Tag: Extraordinary you

Unnie Recap: Best Kdrama Heroines of 2019

2019 has been a great year for kdramas! From romcoms to mystery thrillers, a robot futuristic genre, to period/Joseon dynasty shows, there’s always something for everyone to enjoy😊 Not every show is fully relatable but there are aspects in each that make me excited to tune in for more.

This list is solely my opinion and subject to only the kdramas that I have selected to watch. Looking forward to meeting the new faces and villains who will conquer the 2020 kdrama landscape!

Top 5 Kdrama Heroines

1. Eun Dan Oh (Extraordinary You/Ha Roo found by Chance)

What if you found out that you were merely a comic book character and that you were just an extra whose life’s purpose was to serve the main character’s progression? Never the one to back down from a fight with destiny, Eun Dan Oh (Played by Kim Hye Yoon) is the #1 heroine in my list this year. Extraordinary You was such a relatable and fun korean drama to watch as the story mirrors our struggles with daily life as well. The story setting takes place in a high school where Dan Oh is fated with a terminally ill set-up and a fiancé who hates her guts. She didn’t want to steal the spotlight of the main character but rather, she just wanted to make her own decisions not planned by the writer.

Full of energy, persistent, and loyal, Kim Hye Yoon was outstanding in her role as Eun Dan Oh. Her character is living proof that you can carve your own path to happiness as long as you don’t give up. The fact that she was helped by her soulmate and friends further solidifies how influential and loved Dan Oh is. Extraordinary You also featured a great supporting cast (Baek Kyung, Do Hwa, Dried Squid) that made me root for them as well. Although there are set-ups in our lives that we cannot alter, we can still live out our best days by accepting this fact, learning to adjust, and appreciating the blessings we already have✨

Get hooked with Extraordinary You or if you’re done watching, check out my life lessons post for this wonderful show.

2. Goo Hae Ryung (Rookie Historian: Goo Hae Ryung)

A confident and smart woman ahead of her time, Rookie Historian: Goo Hae Ryung breathed new life into period kdramas. Putting the spotlight on the influence and power of women, this show tackled the fruition of women becoming historians for the 1st time in Joseon history. It emphasized the importance of being brave enough to tell the truth but at the same time being able to handle the consequences of one’s actions.

Hae Ryung wasn’t a role model by design but she slowly grew into one by learning from her mistakes. Of course, falling in love with the Crown Prince’s younger brother isn’t such a bad predicament to be in as well! This is Shin Se Kyung’s best korean drama for me because she was able to convey a range of emotions and a comedic side to her. With 40 episodes to spare, this kdrama is a treat for all romcom and drama addicts out there!

Read about my Rookie Historian: Goo Hae Ryung first impressions and if you want a detailed read of each episode, I also wrote a complete recap for your pleasure.

3. Jang Man Weol (Hotel Del Luna)

Feisty, beautiful, and hella badass, the only reason why Jang Man Weol is not higher in the list is because her character was made to thrive in a more supernatural setting. Hotel del Luna is a kdrama that focused on her being the owner of a hotel for the dead where they could do their unfinished business before proceeding to the afterlife. Man Weol had a lot of baggage against those who had scorned her and didn’t hesitate to get revenge. She also had money problems because she was always attracted to anything that would bring her money and fortune. Not all heroines are perfect of course but it’s these traits that made me rank her a little lower than Dan Oh and Hae Ryung.

With regard to the storytelling and character development aspect, Hotel del Luna gets a 5 star rating. There are misconceptions about the kdrama being “scary” (with the dead spirits and all) but don’t buy into that. It’s a visually entertaining and funny show with lots of emotional maturity and romance. Her perfect complement came in the form of Ku Chan Seong, the hotel’s only human manager and all around moral compass. Despite falling in love, Man Weol remained true to herself and didn’t change to be a friendlier or thriftier woman for him. She did learn to forgive and move forward with her life, and most importantly, love herself in the process🌙

Do check out my recommendation post for this korean drama and peruse my Hotel del Luna ending explained post after watching all 16 episodes!

4. Lee Yeon Seo (Angel’s Last Mission: Love)

Another tough and badass heroine, Angel’s Last Mission: Love was a beloved mid-year show for me. I remember being blown away by the 1st episode’s intensity and immediately wanted more! The male lead was an angel who was given a mission to help the female lead, Lee Yeon Seo, in finding love. Sounds easy enough right? Right off the 1st episode, Yeon Seo is a shell of her former prima ballerina life — blinded by a freak accident, alone in a big mansion without her parents, and cranky as hell, love is the last thing she could ever want in her life.

As much as this post is about heroines only, I do have to give credit to the leading man, Kim Dan (Played by actor L), as he brought out the fun and softer side of the show. He was the perfect complement to Yeon Seo for her to open up to other people and face her fears in becoming a ballerina again. Make it your mission to listen to Angel’s Last Mission: Love OST as the music elevated the show’s appeal even more🎵

Probably one of the hardest life lessons post I wrote, this is a must-read for everyone who needs some encouragement to not give up and keep fighting💪🏻

5. Yoon Se Ri (Crash Landing on You)

Taking the kdrama world by storm, Crash Landing on You is an ongoing show that collided with my romcom heart just a few weeks ago! The only reason why I couldn’t rank Se Ri higher is because there has only been a handful of episodes released and we don’t know her that well yet. Nevertheless, she made such a strong impression that it’s only fitting this kdrama made my top 5 list.

Getting stranded in North Korea due to a paragliding accident, Se Ri must figure out a way to go back to South Korea. As a successful CEO of her own company, Se Ri is a cheerful, confident, yet picky woman who has expensive tastes. She meets her love interest in North Korea, Captain Jeong Hyeok, as he aids her in getting back home. I was surprised that Se Ri had a dark period in her life as shown in a flashback (She contemplated suicide) so watching her character exude a lighter and happier aura is endearing. I’m ecstatic to see how she’ll eventually take over her dad’s business and how the aftermath of leaving Jeong Hyeok will impact both of them.

