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Series / Arang and the Magistrate

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The original poster

Arang and the Magistrate is a 2012 fusion saeguk that aired on South Korea's MBC network.

Euh Oh is the son of a nobleman and a slave, with the ability to see and speak with ghosts, but prefers to ignore any and all people, corporeal or ghostly, in his quest to find his missing mother. He travels to the town of Miryang, following up on the last place she was rumored to be. On the way, he bumps into Arang, a feisty female ghost. They join forces to discover what happened to Arang during her human life, and discover that her life and the life of his mother are inextricably intertwined with the village, it's corrupt leader, and demonic machinations. He assumes the mantle of magistrate in order to facilitate his investigation, never realizing that the fate of the couple and the people they love are part of a game set up by Hades and the Jade Emperor in Heaven.


The series provides examples of:

  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Eun Oh, at the beginning of the story.
  • Character Development: Eun Oh goes from completely selfish to caring about the town and it's ghosts.
  • Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: Joo Wal takes a header off a cliff in the final episodes.
  • Clear My Name: Eun Oh and Dol Swe get accused of high treason by Lord Choi and the Governor.
  • Cosmic Chess Game: Hades and the Jade Emperor play badook; their play affects the humans on Earth.
  • Cute Ghost Girl: Arang
  • Darkest Hour: Eun Oh is forced to kill his mother in order to release her soul.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Eun Oh and Arang frequently interact with ghosts, to also include fighting them.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: Joo Wal.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Wow, what the canon couple has to do to stay together.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: The gods hang out on a floating garden with beautiul woman as their assistants.
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  • Forced to Watch: It is later revealed that Lord Choi forced Eun Oh's mother to watch her family members brutally tortured and killed; hence, driving Eun Oh's mother to near insanity and bent on getting revenge on Lord Choi.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Joo Wal doesn't remember the first time he met Arang/Lee Seo Rim.
  • Friend on the Force: The Bangs help the magistrate with the townspeople.
  • Ghostly Advisor: The magistrate "hires" several ghosts as lookouts, promising to correct their wrongs so they can eventually go to the afterlife.
  • Ghost Amnesia: Arang has no recollection of her human life or how she died.
  • The Glomp: When Dol Swe is released from jail, he is tackled and hugged by a crying happy Bang Wool.
    • As opposed to the Security Cling that Arang gives Eun Oh in the same scene; intense emotion but much quieter.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: The series is set during the Joseon Dynasty, with lots of colorful clothing, especially the magistrate's official outfit and hat.
  • Grandpa God: Hades is portrayed as a white-haired bearded man in black.
  • The Grim Reaper: These are warriors dressed in black who destroy ghosts that seek to harm humans.
  • Hot God: The Jade Emperor
  • I See Dead People: Eun Oh and Arang see ghosts from the start; the Shaman eventually gets this ability.
  • Jacob Marley Apparel: Arang spends her three years as a ghost wearing the same hanbok that she died in. Eun Oh figures out how to give her new clothes, though.
  • Manipulative Bastard: The Jade Emperor
  • Missing Mom: Literally, as Eun Oh becomes the magistrate specifically to look for his mother.
  • One-Man Army: Dol Swe, who holds off soldiers with a grass mat.
  • Parental Abandonment: Eun Oh was turned away by his mom and forced to live with his father.
  • The Promise: Euh Oh to Arang: "I will take you to Heaven!"
  • Reincarnation Romance: At the end Eun Oh and Arang both decide to reincarnate back on earth instead of staying in Heaven.
  • Smug Snake: Lord Choi's servant
  • Socially Awkward Hero: Dol Swe in his clumsy attempt to woo the Shaman.
  • Time Skip: Events in Arang's human life pop back in flashbacks as the story progresses.
    • Also, the ending scene.
  • Unfinished Business: The ghosts stay on earth to take care of something.


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