Nevertheless, (2021) poster
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 46,076 users
# of Watchers: 84,144
Reviews: 338 users
Ranked #6552
Popularity #81
Watchers 46,076

Park Jae Eon finds dating a waste of time but likes to flirt. Even though he is friendly and cheerful towards all, he does not pursue others. Park Jae Eon is a master of “push-and-pull” who doesn’t get swept up in emotions. Jae Eon draws firm lines between himself and other people and doesn’t reveal how he feels. Yet when Park Jae Eon meets Yoo Na Bi, he wants to cross those lines. Yoo Na Bi wants to date but doesn’t trust love. After a bitter experience with her first love, she doesn't believe in destiny anymore. But when she meets Park Jae Eon, he has a magical effect on her that challenges Na Bi’s decision to stay aloof. (Source: Soompi, edited by MyDramaList) ~~ Adapted from the webtoon "Nevertheless" (알고있지만) by Jung Seo (정서). Edit Translation

  • English
  • 한국어
  • 中文(台灣)
  • 中文(简体)
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 10
  • Aired: Jun 19, 2021 - Aug 21, 2021
  • Aired On: Saturday
  • Original Network: jTBC Netflix
  • Duration: 1 hr. 10 min.
  • Score: 7.4 (scored by 46,076 users)
  • Ranked: #6552
  • Popularity: #81
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

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43 people found this review helpful
Jun 3, 2023
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 29
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers

An ode to the bittersweet mess of youth.

~If they lose their scales, they'll lose the patterns and colors on their wings, and won't be able to fly~
~Happiness is a butterfly which, when pursued is always beyond our grasp, but if you sit quietly, might alight upon you~

(I'll give a spoiler warning when it's needed)

Nevertheless appreciation depends on people's sensitivity, but it's an excellent drama for many reasons and I'm here to explain why. If you can't handle college students being messy, I wouldn't recommend this drama to you. If you like stories of complex feelings, thoughtful, realistic and mature dramas, then go ahead. The story was incredibly well thought-out, the characters were layered and the drama was visually very aesthetic too. Everything was beautifully executed, I love K-dramas because they give us beautiful productions like this, but Nevertheless is pretty much like no other because it was less scripted & more raw. It's deep, complex, artistic, subtle & sentimental. Clear explanations are not thrown at your face at all and the play on perspectives challenges the audience.

The drama is based on the webtoon but the two are different works that have each taken their own path. Nevertheless is a masterpiece because every time you will rewatch it, you will notice new details. The fanbase wrote literal essays because of all the attention that was put into it, it's almost to the point that you can analyze every scene and every line.

Before going in depth :

Cinematography, acting, music : Absolutely on point. The music and cinematography suit the drama perfectly. I know that not everyone is hooked by the atmosphere/pacing but you can't ignore it was perfectly done (personally it was the first time I felt so immersed into a drama to the point of dreaming about it every night). Song Kang and Han So Hee nailed at portraying their character's emotions, their gazes, the way they talked, the subtle gestures,...

Some things I need to mention : 1. The artistic aspect and the butterflies. The butterflies were real btw! And Nabi's sketches in her room were real too as Han So Hee herself graduated in art. 2. The way they filmed certain things, like hiding half of the face of the people who didn't have much importance for them anymore or had a negative impact on them. 3. The modern and realistic take on relationships and feelings that the drama portrays, and not only thanks to the main couple. (we even got representation of lgbtq+ characters!) 4. The intimate scenes. They were perfectly realized, beautifully captured along with Rio's songs, not unnecessary, not too short, not too long, and there weren't too many. Each time they kissed had me melt right away. Especially when they couldn't control their feelings... The entire room suddenly felt hot. We need more real kisses like this in dramas! 5. The secondary characters and the diversity in their personalities, just as in real life, and also the friendship between all of them. Loved it. Even the teacher was amazing! She was surprisingly open-minded and gave great advices. (not always, though) 6. The way their inner thoughts were shown to the audience was awesome. 7. The struggles of young adults in their twenties were portrayed very well. I'm not in my twenties yet, but I know that people related and I also can feel it already. 8. The poster with Jae Eon lying on Nabi's shoulder says it all.

