Flower Boy Ramyun Shop Eps 1-6

Something is very wrong.

I think I may be coming down with something.

How is it possible that I’m not in love with a drama that’s giving me this:

Is it just me or are your eyes traveling southwards as well?

this:

and delicious situations like these?

Eun-bi and Kang-hyuk devise new ways to play ‘pin the tail on the flower boy’

When I first read about Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, I was pretty sure that Christmas had come early for me. A drama about hot guys selling ramyun? *does best Oliver impression* Please sir, can I have some more? My anticipation was further whetted by all the glowing online reviews. I could practically smell the MSG-laced crack in the air.

So why is it that instead of making me squee like this:

it’s left me feeling bleh like this:

I realise that I am in the minority here so before you continue, you should know that these opinions are mine alone and that they are not meant to diminish your enjoyment of the drama in any way. If you love Flower Boy with the intensity of a million suns and cannot handle any criticism of it, then please hit the ‘back’ button on your browser now.

Flower Boy is a drama that I like in theory more than in practice. Pretty boys aside, I was really looking forward to the student-teacher romance (look, I shipped Shin and Yankumi in both the Gokusen manga and drama all right. Since I’m already going to hell, I might as well run up the tab.) God knows I was ready to get my squee on for Jung Il-woo and Lee Chung-ah but every time I watch an episode, I find myself checking the timer and willing the closing credits to roll round faster.

The simple reason for this is that I was expecting something else from the characters. In the case of Eun-bi, I was expecting someone with a greater sense of agency or at least someone sharp enough to take advantage of the fact that she has a harem of hot boys eating out of her hands. I wanted her to be the one running the ramyun shop, dammit, not spend six episodes wallowing in existential angst and guilt. I wanted her to be the one consciously making both Jung Il-woo’s and Lee Ki-woo’s characters sweat, not the other way round, and I certainly did not want her hiding in the bushes from anyone.

Eun-bi searches high and low for her self-respect. Keep digging, hon, it’s got to be buried somewhere.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask for. It’s not like I’m asking Eun-bi to be a brazen hussy (given S. Korea’s Bieber-like obsession with purity, hell would have an easier time freezing over) but what I would like is for her to be an adult about her feelings instead of behaving like a blushing virgin from the 14th century. Judging by the way she behaved around Chi-soo and his cronies in the first three episodes, you’d think Eun-bi has never seen a Super Junior concert or encountered a picture of Choi Si-won hawking his abs in the entertainment section of the newspaper before.

When life presents you with a flower boy who’s hot and willing, the least you can do is feel him up, Eun-bi.

Watching Eun-bi made me think of all the dramas that I’ve watched in the past year. The heroines I’ve loved have all been decisive individuals who know what they want. Eun-bi, on the other hand, is rarely spurred into action unless she is reacting to something, which is why watching her still frustrates me even after she puts Chi-soo in his place. If you think about it, it’s basically a repeat of the earlier situation she was in with her ex (which you could also infer to mean that she just has questionable taste in men.) The volleyball that he receives in the face is prompted by the fact that she overheard his conversation with his friends. So had she not been in the right place at the right time, would it mean that she would have continued mooning after him like an infatuated school girl?

Good God Eun-bi, you could at least grab him by the lapels…

I’d probably cut her some slack if there was something redeeming about Chi-soo’s character (other than his prettiness, of course) but unless you consider being smug and entitled positive traits, it’s pretty difficult watching a 23-year-old being jerked around by someone who is still in high school.

I’ve had a soft spot for Jung Il-woo since High Kick Through the Roof. Of all the roles I’ve seen him play, this is my least favourite by far (then again, I haven’t watched Take Care of My Lady.) Chi-soo is essentially Gu Jun-pyo lite (Jung Il-woo did mention that he studied good buddy Lee Min-ho’s character in BOF to help him with his role after all), which is to say that he doesn’t have the F4 leader’s anger management issues and questionable IQ. However where Jun-pyo’s social ineptitude gives the character an added dimension and makes him amusing (and — dare I say it — likeable when he isn’t being a complete ass), there’s nothing to elevate Chi-soo from the standard issue spoilt teenage scion territory (yet.) He’s arrogant, good with the ladies and he has mommy issues…just like 345245098 other manga and drama characters out there.

