Controlled by a complex network of cells, each and every human on the planet is kept running by an unseen operating system that is, for the most part, completely ignored. Though humans never give much thought to how they manage to function, day in and day out, the cells within the human body are constantly at work, doing their part to keep their humans alive and well. This is why on the outside, Kim Yoo Mi may appear to be just like every other single working woman in the world, but underneath that ordinary exterior lies something truly extraordinary. Having recently suffered a painful breakup, Yoo Mi’s love cells have fallen into a deep coma. While the surrounding cells work hard to revive their fallen compatriots, Yoo Mi spends her days stuck in the grind of everyday life. With a heart still broken and no romantic prospects, Yoo Mi’s love cells might have been in serious trouble had it not been for the sudden appearance of Goo Woong. An emotionally stunted game developer, Goo Woong has no idea how to express his true feelings, but after meeting Yoo Mi, he finds himself wanting to try. With his own love cells unexpectedly sparking Yoo Mi’s back to life, things between the two start to get interesting. With both Yoo Mi and Goo Woong’s cells working overtime, the two find themselves drawing ever closer. But will the efforts of this small collection of cells really be enough to bring two hearts together forever? (Source: Viki) ~~ Adapted from the webtoon "Yumi's Cells" (유미의 세포들) by Lee Dong Geon (이동건). Edit Translation
Where to Watch Yumi's Cells
Cast & Credits
"Who's the leading man of my life?" -There is no such person for that role.Dramas never failed to deliver fairytales... with happily ever after themes, fantasies that could never come true in real life, with the most perfect characters without any flaws, and even upside-down character development that the lead might be a jerk at the beginning but till the 16th episode he's an angel.
To think of it, it's really hard to find something in dramaland, that we could relate to.. or even say, "ah this has happened with me." "Oh, I've been in this situation"... "I know how does it feel." This is why Yumi's Cells is different, it never tries to portray something picture-perfect or flawless... rather shows how things-relationships-emotions work in real life, well realistic portrayal? is it sound boring? don't worry we've got a lot of cells to keep you entertained.
It lives up to its name 'Yumi's Cells' is only about her... her cells, her life, her relationship, it never distracts or goes on the wrong path. We see this story from her narrative from her cells narrative. It's almost 50% animation... I never imagined I would love drama with a cocktail of animation, but I did.. way more than what I imagined, Cells are the stars of the show, they are everything. I love how accurately it managed to show how the brain or our emotions work.
Kim Go Eun did an amazing job. Honestly, this role was challenging. Curious, why? Just think of it we're watching a normal drama... any incident happens we get to know how that person feels through his/her reaction-expression, we can never guess what's happening in their head (unless we already getting to know due to storytelling or know their exact thoughts) so at the end of the day, it depends on actor.. and their acting how emotion gonna covey to us. But here it's a different case coz we exactly know how she's feeling... what's her mood and what's happening in her brain (literally). So she has to show every emotion that we do know from her cells with her expressions. And she did it! even a slight change was visible through her micro emotions, she lived Yumi.
I usually talk about characterization in my reviews, but I feel this is insignificant here, leads are just like any normal person... like me, like you, like us. Facing normal real-life problems, real difficulties in the relationship, without any dramatization-cliches-tropes. We don't need something grand to happen to start or end any relationship... it happens with time, with small things. And this is the essence of it. It happens, it's okay! not the end of the world... as loving only one person is not the only purpose of life itself.
For those who might feel some characters are one-dimensional, like Sae-Yi, Ruby, and even Woong sometimes... it's not even the point here, coz we never get to explore any of them in real, we see them from one perspective which is Yumi's so how are we supposed to know every shade of them. This is not lazy writing but it wasn't intended to start with.
The amount of second-hand embarrassment I've got from this drama is insane. It's cute-sweet-cringey-heart fluttering-emotionally heavy-embarrassing-realistic at the same time, that's the specialty of it. And of course, the cells are show-stealer there wasn't a split second where I was bothered by animation... I loved watching them, arguing-fighting with each other. Helping each other while deciding important decisions snd being there for each other... they were like important characters of the show having their own persona. Ah the cameos of different cells were amazing lol
This isn't a conventional and normal drama story that follows the path that every drama has, it's different, it's unique, and quite refreshing.... but watch it to try something new, it never promised of being extraordinary.
