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

Janggeum’s Dream: Episode 17 Commentary

Conspiracy Uncovered

Collage of Janggeum's Dream screenshots.

Everything’s pieced together quickly this episode, leading up to revealing it for fact. When Haeya hurried into the forest, the determined look on her face, replacing the usually somber look, made her look a lot more like the assassin. Furthermore, the first mention of her father instantly brought back to mind the old man’s comment to her about “you’re doing this for your father”. It’s too bad they slipped these final bits in just before revealing it all, instead of sneaking them into one episode and revealing it in the next.

I noticed something on the title screen this time around which I’d never paid attention to before. The four corners of the title screen show Japanese apricot flowers, an orchid, Chrysanthemum flowers, and bamboo. It’s amazing how something can be overlooked, unnoticed day in and day out, episode after episode, but then after learning about the four items elsewhere, they stand out the first episode I see after researching them.

With the old guy being the head of the assassins, does this mean he learned of Janggeum just prior to meeting her? Could his meeting her have been part of a plan of his to help her get into the palace, so he could keep an eye on her? I do believe Haeya was watching her in the forest as part of a continued effort to not let Janggeum out of sight. If she has no problem poisoning the king (even if she believes he can be cured), she should have no problem exterminating a child. Sure, she did point out the sword in the pot after the fire, but that was only after Jangho took the initiative and followed the tracks.

As far as Geum-young’s come along, I don’t think there’s any going back for her. Her aunt says not to get involved, but she takes a prominant role in getting the list of food items, as well as being sure to memorize the list.

Back when the pirates attacked, Janggeum was unable to do anything for Jeong-ho. Court Lady Han has done so much for Janggeum, so it’s impossible for her to sit idly by. Thankfully she has a number of friends also ready to help out.

Not only Geum-young, but Yeong-ro may also be on the right track. She didn’t have to go with the other girls. She didn’t have to risk anything. And Yeonsaeng, when the girls first arrive outside the building with the lists, and they’re ducked by the entrance, Yeonsaeng’s the one up the tallest. Shouldn’t she be ducked down the lowest? Maybe she’s growing a love for the excitement and adventure.

Thinking the same as I had, Changi wonders why the food taster was able to eat the same items as the king without harm. Predictably, it was a combination of items required to cause the reaction. The taster would not be eating multiple foods at the same time, as she’s only tastng for safety, but the king would be moving from one dish to another, as he’s eating an entire meal.

Poor Suro, he probably isn’t used to a lot of what he has to go through now. Dongi on the other hand, with his sleeves nicely rolled up now, is ready for anything. He may just make a fine soldier yet, so long as he and Suro don’t get themselves fired, or worst.

When the old man tells the head doctor about being responsible for the king’s health, he’s a bit pushy. Someone is getting impatient. He’d better be careful, or else he may himself slip up, revealing his position and plot in the king’s downfall.

No comments here on how the girls sleep.

To finish, in my episode three commentary, I pondered on if “ChungNaBee” referred to the assassin with the blue butterfly tattoo. As it turns out, 나비 (nabi) is butterfly, and 충 (chung) apparently is insect. “Insect Butterfly”? Actually, chung was a mispelling in the subtitles. The actual word is 청, or “cheong”, which means “blue”. In a this episode’s subtitling, she’s referred to as “Blue Butterfly”, which is the meaning of 청나비, or “cheong na-bi”.

Between “ChungNaBee” and the untranslated levels, I wonder whether they had multiple translators at the same time, working on different episodes, or if they switched translators part-way through the series, or if they had only one translator, and he—after a nice New Year’s bonus—bought a better translation dictionary. Maybe one entitled, “Colors, Bugs, and Plants: All you need to know to translate Nature’s wonders from Korean to English”.

다이리 (daori) is translated as “my lord”, and is used to refer to Suro and Jeong-ho. (I think “naori” is also used.) However, the upper court ladies are call 상궁 (Sanggung) in the subtitles, which translates “upper palace” by the dictionary I’m using. I’ve been translating 상궁 as “court lady” myself, but perhaps “upper court lady” would be more accurate. So, why is is daori translated, but not sanggung?

With words such as Sanggung, gukhwa, and “ChungNaBee” in the subtitles, I’m left feeling I’m watching a Japanese fansub where the subtitles read “ohayo” “itadakimasu” “abunai” and “obento”. The later use of Mum in place of gukhwa, and “Blue Butterfly” rather than “chung na-bi”, makes it both easier to understand and easier to follow. I no longer have trouble with Sanggung, but that’s only because I’ve seen it so much, I’ve learned what it means (or at least close enough).

The bonuses on this DVD are in two parts: “총작감집 A” and “총작감집 B” (chong-jak-gam-jip), but I do not know its meaning. They contain sketches from the storyboards, but are not presented in a storyboard format as a previous bonus had.

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