Netflix ’Bloodhounds‘ Review & Explained, Ending


Netflix ‘Bloodhoundskdrama is developed by Netflix, adapted from the webcomic of the same name created by Korean cartoonist Zheng Can. The series is directed by Kim Joo Hwan and casts Woo Do-Hwan, Sang-yi Lee, Park Sung-woong, Joon Ho-Huh and Kim Sae-ron. ‘Bloodhounds‘ storyline is In order to pay off their debt, three daring youths jump into the money-lending business while confronting the rich and powerful who prey on the weak.

Netflix ‘Bloodhounds‘ Review and Explained

Netflix 'Bloodhounds' Review and Explained

Bloodhounds Explained : those with money always win against big businesses

In the midst of COVID-19 pandemic in Korea depicted in ‘Bloodhounds’, many people struggle to survive in difficult circumstances. From the beginning of the story we can see some contrasts: for example, Kim Myeong-gil finds opportunities to earn more money during this crisis but these opportunities come at others’ expense; meanwhile those at society’s bottom find hope through borrowing and owing money.

What sets apart Kim Gun-Woo from Kim Myeong-gil? It’s really about social class imbalance and wealth disparity. As Kim Myeong-gil says: “There is no dirty money unless it’s used for nefarious agendas, but when used for good that makes it good money.”

This means that all his own wealth comes from bad sources – he starts out buying a large hotel but intends to run gambling dens and bars instead – so he earns his living through making “bad” money. However his theory becomes significant later on as it contrasts with Mr.Choi’s use of funds.

At first both Kim Gun-Woo and Hong Woo-Jin make their living through boxing; throughout many scenes they are shown fighting hard just to get by. For instance when Kim Gun-Woo overhears his mother struggling financially due to being unable to pay rent for her shop space he works hard solely for “money,” or rather for survival.

As long as he can give the money to his mother, she can continue her business and earn a living (Kim Gun-Woo has had many jobs in his life, all of which were for “survival”).

Therefore, the money they earn is all earned step by step. But as Kim Gun-Woo said, “willpower” (the will of a boxer) is very important. Even if chased by money, one must still live up to their dreams and not sell themselves out for the temptation of money.

Kim Gun-Woo’s family struggles financially because they went bankrupt in the past and his father lost an unfair dismissal lawsuit. Hong Woo-Jin said, “You can’t beat big companies. The rich always come on top.”

This is also why Hong Woo-Jin said, “Everyone is short of money during the pandemic except for loan sharks who are happy.” This means that those who work hard in difficult circumstances are only busy with being poor for money while those who control all resources and wealth have money without doing anything.

The beginning of the story in “Bloodhounds” starts with a character named Kim Myeong-gil leading Kim Gun-Woo’s family into darkness because he was the person who destroyed families during this crisis period.

Some truly wealthy people step on others’ pain and take advantage of them when they’re vulnerable. In short, the writer portrays villains as using inequality and needs to strengthen their own wealth and status through deceiving vulnerable people – something that these “despicable” people won’t feel guilty about according to what Kim Gun-Woo says.

Bloodhounds‘ Explained : Money Spent in Good and Bad Places

“How long do we have to keep doing this? Lending money without interest doesn’t make any profit,” “We saved a family, and that’s the most valuable interest in the world.” Mr. Choi’s presence in ‘Bloodhounds’ is a warmth in society.

I think he likes Kim Gun-Woo because when facing difficult times, Kim Gun-Woo is very similar to him. Mr. Choi said, “Even in difficult environments, we must overcome difficulties optimistically.” This is exactly how the screenwriter portrays Kim Gun-Woo’s character.

We can see from the plot that even when faced with an environment where he has to repay his debt to save his life, Kim Gun-Woo still does not want to earn or repay his debt by relying on loan sharks. I think this echoes what Kim Gun-Woo calls “the will of a boxer,” which means keeping kindness, optimism and principles within oneself.

However, compared with another person who also lends money at high interest rates – Kim Myeong-gil – what drives him to become a loan shark? There is a long scar on Kim Myeong-gil’s face caused by Mr.Choi during one of their confrontations when he robbed him before. We know that ten years ago Mr.Choi closed down his high-interest lending company due to hitting rock bottom but now became bad again because Beom threw him off the building.

In summary, it is obvious that the screenwriter wants viewers to know that everyone experiences hardships during difficult times but some people turn this pain into hatred towards society while others transform it into kindness (such as Mr.Choi). This difference between Kim Myeong-gil and Mr.Choi highlights this point.

During tough times becoming better or evil are both choices available- just like how anyone can choose to be good like Kim Gun-Woo. His character is hidden in his lines: “If I see someone dying and don’t help, then I’m a worse guy than Kim Myeong-gil, but I’m not.” At the same time, the screenwriter of “Bloodhounds” also portrays Kim Myeong-gil’s character differently by showing how his desire for money makes him lose his kindness.

