"I always thought I knew what I wanted, but the harder I tried, the greater my misery and suffering."

Act I: Hyung (The Brotherhood) - Synopsis

Tae, a young Korean-American man struggles to discover himself, uncertain in his ability to fulfill his duty to his father meets, Ed-K, a young Korean-American man who is struggling to understand his cultural heritage, but lost in the life of the streets of K-Town.

The story starts with Tae and Ed-K in a duel as men, trying to uphold their honor.  They both engage in a long battle.  However, Tae being a superior fighter wins over Ed-K and he succumbs to Tae, accepting him as hyung (big brother).  Tae carries the burden of being the next in line to lead a traditional Korean martial art of Hwa Rang Do, which his father reined as the 58th Hwa Rang Warrior.  Tae feels undeserving of such responsibility and rejects his duty to his father and the art to discover life on his own terms. 

Tae is drawn to Ed-K by his strength of character and vice-versa, which seems very similar to his own, yet different in foundation.  Sensing that Ed-K has the potential of being a good person of honor and Tae's deep-rooted desire to reach out to his fellow Koreans, Tae decides to continue in developing their bond.  Ed-K identifies with Tae as he never had a strong male role model, being a survivor in the violent street of Los Angeles alone.  Tae is a little reluctant to get too close as he disapproves of Ed-K's lifestyle.  It is one, which is filled with sex, violence, and unruly behavior.  However, Tae understands that Ed-K's rebellious nature is caused by the struggles of finding a cultural identity caught in a bicultural dilemma, which Tae has already experienced and overcame. 

Tae is not a character who lectures or tells how one should live life, but rather he shows by his own actions, believing that there is the right, the wrong, and the truth.  Thus, he believes that by following the true path, one is following the heart and that transcends all racial or social barriers.  Conflicted by his feelings of Ed-K, Tae consoles with one of his very few friends, who advise him to take a chance and lend out a hand. 

Ed-K and crew of misfits get into an altercation with Young; a heavy set Korean-American, who is the boss of a local street gang.  Young thinks he is the Korean epitome of Tony Montana in the film, "Scarface," and tries to live out his life as such.  Young too is clearly confused with his cultural identity, but disguises any of the repercussions from such social condition by living life hard and gaining control of others through fear and oppression. 

Tae as he opens himself up to Ed-K discovers that Ed-K is from a broken home, living alone with his mother as the only child.  Ed-K barely remembers his father due to the fact that his father left him and his mother when he was a young child.  Ed-K finds some solace from his pain through rapping, replacing the soul of hip-hop with a Korean soul.  Furthermore, Ed-K learns the ways of Korean manhood from Tae, which he longed to understand.

Amidst all the violence and the struggles of living in K-town, Tae has a secret safe harbor, in which he finds peace.  It is the uncompromising beauty and innocence of one woman. Minji.  Tae admires her from a distance, unwilling to neither disturb nor alter Minji in any way.  Just to know that there is such a woman is enough for Tae.

Young plans to take revenge for the humiliation Ed-K put him through.  Young attacks with his men, while Tae and Ed-K are enjoying a night of leisure.  Tae and Ed-K fight their way and defeat every one of Young’s men.  In the finale, Tae must face a fierce Japanese Yakuza fighter, Satoji.  Even though, Satoji is a formidable opponent, Tae demonstrates his true power and cripples the Yakuza.  However, the battle is not over yet.  Young wants justice.  Tae understands that as men, Ed-K has started the fight and so Young has the right to ask for such justice.  Tae persuades both Ed-K and Young to duel, but with one bullet and whoever wins, the other must submit and accept the other as their Hyung (Big Brother).  They face off like the O.K. Corral, back in the wild western frontier days.  They both fire, Young misses, but Ed-K wounds Young.  Young misguided yet honorable, accepts Ed-K as the Hyung.  Both Tae and Ed-K accepts Young as their little brother and walks off into the Downtown skyline.  As they leave, laughing over Young’s attempt to follow them with a wounded leg, Tae and Ed-K come face to face with Minji for the very first time.

View Hyung Episode 1.