Drama Recaps
Monstar: Episode 12 (Final)
by | August 5, 2013 | 172 Comments

It’s a monstrous episode for Monstar as we play the final chords of this composition that has rocked our hearts in its short (and yet, deceivingly long) run. All things must come to an end as our characters face the music on the hidden pages of their lives. The truth is never an easy pill to swallow, but when it’s paired with a glass of forgiveness, it can be incredibly liberating and powerful.

Note: Unfortunately I couldn’t do anything about the advertising banners that often appear on the side of the screencaps. Sorry, everyone!


Color Bar – “그것 만이 내 세상 & 행진 (That Is My Only World & March)”

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EPISODE 12: “The star in me, Monstar”

As Nana sings to “Scattered Days” (infused with Seol-chan’s rap lyrics), Se-yi confesses her feelings for Seol-chan to Sun-woo, who looks heartbroken to hear the words.

He tries to crack a joke to cover his hurt, but he can’t bring himself to say okay to that. Putting on a brave face, he apologizes for being unable to walk her home and leaves.

It’s only when he’s alone does he let out a deep sigh, “It hurts to be rejected over and over again.” He stands there, head hanging.

In the meantime, Seol-chan finishes up in the recording studio (for the goodwill project song) and runs into Ari on his way out. He spends the rest of the night composing, his fingers calloused from playing on the guitar.

Byun PD yells up a storm at the news that Seol-chan won’t participate in the music battle. He storms out, only to march back in to declare that they’ll make semi-documentary tear-jerker featuring Color Bar instead.

At school, Seol-chan asks why he didn’t hear from Se-yi all weekend long, and wonders if she was met up with another guy. He correctly takes her silence to mean she met with Sun-woo, and then teasingly accuses her of being a player.

That’s when Se-yi notices his calloused fingers, and he quickly hides his hand behind him. The others joins them and Sun-woo deliberately walks in between them. He doesn’t betray any emotion of his rejection with the reminder about practice (without Seol-chan of course) later that day.

Annoyed, Seol-chan calls Sun-woo outside and tells him to stay away from Se-yi. Sun-woo merely scoffs at these words with the same cryptic message that he won’t give up on her.

Realizing that Sun-woo intends to use the upcoming show as an excuse to stick to Se-yi, Seol-chan shows up at practice in the basement. He offers to help out behind the scenes to arrange their music piece, an idea which is met with general agreement (apart from Sun-woo, who’s like, So what?).

After practice, Seol-chan whispers to Se-yi that he’s got some free time. Sun-woo echoes his words, and then leads Se-yi by the wrist, to Seol-chan’s annoyance.

Then we see Mom emerge from just around the corner. She’s here to see Ajusshi because she knows that Se-yi has been spending here.

He asks why Mom allows Se-yi to hold a misunderstanding about the night her father died. Se-yi doesn’t know that he was the one Mom went to see, and he asks what Mom is trying to protect by withholding this truth from her daughter.

Mom: “Se-yi.” She believes that she’s living out the consequences of her actions through Se-yi.

To this, Ajusshi admits, “I also lived my life cursing and blaming you until Se-yi came to see me.” He had wondered why his own life was in shambles while they all continued to live happily.

But then he had learned that Se-yi’s father had died that night. He also feels partly responsible for his old friend’s death, so it’s likely that he won’t tell Se-yi the truth either. All right, but can we know?

Then he asks her the same question Imaginary Dad did—does she intend to carry out this burden on her own? She says she will (ugh) and continue to do so until Se-yi is older and ready (bleh).

At a nearby cafe, the boys bicker outside where Seol-chan asks why Sun-woo is acting so childish lately. Sun-woo answers that he was told (by Nana) that he lacks that particular characteristic, which basically means he’ll play at Seol-chan’s level now.

Appalled, Seol-chan asks, “Then are you saying I’m childish?” Sun-woo: “You didn’t know?” Ha.

Se-yi frowns at the boys’ argument as she sits by herself inside. Sun-woo smiles at her, to which Seol-chan frantically waves his hands in front of Sun-woo’s face. Ha, boys.

Sun-woo receives a text from Nana. He greets her with the usual indifference which I just find plain annoying now. I know you might not have feelings for her and you’re still hurting from the rejection, but would it hurt for you to be semi-nice to the girl who impresses you time and time again?

He knows that he’ll eventually have to come to terms with Se-yi’s feelings for Seol-chan. So he plans to take his time to let his feelings ebb away. When Nana asks if it’s because he doesn’t want to give into his tears, he doesn’t answer.

At the news that All for One has decided to practice in secret, Eun-ha wonders what their hidden card might be. Her suggestion to ask Nana to send in her family thugs to spy on them gets quickly shut down by Do-nam and Kyu-dong. Heh.

Then we get a glimpse into Eun-ha’s imaginary scenario where the All for One trio sings and dances in colorful outfits to Two Two’s “One and a Half.”

I… don’t know how to erase what I just saw. It’s kind of unnecessarily long, but on the bright side, we got to see Joon-hee smile, right?

Seol-chan steps outside to take a call from his adoptive mother, who says the company dropped by to pick up this things. She suggests that he continues to stay at home.

As soon as he hangs up, Ajusshi appears and asks when Seol-chan plans to perform (on the guitar for Se-yi, presumably). He answers that he hasn’t found the right place yet.

Before Seol-chan heads back downstairs to practice, he remarks that he was inspired to be a singer because of a certain songwriter whom he truly respected: J. Han. D’aww, that’s sweet of you.

Byun PD flips through the Color Bar members in order to decide who to feature in his exposé. He tenses at the mention that both Nana and Sun-woo hail from influential families, and then casually tosses their pictures from the pile.

But he sniffs out a potentially juicy story with Se-yi who currently practices with the band in the legendary J. Han’s basement. His writer gripes about the extra work, and he tasks her to let Seol-chan know then. Ugh.

The guilt-trip text works, and Seol-chan immediately calls back to give the show an earful. Unfortunately Sun-woo overhears the bit about airing the band’s dirty laundry, which Seol-chan downplays, saying he’ll handle it.

Seol-chan confronts Byun PD, accusing him for exploiting his friends just because he won’t appear on the show himself. Byun PD just smugly smiles. From what he’s heard, Color Bar really wants to perform, so either Seol-chan participates or he’ll remove Color Bar from the program.

As expected, CEO Go is against the idea. He could entertain the idea if a top star like Stella appears on the show as the goddess, but they know that it’s a virtually impossible feat.

Which means Seol-chan heads straight to ask Ari, since Stella always listens to her cousin. He asks what he can do in exchange for her to help him. Though we don’t get to hear what it is, it does weigh on Seol-chan’s mind.

Back at school, Joon-hee runs into Sun-woo. He’s heard that Seol-chan won’t appear with the rest of them and hints that Byun PD is likely to have something else up his sleeve if he can’t get to Seol-chan.

That reminds Sun-woo about the conversation he overheard earlier. He confronts Seol-chan about it, and they exchange clipped words until Sun-woo issues the warning: “I won’t stand for it if Se-yi gets hurt.”

Seol-chan turns to Ari again, who remarks that he’s changed for the worse since he started attending school. His seriousness takes her by surprise, however, and she instinctively backs away as he pleads with her to help him.

She grows increasingly anxious as Seol-chan approaches her, willing to comply with Ari’s condition to literally kiss her shoes. Even though is Ari is as bratty as they come, I’m sure she didn’t anticipate that he might actually follow through.

So it’s hard to watch Seol-chan start to bend down, only for Ari to push him away. She tells him to stop, and agrees to help him. He thanks her in return.

This means that Seol-chan can appear on the show, and after he relays the good news to the band, he smugly rubs his achievement in Sun-woo’s face. He asks if Sun-woo will back off now. Sun-woo: “Nope.”

Color Bar practices in high spirits to a rendition of Panic’s “Left-handed.” CEO Go tears his hair to hear that Seol-chan actually managed to convince Ari, so he throws a MIB performance into the mix. ‘Cause why not—those boys need more screentime, after all.

Byun PD looks like he’s in Candyland at the idea of getting two popular musical talents to perform. Unfortunately, he’s still unwilling to drop the matter of the exposé on the Color Bar members. Auughhh.

Now we learn about the Christmas night that led to J. Han’s ruin as Byun PD’s informant wonders if that mysterious woman who was waiting for him with a demo CD had something to do with it.

Then we flashback to that stormy night. Mom congratulates Ajusshi on his award and asks him to listen to the “Catnap” lullaby. Her request is met with scorn, and Ajusshi asks if Se-yi’s father has finally given up on his stubborn pride to reach out to a top music producer like himself. Does her husband even know that she’s making this request of him?

He walks away with a smirk, and Mom calls after him: “The reason why I didn’t accept your heart is because you’re someone who only amount to this.” And well, we know the rest from there.

