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Posts posted by brielover

  1. 3 minutes ago, Jillia said:

    Actually Kyung is such a oldschool male character.... the tortured man with a cruel past who treats the female lead like crap but secretly LURVES her. And then in the end he will get the girl without little effort. Thankfully this won't happen here. :lol: But I just really hope he gets a well-rounded arc... for the sake of Lee Jae Wook who is playing him so well.


    Anyways, you can find pretty much in any Korean drama some sort of reference to classic literature. Even in non-Asian tv shows and movies you will find motifs from classics because in the end the writer becomes a writer because he/she loves all these classics or at least has knowledge about them. So consciously or unconsciously a writer will always bring back those old plots and character types or even metaphors back in their own works - may it be a adaptation, new interpretation or simply a nod in their story towards those classics. I think it makes even sense for this drama because we're in a manhwa world and every character is full of clichés (stereotypes, setups etc.). So it makes sense that the writer (drama AND manhwa) is making usage of old classics like Romeo and Juliet and many more. :)

    I have to disagree that it's just an underlying motif with regards to Romeo and Juliet.  See above.  Why is there a book titled with question marks: Romeo? And? Juliet, on a stereotypical writer's reference shelf, and with so many metaphors in EY strongly related to Romeo & Juliet?  You can dismiss it if you want, but I think the question marks, if nothing else, make clear the writer wants to draw our attention to and question what he or she is doing with this text.

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  2. @tinymel @nrllee 


    I think we've narrowed down Haru, Dan Oh and Kyung as Romeo, Juliet and Count Paris, buried together in a joint grave, stolen by the author but playing out the same tragic story line, even in a script where Romeo/Haru was not originally cast but blasted through to Juliet/Dan Oh anyway.  That's why they're always involved in tragedy.  That's why the heart condition. That's why the three objects, like grave objects, to prove or remember their existence, in the store: the flower for Dan Oh, the camera for Haru that may or may not have a photo of him, the tennis balls for competitive Kyung.  Juliet would likely have lived fairly happily with Count Paris if Romeo was not on the scene: Secret seems to have sidelined her and attempted to remove Romeo so she might achieve a happy ending.


    If you look at the close up of the title on the shelf, it is not straightforward.  It has question marks. Romeo? And? Juliet.  Why include this oddity if we're not supposed to question Haru's identity - we do from day one - whether he's in the right book, whether he should be with Juliet?


    But we've also got aware characters like JuDa and DoHwa and Squid, and three other fictional texts the writer was using either as reference or to steal characters from: Merchant of Venice, Turandot, and Pride and Prejudice.  We've not seen enough of JuDa to make a determination what her inspiration was, and we don't k ow enough about Squid.  But DoHwa should be someone recognizable as we know him, but he just isn't.  Or at least I don't recognize him.  Haru, Dan Oh, and Kyung match their characters from R &J not only in some situations but in personality.  Do Hwa doesn't match Darcy, Wickham or Bingley, nor that sponger Bassanio, Antonio or Shylock! 


    So the strong identification of characters might end with Romeo and Juliet.  So far!  That doesn't negate that the other books with their characters are still an inspiration.  This is the writer's shelf - the main books the writer uses to construct the world of the manwha.  I know this because I write and belong to a writer's group and we all have similar reference shelves on our computers or on our shelves that we return to for help with descriptions, world-building, and characters again and again.  

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  3. 5 hours ago, nrllee said:

    @brielover:wub:  Shakespeare is the master of love speak.


    “My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
    My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
    The more I have, for both are infinite.” 

    Come, gentle night; come, loving, black-browed night;
    Give me my Romeo; and, when I shall die,
    Take him and cut him out in little stars,
    And he will make the face of heaven so fine
    That all the world will be in love with night...” 



    Yes - and who cuts out little stars? Haru.  


    So so clever.

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  4. 11 hours ago, Jillia said:

    I mean if this scene isn't a perfect image of what their relationship is then I don't know. :wub:


      Reveal hidden contents


    Credit: kdramaxoxo


    @-Love Blossom-

    You're welcome! :D Also, how can we find a man like Ha Ru in the real world. Certainly men close to him exist but a man like Ha Ru... impossible. It's manhwa/kdrama fantasy.

