The Sound of Magic: Episode 1 (First Impressions)
Disillusioned by the cruel actuality of life, a younger woman dwelling in poverty learns to seek out hope once more when an opportunity encounter leads her to a mysterious magician with an arsenal of whimsical tips up his sleeve.
Editor’s notice: Protection will proceed with a second complete evaluate, so please chorus from discussing any plot factors past Episode 1 on this publish.
EPISODE 1 FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Based mostly on the webtoon Annarasumanara by Ha Il-kwon, The Sound of Magic tells the story of Yoon Ah-yi, a high-school pupil dwelling hand-to-mouth together with her youthful sister and dealing a part-time job after faculty to make ends meet. She’s weary and worn down by the money owed left behind by her absent father, and he or she’s lengthy since stopped believing in magic — so when the mysterious magician Ri-eul seems in entrance of her, he fairly actually turns her life round.
I’ll admit my expectations have been sky-high going into this present, as a result of Annarasumanara was the primary webtoon I ever learn. I used to be in center faculty then, struggling to not crumble underneath all of the expectations I carried on my shoulders, and I bear in mind figuring out with Ah-yi’s struggles — not the poverty, fortunately, however the exhausting day by day grind and the nostalgia for a carefree childhood lengthy since out of attain.
Annarasumanara taught me methods to discover the little hopeful joys in life, and gave me the braveness to proceed pursuing my goals; I bear in mind being moved to the purpose of tears a number of occasions whereas studying. I liked its metaphors, concurrently reasonable and dream-like, and the way vividly the webtoon portrayed them. As such, I used to be equal components excited for this adaptation and nervous that it wouldn’t reside as much as the magic of the unique.
Properly, by the top of the primary episode, I used to be caught in a dilemma — I couldn’t wait to proceed watching the following episode, however I additionally wished to rewatch the one I simply completed! I suppose that speaks for itself simply how a lot I loved the primary episode, so with out additional ado, let’s step into this magical journey.
The Sound of Magic opens with a whispered rumor in regards to the good-looking magician that lives within the deserted amusement park on the hill. Supposedly, he really sawed somebody in half for a trick, and the particular person he made vanish really went lacking for actual — or at the least, that’s what BAEK HA-NA (Ji Hye-won) tells her disbelieving classmates.
Earlier than beginning any trick, the magician at all times utters the identical phrases: “Do you consider in magic?” And simply as Ha-na says the phrases, so does the magician, and unexpectedly the scholars are breaking out into synchronized tune and dance.
It’s a surreal and charming begin to this story, completely setting the temper for the remainder of the drama. I used to be initially apprehensive that the musical numbers would possibly prove tacky, however the actors actually promote it and the choreography is easy and entertaining.
Actuality, nonetheless, is a special story, and our protagonist YOON AH-YI (Choi Sung-eun) experiences that for herself when she bumps right into a classmate whereas working to class. The impression sends her sprawling onto the steps, scraping her knee and tearing a gap in her stockings.
Ah-yi’s day doesn’t get any higher from there, and we see simply how a lot she’s struggling to economize. Throughout lunch, she takes further pork cutlets to secretly pack in her lunchbox, and at her part-time comfort retailer job, she’s tempted by a half-eaten burger somebody left behind.
Later, Ah-yi receives her wage for the day, however whereas strolling dwelling, a gust of wind abruptly rips the invoice from her grasp. She chases it down the streets, all whereas it flutters additional away. In a neat little bit of enhancing, the highway she’s working on morphs into the invoice she’s working after, as if reflecting how her life’s path is each constrained and outlined by cash itself.
She finally ends up on the deserted amusement park, the place the invoice flies up into an individual’s hand. Shrouded in shadows, the cloaked man asks ominously: Do you consider in magic?
Naturally, that sends Ah-yi screaming and working all the way in which again dwelling. She’s greeted by her precocious youthful sister YOO-YI (Hong Jung-min), who reassures Ah-yi that she doesn’t want dinner as a result of she ate three servings of her faculty lunch. Aw, she’s lovely, and so mature for her age.