So when the informant says that the demo CD was J. Han’s friend’s composition, Byun PD puts the pieces together in his head and smiles.

Joon-hee meets with Byun PD after he learns that the show’s writer has been lurking around campus to gather gossip about Se-yi. He’s told that the story can only benefit All For One. Surprisingly, he tells Byun PD to stop digging around because they don’t need to fight dirty in order to win.

Then he leans in to whisper to Byun PD not to lay a finger on this battle. Hmm, are you doing this because you’re confident you can win or for something else? Whatever it is, is it wise to have Byun PD as an enemy?

After school, Seol-chan swoops in to take Se-yi with him before Sun-woo can get the chance to say otherwise. In a low voice, he asks, “Sun-woo, have you ever brought a girlfriend home?”

Huh, it’s official now? At least Se-yi’s surprised expression seems to suggest that she’s hearing this for the first time, too.

Next thing we know, they’re at Seol-chan’s place, to his mother’s shock. He leads her into his room where her eyes falls upon the framed encouragement note and the lamb doll by his bed.

Picking up Seol-chan’s family photo, Se-yi remarks that he takes after his mother. His face grows dark and she cheerily adds that there’s a saying where married couples take after each other. So it’s the same thing in families: Since they use the same muscles when they laugh and cry together, they end up with similar features.

He calls it nonsense at first, but then asks if they’ll eventually resemble each other in time. Se-yi suddenly rises at the statement, which is when Seol-chan’s mother enters to check in on them.

She comments that Se-yi’s the first friend her son has brought home since Sun-woo. Then there’s an adorable sequence of her leaving the door slightly ajar a few times and Seol-chan closing it again.

At one point, he discovers her just outside the door and she explains that she heard a mother shouldn’t leave her son alone with his girlfriend. Can’t blame a mother to be wary of raging hormones, hehe.

The door now closed, Seol-chan takes out his guitar to perform for her. It’s an apology for plagiarizing one of her father’s songs before, and this time, it’s an original piece. Aww.

The heartfelt lyrics of his confession of his feelings for Se-yi bring a smile to her face:

Through your hair drenched in the sunshine
I know that sorrow you feel
Because you’re my jjak

As I look at the shadow of your steps
I can see how you spent your day

Lean on me from now on
Don’t hide your sorrow
Close your eyes and forget the past
Now let’s smile together

You have become
another reason for me to live
Because it’s you

Now hold my hand tightly
and let’s walk together
as we wipe each other’s tears
Now let’s smile together

Now I can hold you tight
Because you’re my jjak

Mom smiles as she listens on the other side of the door. Then Seol-chan drops Se-yi off at home. When he returns, he says aloud: “I forgot to ask her if she likes it better when I sing or when Sun-woo sings to her.” HA.

He stops to mention to his mother that Se-yi said that they look alike. She beams.

She knocks a moment later, and they sit together on the bed. Her voice breaking, she confesses, “I-I’m sorry.”

Tears well up in her eyes as she apologizes for the time she tried to return him to the orphanage. She explains she wasn’t ready to be a mother then, and things got too difficult for her to handle. You were rejected by both your birth and adoptive parents? That’s just awful.

There are still times when doesn’t know what to do, but there is one thing she does know. Cupping his face in her hands, she tells him: “I love you.”

Seol-chan breathes, “Mother…” She wonders when her son will call her “Mom” instead.

Color Bar is told that they’ll have to prepare a different song before the battle. With less than five days ahead of them, they get to work and practice like no tomorrow.

As they work, Eun-ha narrates about how she worries the world will continue to abuse Seol-chan’s talent even though she believes in him. She realizes that she has an interest in social justice.

Nawin comes by to see Ajusshi before he leaves Korea. He appreciates that they were able to meet, and at the mention of his sister (Choi Si-young aka the trainee who died), Ajusshi hangs his head in apology.

He tells Ajusshi that it’s okay, so he can stop sending money out of his guilt. “So please forgive yourself.” That’s what his sister would want too. Ajusshi sobs in front of Nawin, having received forgiveness for the sin that has plagued him for years.

Meanwhile, Se-yi and Seol-chan go out on a date that suspiciously looks like a cake product placement opportunity. She sighs when Seol-chan whines if she gave Sun-woo the same cake-feeding treatment, but it’s not long before they smile at each other. Cute.

Sun-woo receives a text from Nana to use her eighth coupon, and he waits for her in the basement. As soon as she arrives, he says that whatever it was, she could have told him earlier. Dude.

She asks if he really doesn’t know or pretends not to know, and then asks if he’s decided on the expiration date for her coupons.

He has. “Today.” But there are two left! Shouldn’t there be a two-week notice on these things?

Holding back her tears, she makes a final request to sing a song for her. It’s pointless to make a girl laugh if she ends up with the one who makes her cry anyway, so she asks that he makes her laugh just this once.

She lets him choose the song. He plays Lee Moon-sae’s “When Love Passes By.” As he sings, Nana tersely whispers, “You jerk.” I’ll say.

Then Nana leaves him in the courtyard still singing. It’s only when Sun-woo finishes the song does he notice the gift bag Nana brought in with her. I never thought I’d say this, but I hope you feel like an ass.

Goddess’s Kiss Filming Day. Things are better between Se-yi and her mother as she leaves with a bright smile on her face. And why yes, I totally laughed at Byun PD in his losing battle against the vending machine.

Both teams prepare for the battle, and Sun-woo cracks a smile after Nana brushes past him. He sits in between Se-yi and Seol-chan again, and this time Se-yi rises to leave, wondering what’s gotten into Sun-woo.

We learn that the reason for the Color Bar’s last minute music switch is because another group will play it at the finals. Um, couldn’t we have learned that earlier?

Then the writer explains the story on Se-yi is a juicy one, completely unaware that Se-yi is just around the corner. We then jump back to that fateful night as Dad speeds down the road. Little Se-yi tries to persuade her father to slow down, which only results in Dad gunning it instead.

The scene intercuts with little Se-yi arguing with her father as present Se-yi staggers in shock.

Her eyes wide with horror, Se-yi falls to the ground. She clutches her head as a sound of a crash echoes in her head. Oh god, how horrible—no wonder you repressed the memory.

The boys stare in shock as the writer describes the gruesome details, and Se-yi finally makes a run for it. Both boys run after her, but it’s Sun-woo who stops in his tracks. Seol-chan chases her outside, but runs into a throng of fangirls.

Eventually, Seol-chan breaks free and it’s dark by the time he discovers Se-yi sobbing on her usual park bench. You can see how much it pains him to see her cry as he gently calls her name, “Se-yi-ya…”

He silently sits next to her. Through her sobs, she blames herself for her father’s death. “It wasn’t my mother’s fault. It was mine.”

“I have three names,” Seol-chan tells her. The one he has now was given to mark a new beginning after his adoptive mother took him in again. He explains the initial adoption was difficult for both of them because they were both new to this parent-child relationship.

He isn’t sad at the fact that his birth parents gave him up, but the memory of his adoptive mother leaving him at the orphanage continues to haunt him.

In those times, the verse “God… will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear” (1 Corinthians 10:13) turned out to be pretty useful. He wonders why it’s so painful when they’re so young, and Se-yi breaks down in tears once more.

The Goddess’s Kiss broadcast begins. Things are getting bleak for Color Bar as they bite their nails waiting for Se-yi and Seol-chan to return.

To make matters worse, All for One has brought in a sunbae as a power vocal. HA—it’s Noh Min-woo. Well, that was certainly unexpected.

All for One puts on an impressive, entertaining stage to Cho Yong-pil’s “Youth.” Color Bar gapes in surprise, and Eun-ha says they may as well throw in the towel.

Seol-chan texts Sun-woo to inform him that they’re on their way. Se-yi is still crying in the car, and Seol-chan silently takes her hand. He squeezes it tightly, but then loses it in the crowd of fangirls.

With a ten minute warning, Sun-woo runs out to find them. He looks on as Seol-chan reaches out to grab Se-yi’s hand and runs inside. Seol-chan joins the others with this huge victorious smile on his face, only to turn around and learn that he brought in the sasaeng fan instead. Pffft.

Then Sun-woo runs in holding Se-yi’s hand a moment later. He asks if Se-yi is up for it, and Seol-chan whirls her around, “Do it. Cry as you sing.”

Color Bar takes the stage and each of them sing in turn until everyone joins in on their instruments. Se-yi starts to cry as Sun-woo belts out the pre-chorus to the anthem: But I have no regrets / All of the dreams that made me cry and smile / That is my only world.

They sing together as a collective voice, a band united as one. They end their performance to a cheering crowd and confetti falls from the ceiling. Se-yi sobs.