    But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?  It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.


    Lol.  Sorry.  But honestly the references are everywhere now I know to look for them.

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  5. Has anyone mentioned JuDa's new shoes?  I felt like DoHwa passed a test.  If your girl shows up to school with depressingly old, tattered and grimy shoes, for which she's bullied, do you give her an expensive pair of heels for which she'll find no use except to make you look good at your parties because she has no occasion to wear them otherwise, or do you think of her and her discomfort and her part-time jobs and running around and sore feet, and gift her with the most comfortable, cleanest, brightest runners possible that she can wear every day?


    I know which prince I would choose!

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  6. 2 hours ago, taskdramafanatic said:

    that is actually a very interesting theory. i always thought the writer literally stole characters from other works and books because all the characters are self aware and stuff, that was my theory in the beginning until they explained they were from the previous work of the writer.


    i love kyung and haru interactions even though they are always hostile towards each other. there is a charm about all those scenes

    Well it is quite possible that the writer's crisis of imagination is realized on paper in the conflict between Stage and Shadow or between a kdrama plot and stolen, classic characters.  Thinking about that bookshelf with Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, Merchant of Venice: what happens if you throw established literary characters with well-developed personalities (and some of their set up like Juliet dying early), like Mr Darcy, Elizabeth Bennett, Lady Catherine deBurgh, Romeo Montague Juliet Capulet, Count Paris, Shylock, and Portia into a Boys Over Flowers script?  They would keep reverting to their original characters and plots.  Further, what if you throw in Juliet and Paris, but leave Romeo out in the cold?  As a writer myself, I could never write Juliet without Romeo.  Of course she'd call him even subconsciously:  Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou?  And of course he'd blast through to find her.


    I was imagining just Romeo, but it could be all the self-aware characters.  The writer, in his or her own imagination, is unable to completely control them as characters because he or she did not create them.


    I think I convinced myself while writing this!  I like it, whether it's true or not!


    And it makes me smile the way they keep talking about how bad the writer is: literary snobs first written by Austen or Shakespeare!

    • Like 8
  7. 36 minutes ago, nrllee said:

    I feel like we’re talking in different planes.  Yes he could speak but he didn’t technically “exist” as HR the character in Secret to everyone else in the Secret Universe.  He had no face to everyone in the Secret Universe.  He was just #13.  Nobody knows or remembers anything about him.  No family, no home, no background.  That’s why when he first called her name in class, she walked right past him like he wasn’t there (she wasn’t “looking” for him).  Until DO “found” him and willed him into existence and he became the real #13 to her.  She tried to find his “back” and then finally “gave him his face in the world of Secret”.  Then she kept relating to him as #13 and solidified his existence and purpose in the Secret Universe.  Just because we as the audience can see him as Rowoon/HR right from the start doesn’t mean the characters in Secret can.  That’s probably why nobody else could “recognise” #13 initially.  Yes he may have had beginnings from the past in TF and existed as an ephemeral creature prior to DO finding him, but reality is had she not looked for him, he wouldn’t have “existed” as HR the character in Secret.  Importantly she’s set the precedent here in Secret.  She can will him to life even if the writer didn’t pen his character in from the beginning.  This is vastly different from TF where he already existed.  If we go with the iteration theory where the comic world is like an iteration of someone’s reincarnated self.  Then it means even if future comics where only one of them exists in the initial character chart, the other can will the missing one into existence and they can play out their love line once more in the shadow.  HR exists in her subconscious and he’s always “waiting” for her, he protects her even if he’s a faceless “extra”.  If she can do what she did in Secret, she can do the same in the next comic and the next, she will always find him.  Their love line will transcend time and circumstance.


    As for why using his voice for the beach scene was significant, it was because it was the first time he acted of his own will to disobey DO’s instructions.  He became his own person, he had his own “voice” as it were, capable of making his own decisions apart from her.  He solidified his character as part of the landscape of Secret.  He wasn’t just a robot following DO’s bidding anymore. 