I think what would have made him more interesting is if the other boys in his group had developed enough personalities to bring out the other facets of his character. Sadly, there’s very little interaction going on in his group and I still have no idea who the boys in Chi-soo’s little gang are after six episodes. All I know is that one of them works at a coffee shop and another has wavy hair.

Lee Ki-woo’s character is similarly undeveloped (which does not bode well for Kang-hyuk’s chances with Eun-bi.) He’s being set up as a quasi-father figure and the drama has briefly glossed over his motivations for helping her but I’d really like to see it delve into his past relationship with her father a little more. You don’t just give your daughter away to a man, especially without her knowledge, without being absolutely certain that he’s the right person for her (then again, we’re taking about a K-drama so maybe this isn’t such a big deal.) I want Kang-hyuk to show us that there’s more to him than what we’ve seen so far. At the moment, he’s sweet and he’s got a body that just won’t quit but he’s also too laidback to be taken seriously.

As for Ba-wool, I just want someone to tell him that So Yi is not the only girl in South Korea. I understand that he’s young and he needs time to get over his first heartbreak but we’re close to the halfway mark and he’s still letting her two-time him and treat him like crap. I can’t watch people who allow themselves to be treated like doormats. Dude, frickin’ grow some balls, put your foot down and move on. This is what drives me crazy about K-dramas sometimes — the way characters pine after someone, behaving like s/he is the only woman/man in the entire universe when there are six billion other people on the planet.

Watching Flower Boy, I keep wondering what it would be like as an 11-episode Japanese drama instead. I think this is a show that would benefit from having fewer episodes because it would force it to pick up the pace (I feel right now the show is just moving around in circles as all the characters experience an epiphany of sorts in the feelings department. Also, it is taking Kang-hyuk forever to up his game and prove that he would be the better man for Eun-bi), be more economical with the script and cut out a lot of extraneous details.

Again, like I said in the beginning, I know I’m in the minority here. This has been a very strange year for me where K-dramas are concerned because I haven’t seen anything that’s gotten me hooked since 49 Days. Even Girl K left me underwhelmed despite all the rave reviews and God knows I wanted to like that drama.

So please don’t take it personally when I tell you we’re not meant to be, Flower Boy. It’s not you, it’s me.

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16 comments

  1. I’m only on episode 2 of FBRS, and I simply canna bring meself to finish it. You know how when you cringe so badly for the lead repeatedly (in a bad way due to their actions) that you almost lose the will to continue? Yeah, that’s what’s happening to me. The only reason I can think of watching it is Jung Il-Woo, and that’s only cos of my pledged loyalty to him. Nothing else. Eun Bi I just want to beat up. Badly.

    I hate the fact that all the “perfect” girls worth pining for are the ballerinas who are willing to be spinelessly jerked around by one arrogant arse, and that the only girls who will resemble a normal female will be the ones who are pathetic and only become badarses towards the end of the series. The females in dramas that had will and sense of their own (like most normal women) I could count on my fingers. Which is a sad commentary, upon seeing how many dramas I’ve watched.

    I could spew much more, but I’m going to steel myself and get half-way before I completely write this series off (or not, since I really hope I’m wrong). Like you said, FBRS is something I’m liking the concept of in theory of more than in practice.

    1. I hate the fact that all the “perfect” girls worth pining for are the ballerinas who are willing to be spinelessly jerked around by one arrogant arse

      I don’t understand So Yi at all or why she continues to have such a substantial role in this drama. [ETA: She’s not adding to the story in any significant way] it’s like she’s just there to torment Rooster Boy and Eun-bi…though I guess some people would say that is reason enough for her to exist.

      Also, unless there’s a scene of them having hot sex that’s been excised from the drama, I don’t understand why she persists on being with Chi-soo (of course, the more plausible — and boring — reason is that she views him as a status symbol just like an LV handbag.) Their dates are a cure for insomnia. Even a blind person can tell that Chi-soo is not interested in her. She probably knows that he isn’t interested in her either.

      Jung Il-woo isn’t doing it for me at all in this drama. Personally (and again, it’s probably because I’m wired differently), I’m not convinced by his whole playboy routine. I just find it very studied and I feel he isn’t the right actor to play this role but again, plenty of people obviously think otherwise. So don’t mind me if you happen to disagree :)

      Having said that, I really do hope this drama gets better for you. If you get past the 6th episode and it becomes truly awesome, let me know!

