ESC to close 4.19 (by 1391 users)iljimae 일지매
  • 2008
  • TV
  • Korea

My List



romanized iljimae
aka The Phantom Thief

Based On

based on manhwa
title iljimae
author Go U Yeong (고우영)


genres action, drama, family, history, romance


language Korean


country Korea
type real
format TV
network SBS


date 21 May, 2008 - 24 Jul, 2008
episodes 20
duration 70 minutes
air day Wednesday, Thursday
at 21:55 - 23:05
status released


avg. score 4.19 of 5 by 1391 users
total users 2695
rating 5834
favorites 260


doraon iljimae
2009 TV kr
same setting
1993 TV kr
same setting


Gyeom was living with his two parents and sister in a lovely house with a beautiful garden until his life was ruined and his family was killed. Now, he has become a night thief that the government seeks. He robs properties for the poor and saves people, leaving a painting of a wooden plum branch behind him.




Il Ji Mae
Eun Chae
Ja Dol
Bong Sun
Lee Won Ho
Bong Sun (young)


original creator


23 Oct, 2010
Iljimae is and will always be one of my all-time favourites. Lee Jun Ki plays the role of the three boys, who're actually all one person, perfectly. On the outside, he's Yong, a cheerful but superficial and lazy young boy, the adopted son of a former thief and a beautiful sewer. Deep down inside he's the troubled young man Geom, who lost all of his family at a young age and had to watch his own father being murdered by strangers. He's earnest and loving, hard-working and trying to protect everyone around him and never make anyone worry about him by acting like the untroubled Yong. Then, at night, he turns into Iljimae - his means to revenge his dead family and protect his living family.

Even though the Drama takes off really slow paced at first, it takes enough time to explain the complicated three characters of Yong and the awakening of both Geom and Iljimae in Yong. It may take some patience to watch through the first few episodes if you're looking forward to meet the master thief Iljimae, but it will be worth it!

The story is made even more interesting by Ja Dol, the real son of Yong's adoptive mother, who is given away to live with an aristocratic family where he falls in love with his supposed sister Eun Chan, who herself falls in love with Iljimae, not knowing that he actually is the boy Yong, whom she despises.

Then there is Bong Sun, who meets Geom as a child. He doesn't remember her as Yong, but she soon realises who he is and falls in love with him.

The dramatic and sad story is made lighter by a lot of comical scenes, which sometimes contradict the cruel events that take place in a very strange way, but they lighten up the mood and make it easier for the viewer to fall in love with all of the characters and personally I often admired especially Yong and his adoptive father for staying comical and cheerful in spite of everything that happens around them.

What I didn't like about this Drama was the end. Though it wasn't really a bad ending, there were some things left open I couldn't live with (and I'm not talking about Yong here) and which made me really, really sad. Still, it's left open enough to have you imagine your own happy end, so I still say this Drama is a masterpiece, no matter if you like historical Dramas or not, because this is simply a very, very good Drama and worth watching!
read more more reviews by ninatan


30 Mar, 2016
Both tell a story of a legendary outlaw hero, who steals from the rich and helps those in need.

24 Aug, 2013
In both, the main character wears a mask and fights against injustice and corruption.


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yurisama 27 Sep, 2014
if you interested in Revenge dramas, you are welcomed to join our New group!
kiyoshi 12 Sep, 2014
I expected many things from this drama. Many people think that it deserves 5 stars. I don't think so. The plot is amazing. Usually, I don't like dramas which deals with revenge. But this one was interesting. The begining was so well done, especially when they were young. Then it drags on ... I like many characters like Soe Dol who was so funny. Some moments were so unrealistic, it annoyed me but I know that this drama was released in 2008 so it's ok. I'm sad because I think that it could have been much better. About the ending
I was a little bit surprised that the king cried and said : I'm sorry I was wrong. And I hate when a character die and then he survives but we don't know how, because he was supposed to die !! I think that I could be better if he died for real.
yamashita 01 Jun, 2014
Everything was excelent till the ending!!!
Ending was just suck :(((((((( WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY !!??!
koriya 07 Oct, 2013
great acting and an awesome plot :) i recommend this drama to watch for everyone!

i'm very glad iljimae and eun chae didn't get to be together. i really didn't like her, she was like pain in a** for this story XD
cocci 23 Aug, 2013
The action scenes were subpar with what I'm used to in other drama. The sound effects were atrocious and most of the events were 100% not realistic. Seriously I had a hard time to forget about impossible stuff that happened in that drama.

I still LOVED it! Amazing acting for the most part, characters that will make you fall in love with them. Amazing character development. Superb cinematography. Seriously, you can watch that drama just for the characters.

I loved how Gyeom was acting totally different when he was Yong than when he was Iljimae. Like he had to do that to fool everybody. He must have been so lonely having to lie to everyone like that.
limenora 22 Jul, 2013
I really enjoyed this drama. The harmony between the funny scenes and sad scenes are perfect, they perfectly balanced the comedy and the drama. I really liked the characters, and the plot, the OST was okay (but not outstanding). Definitely worth to watch! :)

I almost rated it 4* because I felt, they left us so much questions without answers. (What about Eun Chae and Iljimae? And Bong Soon? I really wanted Iljimae end up with Bong Soon. And his mother? What about the king, after he showed up again?) This annoyed me a little bit. (Yeah...I rated it 5*. Me and my big heart. XD) But...'s an amazing drama, "must see" category.
leylachan 07 Mar, 2013
aaawwww, I will miss it.
I'll miss the market place and the villagers. I'll miss the loving gap toothed abeoji, the hentai waitress, the crazy fake monk. I will miss Yong's smile and cheerfulness. T_T
It was great. The first couple of episodes felt a bit slow, but after that the drama was just pure happiness for me. I laughed so much, the characters are so touching! I cried too..
It might not be 100% perfect, but I'll give it 5 stars because watching this drama made me very happy : >
xoxo 08 Jan, 2013
Oh yeah! This was my first drama!!
After seeing this I totally loved the korean dramas!!
Lee Jun Ki Oppa!! Saranghaeyo!!