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Didn't you notice? Those masked bastards came in and removed the beds of the people who died. Make one mistake and your bed will be next.
~ Jang Deok-su threatening Kang Sae-byeok.
This is Hell. What are the rules in Hell?
~ Deok-su during the Glass Stepping Stones game.
Deok-su: You crazy bitch! Damn it! Let go of me, bitch!
Mi-nyeo: I told you I'd kill you if you betrayed me.
Deok-su: Don't do this. I'll go first, okay? Please let go of me. Let me go!
~ Deok-su terrified just before Han Mi-nyeo jumps off the glass bridge, killing herself and dragging him to his death with her.

Jang Deok-su (Korean: 장덕수), also referred to as Player 101, is a major antagonist in the first season of the South Korean Netflix series Squid Game. He is a gangster boss in South Korea who decided to participate in Oh Il-nam's 2020 Squid Game in order to pay off the debts he owes to the mafia and to a Filipino casino.

He was portrayed by Heo Sung-tae. In the English dub, he was voiced by Paul Nakauchi and Masaki Aizawa In the Japanese Dub.

What Makes Him Pure Evil?

In General

  • Although he did vote to stop the Squid Game after the first game, it wasn't so more people wouldn't die but due to his cowardice. Leaving the games also gave him the chance to regroup with his gang and plan how to enter and steal the money that was in there.
  • Although he treats his gang inside of the Games well, it’s only out of pragmatism to have allies and have a better chance at survival, not out of genuine care for them. The same can be said about his offer to Sae-byeok to let her in on his team. Once she refused, he was preparing to attack her before Mi-nyeo intervened.
  • Although his murder of Player 271 appeared to be accidental, judging by his shock after Gi-hun announced his death, once he saw he'd receive no punishment for it, he showed no remorse and instead sadistically smirked, realizing that murder in between the games is allowed.
  • Unlike the other contestants in the Squid Games, who were ordinary people that had sympathetic reasons for joining (unemployed or with economic difficulties and needed the money to pay off their debts or to help their families and/or someone), he lacked any sympathy. Despite his massive debt to other gangsters, he is still a much more dangerous individual who will be more than happy to throw even his closest associates under the bus in order to save his own skin.
  • While he seemed to like Han Mi-nyeo, he eventually subverted this when he didn't allow her to be on his team for the third game, knowing this could result in her death. He even went so far as hitting her when she tried to kiss him, calling her a bitch.
    • This is made worse by the fact that Han Mi-nyeo helped him during the second game, and if it hadn't been for her help, he probably would have died.
    • He probably only liked her initially due to her usefulness (she helped him during the second game) and out of sexual desire, as opposed to a genuine friendship or romantic relationship.
  • Him encouraging and not pushing Player 407 was purely pragmatic so he would do well and not fall to his death so Deok-su would have a chance to make it to the end. Once Player 407 fell to his death, Deok-su coldly insulted him.
  • Unlike Oh Il-nam, the mastermind behind the game, who has many redeeming qualities such as genuine kindness, affability and admiration for others, Deok-su has immediately subverted any redeeming qualities he might have had (if he even actually had any) and lacks any other said qualities.
  • Unlike players like Sang-woo and some of his allies who only turned worse due to having to survive a death game and being aware of their loss of morality and regretted what they became, Deok-su saw the games as a chance to be as ruthless and cruel as possible from the very beginning so as to win the games, even before the games were revealed to be deadly.
  • Despite the series' high standards, Deok-su still stands out for having a high body count despite his considerable low amount of resources (especially compared to the VIPs, Il-nam, and the Front Man) and being far more violent, cruel, and sadistic than the Front Man or even Oh Il-nam.

