Do you…believe in magic? If you do, let’s talk about the Sound of Magic!
If there’s one K-drama that kept me awake on the night of 6 May, it was the much-anticipated musical fantasy drama that’s based on a famous webtoon. I had to binge-watch the series because Ri-Eul enchanted me with his spells and since then the only thing that’s been hovering in my mind is “Annarasumanara, Annarasumanara…” – I’m so obsessed with it!
Honestly, I was not really a fan of musicals and there might have been Korean musical dramas before, but this hands down was a magical and masterfully-crafted musical drama that deserves to become a phenomenon.
So, today I’m going to share my personal opinions and feelings on this masterpiece, breaking down key details that made our hearts go thump thump, which also means that there’ll be spoilers ahead, so you’ve been warned!
LOVED: Ji Chang Wook Aka Ri Eul
If there’s one Korean actor that knows how to steal hearts, it’s Ji Chang Wook! I fell heads over heels the first time I watched his drama. His acting is evocative, persuasive and he always owns every character he plays. However, among all, Ri Eul has a very special place in my heart.
Despite Pinkvilla’s claim that the actor failed to portray the right emotions and appeared “unreal”, I personally think that he was able to capture viewers’ attention in every scene he was in. In fact, he brought the character to life. It’s not every day that we get to see a handsome magician with a charismatic smile and His childish and playful attitude, which was really adorable, reminded me of Willy Wonka and Peter Pan.
Ri Eul was not an ordinary magician. He wasn’t either just asking people to believe in magic, he wanted someone to believe in him, in his dreams and to understand the fact that life means much more than a materialistic grind. All he wanted was for everyone to enjoy a hope and a moment away from the harsh realities of life. We were literally hypnotized by his mysterious aura and charmed by his warm appeal. Every moment throughout the series, he kept us intrigued to learn more about who he really was, why he was living in an abandoned park and how he was related to that pregnant woman. And, the darkness he portrayed when he was approached by that annoying girl added thrills to the drama and another layer to his mystical and magical aura, showing the actor’s ability and versatility in playing a character with such complexity.
And, for me, Ri Eul is a real magician. Why? Because I’m still under his spell!
LOVED: The Message of the Series
The drama starts off by showing the misery of a high school girl who is struggling to survive and support her sister after her parents abandoned her and let her drown in debts. However, slowly, slowly, the series opened up to some of the most complex layers of the society. The drama took us by surprise as we are shown a society that we are pretty much familiar with; a corrupt society that steals your dream, overworks you and when you fail at anything, you are tagged as a “loser.”
Yoon Ah Yi was very good at studying, but because she was poor and was different from the other students, she was bullied and treated unfairly by both the education system and the society. Na Il Deung started dreaming of becoming a magician but according to his parents, unless you follow the path your parents set for you, own a degree and have a high position in the society, you’ll only be considered as a failure. It’s even harder to talk about Ri Eul’s story. It’s really heartbreaking to imagine how he kept smiling and talking about magic, hopes and dreams when he himself was rejected and judged as being a mentally ill student.
But, this drama also taught us the need to believe in ourselves and to always do what makes us happy. Remember, “You should do whatever it is you want to do just as much as the things you don’t want to do.”
HATED: Creepy Convenience Store Owner
Some are still confused and wondering if Ri Eul really made the store owner disappear or did he just push him off the cliff. Well, either way, I’m glad that the creep ended up with bruises and bandages and that his vile deeds were uncovered at last.
HATED: Baek Ha Na Aka The Annoying Girl
If there’s one person that got on my nerves, it was Baek Ha Na. I think I didn’t hate her just for her meanness towards Yoon Ah Yi, but also because of her belittling attitude towards Ri Eul. And, did you notice that time when Bella showed her the middle finger – I just loved it!!
LOVED: The Ending
During this scene, I know many of us were crying our hearts out; it was one of the most painful scenes I’ve ever watched. However, there was something magical about it too and even in his last performance, Ri Eul was just perfect.
All in all, these are some of the things that I truly enjoyed in this drama. But, what about you? What made you fall in love with The Sound of Magic? And, if you still haven’t watched the series, well then, you are missing out on a very hot magician, a gripping story plot and amazing soundtracks.
I like this drama very much. I am waiting for the second season of this drama .
Hi! I do have to agree with you. This drama was good but it can be intimidating for those who doesn’t like musical dramas. I watched it because of Ji Chang Wook and I’m glad I did! He really did a great job here 🙂
I love this drama too! I’m also not a fan of musical dramas but this was an exceptional. Love all the ost and the meaning behind them.