  2. Hey there gurl. Long time no chat. I thought FBRS was gonna be my crack du jour like SKKS because damyun I love Jung Il Woo. But then again my first drama with him was the fusion sageuk The Return of Iljimae so I’m stuck in that period drama still drooling over his hotness.FBRS had so much potential primarily because of the hot flower boys and its about food glorious food, ok its ramyun, but its still food. I think this drama peaked at Ep 5 & 6 precisely because of the above posted glistening post-military abs and body of Lee Ki Woo. He’s really morphed into a hottie since my first encounter with him in the movie The Classic where Jo In Sung slayed me with his looks! Too bad his character is so underdeveloped but I still jumped on the Kang Hyuk- Eun Bi ship because I have it bad – ya know- the second lead syndrome. I’m a sucker for the sweet, considerate, romantic, charming , ideal second lead, always. Reference- Shining Inheritance. I hate arrogant selfish chaebol heirs, even if they are the lead in any drama. So I’m sinking with that ship. Its highly improbable in real life that someone like Eun Bi will attract all these good looking young boys. She really has nothing going for her, not money, looks, career, intelligence or whatever. And hey someone as arrogant , self centered and selfish as Chi soo is not going to change overnight or even during the run of the drama for love. A leopard does not change its spots easily. But this is kdramalalaland and the writers can always insert a time jump or whatever to create the illusion that yes our hero has changed in the name of love. I’m meandering even after watching Ep 11 and its not getting any better despite the raves and flail of rabid fans of the drama. But I’m gonna stick to the bitter end cause I’ve lasted this far.And Jung Il Woo playing a 19 year old high school student can sure kiss- reference ep. 11 that’s why I’ve endured and will until the final episode. Shallow me, signing off.

    1. I know! I thought Flower Boy was going to be this year’s SKKS for me too. I saw the gifs of that kiss…looks hot, I’ll give you that but Eun-bi drives me crazy and the fact that Chi-soo is always shouting does my head in so I’m going to stay away.

      Oh please, if you’re shallow what does that make me? I downloaded a drama episode for a 1-minute long shower scene. I really need a new hobby.

      1. Chingu, you always crack me up. We both need a new hobby or a life outside of dramaland if our idea of a good time is watching a 1-minute long shower scene of some actor who just got out of the army.Sigh! See you sometime on Twitter.

  3. It took a while for FBRS to grow on me but boy did it ever. During the first 4 episodes, I was like:
    1) Eun-bi, grow a spine for the love of God!
    2) Chi-Soo, why so shouty? and
    3) Kang-Hyuk, you so hot but also kinda weird?

    But I’m glad i stuck it out because by Episode 10, I was a goner. Watched the finale a couple of days ago and I have to say I’m a huge fan of the show (I’m also a big fan of most noona killer stories but that’s another story, heh).

    Here are some of the reasons you *might* want to consider giving the rest of FBRS a go:
    1) Eun-Bi picks herself off the floor and hands Chi-Soo his a** repeatedly;
    2) Chi-Soo grows up and gets over himself – well, to a certain extent, which is more realistic than him doing a complete 360. And did I mention Jung Il-Woo is hot? So so hot.
    3) Kang-Hyuk gets to be more than a narcoleptic father figure type. And did I mention Lee Ki-Woo is hot? So so hot.
    4) Ballerina girl gets what’s coming to her (and she really doesn’t get that much air time anyway);
    5) the show is wacky funny and has a really good handle on parody – which is always a plus in my book. The humor reminded me a bit at times of Hana Kimi 2007 actually. It had that same manga, or should I say manhwa sensibility to it which appeals to me.

    FBRS is not for everyone and I’m not trying to convert anyone here. But I do love a show that just makes me forget the real world and just gives me something to smile about. To me, it has a wonderful mix of laugh-out-loud scenes and tender, touching ones. This show is a bit like cooking ramyun, you have to wait for the water to boil before things start happening. Anyway, I hope you give it a chance. Who knows, you might change your mind … ?

    1. Your comment made me LOL so much, Adele (and I mean this in a good way.)

      Oh Lee Ki-woo is hot, I have no doubts about that. I was going to have a go at making an MV with The Divinyls’ single “I Touch Myself” as a backing track (I mean, did you see the way he was feeling himself up in ep 5?) but I lost interest in the drama so that’s been shelved for now. So tell me, does he get another chance to pimp his abs in FBRS? If so, I will definitely download that episode XD

      the show is wacky funny and has a really good handle on parody – which is always a plus in my book.

