Extraordinary You is extraordinarily silly and this will either make or break the experience for you. With a blend of off-beat camera angles, a meta storyline around comic books and a clever twist at the end, Extraordinary Life’s first episode gets off to a good start here, even if it does rely heavily on the overused high-school tropes to present its narrative.
Dan-O is the self-confessed heroine of our tale and as she narrates our adventure, we meet rebel Nam-Joo early on. Inside school, an incident in the hallway involving Ju Da sees Dan-O experience a weird glitch that sees her suddenly jump forward in time. Soo-Chul and Sae-Mi stand around her discussing the earlier hallway incident and as she looks incredulously around, she jumps a few more times through her mid-term exams.
After a fruitless encounter with her Doctor over what she’s experiencing, Dan-O tries in vain to figure out what condition she’s suffering from. In the morning, she talks to Nam Joo at school who tells her that she’s always acted this way after their engagement. In class, Nam Joo continues to jump through various different times; every time she closes her eyes, she jumps to a different location.
Eventually she winds up at the school library ,where she sifts through numerous books to try and find out more about the condition she’s suffering from. Eventually this leads her to a mysterious book full of pictures. Dropping the book to the ground, she steps backward into Nam Joo. Unable to face him, she heads off to the bathroom to compose herself. and after questioning her own sanity, we cut forward to the next day where Dan-O has lunch with her friends and discusses the future. Following her vision about Ju Da tripping up, Dan-O interjects to prevent catastrophe from occurring. Only, she actually causes more misfortune as both her and Ju Da wind up covered in curry.
Out in the hallway after class, Dan-O tries desperately to control her powers but her flamboyant mannerisms cause Nam Joo to head out and tell her to stop embarrasing him. He goes on to admit he’ll never like her and as he walks away, Dan-O heads outside where a mysterious floating orb approaches her. As she watches it, Jinmiche (the Dried Squid Fairy) notices the same orb, prompting Dan-O to chase after him. Here, she learns more about what’s happening and it turns out she’s actually in the world of comics. She initially refuses to believe it until he manipulates gravity and throws her phone over the edge of a balcony, watching as it floats infront of her. In the next frame however, he’s gone, replaced by Soo-Chul and Sae-Mi. As things start to become clearer, the Dried Squid Fairy tells her again that this is the world of comics.
After a humorous lesson on the english language, and more page turning and special effects to boot, Dan-O heads home where she starts to realize what she’s been told is true – she’s actually stuck in a comic book. The next day she embraces this newfound knowledge and begins to see the world in her own image. Everything goes well until she believes she’s controlling the destiny of three guys… until they all walk past her. Awakening in hospital some time later, she speaks to the Dried Squid Fairy again about her role as protagonist and as she goes off on a tangent, he makes a hasty retreat.
The next day Do-hwa, Kyung and Nam Ju all deliberate over Dan O’s cake and as she splits this into three parts, a mysterious figure outside watches them. We then cut forward to the climax of the episode where it’s revealed Yu Da is the main protagonist, not Dan-O. As she suddenly realizes this, from inside the school someone draws her portrait.
Based on a webcomic series released last year, Extraordinary You gets off to a pretty good start here, with a lovely opening episode that sets the scene for what’s to come. There’s a really quirky feel to this one and Kim Hye-Yoon does a great job playing the ecentric role of Dan-O. The aesthetic is dreamy, with some nice special effects added, including spotlights and cartoonish camera zooms, all of which playing into that feel of this being a comic book adventure brought to life.
Boasting an electronica soundtrack and a mischievous blend of sci-fi, comedy and romance, quite where this one will go next remains to be seen, but so far Extraordinary You sets a pretty solid foundation to build upon in the coming weeks.