I disagree with Pinkvilla too and agree with what you wrote. I thought The Sound of Magic was a wonderful drama and that Ji Chang Wook did a great job with his role! He reminded me a bit of Willy Wonka as well. Your blog looks lovely and I’ll be sure to check out some other articles! 🙂
That’s a great summary and explanations. The feeling was mutual about the ending and all the characters. Glad that someone had the same brain cell as me. Hahaha
Nice review. You pointed out the crucial, well-done aspects of the show very well. I think the criticisms of Ri Eul character comes from the fact that he was portrayed somewhat differently in the webtoon, some had different expectation from the character. However, I am not one to care if drama-makers takes creative freedom with characters when adapted from a book, manga or webtoon, as long as it’s done well. His mysterious character is actually what fueled viewers to basically finish the show pretty much in a day. We all wanted to know his backstory and if he was actually a magician. And whether he was one or not, that’s upto our interpretation and imagination.
The show showed the case of school bullying in a pretty realistic light. Bullying isn’t always about just fighting each other physically and breaking teeth. A lot of the time it’s those glare of pity, those mendacious rumors, those act of dehumanizing the victim in front of a crowd in order to make them feel humiliated. The reality is, despite actually knowing society is not fair for everyone, people aren’t necessarily compassionate about those who aren’t in the upper echelon. Yeah, people comment good and motivating things online when talking about people who are not fortunate, but in real life in a pocket society (Highschool being one), you see a different picture. People aren’t necessarily what they write online. Especially with young adults, that’s a big problem. There are some who will pinch where it hurts for the sake of pinching, some because they are bored, some because their own lives suck in a different way. The adults aren’t any good either, they wave their tail to the powerful, make scapegoats of them who don’t have someone strong behind them, cause, they are easy target. And the powerful will do everything to maintain the status quo, sacrificing their children for prestige and glory, if necessary. It’s the case pretty much everywhere.
The overall message of the show is very good. The lines said by Ri Eul aren’t overdone, over-exaggerated or even unrealistic. His famous phrase, “You should do whatever it is you want to do just as much as the things you don’t want to do” is actually a very important practical advice. If people follow this, I think people in general will be relatively much happier and people’s relationship with one another will improve due to the simple fact that we are good to each other when we are happy. We need a balance of our ideals with the harsh reality we face everyday. Otherwise, we feel like robots who have no agency on their own lives, and we become unhappy and bitter.
Personally, I think it’s JCW’s best show after a long time. This one started with a bang and finished with one, something his previous shows after Suspicious Partner was missing. Good luck to him for the upcoming projects.
I love your review because it sums up my thoughts on this drama!
I fell in love with it after the first episode and it did not disappoint till the end.
Hey there, totally agree with you about Ji Chang Wook! He successfully portrayed his character. An adult shunned by the society because of the expectations, as he wasn’t ready to become an adult. I could see it’s reflection on the character easily. To me, series emphasizes the society’s expectations. That you have to become what they all want, or else you won’t be accepted. It also delivers the message that adults made the world as the way it is; they are the actual reason that children, teenagers, also adults themselves are having difficulties in life. Some are called insane, some are dealing with financials that affect their sucess, some are trying so hard to fulfill not himself but other’s wishes, expectations. Some had to sell their dreams. All of them are because of the adults, that they are the only obstacles.
Loved the show, the actors, actresses, also your comment on them! Thanks!
Also, my best soundtrack in this series could be “Curse of the Asphalt”, as the lyrics really highlights the messages:
지금 두근대는 심장이
나를 위해 뛰고 있는지 물어봐 = Ask yourself, is my pounding heart beating for me?
멈춰 누굴 위해 사는지? = Who do you live for?
Annarasumanara, may the magic be with y’all 😀
I have the same opinions as you!
I hated the annoying girl as well but, without her the show would have been a little uninteresting..
Good work and thanks for this article!
Same goes with me, day or night I am going on spelling those magical words thinking it might work😅. Your blog is so nice to read as it is helpful for people who wants to start this amazing drama…
This is my favorite kdrama and also my first musical fantasy drama that I ever watched. Your analysis was absolute.
Ri Eul, yes you are right, I am also still under his spell. This series made be to believe in magic of life!
Nice review! keep going!
Ji chang wook is a versatile actor. He never failed to portray any roles given to him. Pinkvilla might have written those irrational words for interactions 🤦♀️
Great Blog…agree to all the points mentioned…will be looking forward to more such blogs!
Well said! Especially about the message of the drama!
