Yumi ‘s Cells 2 picks up where it left off in the first season and takes the audience through Yumi’s heartbreaking break up with Woong (Ahn Bo-hyun). It goes without saying that no relationship is without its ups and downs, but they sometimes take us on beautiful journeys we never expected to take.
This review contains spoilers.
The first season focused on Yumi’s relationship with Woong and how she tried to protect her relationship. This season however, is centred around Yumi’s personal growth and development. Although she dives into a new relationship with dreamy Yu Bobby (Jinyoung) , she learns how to centre herself in the narrative more as a priority.
Love cell being Yumi’s prime cell is both a blessing and curse and obviously affected her life choices. A temporary change in prime cells sees Yumi take control of her priorities differently and focus on her career. Her relationships have given her happy moments and great memories, but Yumi’s writing achievements show her charms in a new light. It’s when she shines the most. It’s not to say that love cell hinders success, but rather that it relies on ever changing external factors that are a constant let down.
Dating after a long term relationship is always hard, and though Yumi is initially hesitant to date again, she slowly opens herself up to the idea. This is better portrayed through her cells; they hesitate to fully accept Bobby but begin switching sides and create a secret Bobby’s fan club. Of course, it helps that Bobby is handsome, friendly and a skillful sweet talker.
It’s fair to say that even the fans had a hard time letting go of Woong and it’s reflected well by Yumi’s cells. Yet with each interaction, Bobby manages to impress and solidify his position as the better choice (for now). Their relationship is adorable and heartwarming, but gradually begins to fall apart for several reasons: miscommunication, external interceptions or moments of doubt.
Additionally, Yu Bobby’s character is perplexing at times. At first he comes across as a steadfast character who knows exactly what he wants and is loyal to that persona. But with the introduction of intern, Da eun (Shin Ye-eun), and the effect she has on him, it raises some questions.
It certainly raises a debate whether or not those feelings he develops count as cheating. Some fans were adamant that as long as he didn’t act on those feelings, it’s not cheating. Others, on the other hand, argued that the fact that he ‘wavered’ is enough of a red flag for Yumi to leave.
It’s difficult as a third party to truly understand other relationships. No matter how much detail we know of the relationship, it’s difficult to determine what is the right and wrong choices for each couple.
It’s also difficult not to compare Bobby with Woong, both have different demeanours, interests and priorities. Their interactions are few in both seasons, but the scenes at the hospital are most memorable.
The reality of their face off is not as dramatic as the battle between their cells. The scene in which both argue about Yumi at the hospital is brilliantly dramatised as a physical battle between the cells and is balanced beautifully between animation and the actors. The interplay between them is seamless; it removes the boundaries between the two dimensions and intensifies the scene.
The only qualm about the drama is that after the first 4 episodes, the novelty of their new relationship wears off quickly and you’re left with mundane moments that rely on the cells to entertain until the next occurrence. And although each choice made is shaping their development, the characters are often quite frustrating to watch.
It’s also a shame that not all characters’ cell villages are shown in the drama. Dating experts Control Z (P.O) and Ruby (Lee Yoo-bi) would have been great as a balance to the lull between the main couple.
The pair gave us an almost accurate representation of modern day dating: the strategic texts, the meticulously calculated responses, and plenty of advice for Yumi. Luckily, we got Editor Ahn Dae young’s (Jun Suk-ho) cell village– and they are brilliant. Though the editor is not central to the plot, his cells stole the show on several occasions. They are distinctly illustrated to capture his dramatic character perfectly; tall, dark, handsome, and hopelessly romantic. His character brought a much needed fresh energy to the drama.
Each cell village has its own style of living and ways of communication keeping the drama fun and engaging. It’s rare to come across a rom-com drama crossed over with animation so seamlessly, and that is what makes Yumi’s Cells so unique.
Although Yumi’s Cells 2 is about her love story with Bobby on the surface, it’s really all about Yumi’s journey of growth and self love- how she holds herself in higher regard and learns to make active choices to better herself.
So far, no announcement has been made with regards to season 3, but fans are very hopeful. A lot of open ended questions are left for next season: Will Love comeback as the prime cell? Will we see Woong and Bobby again? Who is Soon Rok? And who will play this role?
( YouTube. Images via tvN)