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[K-Drama Review] 3 Reasons Why ‘Military Prosecutor Doberman’ Is So Thrilling

Edited by Hwang Hong Sun
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

Military Prosecutor Doberman review
Credit: tvN

The legal dramas have the unique fun of getting to enjoy the main characters in action. The thrill of the protagonists catching the criminals off guard with evidence and defenses can’t be felt in any other genre. That’s why projects with judges, lawyers, and prosecutors as the main characters have been steadily produced and have received much love. In that respect, tvN’s Military Prosecutor Doberman is quite different from the other legal dramas. The unfamiliar profession of a military prosecutor and the disparate combination of military and courtroom catch the eye.

 

1. Unique Materials

Military Prosecutor Doberman tells the story of Do Bae Man (Ahn Bo Hyun), who became a military prosecutor for money, and Cha Woo In (Jo Bo Ah), who became a military prosecutor for revenge, joining forces to uncover corruption and conspiracies within the army. It’s different in the sense that the major characters – victims, prosecutors, and lawyers – are all soldiers. Additionally, the hierarchical structure of the army that even sways the court ruling causes various conflicts.

The two protagonists, who are not at all that righteous, are also intriguing. Do Bae Man is a military prosecutor whose fists speak louder than words. Moreover, he joined the military intentionally after signing a contract with the villain Yong Moon Gu (Kim Young Min). In short, he is far from “being just.” Everything that Cha Woo In does as a military prosecutor has to do with her revenge for Yong Moon Gu and Noh Hwa Young (Oh Yeon Soo), who caused her father’s death. She even wins over Do Bae Man by revealing to him the truth about his parents’ deaths. These two characters prioritize personal revenge over a sense of duty as a prosecutor. They dig into Noh Hwa Young’s corruption, and in doing so, they naturally correct the distorted justice within the military. The show conveys the charm of an anti-hero in the way the protagonist with an impure purpose grows into an apostle of justice while removing those who interfere with their purpose.

Military Prosecutor Doberman review
Credit: tvN

2. Tough Female Characters

In contrast to the feeble presence of female characters in projects set in the military, Military Prosecutor Doberman rather stands out. First of all, the presence of Cha Woo In, who tries to put an end to Noh Hwa Young’s ambition with Do bae Man, is remarkable. She witnessed the demise of her father brought upon by Yong Moon Gu and Noh Hwa Young’s scheme, and dreaming of revenge, she teams up with Do Bae Man, who once stood on the side of evil, to complete her plan one by one. Their cooperation has Cha Woo In coming up with the game plan while Do Bae Man carries out the action. Additionally, Cha Woo In doubles the fun of the play with her bold and daring personality and clean-cut action sequences. 

Noh Hwa Young’s identity is even more astounding. Her background as the first female division commander is riveting, and her devilish charisma of using her own son for her own benefit is impressively unfolded in every episode. The sight of her demanding obedience from her fellow male comrades who are being sarcastic about her fast track is even eerie to some point. However, the over-the-top scenes, such as her cutting off her subordinate’s leg, highlighting Noh Hwa Young’s ambition interfere with the immersion.

 

3. Social Criticism 

Some episodes of the show were actually inspired by true stories. Noh Tae Nam’s unwillingness to join the military, even with his mother being a division commander, reminds us of the issue of the establishment’s exemption from military duty. Moreover, how he drags his sexual offense case into the military trial overlaps with the scandal of a certain singer. Aside from these, Military Prosecutor Doberman deals with the issues within the military, such as corruption in the defense industry, desertion, and private organizations with strong ties, provoking anger and arousing social interest all at the same time. But in the drama, the Do Bae Man and Cha Woo In duo shatter different kinds of villainies, providing exhilarating pleasure. 

However, how the topics are unraveled is very disappointing. The biggest problem is that the stories lack probabilities. The show’s main subject is military prosecutors and military trials, yet there are only a handful of scenes where viewers are given the pleasure of actually winning the case after an exciting twist. Rather, it relies on frequent coincidences and physical brawls. Although it raises curiosity with events inspired by actual military cases, it lacks persuasion in the development. Because of it, the socially critical message that the show intended on conveying.

 

Nevertheless, starting with episode 7 when Do Bae Man and Cha Woo In investigate the many incidents caused by Noh Hwa Young’s tools in earnest, what we expect to see in the work will surface little by little. They will accuse the military of the absurdity of forcing the unjust sacrifice of youth for the benefit of the organization and deliver comfort and sympathy to those who had suffered because of it. Of course, we’ll have to see whether such an attempt will only remain as just an interesting element with only a slight hint of realism or whether it’ll become an exquisite combination of socially critical message and justice that the drama really wants to convey.  (7/10)

 

Editor Hwang Hong Sun: A Korean movie buff who wishes that the warm messages in good works will warm up this world at least by one degree Fahrenheit.

Translator Kim Hoyeun: If you are a fan of K-drama, K-movie, and K-pop, I am your guy. I will continue to provide you with up-to-date K-entertainment news.

 

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