Master of Study is a Korean Drama created in 2010 and based on the Japanese manga, Dragon Zakura, which aired on KBS. The series earned numerous critical acclaim from Korean culture, thanks to its focus on education and high school life.
When lawyer Kang Seok Ho finds out his old high school, Byeongmun High School is due to get dissolved because of its numerous student body problems, he sets out to change its fate. How? Creating a special class consisting of five of the worst students and make them study enough to get into Cheonha University (the fictional greatest university in all of South Korea). No one believes it'll work, but not if Seok Ho has anything to say about it.
The show was uploaded to KBS World TV's YouTube Channel.
The series contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Not physical and in some cases, unintentional. But nonetheless the parents of the special class kids sans Baekhyun's grandmother are abusive their children one way or another.
- Pulip's mother is negligent and don't really seem to care for her.
- Chandu's parents cannot see their son other than an idiot and what they want him to be.
- Bonggu's parents don't really expect much of him, unintentionally discouraging him of his future.
- Hyeonjung's parents are revealed to not care about her and have not been a part of their daughter's life since she was 13/14, having divorced and then remarrying respectively; Hyeonjung has been living alone since that age.note
- Adults Are Useless: Applies to a big part of the adult characters; all of Byeongmun High's teachers sans Ms. Han don't really seem to do their jobs well or even give a damn about it.
- Affectionate Nickname: Hyeonjung calls Baekhyun "hubby" since she is in love with him (and quite open about it). She stops once she realizes/accepts that Baekhyun won't reciprocate her feelings.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Hyeonjung's feelings for Baekhyun, and surprisingly Principal Kang develops feelings for Kang Seok Ho...not that he cares.
- Bittersweet Ending: The students in the special skills become more educated & found their own dreams and the school is saved from bankruptcy. But Seok Ho leaves the school as he didn't fulfil the promise of sending all 5 students to Chendu (only Pulip & Bonggu went, Baekhyun passed but decided to go to another university that enable him to study traditional medicine, Hyeonjung failed her test [though she's later shown attending art school], while Chandu decides not to enter and pursue dance instead)
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: English teacher Anthony Yang is eccentric and Ambiguously Gay, but he's one hell of an English teacher,
- Darkest Hour: Episode 11 in a nutshell, the class got disbanded after they failed to achieve their targeted scores, the special class teacher went missing without notice, and the school (especially Principal Kang who got angry with Seok Ho for rejecting her) is not friendly towards them and Han Soo Jung.
- Delinquents: Every student in Byeongmun High. Even the (few) academically good ones.
- High-School Rejects: The five students Seok Ho selects stand out as this
- Irony: In a usual Korean drama someone like Lee Eun Yu would have wrecked havoc upon the characters if she can (in Episode 12 she even tries to goad Hyeonjung to snatch Baekhyun from Pulip, claiming that it would be fun), here she ends up actually teaches the class without any inside or outside problems at all.
- Last-Minute Project: The whole idea of the special class becomes this to the whole school.
- Let's Just Be Friends: The students in the special class decided this after Episode 13.
- Love Hurts: When Hyeonjung realizes Baekhyun doesn't return her feelings and never will, she's absolutely heartbroken and goes through an Emo Teen phase. Fortunately, she recovers; even doing an Important Haircut and changing her originally long hair to a shorter look.
- Out-Gambitted: The Christmas Scene where Lee En Yu plans to leave school to party with the ladies (Principal Jang & Soo Jung who she duped to go along), and ended up duped herself by Soo Jung to invite her & Jang to have a Christmas party with everybody in the class instead
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Bae Yongseuk (who is Younger than She Looks after her senior Lee En Yu interacts with her) in Episode 13 in order to attract Jang Yeong Sik.
- Shown Their Work: Many of the study methods and entrance exam statistics shown in the drama were proven to both be real and actually work.
- Token Evil Teammate: English teacher Anthony Yang for a while, where he manages to get both Han Soo-Jung & Cha Ki Bong (who he has some ugly history with) to quit teaching at the special class and got their students to leave in protest.
- Variant 1. It's all but flat-out said that Seok Ho started the special class because he sees himself in the five students. This becomes played for drama when it's revealed that Seok Ho's a former Byeongmun student himself (though he never graduated, and took the GED later)
- Variant 2 also comes into play when Seok Ho tells Ms. Han she reminds him of someone... his own former English teacher, who was almost identical to Ms. Han in terms of caring for the delinquent kids and urging them to be better.