Stop here if you don't want major spoilers !

To begin with, Jae Eon is admittedly a flirt, but to what extent do people really know him? He did not deliberately hurt people, he never used his past as an excuse, and no one cared about him before as much as Nabi did. There is a great portrayal of what's a toxic person at the beginning and that is Nabi's ex. Jae Eon also was a bit touchy-feely but he wasn't controlling like her ex and didn't abuse her. Her ex, on the other hand, destroyed her self-esteem. Jae Eon told her she's the prettiest when she works, her ex told her she's the prettiest while having sex. Her ex kept blaming her, has Jae Eon ever done that to her? Never. The drama starts out with Nabi’s agency completely robbed by her ex, yet when she meets someone so passive that every choice in the relationship is hers - she totally crumbles under the pressure. She is also very critical of herself for multiple reasons. This drama is undeniably a fascinating character study, I'll have to omit a lot of details but if you want more, look at the links I put in the comments section. The first episodes are almost entirely told through a distrustful main character’s POV and the audience is left wondering what the truth is. Halfway point leaves you questioning the characters POV (especially Nabi). Later episodes let you looking back at the first episodes with new eyes, which is clever.

Nabi is not you and neither she is a victim of a toxic man (unless we are talking about her ex). Both were responsible for their choices and actions and it's pretty clear that she hurts Jae Eon too.

I know that it depends on one's sensitivity but some people are going way too far. Please try to appreciate these two characters, this is all I'm asking for. People inventing them disorders and evil motivations are ridiculous. Yes, some people actually do that, I even saw people calling out the drama to be anti-feminist. What does feminism even mean to them anyway? The woman has to be 100% good and the man 100% bad? No thank you, I do not support this mindset. It's even contradictory to view her as a naive and stupid girl while that's clearly not what the drama shows. Those same people made her dirty, sounds like hypocrisy to me. I absolutely love Nabi and Jae Eon so please listen to what I have to say.

Jae Eon's feelings about Nabi are clear. First, the bracelet he made for her, as well as the butterfly-shaped suncatcher. The scene where he wrapped his shirt around her waist, when he offered to be her partner for the work, the scene where he was worried to the point he called the emergency because she didn't respond (she was sick), the scene of the fight where he loses control of himself and beats the man who hurt her, when he was there the day of her anniversary, his discussions with his mother, Seol Ah and Kyu Hyun, and finally the reveal of his love at first sight. He confirms it near the end by talking to her about how he first met her at the exhibition and how he saw it as fate when he met her again one night, without directly saying who it was, Nabi thinking it was just another girl until she saw the drawing.

Now it's time to go more in depth.

Before anything, you have to take into consideration their contradictory feelings for each other causing the mess that is their relationship, but also : their past experiences and their family's situation. Nabi never saw a successful relationship from her mother while not even having a good relationship with her (but she had her aunt) and Jae Eon had a well off mother who couldn't give him the love and attention he needed, making it hard for him to even love himself. Jae Eon had the same abandonment issues as Nabi, his manifested in aloofness and hers in insecurity.

Jae Eon was interested in Nabi since the first time he met her at the exhibition hall. They met again by coincidence after that night. Nabi knew what kind of person Jae Eon was. Nevertheless, she already fell for him and against all odds, by herself, she kissed him. She knew what kind of relationship she was getting into, there's no need to act as if she didn't. Both were sexually attracted by each other but there was more on both sides. There wasn't really anything wrong with their relationship in the first place. It was quite messy but still they were happy with it and having a good time together - until bad things happened such as gossip, Nabi's ex return, Seol Ah's lie to Nabi and this girl's brother encounter with Jae Eon. Their relationship then becomes unhealthy because of the miscommunication, insecurities and fears. Nabi felt pathetic because she wanted more than what Jae Eon could give and she was confused about his feelings. He didn't want to commit but at the same time he didn't like how Nabi was straying away from him, especially for other boys, while most of the time he stayed with her. He had feelings for her (he started to realize his own feelings when he told her "It's not like that." which is something he wouldn't have done normally) and didn't want her to go, but again, he couldn't have a serious relationship with her and let's not forget that he didn't know himself if she ever saw him as more than a friend with benefits. Once Nabi realized she’s not able to accept that type of relationship anymore she ended it and that’s what it was. Yet, Jae Eon still decided to pursue her despite everything, something he would never do before. Actually, he kept coming back to her until the end. Even though he met another girl when Nabi left, he kept thinking about her and he decided she's the one after his discussion with his mother.