    Yes, I think this is right.  Moreover, interestingly, I think Kyung recognized him, was in a way waiting for him, subconsciously too.  We were talking about Romeo and Juliet and Juliet's fiance Count Paris.  It's eerie how Kyung plays out the role of Paris.  Paris and Juliet's engagement is political yet he comes to truly love her.  Even when she says she doesn't love him and refuses to marry him, he goes into denial and calls her his wife and his love.  When she dies he takes vigil at her grave, faithful, and mistakenly gets into a sword fight with Romeo.  Romeo kills Paris but fulfills his dying wish and, weirdly, buries him with Juliet before killing himself.


    So these 3 share a grave, and you can see how an imagination could project their entanglement in every incarnation and every book.  Because in the Shakespeare, it wasn't just a record of two in love, but of three.

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  8. 14 minutes ago, Peach said:

    Ohh hey:lol: It's been a long time I didn't post in this thread but it's so fun reading ...snip


    It's just my thought. I always feel suspicious with all the lessons in the class. Especially, the last art class. It's about the process of making a pottery, somehow I feel it's indicated the 'author's creation'. When someone asked how to understand the pottery wants, the teacher said it's about instinct. We can't force our creation, if you do then it's will mess up (or something like that).  What if it's indicated the writer's real situation, like how he/she taking deal with his/her story and characters... (Somehow I feel the real writer is the art teacher LOL.)

    One more, like @Jillia mention before, that's past perfect tense too!

    Nice catch on the art lesson!

    • Like 4
  9. 8 minutes ago, taskdramafanatic said:

    this is so pretty. omg. somehow its appropriate. 


    someone said haru was innocent and i totally agree to this but can we discuss about how totally smooth he is though he is innocent. he is instinctively such a sweetheart to dan oh because he just loves her that much.

    I think he's innocent more because he's like a foal learning to walk at first.  He says or does something more harsh later (can't remember what) and Squid says that's more like the "old you".  But I also think what we've seen of him and his loving nature is the real him unadulterated by experience.  As he remembers, he'll likely have a fuller personality.  One thing to remember is the books on  the shelf in the library.  A close up reveals this is the writer's  reference library.  One book is  Romeo and Juliet.  I do think Haru is based on Romeo, and Romeo, despite his young age, was a player, falling in and out of love until he met Juliet.  Juliet was beautiful but intensely witty as well, and it's her wit as well as her insistence on the real, the authentic, the honest that reverberates with the Dan Oh character the most for me.


    I sometime think the reason Squid and Haru can remember the past books (unlike Do Hwa and likely younger brother who have just read Trumpet Flower) is because they are not the writer's original creations. He or she stole them wholesale from the classics.

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  10. 32 minutes ago, Jillia said:


    I actually think we're supposed to believe it's Ha Ru who kills Dan Oh but in the preview the sword we see isn't Ha Ru's sword. It could be Kyung's.


    Here some screenshots...


    Ha Ru's sword:


    The sword we see in the dream/preview:


    I think since we now learn a lot of about changing the stage by adding/removing things in the shadow, maybe something like this happened in "Trumpet Creeper". Plus Jinmichae told Kyung it was something HE did, not Ha Ru. So... maybe Kyung found out about the love between Dan Oh and Ha Ru and is ambushing them but something goes wrong and Dan Oh dies. At Ha Ru's hand or maybe someone else's hand.


    I was thinking maybe Kyung incites a fight to the death with Haru, and Dan Oh, because Stage dictates that she loves Kyung, throws herself between them to save Kyung from Haru's killing blow.  She dies for a love she never had, at the hands of her lover, who tries to literally pull the sword back with his other hand.


    Man, Haru's remorse but also bitterness towards the writer would know no bounds.



    2 hours ago, Jillia said:

    I've noticed a couple things while watching and rewatching. First of all:


    Is nobody suspicious that suddenly a new manhwa appears in the manhwa? The one Do Hwa has been reading. It's called 장미꽃을 그대에게 (A Rose for You). Do Hwa is reading it and is promoting it as something to learn how to flirt from.


    Now of course we could say that even in the world of "Secret" manhwas exist. But I would say if we really believe that things are still controlled by the writer I can't imagine it's a coincidence that Do Hwa aka the drama keeps showing us this specific one. Also, who do we know in this drama aka manhwa who doesn't need any lessons in flirting? Yes, it's Ha Ru. So could it be that:

      Hide contents

    Since "Trumpet Creeper" ends on a sad note, so will "Secret" but just like in the webtoon Dan Oh and Ha Ru will meet in another manhwa as the leads (I think in the webtoon they're extras?) and have their happy ending there?