      Wait, does the humour pick up after ep 10 or did you always find it hilarious? I watched 6 episodes and I didn’t, despite all the rave reviews, find it a hoot but maybe my frustration with the leads had something to do with this.

      However I really appreciate your thoughts on this drama and for sure, I’m not going to discount the possibility of giving it another shot (and eating crow) but for now, I am inhaling What’s Up. So maybe one day, after that’s done…?

      1. Sorry it took me a while to respond but Christmas kinda got on top of me! Hope you had a good one.

        Ginger beat me to it, but I was also going to confirm that sadly, LKW does not flash his post army abs beyond Ep 1. Dammit, why did they have to set the show in winter? >_< If you don't mind checking out the pre-army edition, do make sure you download Ep 1 of Outrageous Women. That's the only ep I've managed to watch but boy, do you get a decent look at his abs. And legs. And abs. Did I mention the abs? Here, have a peek for yourself: http://www.soompi.com/forums/topic/74524-drama-2006-rude-woman/page__st__40
        I think there's plenty of fodder there for a Divinyls MV, lol. On a random side note, that's a song which makes me all nostalgic as – I'm showing my age here – it was a big hit when I was an undergrad in Australia, ha!

        "does the humour pick up after ep 10 or did you always find it hilarious?"

        I found the series pretty much hilarious all the way through because that brand of wacky humour just hits me in the sweet spot when done right. For me, FBRS and Hana Kimi 2007 got their ramyun cooked just right. However, it's not for everyone and that's cool. I think it's definitely not to your taste or Ginger's, which is likely one of the main reasons you are not connecting with the show.

        Why was I a goner after Ep 10? Because once I saw The Kiss – omg, that kiss! Don't even get me started! This is the kiss I want all kdrama kisses to be, not a passionless mashing of the lips, but a real honest to goodness passionate kiss. I am SO distracted by all the mental images about now, lol. Anyway, once I had seen The Kiss, I was totally shipping the Eun-Bi & Chi-Soo OTP and began to enjoy the show that much more because I had made up my mind. Kang-Hyuk was dragging me into Second Lead Syndrome up to that point. After the kiss, I felt so sorry for the poor guy but at the same time I just could not help cheering the leads on.

        And then there were the living-together-at-the-ramyun-shop hijinks, the kimchi ahjummas, the makjang parodies. I LOVE this show and the rollercoaster ride it took me on. I liked that it was funny and touching and romantic all at once. My viewing experience was further enriched by the fantastic recaps I was reading over at Dramabeans. It was the first time I'd ever watched a series that was still airing and felt all the excitement of watching it with other fangirls and reading recaps because I couldn't wait for the subbed episodes to come out. I've only been watching kdramas for about a year so I've been making up for last ground by watching series which have already completed their runs. So with FBRS, everything was really heightened for me and I probably got carried away and liked the show more than I would have if I'd watched it in one shot without all the atmospherics? Who knows?

        Last but not least, this show gave me Jung Il Woo, LOL. I watched this show initially for Lee Ki-Woo as I totally loved his look in the teasers and trailers. Having never watched JIW in anything prior to FBRS, I was like what's the big deal about this guy and why is his hair such an unattractive red and why does he shout ever so much?! But then I got hit by the tsunami that is Jung Il-Woo. When Chi-Soo is all serious and grown up in FBRS, I just MELT. An explosive combo of brilliant acting and hotness. Aigoo. And that's why I'm currently on Ep 15 of 49 Days! Because I need my JIW fix (I've also downloaded The Return of Iljimae *blush*) and by God I will get my fix even if I have to watch a series which has a sad ending (something I would normally avoid like the plague).

        OMG! I'm so sorry for writing an entire term paper. So embarrassed. Hope you'll forgive me as I'm still riding the FBRS high. How's 'What's Up'? Sounds kinda dark in the DB recaps I've read and I'm wary of dark as I got my fill back when I used to watch a lot of European films. I do love my happy endings.

      2. Please don’t apologise for the long comment. Long comments = AWESOME.

        Thanks for the link! Funnily enough, the first person who caught my attention was Kim Bum and I do love myself some Bummie. *Ahem* But back to LKW, I think if his agency is smart, they’ll find him a CF gig for a suntan lotion company…XD

        It was the first time I’d ever watched a series that was still airing and felt all the excitement of watching it with other fangirls and reading recaps because I couldn’t wait for the subbed episodes to come out.

