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The story of a man who lives an isolated life due to a severe allergy to other people but meets and falls in love with a woman who pretends to be a robot.
(Source: MBC America)
Where to Watch I’m Not a Robot
Cast & Credits
I seldom write reviews for dramas, but I felt that this drama was worth my time to recommend it to others. Frankly, I went into this drama without high expectations because the plot summary sounded a bit funny at first. However, this drama proved me wrong and turned out to be one of the best rom-coms I have ever watched. I found myself waiting desperately for each Wednesday and Thursday to come, so that I could immediately tune in for the latest episode. And, more so, I found myself laughing and crying along with the characters.
This is a drama for people who like simple romance, without much salt and pepper, just pure unsophisticated interactions between two individuals in their home space as they gradually fall in love. This is also a drama for people who like to focus on main leads and don’t care much about side characters and their subplots, because all the side characters in this drama are purely for the development of the leads.
The story is about a man called Kim Min Kyu (Yoo Seung Ho) who, due to childhood trauma, developed a rare illness that causes him to be allergic to humans (as in REAL skin allergy!) and he has since then lived all by himself for 15 years. Doctor Hong Baek Gyun (Uhm Ki Joon) gets Min Kyu to test out his newly invented robot, but due to unexpected circumstances, Jo Ji Ah (Chae Soo Bin) was sent in in place of the robot, and there begins their cohabitation life where Min Kyu slowly opens his heart and learns to trust people again. The story focuses on the two main leads and their daily interactions, keeping the story simple and linear. However, that does not make it boring, as seeing their relationship grow in real time was what I enjoyed most in the process. AND THEY WERE JUST TOO CUTE. Although this is a rom-com, it does have a melo downturn in the second half, so be prepared for some angst.
The reason why I deducted marks from the story, is because the pacing was a bit off in the last several episodes. Sometimes they would deliberately drag the plot for an episode to end in a cliffhanger. This took a toll on the plot development, causing the ending to be too rushed because there were many things left to resolve. However, the chemistry between the characters will still keep you anticipating for the next episode.
The story is not without clichés or plotholes, and while you may judge the realisticity of the story by asking “hey, how is it possible for him to not know how to distinguish between robot and human??”, I would say it depends on what you expect from watching this drama. Since this is a sci-fi/fantasy rom-com, its main goal is to present a funny, light-hearted story that does not necessarily have to follow the principles of reality, as long as it is internally consistent and effectively delivers what it wants to deliver. And I think this drama did an excellent job at telling a beautiful story about how bonds are formed, and how love could make you recognize a person’s soul no matter how they may change. As long as you overlook the basic assumptions that the story is founded upon, it is an enjoyable story.
Cast was well chosen and fit their roles A LOT – one of the major reasons this drama was well-received is because of the likable cast that keeps us wanting for more.
First of all, Yoo Seung Ho gave a stellar performance as usual. When he cries, you just can’t help but want to cry with him. His emotions felt so genuine and real, that his agony transcended through the screen. From happiness, to disbelief, and ultimately to despair, the transition of his feelings was like that of a real person. Imo, he delivered well the struggles and inner conflict of a character who fell in love with a robot.
Chae Soo Bin’s doll-like appearance and figure makes for a believable robot, and she did an amazing job portraying three personalities (a human, a robot, and a human pretending to be a robot) and they all feel different. On top of that, she had amazing chemistry with Seung Ho. Their adorable interactions were a major leverage to the story, and I don’t think any other pair would have spiked the same type of cuteness-overloaded, star-struck chemistry as they did.
I loved how the Santa Maria research team and the leads were like a real family that cared for each other wholeheartedly. Every member had distinct personalities that made them memorable. As for the villains, they were mainly there to establish the bond between the two leads (and to showcase Aji 3’s intelligence). I was looking forward to the push-pull brotherhood tension between Min Kyu and Yoo Cheol, but sadly it wasn’t developed. I wish the love lines of the side characters were talked about more as well.
Overall, the characters could have been explored in more detail, but since I happen to not be the type of audience who likes side characters and side stories, I am already satisfied enough with my devotion to the two leads. In terms of casting, they all fit their roles very well and I will always remember them as these roles.
I liked how they made a contrast between characters who think using logic (i.e. the scientists, Aji 3) and characters who think using feelings (i.e. Ji Ah). it shows that emotional intelligence is also a type of intelligence and, although it is often left unseen, it is a quality that’s not inferior to logic. The deeper message – human emotions is something that cannot be mimicked using logic, it is something that can only be felt by humans.
I would say the main selling point of this drama is the sincerity of emotions that the characters share and the heartwarming message. I was definitely touched by the genuine emotions of Ji Ah. She made me understand that sometimes things don’t have to be practical or logical to be meaningful. It’s the heart of a human that makes them transcend robots, and the heart of a human that can make a seemingly useless object become meaningful.
There’s not much to say about the OST. All the songs match well with the sweet atmosphere of the drama.
I can’t say this drama has the best plot, but the chemistry between the characters and the heartfelt messages made up for it. Overall, it’s a drama with sincere characters that are able to touch people’s hearts using their dialogue. The chemistry, characters, atmosphere, and Yoo Seung Ho’s expressive acting have made it work.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been so invested in a drama. This drama reminds me of why I started liking Korean dramas, and I’m certainly glad I didn’t judge a book by its cover and gave it a try. This is one of the dramas that I will always remember even after a long time. It has a special place in my heart.
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Coming to the cast. I am not particularly fond of Chae Soo Bin, but this drama definitely changed that. She was perfect both as the robot Ah Ji and the street smart Ji Ah. Yoo Seung Ho was ADORABLE! He was the best thing about the show! I've seen plenty of his works and I think by far, this is my favorite character portrayed by him. This character really suited him so much. The supporting cast was really good. Loved Ji Ah's friend and her brother as well as his family. They were all great. Sun Hye's little love triangle was awesome. lol.
The music was great. Perfect amount of chirp and serious.
I would definitely come back and watch it for the adorable character of Kim Min Kyu as well as certain hilarious scenes. Also, someone needs to invent those things Ji Ah made in the show, but sounds a little difficult from science's POV, lol.
Anyways, if you are in a mood for an easy-watch, this is definitely your show!
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