Read about my Crash Landing on You summary and find out why this kdrama will be your next TV addiction!


There are plenty of other great korean dramas that aired this year too so I hope you discover your own favorites❤️ We have a different kind of life compared to a kdrama heroine but surely the feelings and thoughts that we have coincide with theirs at one episode or another. As much as watching these shows makes me want to do better and live more fruitful days, I hope these same emotions influence your lives too.

Cheers to what has been and may you all have a blessed 2020 ahead🥂

Unnie Life Lessons: Being your own Character by Extraordinary You

Life is what we make of it: You can choose to be a supporting character of someone else’s story or you can live a life as your own main character. I thought this was what Extraordinary You kdrama wanted to convey, and to a certain extent it did, but that’s not how we ought to just look at the big picture. So what if we’re an extra or helping someone else shine? It’s not bad to help others with their problems or cheer them on when they are going through something rewarding. It’s not always about us (me)… we all have our own moments in the sun and rain🌟

The main character, Eun Dan, Oh struggled in coming to terms with her role as an extra but along with the other characters of this show, everyone was able to learn what was truly important to them and achieved a happy ending for themselves.

Read my recommendation post for Extraordinary You korean drama to know more about the show’s plot and head over to my recaps page in case you missed anything!

Unnie Life Lessons

1. Being resilient and not giving up to make changes to your life despite your situation/environment.

  • Dan Oh’s fate was stacked against her pretty early when she realized that she was just an extra in a comic book. The fact that she had a heart condition and was engaged to a guy who didn’t care about her was the cherry on top of a grim set-up. I loved how she was so determined to change her life (which she did) and actively did something, even the smallest actions, to try and make a difference🦋
  • We tend to make excuses about our circumstances and whine that we cannot do everything that we desire. If we are being realistic, yes, there is a limitation to our capabilities BUT there’s also so much that we can do if we just stop complaining and just do something!💪🏻 The hard work and frustration that stem from such is daunting but just like Dan Oh, we have to buckle up and face our fears to enact change.

2. Finding purpose and learning to be content and appreciate one’s situation because our lives are unique and invaluable as it is.

*This seems to counter the 1st life lesson but I did say that realistically, we do have limitations outside of our control that we can’t change.

  • Dan Oh learned to accept that she was just a comic book character and her set-up of being terminally ill because she found happiness spending time with Ha Roo. There was nothing she could do about the comic book ending and together with Ha Roo, they made the most out of their precious time together.
  • Struggling to accept the reality that she was merely an extra, Dan Oh realized that she didn’t need to make herself a main character by making changes in the grand blueprint of her life. She found purpose as a person — undefined by any role, and rallied to live her life day by day as Eun Dan Oh. Not the lovestruck girl who gets emotionally bullied by her fiancé but a cheerful, spritely, and persistent character who found love, has good friends, and lived a pretty comfortable life.

3. Choosing to prioritize yourself by allowing convenience over hardships to govern your daily life.

  • Ju Da ultimately chose to be with Nam Ju instead of Do Hwa because she didn’t want to fight her destiny of ending up with him given the tough times she went through in the comic book. Initally I thought this was a cowardly choice because staying by Nam Ju’s side is exactly where she’ll end up since they are the main characters. Yes, it’s a convenient choice — devoid of the complications of changing one’s fate if she chose to pursue her feelings for Do Hwa… but being with Nam Ju made her truly happy so there’s nothing wrong with her choice.
  • There’s nothing wrong in wanting something that makes your life easier or better: Technology, shortcuts, efficiency. If following the love story predetermined for Ju Da makes her happy (And it did), then by all means. Life is hard enough as it is so choosing or doing something that lessens the difficulties is a good and acceptable choice. Just like how Dan Oh wanted to actively alter her fate, it’s okay that Ju Da didn’t want to change hers.

4. Letting go of the things you cannot control but at the same time living your life to its fullest potential.

  • It was inevitable that the comic book world our characters existed in would end but instead of trying to find a way to extend or fight it, Ha Roo spent his last moments happy and fulfilled to be at Dan Oh’s side. He did his best to change what he could (Help Dan Oh live) but still accepted that he would disappear first and not be able to be with Dan Oh until the last page.
  • Balance is the key to a good life and although we don’t get a manual for how to do this perfectly, it’s the mistakes and unexpected turn of events that help us do better next time. We cannot escape death or go thru our days without hardships, these are inevitable occurrences. But instead of lamenting these certainties, we can live out our best lives by spending time with loved ones, work hard, travel the world, and so on.

Just like how we are forging our own path, other people are also filling their life’s pages with their own details. Extraordinary You‘s greatest message is that we shouldn’t fixate on whether or not we are the center of attention to others or complain that we don’t have a glamorous and well-endowed main protagonist lifestyle. It’s challenging, yes, but it’s not impossible.

It’s our own actions and outlook towards what we have that makes us special. We have to allow and reshape our mindsets to truly see the blessings, love, and experiences that are gifted to us in the form of everyday life💕

Unnie Recap: Extraordinary You – Episodes 31 and 32 (Final Episode)

How will our beloved characters spend their last few chapters? At least for our self-aware classmates, time is of the essence to right any wrongs or simply to just enjoy their last few scenes left. Their time in the comics has been nothing short of extraordinary, and we can only hope that their next life will be as fruitful as this one!