Bloodhounds‘ Explained: Saving the Underprivileged Who Are Also Deceived

In ‘Bloodhounds’, ” Yang Jea-Myeong works as a driver for Kim Myeong-gil, deceiving and exploiting people in their usual way. In fact, it is like “fraud.” To put it more bluntly, they squeeze these people dry and step on their shattered lives to climb higher themselves.

This behavior is actually a bit like taking advantage of the situation. During this difficult pandemic period, everyone is struggling, so they use the anxious hearts of those who are struggling to deceive them for money.

Yang Jea-Myeong’s method of collecting homeless people’s ID cards to cheat money from loan sharks is also a neglected corner of society. Homeless people are ignored by society; neither the government nor ordinary people care about them.

Therefore, whatever tragedy they suffer will not be truly cared about by the government either. That’s why Hyeon-Ju said that these people were very professional (because homeless people can be beaten to death without anyone caring).

I think the story of “Bloodhounds” is about the good and evil opposition between Mr.Choi and Kim Myeong-gil. When Mr.Choi heard that Yang Jea-Myeong was working under Kim Myeong-gil, he said: “I don’t have the strength or courage to fight against those people.”

This recalls Mr.Choi’s experience when he was stabbed in the back by Kim Myeong-gil and Beom in his past life, as well as his friends whom he lost during this time – family-like relationships with borrowed money families. The Mr.Choi in the drama isn’t afraid of death but I think what he fears most is losing these friends who believe him and love him sincerely – just like Yang-jung does not want Du-yeong, who is about to welcome his daughter, to be harmed during the mission. Therefore, he wants to take on the task himself – that’s what family is all about.

Bloodhounds‘ Explained : Even Loan Companies Need to Survive

I think Hyeon-Ju in ‘Bloodhounds’ is a very interesting character. She has always disagreed with Mr. Choi’s practice of lending money without interest because it cannot make any profit and is essentially charity work.

This character actually brings up the point that “even loan companies need to survive.” Therefore, in the plot, viewers will notice that those loan companies who were scammed by Kim Myeong-gil are also struggling to survive.

The screenwriter did not completely dismiss these loan providers’ existence and instead showed how some of them could not continue after being cheated by Kim Myeong-gil and had no choice but to demand repayment from their borrowers.

The plot of ‘Bloodhounds’ is simple – Kim Myeong-gil uses personal information to scam high-interest lenders for money. Therefore, technically speaking, even loan providers are victims too. However, because they have been scammed out of their money, they can only tighten their debt collection on innocent civilians more aggressively; this creates a vicious cycle.

I don’t think the writer intentionally attacked high-interest lenders but rather criticized the vicious cycle caused by Kim Myeong-gil’s opportunistic behavior towards weaker individuals.
Therefore, members of Mr.Choi’s company who have had conflicts with Kim Myeong-gil in the past become heroes who solve this problem personified by him.

The writer designed Kim Gun-Woo as someone who has gone through terrifying experiences due to debt collection and has both kindness and financial difficulties; he fits perfectly into Mr.Choi’s company because he is also a victim himself. In addition to showing his kindness towards borrowers at Mr.Choi’s company, Kim Gun-Woo also uses his boxing talent to fulfill his own willpower as a boxer.

As for the argument mentioned earlier about “even loan companies need to survive,” Kim Gun-Woo and Hong Woo-Jin are like the Avengers, cleaning up the entire loan circle and preventing Kim Myeong-gil from harming more victims with dirty money. This actually helps maintain balance in other loan circles and prevents loan companies from forcing borrowers to repay their loans just to make up for all their losses.

Bloodhounds‘ Explained: Emotional Depiction of Mr. Choi’s Family-like Presence

Mr. Choi’s fight against Kim Myeong-gil is like “fighting a big corporation”, settling past grudges with car chases, hand-to-hand combat, and the Five Swordsmen. Kim Gun-Woo’s right fist is really more powerful than his left XD When Hong Woo-Jin was almost killed, in the fourth episode of ‘Bloodhounds’ it was the first time that Kim Gun-Woo used his right fist to its fullest extent.

As Mr. Choi embarks on his revenge journey starting from the fourth episode, the pace of the drama becomes increasingly tense and action-packed; there are exciting action scenes in almost every episode! “The president always treats me like family and values me highly. I have made up my mind that I can sacrifice my life for him anytime as long as it is for him.” Kim Gun-Woo also said similar words; he felt like he wanted to protect Mr.Choi when he first met him.

We can see that those around Mr.Choi are people who have been helped by “money lending”. Through this character, the screenwriter lets us know that money lending companies can also use their money for good purposes – this is what we call “good money”. Establishing relationships through credit will make people feel like family and want to repay their debts (this is why a mother held onto her money tightly in Episode 1 because she needed it urgently but still wanted to repay Mr.Choi). While Kim Myeong-gil sets up enemies, Mr.Choi builds friends.