The next day, Se-yi pays a visit to Ajusshi, who asks if she came alone. She replies the others are on their way. He asks if they won. She smiles. He asks if they lost. She smiles.

Sun-woo smiles at the group photo of the Color Bar members. He finally opens Nana’s gift bag, which contains the jacket she’d been making for “no one.” He admits, “I thought it wouldn’t suit me.”

As a montage of the entire series plays, he narrates in voiceover:

“Love came. Love came into our lives and became a longing. Even though we were shaken by the power of time, people haven’t forgotten that deep within us, love lives in hiding. Whether when we were children or in adolescence or last year, the name which pierced the deepest part of our existence… was love.”

Then we see Se-yi and Seol-chan sitting on the steps to the courtyard. Seol-chan silently wipes a tear from her eye.

Epilogue. Do-nam rocks out on an electric guitar intro before the credits roll, and the cast sings in a chorus to Crying Nut’s “Run the Horse.”


An open-ended ending it is, then. Before the finale aired, I honestly thought to myself that it’d be half-funny and half-painful if we had a 90+ minute episode on our hands. And well, we all know what happened there.

To a certain degree, I understand the purpose of this kind of ending, as it remains in step with the rest of the show’s lingering feel. We’ve seen how the often slow pacing has been a disservice to the series as a whole, especially in the latter end of its run, but the ending does achieve the effect that our characters will continue to move on long after the final note.

As a viewer, I wish we had gotten clearer answers to some of the questions from the very beginning of the series. For instance, we reached a heart-tugging reconciliation between Do-nam and Kyu-dong, but it’s the Seol-chan—Sun-woo friendship I’d been holding out for because the reason behind their fallout was what I really wanted to know. I’m still trying to wrap my head to figure it out because both Seol-chan and his adoptive mother were aware that he’d been adopted twice. I don’t want to make light of adoption (which is a sensitive issue that many of you have pointed out. Thanks for the info, y’all!) but… was that the deep secret only the two of them knew? If you have an answer, feel free to share with the class!

On the topic of Sun-woo, I have to wonder where his current status with Seol-chan falls in the spectrum between friendship and rivalry, since he’s made it verbally clear that he won’t give up on Se-yi. Um, you guys aren’t going to fight over her forever, right? Right? Also, I know that I’ve been giving Sun-woo the benefit of the doubt (okay, more than that. It’s my blind love for Kang Ha-neul) because he seems mostly great on paper. He’s talented, has leadership, and courteous to every… just Se-yi. He’s still a flawed character — as it is with most characters — but at one point, I couldn’t be on board with his disregard and cold attitude towards Nana.

It boggled my mind since he was the one who encouraged her to see a part of herself that was more than her familial background, only to begrudgingly hang out with her eight times, not even the promised ten. *grumble* Because of Nana’s awesome characteristics (her musical talents are a plus) to tell it like it is when needed, I was happy to see her finally walk away from an unrequited love. Their future is also one of the points that remain open-ended, but I’m okay with not keeping my hopes too high about a romantic outcome. At least not now, anyway.

The parents’ past was a plot point that never intrigued me, apart from how it affects our heroine in the present. I appreciate how we were given little clues to The Christmas Night When Everything Happened throughout the series run, though I will admit that the non-chronological order made it difficult to follow the show’s timeline at times. At the beginning of the series, I hoped that J.Han/Ajusshi/Han Ji-woong would serve as a mentor to those ruddy kids knocking on his door. In retrospect, I love that Se-yi was the one who brought him back to the light, even if she still doesn’t know that he was also indirectly involved with her father’s death. Perhaps the best we can hope for is that they eventually have that conversation, if ever.

There are countless little plot points that were left open (or dropped) that could easily fill a manifesto. It cracks me up to realize that this is a world where the adults and other authority figures mostly fell in line to the teenagers by the end of the series and other minor appearances help to bookend the series. There are so many other things that I could wish for, like more time to see Color Bar encounter conflict and grow together or some closure on our other minor characters, that I can only settle to wish for.

On a brighter note, I fell in love with Seol-chan’s confession. For him to encapsulate his feelings for Se-yi in an original song with lyrics of a longing to be her jjak. It’s the meaning that I’ve been waiting to hear him say—to be a partner in life; to walk, laugh, and cry together. It’s the best way that I could imagine for him to rectify how he wronged her before and convey his feelings towards her. I still get butterflies in my stomach thinking about it.

Despite his childish behavior which reminds me that he’s still very much a teenage boy, there’s a certain gravity in his character that still resonates. His fear of abandonment and subsequent gratitude towards his mother speaks volumes because the thought of him being rejected twice didn’t even cross my mind. It makes his adoptive mother’s confession all the more heartbreaking—she’s aware of the scar that has been left behind because of her actions, and I love that she makes sure to tell her son that love transcends blood.

It’s the same wish I have for Se-yi, whose quirky, frank nature was extremely refreshing in a blur of the same-type heroines. There were, of course, times when I found her frustrating when it came to Seol-chan and Sun-woo, but this is the same frustration I often find in any other heroine in dramaland. I love how she is the one who draws the others out of their shells, and how she isn’t afraid to stand up for her friends when it counts. In turn, she gains an invaluable friendship with the Color Bar members, who are still a mix of individual personalities, but a collective group that makes rockin’ awesome music together.

As a whole, the series still carries a sense of nostalgia and yearning, even though the show is over-indulgent in the whimsical and the meandering in its last few episode. I won’t be screaming for an encore just yet, but I sure won’t forget how my idyllic love for this series still pierces the deepest part of my heart.


172 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. MeeisLee

    A tiny bit sad that Monstar is over but I’m pretty satisfied overall with it’s run. I’m still a bit surprised how much I loved the show from the very first episode and how attached I became throughout considering how I wrote it off as an empty idol drama initially (lesson learned ;).

    I was dying at the part where Eun Ha imagines the All For One trio doing an aegyo number. My brain was having the hardest time connecting what I was seeing in that scene to how they’ve been characterized in previous episodes. I had no idea Mr. Eyebrows (and Mr. Bully) could make a facial expression that didn’t come off as sarcastic or condescending.
    (Speaking of Eun Ha, I found the social justice thing to be totally random. I dont remember her even ever standing up for Gyu Dong in the classroom so that makes me doubt her commitment in larger community.)

    I think I would’ve liked to have seen Nana confess to Sun Woo but after 12 episodes you would think he would catch on. I do like that Nana is the one that makes Sun Woo realize that perfection isn’t everything. I thought the end was sweet with him trying on her gift and realizing that it fits. I took it to mean that he wouldn’t change himself or force things but would just allow things to work out. It’s what he needed after his rather annoyingly childish acts post-rejection.

    Initially I was annoyed that we didn’t know the results of the final battle but I think its perfect for the show and that it really doesn’t matter because the battle was never really about winning or losing. Instead, it was about having fun with your friends and using music as a release and form of personal entertainment. The final battle didn’t have as much impact as the first one but I like the contrast of heavier production and few individual spotlights in the first one versus the end where they’re more ‘bare’ and equal (school uniforms, instruments, everyone gets a singing time and their time to shine).

  2. watermelon

    thanks for the recap gummimochi! aw, monstar is over 🙁

  3. pogo

    So it’s ended….and I get the tone of it and the loose ends, but it still managed to spring that last-minute surprise that it was Seol-chan’s adoptive mother who left him at the orphanage that first time – OUCH!

    I’m glad about the fact that it’s wrapped, but I feel like it could have done with a handful more episodes – as it stands, I agree that it’s really frustrating not seeing Seol-chan and Sun-woo work their issues out, and having my Sun-woo/Nana dreams dead in the water (you take a couple with this incredible – for teens – sexual chemistry and do nothing with them?) Oh, well, one can hope for the future…

  4. KC

    Can someone explain why Joonhee told Byun PD not to pursue the Seyi family history?

    • 4.1 MeeisLee

      The feeling I got was that he wanted to compete fairly or well the most fair way possible just based on the music. So if they broadcasted Color Bars turmoil filled back stories then it could possibly influence viewers/votes either in their favor (crtisicm and judgement) or against then (sympathy). I think that’s because Joon Hee knows that the last battle was rigged from the start and didn’t like the gossip that All For One weren’t the true winners by popularity. So I think it was just in tune with his whole pride and competitive nature not because he had a thing for Se Yi.

      • 4.1.1 Shukmeister

        I agree with MeeisLee. They threw out that “You Never Call Me By My Name” thing an episode or so ago, but I never felt that Joon Hee and her connected on any personal level.

        I think he wanted to win fairly so he could gloat more (skinny ringer notwithstanding).

