Comedy And Drama Mixed With Augmented Reality
Memories Of The Alhambra is a South Korean series, drawing on the appeal of shows like Sword Art Online by blending mystery and comedy with fantastical elements of augmented reality. The first episode does well to entice you into the world with the various characters we meet both charismatic and memorable. While the first episode does lean quite heavily into the comedy and a few of the scenes drag on a tad longer than they should, this is one show worth keeping your eye on, especially with the way the plot builds.
Set in the heart of Spain, the episode begins with a flustered, panicked man running through the streets of Barcelona. After seemingly finding sanctuary on a train, things take a turn for the weird and he winds up disappearing without a trace. With this tantalizing mystery hanging over the series, we cut to CEO Yoo Jin-Woo as he heads to Granada on a quest. Once here, the series slows in tempo as we follow Jin-Woo as he checks in to a run-down hotel, much to the exasperation of hotelier Jung Hee-joo (Shin-Hye Park), and begins his mission.
Much like other Korean dramas of its kind, the episode ends with a revelation; a sprinkling of knowledge that helps entice you on to watch the next episode. For the most part it works very well indeed. The comedy and drama work harmoniously together, despite a slight over-indulgence with the comedy, and the mysterious opening only further whets the appetite for what’s to come.
I mentioned Sword Art Online earlier and Memories Of The Alhambra does draw heavy inspiration from that series. That’s not a bad thing though and one of the gripes I had with the hugely successful anime was the disjointed nature of the story and the way the plot seemed to jump past crucial elements. So far, Memories Of The Alhambra moves at a decent enough pace but it’ll be worth keeping an eye on this going forward if it does continue to draw inspiration from the anime.
With the opening episode clocking in at around 65 minutes, Memories Of The Alhambra does well to keep your attention through the duration of the episode. With crucial questions answered and a more clear picture of where the plot is going by the end of the opening hour, Memories Of The Alhambra seems like it may be another sure-fire hit for South Korea and if it can keep up the momentum built here, we’re sure to be in for a real treat.