CAST: Yukki Luna, Kim Jung-eun, Han Sang-jo, Lee Seung-joon, Kim Hae-sook, Ong Seong-wu, Lee Yoo-mi, Byeon Woo-seok, Park Bo Young, Park Hyung Sik

DIRECTOR: Kim Jeong-sik, Lee Kyung-sik

In the wrestling ring, a burly and imposing man found himself in a surprising situation when he faced off against an unexpected opponent: a 12-year-old girl named Tsetseg, portrayed by Yukki Luna. His laughter quickly ceased when she effortlessly lifted him by his belt buckle and hurled him across the ring.

Meanwhile, in Seoul, South Korea, during the year 2013, a reporter conducted an interview with a photographer named Gang Bong-go, played by Lee Seung-joon. During the conversation, it was revealed that the formidable girl in Mongolia was, in fact, his daughter named Nam-soon. She had gone missing at the tender age of 5 during a trip to Mongolia with her father. Remarkably, all the women in her family possessed superhuman strength, a unique trait that traced back at least 500 years.

Strong Girl Nam-soon Episodes 1-2 Review - But Why Tho?

This extraordinary strength was exemplified by her mother, Hwang Geum-joo, portrayed by Kim Jung-eun. Geum-joo held the position of CEO at a prestigious Gangnam pawn shop called Gold Blue. Her desperation to reunite with Nam-soon drove her to organize a strength competition with a grand prize of 500 million won, hoping that her daughter would participate. However, the situation took a surprising turn when two men entered the pawn shop, attempting to pawn an ancient polearm and then resorting to robbery. Geum-joo’s formidable strength became evident as she confronted these intruders.

The reporter delved into the story of how Bong-go and Geum-joo met and highlighted Geum-joo’s remarkable success in various business ventures. It was revealed that Geum-joo was determined to ensure that a daughter would carry on the family bloodline, leading to the birth of both Nam-soon and her twin brother, Nam-in, portrayed by Han Sang-jo.

Strong Girl Nam-soon Episodes 1-2 Review - But Why Tho?

Meanwhile, back in Mongolia, Nam-soon watched Psy’s “Gangnam Style” video and had a realization about her true home being in Korea. She began to have visions of her parents and her Korean identity. Nam-soon expressed her desire to return home to her parents but wanted to ensure their well-being first. Ten years later, as an adult, she made the momentous decision to return home. Before embarking on this journey, she paid tribute to her childhood companion, her horse, by flinging its bell. Remarkably, the bell traveled all the way to Korea, striking a police detective named Gang Hee-sik, portrayed by Ong Seong-wu, in the head.

Gang Hee-sik was in the midst of investigating a drug ring, which led to a pursuit of one of Geum-joo’s customers, who urgently sought a loan from Blue Gold. Geum-joo, suspicious of the customer’s motives, followed on her sleek motorcycle and took matters into her own hands when confronting the drug dealers.

During the tenth annual strength competition, Geum-joo noticed an exceptionally strong young woman and invited her for lunch. This young woman was revealed to be Ri Hwa-ja, portrayed by Choi Hee-jin, an orphan born in Korea but raised in Mongolia. Geum-joo was convinced that Ri Hwa-ja was Nam-soon, although Bong-go had reservations. In a meeting involving Nam-in and her mother, Gil Joong-gan, played by Kim Hae-sook, Geum-joo insisted that they had found Nam-soon and lavished Ri Hwa-ja with new clothes and a makeover, among other things.

As Nam-soo boarded a plane bound for Korea, a tense situation unfolded as the plane approached for landing at an alarming speed. Displaying her superhuman abilities, Nam-soo leaped from the plane and used her incredible speed to catch up and slow it down herself. During this event, a mysterious cosmic connection seemed to form between her, Geum-joo, and Joong-gan.

The first episode of “Strong Girl Nam-soon,” penned by Baek Mi-kyung as a sequel to the 2017 series “Strong Girl Bong-soon,” holds the promise of an engaging narrative. Right from the start, there’s a flurry of events in the first episode: Nam-soon’s arrival from Mongolia and her unexpected involvement with Detective Hee-sik, Hwa-ja’s attempt to assume Nam-soon’s identity for as long as possible, Geum-joo’s quest to identify her true daughter, and much more.

Is Strong Girl Nam-soon good? TV Show Review - A Good Movie to Watch

In the second episode of “Strong Girl Nam-soon,” Nam-soon finds herself in a head-to-head situation with Hee-sik as his determination to carry out his duties inadvertently causes some conflicts. What unites them is Nam-soon’s quest to locate her mother, and Hee-sik makes a heartfelt promise to assist her in any way he can. However, before they can make progress on this front, Nam-soon faces a harsh reality check about her idealized vision of South Korea. She falls victim to a scam, losing all her money, identification, and phone. Her unconventional solution? Erecting a traditional Mongolian ger in the middle of a government park after observing others camping there.

This is where the audience gains insight into the issue of homelessness in South Korea, which shares similarities with the situation in the United States. Often, it boils down to a lack of luck, and homeless individuals struggle to find shelter and sustenance. Nam-soon comes to understand this when she encounters a homeless couple, Ji Hyun-soo (Joo Woo-jae) and Noh Son-saeng (Park Gyeong-ree). Without hesitation, Nam-soon constructs a ger for them, and they promptly teach her how to survive without money until she can regain her independence. This marks a heartwarming and poignant moment in Episode 2.

As Hee-sik attempts to contact Nam-soon to retrieve her belongings, fate brings them face to face once again. Their encounter occurs following a confrontation between Nam-soon, her newfound companions, and some volunteer staff that escalates in the park. Realizing that the system has let her down, Hee-sik is determined to make amends. He promises to support her at the embassy in obtaining a new passport and provides her with money to secure a place to stay for the night. In their conversation, Nam-soon points out to him that the police are failing to protect citizens from genuine harm, choosing to penalize the innocent rather than pursue the guilty. This revelation deeply affects Hee-sik, especially after losing his connection to the drug trade earlier in the episode.

Kang Nam Soon | Strong Girl Namsoon - MyDramaList

The enjoyment viewers derive from this series will largely hinge on how these multiple storylines unfold. As is typical in K-dramas of this nature, there’s a diverse ensemble cast and a multitude of narrative threads to follow. However, the overarching storyline of Nam-soon’s journey to find her birth family and how her extraordinary strength aids Detective Hee-sik promises to be an entertaining and compelling watch.

A hearty shoutout to the team for including Kim Won-hae in a cameo appearance as Oh Dol-ppyeo. This delightful cameo adds an extra layer of charm to “Strong Girl Nam-soon” and serves as an early reminder that the series shares the same universe as “Bong-soon.” With confirmed rumors of more cameos on the horizon, it’s only a matter of time before we’re treated to further surprises.

A cute, quirky girl superpower show with an endearing cast.

Streams on Netflix.

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