    • 4.2 ~Feather~

      My deranged mind wants me to believe that Joon Hee may have slightly, oh so very slighty, kinda maybe liked Se Yi. 😉

      I don’t care if his reason was that he wanted a fair battle (yeah, right. Just like last time when you gave the vice principle some cash under the theatre seats.) I will continue to believe that he started to like her because of this scene and the one where he tried to be nice to her and have her call him by his name instead of school president. Let me live in my crazy world where I try to create OTP’s with anything that breathes.

      • 4.2.1 blnmom

        Uh… I also totally got that Joonhee loves Seyi. Does this mean I’m deranged too?

        • ~Feather~

          We can be deranged together! 🙂

          • OhPaullie xD

            Ooh! Can it be a deranged trio? I’m so glad I’m not the only one who shipped these two; they totally had some UT going on x)

      • 4.2.2 Informantxgril

        I’m jumping onboard this ship. Honestly, I came here specifically to see if anyone else caught the same vibe as me. That whole “What’s my name?” bit from Joon Hee – that was a classic Kdrama setup. Seriously, did it not sound like the start of oh, 6 million other shows? Not that I’m complaining; I love those shows. 🙂

        Let me just throw in my 2 cents by saying I would’ve loved to have seen that drama. I liked this one just fine (the Nana/Seonwoo ship not sailing notwithstanding), but the thought of cold SOB like Joon Hee falling hard for crazy sheep girl? I think it came mostly from the twist of him being so still. Other dramas have these “cold” heroes who actually have hot tempers and fly off the handle, but Joon Hee had such a chilling stillness about him. Unnerving. It would’ve been fun to see him squirm over Se Yi.

        • Saboriana

          Make room for one more on that ship, because we are not crazy, I totally pick up on the Cold hero Joon Hee loves Sheep Girl Se Yi vibe which was written all over the “what’s my name episode”. As a matter of fact, I think the show was left open ended so that the production company could make a movie to give everything closure. The movie will pick up where the show left of, we learn the battle was won by Color bar and All for one was in the audience watching the performance and as Joon Hee looked up at Se Yi crying her heart out as she perform, he start to feel a pain in his heart, and turns to his sister, and say’s I want her. After the battle Color Bar becomes even more popular and CEO Go decides to sign then. The movie will follow Color bar as they prepare to release their first album and it will also show us what is going on with each character. Joon Hee will declear his feels for Se Yi and he and Seol-chan will start round two of fight it out over Se Yi with Sun-woo throws his support behind Seol-chan leading to them heal their bromance. Also because we need more eye candy, we can have a really hot new guy come to the school and fall for Nana, the girl is just too great not to get some loving. Not to be forgotten we can have Do-nam and Kyu-dong get jealous over the fact that their crush is being stolen from them and the can enlist Sun-woo help to stop the new guy. Hopeful by that time Sun-Woo would have come to his senses and realized how great Nana is and he will chase the guy away the new. While all of this is going on Eun-ha and Arnold will form their own private anti- Seol-chan and Se Yi group and get closer.

          • Melissa

            …You should just go and be a scriptwriter already xD

          • ajewell

            I thought I was satisfied with the ending, but after reading your “movie”, suddenly I feel cheated. I want more, and I want it exactly as you wrote it!! They should give us a season 2 at least!!

          • thelady

            I want to watch this

          • dramatic

            Please make this for reals!

            *mom and I read this and the more we craved over this story*

      • 4.2.3 Sirena

        I had the same thought when I watched that episode 🙂

      • 4.2.4 Emma

        I guess I’ll have to join the group of deranged folks if that what it means to have an inkling that Joon Hee liked Se Yi. I kinda started feeling that from his attempt to get her to address him by name and why it irked him so much that she wouldn’t.

      • 4.2.5 Raine

        I totally thought he had a thing for her, but more I thought he wanted to beat Color Bar fair and square. He truly thought he was better and didn’t want a handicap.

      • 4.2.6 DuchessRhea

        Pfffft. Glad to know other people shipped those two. I swear, it’s a trope, shipping the heroine with the (supposed) bad guy (because let’s be honest, Joon-hee and All For One can be considered the bad guys of the drama, albeit in a high-school-bully kind of way, rather than a evil mastermind kind of way).

        *10 minutes and 5 web searches later* …It’s a trope. XD Guys, it’s really a trope. Villainous Crush. I KNEW there had to be a name for it…

        Aaaaaaaanyways. It’d be interesting to see something like that develop, if they decided to do a continuation of any sort. Though, I’m relatively pleased with the way it ended. I really don’t like open-ended dramas, but sometimes, that bittersweet aftertaste is just what I need.

        That just leaves one last solution. To the fanfics! They solve EVERYTHING. XD

      • 4.2.7 Jen

        I honestly think the same and idk man I love himmmmm omgg ahhh lol anyways I ship them together <3 even though ik it's impossible

    • 4.3 koko

      I actually thought that JoonHee and his sister, HyoRin, were honorable folks. She kinda protected SeYi from the snooping PD when she said that she was Seol-chan’s girlfriend and made sure the PD knew who their father was. I liked that though they were spoiled, haughty, and arrogant, they weren’t made out to be mean spirited. I liked that the show didn’t stoop to that level.

      • 4.3.1 Brian

        Some felt that HyoRin claimed to be Seol-Chan’s girlfriend because she liked him — but it did actually seem to me, and you, that she was trying to protect him from the snooping PD.

        I also believed that Joon Hee wanted to win fairly and squarely — although I think bringing in an obvious ringer like that is sorta cheap. Now if Cymbals boy Jae-Rok suddenly showed up and rocked the house down that would have been okay with me. Plus, Noh Min-Woo has to be way too old for high school now, right? Another plus, he really needs to spend more time eating — the army’s going to reject him when he goes for being mal-nourished!

        • KC

          Thanks all, for the input. I still can’t figure out which it was – if he liked her, or if it was about the winning.. But I guess that’s the point of the open ended-ness of this drama! Thanks again y’all.

          • Waiting

            I am on the fence as well, but my initial feeling was that he liked her and when they threw in the sunbae singer, it was no longer a fair battle to me – they stacked the deck unfairly in their favor.

    • 4.4 Rubysing

      What I felt was that, because Joon-hee (I thought his name was Ma Joon?) comes from a very rich and influential family, it was a veiled threat telling the PD to back off or else. His family could have stakes in or maybe own the station?

      • 4.4.1 adette

        his name was Ma Joon-hee

    • 4.5 Aaron

      let me ask you this, you have acknowledge this person as a great contender and a rival, then all of a sudden you find that this reporter (byun PD for example) sticking his nose in some place that he should not, would you stand idle and let him do what he likes, or would you intervene?

      if you answer this, you’ll understand why.

  5. the other kay

    i was actually okay with sunwoo’s childish antics after the rejection. sure, it might just be my love for the actor, but it was his way of getting over the pain and finally acting out what he felt. when he decided to hold back and let seol chan go after seyi, that was when he let go of her. so don’t have to worry about him still trying to compete for her affections, anything after that, he’s probably only doing it to annoy seol chan. but yes, i totally agree they had spent a little more time on the 2 boys confronting/making up about what happened when they were younger. that was my disappointment.

  6. Rashell

    My love for Kang Ha Nuel wasn’t enough for me not to see Sun Woo as a complete ass thus episode. From his ridiculous unwillingness to let Se Yi go after she flat told him she liked someone else. To his absolutely cold and callous treatment of Na Na, who turned into my favorite character of the drama. It left me almost wishing the boy would be miserable.

    I felt lie this drama started too mant different stories for its short run, and didn’t really provide a satisfying spending to most. I’m okay with an open end when a drama feels finished. This one felt like it ended in the middle of most of its stories.

    I loved most of this drama and most of its music. I just wish the last couple of episodes had lived up to the promise of the beginning.

    • 6.1 Rashell

      Sorry for all the typos. I swear I hadn’t been drinking when I wrote it. I’m not sure what happened. :/

      • 6.1.1 Jenn

        Just my take on it, but I actually think that Sun Woo purposefully tried to make a clean break for Nana and was trying to spare her further hurt by being the jerk she could hate – I’m attributing that to the smile he gives after she tells him to drop dead (basically) after they bump into each other her coming out the door at the performance.

        In his situation, Sun Woo has experienced lingering pain because Se Yi is still friendly and hasn’t told him to back off and leave her alone which has given him hope to hold on to.

        • koko

          Ahh! Thanks for sharing that insight. It makes sense.

        • Brian

          I like your insight but I do feel bad for Nana — of course maybe it has a lot to do with me being impressed with her talent, looks and voice. Oh well.