Jae Eon did his worst mistake at that one moment (when he saw Do Hyeok), in spite of Nabi's feelings. Rather than being sincere, he was swept up in emotions and acted selfishly, and Nabi felt it so she did not believe him. The lack of communication between them was still there so they just exploded in anger once again and regretted. This is the best summary I can give. Then episode 10 happened and ended everything in the most beautiful way. The ending was perfect and meaningful.

(I'll just post the rest in the comments section because MDL reduced the characters limit)

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265 people found this review helpful
Jun 29, 2021
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 16
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 3.0

1st half: So realistic, it makes you queasy — 2nd half: so clichéd, it makes you yawn (loudly)

This series is definitely for a more mature audience, now I get the 19+ rating. It's not your typical fluffy rom-com with a lighthearted tone, sweet more caricatural than real characters and heart fluttering moments.

Well, this series does make your heart flutter, but for other reasons, namely, a) the sexual tension between the leads and b) the anxiety and unease that comes along with it. It initially is a realistic depiction of what dating nowadays looks like, of trust issues, fear of commitment, the struggle to really open up and the stress when you can't read your crushes' mind and intentions. When to call yourselves exclusive? Is there even such a thing? Nowadays, is there really the option of falling in love and staying in a monogamous relationship when there might always be 'a better option' out there? You might be one swipe away from an exciting rendezvous, the acknowledgement you lack from your partner, the distraction and escape you need (from yourself). The earlier episodes of the show really makes you ponder on all these things.

Also, you can really see that women are working on this show as they've captured the essence of what concerns and bothers women (in their twenties) so well. Be it the excitement, obsession and fear of rejection when having a huge crush on someone, the dejection when you try hard at university or work and are still left-behind, the urge to fit in and still feel disconnected with everyone. Really well-done.
The cinematography, pace, dialogues and background score also enhance the emotions and mood to a great extent.

As for the romance, the main theme of the plot, I think a lot of people might actually drop this series, because the story seems so relatable and doomed to be painful, too relatable even, for those who have experienced something similar and just can't cope with it anymore. And even if you might not agree with all of the female lead's actions and at times find her annoying and irritatingly irrational, she is still absolutely relatable, as you can literally grasp the train of thoughts that leads to these actions and decisions of hers. I further believe we've all either been in such a situation, were tempted enough or 'have this one friend' to/who despite seeing the red flags can't help overlooking them, knowing this might eventually crush us/them. Cudos to the cast for making our anxieties come alive.

Sadly, the earlier episode are by far better than the latter ones. At some point the story starts to feel repetitive and drained; there is no real progress and the authenticity and originality up until then slowly but gradually devolves into a clichéd run-on-the-mill romance, —outdated even — in which the heroine is (seemingly) stuck b/w two boys; although her final choice is blatantly obvious. Curious if there'll be an unexpected turn in the end. Also, there were some personal issues with an actor, wherefore his screen time was reduced drastically; reasonable, but unfortunately it took a toll on the quality of the drama.

All in all, this show had great potential — until the makers felt obliged to follow the 101 k-drama formula. Watchable only for the chemistry of the leads and the side stories, even though the ending is unfit imo and Song Kang's lack of emotions (blame the character) even make his pretty face boring.
And I urge you all to listen to the soundtrack, even if you don't want to watch the show: so fresh and SO good!

If you've already seen the show (or do not plan on watching it) and would like to know why I felt the ending wasn't really fitting, see the comment section below this review. It's marked as a spoiler.

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  • Drama: Nevertheless,
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 10
  • Aired: Jun 19, 2021 - Aug 21, 2021
  • Aired On: Saturday
  • Original Network: jTBC, Netflix
  • Duration: 1 hr. 10 min.
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older


  • Score: 7.4 (scored by 46,076 users)
  • Ranked: #6552
  • Popularity: #81
  • Watchers: 84,144

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