Having misplaced her wages, Ah-yi has no selection however to attend faculty the following day in the identical pair of torn stockings. That leads Ha-na to play a mean-spirited prank on her by dropping a fifty-thousand received invoice close to Ah-yi’s desk, pretending to have misplaced it, and pointedly commenting in entrance of Ah-yi that she’ll simply consider it as serving to somebody pitiful out. Ugh, the nerve of this woman.
Ah-yi’s clearly plagued by her personal unethical habits, and her inside monologue is heartbreaking:
“It was on the bottom. I simply picked it up; I didn’t steal it. This cash isn’t soiled. I’m. It’s simpler if I consider it like that.”
That evening, Ah-yi returns to the deserted amusement park to seek out her misplaced cash, and the mysterious man from earlier than seems but once more. He doesn’t inform her his identify, however we’ll come to know him as RI-EUL (Ji Chang-wook). With a flourish, he thanks Ah-yi for accepting the invitation card he’d left behind, however she says she threw it away the second she discovered it, ha.
She asks him to present her a refund, and he takes it out, solely to run his hand over it and switch it right into a clean piece of paper. Ah-yi isn’t amused, and he or she tells him to cease along with his infantile jokes. Ri-eul isn’t deterred, and with the phrase annarasumanara (the Korean equal of abracadabra), he not solely transforms the piece of paper again right into a invoice, he multiplies it into two and provides each to her.
Nonetheless feeling responsible over her earlier actions, Ah-yi insists that she’s not the kind of one who would thoughtlessly take others’ cash, although it sounds extra like she’s making an attempt to persuade herself and never the magician. She takes only one invoice, then turns to depart.
Earlier than she does, although, he bends right down to tie her undone shoelace for her, then gently brushes her hair out of her eyes so she doesn’t journey and fall once more. Conjuring bubbles out of skinny air, he compares them to the holes in her stockings, calling them cool. Aww.
Keep in mind the classmate who ran into Ah-yi earlier? That’s NA IL-DEUNG (Hwang In-yub), whose identify actually means “I’m first place.” He actually lives as much as his identify, since he’s first place in your complete faculty and throughout all topics — aside from math, which Ah-yi beats him in.
In fact, Mr. First Place can’t take that mendacity down, so he asks her which math academy she attends…due to course she will’t be higher than him, however maybe her math tutor is best than his. Gosh, the vanity!
Il-deung isn’t all dangerous, although, and he’s intrigued by — and adorably, somewhat smitten with — Ah-yi. He will get all flustered when she catches him staring, then shoves his math issues at her to resolve, ha.
Ah-yi doesn’t have the time to consider romance, although. Her father’s on the run from his collectors, and he or she’s method behind on her hire — sufficient to make her ask her boss for advance pay. He’s understanding about her circumstances, kindly providing her 300,000 received upfront, and Ah-yi’s so moved that she resolves to persevere and develop into an grownup like him.
That’s, till he steps nearer and begins feeling her up. Panicking, Ah-yi instinctively pushes him off her, desperately wishing for somebody to come back and assist her…
Heeding her name, Ri-eul seems, yanking the disgusting man away and making him vanish with a sweep of his coat. Whoa, that was cool.
Ah-yi’s grateful, however nonetheless disbelieving of his magic; the following evening, she returns to the amusement park to thank him, but in addition to advise him to get a correct job as an alternative of playacting as a magician. Ri-eul insists that his magic is actual, which pushes an exasperated Ah-yi to the purpose of tears.
She blurts out that she hates immature folks like him who blindly consider in magic and haven’t any worries or sense of duty. Individuals like her father, who recklessly chased after his dream of beginning a toy firm, are actually pathetic — in the meantime, she’s left behind, struggling to make it via every day.
Calmly, Ri-eul asks her if she believes in magic, and he or she yells that she doesn’t, her tears spilling over. She stalks off, and Ri-eul utters the magic phrases — annarasumanara. A butterfly flutters forth, lighting up the amusement park rides in its path. Ah-yi gasps in shock, and Ri-eul begins to sing because the amusement park involves life behind him.
He leads her to a ferris wheel experience, reminding her of her carefree childhood and inspiring her to maintain her head held excessive. Colourful fireworks illuminate the evening sky, and it’s so heartwarming to see the spark return to Ah-yi’s eyes because the spectacle unfolds earlier than her.