The drama felt like it was “other worldly”! Really beautiful
JCW is very handsome in this drama.. good that someone wrote a blog on kdrama TSOM. keep it up . watch other JCW kdrams and post your reviews. HEALER & THEK2 are my favourites.
I really like the message that the writer wants to convey in this drama, and for the ending I also have no problems because the ending is in accordance with the webtoon.
I have never watched the webtoon, but I’m glad that they didn’t sway from the original works and respected it. I’m sure the ending did the webtoon justice as I loved it!
Wow, you really captured what I was feeling with this. I think JCW is an amazing actor and I understand why some people are hesitant towards watching musicals, but I think this was done perfectly. I loved Ah Yi as well. It was very emotional especially the background of all the three leads. Each of them with their own stories.
this was a good one..the writer told a brief loved and hated things, which is also felt by myself and others..this may not seem like first write-up by the writer and seems more conceivable reading it..BTW a great start..keep going for it..and reach the top
I’m planning to watch this series ! Couldn’t read the whole post in fear of getting any spoiler
I’ll come back after watching this show ☺️
I feel they were trying to send a message to all parents that going with the flow isnt always the best for the kids. But this was a bit interesting cause it’s my first time seeing a Korean drama with musicals.
I first have to say i loved reading your blog about Sound of magic. I absolutely loved Ri eul character which firstly appeared mysterious but at the end showed his true warm colors. I also loved the songs in it. But i think my favorite character is Na Il Deung. Personally my parents were against my dreams too and i am not on good terms with them. But i think this makes me more connected to him. Also loved the ending.
Great article about the show, I also like that the message that the show was trying to convey has been mentioned and elaborated nicely in this article! 🙂
I enjoy your point of Sound of Magic and I agree with it. 🙂 Wonderful job. God bless you and your family.
Agree 100%. But I’d loved if they added last couple minutes with him asking her out tho (just as in webtoon). But open ending like that will do too.
I really loved that drama.
I’m not a fan of musicals, but this drama is something else.
Right well I haven’t watched the drama yet and was still thinking whether I should or not.
Your review is excellent and I concur Ji Chang wook is such a darling and a pure treat to watch. Seems very interesting and now I am intrigued. Will try and fit it in my schedule.
Brilliant write up.
nice I like the sound of magic
nice I like this kdrama
I read your review and it was great also just like me I feel like wookie did enough and justice to the character.
Hope to see more reviews from you 🙂
I think you have provided a good summery of what the drama was about. The Sound of Magic is one of the only musical K-dramas that I know of, I certainly don’t remember watching any others over the last 13yrs. Like you, I binge watched it in a day. To me the message was a little different, maybe because I’m older now, but I liked that RiEul saw AhYi as someone who was struggling and needed some happiness and kindness shown to her. By doing that for her he was able to help her untangle her heart and show her a different path than the one she was on. And he did this for the others as well. If we could all show someone a bit of happiness and kindness when they need it, how much better would this world be. What I liked most about the ending was that you don’t really know if his magic was real or not, but he was truly a magician. “Do you believe in magic?”
Jiayou 💪, fighting 💪! The review is well rounded and interesting. Personally I took out one point from the drama which is HOPE! Don’t give up!
Sounds like you had a ball with this one.
I really do love musicals and Ji Chang-wook so I should check this out some time.
Too many dramas but not enough time.
Yes I totally agree with you! Let’s also say that the visuals were just gorgeous!!
I liked this drama but found a few inconsistencies, and quite alot of annoyances. I sont think they thought the storyline thru. It could have been a brilliant show instead of mediocre.
Hiii I agree with everything in your review wholeheartedly! You should definitely read the manga if you haven’t already. I think it is better than the show and that you will love it 🙂
I was hesitant about watching The Sound of Magic because I’m not the biggest fan of musicals, but I loved the original webtoon and I’m also a fan of Ji Chang Wook so I gave it a chance and I’m really glad that I did. It’s a great drama! The only thing that I was unsatisfied with was the ending and that’s because of Na Il Deung and his story. It felt somewhat incomplete & it would’ve been better if they showed us what happened with him in the end. They made me invested in his story and then left me hanging. Everything else, from the message and the script, to the actors and the special effects was done really well.
It’s exactly how I feel, I’m still enchanted by the whole drama, especially by Ri-Eul. the Sound of Magic is a real gem! I’m glad I’ve watched it. It’s not only great because of the story and acting but also the songs and music are so touching and pleasant. I highly recommend it to everyone.