Episode 31

Making the most of their precious time together, Ha Roo is able to check Dan Oh’s new bucket list involving writing each other a letter and kissing 100 times (haha!). He is worried about the comic book coming to a close but tries his best to be enthusiastic for Dan Oh. More and more students are missing from the class record book already and even Ha Roo’s name in the locker has been erased.

Ha Roo tries to fulfill Dan Oh’s bucket list and he makes both Dan Oh and him a necklace made out of colored paper. It’s a sweet gesture although not very fashionable, hehe, but Dan Oh appreciates his effort and they kiss happily on the lips💋 Do Hwa happens to see them wearing the necklaces and thinks that it’s one of Ha Roo’s attempts in making her remember her self-awareness. He finds out that she’s recovered and hugs her with Ha Roo getting jealous and steering him away from her, haha! Their friendship was formed out of a mutual connection of being self-aware so it’s nice to see them grow into good friends until the end.

It’s fun seeing Ju Da teach Nam Ju to become thriftier since he keeps giving her expensive gifts. She’s become a whole different character in the shadow and teaches Sae Mi and the other girls not to mess with her anymore. She makes an offhand comment that she should look for someone close to her and find someone that likes her more instead of the other way around. Su Chul is nearby and she hugs him for comfort, pretty subtle huh? Ju Da talks with Do Hwa one last time in the library and still wears the rubber shoes with the butterfly drawing that he bought for her. Although she wasn’t able to change her stage and create a butterfly effect, she thinks that someone else might find the symbol meaningful. With that, our potential couple closes their chapter.

Even Dried Squid makes an effort to patch things with Baek Kyung and Ha Roo. He cooks for them sweet treats that they loved eating in Trumpet Creeper and holds out his hand to Baek Kyung to instigate in forgetting their ill-fated past. Baek Kyung says nothing more but he does shake Dried Squid’s hand. Calling Ha Roo by his name, Dried Squid also bids him farewell while mentioning that it must have been hard for him all this time. Ha Roo smiles and takes one of the candies that Dried Squid cooked and leaves.

While Baek Kyung couldn’t get the girl in Secret, he still has someone by his side — his younger brother. His set-up had always been lonely and brooding but his brother tells him that he was affectionate and friendly before. He lets go of the charred pieces of the Trumpet Creeper comics and with that, he releases himself from the burden of his past life.

Episode 32 (Last Episode/Ending)

It’s as if the writer penned a note to Ha Roo of his impending departure, he knows that his time in Secret is coming to an end. Dan Oh becomes worried when she finds Ha Roo gone after she ties her shoelace in the shadow. She is relieved when she sees him in the stage immediately after, but senses something amiss when Ha Roo disappears in the shadow. She finds him in the library and grows tense as she and Ha Roo run away from the room as the lights all begin to turn off. Stopping at the school’s stairway, Ha Roo apologizes that he can’t be with her until her last scene. They both cry and hug each other as darkness consumes them. As Dan Oh calls out to Ha Roo, the lights turn back on and he is gone.

Time has fast forwarded in the comics and it’s 1 year after already. It’s graduation day at Seuli High and every character that’s still around are celebrating. Baek Kyung finds Dan Oh at the nurse’s office and encourages her to smile. Although she misses Ha Roo, getting to graduate is a good thing. Our ever crybaby Do Hwa writes a letter to his A3 brothers and cries about their friendship. This is also where Su Hyang lets Dried Squid know that she’s been self-aware all this time and he hugs her dearly. I am not crying!!😭

Having their final moment together, Baek Kyung thanks Dan Oh and she says the same to him. They didn’t need any big words as their thankfulness for each other bears significance to where they are now as friends. Baek Kyung takes his tennis ball from his locker and goes outside. As he puts his graduation diploma and ball on a ledge, he looks around the school one last time and gives a slight smile. With that, Baek Kyung’s story is complete.

Dan Oh finds a notebook that Ha Roo hid before on the ground at the old tree and discovered that this was his parting gift for her. Filled with drawings of their various moments together, she cries as she flips through the pages and remembers their precious memories. She thanks him for being her 1st love and destiny. As she reminisces about him, Dan Oh suddenly feels something and looks to the unknown.

Darkness engulfs the screen and for awhile, this must be the deep sleep that Dried Squid talked about once the comic ends.


In what seems to be a new comic book world, the class have moved on to college (with all new set-ups!). Dan Oh is seen running to class and now has long wavy hair and she looks just as pretty! Nam Ju is not liked by his legions of fangirls anymore as he has a different style of dressing (He still loves em’ strawberries). Su Chul is now dressed to impress and acts more refined with Sae Mi crushing on him hard, haha! The Y3 boys are now nerds and the nerds now have a bad boy set-up😎 Although not everyone is back in this new comic, it’s nice to see some familiar faces.

As the new Dan Oh studies in the library, she just misses a mysterious figure who happens to be in close proximity to her. When she goes outside to read a book, a butterfly rests on the page she is reading and she grows curious of it. She follows where it flies and it happened to land on a drawing that Ha Roo made in Secret of him and Dan Oh sitting on the bench of the old tree. She takes the portrait and overhears Sae Mi and the other girls talking about the same old tree being existent in the campus.

The power of love is as strong as ever as Dan Oh remembers the words she and Ha Roo exchanged in the previous comic about meeting at the tree on October 10. She meets the new Ha Roo there too and hands him the picture. Although he doesn’t respond immediately, he calls Dan Oh’s name just as she walks away. He hugs her from behind and with tears in their eyes, they express missing each other as they have finally reunited.

