Okay, so first things first… I AM LOVING THIS SHOW SO FREAKING MUCH! I love absolutely everything about it! The characters are amazing, Dan Oh is so much fun, I can’t get enough of her. Haru is so beautiful and cute and ahhh. Kyung is such a jerk but he wears it so well??? Plus, knowing he really doesn’t have much choice in the matter helps. Ju Da and Nam Ju’s story is actually so much fun BECAUSE they’re in a Boys Over Flowers remake but our mains are aware of how dumb it is so it’s actually very enjoyable!

I am actually looking forward to watching this one every week, it’s given me my much-needed drama obsession for the next couple of months or so.

It’s VERY different from the webtoon, but I think it kind of works (for me) because of that? Like, I keep looking forward to figuring out what those changes mean. I am excited to see where they lead! But I do want to talk about them for a sec. 

A short disclaimer: when I talk about the “comic” I am actually talking about “Secrets” - the original comic from which Dan Oh comes and lives inside. It’s a romance comic that has its own plot and all the characters of the webtoon are part of it.

When I talk about the webtoon, I am talking about the actual webtoon that you can read, in which Dan Oh is a self-aware comic character trying to change her fate as an extra. 

SPOILERS FOR THE WEBTOON!!

(This is based on what has been translated so far, there are 8 chapters left)

The Set-Up

  • In the Drama they went for a more “Boys Over Flowers”-esque type of story, with three hot friends who are the highlight of their rich kids’ high school, and the one poor girl who transferred in and has the guts to stand up to the leader of them. It has scenes like girls ganging up on her to bully her, the leader saying “don’t touch what’s mine” and being all contrary, the special F4 A3 club room/space that makes you wonder about this school funding and if this is really where it should be going and more familiar hits.
  • And you know what? I totally get it! It’s a cognetive shortcut. We don’t need anyone to explain to us what’s going on in the Comic Plot because we’ve all been there and done that before, allowing the drama to focus on Dan Oh and her reactions to everything around her. Plus, it allows for some very fun commentary from Dan Oh that proves dramas have come a long way and now recognize how exceptionally dumb and cringy much of what we see in them is. 
  • I do wonder if they are going to incorporate their original backstories somehow, the same as they are doing with Baek Kyung, because the comic is still named Secrets, and that was a very big part of why. 
  • Basically, In the Webtoon, you still have three hot friends, but they don’t have their own special area and all of those things. Many of the BOF scenes are not part of this setup. Instead, Ju Da, the main character of the Comic “Secrets” is actually a childhood friend of the comic’s second male lead, Do Hwa. As a child, she went through a horrific experience, which Do Hwa is aware of. She has PTSD and selective amnesia, which means she gets panic attacks from loud sounds and glass shards but has never actually dealt with her trauma because she can’t remember it. She transferred to their school with Nam Joo’s help after her grandmother’s death and has a contract with him that has to do with his secret. They also share a childhood connection. Their relationship is different and more complex than what it is in the drama (so far). Therefore, their interactions are of a different nature than they are in the drama.
  • Part of what is so great about the webtoon is that it deals with really difficult subjects. The drama so far looks so fluffy and fun in comparison, that I can’t help but wonder how these elements would be incorporated, if at all.

