This is a episode commentary. It is intended for someone who has seen this episode, and will contain episode spoilers.

Janggeum’s Dream: Episode 6 Commentary

Never Ending Competition

Collage of Janggeum's Dream screenshots.

For some reason, this episode’s English subtitle reads as “終わってない競合い”, Japanese. Thankfully, I know this translates as “The Unfinished Competition”. 終わってない uses the verb おわる (owaru), meaning “finish” or “end”, and it’s in its ない (-nai) form (negative informal present tense). “Not finished” or “unfinished” may be used as a translation. 競合い I had to look up. Read as せりあい (seriai), it means “competition”.

This episode is just that: the unfinished competition between Janggeum and Geum-young.

Update: Episode seven uses the English subtitle “Never Ending Competition” which is the actual title for this episode.

Yeongro and Eunbee will have to be less obvious is they don’t want Changi’s right hook followed by her left. Thankfully Janggeum realized they weren’t the ones who caused the disaster.

Preparing meals, Geum-young tends to have a sad look to her. Does she find no joy in what she does? Does she really want to be a court lady, or is she being forced into it? She says about how she didn’t expect she could lose, so Janggeum’s been giving her a competition. While Janggeum sees Geum-young as a friend, a fellow court lady, Geum-young sees Janggeum as the first rival worthy of competing with her. Also, Geum-young does smile a little, but she may have overheard the soldier talking about the pamphlet provided with his meal.

I can appreciate having a pamphlet to explain how to get the most out of ones meal, but who wants to be told how to eat? I thought Geum-young might lose a few points on this, especially if presentation is part of the grade, but instead this was judged as rather impressive, by the thought which went into it.

Upon hearing of Janggeum’s plight, her terrible situation, Geum-young’s reaction shows she isn’t the same as Yeongro. Having Janggeum put forth the ability to match Geum-young’s meal 48 to 48 shows Janggeum is, again, a very worthy rival.

The elder man present at the meal, he may have more appearances. I’ll admit, I had forgotten about him. I didn’t think much of him as a character for the series when I saw him, as he stood as a bit player. I figured Jisung to be a larger role, as he had the better part of an episode devoted to him.

When Court Teacher (as I’ll call the black-haired teacher for lack of recalling her name) reveals Janggeum’s meal to the queen, Court Granny’s reaction is priceless. The purple-haired court lady is proud to show off her niece’s presentation, but Court Teacher is hesitant, and it’s apparent why moments later. Poor one-toothed Court Granny has probably never seen a meal like this presented before royalty in her entire life, which I’m sure has been a very long time (with all due respect, of course). The queen’s grimace shows no satisfaction from the look of the dish, and she may even feel insulted by it. Luckily she soon enough sees the uniqueness and resourcefulness in it.

Jeong-ho is quite popular with the young ladies. The old man gives the detective’s name as Haeya. (Mnemonic: “Hey ya’!”) The feeling left after their encounter can only be: what’s this about Haeya’s father? The subtitling spelled Jangho’s name as Jango, I believe, this episode. I’ll continue with Jangho as that’s how I first saw it.

Still unable to promote two court ladies to Nancho level, a final trial is set for Janggeum and Geum-young, a trial which sounds to be nearly impossible. At this point, literally anything can happen, especially with Soo-ro at Janggeum’s side. Changi must know Janggeum and Yeonsaeng have a special bond, and she may have really meant it in saying she’d rather remain at the comfortable palace. Hopefully this isn’t the beginning of difficult times for the trio.

Thus far, Janggeum’s Dream is a wonderful series. Right now Japanese animation is the high profile animation to dub into English, and I imagine Japan tops Korea with animations containing wonderful animation, well developed characters, and a strong plot. Hopefully the Korean animation industry will pick up, with series such as Janggeum’s Dream and movies such as Yobi, The Five-Tailed Fox. ADV Films has already dubbed My Beautiful Girl Mari, so one cannot discount the chance they’ll look into other Korean animations.

Closing thoughts: Yeonsaeng is too adorable leaping into poor, unsuspecting Yeongro’s arms after seeing Jangho. Having to hold Yeonsaeng up is probably the most work Yeongro’s had to do since arriving at the royal palace. Thankfully for her, it wasn’t Changi frighted by Jangho, or Yeongro would have been flattened, and Changi probably would have done it half on purpose.

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