Thoughts

These last 2 episodes were about goodbyes and wrapping up loose ends on certain relationships. There was no stopping the comic book from ending and in everyone’s hearts, they knew that the last page was coming. Dan Oh and Ha Roo changed their fate as much as they could and they just had to trust that they’ll meet each other again one day. I wished other characters (Do Hwa, Baek Kyung) were also part of the new college comic book but we can always imagine them joining the pages at some point😊

Extraordinary You to me is a bittersweet ending because our main couple have reunited with each other, but the fact remains that the writer would have to draw them both for it to be possible. To know that the bond they made with other characters (Sae Mi, Do Hwa, Dried Squid) in the previous world are now just a memory and that they fell into a deep sleep after Secret ended is a scary loop to be stuck in. It reminds me of Goblin since a person can get reincarnated 4 times in their lifetime so everytime Ji Eun Tak dies of old age, she gets reincarnated every so years and then Kim Shin waits for her to grow up and meet again? Another new comic book signals an end too so Dan Oh and Ha Roo will have to get separated again and hope that in their next life, they’ll find each other again? Don’t get me wrong, I love that the ending makes sense from a story standpoint but it’s just not entirely a happily ever after scenario.

Still, I’m glad that Dan Oh and Ha Roo’s love was so strong that their memories carried over to their new world. They couldn’t change the world they lived in and although were defined as being mere extras, this fact did not stop them to spend their time with the people they loved and enjoy each moment in the shadow.

Extraordinary You is definitely one of my favorite kdramas of all time as it is a parallel to real life. Death is like a comic book character getting erased while meeting again someday in a new comic is the promise of an afterlife. Though there are some things we cannot change, our free will to make decisions can impact our lives significantly. I will miss Dan Oh and the gang and hope that even if they reside in a comic book world, they will live their best lives in their reality💖

Unnie Recap: Extraordinary You (Episodes 29 and 30)

With only a few pages left, how will the world of Secret end and what does this mean for our characters? The truth hopefully shines through as tough choices need to be made between our two love triangle couples. A happy ending is all anyone wants, is that so much to ask?

Episode 29

To Ha Roo’s dismay, Dan Oh is back to being just a mindless extra who only recognizes him as Baek Kyung’s friend. Baek Kyung is also surprised that Dan Oh has lost her self-awareness once they both entered the shadow. Ha Roo asks Dried Squid what happens once the story of this comic book ends and the latter explains that they all go into a deep sleep until the writer draws them again. Just like how his lover Su Hyang was added in last minute in Secret, other extras are easier to erase as well.

Not giving up on Dan Oh, Ha Roo tries his best to make her recognize him again. Do Hwa is also sad that she doesn’t acknowledge him as a friend anymore and although he’s happy that her heart problem is no longer an issue, she still isn’t the real Dan Oh they both grew to know and care about. Despite having a difficult time, Ha Roo doesn’t falter and remains adamant in reminding Dan Oh of their shared memories.

Apparently the secret that Nam Ju’s mother was afraid that people would find out is that he’s not the biological son of his father. Ju Da defends him against their classmates for changing their outlook on him since he isn’t rich anymore. Typical comic book stuff reaction huh? When Ju Da realizes that Nam Ju has also been having a hard time living his life, this is the moment that she truly allows herself to fall for him. She declares her feelings for him in the stage while simultaneously feeling it in the shadow too. While I am sad for what this means for Do Hwa, I am happy that she’s finally realized what she truly wants.

Ju Da and Do Hwa have a heart to heart conversation about their future. She confesses to liking Do Hwa, and I believe her, but she’s been through so much even as a main character so she doesn’t want to put in the effort to change her stage for Do Hwa. She wants a happy ending and since she genuinely likes Nam Ju too, that is what she’s choosing. Do Hwa is a bit sad but accepts her decision and is okay in being friends with her despite getting turned down. Lee Do Hwa, you keep saying that Nam Ju is cool but you’re pretty cool yourself. I hope you get the girl of your dreams in another comic book world!❤️

Perhaps Dan Oh losing her memories and being obliviously in love with Baek Kyung is an ode to fans who ship them as a love team. They go out on a date and it’s nice to see Baek Kyung enjoy himself with Dan Oh. Smiling, being silly, and just spending time with the person you like — it feels like a long time coming for him who like any other character, has been struggling and dealing with his own form of hardships. It’s only when Dan Oh thanks him but says Ha Roo’s name instead that Baek Kyung is jolted back to reality. Even when she isn’t self-aware, she still subconsciously thinks of Ha Roo.

Episode 30

When Dan Oh faints at the school stairway, it’s Ha Roo who brings her to the nurse’s office and they reenact a moment where he also applied a bandaid to her knee wound before. She tells him to leave since whenever she’s around him, her heart rate watch keeps buzzing. Dan Oh gets snippets of her past moments with Ha Roo in the shadow and begins to wonder about him. Despite the fact that she’s 100% healed, she looks and feels that something is still missing.

Even Baek Kyung who gets to spend more time with Dan Oh is not happy as he admits to himself that she’s not her “true” self. Despite the fact that he claims he’s a monster, self-aware Baek Kyung is not because he isn’t selfish enough to pretend that everything is okay with him and Dan Oh. Baek Kyung and her set a date to meet at school to measure their height as adults (Since they did this as kids) and as the stage commences; Dan Oh regains her memories when she pushes her back against, you guessed it… Ha Roo! They have a tearful reunion as they finally found each other again👫🏻

Turns out Baek Kyung could change the stage too since he willingly gave his coat for Ha Roo to wear before the stage started last night. Dan Oh returns the wedding ring to him next day at school and she hopes that he can find his real self just like she did. With tears in his eyes, Baek Kyung is freed from his guilt as Dan Oh forgives him for what he did in Trumpet Creeper and thanks him too in Secret. Come on, give the man a hug! (Just kidding, hehe)🤗

Our main OTP’s time together is cut short though as Ha Roo starts to notice that more and more elements of their comic book world is starting to end. After hearing a loud and dreadful sound, Ha Roo checks the art room that he and Dan Oh just spent their time in and sees only black space with various items floating around. He expresses a look of panic as an easel is suddenly erased before his very eyes.

