City Hunter’s Finale and Nationalism

City Hunter - Yoon-Sung and Jin-pyo

City Hunter – Yoon-Sung and Jin-pyo

In the final episode of City Hunter, three characters, Lee Yoon-sung, Lee Jin-pyo, and Choi Eung-chan, display different versions of nationalism.

As City Hunter enters its series finale, relationships are now complicated and the all the characters are close to achieving what they have been working towards.  The president almost has his educations bills passed. Jin-pyo is close to avenging those who died during Clean Sweep.  Finally, Yoon-sung is almost finished the mission Jin-pyo gave him.  The moment the season leads up to is a standoff involving three guns, Yoon-sung, Jin-pyo, Kim Na-na, and Eung-chan.  It all ends with Jin-pyo dying, the president being impeached, and Yoon-sung being able to finally live the life he wants.

In this last episode, nationalism is displayed in three different ways.  Using the Merriam-Webster dictionary’s definition, nationalism means the “loyalty and devotion to a nation.”  The different ways of displaying nationalism are developed through different moral philosophies and goals in life.  The idea of what is right changes drastically from Eung-chan to Yoon-sung to Jin-pyo. Eung-chan wants his education bill passed, Yoon-sung wants to protect the faith of South Korean citizens, and Jin-pyo wants to avenge those who were betrayed by government.

After Eung-chan realizes who City Hunter really is, he summons Yoon-sung to his office.  The president explains that he has had to make more decisions than one person can handle, so he has focused on health and education. Eung-chan believes he can help the nation the best by making sure everyone can receive health care and afford education.  He worked on those issues the entire time has president, and by passing the education bill, he will secure his goal.  When Yoon-sung questions his method of passing the bill, the president feels he is doing the right thing.  In the president’s mind, the means to achieve his end goal do not matter if the end goal is positive. Eung-chan has devoted his time to his nation.

The next example of nationalism comes from Lee Yoon-sung. Yoon-sung’s sense of right and wrong is far different from Eung-chan’s.  Later in the episode, Lee Yoon-sung sneaks into the president’s house searching for a ledger that holds records of the president’s deals.  When Eung-chan finds Lee Yoon-sung, the president asks Yoon-Sung why he will not stop.  Here Yoon-sung displays his nationalism through a short speech about faith.  He is City Hunter to preserve the faith citizens have in their elected politicians, soldiers have in their country, students have in their universities, and employees have in businesses. Yoon-sung has risked everything to protect this faith that displays his loyalty and devotion to his nation.

Finally there is Jin-pyo, who also displays nationalism in his own way.  The entire series, he has been working to avenge the soldiers who died during Clean Sweep.  Jin-pyo feels he must avenge his comrades that were betrayed by the five leaders of South Korea at the time.  In Jin-pyo’s mind, his South Korea is not the corrupt government.  He feels he is doing the right thing by eliminating the corrupt officials who betrayed the soldiers.  Since Clean Sweep, Jin-pyo has remained loyal and devoted to his comrades, who are Jin-pyo’s nation.

In the last episode of City Hunter, three of the main characters display their own nationalism.


“Finale.” City Hunter. Writ. Hwang Eun-kyung and Choi Soo-jin. Dir. Jin Hyuk. Seoul Broadcasting System, 2011. Online.

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