Episode 1 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 9 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 10 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 11 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 12 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 13 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 14 -| Review Score – 4/5
When Yumi’s Cells dropped last year, it brought a unique update to the formula made famous by Pixar’s ingenious movie, Inside Out. Based on the webtoon of the same name, Yumi’s Cells delivered a great blend of drama and romance, mixed in with some well-placed comedy that was equal parts toe-curlingly cringe-inducing and laugh out loud funny.
Given the ending of the first season, it was perhaps inevitable that this one would be renewed – even if renewals of K-dramas is a pretty rare thing.
The story this time picks up with Yu-Mi still working at Daehan Noodles but finding herself much more conflicted over her direction in life. The early episodes tackle Yu-Mi getting over her ex, Ku Woong. This is helped somewhat by her knight in shining armour, Yoo Ba-Bi. Although he was around in season 1, Ba-Bi is much more integral to the plot this time around as Yu-Mi and Ba-Bi grow closer together.
Much of the season moves into Yu-Mi’s second romantic venture, learning lessons from the past and trying to grow and evolve in the process. However, there are numerous roadblocks and obstacles for the pair to navigate – some more tricky than others. I won’t reveal what happens but suffice to say the series throws up a couple of big surprises late on that make Yu-Mi’s choices that much more difficult.
The real joy of watching Yumi’s Cells has always come from Cell Land and thankfully that’s still an integral part of the story this time around. Not only are there more Cells to explore (given Love Cell spends much of her time in isolation following what happened with Woong), there are also some other people who have their Cell Lands explored too. Interestingly, not Ba-Bi so much, which is surprising.
The whole concept of Cell Land is fleshed out further though by a couple of hilarious scenarios, including one involving a tense space launch for the Cells as Yu-Mi moves her hand to touch Ba-Bi. These little instances really help keep the comedic core of the show going, but there are certainly elements of poignancy and much more serious drama too.
While the show never moves into love triangle territory, there are certainly hints of it late on and in some ways, parts of this show feel quite cliched. The whole idea of needing to be in a relationship with someone to be happy is something that a lot of small and big screen productions depict but for Yumi’s Cells, I almost feel like the writers missed a golden opportunity not exploring that further here.
Although romance is a big part of how this story – and Yumi herself – develops, there’s also a fair amount of introspection and internal debate about Yumi’s career and making steps to better herself. Ultimately though, these aren’t quite explored as expansively as they perhaps could have been.
A show like this is ultimately going to have its fans for either side, shipping different couples along the way but Yumi and Ba-Bi have a lot of chemistry together which can be felt very early on and throughout the season.
Watching these two interact and grow is one of the big highlights of the story, while the inclusion of new (Control Z) and old (Ruby, Yi-Da) characters engaging in romantic flings is a nice way of developing the supporting cast too.
If you enjoyed the first season of Yumi’s Cells, chances are you’ll love the second as well. There are multiple stand-out moments and further development of Cell Land, along with the various relationships, helps to give this much more depth than before. This is a fun ride and well worth a watch.
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Verdict - 7.5/10