        • Qua Trang

          My thought, too! They leave hints that SW-NN could start over. I read when she asks him to sing her a final song and make her laugh, because girl will go to the one who makes her cry anyway, he made her cry again. Doesn’t that mean she will still come to him? Also, SW must at least feel comfortable with NN enough to sing that sad song confessing his true feeling about how hard is it to let SY go. NN is THE only one who he has frank/truthful conversation with. He is cold to everyone, except SY, and not very benevolent to other at school. He distances himself, let just say. But he gets closer and closer to NN and THAT should speak volume. So, it is logical that when he gets over SY, he will be able to come to NN with a clean plate. And I prefer that than NN can win him over quickly. NN needs time to, to get rid of a SW that she has idolised! I think she likes the idea of him, not himself. Now that he has shown all other (less favourable) qualities, if she still likes him, they can start over. On the same level.

        • pogo

          That actually makes a lot of sense, as a story move – but Sun-woo consciously trying to be horrible to Nana AND wristgrabbing Se-yi all over the place (probably trying to get her to hate him and tell him to back off, too?) is uncomfortable to watch.

          I’m actually ok with Nana getting over her crush on Sun-woo (even if it takes a while after this), but the only reason I do wish it had happened was because Kang Haneul and Dahee had such great chemistry – very different from the vibe of Seol-chan and Se-yi, but fantastic anyway.

          And I love that the show flipped the trope and had the strong silent pining-away one be a girl, and the Sun-woo crush was a way to actually see behind Nana’s badass facade. It makes her a more well-rounded, if not terribly complicated, character – and I love that by the time we end the drama, she has her own mini fanclub going in Kyu-dong and Do-nam <33333333

          • Toystar

            I agree with both Qua Trang and Pogo. The fan girl in me adores both of guys assessment of SW & NN. Thanx for the recaps gummi ^.^

          • Waiting

            I am going to embrace this explanation as the feeling I got through most of the episode was, what a jerk!! I had a really hard time reconciling his jerk-like behavior toward NaNa after he was so caring to the kids in the cancer ward and give in to his mother’s over-protectiveness as the result of his sister’s death. Also, he mentions that he has been rejected again and how terrible that feels (echos the rejection SC felt when he was left at the orphanage again). Perhaos he really did want to spare NaNa’s feelings.

            I have to go back and watch for these nuances in the final episode again. I’d like to believe that SW was a good guy.

          • Rashell

            This is my issue as well. Being mean to Nana to help her move on, I could maybe have understood. But coupled with the obnoxious refusal to let Se Yi go, it was too much.

          • adette

            oh my gosh, I am seriously in love with Kyu-dong and Do-nam’s little Nana fanclub haha. That, along with a bigger Se-yi/Joon-hee story line (I wouldn’t need them to end up together, I’m just saying I would have much rather seen him as the second male lead than Sun-woo, my love for Kang Ha-neul notwithstanding)

          • adette

            ugh I meant to say that those are two things I would have liked to see more of in this drama. ahem. was a little premature with the submit button :p

          • visitor

            I mostly agree- however, I don’t think Sun Woo was deliberately mean to Na Na in order to help her get over him. Rather, as Qua Trang pointed out, I think Na Na is sort of his only friend (since he is still on terse terms with Seol Chan *whyyyyshowwhyyyyy*), the only one he can just be himself with. I think that’s just who he is- that pettiness and childishness and complete disregard for others in times of emotional crisis. He appears all grown up on the outside, and because of his mother he has to be (or at least thinks so) but seriously, on the inside he is just as much a teenager as the rest of the bunch.
            I do think that his crush dragged on way too long but it also makes sense that he would cling to a happy memory- how many dramas rely on the notion of ”first love trumps everything”- well, Se Yi was his first love so it’s understandable that he clings to that. But, again, it dragged on way too long and we could have had sooo much more of… everything.
            I interpret his ‘cold’ attitude towards Na Na as… yeah well, he was a proper asshole, wasn’t he? But it also (and please point out if I’m deluding myself) speaks of the trust he has in Na Na and how comfortable he feels in her presence if he is willing to burden her with this, if he is willing to show her his ‘dark side’. When he sings his ‘woe is me’ he is effing aware of her feelings, he knows what he has just done to her and still he trusts her to bear an even worse side of himself. I’m not trying to excuse his behaviour- Na Na said it herself, he was definitely a jerk. But- yeah, I just think it’s a tragedy of timing: that Sun Woo eralizes that ”it fits after all” (BECAUSE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD SHE HAS BEEN HIS FRIEND THIS WHOLE TIME AND DEEP DOWN HE KNOWS IT AND IT’S JUST SO PROFOUND AND ARRRGH) only at the very very end and we don’t get to see HIM staring wholes into the back of HER head for a change;) (sooo much chemistry *whyyyshowwhyyy*)

    • 6.2 Raine

      One of the things I hate in k-drama is when a person sticks to a person who doesn’t like them. I really can’t blame Sun-woo for being a jerk to Nana. I didn’t like to see it, don’t get me wrong. He shouldn’t have been a jerk. But she was sticking to him like GLUE. Really frustrating. And I was just as frustrated with him sticking to Se-yi. But it was good to see him break down a little, which is what I took that as. (And your forgiven for typos…I’m typo QUEEN. I had to fix like 16 just to get this posted…)

  7. Sue

    I guess the ending should have bothered me. But it didn’t. I like that some aspects were left open, because it seems more realistic. Was Seon Woo going to forget Se Yi in one episode and go running to Nana’s arms? I never thought so. Plus it doesn’t seem like the boys will be seeing eye to eye any time soon. I’m ok with that too. That’s life. Not everything needs to be tied up in a neat bow.

    • 7.1 Byul

      I love your comment about how life isn’t tied up in a nice little bow, it helped explain EXACTLY how I felt about this drama. Even though I always fangirl more when we DO get all the answers and OTPs together, I think this shows that a drama is more like a piece of art, in which the variety of ways it can be interpreted is endless. Plus, it seems more like this show’s character to leave it open ended. All in all, loved it.

  8. ~Feather~

    Yay! Your recap is finally here! 😀

    On viki, a lot of the commentators were really disappointed with the ending since everything wasn’t tied up in a nice little bow. I had thought that the ending wasn’t stellar, but it was an open ending that left hints at what happened and what could happen in the future.

    • 8.1 Shukmeister

      Since this was a first venture with MNet, I wonder if they wanted some type of sequel/spin-off chance?
      The cable channels definitely seem to look for extension possibilities (VampProsecutor, Ten, the Oh Boy series).

      • 8.1.1 ~Feather~

        A lot of the viki viewers were also saying that it felt like they were hoping for a possibility of a 2nd season. I think it would be nice to see the light shine on the other characters for the 2nd season and the pace to just become faster when it comes to the big reveals so that it doesn’t end up without any punch since we’re left in the dark for so long. I would really love a show for Nana. She is my favorite character!

        They could also just use the name, Monstar as a franchise like the Flower Boy series. Then it would have the same type of feel (?) with the show except different characters in a different musical setting.

        I think I wouldn’t mind watching a season 2 as long as they didn’t keep us in the dark for so long. Since they did that, some of the plot points were dropped in the middle and it was frustrating when thinking back at a certain scene and thinking “if only this section was edited a certain way we might have been able to explore it more.”

        I have no idea if my thoughts are coming off as clear so I guess I’ll stop here for now.

        Oh! I forgot to add to my earlier comment that, in the end, when Sun Woo was trying on the jacket Nana gave him, I thought that he started to accept Nana since the reason he hadn’t before may have been because he thought they were too different(?) to work out. He started to realize that a romantic relationship may be a possibility in their future.
        …Or that may just be my wishful thinking. 😀

        • Laya

          I was thinking there are possibilities for a second season. The kids are only in their second year of high school; there’s one more year left for them. There are still relationships left unresolved.

          “that, in the end, when Sun Woo was trying on the jacket Nana gave him, I thought that he started to accept Nana since the reason he hadn’t before may have been because he thought they were too different(?) to work out. He started to realize that a romantic relationship may be a possibility in their future.
          …Or that may just be my wishful thinking. :D”

          ^My wishful thinking, too? 😀 I thought it was an indication that he’s now open to the possibility that maybe Nana would “suit” him.

          • ~Feather~

            I see what you did there. 🙂

            Yeah, I agree. A lot of the viewers gave Sun Woo a lot of hate (which at some points he totally deserved) but in the end I think the production gave the viewer a chance with that scene saying, “it’s not over, it can still happen.”

      • 8.1.2 pearl3101

        I’m totally on board for a sequel or a spin-off.. They could focus on the Seon Woo / Na Na line. Or maybe they could do a spin -off on the members of All for one…. you know like making them grow up?!

  9. birdscout

    Awwww, gummimochi, your introductory paragraph is so well written! I had to write a great “thank you!” before reading further.