Thoughts

So Dan Oh dying in the shadow somehow cured her set-up of having heart problems? Or is this what the writer actually intended if she went through with the operation? I think it’s the latter option and since I’m believing that theory, what Ha Roo did just made the time that he could have spent with Dan Oh celebrating and be happy shorten! I’m glad that he was bold enough to change her stage because he honestly thought that she would die, but I just don’t like the fact that it could have cost serious repercussions on another person (Ju Da’s grandma). But nitpicking aside, I am happy that they’re finally on the same page and Dan Oh’s fate has changed for the better.

Is it too late to root for Baek Kyung and Dan Oh? haha! Even if he hadn’t given Ha Roo his coat, I think Dan Oh would eventually become self-aware again and remember her love for Ha Roo. His character has been redeemed (for me) and I hope that in another world, his set-up won’t be as messy. I’m happy that he was able to change the stage for Dan Oh like he kept claiming he would. He proved his true feelings for her as he finally set her free to not only be with the true person she loves, but also to claim her real self back.

I’m not sure how the ending will be given that this comic book world is about to finish! I hate for the characters to be separated and go into a deep sleep but I have a feeling they’ll all reunite again. I will definitely miss Extraordinary You and hope that the last 2 episodes will be satisfying!😊

Unnie Recap: Extraordinary You (Episodes 25 – 28)

Desperation is a dangerous emotion to have as it can push you over the edge and have you do something unthinkable. With Dan Oh’s lifeline hanging in the balance, Ha Roo tries his hardest to alter her stage and save her. As repeated constantly, changing one’s fate affects another — who benefits and suffers from the butterfly effect is a risk that one just has to learn to live with.

Episode 25 and 26

With the startling revelation of Dan Oh’s death in the other comics, Ha Roo is freaking out and talks to Dried Squid about his memories. We see in a flashback that Dried Squid also tried to change his fate by running away with one of his court ladies who happens to be his lover but she was killed in the process. He warns Ha Roo that the more he tries to change Dan Oh’s story, the more she will suffer.

At the hospital, Dan Oh visits Dr. Lee and he discusses the date of her heart surgery. She is nervous about the operation because of her vision but tries to think positively about it. She and Baek Kyung have a heart-to-heart conversation in the stage about liking Baek Kyung because he represented her will to live. Once they enter the shadow, Dan Oh holds out her hand to Baek Kyung declaring that they should get along with each other since he is her lifelong friend. Because of his traumatic memory as a kid of holding his mom’s hand and the latter dying when touched, Baek Kyung is taken aback and doesn’t shake her hand.

Dan Oh asks Dried Squid to hide the Secret comic book from Ha Roo so he doesn’t worry about her future. While they both hide their concerns for one another, Baek Kyung becomes open with his feelings for Dan Oh in the stage. He confides in Ha Roo that he truly likes her now and even admits to Dan Oh in another stage that he does have feelings for her. Once the shadow commences, Baek Kyung doesn’t let go of her hand and asserts his feelings once again, emphasizing that they are in the shadow already when he says this. Ha Roo catches sight of Baek Kyung hugging Dan Oh and they get into a heated argument over her.

There’s no stopping Baek Kyung in professing his true feelings for Dan Oh as he insists that she is all he has and that he can change her destiny more than Ha Roo. I know he is sincere with declaring his emotions but it just comes off as self-serving because he views her as the only real component of his life in the comics. It’s not fair to Dan Oh who always reiterated that she only likes him in the stage which she has no control of, but I guess it’s also unfair to Baek Kyung who has to experience a change of feelings from Dan Oh — he gets swayed by her behavior in the stage while receiving a lukewarm treatment from her in the shadow.

Once Ha Roo realizes that Dan Oh could also be in danger in the comics here as well, he goes over the top protective on her in every situation she gets in. She gets into another stage situation with Baek Kyung as he continues to be sweet with her. He tries to talk her into getting the surgery in the shadow and for a moment, I truly think she is considering it. Ha Roo thinks otherwise though because he thinks that the operation will cause her death. He discloses to Dan Oh that what happened in Trumpet Creeper is also happening in Secret but she reassures him that the other comic’s story is in the past anyway. It’s just a front though as Dan Oh herself is truly terrified of dying😢

The last scene has Baek Kyung discovering the secret spot in the library and witnessing a scene in the other comic book where Ha Roo seemingly is the one who stabs Dan Oh to death with a sword.

Episode 27 and 28

Taking matters into his own hands, Ha Roo won’t be held back in changing Dan Oh’s fate. With Do Hwa’s help, he gets Dr. Lee’s coat and goes inside his office to check for Dan Oh’s medical records. Baek Kyung tries to change the stage too but it is Ha Roo who makes an impact. After several failed attempts and resets of the same scene, Ha Roo thinks of swapping Dan Oh’s records with someone else’s to ultimately make an impact on the stage. The records that he changed though was Ju Da’s grandmother (If you have an eye for detail)! The consequences of Ha Roo’s action not only affects Dan Oh but someone else’s loved one, I have a bad feeling about this. It does work though as Dr. Lee tells Dan Oh and her father that she doesn’t need the surgery anymore.

Baek Kyung and Dan Oh talk in both the stage and shadow about her miraculous recovery and shows her the charred pieces of Trumpet Creeper, prompting her that she shouldn’t trust Ha Roo because he’ll end up killing her. She becomes confused about her own self seeing the drawn out scenes in the other comic while Ha Roo remains anxious even after changing Dan Oh’s stage. Dried Squid also reads Dan Oh’s miracle not needing surgery anymore in Secret and recalls how he lost his lover twice, Su Hyang, in the other comic. If a character dies in the shadow, they will be revived again but without their memories of self-awareness. It is when a character dies in the stage that they are permanently written off the book. No wonder Dried Squid was so adamant in things remaining exactly as they are, sheesh!

