Once there was a rabbit, who found a way back home.
With these words the popular TV series from 2013 My love from another star ends, and our dreams with it as well. When I first saw the hit back then, I didn’t pay much attention to the philosophy behind this drama, but now, years later I know that it was a major mistake. The main reason I picked the TV series up and watched it was Kim Soo Hyun and the interesting plot, which was never ever used before on Korean television. That’s why I focused solely on the amazing romance and humor but as I mentioned I turned a blind eye towards the deep philosophy of this story.
It all started with a simple re-watch.
I sat down last year and binge-watched the whole drama and slowly realized that this story isn’t only about romance. This story is also about finding yourself and changing yourself. I know that a LOT of you are in love with this drama and Do Min Joon is your husband material, but what if I told you that he isn’t that perfect as we all pictured him?
The TV series importance isn’t in fact that Do Min Joon is an alien, but is in fact that he is self-centered and I only realized this after I read the book which our favorite alien holds dear. At first I was confused why does some alien have lingering feelings over one book which is about rabbit, thus making it a book for children, but I was wrong.
The book is like a mirror to Do Min Joon’s soul.
I know that many people do not know what am I talking about so I will start from scratch, so even people who have not read the book can understand my analysis.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a book written by Kate Dicamillo and is considered as a hit in a lot of countries, so it’s only reasonable that some Korean script-writer would use it as inspiration.
The story talks about a very beautiful china rabbit who lives with a girl named Abilene Tulane, a ten-year old girl, who gives all her attention to the lovely rabbit, Edward Tulane. Abilene considers the rabbit as her friend, brother, father figure and in some way the rabbit becomes her obsession. She doesn’t see him as a rabbit but as a living being, which can talk and take part in family discussions. Since the rabbit is pampered everyday by his master he quickly becomes spoiled, and often insults other toys which do not have such pretty clothes like he does. The rabbit not once insulted his master, which proved the fact that indeed the rabbit was spoiled. He only cares about himself and doesn't look at the problems that others around him are facing. The whole book is written in third person point of view, which helps the reader to picture Edward as a real thinking being.
Edward lives with Abilene for many years but than something unexpected happens, which will change his life forever.
Edward Tulane the china rabbit gets lost.
This is the starting point of the story, because the rabbit finally faces the reality of the harsh world which isn’t like the home of his master. He isn’t sitting on a wooden shelf anymore, or laying on a soft mattress on Abilene’s bed. He is out, in the cold and dumped in water. He loses not only his clothes, but also the pride, which he held onto so dearly.
At first, the rabbit is shocked and embarrassed, but than he slowly meets people who will influence him enough, for him to change.
Each person he meets will give him something, but also take something from the rabbit, thus making it painful. But that’s the reality of living in this world. When you love someone you can’t just take from the other person, but you also in some way have to give something in exchange too for example your soul.
But why and how is this china rabbit so similar to the black-haired alien?
Do Min Joon as a matter of fact is an alien, which comes from a different planet. He may look like a human, but his abilities are far from us – humans.
He is perfect.
He has great strength, he is fast, can stop time, teleport himself to where he wants to and for sure other things which I forgot to mention. I can perfectly imagine myself in his shoes when he landed on our planet. In his eyes we were weaklings and he was the superior race, since he has all of these super powers, which we do NOT posses. Not once does his monologues sound like he is insulting the human race, because his mind couldn’t seem to comprehend that humans are not perfect. Min Joon often talks about how he misses his home and doesn't pay much attention to how others around him feel, thinking that his missed flight home is the biggest problem. Instead of finding the will to truly live, he decided to hide his feelings and only do things, which would keep him alive and wouldn't drawn attention to him.
Thus he became the china rabbit Edward.
Edward lived in a warm house owned by Abeline and Min Joon lived on his perfect planet which he called home, where he was surrounded with people who were like him – perfect.
Edward lost his home and was thrown out and faced the cruel world and on the other side Min Joon kinda missed his flight home, thus he faced the ‘cruel world’ which we call our home. But in Min Joon’s eyes we were all uncivilized. We – humans became aliens in Min Joon’s eyes.
This drama is heavily inspired by the book because the journey the rabbit takes is like Min Joons. He slowly meets other people which change his normal routine and turn his life into a chaos, for example Cheon Song Yi. Just like Edward, at first he dislikes her for her temper and boldness but then he grows fond of her. Min Joon slowly realizes that in his journey there is also evil, which is portrayed by Lee Jae Kyeong.
I mentioned only these two because they make the biggest impact in Min Joon’s life but there are other people who cut his rough edges and slowly we witness how our alien loses his ‘tough’ demeanor and accepts the new feelings. At first he sees those emotions as a burden and form of weakness's but, then he realizes that these feelings are completely normal and humane.
In the end just like the china rabbit Do Min Joon finds his home, which isn’t his planet but the hearts of ordinary humans. Yes, Cheon Song Yi is his first and last love, but in a way he didn’t only learn what romantic love is, but also familial.
I could go on and on about how similar these two are, but I really don’t want to give out the whole plot and magic of the book so I recommend you to buy it. It’s a quick read, but very meaningful. You may cry just like I did when the rabbit traveled and met new people, but trust me, when you finish the reading you will learn something new.
Who knows, maybe you will re-watch the drama with a new point of view, thus making the re-watch much more meaningful.
And just like Edward Tulane and Do Min Joon I will end this article with the following words….
Once there was a rabbit, who found a way back home.