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

Janggeum’s Dream: Episode 7 Commentary

Seek the Pot Lady

Collage of Janggeum's Dream screenshots.

The English subtitle for the episode title should have been last episode’s title. The Japanese title is “タンジお婆さんを尋ねて”, or “Ask the Tanji Old Woman”. お婆さん is おばあさん, or “old woman”. 尋ねて is たずねて, meaning “ask” or “inquire”. I do not know what “タンジ” (tanji) means, but I gather it refers to the “pot”. The Japanese Wikipedia article gives the title “伝説の壷おばあさん”, meaning “Legendary Pot Lady”. The Korean title, 단지할매를 찾아서, appears to translate along the lines of “Seek the Pot Lady”.

The island Janggeum and Geum-young are headed out to seems to be further away than I anticipated. I expected they would be at the island early on in the episode, but instead other events took place.

Rather than stay in offscreen, Dongi and Mongmong are determined to help Janggeum on Jaeju Island (also spelled Jeju in the subtitles). After all, Janggeum’s like a sister to Dongi. Or maybe more like a girlfriend, as his father happily suggests.

Running into his house, Dongi kicked off his shoes, very much like traditional Japanese. I don’t know anything about East Asian ancestry, but I imagine Korea and Japan (as well as Taiwan and China) all share their origins when it comes to many of their customs and culture.

Visiting her family also meant Janggeum would miss seeing the prince, and her bowing also ensured he wouldn’t get a good look at her (and especially her him). Something is going to happen when they meet. Janggeum will recognize him, at least. Things will come together, and Janggeum will get her ring back, and so on so forth. Can’t let any of that happen yet. Maybe by the end of the first volume of this two volume series.

The not-so-graceful Jang Soo-ro’s name is spelled Suro in the subtitles. I’ll switch over to this spelling, as it better reflects the pronunciation of his name without resorting to the English “oo” for the “u” sound.

Poor Yeonsaeng when Suro asked about Janggeum. Poor Suro when Yeonsaeng broke into tears. Poor Suro when everyone looked his way as Yeonsaeng cried so heavily. Sure, Yeonsaeng might be a bit of a crybaby, but that’s just part of her charm.

King Jungjong shows a lot of compassion and kindness. I’ve read recently, this is how he’s portrayed in a lot of Japanese media, as Jungjong was a historic figure used in various series. Not only is he understanding of Yeonsaeng’s nervousness, but he tells Jeong-ho to look over the people of the town, and take note of their well being, how their lives are.

Even though the purple-haired court lady scolds Janggeum, and Han scolds as well, it’s clear Han is the one who gave Janggeum permission to leave. If Janggeum is late, who is responsible for her tardiness? Janggeum for being late, or Han for allowing her to leave?

The just-before-leaving appearance of Changi fortells two things. First, something will happen which will involve Dani. He probably would be better off back home. After all, Tayo didn’t appear, so he must be staying behind. The second is Changi’s request for an exotic food, something not found in the royal palace. Might Janggeum and Yeonsaeng go out of their way, and perhaps end up in danger, over this? Or will they present her with the meal from Granny Pot’s pot? Or will the three of them forget about it completely?

A bit out of character, Yeongro has some decent scenes this episode. Her wonder of the sea show she’s just an ordinary girl, the same as Janggeum and Yeonsaeng. She isn’t standing there as a bully, but as an amazed youth. Geum-young on the otherhand shows no fascination. Either she’s seen the sea before, perhaps multiple times, or she knows her place as a court lady.

If I had to guess who drew the picture of Janggeum, I would have to say it’s the younger of the Bumbling Duo. It looks like something he’d come up with. But how can they grab Yeongro without anyone hearing her crying out? Side-note: Her name is spelled differently at at least one point in the subtitles. I really don’t know what I should be using for their names anymore. Maybe I need to break down and re-learn enough Korean letters to properly read all their names.

It’s expected for Jeong-ho to be an excellent fighter. Suro, however, caught me offguard. He is one of the king’s royal soldiers and all, but he handled the shipyard ruffians without breaking a sweat. As the saying goes, he “talks the talk and walks the walk”. The tree bit seems a bit overdoing it, though.

The masked one and his metal sword barely make it against Jeong-ho’s wooden (bamboo?) sword. With Janggeum still safe, will the masked one continue to put up with the Bungling Duo, or are they on their own now? They can’t be captured yet, or else they might talk. This could put them as a target by the enemy as well, although I don’t expect them to join the good guys any time. To be honest, I expected they’d still be standing before Jeong-ho, Suro, and Yeongro when the smoke cleared.

With Yeongro lovestuck with Suro, he’ll have a hard time trying to catch Janggeum’s eye. Did his dropping Yeongro have any impact on her thoughts of him? I’m not sure if I should feel bad for her being dropped on her bottom, or sorry for Suro for having to carry her all that way, only to be put in a awkward situation (as he views it) to have Janggeum see him carrying Yeongro.

The masked one tells Jeong-ho about how the sky cannot have two suns. Does this mean he plans to overthrow the king, as there is another with the birthright to be king if Jungjong is dethroned? Could Jungjong have a brother, or an uncle, waiting to take over, and rule over Chosun?

Han tells the story of Granny Pot, a story which is fairly predictable. Even Yeongro was able to predict the ending. Geum-young also took an interest in the story, but she showed no excitement as Janggeum did at the prospect of learning Granny Pot’s meal.

Somehow Dongi (and presumably Mongmong) managed to get on the ship. The ending looks to set things up nicely for the next episode, which I expect to take the group off the ship and onto Jaeju Island.

Checking the Japanese site for this series gives the names of the characters in Japanese.

서장금 (Seo Jang Geum)’s Japanese spelling is チャングム (Changumu). I’ll continue to spell her name as Janggeum.

이연생 (I Yeon Saeng)’s Japanese spelling is ヨンセン (Yonsen). I’ll continue to spell her name as Yeonsaeng.

이창이 (I Chang I)’s Japanese spelling is チャンイ (Chan’i). I’ll continue to spell her name as Changi.

최금영 (Choe Geum Yeong)’s Japanese spelling is クミョン (Kumyon). I’ll continue to spell her name as Geum-young, as that’s what I’m seeing in the subtitles all the time.

윤영로 (Yun Yeong Ro)’s Japanese spelling is ヨンノ (Yon’no). I’ll begin to spell her name as Yeong-ro. I’ve been trying to figure out how her name is pronounced as “Yeon Gro”, but now I know it’s “Yeong Ro”, and that makes a lot more sense to me.

한상궁 (Court Lady Han)’s Japanese spelling is ハン尚宮 (Court Lady Han). I’ll still call her Han.

최상궁 (Court Lady Choe)’s Japanese spelling is チェ尚宮 (Court Lady Che). I’ll call her Choe now. (The English subtitles use Choi.)

(Black-haired court lady)’s Japanese spelling is ウン尚宮 (Court Lady Un). I called her Eun before, and as I cannot find her Korean name offhand, I shall continue to use Eun (if I can remember it).

강동이 (Gang Dong I)’s Japanese spelling is トンイ (Ton’i). I’ll continue using Dongi.

민정호 (Min Jeong Ho)’s Japanese spelling is ミン・ジョンホ (Min Jyonho). I’ll continue with Jeong-ho for his name.

장수로 (Jang Su Ro)’s Japanese spelling is チャン・スロ (Chan Suro). I’ll use Suro for his name, as I began in this episode’s commentary.

Oh, and I didn’t comment on the night outfits. They look like the day outfits except without color. The night outfits the girls wear make them look almost like ghosts.

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