    Of course:

      Hide contents

    It could also hint towards Baek Kyung since he gave roses to Dan Oh. So he may end up in a new manhwa as well and finally get the girl (which hopefully isn't a 2nd  Dan Oh... that would be weird).


    On the other hand, the manhwa only appeared in the shadows and never on stage. So it might be not relevant at all. And I might be overthinking. :D But "Trumpet Creeper" also only appears in the shadow.

    What a saccharine sweet cover. I wouldn't be caught dead reading it.  Thank goodness Dohwa's reading it for dating advice not pleasure.  Just goes to show if all Haru and Dan Oh get is a happ y ending, it wouldn't be much of a story.  Put them out to pasture.


    But covers can be deceiving.  The title reminded me most of Flowers for Algernon and A Rose For Emily, both very disturbing stories.  The first might have a vague tie in with the protagonist first 'awaking' then sleeping again. 

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  11. 12 hours ago, Jillia said:


    I've been thinking about it since the beginning:

      Hide contents


    We all think it's about the characters being aware or not aware. And changing their fates or not. But I was thinking from the beginning what if everything we see is actually part of the manhwa, of the plot itself?


    What if the writer is actually writing Dan Oh AND Ha Ru (as the leads) the way we see them? Maybe the writer isn't so dumb after all. lol



    Well, i mo of course, the writer is writing it.  More interesting to me is there only one writer?  I think it would be fun if we had a bickering husband/wife writer/illustrator team (Haru and Dan Oh) and cranky editor Kyung trying to bring this manwha to a conclusion but unable to resolve the tensions of comedy/tragedy or Stage/Shadow.


    Does it strike anyone else as odd that we have a supporting extra character with a terminal illness in a teenage rom com?


    i mean, comedy in the old sense of the word means happy ending in a nutshell and what's happy about Dan Oh sick, dying and in love with a boy who, at least in Stage, treats her like dirt?


    In a rom com, that set up would normally only be there for her to get well and the boy to discover he really does love he r and redeem himself.  Is her operation supposed to be a success in Stage Secret?


    And is Shadow where the tragedy Trumpet Flower keeps trying to play out again, where Dan Oh dies, and likely other characters too?  Are Kyung's brother and Squid Fairy telling them to leave things as they are, Secret IS the happy ending book none of them got in Trumpet Flower?


    Dan Oh appears to have made her choice for self-awareness and Haru but what if she, or he, finds out that she can live, but only if they live out the status quo of the stage?  Wha t will they do?


    It's an interesting conumdrum mirroring eating of the Tree of Knowledge: you get self-awareness, sex/love, and ethics, but you lose paradise, innocence (ignorance), and immortality.  


    I think this might be the ultimate choice/conflict.



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  12. 11 hours ago, Jillia said:

    Hahaha... yes, heck even Nam Joo (the actor actually) was kinda smitten by her aegyo. It's also a cultural thing. When I lived in South Korea many girls back then, even my age (early 20s), would do aegyo with their boyfriends. We don't have to like it or agree with it but to make so it's a fault of Kim Hye Yoon is a bit ridiculous.


    And I agree with you, it definitely adds to the character and the manhwa setting. In the end Dan Oh is exactly that. Plus the drama is making fun of all the tropes and clichés and the female character acting overly cute is part of it. 



    You're welcome. I understand the first reaction would be anger and the need to reply in the same way the comments are written like. But it's definitely the better option to take a breathe and just stay away from such blogs.

    Is what she's doing actually aegyo?  I've seen it in other kdramas and just thought it whiny and annoying.  Not cute at all.  What she's doing seems to be adopting manwha tropes and style, as you say, but not the aegyo I'm used to seeing from whiny girls baby-talking to get something from a guy.  It verges, but it's not the same.  But maybe this is really aegyo?  My only experience is kdrama so I don't know!  