I totally agree with what you wrote and if you followed my comment post on the My Dramalist post for the drama itself, I already stated my feelings about what I thought of the drama itself. Yes, all you said is correct and truly summarizes what the drama was really all about. I’ve watch quite a bit of kdramas before in the past. But over the years, I’ve stopped watching them – just b/c they contained to much violence in it or bullying or whatnot – the stories were not interesting nor did it bring out any special messages of life lessons from them either. For me, I only watch what I think are good & interesting to me. This one was beyond my expectations and that’s why I like this drama a lot. TBH, I’ve moved on to Cdramas rather than Kdramas over the years. I had been a Kdrama fan for a very long time. But slowly over the past few years there hasn’t been one that I considered decent to watch. Don’t get me wrong, each person has their own opinion as to what is considered “a good drama” to watch. I don’t follow the crowd nor care about – whether or not the drama has won any awards or become an international phenomenon or super popular. I rather watch something that makes me learn something valuable from it – and this drama did it. Anyhow – that’s my 2 cents worth of this drama.
Hello! I love this drama. It’s the best drama I’ve ever seen 🙂 I agree with you about all of the points from your post. Every character, songs and amazing story plot makes “The Sound of Magic”… magical 😀 Best wishes from Poland, Europe!
Well written review, thank you I’ve enjoyed to read it ^^
It was definitely an amazing drama! The cast was perfect and the story was incredible. One of a kind kdrama.
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I loved the sound of magic and RI Eul even more! I’ve been a long time fan of Ji Chang Wook since his first drama (the first one I saw him in ‘Smile Donghae’ aka ‘Smile Again’), he was especially captivating and exquisite in this drama and his VOICE!!! 😍🥰❤❤❤️🔥 I didn’t realize this was a musical when I started to watch it but was pleasantly surprised bc I love musicals lol. An overall very good drama! I’ve watched it a couple times already. If you haven’t just watch it! Btw, very good review of drama! Poor Bella 😭
Okay first of all I love your article so much!😭 perfectly describing me feelings.
I finished this drama about a month ago and I’m still in deep love with it. The main thing I love about it is how healing and peaceful it is! Just like Ri Yul wanted Ah Yi to escape from her harsh reality he made us all do this. Honestly, after every episode I gained more and more hope.
I can’t believe Pinkvilla said such a thing!! It’s my first time to watch any of Chang wook’s dramas (I’ve only watched fabricated city hehe) and it made me understand why people loved him that much. Just like you said he totally reminded me of Peter Pan, my favorite character ever. His childish expressions and his overall peaceful spirit was everything.
The moment I saw that convenience store man I knew there’s something behind him😂.
Keep it up! ❤️❤️
Just realized I forgot to write about how I adore the message of it :).
For me there were two main masseges: 1. A little bit of imagination and childishness won’t be bad at all! Everyday there’re lots lf things that we keep worrying about that we tend to forget how originally simple our lives are. We tend to forget to enjoy the small details in our lives and at the end we just get burned out. But when were children it wasn’t like this at all.
2. No one can really understand teenagers if they don’t put themselves in their shoes. Speaking as a teenager, I barely find anyone who understands me from all the grownups around me.. or enjoy the silly things that I enjoy and sometimes they don’t even have time for me. I’m not blaming them at all, of course they’re busier than me and have bigger and more serious responsibilities but doesn’t that mean they shouldn’t be the ones making decisions for us?
There’s a lot more I wanna write but that would be totally out of context 😂👍
This drama was so heart wrenching and goodness JCW’s acting and emotions he delivers rip you apart. I am not ready for his upcoming project I know he’s going to wreck us😭♥️
What I really liked about the show was the lively scenes and high production value. It was a great chice to add musical scenes and it suits the show perfectly.
Another things are the details. The torn and worn out clothes of th FL which we see she weara multiple times for example (which is not a common scene in kdrma. The just use things that appeal eyes)
I LOVED this series! For me, I think that his .I hated how much sympathy Baek Ha Na received by the public mostly because I feel like they didn’t understand what she was doing. He had patience with her up until she crossed a line that should never have been crossed. She invaded his privacy continually, she belittled him, and tormented him. Bella was the last straw. I don’t like what he did either, but I understood it. Ji Chang Wook is a solid actor, he’s always been, but I agree there was something special about this character. I only wish they explained what happened to Ri Eul at the end of the series. I was really worried about him. I also feel as if the series would have been solid even without the musical aspect. It was fine, I don’t hate it, but I kinda forgot about the musical part because the story was so good. Loved your review!