The King of Pigs is definitely a haunting, hard-hitting, unsettling animation about the problem of class struggle in South Korea and its disastrous connection to bullying. With its nightmarish art direction, it stimulates many radical emotions in the viewer, assaulting him with a most sombre tale of an atrocious past.
Two men struggling with domestic issues of their own meet after 15 years and reminisce about their extremely difficult school days. Their childhood was gradually being destroyed because of the ongoing, enormous and brutal pressure from the rich kids who ruled the school-grounds and often resolved to in-class violence. The fact that everybody around pretends that this horrible activity didn’t even exist only made the whole issue worse and caused the richer kids to be even more confident of their impunity. The boys’ last and only hope was their brave yet ferocious classmate Chul. He proved to be the only kid who wasn’t afraid to stand up against the terror and tried to fight back using even more violence than his oppressors. Without any help from the outside the three friends came up with a most shocking plan – Chul will commit a public suicide during a school muster. Gradually losing faith in a brighter future, they thought of this brutally extreme scheme as the only solution, one that will probably alarm most of the country’s impassive adults and expose all the horrible incidents that occur behind the school walls everyday.
Apart from evaluating the boys’ decisions and presenting their differing viewpoints of the situation – and on what’s about to happen – the film also reveals a grand mystery in its final act.
The plot is inspired by the director’s dream, where his two friends decide to commit suicide as a revenge act for all the evil that’s happened to them in the past.
The King of Pigs is a mightily dark and obscure anime, where horrible reality merges with confusing visions, only to deliver a stupendously convincing message to the Korean nation. Through the story of two men it shows that many childhood traumas have terrible lifelong effects. Memories are deceiving, but they play an important role in determining how people cope with their lives.