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  13. 1 hour ago, Jillia said:

    I usually don't like to comment on what's going on in other forums or blogs but I saw the specific post and I will only this time say something about it:


      Reveal hidden contents


    I find the post very emotional to a point I can't take it serious. I definitely had to get used to Dan Oh's aegyo, especially in the beginning. But I also saw it as a way of coping with her really terrible setup. I find criticising someone's voice... actually weird. What is Kim Hye Yoon supposed to do? Plus I paid extra attention to it after reading the blot post and I don't know but I think her voice is fine.


    Now with the acting, I think everyone is entitled to have their opinions. If someone isn't feeling the acting by any cast member in this drama nothing can be done about it. I think as long as criticism is constructive and not insulting (the barbie/ken comment is not something I call constructive) it's absolutely fine to discuss it, even here. 


    If I take away my love for the drama overall and would look at the acting I can say it's decent and even good. Those are all young actors who didn't do many projects before this drama, so they all have time to learn and mature in their skills. But I definitely did watch dramas with actors who are passed their 30s and whose acting skills are non-existent and don't reach me emotionally at all.


    Every actor in this drama makes me feel something, so if they can achieve it and I forget they're actors but only see the characters then I think they've accomplished a lot. :)



    I think she's failed to see that KHY has added an extra dimension to her character from anime.  I'm not an anime buff but I watched Sailor Moon and Pokemon etc with my daughter, and KHY's exaggerated voice and some of her body movements are straight out of those shows.  The fact we're feeling her emotionally anyway -it takes an amazing actress to do that in my opinion.  I liked watching Haru and Kyung crack up in the bts when she was doing it off script.  Also, I thought she was quite plain at the beginning, but I could see how every single boy would fall in love with her.  That's skill and charisma.

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  14. 1 hour ago, Jillia said:

    I won't be able to live recap today's episodes but I hope anyone else will have fun watching it! :D






    Wow, that angle makes his legs look loooong.  I know quite a few people like the size difference in our leads but it makes me uncomfortable because sexual dimorphism has become a big trend in the Chinese dramas I've been watching.  It reminds me of early hominid skeletons or gorillas/orangutans that have those huge height and weight differences between the sexes. Also, at 5'7" I only had eyes for tall men, over 6' when I was young, and my husband was 6'3" .  Back problems for both of us, with him pulling me up to tiptoes, or him leaning over.  After my divorce, I finally dated a shorter man when I was in my forties, and we just fit together perfectly.  I think short men are underrated, and I can't help feeling bad for all the slight Asian men out there watching idols over 6'  and even the 5' nothing girls prefer them.  I mean, even a 5'4" man is tall to a 5'0" woman, so why this new fetish?


     i do get it.  We girls often like our boys big, and it gave me a thrill the first few times, but now it's just looking awkward.  It really seems to be a trend.  Luckily, Dan Oh's personality is huge in that small body so I seldom register the difference!

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  15. Spoiler

    I lost respect for koala's playground when she was promulgating the gossip about plagiarism in Hotel del Luna as if there were real evidence for it.  She has no journalistic integrity or responsibility so is as prone to clickbait, trolling and bias  as any hack.  We had it good when Dramabeans stayed on top of their show recaps.  Criticism, yes, but it was balanced, even when I disagreed strongly with them (Emergency Couple, for example).    At least I could see their POV.


    1 hour ago, nimon said:

    just a strange thought, if haru is going to keep on changing dan oh's stage by probably replacing her character with other characters to play in, wouldn't dan oh lose her purpose to portray and make it easier for the writer to vanish her? Haru is going to tamper with dan oh's stage which is going to harm her importance in the drama since she is expected to be in a stage with kyung but if she won't be playing it then there's no reason for her to exist

    It's a conundrum really, and also for their 'after-life' in a new manwha because they'll still be trapped by the constraints of Stage.  Was it Minqo earlier who said the best outcome would be for them to play unimportant extras in the next one?  Then they'd have the freedom they're missing?  He or she might be right.

    • Like 6
  16. Did the two moms run into each other in the same town?  Because I thought DB moved there because it was somewhere KR once lived, not somewhere from her own past. I have to go back to see.