On the finish of his magical efficiency, Ri-eul locations his high hat atop an awestruck Ah-yi’s head. Calling his present “magic that makes you consider in magic once more,” he asks her if it was profitable, and Ah-yi responds in voiceover that it was so vivid and exquisite that she couldn’t reply no.
Is that this particular person in entrance of me actually a magician? Ah-yi thinks to herself, eyes brimming with hope for the primary time in an extended whereas, and it’s clear she needs for the reply to be sure.
With that, the primary episode attracts to an in depth, leaving me equally as enraptured as Ah-yi. Whereas the character archetypes are ones we’ve undoubtedly seen earlier than, the webtoon was initially written again in 2011, so it’s fairly spectacular that its storylines nonetheless maintain up over a decade later. There’s one thing common about shedding sight of 1’s goals amidst the wrestle to remain afloat in a harsh actuality, and I feel the drama does an excellent job of grounding itself beneath all of the surreality.
I appreciated that the present made a transparent effort to stay trustworthy to the webtoon, such because the scene of Ah-yi working on the cash invoice, in addition to the general plot development. Too typically, we see drama variations make vital alterations in an try to enhance the storyline or distinguish itself, solely to finish up doing the precise reverse. I’m glad that The Sound of Magic trusted its supply materials sufficient to convey it simply because it was. Or nicely, at the least thus far — I hope I’m not jinxing it!
As well as, the minor adjustments that have been made served to raise the story, such because the rearranging of sure occasions. For instance, the entire invoice fiasco with Ha-na occurring earlier than Ah-yi went to get her a refund from Ri-eul made Ah-yi’s option to take solely her single unique invoice again all of the extra poignant. (Within the webtoon, she meets Ri-eul first, and takes each payments — amusing and relatable, however quite a bit much less heartfelt.)
To be sincere, I’m not fairly positive if Ji Chang-wook suits the function simply but. He appears to be leaning somewhat too far into Ri-eul’s enigmatic aura, making him come off somewhat creepier than I feel he’s supposed to be. Webtoon Ri-eul has extra of a boyish appeal that comes off considerably affected on Ji Chang-wook, with a few of his supply feeling somewhat stilted, somewhat than ethereal and carefree.
One second I appreciated, although, was the second when he mentioned annarasumanara to Ah-yi’s exploitative boss; he had a playful glint in his eye for the primary half of the phrase, which then morphed into a tough glare as he flung his cloak over the person. I assumed the shift in his gaze was very well carried out, so I’ll must see if Ji Chang-wook’s portrayal of Ri-eul grows on me, since I do suppose he has the potential to place his personal charming spin on the character.
Equally, Hwang In-yub’s interpretation of Na Il-deung left me wanting extra; in comparison with webtoon Il-deung, he’s much less boastful, and fewer clearly flustered by Ah-yi, which causes him to fall somewhat flat general. Although I do recognize that Il-deung is much less obnoxious right here, haha!
It looks like the drama could also be setting him as much as be extra likable to the viewers, which can be an excellent factor — I bear in mind disliking webtoon Il-deung for an excellent whereas at first, oops. Hwang In-yub appears to be portraying him with extra restraint, making his awkwardness fairly endearing.
In fact, the star of the present right here is Choi Sung-eun, and I completely love her portrayal of Ah-yi. Choi Sung-eun brings her inside turmoil to life in a method that’s stuffed with pathos and completely sympathetic, including extra dimension to the character and tugging at my heartstrings. I like that her Ah-yi is withdrawn, however not meek; downtrodden, however not helpless.
There’s a quiet fortitude to Ah-yi that retains her going via the arduous occasions, and meaning Ri-eul isn’t giving her the energy she wants, he’s merely serving to her discover the braveness she already has buried deep inside. Identical to Ah-yi’s identify actually means “little one,” she could have been compelled to develop up too quick, however she’ll slowly rediscover her childlike sense of marvel via Ri-eul’s magic.
All in all, I assumed this was a fantastically charming premiere, weaving in threads of hope into an in any other case bleak story. It undoubtedly did justice to the unique webtoon, and I’m trying ahead to seeing how the remainder of our trio’s journey unfolds.
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