Explaining the Characters of Ji Hoon, Kang-in, Moon Byung-uk and Ozawa in “Yaksha: Ruthless Operations”
“Yaksha: Ruthless Operations” is a fast-paced action thriller that delves deeper into the politics of greed that has infiltrated the governments of nations. It’s not so much for the characters as for the plot of the film. This movie is worth watching just for the way it was executed. The viewer gets a balanced amount of action. The story may seem difficult to understand at first, and it may take watching several scenes over and over again to understand the underlying motive. All in all, “Yaksha: Ruthless Operations” is a unique watch if you like action thrillers beyond the language barrier.
The world of ‘Yaksha: Ruthless Operations’
Shenyang, China has been the center of East Asia’s power struggle over North Korea. Intelligence agents from neighboring countries waged a cold war within the city limits. This is why any information related to activities in Shenyang is highly classified. Dark teams have been engaged in covert missions, so it’s important to overlook the city via internal reviews. Apparently the reports for the past few months have turned out to be fake and fabricated.
Prosecutor Han Ji Hoon is sent by NIS director Yeom to report on the criminal proceedings of the Shenyang branch headed by Ji Kang-in, alias Yaksha (Sol Kyung Gu). The team members include Deputy Hong (Yang Dong-Geun), Jeong Dae (Park Jin Young), Hui-won (Lee El), and Jae-Gyu (Song Jae Rim). Yaksha and his team planned to secure Moon Byung-uk, leader of Room 38, a group that is part of North Korea’s Central Committee.
Moon is responsible for managing the Kim royal family’s slush funds, which amount to about $4 trillion. But their mission is not easy as North Korea and Japan are also looking for Moon, who is, more importantly, a Japanese spy. Why? Well, read on. Hoon is not at all happy with the way Yaksha and his team operate, ruthless and remorseless, behaving like they are above the law. But in order to understand how they work, he decides to cooperate and learn.
The real reason Hoon was sent is so he can be used as an extra set of eyes and ears and keep Director Yeom abreast of Yaksha’s movements. She worked as a spy for Japan (Ozawa), and she knows Yaksha’s motives for securing Moon, thanks to Hong, whom she turned into a mole, and therefore wants to make sure Yaksha doesn’t succeed. However, when she finds out that Hoon is working with Yaksha, she decides to take him out.
Four years ago, North Korea and South Korea planned a secret meeting in Hong Kong, which Japan did not want because a united Korea would pose a threat. The meeting never took place because the entire place where it was planned was set on fire. This was also realized by Yeom, who learned about it from one of his moles. This means that his ties to Japan were formed long before that. Why? We are not told. It was probably because Japan had promised him a 4 trillion yen cut. And Japan’s efforts to block cooperation between North Korea and South Korea continue.
Yeom continues to work secretly with D7, aka Ozawa, to retrieve a list of spies Moon had in his possession. Each of them (including North Korea and the then unidentified Japanese D7 agents) are involved in it, and there was recently a shootout between them to secure the Moon; each of them with the same motive of recovering all the data that Moon is in possession of. But the catch is that if all this involvement is leaked to governments and the world at large, a major diplomatic crisis will be inevitable.
The list contains not only the names of Japanese spies placed in East Asian countries, as maintained by Ozawa, but also information on missions, objectives, reports and their funding. Moon wanted to make the list public after being tricked by his country (Japan) into believing that he was ensuring peace between North Korea and South Korea. On the other hand, it only helped Japan to maintain the animosity between North Korea and South Korea. He made a deal and asked for asylum in exchange for the list. He knew the Japanese were going to hunt him down, and that’s why he wanted Yaksha’s team to keep him safe. It is important that the list be recovered as it will help uncover Japan’s dark secrets. It will also help strengthen diplomatic relations between North Korea and South Korea.
The antagonist, the Japanese spy D7, alias Ozawa Yoshinobu (Hiroyuki Ikeuchi), does not want it and therefore spares no effort to reclaim the list and permanently delete its content. However, at the end of the film, Yaksha and his team, along with Hoon, are able to bring Ozawa down, and all the data is sent to the intelligence agencies of East Asian countries. This way, they can avoid any type of intelligence compromise for East Asia, which could lead to further diplomatic crises in the future, especially between South Korea, South Korea North, Japan and China.
