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Tono the Tiger

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Today I watched Tono’s Love in the Twilight, or Prajan Daeng (Blood Moon) and I must say, it turned out to be different than what I was expecting. If you recall, Tono was in Duangjai Nai Montra where he played a cursed immortal trying to find a way to end his immortality, so I thought Prajan Daeng may be another cursed predicament of his. But in fact, Prajan Daeng is about Sama who shapeshifts into Tiger Payak, an honorable tiger spirit that protects the wild animals in rural town Dok Daeng. This responsibility usually falls on the village chief (or heir), but Sama (who thinks he is unlucky at a young age) was given the tiger spirit as the chief passes away in his father’s makeshift clinic – a recluse mansion. Sama not only takes on his father’s legacy of being the town’s doctor, he also becomes Tono the Tiger. The should-be village chief’s son, Nontha, resents the fact that Sama possesses the tiger spirit.

While Nontha wants to be Tiger Payak so very badly, and believes that Sama “took” his rightful place, Sama wonders if the spirit is a blessing or a curse. He feels that he is stuck with the animal instincts forever. When the moon transforms into the blood moon, Sama is at the mercy of Tiger Payak. Often times, protecting the wild animals from poachers mean that Tiger Payak kills people. Even though they are bad people who are selfish and wants to do trophy hunting, he is still killing people nonetheless. It goes against Sama’s nature and profession, not to mention being surrounded by secrets, enemies and danger at every turn. Even though the previous village chief has looked into Sama’s heart and determined that he’s strong and brave, Sama feels the opposite. The villagers protect the secret from outsiders, as they understand the importance of his role.

Fast forward to Tono the Tiger getting semi used to being the mysterious village doctor who runs a clinic out of his reclusive mansion, kind of like an air bnb if you will, he meets the female lead – Teacher Parichart (Richy). Unfortunately on her first outing to Dok Daeng, she gets lost in the forest. But she’s smart enough to bring a flashlight! Daytime in Dok Daeng turns into nighttime real quick when the moon turns into a blood moon, the man shapeshifts into a tiger and fights the poachers, and Teacher Parichart gets front row seats. It was a sight to behold, largest tiger she has ever seen in her life, almost as if it were CGI. Her reference point, hilariously enough, are tigers in the zoo. I mean, same. At any rate, she gets shot by one of the poachers and she goes down. Tono the Tiger pounces on that human and came ever so close to her. He doesn’t kill her, maybe he senses that she’s not one of the bad ones. She is taken back to his air bnb aka clinic.

This is where the fun starts. We get to know Dr Sama and his tiger senses. One of my favorite traits is his having to smell everything, from her identification card, to her body. He takes on this mysterious aura that is somewhat serious and melodramatic, to a funny and adorable guy. Like he’s kind of jumpy around the teacher, as if he needed to be afraid of anybody or anything. He has lived this tiger life for twenty five years, and still hasn’t quite embraced it. Granted, living one day in the life of a tiger, I would probably call it quits. But Sama is stuck and has to make the most of it. The teacher praises him for sticking around the rural town, helping the needy, she says it means he is a nice guy. Sama just gives her one of his probing look, like he had a choice. She has a choice and chose to teach in a rural town, when the city would be so much easier. But both have secrets that they aren’t quite willing to divulge yet.

Sama’s inner tiger gives him the ability to have tiger senses even when he is in his human form, for example he could get to people quickly, which makes for some cute moments when he comes to her aid. I sure hope the show will maximize ALL of the tiger tendencies, because Tono sure is the cutest tiger, trying to rise above his responsibilities. It is a talent of his to have chemistry with his costars. If you are a Tono fan, don’t miss Prajan Daeng, which airs on OneHD. I am glad I gave episode one a chance. 

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