  10. 10 blnmom

    Awwww. what a sweet ending to your recap. Gummi, you rock! I remember you said in the first recap that you wouldn’t be doing the rest, but I’m glad you gave in… And, you knew the 1 Corinthians verse — Biblical high five! 🙂

    I have to thank you personally, since I had less than zero intention of watching this series (I don’t like high school musical shows, in the US or Korea) but after reading your first three recaps, I took a peek, and the rest is history. This has turned out to be my most favorite drama ever. I don’t know why, maybe I have some issues that are similar to Seolchan and Seyi’s. I’m just getting over a difficult time in my life and Monstar was so cathartic and a healing force for me. Plus, I loved all the music they chose. Seolchan’s Jjak song has been on continuous repeat in my house for the past few days, to the dismay of my pets.

    I have a few shows that I watch over and over again and never get tired of them (Firely, Sports Night, Studio 60) and Monstar will definitely be added to the list.

    • 10.1 gummimochi

      It’s my turn to say it: Awww!!! *gets all warm fuzzy feels*

      I’m so glad to have made the decision to finish this series. No regrets, for realzies. It’s incredible when dramas can have that heart-tugging effect that also heals the soul. Hope that your journey will continue to be for the better.

      Lastly: Yoon Seol-chan – “Because you’re my jjak.” Yunno, in case you don’t want to skip back to that part of the episode every time. (Sorry, pets!)

      • 10.1.1 blnmom

        Omigosh — thanks!!! JUNHYUNG4EVER!!! (literally)

        • Enz

          Binmom, you know that junhyung WROTE that so g, dont you?? In the midst of filming, producing an dcomposing for beast comebacks, promotions, practising dance steps, concert practice, he WROTE this beautiful piece of music.

          Like you say, JUNHYUNG for life!!

          • blnmom

            Yes! As his #1 internet stalker (wait — are YOU #1 now?) I did know that! ♡♥♡♥♡ 😉

      • 10.1.2 Shukmeister

        Gummi –

        Kamsahamnida for the file!! 8)

      • 10.1.3 Laica

        Yay, thank you! My feels.

    • 10.2 Enz

      Me too binmom. This is one of my top three now. Love it soo much.

  11. 11 Nana62

    thank you for the recaps!!! off to read now!! ghehehe ^^

  12. 12 Noelle

    I wanted more. The show should of been 16.

  13. 13 Requiem

    Thanks for your recapping, gummi!

    AFAICT, Sun-Woo telling his mother that Seol-chan is adopted IS essentially the thing that broke them apart. I also didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but again, we come from an American perspective where it’s not a big deal if you’re adopted or if you were raised by your birth parents (probably because adoption is so frequent in the US).

    From the discussion in the last episode recap, it seems like it’s a BIG deal in Korea. Top it off with his adoptive mother already rejecting him once and SC not knowing if she might do it again if she felt shamed enough with others knowing, and I can see why SC would react badly to SW telling another person and it getting back to his mother that others know.

    Perhaps they should have showed that scene between the young boys rather than the lame Eun-ha/All-for-one dream sequence, but this show is meant to highlight the music videos rather than the story.

    Overall, I liked the final episode, though it didn’t thrill me. On the whole, I didn’t really enjoy the music sequences, and it really hurt to see Nana getting rejected again. (Pick Kyu Dong or Donam instead, Nana!)

    OTOH, the OTP was cute, though I wish that SC had held Se-yi’s hand when comforting her, both on the park bench and at the end. Still, the song and the general scenes (especially when he brings her home) between them were pretty awesome.

    I also liked that the final song highlighted each singer of the group (even Donam!), though I kind of didn’t like that Kang Ha-neul got the main parts since he’s by far the weakest singer (I think I even like Park Kyu Sun (Donam) better). I understand that he’s the narrator for the last part, but I’d much rather hear Da Hee and Kang Eui Shik duet and Kang Eui Shik sing the main parts…. At least Ha-neul did a credible job with the last song.

    Anyways, thanks again for the recap work, gummi! And I hope everyone enjoyed the series, despite its flaws!

    • 13.1 Brian

      Fascinating response there — regarding strength of voice. I totally disagree with your assessment that Sun Woo’s voice is the weakest by far. I actually think it’s on par with Kang Eui Shik’s and much stronger than Seol Chan’s. In fact, of the guys, seol chan’s singing voice is much weaker than Kang Eui Shik or Kim Ha-neul’s. That song Kim Ha neul sang — I choose to love you in episode 5 I think, showed that he has pretty good range and a rather strong voice — hitting notes with accuracy and aplomb.

      Compared to the girls though — yes, all 3 girls have pretty strong voices.

      • 13.1.1 Requiem

        Here are some points why I don’t like Kang Ha Neul’s singing (singing, not voice).

        1) Kang Ha Neul (Sun Woo) is much weaker than Kang Eui Shik (Kyu Dong) at harmonizing with others voices. He needs to be the melody most of the time (cf. Ep 2 and Ep 11 duets with Se-yi)

        2) Kang Ha Neul has this really, really annoying habit of thinking that singing to oneself in a soundtrack means literally singing to oneself. When he does this, it sounds like absolute crap, because there’s no presence at all in the song (beginning of Ep 4 Color Bar performance, Ep 11 singing w/ guitar)

        3) I agree that Kang Ha Neul’s voice is better than Yong Joon Hyung’s (Seol Chan). The problem is that YJH uses what he has (which is significantly weaker) MUCH better than KHN does. I agree that KHN has much better POTENTIAL than YJH right now. But I prefer singers who use what they have well, rather than the potential of being better. With YJH and KES, they can do a range of songs and types of singing (harmony) pretty well, and KHN has a rather limited range.

        4) Kang Ha Neul’s falsetto isn’t good. I don’t know why they had him sing so many parts with falsetto. Kang Eui Shik’s falsetto is actually pretty solid.

        Kang Eui Shik is almost consistently solid whether it’s projecting presence throughout his singing or harmonizing or singing the main song. And his voice is on par with Kang Ha Neul. (I prefer KES’s voice slightly more than KHN’s because of some flatting issues that KHN has.) Which is why he’s better than the other boys.

        Ha Yeon Soo (Se Yi) actually has a similar problem to Yong Joon Hyung. Her voice is rather limited in its range, but she tends to use what she has well. They both sing with presence, even if their voices aren’t the best.

        Unfortunately, we weren’t able to hear much of Kim Min Young (Shim Eun Ha), but from what we heard, she has a solid voice and definitely the presence.

        Da Hee (Kim Na Na) was by far the best because she has the best voice by far and was always present even if she did miss some notes at times.

        So, my singing rankings would be:

        Da Hee (Na Na)

        Kang Eui Shik (Kyu Dong)/Kim Min Young (Eun Ha)

        Yong Joon Hyung (Seol Chan)/Ha Yeon Soo (Se Yi)
        Kang Ha Neul (Sun Woo)
        Kim Yoo Hyun (Ma Hyo Rin)

        My voice ranking would be:
        Da Hee

        Kang Eui Shik/Kim Min Young
        Kang Ha Neul
        Kim Yoo Hyun
        Yong Joon Hyung/Ha Yeon Soo

        Now, this isn’t to say that Kang Ha Neul can’t give a good performance. I like his duet with NaNa in Ep 7, and his solo in Ep 6, and he was serviceable in his solos for the finale.

        But his inconsistency drives me batty, and his voice isn’t good enough to make up for it.

        • Requiem

          Oh yeah, another crappy harmonization and singing to self example of KHN was the Ep 3 duet with Child Se-Yi and Adult Se-Yi.

          I actually like the song. I forgot about it, because I refused to download it, because the performance just makes me cringe.

          Kind of like the All-4-1 performance of Amazing Grace.

        • Qua Trang

          I kind of agree with you on that YJH doesn’t have a very good range (maybe because he focusses on rapping and doesn’t train enough for singing?) but he really emotes in each song. So the result comes out really nice. I wonder if he trains more, can he get much better? I actually like his falsetto. It’s not offending to my ears.

          Kang Eui Shik is very good: good range, good techniques and good emotion.

          Kang Ha Neul has better voice and Jun Hyung but his techniques seem not that stable, especially when he has to do high notes. I some how, at time, can’t really feel him.

          Da Hee, is just WOW! She is very VERY good!

          Ha Yeon Soo is good as an actress who sings. Her voice is a little weak but considering she is not from musical background, I love her.

          • Requiem

            I agree with what you said.

            Just a clarification point, when I’m talking about not liking a falsetto, it’s Kang Ha Neul about whom I’m talking, not YJH.

            Actually, I don’t even remember YJH singing anything in falsetto. Can you point out to me where he does? Thanks!

        • Laura

          I disagree with your assessment that Kang Ha Neul is the weakest singer and I think the music director doesn’t either since he’s the most used singer.

          However, I believe you have a hard time connecting with him as a singer and I don’t entirely disagree because some of his performances are boring.