Han Ji Hoon – A Just Inspector in an Unjust World
Prosecutor Han Ji Hoon has always been on the right side of the law and the justice system. Its motto is “righteous actions preserve justice”. However, after failing to put a corrupt industrial tycoon behind bars, he was removed from his post and transferred to the legal aid office of the National Intelligence Service, South Korea. But that doesn’t distract him from his ideals of serving justice. This is evident when he steps in at the first opportunity to be reinstated and nominates himself to travel to Shenyang, China to review the ongoing case. There are several instances where he proves his worth as a quick-witted officer. Whether it’s speaking to D7 in Japanese or escaping from the local police after waking up in a motel room with drugs or shooting Yaksha to make it look like he killed him.
There is a conflict in Hoon that is not always visible, but still palpable. On the one hand, he must uphold his ideals in order to keep himself on the right side of the law, which does. On the other hand, he realizes that he must help Yaksha and his team to recover Moon, and, later, his daughter. However, he is willing to do so because the end result is noble.
By the end of the film, Hoon is not a changed man who has taken to killing to avoid any damage to the laws of justice. But he’s willing to break the law in order to protect her if the situation calls for it. This does not change his ideals but rather alters them for a world that can only be righted by a twisted sense of justice. Luckily, Hoon also exacts revenge on the very industrial tycoon who escaped his hands the first time around (at the start of the film), Chairman Lee of the Sang-in Group, who has been accused of bribery and corporate manipulation. shares. He was again charged with corruption of Japan and would once again be under Hoon’s jurisdiction. In this way, Hoon comes full circle but is now a changed man, and one for the better. And credit for all of this goes to Yaksha.
Yaksha, aka Ji Kang-in – The benevolent guardian angel or the malevolent demon?
Yaksha is both an angel and a demon, and his ways may seem evil, but they are for the right reasons. We can’t really question his decisions because he’s seen more people than us. He knows how the world and all of its so-called governments work, an example of which we see in the movie itself. Also, the fact that he lost his entire team to the hypocrisy of his manager, Yeon, adds more ice to his cold self. However, he is not reluctant to test a person, as is evident when he meets Hoon. He realizes Hoon’s ability to judge right from wrong and opens up to him, albeit slowly. And of course, Hoon agrees with him.
Yaksha is a person who, due to the nature of his job, has to constantly negotiate with his enemies. As he tells Hoon, it’s about giving and receiving information and that it has to flow. Maybe that’s how he knows D7, aka Ozawa. But that doesn’t make him vulnerable to them. And yet, his confidence is repeatedly compromised (three times in the movie, to be precise – the first was four years ago, the second was Professor Wang, and the third was Hong). Perhaps those compromises are also what added to his nature. Regardless, Hoon has proven himself worthy of Yaksha’s respect and friendship.
Many may have the question in mind: Which side is Yaksha on? Well, his team was sent from South Korea, but by the end of the movie, it looks like he’s gone rogue. Now his team will monitor threats globally, the first of which appears to be in London.
Considering the Moon administration that ruled South Korea until the presidential elections in March 2022, the country has experienced many lows with Japan, for which multiple causes have been cited. These range from territorial claims to Japan’s mistreatment of colonial Korea and Japan’s refusal to pay reparations for the mistreatment of South Korean women who were forced into slavery by Japan during the Second World War. Moreover, while Japan has rushed to settle past apologies earlier, “apology fatigue” has deepened under the Moon administration and made Japan feel that there is no need to do the first step in repairing relationships. We now know that the name “Moon” was intentionally used as a motif to highlight the rift between Japan and South Korea.
D7 aka Ozawa
Ozawa is the antagonist of the film. He is the one who works for Japan and is responsible for taking care of the 107 Japanese double agents deployed throughout East Asia. Since Moon was the schism between South Korea and Japan (and North Korea), and Yaksha was working for South Korea, it’s only natural to include a Japanese character. It would be wrong to say that the film tries to whitewash South Korea and tarnish Japan, but it looks like it. However, we can look at Ozawa another way. It symbolizes this dark horse responsible for jeopardizing not only Japan’s relations with South Korea, but also those with all the nations of East Asia. And his death would be the first step towards friendly relations between not only the two, but also North Korea.
“Yaksha: Ruthless Operations” manages to give each of the main characters a distinct arc, but depends on the viewer to fully understand it. If one wants to understand the motivations of each character, one must delve into the political context that is presented in the film. Thus, the film weaves its scenario, that is to say, using diplomatic relations as a means of developing and animating the characters.
Although the name of the film indicates the ruthless attitude of Yaksha, it can also be used to refer to the clandestine operations, including the exchange of information and illegal transactions, which often led to the brutal death of all these people. . fought for their country because they considered it noble, including Yaksha’s former teammates.
Learn more: ‘Yaksha: Ruthless Operations’ Ending, Mid-Credits Scene, and Possibility of a Sequel, Explained