    I'd hate to do this to Dong Baek, but could wheelchair man be her father?  Or related to her somehow?  And the mother's past as 'legally' the mother of that woman and her siblings, though she herself says she was the cleaner...that was a new and curious twist as well.  Did the mother inherit, she's dying from kidney disease, so a real or adopted sibling next in line to inherit wants to kill off Dongbaek?  I mean, I don't think so, but I do think all of this is going to twine together into something more personal to Dongbaek.


    One more: it's possible wheelchair man was the original Joker but got injured 6 years ago so the serial killing stopped.  Moreover, Dongbaek was never targeted in those six years although she was a possible witness.  What has changed?  One possibility of a number: the mother showed up, wanting to do "one last thing" for her daughter before she dies.  This will likely be monetary and could be an inheritance.


    So we get a copycat killer (HS?) who sets up the killings like the Joker so that when DB dies, she's just one victim among many, no one suspects she was the main target.


    Just some possibilities!

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  17. 9 hours ago, nrllee said:

    Bingo. :)  That’s what the last episode highlighted.  Notice on their hooky date, they simply forgot about trying to change DO’s fate and instead poured all their energies into being “present” in the now thereby wasting none in the worrying?  Stuff of memories.


    And it plays out even here in forums etc.  There’s a set formula which everyone expects.  A romance, skinship, the main lead gets the girl, the second lead doesn’t.  Any deviation from this formula results in a backlash.  It inhibits creativity and freedom of expression.  This drama is satirical.  Rowoon plays the main lead in this drama and Lee JaeWook the second lead (despite the story depicting the reverse).  By default, Rowoon should end up with the girl.  I used to wonder why there was this huge debate before a drama starts about which male lead was the main lead.  And I guess this is why.  The audience wants to know that their chosen hero would end up with the girl in the end.  Like @brielover suggested, there’s an inner battle going on in the writer’s mind between giving the audience what they want/expect (tried and tested formula) or pushing the boundaries by being radically difference and risking the ire of the audience and marketability as a result.   It could be why he/she is painting BK as such a tyrant in the comic.  How far can the writer take his main lead comic character before EVERYONE abandons him and hops onto the second lead Haru’s ship?  

    Yes, and I admit to being one of those people who like to know the OTP from the beginning ... of a kdrama.   Not like this one though.  Extraordinarily You is extraordinarily successful so far in its experiment.  It was pretty risky but I guess after W's success the producers decided to go with it.  W didn't have a patch on this show, however, in terms of engaging with the free will debate, or keeping us in suspense, or delivering such fun, well-rounded main and side characters.  If I taught Korean literature in Korea, I'd use this as a teaching text script because it engages so many genres and concepts in its self-reflective satire.

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  18. 9 hours ago, Jillia said:

    Dan Oh finding Ha Ru or Ha Ru finding Dan Oh. :D


    Credit: DC Gall



    I really like your thoughts on the characters and formula. :D I remember a friend of mine who did a workshop on writing a very specific type of romance genre as well. And she was taught that certain characters need to be in that genre to make it exactly that. And even certain plot structures which the writer can't really move away from. I think it's interesting we're all so schooled to look out for certain ideas and structures, not only in K-dramas but movies and books as well. I think sometimes there is nothing wrong with that. But of course it makes things more interesting when a writer is trying something new.


    With "Secret" I really can't tell what the actual plan of the writer is. To me, he/she comes across as not original at all because he/she actually follow a certain formular we know from manhwas and K-dramas.

    I think a clue to the writer can be found in all the books the characters are actually reading: classics that broke new ground in literature, even, or especially, Pride and Prejudice when first written, and poetry.

    • Like 3
  19. 10 hours ago, Jillia said:


    Definitely a interesting theory.


    In the beginning I thought as well what if actually anything happening - even in the shadows - is part of the writers storyboard? Who tells us that Dan Oh and Ha Ru aren't actually the main couple in this manhwa and the reader (like we as the viewers of the drama) slowly finds out about it?


    What if the secret in this manhwa is actually the shadow part of the comic - that characters exist and act outside the stage and fall in love? I mean there is no real indicator for that but at the same time there is nothing speaking against my theory. Because nobody, not even Jinmichae, completely understand how this world works.


    In the end that would of course be a bit unfair because that would mean that the characters, no matter what, have no control as they believe they have. Just like Jinmichae said: that anything is already drawn. And it would go up against what the drama is trying to convey that even if you think you're fake you still can have a life and personality and dislikes.