          In a recent interview, he was asked if he evokes personal feelings for his performance and he said he doesn’t and just lets the music direct him. Unlike Da Hee who stated that when performing “Swamp” she evoked Nana’s feelings for Sunwoo. It’s also possible that Haneul was just being defensive because he has reporters asking him if he’s got personal feelings for Ha Yeon Soo based on how he looked at her at the press conference and things like that. lol. But yes, if he doesn’t personally emotionally connect with the music, then I think it would be hard for the audience to connect with him.

          • Requiem

            “However, I believe you have a hard time connecting with him as a singer and I don’t entirely disagree because some of his performances are boring….

            But yes, if he doesn’t personally emotionally connect with the music, then I think it would be hard for the audience to connect with him.”

            These are the key points.

            The most important point to a good music performance is to connect with the audience emotionally. That’s what music is, sonic emotion. If the musician (singer in this case) doesn’t connect to the audience and doesn’t convey that emotion to the audience, then, he hasn’t done his job as a musician.

            And that’s more egregious than not having a good tone.

            That’s why there are quite a few good singers who actually don’t sound quite as good tonally (Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan, etc.), because they’re able to connect with the audience and get that emotion across.

            That’s why I say that Kang Ha Neul is not as good of a singer as YJH and Ha Yeon Soo, because while their voices aren’t very good tonally nor do they have good range, they’re able to connect way better and get those emotions across with what they have.

            Whereas with a much better voice and range, Kang Ha Neul detaches from the song and the audience can hear it and therefore detach from him singing. He’s not always like that, but he does it enough that IMO, it detracts from his voice.

            It’s like acting. If the actor doesn’t connect and get his emotions across realistically to the audience, he’s a poor actor.

            He might be the prettiest thing on earth, but that’s a completely different story from actually being able to act (cough, SSH). You might have the prettiest voice on earth, but if you can’t connect and emote with it, then, it might as well be elevator music sounds.

          • Brian

            I still disagree with your assessment Requiem and agree with Laura. Maybe he’s not the greatest performer, but closing my eyes his voice is pretty impressive and works with the songs he sings.

            That said I do agree with you that Nana has the best voice — whether solo or in harmony with Kyu Dong and Sun Woo (like in the final song) I enjoy hearing her perform. She definitely has something that catches your attention.

            I couldn’t reply directly to Requiem because there were no more replies after that last one, LOL.

          • Requiem

            “Maybe he’s not the greatest performer, but closing my eyes his voice is pretty impressive and works with the songs he sings.”

            We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that. Everyone has their own taste, and I’m not here to change anyone’s taste.

            I’ve stated the main issues that I have with Kang Ha Neul as a singer.

            I think we can all agree though that Da Hee is the best!

  14. 14 Oo

    Thank you for your recap!!

    I am wishing there will be a Monstar special one off episode in the near future although I know it is uncommon for Korean dramas..

    Love letter to Nana: I wanted to give you a hug and kick Sun Woo in the shins after what that Jerk had done!!! You are awesome, and it is his loss, not yours!!
    Hopefully in real life, you two will have much laughter in your friendship!

    I really enjoyed the show, its soundtracks, and will look forward to the actors’ other projects in the future!!


  15. 15 Kyuviko

    Can we download the song?

  16. 16 Requiem

    Oh yeah, and since Gummi shared the main song that I liked in Ep. 12, I probably won’t upload anything for Ep. 12.

    Here are the ones that were from Ep. 11 that I liked (just remove the spaces).

    Ep 11: Seol-chan – “I Love my friend’s friend”
    www . 4shared . com/mp3/AlxicHAy/___online.html

    Ep 11: Na Na – Ending song
    www . 4shared . com/mp3/UF4ifgWO/__online.html

    • 16.1 Requiem

      Again, let me know if you guys have any requests for songs not on the OST, and I’ll try to upload something that will sound good.

      Here’s what I currently have uploaded:

      www . dramabeans . com/2013/07/monstar-episode-11/#comment-1010446

      Again remove the spaces to get the link.

      • 16.1.1 enz

        thanks so much esp for the I fell in love with a friends friend song 🙂

      • 16.1.2 RockPaperScissors

        Requiem – could you post a link for “Canon in D” from Episode 4? Thank you…

        • Requiem

          Ok, I’ve uploaded a version which removes the talking and the “transformation sounds.” I’m not quite satisfied with it, because I definitely notice the loss in overtones while filtering out the transformation sounds. The talking removal added a couple of artifacts, but isn’t that bad.

          Let me know if you’d like a version without the filtering of the transformation sounds or even just an original copy with the talking during the song kept in.

          To some people the loss in overtones and artifacts wouldn’t bother them, but to me I can hear it (but that’s maybe because I made it :p).

          Ep 4: Seol-chan/Sun-woo Canon Variations on Piano
          www . 4shared . com/mp3/w8smArpE/__online.html

          • RockPaperScissors

            Thank you so very, very much!

      • 16.1.3 Maidenelle

        Any chance there is a longer version of “I love my friend’s friend”? I really like this song, and it is so short!

    • 16.2 cuteoreos

      Hi Requiem! Would you be able to post ep 12 song where Na Na sings with Seol Chan rapping intertwined? I love that song and can’t find it anywhere…

  17. 17 rainerust

    I felt sorry for Sun Woo for about 2 seconds. Then I got really angry at him because he did exactly the same thing to Nana and, worse, he wasn’t even sensitive about how he rejected her. At least Seyi was pretty sensitive about the whole treatment! This SW is such an ass…

    That aside the last episode really did drop a lot of plot points which figures from the way they were introducing plot points in the last few episodes. I liked the twist on SC’s adoption story (who knew he would be adopted twice?) but everything else felt lackluster. Didn’t like the programming bit for a concert standoff that didn’t feel particularly like a standoff anyway – too much deux ex machina.

    I liked the starting song in this episode and the song SC sang to SY on the guitar. Wished Dahee got a chance to show off her vocals more haha – that girl can sing. The storyline didn’t impress me much but I enjoyed watching the characters unfold, especially Nana and Kyudong. Thanks Gummi for the recap – you’re right it was a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Ah to be seventeen and young and brash and bold and uncertain and in love all over again.

  18. 18 katiamon

    I’m not completely satified with this episode. I like open endings but this one has so many gaps for my taste… I guess is because they spent to much time with sung woo’s heartbreak story. I know it sucks to be rejected but dude, have some selfsteem, he was a complete idiot getting in the way between SC and SY, and a douchebag with Nana. I’m glad she decided to move on and leave the jerk in the past (as it usually happens with high school crushes), you can do so much better Nana.
    Thank you for your hard work Gummi!

  19. 19 Fangy

    Unlike other shows, Monstar maintains its stand to giving us a heartwarming drama about a group of high school students. No fingers biting. No throwing of things towards the screen. Yet, its story makes us want to follow up and watch the kids grow one after another. Okay, at least that’s for me.

    Thank you for giving us an open-ended ending. It has given us sufficient hints to know that the kids will be well, and the adults too. Is it necessary to know who won in the Goddess’s Kiss? Nah. The kids (including All for One) gave their best at their performance which is more important.

    Honestly, I don’t expect them to resolve the kids and their parents’ issues in the last episode. But I welcome them as the background stories were different from what I thought and they sounded more logical than what I had presumed earlier. Seyi’s misunderstanding of her parents – It now makes more sense to me that Seyi repressed her memory of the accident. Seeing how Seyi’s mom missed her dad, how she accused ahjussi of his flamboyant lifestyle and her instinctive slap across Seyi’s face when Seyi first accused her as an adulteress should have warned me that the truth might not be what Seyi had thought. Thus I wasn’t keen to explore or expose the adults’ love triangle in the last episode. Thankfully (or not) it was not a love affair per se, but a fight between a musician’s pride and a musician’s wife’s eagerness to help her husband.

    More insights about Seolchan’s abandonment issue, and it explains why he and his mum are behaving awkwardly towards each other. Surprisingly, that the woman who left him at the orphanage in epi 1 was his adoptive mother. It now makes sense that his biggest concern is to make her unhappy – the fear of her abandoning him again. As we know, when we try to please another and worry that any action may upset her/him, ironically it creates a distance between both parties. And it makes sense to me why a 12-year-old Seolchan will be so upset with 12-year-old Sunwoo. And that is why he wanted to be a useful person so that people are glad that he is born. Thankfully, he and his mom are making baby steps to improve their relationship. Thanks to Seyi.

    I have to credit the writer and director of this drama. Thanks for misleading me to draw wrong histories – no sarcasm intended, so that I could still be surprised with each revelation. Thanks for sticking your head with the story that you want to tell and not producing it based on what we want.

    And of course, thank you gummimochi! For introducing this drama, I won’t have watched it if not because of your first recap. And for continuing to recap it so that I could pour my thoughts about this drama, and have a better understanding of the stories.

