If you want to spend 16 hours totally entertained but completely baffled, watch The Village: Achiara’s Secret. It’s an A+ “who done it” Kdrama that made me think I had figured things out several times each episode, yet I was never able to come up with the answers on my own – I had to wait until it was all actually explained before I was able to say, “Ohhhhhhh” – because this is one really good mystery!
Han So-Yoon is a young woman who was born in Korea but grew up in Canada. She had been told both her parents and older sister had passed away due to a car accident she and her family were in when she was a little girl but, after the death of the grandmother that raised her, she receives a letter giving her hope her sister is still alive. With determination to find out what really happened and reconnect with her beloved sister, So-Yoon secures a job teaching English in the town the letter came from and heads back to her birth country. The night she arrives in the small town of Achiara she’s informed there’s a serial killer in the area who only strikes on rainy Wednesdays. A few days later she stumbles upon a skeleton half buried in the forest. Not exactly a peaceful introduction to her new home. As So-Yoon begins the search for her sister she meets people in the little village who may have information she needs, but why are they so unwilling to help her? A killer, a corpse, a missing sister… could there be a connection, something that ties them all together?
This drama has a dozen main characters who play significant roles in the secrets the town is trying to keep hidden…
The main family in town…
Jeong Seong-Mo is Seo Chang-Gwon, a power hungry man who pretty much runs Achiara. He owns the biggest business in town, has control of the junior/senior high school, and is the political head man of the area.
Shin Eun-Kyung plays Yoon Ji-Sook, Seo Chang-Gwon’s wife. She pretends to be happy but is really quite miserable. She is married to a man who doesn’t love her and her mother-in-law would love to see her kicked out of the family. However, she’s determined to endure whatever she has to in order to keep the status and money she has as Mrs. Seo Chang-Gwon.
On Joo-Won is Seo Gi-Hyun, Seo Chang-Gwon’s son from his first marriage. He is extremely close to his step-mother, pretty much being the only one who has any sympathy for her pain due to a loveless marriage. He was living in America but came back to Achiara to help with family business matters.
Ahn Seo-Hyun plays Seo Yoo-Na, Seo Gi-Hyun’s half-sister. She is in junior high and was very close to her art teacher, Kim Hye-Jin, Han So-Yoon’s missing sister. She has been able to see dead people since she was a very little girl.
Jang So-Yeon is Kang Joo-Hee, Yoon Ji-Sook’s younger half-sister. She’s very hurt by the fact that her mother loves Ji-Sook more and is jealous of the money and prestige her older sister has. She was put through school and set up with her own pharmacy thanks to her sister marrying into a wealthy family.
Other Achiara residents…
Park Eun-Seok is Nam Gun-Woo, the aloof senior high school art teacher. Gun-Woo and pharmacist Kang Joo-Hee are secret lovers.
Lee Yeol-Eum portrays Ga Young, a senior high school student who is in love with Nam Gun-Woo. She doesn’t have a good relationship with her mother and she has reason to believe the man who left them many years before wasn’t really her father.
Choi Jae-Woong is Kang Pil-Sung, a loner who loved Kim Hye-Jin from afar and wants to help So-Yoon in the search for her sister.
Yook Sung-Jae is Park Woo-Jae, a young policeman who is eager to keep the citizens of Achiara safe and secure. He loves his job, is very enthusiastic, and is willing to do whatever it may take to unravel the mysteries surrounding his hometown.
Kim Min-Jae is Inspector Han, Park Woo-Jae’s superior, partner, friend, and mentor.
Jang Hee-Jin plays Kim Hye-Jin, So-Yoon’s missing big sister. She was the junior high school art teacher and ended up having an affair with the richest man in Achiara, Seo Chang-Gwon.
Moon Geun-Young takes the main role of Han So-Yoon, an intelligent, tenacious young woman who will need all the bravery she can muster in the search for her older sister.
Do Hyun-Jung is the amazing screenwriter who came up with all the twists, turns, and fake-outs The Village: Achiara’s Secret has to offer. I was so impressed with the way Do Hyun-Jung’s mind worked on this show that I decided to see what other things were connected to that name. I found one movie, The Wig, which I’ve never heard of, and two dramas I’m familiar with – Que Sera Sera, which I did not like at all (I felt it was depressing and sad), and Can Love Become Money, which I did like (an enjoyable love story). There’s two years in between Can Love Become Money and The Village: Achiara’s Secret. I’ll bet Do Hyun-Jung used every waking minute of those years to think up all the ins and outs of this amazing plot.
The music in the show is all instrumental. Most of it is the kind of stuff that adds to the intense eerieness and suspense of the show. It’s perfect for the unsettling feeling the drama gives off.
As for scenery, the story takes place in the late fall/early winter so there’s pretty much only barren trees with dull gray and brown colors.
This is a superb, suspenseful, mystery Kdrama that provides hours of bewilderment. Trust me, I can usually figure things out, even if it takes awhile, but I was completely in the dark and inaccurate with my guesses on this one. Please don’t let that keep you from watching it, though. It’s not difficult to understand, it’s just quite a challenge to figure out those mysteries all on your own. I suggest you find some quiet time away from any distractions and watch The Village: Achiara’s Secret. I think you’ll enjoy the mental challenge. I know I did.
Amazingly difficult mysteries to figure out
Eerie feeling throughout the whole show
Intense music that makes the scenes more unsettling
Would have been nice to have a little romance between Han So-Yoon and Officer Park Woo-Jae