Who the heck was the stylist?
It took me forever to get warmed up for their hairstyle -_-
Your destiny is a matter of your choices."Yumi's Cell" is indeed an unique drama you'll ever get to witness with an entirely different approach to showcase human psychological behaviour, their relationships and their lives. This drama is an example of how the simplest of stories can be made interesting, meaningful and valuable with the use of a creative mind, and an idiosyncratic storytelling method. I naturally came here for the cast but despite a decent performance from them what kept me hooked was "the cells." The cells took over the star-studded cast, I swear.
Before anything else, let's spare some moment to praise and applause the writer of the original webtoon writer of the same title, Lee Dung Gun, who has done a very commendable job with their creative approach and analytical mind. This work will force the audience to keep everything else at one side and look up to the drama as the episode goes by.
If you see, the storyline and basic plot of "Yumi's Cell" is not anything new or of that sort but what makes it stand out on a far high level is the utilization of various kinds of 'cells' of the body; not the biological cells, but the cells representing various types of emotions, expressions and important factors of our lives. Then, the way everything has been executed with the appropriate use of science, psychology and technology, makes the entire thing even more interesting. Basically, most of them are brain cells, coordinating with the entire body and Yumi's mental health.
The drama is basically a romcom, with some "slice of life" of elements and whatever shown in here might seem silly, but my dear, these are the real-life relationship issues that every single couples go through in a dating relationship. The seemingly slow screenplay in the later half of the show, is nothing but the gradual buildup in a relationship, that we don't always see in Kdramas. The chemistry development and story progression is in fact very light and instead of the cast, the cells play the key roles here, hence it's a story of the cells portrayed through the human beings.
The Cells here are not the cells you think, these are rather tiny smurf-like cartoons or let's say human beings, playing different cells inside Yumi. Yumi, in the story, is a simple girl, living a simple life, maintaining the balance between her work and almost nonexistent personal life. The basic plot is about Kim Yu Mi (Kim Go Eun) & Gu Woong (Ahn Bo Hyun), them coming together, trying to date, ending up a relationship and then the most important part, maintaining it with their best efforts. Yes, that sums up the entire story, then what's interesting in it? It's the action of these cute little cells that narrates what exactly happens inside Yumi while all these things happen.
The justifying title shined very bright because the drama when says Yumi's Cell, it signifies solely Yumi and everything about her; It's only her who thinks, analyses, examines and makes choices for herself. The human-like cells and their convictions are what makes Yumi function as a human being and whatever happens is always a processs that relies on factors, that only Yumi has control over. The cells are in fact very humane, their actions are impetuous and has the reflection of naturalness. Though presented in the form of animation, the screenplay is realistic and relatable to a great deal. Again, the implementation has been done in such a way, the cell village and their interactions just feels like our daily lives; evoking every kind of emotions. It's infact also funny in regards of this, as in the stupid yet seemingly sensible causes behind the cells' behaviour and their responses with the given stimuli, that make it an interesting watch throughout.
The screenplay distribution between the cells and the real humans is very appropriately done, I must say. The cells, without any doubt, got more screentime than the cast, which is only fair but whatever the cast got was a perfect combination as well. The simultaneous screenplay through the live actions of the cells, showing their rapid & spontaneous response to everything, is such a cheerful and exciting thing that you keep wishing for more. Lee Sang Yeob PDnim is not a new face in the industry, but given the concept of the drama and his period of existence in the rapidly-changing technological aspects of production, he has done a very wonderful job in directing, managing and editing the entire drama and every single thing has been implemented very well.
The screenwriters, however changed for the drama, have done a good job in setting up the entire story. I can't judge their work while comparing it with the original webtoon because I haven't read it at all, so for me, their job was amazingly done and their experience actually shows from the script.