Dan Oh & her Family Life

  • Webtoon Dan Oh is a much more reserved character than Drama Dan Oh. She is not innocent sweet in her “comic version”, and she is not energetic say-what-comes-to-her-mind in her self aware version, either. She is cool, both in a “she’s so cool!” meaning and “wow, she doesn’t show many emotions” type of way. 
  • Her parents care mostly about money, and actually, don’t pay her much attention. They use her about the same way Baek Kyung’s asshole dad uses him. They are both alive and in the picture, too.
  • And, most importantly, she is terminally ill from the get-go and she finds that out in her “character concept” from the comic. So, her actions are in part directed by the unfairness of knowing that the author probably doesn’t even mean for her to survive until the end of the comic. Her story is full of emotions, heartbreak, and hope, and it’s really touching. But she does it all more subtly and quietly than Drama Dan Oh. 
  • Webtoon Dan Oh is also very much an extra. At least as far as the main comic story is concerned. Yes, she obviously has her scenes with Baek Kyung that give her some more story and relevancy, but in most of the scenes she appears in with regards to Ju Da and Num Joo’s story, she is a one-liner character if at all. She often wonders why the author brought her all the way to the scene just for this. 
  • Drama Dan Oh is very different, and, look, I ain’t complaining. Drama Dan Oh is all I said Webtoon Dan Oh is not, and that makes sense. In a Webtoon, we have free access to the character’s thoughts. Even if she is not as expressive, we know her true thoughts and feelings and so we don’t need that extra energy. A drama doesn’t have that luxury–if we spent all the drama just hearing her thoughts without her really emoting, I don’t think we’d be all that interested. And Drama Dan Oh is so much fun. She is what makes it breezy and funny and refreshing. But that also means her story, so far, is not as poignant and painful. That’s not to say we won’t get there–but for now, it’s lighter and more fun.
  • As for her family, Drama Dan Oh has a father who would die for her and a loving mother who has already passed away. I kind of feel like thanking the script-writer of the drama for giving Dan Oh something. In the Webtoon, it felt very unfair that the comic writer thought to saddle her not only with a terminal illness and a jerk of a fiance who hates her but also with a greedy, money-hungry family. C’mon, give a girl a break!
  • Drama Dan Oh is not really an extra, is she? I mean, in the drama, she feels much more like a side character, especially as they made her the “love bridge”, as she calls it, between Ju Da and Nam Joo. It means that she actually appears in many scenes related to Nam Joo and Ju Da. I get that because you do want to give your main character more screen time, but at the same time, it’s a bit weird that she’s considered an extra in this world? 

Haru

  • boy do I have things to say about this one. Because they gave him so much to do in this? Not that I mind, of course. Haru is beautiful and I am here for him to grace my screen for as long as he possibly can, but it does make me wonder where they are going with it.
  • In The Webtoon, Haru's (role in the comic Secrets) really is a nameless extra. He has nothing specific to do, no role in the comic's story whatsoever. He barely appears on stage and when he does it’s background. His relationship with Dan Oh is so bittersweet because it is filled with waiting and lounging–waiting for scenes in which they both exist, so they can sneak off and be together while the script is running around them. They communicate any way they can, looking forward to the quiet moments they can spend together, alone, away from the cold hand of the author. He only becomes active when it becomes dangerous for Dan Oh. 
  • The drama is taking a different approach, which actually makes me wonder if the Drama is combining Haru with Dried Squid Fairy from the webtoon, what with the questions about flowers and secret places he shouldn’t know about, the cautious way he approaches Dan Oh, and the allusion to historical places. 
  • Drama Haru actually has a talent that differentiates him–he can draw, and really really well. He appears to have been self-aware long before Dan Oh, which doesn’t necessarily contradict the webtoon, but the fact he appears to have been following her–from afar–for quite a while, is. And why? 
  • the biggest, most groundbreaking difference… Drama Haru actually appears on stage! With Dan Oh! And Baek Kyung! He is literally becoming a part of Dan Oh’s comic book plot. That… that doesn’t happen in the webtoon! For Baek Kyung to get angry at Haru and Dan Oh for having fun together, and for other people to remember it, is actually extraordinary when you look at it in the context of the webtoon. It means that in this version, things really are changing, and changing drastically. Is Haru actually going to be a love rival for Baek Kyung, not just in the Shadows, but on Stage as well? 
  • While I don’t mind that idea at all, it changes everythingLike, for real. It changes the idea of fighting your destiny and carving your own, against impossible challenges. It changes the tone and nature of his and Dan Oh’s relationship. It changes the type of heartbreaking scenes we can expect. 
  • Much excitement, very confuse!

Portals 

  • in the drama, they exist.

.

.

.

.

  • Okay, fine, I’ll write a couple more sentences about them, yeesh. 
  • Okay, so, what does this mean? Do these portals indicate people can maybe LEAVE this comic book world? If you do, do you go to another comic, or might you actually come out in the Real World? What do these imply, and what can we do with them? I am excited to find out!

Dried Squid Fairy

  • possibly the dumbest character name to ever appear in a drama, but what can you do.
  • A little bummed he doesn’t have a bunny companion like in the webtoon, but it’s not like that bunny made sense in the webtoon context, either, so I’m not surprised.
  • A little bummed he doesn’t have long blond hair, because it was so funny when he pointed out how that hair made NO SENSE for a cafeteria worker. 
  • I feel like his backstory might have been given to Haru, which is a bit of a bummer. In the Webtoon, he is actually a character from a different comic–a historical one–in which he originally became self-aware to disastrous results. The author loves him so much that she/he has given him more than “one life” in his/her comics, much to his aggravation.
  • I get the feeling they just want a break, really. 