        Oh, I totally understand what you mean. I was exactly like you when Sungkyunkwan Scandal was airing last year. I had just started watching K-dramas then and boy, was that a ton of fun. SKKS was all I could talk about for god knows how long and it introduced me to so many actors I didn’t even know existed. Fun times. Getting caught up in the maelstrom of a crack drama definitely heightens the viewing experience. I watched 49 Days when it was airing earlier this year and it was so much fun spazzing over Han Kang & Co with the other fans, as well as reading the recaps and debating the various plot points in the drama. Hell, I was reading the recaps at work and hoping no one would notice (quite difficult when your office adopts an open concept.)

        I think Daito Shunsuke is to me what Jung Il-woo is to you. All I will say is that I watched quite a bit of questionable dramas just to get my DS fix this year so yes, I understand where you are with Mr Jung :D

        Because once I saw The Kiss – omg, that kiss! Don’t even get me started! This is the kiss I want all kdrama kisses to be, not a passionless mashing of the lips, but a real honest to goodness passionate kiss.

        If Daito kissed like that in a drama, I’d endure 10 hours of crap just for that few measly seconds of passion. But yes, I saw gifs of that kiss. Maybe I should download ep 10 to have a look-see? All right, I’ll give FBRS another shot (starting with that episode) and see whether I change my mind.

        I wouldn’t say that What’s Up is dark. Moody, yes, but I doubt it’s going to have a tragic ending. Where Dream High was a bubblegum pop confection, What’s Up has a more grown up/indie kind of feel. I like what I’ve seen so far. The characters are well-written with compelling back stories and the best thing is that I don’t hate anyone :)

  4. Chingu, I watched until the finale, Lee& Ki Woo never got a chance to show off his
    amazing abs again after Ep 5 & 6 but there were lots of hotter than hell moments when he showed off his romantic side. But Jung Il woo true to form morphed into a mature
    chaebol heir for the sake of love. Its a parody all right and Eun bi baby did a role reversal and “saved & protected” Chisoo from whatever! I laughed at Adele’s comments coz yeah, there were lots of hilarious moments. But I guess I just didn’t get it! The comments I read after the finale were mostly about wanting a happy ending for Kyang Hyuk, Lee Ki woo’s character. So many fangurls & bois sank with that ship.

    1. Lee& Ki Woo never got a chance to show off his amazing abs again after Ep 5 & 6 but there were lots of hotter than hell moments when he showed off his romantic side.

      Oh really? Damn. You and Adele are really chipping away at my resistance. Okay now you’ve watched it to the bitter end, on a scale of 1 to 10, what score would you give this drama?

      1. In my *slightly biased* opinion, this drama scores a solid 8.2. Remember that this is just me, and you are quite likely to one day finish the drama and go “What the hell?! That was a 3 at best!”.

        I do believe there are some meaningful things everyone can take away from watching FBRS – it’s really not JUST a comedy. For one, there is the idea that family is not confined to the biological one you’re born into. Instead, a family can be built anywhere, anytime – as long as you can find human beings who care enough about each other. This idea really shines through in the last few episodes. If you’ve watched the first 6 episodes, you’ll remember that Kang Hyuk asks everyone to create a ramyun recipe for their partner? Well, there’s a really poignant scene at the end where they explain the rationale behind their recipes. It really gave me the warm fuzzies! I won’t say much more as I’m hoping you’ll watch it yourself one day, lol.

        To a certain extent, this drama is also about breaking the mould. Everyone expects Chi Soo to be a spoilt, rich kid who will stay in the comfort zone of the caviar-eating, bus and train-free existence his father has created for him. I personally enjoyed sharing his flawed and oftentimes comical journey out of this rarefied world (but then again, I’m totally a paying passenger on the Jung Il-Woo boat so my thoughts on the matter are far from objective). Eun-Bi, too has a journey of self-discovery but I won’t go into further detail as this reply is already about 60,000 words longer than it was originally meant to be! Mea culpa. Again.

        FBRS is not the most brilliant drama. Eun-Bi is irritatingly spineless at the start while Chi-Soo is a total asshole. And I will admit that some of the humor is a little heavy handed at times. However, I’m willing to overlook all these flaws because it’s a drama with so much heart and so many characters that I simply love to bits. At the end of the day, that’s why it scores an 8.2 on my scale. All that heart.

