K-Drama Review: 3 Reasons ‘Yumi’s Cells’ Just Might Be the Best Webtoon-Adapted Drama

Yumi’s Cells season 2 review 00

Edited by Hwang Hong Sun
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

Yumi’s Cells has returned with season two. The second season tells the story of Yumi’s (Kim Go Eun) new romance with Bobby (Jinyoung) after breaking up with Goo Woong (Ahn Bo Hyun). Sticking to the two-track strategy of live-action and animation, which was well received in Season 1, the new season is also receiving a lot of love by adding new characters and delicious stories. What is it about this show that we love so much?

An Ordinary Turns into a Special Day
Yumi’s Cells season 2 review
Credit: TVING

There are no provocative incidents or villains in Yumi’s Cells. Like we all do, Yumi goes to work in the morning, has lunch with her co-workers, and relieves stress at home after returning home. It sounds dull to be a TV series, but strangely, you find yourself smiling as you follow Yumi’s daily life. It’s because there is unexpected fun.

The series turns ordinary daily life into special moments with Yumi’s cells and new-coined terms and situations that appear in the right place at the right time. For example, Yumi’s daring attitude after falling in love is expressed as leveling up in a game, creating a cheerful cartoon-like vibe. Because of an effect like this, Yumi’s story gains sympathy as if the viewers were looking at their own lives and thoughts. 

Performances of Yumi’s Cells
Yumi’s Cells season 2 review
Credit: TVING

The greatest attraction of Yumi’s Cells is, of course, the performance of Yumi’s cells. Before season one premiered, there were many concerns about whether the drama adaptation could even portray the cells, which are practically the main characters of the original webtoon. Fortunately, the concerns were proved unnecessary, and the adorable computer graphic animation breathed life into the unique vibe of the webtoon. And the cells continue their outstanding performances in season two. These cells worthy of the names they have – Emotional, Rational,  Love, Hungry, Nahtgy, etc. – express Yumi’s thoughts and concerns delightfully.

It’s not just Yumi’s cells that enliven the story. In particular, the cells of Bobby, Yumi’s new boyfriend, are also well characterized. Unlike Yumi’s somewhat noisy and frantic cells, Bobby’s cells are portrayed with a sense of order and gentleness, contrasting the two characters’ different personalities all the while showcasing the sweetness of love. The cells of Ahn Dae Young, who used to have a crush on Yumi,  spice up the fun. His cells are serious and prim, but the clumsiness that shows up in between gives a big laugh. Moreover, these cells serve to convey the innermost feelings and thoughts of the character in an easy-to-understand way, narrowing the distance between the viewers and characters. 

Kim Go Eun and Jinyoung’s Chemistry
Yumi’s Cells season 2 review
Credit: TVING

The actors are also doing their parts. Kim Go Eun portrays Yumi as someone we might just find around us with her delicate performance. The reason we connect with Yumi’s many emotions is Kim Go Eun’s natural acting.

Jinyoung, playing Yoo Bobby, presents heart-fluttering chemistry with Kim Go Eun. The actor well depicts the character that’s kind and friendly on the outside but cold and blunt on the inside and persuasively expresses the “push-pull relationship” with Kim Go Eun. One thing Lee Donggeon, the original author of Yumi’s cells, stressed was that Yoo Bobby must be played by someone handsome – of course, Jinyoung’s looks are just flawless. Yumi and Bobby’s romance that started in episode 6 is just heart-fluttering, but they both approach this new romance with prudence due to the scar left from their previous relationship. The two actors realistically illustrate the subtle flow with their performances. 

The relationship between Yumi and Jinyoung begins to see some cracks when Bobby transfers to the office in Jeju Island in episode  8 and meets intern Yoo Daeun there. Finally, in episode 10, Yumi breaks up with Bobby, putting a question on their future. What will happen to them? Will they take the same path as in the original webtoon like season one or will there be a new ending just for the drama? Just like Yumi’s cells that wish for Yumi’s happiness, I truly wish for Yumi’s happiness as well. (8/10)

 

Editor Hwang Hong Sun: A Korean movie buff who wishes that the warm messages in good works will warm up this world at least by one degree Fahrenheit.

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