Dan Oh’s Best Friend Sae Mi

  • I can’t believe I forgot about this one! It was one of the first things I’ve noticed!
  • in the Webtoon, Dan Oh is pretty much a supporting character to Sae Mi. It’s Sae Mi who becomes close to Ju Da, who has important scenes within the main plot of the comic, etc, and she is, in fact, is part of the main supporting cast of the comic (as opposed to Dan Oh’s extra status)
  • in the Drama, Sae Mi is Dan Oh’s supporting character, with her silly antics with the other friend (who doesn’t appear in the webtoon). She is silly, air-headed and boy crazy. In a way, she is a punch line to a joke.
  • Now, in the Webtoon she is infatuated with Nam Joo as well. However, she is more than that, and she handles it with much more grace and dignity than her on-screen counterpart. She breaks the stereotype of the second female lead and actually ends up really good friends with Ju Da. She actually appears to have an arc (again, within the story of Secrets, not necessarily the Webtoon itself. But the glimpses we see of it in the few scenes Dan Oh appears at are really compelling).
  • In the drama, Dan Oh gets much of that instead, and again that makes sense. You would, ideally, want your main character to have as much screen time and as many interactions with the other characters as you could possibly have (although, again, I question the logic of Dan Oh being considered an ‘extra’ in this version). In the Webtoon, it works because it’s a mellower, quieter experience, as I’ve said before. The tone of the story, and of Dan Oh’s character, is vastly different between the two versions, and that’s okay.
  • That being said, I do feel sad that Sae Mi doesn’t get to have more to her character than thatThat what made her special and different in the Webtoon is largely ignored and scrapped in favor of a more traditionally familiar character.
  • Again, I get it. Cognitive short cuts and all that good stuff I discussed earlier.
  • Still, it saddens me a little.

hey :) may I know where can we read the english version of the webtoon? Thanks in advance! :D

 stevia:

hey :) may I know where can we read the english version of the webtoon? Thanks in advance! :D

I've read it on Manga Dex. There are still 8 chapters left to translate, though

https://mangadex.org/title/29776/july-found-by-chance 

Something that made me feel really sad when I was reading the webtoon, are those parts where Stage!Dan Oh had to tell Kyung she liked him, while Haru was there watching it. But he just held everything in and even smiled at her when the Stage was over T_T Those scenes really broke my heart

 haruny:

Something that made me feel really sad when I was reading the webtoon, are those parts where Stage!Dan Oh had to tell Kyung she liked him, while Haru was there watching it. But he just held everything in and even smiled at her when the Stage was over T_T Those scenes really broke my heart

Yeah, those are just so painfull~ T^T

(SPOILERS AHEAD) I don't know if you mentioned here since I didn't finish reading bc I'm in a hurry rn (I'll read it all later) but 1. episode 3 Dan Oh asks about the empty pages on the manhwa and Jimin Chae explains it's for the future scenes. In the webtoon, the manhwa has volumes, Baek Kyun evens keeps volume 5 the one Dan Oh is not appearing anymore. 2. I miss the exchanged messages at the desk -I haven't watched ep 9-10 yet. I also miss their bench. 

I'll probably edit this comment as I collect more stuff. 

yeaahhh the drama and webtoon are really different which make me actually feel lil bit sad. But i do love them both!!! But i'm really glad they make the drama more fun and ''happy""

 biased:

(SPOILERS AHEAD) I don't know if you mentioned here since I didn't finish reading bc I'm in a hurry rn (I'll read it all later) but 1. episode 3 Dan Oh asks about the empty pages on the manhwa and Jimin Chae explains it's for the future scenes. In the webtoon, the manhwa has volumes, Baek Kyun evens keeps volume 5 the one Dan Oh is not appearing anymore. 2. I miss the exchanged messages at the desk -I haven't watched ep 9-10 yet. I also miss their bench. 

I'll probably edit this comment as I collect more stuff. 