      2. I do believe there are some meaningful things everyone can take away from watching FBRS – it’s really not JUST a comedy

        See, here’s the thing: one of the reasons this drama didn’t work for me is that I kept comparing the story and characters to Ouran (the manga, not the drama.) Ouran deals with a lot of the themes that you mentioned — the idea of family, breaking the mould et cetera — and it’s a very clever and funny piece of work. Tamaki, the lead, is unlike any male character that I’ve come across. He’s filthy rich but so gregarious and silly despite having so much emotional baggage that he made what I saw of Chi-soo seem like a stock character. Also, Haruhi always had a spine right from the very start, which is why Eun-bi grated on me so much.

        But I will give FBRS another shot one of these days and if I find myself eating crow, you guys will definitely know about it:)

  5. Adele like you I was touched by that episode in FBRS where the partners outdid themselves making ramyun keeping in mind their partner’s needs, wants or lack of it. But I still give this drama a 6.5. I was really excited about it but along the way it just went pfft. I’m not oblivious to the brilliance of the parodies portrayed in FBRS, but for me it turned out to be another Secret Garden. But I still thank the drama gods for Lee Ki Woo. I met Ellély because of SKKS online. I was so addicted to the drama that I was on soompi , viki and some other forum fangirling like crazy, even watching SKKS raw and I actually had the gumption to do recaps with my non-existent knowledge of Korean. I’m so glad Jung Il Woo is going to be in another fusion sageuk where he belongs, at least for this fangurl.

  6. So, I am going to be really honest and take back a lot of what I said. I just finished watching a bit more, and now… I like it. It took me a long time to get around to it, but with episode 3, everything changed. Well… not everything, only Eun Bi. But she actually snapped out of it and became bad arse (or is on the road to recovery back to becoming one anyway) and since now I’m not finding myself cringing at her every action, it’s actually pretty good. As someone mentioned above (too lazy to find the post, sawwy =3) you need to sort of endure till episode 4, and then the wheels finally find their groove.

    I’m not saying that the drama is the best I’ve ever seen (c’mon, it took me 2 weeks to make myself finish episode 2… although that may just be me >.<;;), and since I'm only at the middle, I canna say that it will hold out so well till the end, or that it willna start drooping in the middle, the way korean dramas are wont to do as they hit their mid-life crisis, but for now, it's worth a watch.

    I really liked the idea of condensing the drama into a japanese-length, 11-episode drama. The first 4 episodes could easily be condensed into 2 episodes, giving us the introduction and feel that the writer wanted the audience to have, and then really getting into the story. I feel like FBRS is that four-year-old that most people encounter in their lives. It has this really really important story to tell, and it doesna really care if you've heard it before or whether everyone has realised that half of it is made up, it just wants to TELL it. But then everytime they starts telling the story, they start getting bogged down by feeling the compulsion of explaining EVERYTHING from the BEGINNING, and then they starts digressing, and next thing you know, you've duct-taped the little being and flung them in the laundry room without realising exactly what you've done.

    TL;DR It gets better.

    1. you need to sort of endure till episode 4, and then the wheels finally find their groove.

      Um…I endured till episode 6 but it didn’t get any better for me DDDD: However I’ve been told that the build up to the kiss in ep 10 is worth the pain (though having seen the clip on YouTube, it looks like Jung Il-woo is doing all the work.) That said, I’m glad it’s working out for you :D

      I really liked the idea of condensing the drama into a japanese-length, 11-episode drama.

      I think K-drama producers and directors should consider trimming their dramas down to 15 episodes (or less) so that you don’t have so much needless melodrama and WTF moments. This is off topic but I am currently plowing my way through A Thousand Days’ Promise and I find myself thinking: ‘Seriously, I’ve got to watch Soo Ae lose her mind for another 10+ more episodes?’ It isn’t exactly a riveting subject and there isn’t a lot of dramatic conflict going on to make this a must-watch drama — it’s basically a kitchen sink drama that has the heroine being dragged through every single hard luck situation (dirt poor childhood, growing up without parents, the works!) so that viewers can bawl their eyes out. Couldn’t they have taken a leaf out of 1 Litre no Namida and wrapped it up in 11 episodes?

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