Tensions continue to rise between Ha Roo and Baek Kyung as the latter exposes that it is the former who kills Dan Oh in the other comic and with him interfering with her surgery, the same thing will happen in this world too. Despite preventing Baek Kyung from proposing to Dan Oh in the school auditorium before, the same scene still plays out between both of them in another stage with Ha Roo as a witness. It’s a cruel situation for the 3 of them but at least the shadow Dan Oh doesn’t lead Baek Kyung on and returns the ring to him. Baek Kyung explains how he came to like Dan Oh for real but she only responds with a sincere apology.

Tired of getting bullied around, Ju Da uses Nam Ju’s affection to make Sae Mi jealous and get the upper hand against her. She initially doesn’t take his feelings for her sincerely and is even cold and rude towards him. It’s understandable that she feels that way because people do torment her because of Nam Ju, but the way she finds solace in Do Hwa makes me nervous now because she’s like a ticking bomb waiting to explode. With her grandmother getting the surgery instead of Dan Oh, it’s revealed that the operation was a success. Ju Da gets swayed by Nam Ju’s sincerity even in the shadow and starts to warm up to him. Poor Do Hwa as he has to witness this development again and again just when Ju Da is giving him hope that she can like him too.

Dan Oh’s heart still continues to ache in the shadow but she pretends that everything is okay in front of Ha Roo. Baek Kyung’s words that he killed Dan Oh keep haunting Ha Roo and he finds out from Do Hwa that Ju Da’s grandmother got the operation intended for Dan Oh. He feels helpless when Dan Oh’s heart starts aching again and it’s Baek Kyung who is able to give her the medicine she needed to recover. When Ha Roo himself remembers that he killed Dan Oh in Trumpet Creeper, he starts avoiding Dan Oh out of guilt.

Remembering what Dried Squid said that dying in the shadow means only losing one’s self-awareness, Baek Kyung is tempted to kill Dan Oh in the hospital. He cries as he reluctantly removes her oxygen mask when he suddenly recalls his past self holding the sword from behind Ha Roo and pushing it forward ultimately killing Dan Oh. So it wasn’t Ha Roo who killed her after all! The mask has been removed and Dan Oh’s vitals go haywire.

Ha Roo races to the hospital when Do Hwa informed him that Dan Oh is ill. He finds her with her oxygen mask intact, meaning Baek Kyung didn’t have the guts to kill her (Thank goodness) even if they are just in the shadow. She flatlines for a few seconds though but a new stage commences immediately. Ha Roo is at school and to his surprise sees Dan Oh walking in the hallways, smiling and alive! He calls her and takes her hand in his but she releases her grip from his as she runs down to greet her other classmates. That means she did die in the hospital and is now not self-aware anymore!😱

Thoughts

I’m not sure that if Dan Oh took the surgery that she would have lived given the storyboard that she saw was her flatlining. But as the rules go for the comics, since Ju Da’s grandmother didn’t die from the operation, it should be that Dan Oh would have had a successful surgery. I can’t totally blame Ha Roo for wanting to change the stage but what if Ju Da’s grandma had died instead? He wouldn’t have been able to live with that fact, even Dan Oh would be mortified that someone else died in her place. Altering the stage has serious consequences and lucky for Ha Roo, Dan Oh died in the shadow so she can still be brought back. With the show ending, I’m sure that Dan Oh will remember Ha Roo one way or another. I just don’t agree with what he did because someone else’s life hung in the balance.

Okay, Ju Da may be bullied and pitiful but I didn’t expect her true character in the shadow to be flirty! To my defense, I never said I liked Ju Da’s character (haha) but I appreciated the fact that she started to fight for herself too. I honestly believed from the previous 4 episodes that she and Do Hwa would be endgame but with Nam Ju swaying her heart with his sincerity, she might actually just end up being with her intended leading man. I guess I can’t 100% blame her pettiness towards Sae Mi and coldness for Nam Ju because even if she’s the female main character, her life hasn’t had a rosy trajectory. I’m so glad Dan Oh is the real lead in Extraordinary You because I don’t think I can stand watching Ju Da get the spotlight for this show.

Baek Kyung not killing Dan Oh was the only move that I see possible because if he had killed her even just in the shadow, no amount of remorse or apologies can ever redeem hin. His character in Secret is certainly different from the one in Trumpet Creeper, I don’t think he became self-aware in the latter and he never really cared about Dan Oh there. I am glad that he’s not a bad guy in this world and hope that his scars will heal too as this kdrama comes to a close. He doesn’t have to get the girl to have a happy ending, like Do Hwa, having self-love is enough to make you happy.

Unnie Recap: Extraordinary You (Episodes 21 – 24)

In the magical world of comics, is every action, even in the shadow, just to serve the bigger stage? No matter what happens though, trust that Dan Oh and Ha Roo to not let even destiny get in the way of their freewill to claim their own personal lives!

Episodes 21 and 22

A montage of Baek Kyung is shown that he stayed by Dan Oh’s side all the time she was in the hospital. His feelings for her are getting deeper but it’s a shame that he can’t fully display his emotions whenever she’s awake. Dan Oh admits that she got initially attached to Ha Roo because he could change her stage. Baek Kyung takes note of this and thinks that she will grow to like him too if he can change her fate, oh boy.