    It's definitely going to be interesting how the drama will resolve all this in the last 6 episodes. Because I hope they do it in a way it makes sense and it just leaves Extraordinary You as probably one of the best highschool fantasy romances. :D


    I don't think that even if they are in the writer's mind the characters have no control.  My understanding of how polarizing an exercise this could be comes from trying to write a Harlequin Romance over twenty years ago.  There was an actual written formula that could be followed, and I'd had some success with short stories, so thought I could churn out a HR with ease to make a quick buck.


    Wrong.  It was difficult to churn out even a chapter.  Every word and sentence had to be rigorously controlled.  Characters constantly said and did things that didn't fit the formula, because writing fiction is an artistic expression after all, so any flow, any unrestricted honesty or artistry, had to be endlessly corrected.  It was like being strait-jacketed.  You'll find this in any writing endeavour during the editing process but this went well beyond that.  The lasting impression for me by the time I gave up, and how I remember that sorry writing attempt, was an icon on my desktop representing a loony-bin filled with my strait-jacketed characters. I don't ever want to open that front door door again! (And of course I can't because that computer used floppy discs for back-up!)


    To writers, some of their characters are alive.  They do and say things that are logical progressions of their personalities and experiences.  That's how it works and the better developed a character, the more a writer can let go, because the character writes him or herself.   


    But the overall formula does not come from the writer; it's a planned framework of tried and true cliches, that the writer must adhere to for money and marketability and publishability. 


    I don't know if I've described this very well, but I do think it's true, and it's definitely the dynamic I see in Extraordinary You.  The writer's most well-developed characters are writing themselves in Shadow, and the catalyst for this free will is the writer's own avatar, Haru.


    I was explaining somewhere else about the alternate title: Suddenly One Day.  John Gardner in The Art of Fiction once said there were only two real plots (debatable, but still a dictum): 1) the character goes on a journey; or 2) a stranger comes to town.  Fiction exercises in how to books often began with a stock story starter, and the student had to run with it, and this one is the cliche: "Suddenly, one day, a stranger came to town".


    Haru's name means one day.  So we have the pun: 'Suddenly, Haru, a stranger, came to town.'. And the plot begins there.  Dan Oh paints the picture of the status quo of her life and school in the first episode, when suddenly, there's a shift in her consciousness, self-awareness begins, followed by the discovery of a newly-identifiable boy in school and a watery black hole in the sky.  'Suddenly, Haru, a stranger came to town".


    Haru is the writer's spoiler, sent to wake up the townsfolk.  But at the same time, the writer has to sell his or her story, so she's split between quelling Haru and the woken characters and giving her imagination free rein, translating into the character's free will.



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  20. I'm liking the theorizing.  I'm interested in the beginning episode: it really seemed like Dan Oh was supposed to be the main lead, with all three A3 boys in love with her.  It's possible the writer (as Packman3 theorized) changed tack after starting the manwha and changed the lead to JuDa.  That makes sense to me because what we're watching is a meta-experiment on a meta-experiment.


    The Stage characters, as I've said before, are very much enacting a marketable kdrama formula, whereas the Shadow characters are more real, honest, flawed.  What we have then is a schizophrenic writer writing to formula but her characters have become real enough to her, particularly the recycled ones, that she imagines what they truly think of the cliched writing and their fates within the story and portrays that in Shadow.


    So for me the idea that these characters can operate outside the writer's imagination doesn't wash.  The characters can't escape the writer; they can, however, possibly escape the formula if their story is good enough.  And that's what Extraordinary You is - a kdrama escaping the formula by satirizing it, and portraying more realistic characters outside the cliches. (Not that they're that much more realistic, but you know what I mean, I hope).  The book Secret in the story has the staged scenes, but it is not what we're watching; it isn't finished.


    So if this is the frame of this drama, everything else has to operate within the frame. The conflict is between stage and shadow within the writer's mind, and therefore the ending will be Stage (formulaic: Nam Ju with JuDa, Dan Oh dies), Shadow (the writer breaks free from the formula and goes where her characters take her), or something in between - like the kdrama we are currently watching!






