeon sacrifices herself to save her sister. She tells Sang-Un not to trust anyone, hiding her in the closet, as she faces this creature alone. Before she closes the doors, she tasks Sang-Un with finding a way to kill Bulgasal once and for all. Sang-Un walks purposefully toward Hwal with a knife.
Now, we don’t see what happens here, beyond Hwal knocking her away, but Sang-Un survives.
We then jump forward 15 years later. Hwal is still on the hunt for Sang-Un and his revenge. It turns out Sang-Un disappeared with her grandmother years back, but Hwal remains determined to try and find her.
As we soon find out, she’s made a new home for herself. She’s lively and moves around a lot. She’s also wracked with guilt too and as she shows up at her old apartment, just before the whole place is demolished.
Sang-Un pays her respects to her fallen sister. She apologizes for not believing her and promises to fulfill her final promise to live in hiding and find a way to kill Bulgasal. Only, rattling and knocking at the door confirms the worst – Hwal is on the other side and he’s after her.
The Episode Review
The second episode of Bulgasal keeps the momentum going, picking right up where the previous chapter left off. We’re now up to our present day timeline, after some epic glimpses of Hwal’s past.
What’s particularly great about this show is the way the shades of grey have blurred the lines between right and wrong. There’s no exact good guy and no definitive bad guy, as the reasoning for both characters doing what they’re doing makes total sense.
Hwal is of course hell-bent on revenge after having his life destroyed by Bulgasal. Now that this spirit is inside him, he wants to find Sang-Un and finish his mission.
By comparison, we have Sang-Un who’s just trying to survive while attempting to fulfill his sister’s wishes and take out Bulgasal.
It’s a really intriguing set-up to be honest and it’ll be interesting to see where the rest of the episodes go from here. It could well be that the story starts to slow down now and we flesh out more of this world, with a potential romance between Sang-Un and Hwal changing the destiny of both characters.
Either way though, this episode continues the great work done yesterday and sets up an engaging and delightfully fantastical set off episodes to come.