Undoubtedly the most anticipated K-drama of 2021, partially due to the success of its webtoon and partially for being the first K-drama to incorporate 3D animation, Yumi’s Cells is finally here!
Plot and Cast
Following Kim Yumi (played by Kim Go Eun), a single working woman, the K-Drama is about her inner workings. Her thoughts and feelings are represented by tiny ‘voices’ or cells, and each cell has a role to play in her day to day life. The cells are depicted as animated characters and have their own world, which is very intriguing and hilarious at the same time. Imagining a bunch of cells running around to help us go through our lives is definitely a cute and funny concept. Yumi’s Cells pulled in new viewers and also fans of the webtoon. After the K-drama aired, most of the audience was won over by the quirky story and the adorable world of the cells.
The drama also stars Ahn Bo Hyun as Gu Woong, Lee Yoo Bi as Ruby, Park Ji Hyun as Seo Sae Yi. SHINee’s Choi Minho played the role of Chae Ugi (Wook Ki in the webtoon), Yumi’s co-worker who introduces her to his friend Woong.
The drama starts off on a very dreamy note, with Yumi dreaming of being with Chae Ugi. Yumi lives alone and only focuses on her work. She had been hurt after a particularly rough break-up three years ago, and her love cell has been in a coma since that day. However, she doesn’t want to lead a lonely life anymore. Her cells are fond of Chae Ugi, her co-worker and the one she dreamt of. When she gets the chance to go out on a ‘date’ with Ugi, her cells go all out to try and make it successful. They go so far as to release the ‘Fashion’ cell from the prison and the ‘true feelings’ cell from her basement-slash-prison area.
Ugi’s mixed signals are all over the place, and there’s also Ruby, who seems to like him too. She tries her best to sabotage Yumi’s time with Ugi. After many twists and turns, the Love Cell awakens from her coma at the prospect of a date with Ugi and takes control of her life. Just when it seemed as if everything would go well, Ruby appears and crashes the date. Yumi and Ugi manage to escape; they arrive at the restaurant, where Ugi tells Yumi he’s not interested (in women). He simply wants to set up his friend with Yu Mi for a blind date. She ends up going on the blind date, but Gu Woong is totally left blank when he realises that Yumi is pretty. His cells stop functioning before his humour cell takes over. The second episode ends on a funny note with Yumi laughing at every lame joke Woong makes.
Yumi is someone we all can relate to. We all have felt the pangs of hunger when we should be working (Hunger Cell, please don’t start your job when we’re on a deadline, yeah? Please wait until we’re done!). Also, choosing to satiate our hunger even though we know we’ll lose precious time, we could totally relate to this! There are also days when our brains just won’t work, or when we get motivated to work quickly, just because we have something (or someone) waiting for us to finish. The scene where Yumi’s cells started working so fast because she knew Ugi was waiting to take her home is an excellent example of the same.
Also, the whole battle with conforming to the societal norms and being rational, but at the same time attempting to establish our feelings, is a struggle we are all familiar with. On a side note, despite most fans’ apprehensions about Kim Go Eun playing Yumi, we’re sure everyone can agree that she’s slaying the character! She may not be the same visually as the webtoon Yumi, but she portrays Yumi’s character impeccably.
SHINee’s Minho plays the role of Chae Ugi (Or Woogi, depending on the translation), the guy Yumi has a crush on. He’s charming, friendly, a gentleman, and really handsome – who won’t love him? Even though his role is a small one, he has managed to charm the viewers.
No other person could have played Woong’s character as amazingly as Ahn Bo Hyun. Even though he is introduced to us later in the second episode, it was worth the wait. At first glance, he doesn’t seem to be that special, but that impression takes a back seat the moment he meets Yumi.
The way he falls for Yumi right off the bat and goes blank is so cute. It leaves a lot for imagination, and we can’t wait to see how Yumi and Woong’s relationship progresses.
We saved the best for the last! After all, the cells are the heart and soul of this K-Drama. Watching our functioning in the world personified as cells is interesting, and we can’t help but draw parallels to Pixar’s Inside Out. The little details like Emotional Cell being sentimental in the wee hours of the night (we’re all guilty of this), and the cells trying to control the Face Expression Lever (how many times have we tried our best to smile when in awkward situations), really hit close to home.
There is also a hierarchy between the cells, with one cell being the Prime Cell that controls the central aspect of humans. Yumi’s is the Love Cell, and others around her have gossip cell, fashion cell, etc. as theirs.
The actual plot of this K-Drama isn’t far from the usual romcoms we see. However, it definitely puts an entertaining spin on it with the inclusion of cells. The balance between the real world and the world of the cells is excellent, especially considering how tricky it can be. Overall, it is a delightful drama, and if the first two episodes are any indication, this is going to be a great webtoon adaptation.
And that’s it for episodes 1 & 2. Are you watching this drama? Do you think it did justice to the webtoon? Are you enjoying it as much as we are? Let us know in the comments!
By Ileeka Pal & Kanan Agarwal