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  21. 2 hours ago, Jillia said:

    It's the way they have been editing the scenes with her while being on stage.


    Like for example when Dan Oh, Kyung, Ha Ru and Do Hwa are on stage there is always a cut to them what they're thinking while their scenes play out. I can't post a gif right not but in the last two episodes we got this for Joo Da as well. Plus in the last episode she - as soon as the scene ended - addressed Nam Joo's mom as she wanted to.


    That's why we think she is aware. :)

    Thanks Jillia.  I have to say, I thought the scene with the mom was more a reveal that the character had it in for her. ( I think it would be kind of funny if the audience believed the mom was a villain and Juda the perfect angel, when the mom really is trying to protect Nam Ju from a vengeful character.  Even funnier if Juda turned out to be thirty, just playing a high school student in order to reel in Nam Ju and take his family to the cleaners. My imagination and wishful thinking - I do like twists).


    1 hour ago, nrllee said:


    Potentially he is DO’s guardian angel.  That idea was floated a lot with DH.  And seeing HR and DH’s characters intersect, it would make sense. #13 is DO’s guardian angel hovering until she calls, protecting her even when not summoned (the staircase incident when she falls).  I feel like now that we know HR will step into the shoes of DH’s character in Secret, we need to take a look at DH more to get a handle on HR. 


    EDIT - I think the Tree of Life has appeared in the story :lol:

    Yep, it had to figure in somewhere!


    I take your point about Do Hwa, but I see little for Haru to pattern upon except Do Hwa gave up his love in a way that Haru evidently would not.  Moreover, Haru's trajectory is towards main lead, with Kyung's toward second, so it's Kyung we might learn something (how to give up love selflessly and gracefully?) about if he were to pattern on Do Hwa.  Maybe?

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  22. 4 hours ago, bebebisous33 said:

    Now, I am wondering if Haru is different from the other characters because he doesn't belong to that story initially. It was outlined many times that Haru's beginning is unknown to which Haru replied that he would find his own answer. Since even Jiminchae has no idea about Haru's origin, I have been thinking that Haru might have been from the start the disturbance element in the manhwas. After appearing in Trumpet creeper, he fell in love with DO which somehow ended in a tragedy. That would explain why Haru is the only one who can change the scene on stage as he doesn't belong entirely to the story. Additionally, it would also explain why Haru can remember the "past", scenes from the manhwa "Trumper creeper". Maybe the story is repeating itself, until Haru is able to really fit in the story: he ends up with DO. Maybe the page from the manhwa showing Haru as main character next to DO and BK is the final stage of the story... maybe he started there as an extra as well...  

    All of this is entirely possible.  He's almost like a virus initially, that attacks the system, and when the system strikes back, he returns as a retrovirus, imitating its host (Kyung) in preparation to taking over from its host.  I'm sure no one wants to take this view of darling Haru, but the similarity is definitely there!

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  23. Just a question: why are people saying JuDa is aware?  I have been assuming the hints that she's not exactly the perfect good girl can be attributed to a revenge 'secret' plot in which she is involved, not to her awareness of the comic.  Can someone pinpoint how to figure out she is aware?  Something to do with stage versus shadow?  Or a spoiler, lol? I'd like to know cause I can end speculation in another area if she's indeed aware.

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  24. By the way, is anyone else scared for Kyung after his brother’s desperate warning?


    I’ve been saying since the beginning the writer has included a curious symmetry between Kyung and Haru, and that impression strengthens every episode. It goes further than that they are two men in a life triangle with Dan Oh. I’ve put forward a number of theories for this: Kyung and Haru are two sides of the same person; Kyung and Haru were brothers in a previous ‘life’/book; Haru was Kyung’s bodyguard (he is protective of him even in Secret) in Flower, etc.


    Someone says (Squid Fairy?) that only Kyung can change the stage. His brother desperately tells him not to change anything.  Why?  What is the brother afraid might happen?


    But we ourselves are already seeing a major change: Haru is taking on Kyung’s status, as athlete, as scholar, and as Dan Oh’s love.


    I think he should be very very afraid. With Haru in the picture, he’s becoming disposable. And if this story requires someone to die, and Dan Oh is able to avert that fate…?

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