Squid Game

  • As a gangster boss in South Korea, he likely committed many criminal activities before the events of the series.
  • He owed money to the South Korean mafia after stealing both from his subordinates and later from the "big boss".
  • In his first scene, he repeatedly beat up Kang Sae-byeok for her debts, and possibly would have killed her if Seong Gi-hun hadn't intervened. He also ostracizes her for her North Korean heritage. After Gi-hun intervened, he tried to attack him as well before the guards came.
  • Ordered his men to bring guns with them when storming the Squid Game facility, intending to massacre many of the guards and workers to steal the money (although they would deserve it).
  • He stabbed one of his henchmen to death after he betrayed him (although he deserved it, not only for betraying him to the mob but also for foolishly revealing himself to have done so with Deok-su sitting right next to him).
  • He stole food from the other contestants at lunchtime, and then beat Player 271 to death for confronting him over this and breaking his soda bottle.
  • Threatened to murder Byeong-gi before the fight at night simply for asking to join his team.
  • Cheated by conspiring with Byeong-gi to give him information on the upcoming games (which is the only reason why he allowed him into his group), going against the fair ideology the games are meant to have. Him treating Byeong-gi well and being upset at his death was only pragmatism, not genuine care for the latter.
  • Upon realizing killing in between the games is allowed, he murdered another contestant during the night for snitching on him earlier. This was what instigated the "special game" being a fight that led to other contestants killing each other, thus making him indirectly responsible for inciting the 25 other killings that would occur during the fight. Through dialogue with his minions, it's clear Deok-su and his team we’re willing to keep doing this until all the other players were dead, being openly willing to murder all of them even without playing one of the Games.
  • Targeted Sae-byeok during the fight and nearly killed her. When Player 331 jumped down from a bunk and tackled Deok-su, causing him to fail at this, he brutally stabbed 331 to death. Still attempting to kill the girl, Deok-su then continued to go after Sae-byeok who went to seek refuge in Gi-hun and Sang-woo's team.
  • He showed sadistic glee in pulling ten contestants to their deaths during the Tug-of-War contest on day three whilst laughing, not caring for their lives. His teammates, however, were visibly distraught at their deaths.
  • After winning the third game, he told Gi-hun and Sang-woo's team he was looking forward to "killing them [himself]".
  • He was initially planning to start another night time riot before the fourth game and, seeing as he approached Gi-hun and his team, he was seemingly intending to attack them. Deok-su only relented out of fear after Gi-hun pointed out he couldn't trust his minions.
  • Misogynistically insulted Mi-nyeo and showed sadistic enjoyment while believing the guards killed her while also lying to Player 278 (one of the men from his team) about cheating with Byeong-gi.
  • During the fourth game, while initially upset about having to play with Player 278, he then threatened to kill him simply for giggling and later did not show any remorse for his death after beating him at the game of marbles and was even ecstatic about it, unlike the others who were genuinely saddened by the death of their teammates.
  • He had a sadistic smirk when he found out Player 069 committed suicide due to not being able to continue living after losing his wife in the fourth game.
  • Threatened to push Player 096 in the fifth game for being too scared to move at first.
  • When Player 244 stopped to pray in the middle of the glass bridge, he threatened to push Player 151 (who was right behind Player 244 and in front of Deok-su) if no one did anything to make 244 move.
  • He demanded the other contestants to step in front of him during the fifth game so he wouldn't have to step on the wrong glass himself and die in the process. He even stated that he wouldn't move until someone else did, and also that he didn't care if the time ran out and they all died.
    • This lead to Player 322, Han Mi-nyeo and himself dying whilst only revealing one pair of glass panels in front of him, instead of at least three panels had he not forced people to step in front of him. Player 322 was killed by Deok-su himself throwing him to his death after Mi-nyeo pushed him forward, and Mi-nyeo committed suicide to kill Deok-su, revealing the panel in front of them in the process.
    • He indirectly caused Player 17's death as well, as he died with only one panel left, as he would have made it to the end if Deok-su had advanced normally.

Trivia

  • He is the only Squid Game character to be Pure Evil thus far.
  • To help drive the point of Deok-su being Pure Evil home, the existence of people like Deok-su is likely the precise reason Il-nam has such a negative view of humanity, especially with how he embraces the nature of the Squid Game with no hesitation and openly uses every opportunity he gets to become worse.

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