After getting confronted by Baek Kyung, Dried Squid recalls his past in the Trumpet Creeper comics. As mentioned by him, the same set of characters are established in the story, from the names and protagonist/antagonist set-up, down to the relationship between characters. Baek Kyung is a Prince and Dried Squid is his elder brother and soon-to-be the nation’s Crown Prince! Baek Kyung’s father is an adviser in the Royal Court and he is the one who coaxes him to covet the crown from Dried Squid by finding out his secrets. Nam Ju’s mom is the Queen Dowager and she is also as despicable there as she is in Secret.

With their official confessions out in the open, Dan Oh and Ha Roo enjoy each other’s company at school. Dan Oh is all giddy about the latest development in their relationship despite the uncertainty of her time left and continues to have heart racing moments whenever Ha Roo says her name fondly. Meanwhile, Ha Roo continues to have dreams about his past and it explains why his new set-up is being loyal to Baek Kyung since he had a similar role in Trumpet Creeper. He naturally got attracted to Dan Oh while following her around (based on Baek Kyung’s orders to curry favor with her father) and even felt uncomfortable when Baek Kyung finally introduced himself to her. Ha Roo also became self-aware there too and his feelings for Dan Oh just grew the more time he spent with her.

There is a breakthrough moment between Baek Kyung and Dan Oh as she worries about him when he doesn’t go to school on the day of his mom’s death anniversary. She brings a bouquet of flowers to her grave and finds Baek Kyung there as well. He does subtly try to convey his feelings towards her but stops himself from doing so. Baek Kyung realizes that some of the lines exchanged between Dan Oh and Ha Roo currently in the shadow are the same words used in the other comic.

Episodes 23 and 24

Continuing his quest for the truth, Baek Kyung tells Dan Oh that she will call off their engagement in front of her dad. She is curious if he can see the storyboard too but he just insists that he is the one who can change her fate. The villain taunts Ha Roo further by making him doubt if he could really change the stage or if things are just going the way the writer wants it to. Our fighting hero doesn’t give in though and defends his actions and that to him, Dan Oh is the main character.

We see more glimpses of Ha Roo and Dan Oh’s growing affection in the Trumpet Creeper comics as the latter slowly becomes self-aware herself. Prince Baek Kyung ultimately tries to win Dan Oh’s heart when she calls off their engagement, just like what Baek Kyung in Secret read. Dan Oh feels as if she is ill because she hears page turning sounds and at times can’t say or do what she pleases. Ha Roo has a copy of the comics and shows it to Dan Oh as they realize the same thing there with their characters here. They spend time together in the shadow but are unsure of what to do when the story continues to progress and Dan Oh has to marry Prince Baek Kyung.

Nobody in the self-aware circle is still conscious of Ju Da being awakened from her bullied and damsel in distress character. She defends herself now by speaking her mind and even seems to taken a liking to Do Hwa in the shadow. Returning from Paris since he had to handle a business transaction there, Nam Ju declares to reporters and to his classmates that his inspiration for the successful collection is Ju Da. The last thing that happens before the shadow commences is him holding her hand but when the shadow enters, Ju Da immediately looked at Do Hwa who was on her right side.

Dan Oh gets a preview of the storyboard of Baek Kyung formally proposing to her thru a video presentation in front of their classmates. She, Ha Roo, and Do Hwa promise to change the stage to prevent this from happening. Ha Roo switches with the person tasked with putting the spotlight on Dan Oh but he is dismayed when his hands move on its own to continue the stage. Dan Oh gets up on stage with Baek Kyung holding a box with a wedding ring inside. Ha Roo tries with all his might to remove the cable to dim the lights even when the wound on his hand started bleeding again. He is able to do so and as the lights went off, the stage resets but instead of Baek Kyung and Dan Oh being the couple, two of their classmates replace them instead on the stage.

After the event, Baek Kyung deduces that the stage can be altered due to a number of factors:

  1. An extra can move more freely in the stage without the writer noticing
  2. Interference in the shadow before the stage
  3. A replacement person/people steps in to fill the spot of the main characters once the stage resets

When Dan Oh and Ha Roo convene together that night, she gets another look at the storyboard of her possibly dying on the operating table when she undergoes heart surgery. She is genuinely scared and hugs Ha Roo longer than usual. He doesn’t probe any further as he also remembers flashbacks of their past in the other comics where Dan Oh seemingly dies getting stabbed by a sword.

Thoughts

There’s no doubt that Dan Oh and Ha Roo’s feelings towards each other is real but for them to say and experience the exact same things from Trumpet Creeper, despite being in the shadow in Secret, is alarming. Is what Baek Kyung said true that everything happening is exactly what the writer wants? Maybe it’s the effect of being created by a one and only creator that a person expresses the exact same words in different works. It doesn’t diminish the feelings and emotions of Dan Oh, Ha Roo, Do Hwa, and even Baek Kyung towards their life in the comics now. I still think that they have the power to change the “tragedy” from happening having gone through the same events once before.

I could be wrong about Ju Da still ending up with Nam Ju in the shadow because we got a lot of hints in these set of episodes that she is actually interested in Do Hwa. Could they repeat the same romance where the female lead falls for the 2nd leading man? I hope they realize that Ju Da has become self aware so they can share their experiences and help each other out. I like that the show is finally giving her a chance to stand up for herself, whoever she ends up with, I’m sure that she can at least fend for herself.

When the stage was modified and someone else took over the proposal, Dan Oh’s heart started acting up again. What if her heart problems get worse when she changes the stage? That is a plausible theory and it could coincide with Baek Kyung always saying that he’s the one who can truly change her fate. What a redeeming ending it would be if Baek Kyung indeed could save Dan Oh’s life and set her free instead because he has accepted the fact that she loves Ha Roo?

Unnie Recap: Extraordinary You (Episodes 17 – 20)

I can’t seem to catch up with the recaps for this kdrama so I’m going to do a 4 episode summary for now. Hopefully, my recaps will align with the weekly launch of new episodes!

