Ruler Of Your Own World (2002) is a Korean television drama (K-drama) from the South Korean network MBC. It consists of twenty hour-long episodes. The series is similar to the common K-drama format with highly intense melodramatic content, complete with love triangles, some deception, fatal illnesses, and dirty family secrets. However, while the show has some pretty over-the-top, soapy material, it never feels like too much. The drama is expressed through the characters and their relationships in an addictive manner. After watching Ruler Of Your Own World, it will be apparent that it is topnotch drama. It has solid writing, great characters, and presents a storyline that is engaging, entertaining, and emotionally powerful. Overall, it is a K-drama I would recommend to K-drama fans and newcomers alike. It is fantastic.
In the beginning of Ruler Of Your Own World, the general premise is setup. The main character is Ko Bok-Su (Yang Dong-Geun). He has had a difficult life. When he was a child, his father left him at an orphanage for several years. He also never had a good relationship with his mother. Jumping into the future, Bok-Su has recently been released from prison. From his troubled past, he developed a nasty habit, pick pocketing. Even after spending time in jail, he continues to lead a life of petty crime. He steals wallets whenever the opportunity strikes. One of his early victims is Chun Kyung (Lee Na-Young, Please Teach Me English).
Kyung is one of two leading females. She comes from a wealthy family and is a very sweet character with an open heart. She goes against her parent's will by pursuing a career in music. In the show's beginning, Bok-Su steals her wallet -- which is how they first met. The other leading female is Song Mi-Rae (Gong Hyo-Jin). Mi-Rae is Bok-Su's girlfriend and has a very different personality to Kyung. She is a professional motivator (cheerleader) and loves Bok-Su to death. They met years ago when he stole her wallet and afterwards fell in love. She encourages him to change professions, but loves him despite it. She is louder and more outspoken than Kyung.
Bok-Su's life was cut and dry before stealing Kyung's wallet. After the deed, his life slowly began to change. The first realization came after a trip to the hospital. The doctor informed him that he had a brain tumor. Bok-Su responded to this news with anger and dismay. But he soon started to accept it. The second major realization came from learning about the consequences of his actions. When he stole Kyung's wallet, he did not know the effect it would have on her friend's life. Kyung was taking the money to pay for her friend's surgery. Without the money, her friend passed away. After Bok-Su goes through these two realizations, he decides to change his life and try to make things better for everyone around him.
The realization of Bok-Su is the show's primary premise and biggest draw. It is an endearing aspect and developed very well through Bok-Su's character. He attempts to right the wrongs in his life, but he encounters roadblocks along the way. For instance, he patches things up with Kyung. However, their meeting only complicates matters. Bok-Su is persistent to get on Kyung's good side, but she will have nothing to do with him. Eventually, they develop romantic feelings for each other. This situation is problematic because of Bok-Su's relationship with Mi-Rae. At the same time matters are messy when Han Dong-Jin (Lee Dong-Gun, Stained Glass) enters the picture. Dong-Jin is a well-to-do music journalist. He meets Kyung and decides he wants her to be his girlfriend. He falls for her, but she feels for Bok-Su.
There are other aspects of Bok-Su trying to make the lives of everyone around him better. His relationship with his parents has never been great. While he lives with his dad, he knows his profession causes him sorrow. Bok-Su finds another path. As for his mother, Bok-Su's relationship is awful. She acts like she could care less about him. But Bok-Su is persistent and manages to make her life better.
From the start of the series, Ruler of Your Own World provides an intensely emotional viewing experience. As mentioned the main point of interest is watching Bok-Su develop as a character. His interactions with those close to him make for some really moving moments. At the same time, the situations are complicated because he is not a perfect person. His feelings get in the way and sometimes he hurts the people he is trying to care for.
Overall, I had a great time watching Ruler of Your Own World. When I first started it, I was not sure what to think. Bok-Su was released from prison and immediately went back to his old habits (pick pocketing) that put him there in the first place. However, the main premise quickly developed and the show became so intense that I could not stop watching. As it developed, I really felt for the characters (all of them). In short, Ruler of Your Own World is a great example of a powerful K-drama. While the content can be soapy and melodramatic, it is never too much. The series has a solid storyline, a great cast, and fantastic character development. It is a show that K-dramas fans and newcomers to the genre should experience.