Who runs the world? Petite Korean woman with superhuman strength! Well, maybe just the one. But Strong Girl Bong Soon packs more than just incredible fights and comedy into her tiny frame. This show really centers on the message that woman, females, are just as capable of doing things as our male counterparts.
Let’s meet Do Bong Soon, played by Park Bo Young. She’s absolutely mad about video games and her main goal in life is to create an epic game with a main character just like her: a young woman with crazy strength. This strength has been bestowed on her as it has for every female in her family for many, many generations. But there’s a catch: if you misuse the power for selfish or unworthy desires, the power will be stripped away. Bong Soon’s mother and grandmother continue to warn her about this and stress the importance of reading the family’s notes and journals so she get an understanding of how to control her power.
However, being as headstrong as she is, Bong Soon continues to use her power carelessly even if she is usually trying to do the right thing. We are introduced to Bong Soon when this exact scenario happens when she comes across a bus driver who is being harassed by a group of thugs at a construction site. Of course, Bong Soon intervenes and basically throws the thugs around like they were rag dolls.
But of course, there is a witness to her superhero actions: our main male lead An Min Hyuk, played by Park Hyun Sik. Coincidentally (because this is Korean drama world), Hyun Sik just happens to be the CEO of a very large video game company called Ainsoft. Due to his arrogant nature and immature personality, Hyun Sik has definitely made some enemies and it appears as one of them is now making very serious threats.
Seeing Bong Soon with her amazing abilities, a light bulb switches on above Hyun Sik’s head. He decides to hire Bong Soon as his own personal bodyguard. They both strike a deal that if she does well in her job of protecting Hyun Sik, he will give her a chance to work in the planning department and work on her game idea.
While we witness the constant banter between the two main characters, her family and the other staff at Ainsoft, there is something more sinister happening right in Bong Soon’s neighborhood. Young women are going missing and the police aren’t any closer to finding them. One of the detective’s on the case is In Kook Do, a friend of Bong Soon whom she has been crushing on for the longest time. However, he’s off limits.
With her sense of justice and protection of her best friend, Bong Soon decides to get involved in the case. Hyun Sik sees that she means business and decides to help Bong Soon control her powers by training her. Together, all three of these characters try to solve the case and rescue the abducted women before it’s too late.
This, of course, creates the greatest love triangle I’ve seen in a very long time. Kook Do obviously cares after Bong Soon, but he realizes too late that it is of a romantic nature than what he dismisses as a friend or sisterly affection. The fact that Bong Soon is hiding both her powers and her feelings from him also hinders any progression in their relationship, even after Kook Do’s girlfriend decides to break up with him.
The very best thing about this show, apart from the strong female independence, is the growing relationship between Bong Soon and Hyun Sik. They start off as barely acquaintances to a boss and employer relationship, to mentor and mentee, to friends until they reach the inevitable end which is romance. Throughout their relationship evolution, the chemistry between them is ridiculously palpable that even without the super strength and crime solving they would have ended up together. There are so many great moments between the two that I am not ashamed to admit that I might’ve replayed them a few times. What’s really great is that Hyun Sik doesn’t treat her as someone who is weak. He always believes she can do anything, even if he does tease her mercilessly. But Bong Soon definitely gives as good as she gets, and I think Hyun Sik finds her personality and strength somewhat of a turn on. However, the pair do have some delicate, tender moments which are so beautifully acted and shot that I almost believed the relationship was real between the actors.
As far as superhero shows go, Strong Girl Boon Soon is pretty on point with the common tropes. She tries to maintain both her personal and superhero lives, making sure they don’t get entangled. She often sees the strength as a massive disruption into her life and what she wants to do. But, she eventually comes to understand that she has been given this power for a reason and should use it for good. Bong Soon also has this great desire to stand up for people, no matter what the cost is to her. However, the superhero aspect of the show doesn’t completely define it.
There is a great balance in the show of comedic silliness, emotional drama and thrilling action. I don’t think I ever found myself feeling bored for one moment of the show, not even the usual lull you sometimes get mid way through a series. It took me a while to come around and finally watch this series, but I was not disappointed and often find myself rewatching certain parts on YouTube.
Since this show gained so much popularity worldwide, it was announced in January that it was going to be adapted into an American show. From what I’ve heard, it was going to be pretty different in terms of story. If you want to watch the original before the remake hits television screens, you can catch it on Netflix, Viki and various other streaming sites.