As each stage unfolds and the shadow lurks after, more and more characters are becoming self aware of themselves. What are the secrets that Dried Squid is so desparate to keep hidden and how will this knowledge affect the lives of our characters?

Episode 17 and 18

Our star-crossed lovers have reunited as Ha Roo reassures Dan Oh that he won’t be going anywhere this time. Even Do Hwa is ecstatic and doting that his close friend finally remembers him too, haha! Dan Oh and Ha Roo decide to play hooky one day and ditch their music class to explore around town. Dan Oh swears that this is the last time she’ll try to change the stage for the fear of losing Ha Roo again. They spend the day eating candy, playing games, and even taking pictures together. To add to a list of their firsts, they hold hands as they walk back to school.

While Dan Oh’s luck has changed, the same can’t be said for Ju Da as Sae Mi and the other girls lock her inside a room agian because they know that Nam Ju is going to officially ask her to be his girlfriend. She is pissed off but can’t do anything in the stage. Do Hwa figures out that she was bullied because Nam Ju had prepared something for her in the auditorium but had to postpone it since the balloons, confetti, and poster were ruined. It’s Do Hwa who finds Ju Da in the shadow but as the stage plays out, Nam Ju naturally finds her instead.

Ha Roo gets recurring visions of his former life with Dan Oh in the Trumpet Creeper comics but he is not yet sure what these visions mean. He deduces that the reason he keeps seeing the flower that symbolizes waiting, is because it is telling him to wait for Dan Oh to find him no matter what happens. Dried Squid talks to himself lamenting that the writer has been reusing the same characters, plot, even the lines that they said from the other comic. He is anxious that the same tragedy that happened in Trumpet Creeper will occur here too.

Ha Roo ultimately asks Baek Kyung if he likes Dan Oh (Finally someone asked!) and although Baek Kyung doesn’t give an answer, the former steps up to admit that he does.

Episode 19 and 20

Baek Kyung finds the charred pages of the Trumpet Creeper comic book and deduces that the lines Dan Oh had said to him before in the stage here in Secret are exactly the same with the Dan Oh lookalike in the comics. Dried Squid is mortified when Baek Kyung shows him one of the burnt pages and swears that he’ll take back what was taken from him. In a new stage scene, he yet again gets angry at Dan Oh but as soon as the shadow commences, he immediately walks back to her to try and apologize. He’s not given a chance to at the moment though but he awkwardly tries to say sorry the next day instead.

Getting triggered by people around him, the green-eyed monster in Baek Kyung is heightened as he is constantly being told that it’s better to be an extra like Ha Roo who is not limited by any predetermined set-up. Despite this fact though, he feels that people are adoring and treating Ha Roo like a main character. When Dan Oh’s heart rate watch starts beeping, Ha Roo places it on Sae Mi’s hand instead since he thinks that the scene intended is for Dan Oh to collapse and have Baek Kyung come to her aid. The watch continues to buzz even on Sae Mi so when the stage does happen, Baek Kyung discovers that a person indeed fainted, but it’s Sae Mi who’s on the ground! Ha Roo was able to creatively change the stage once again but Dan Oh still faints; only this time, Ha Roo is the one who brings her to safety.

Nam Ju’s confession to Ju Da is thwarted when his mom intervenes to not do anything of the sort. Ju Da goes to the auditorium where Nam Ju prepared to confess only to find no one there. Do Hwa unexpectedly finds out that Ju Da is not answering her phone and goes to see her at school knowing that something went wrong. Although Ju Da does not directly confess that she’s become self-aware, she does vent out her frustrations that she decided to keep waiting for Nam Ju because he was the 1st person to reach out to her.

With her chest pain affecting her in the shadow too, Dan Oh grows increasingly worried about her time left in this world. She and Ha Roo spend the weekend hanging out at school and make a promise to meet up at the largest tree in the garden there on October 10. Things don’t go exactly as planned though as the succeeding stages has Dan Oh confined in the hospital for more than 2 weeks. Ha Roo senses that something is wrong when Dan Oh doesn’t meet him and tries to see her in the hospital; but whenever he tries to go in the shadow, the stage keeps creating a new scene and he doesn’t make it every single time.

On October 31st, Dan Oh finally gets time in the shadow and she frantically goes to school to find Ha Roo. She searches for him everywhere before breaking down at a spot near the tree. Ha Roo hears her crying and goes to hug her while also confessing his feelings for her. They seal their long-awaited meeting with a kiss on the lips❤️

Thoughts

If this were a horror movie, the ending would probably be that the same set of characters will be created in another comic book, just in a new plot and setting. Everyone won’t be aware again and a devilish smile would be seen from the writer as the same loop of events will just restart all over again. Yeesh, thinking about this gives me the creeps and I am hoping that Extraordinary You is not that kind of kdrama! It would be a daring conclusion but please NO!🙅🏻‍♀️

Before these episodes, I thought that Dried Squid was a gatekeeper for the comics to be stable, but it seems like he could have been a character from Trumpet Creeper too. Given his ominous foreshadowing and constant barrage of warnings to Dan Oh to not change the stage, maybe he suffered a great consequence too. The “tragedy” he mentioned could be a death of a character, I’m just not sure if it’s Dan Oh or Ha Roo. I know that this is a work of fiction but damn, how can the writer be so lazy to reuse lines and characters like this?

Based from the snippets that we are privy to from the other comic book, I think it’s Ha Roo who first fell in love with Dan Oh’s character there. The reason why he can change the stage in the current story is probably because he was the 1st one who became self-aware in his other life and he was also 1/3 of the love triangle so he possesses more power than other characters. I agree with Ha Roo that the book is probably ongoing given that he can change the stage, hopefully the writer does something right this time around and help Dan Oh achieve a happily ever after.