There are so many things about this drama to fall in love with and at the same time, there are few plots plus elements to get mad about. But then, while considering reality and judging from the perspective of characters, I tended to shift my way of thinking, which helped me to a great extent in understanding and relating to them. Because, irl, we never know someone very well to predict their moves and assume what they're thinking, that's basic human psychology.
Ahn Bo Hyun's effortless fashion sense was also something that had attracted me to the drama and for first few episodes I was so very happy seeing him but the biggest disappointment about the drama is the fact that, they changed it. Idk about anyone else, but I wanted Gu Woong to keep up with his looks; his long hair, his Bohemian beard, his choice of outfits, him in short pants, everything about him was so enticing, oof. I will always be mad about it TT.
A great message that the drama also served is that, every single being has some flaws and nobody is that perfect to be doing the "only right" actions all the times. We commit mistakes, hold onto it, then come to realise our actions, try to solve it, reflect on it with guilt and finally try to overcome it; this is life. Not just Yumi and Woong, it was also the major side characters like Seo Se Yi (Park Ji Hyun), Ruby (Lee Yoo Bi), Yoo Ba Bi or Bobby ( Park Jin Young), Chae Wu Gi (Choi Min Ho) and in fact the cells, all of them go through the same process. Some characters are one-dimensional and weren't much explained but again, the story is from Yumi's pov, so the side characters are what she thinks they're.
I am happy about Jin Young and Minho being here, which I was unaware of before the drama started airing; even more happy about their character arcs. Didn't except Minho to be playing such a character (you'll know what when you watch) though he's a very minor character who appears sometimes randomly; nevertheless, he also was a key reason for the happenings of the basic plot. Jin Young also is a minor character in s1 but from what I read about the webtoin in short, he shares a good amount of timing in s2 serving a major role in further in the story, hopefully.
There is no manual for dating, there's no order for the sequence of events that should happen in a relationship as long as it's meant to be. Don't force everyone into your ideals that are basically stereotypes and makes people think that deviating from it is a taboo, which in turn also affects their mental health. I said this because in the course of the drama ongoing, I've seen people complaining about the direction of Yumi & Woong's relationship and how that felt boring and honestly, it turns a lil slow from 9th episode onwards but what we should also remember that, constant failure is very real. And not everything follows as we wish them to; things not necessarily happen right the next time just because it was wrong in the previous one. This reminds me a quote from the drama "Start-up" that said, "Time doesn't heal all the wounds". I liked how the motive of the story changed from a simple romcom to a relationship progression from there, which at first, I thought would not be interesting.
Obviously, in a relationship one is more insecure than the other but those insecurities are not always from the experiences of past relationships but can also be the result of own's convictions and conclusions. It's okay to be indecisive when it comes to vital turning points of life, because it's not so easy to just clap and make choices instantly. We learn through thin & thicks over time and thar period time varies from person to person. Even in a room full of 100 people, every single one differs by 0.001% from the other and that's okay. Noone is 100% honest in their relationships, there are things that you fear to share even with the closest person of your life, assuming that might affect whatever is there between. All these things are closesly associated with our psychology and thinking process which has to vary, otherwise life would have been very simple without any pain, that is practically impossible.
The drama also throws light on One's "Priorities". Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important. When you know what's most important to you, making a decision is quite simple. But it's not the case in real. As I said, we learn things over time. Another element is courage that again reminds of this quote, "Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore." That also applies to relationships, because If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.
The ending.... Umm yes it has a sad ending but sad endings are not bad endings and again the definition of happiness & sadness or good & bad is upon ones perceptions. It was made obvious that there'll be another season since the webtoon is awfully lengthy, but I was still praying them to wrap up though I knew what'll happen. Not like I don't want more, it's just I am very impatient and anxious to wait for a year. Anyways, I don't think the very ending was absurd and since we have another season left, I wish for good.
There could be things that won't please you but I must repeat, this drama is about the cells and not the human beings. Watching it with an open mind will surely help you like it and it'll naturally grown upon you. It's entertaining, cheerful and definitely a mood buster. For me, it was a beautiful and decent watch which I needed after watching 3 thriller dramas back to back and I am sure I loved the entire thing, especially the cells. So the purpose and goal of the story has been causally served, if you're in love with the cells. Please go for it.
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