Oh, I totally agree! I think there is definitely time left for the desk messages, and yeah, the manhwa having blank pages instead of volumes does affect things... I haven't thought about that. 

Having blank pages in the manhwa would mean that the future is dynamic, it’s not completely fixed. Based from the most recent release of episode 10, I got the vibe that Dan Oh and Haru are slowly changing the story. Maybe it’s true that no one can stop the plot that the writer has intended from happening in the stage, but it doesn’t say that it can’t happen to someone else. The storyboard maybe predetermined by the writer, but the actors are not as evidenced by Haru taking over the position of Kyung’s tennis competitor and Dan Oh and Kyung taking that of Juda’s. I have a feeling that Dan Oh will eventually become the female lead of Secret. At the same time, with the roles getting reversed, the other characters in the comic book may have an awakening. I feel Kyung’s awakening will be coming soon. Followed by that of Juda’s and Nam Jun’s. 

Moreover, in the future, I think Do Hwa will be able to successfully confess his feeling. Who know’s maybe we’ll find that out in next week’s episode?! There’s also that possibility that Juda will end up with Do Hwa now that the roles are changing. Maybe the awakened Juda will like Do Hwa better. At this point, anything can happen and I’m totally at peace with that, because I’m very excited with how the writers will carry this drama from this moment onwards. It’s actually a good idea for the drama to stray away from the manhwa to provide us with better insight as well as limit spoilers, which in turn will keep the viewers hooked.

omg i dont think we read the same webtoon..

@Angelighttt 

With the changes they are making rn, I really really hope Joo Da becomes self-aware and start liking Do Hwa back, he deserves to be happy. And Nam Joo should become self-aware quickly too because his character has had no development so far.

Hopefully the drama will gives us answers that the webtoon weren't able to give us too

@Angelighttt  I totally agree with everything you said! However, I don't know how I feel about Ju Da and Do Hwa because I do feel like, she can either REALLY love Nam Joo, like Do Hwa really loves her regardless of his role, or she can be like Dan Oh and actually feel indifferent toward Nam Joo, and so far I feel they are leaning more toward the first than the latter with her. I also feel it a bit unfair on our part because we see Do Hwa as a real person so of COURSE we'll cheer for her instead of Nam Joo (who actually makes no sense as of the last episode. Why on earth will seeing your best friend and your crush together mean you need to disown her and whatever?... Love is not ownership)

 not the alices team haru:

omg i dont think we read the same webtoon..

See, that's an interesting thing to say, because on your post your friend said I don't have any idea what I'm talking about, and yet many people (I assume those who, like me, read the translations) agree with me and with the changes, and I wonder if there IS a difference in versions. 

And, of course, I haven't read the last 8 because they haven't been translated.  

 KatiaSchwarz:

See, that's an interesting thing to say, because on your post your friend said I don't have any idea what I'm talking about, and yet many people (I assume those who, like me, read the translations) agree with me and with the changes, and I wonder if there IS a difference in versions. 

And, of course, I haven't read the last 8 because they haven't been translated.  

I remember your comment in the feed and you made it feel as if Haru is a nobody, a meaningless extra and I'm almost sure she's talking about it - and that's weird because he's not just an extra

 lih:

I remember your comment in the feed and you made it feel as if Haru is a nobody, a meaningless extra and I'm almost sure she's talking about it - and that's weird because he's not just an extra

As far as I have read, he IS. He has no name, he doesn't really change anything in the comic story (only minor changes occur, if at all, until Dan Oh's life is really in danger, and then he has to get Kyung in order to be able to save her-- because as cruel as this world is, he, Haru the "extra", can't do it on his own), the one who has past memories and history from a different manhwa is Dried Squid, all he can do is pass his time in Shadow with his loved one, etc.

Again, perhaps in the last eight episodes, the author turns everything on its head and reveals secrets we were not aware of until this point--the translations are at the point Dried Squid starts telling Dan Oh the story of his own manhwa and his self-awakening & Haru seems to have lost his awareness.

I would LOVE to hear from your perspective why you think he is more than just an extra, so long as it's not because of the future chapters. If it is, I would love to talk about it more once the translation comes out and I can be better informed :)

And of course, just to make things clear, I'm talking about Haru's role in the comic "Secrets", not his status as a main character in the webtoon. (I just realized, since there is a story within a story, that this could be somewhat less than clear lol)