The reason why ‘Bloodhounds’ is so enjoyable lies in how well-developed these characters around Mr.Choi are portrayed by the screenwriter. Moreover, since three out of five swordsmen were eliminated by Kim Myeong-gil in the past, the screenwriter deliberately designed the addition of Kim Gun-Woo and Hong Woo-Jin to make up for Mr.Choi’s past “Five Swordsmen”. This is a clever idea by the screenwriter~ This is what I think is the cutest part of this drama, especially when “Hai Hao Xin” (the pride of Marines) forms a cute chemical reaction between Kim Gun-Woo, Hong Woo-Jin, and Yang-jung. The unity and camaraderie that they have for each other are heartwarming.

The words that Yang-jung said to Kim Gun-Woo and Hong Woo-Jin: “If you want to survive in this circle, you have to sell everything you have – your fists, soul, dreams. You won’t die if you sell all these things but never betray your family or friends no matter what happens; it’s better off dying.”

In fact, it implies Kim Myeong-gil’s betrayal and selling out his company in the past – something he hates. However, interestingly enough, these words were also used by Mr.Choi on Lin Jang-do in Episode 5 of ‘Bloodhounds’. Mr.Choi understood that as long as he provided some incentives and signals for splitting up Kim Myeong-gil’s team members’ loyalty towards him would begin to crumble; this is also the power of “betraying friends,” which was a trauma that Mr.Choi had experienced before.

“I think we gather here because President Choi treats us sincerely well.” In the latter half of episodes in “Bloodhounds”, the screenwriter focuses heavily on emotions between Mr.Choi and his team.

He has endless amounts of money; he can build a boxing training center for Kim Gun-Woo or open a coffee shop for him while giving him rent money that he cannot use up – calling it “flex”.

But from my perspective, he is using his own way to reciprocate the feelings he has for these people, just like how Kim Gun-Woo can only use his strength. In Episode 1, when Mr.Choi’s mother gave him a box of sweets as interest payment instead of money that she owed him, it was not about the value of the sweets but rather everyone’s goodwill towards him. This mutual flow of gratitude is what I think the screenwriter wants to convey – that “money lending” can also have positive meanings.

Bloodhounds‘ Ending: “The Will of a Boxer”

Kim Gun-Woo once had a question: “If you want to protect someone, but have to kill someone else, what would you do?” This struggle fell into the situation where Kim Gun-Woo was in.

In the past, he didn’t know the answer, but now he understands that he must get rid of Kim Myeong-gil who has taken away precious things from countless people. The transformation of Kim Gun-Woo is also because of his family-like partners such as Mr. Choi and must be done this way. This is the will of a boxer.

In the second part of the revenge battle script, more humorous elements were added (especially with Mr. Hong and Gang-Youg’s participation which provided many rich laughter points). “Everyone knows that fighting alone cannot win, so they hide away. But as long as people like Woo-Jin and me stand up, they will definitely help.”

The revenge plan between Kim Gun-Woo and Woo-Jin follows Mr.Choi’s idea and continues his presence~ Kim Gun-Woo and Woo-Jin brought in Mr.Hong and Gang-Youg; this approach echoes the theory that “it is impossible to defeat big companies.”

In the first half of Bloodhounds series it was mentioned that victims from these small loan companies chose to escape or avoid confrontation with such large-scale figures like Kim Myeong-gil out of fear.

However, in the ending two episodes of Bloodhounds series even Mr.Hong was afraid when facing off against him – this shows how anxious victims are towards being intimidated by Kim Myeong-gil’s aura; hence why Mr.Hong always says he does not have confidence when facing him.

Therefore Gang-Youg has been comforting Mr.Hong while giving him confidence support; I think this is “the power to defeat big bosses,” which also echoes what Kim Gun-Woo said: “Everyone knows that fighting alone cannot win, so they hide away.” If someone gives you strength from behind, your strength will grow stronger and stronger.

Finally, combining some tactical elements of the Navy SEALs is quite cute and matches more boxing + martial arts. The fight scenes are intense with punches to flesh; however, it feels like the final scene is still repeating the same script. Kim Gun-Woo and Woo-Jin have been unable to defeat Kim Myeong-gil all along while losing people around them. “Let’s work together to save everyone – save Wu Driver, Da-min as well as every person who has been hurt by Kim Myeong-gil. Let’s do this!”

However in the ending of ‘Bloodhounds’, Kim Gun-Woo said he seemed to have become a Bloodhound himself. I think these words convey that he almost lost himself in this mission and felt like he was about to lose his principles too; but at last the screenwriter used a simple way to make a perfect ending where Hong Woo-Jin says: “Gun-Wo, did you forget about the will of a boxer? Just return back to your original self; let’s go back together.”