    None of my friends is keen to watch it despite me trying to push it every time we meet. *pout* So, thank you fellow beanies for watching this drama with me. We shall meet again in another drama. 🙂

    • 19.1 xine

      I so agree on the Seol Chan / Sun Woo split. I think SC was worried about being adopted and was determined to be perfect and invisible so he wouldn’t be taken back to the orphanage again but when SW told his mother ans she rang SC’s mother to say this is an issue, SC was terrified and never forgave SW for putting his home and family at risk – as he saw it then.

      • 19.1.1 koko

        They didn’t really explain it, but I think the “shame” was not so much on being adopted, but more on being returned to the orphanage. That would be humiliating and demoralizing for any child, and shameful for any parent. That shame to the mother could be enough to damage the friendship, as Seol-Chan didn’t want to be a burden to his mother.

        That backstory would be a melodrama in itself. So sad.

    • 19.2 Anduril

      I agree about the motivations. But I don’t think what Sun Woo told his mother was the fact that Seol Chan was adopted. It sounded like there was some trouble/misunderstanding involving Seol Chan. Sun Woo told his mother the truth so she could fix it, but that involved contacting SC’s mother. Thus SW who knew SC’s feelings was indirectly responsible for bothering SC’s mother. Thus the conflict.

  20. 20 katy

    she looks so fake ..barbie dollish… i pity her male co stars…

  21. 21 coby

    I find the ending satisfying and hopes there will be a Monstar 2, but we know that usually sequels don’t usually go as well as the first.

    That jjak song is so touching. I wanna hug Seol-chan. I never realized that he was adopted twice. I thought it was his real mom that abandoned him. I guess Seol-chan told everything to Sun-woo, and him telling his mom, makes Seol-chan’s mom appear as a bad person and Seol-chan doesn’t want his mom to appear like that to others.

    I like how he comforted Se-yi, even saying that verse. Its good to see a drama that entertains us and at the same time drops some things for us to think about.

    I thought that the hidden card of All for One is the cymbals boy, but seeing Noh Min-woo is a great surprise.

    The show on the other hand missed to let us see a reconciliation between Seol-chan and Sun-woo which is a bummer.

    Thanks for the recap gummimochi!

    • 21.1 koko

      Thanks for sharing the thought that Seol-Chan’s rift with Sun-Woo could have been because he didn’t want his mom to appear to be a bad person. That gives the rift substance. I hurt for Seol-Chan … the insecurity of “waiting for the next shoe to drop” of growing up afraid that he could be abandoned again. Arghhhh! such pain.

    • 21.2 koko

      Ooops, sorry. Should have read further before commenting on the adoption/return issue. I agree with your comments about how SeolChan comforted SeYi with the verse. I was expecting/wanting him to hug her and hold her, but the way they played it out with him just sitting next to her was so real.

      Also agree with the disapointment of not having a SeolChan-SunWoo reconciliation. You could sense that their hearts were ready… but nada…. why????? (sob!)

  22. 22 maymay

    I’m surprised at all the flak SunWoo is getting. He wasn’t just holding on to Seyi like he couldn’t let go…it was like what Nana said (differs in your recap though: “When Nana asks if it’s because he doesn’t want to give into his tears, he doesn’t answer.”). My subs say that Nana knew he just didn’t want to show his hurt to Seyi and upset her – he couldn’t make her cry even though she rejected him. Him acting childish was just a way for him to gradually let go. It shows when he didn’t go after Seyi and let SeolChan do that.

    And while it hurts to have him be that forthright to Nana, he probably sensed her feelings and didn’t want to give her any hope, especially since he was just rejected himself. I can’t imagine him going to Nana just because Seyi rejected him. I actually felt he’s been rather accomodating to her wishes thus far by agreeing to ten play dates. But I suppose Seyi’s rejection affected him real bad that he just didn’t have the heart to even pretend anymore especially since Nana probably knew him better than himself. And while you might argue why he’d hurt a girl when he’s just been hurt, I think he was never angry at Seyi for the rejection, just hurt and probably disappointed big time. And just like he’s picking up the pieces, Nana should to. In a way I think encouraging Nana is wrong, just like we do not wish to see SunWoo persisting on a lost cause/love.

    And about Sunwoo-seolchan’s rift. Seolchan’s already explained that Sunwoo mentioned his adoptive status to his mum, which is a big no no. Especially since Seolchan is wary of causing trouble to his mum – so that he wouldn’t be sent back to the orphanage as well. It might seem like a minor thing but I think Seolchan takes it to heart because he’s that scared and scarred from his mother’s first rejection. Which is why he’s always careful and proper with her – seriously my heart goes out to him for having to live like that his entire life.

    • 22.1 Enz

      Yes, yes and YES! Agree except i dont think he was being childish to spare se yi pain. Just him dealing with his own. He already said to nana he cant let go straigtht off but will do it bit by bit. So, he has accepted that fact but having clung to a first love longing for i cant remember how many years, he just couldnt move on instantly. Thats realistic!

      Thanks for your thoughts.

    • 22.2 Brian

      As usual, you’re right Maymay! I think that most of my disappointment with Sun Woo not getting together with Nana is just because I’m attracted to NaNa and how could he not see what I see, LOL. Then again, it’s a lot like the fans of the Idol that plays Seol Chan, in which case he can do no wrong, heh. Actually, while I didn’t like him at first, I realized that it was just acting, and he was playing a very immature person who can’t say pretty much anything of what he means. It sorta comes from the Rain school of acting where if you can’t quite pull it off, shouting seems to help — but by the end of the show, I was on board with his personal ups and downs and inability to communicate. I even wonder if the slouch he uses is something he added just for the character.

  23. 23 Enz

    Thanks gummicochi!! Monstar has ended and i am glad it ended when it did and in the manner it did. I love this feeling of longing for more. That said, i would love if they have a special episode at some point. I really doubt a second seaoson will come about as i dont think jun hyung would want to reprise this role. He did say if a project came about that is a non singing role, he may consider the challenge.

    I LOVE the finale and i thought everything important was answered and resolved. What happened in the past with seol chan and the mom explained why it was such a big deal to him to have had his secret revealed to him mom and therfore the fallout with sun woo.

    The ahjusshi’s story also was explained and tied up.

    I think its realistic that seol chan and sun woo wont get back to the friendship they had. For me, things need to be said and acted at a time when it would matter. When that time is passed, i feel there is no point to revisiting and trying to get back something that was lost already. Plus, the feelings both boys share for se yi makes that impossible now.

    I dont find sun woo such an ass. He doesnt feel for nana so when she asks him outright, he was honest. I dont know, i really dont feel he was being ‘assy’. He just wasnt soft about it.

    There are so so many scenes that i love in this series. I am still reduced to tears right now everytime i hear seol chan singing i fell in love with a friend’s friend and his love confession song. And that last scene of them basking in each other’s co pany. Junhyung was marvellous in the scene with the mom apologising. Gah so many beautiful moments.

    And finally, i cannot end this without saying this – I LOVE YOU YONG JUNHYUNG!!!!!! So embarrassing! :p

    • 23.1 Fangy

      Hahahaha… I totally agree with you!

      • 23.1.1 enz

        on he enbarrassing part ? 🙂

        • Fangy

          Hahahaha… everything!! including the embarrassing part. 😉

    • 23.2 coby

      Ditto. I suddenly become a B2ST fan! Shadow..shadow..shadow…


    • 23.3 Saima

      lulz, I LOVE that you comment on EVERY Monstar recap/tidbit and end it with proclaiming, yet again, your unabashed LOWVEEEE for Jun Hyuang. *chuckles* And, I agree… he’s purdyyy awesome and I haven’t even checked out Beast!

      • 23.3.1 enz

        oh Lordy! that is embarrassing la! I should use a pseudonym!! well, it turned into one of my favorite dramas and my first simulcasted drama that I adore almost unreservedly so I need to proclaim it to the world. this world and my real one too haha.

    • 23.4 blnmom

      Enz! Let us not be embarrassed but declare our (slightly inappropriate) love unabashedly!

      As for me, I’m off to eBay to buy myself a Seolchan/Junhyung pillow.
      *runs and hides behind internet anonymity*

      • 23.4.1 enz

        binmom!! you are NOT anonymous! I know your age (estimated) and that you’re a classical musician with two kids and have 11beast songs and counting.

        on my part, you will now know that I have purchased the beautiful show DVD and beast CDs from yesasia. and have been driving colleagues batty with beast songs :p

        inappropriate love?? wae? 😀

        • blnmom

          Haha, actually I don’t have any kids — what a disaster that would be. They would need more therapy than Seolchan does. My username refers to my pets.

          However, if I did have kids, they would be right around Junhyung’s age. Therefore: slightly inappropriate! 🙂

          • enz

            ahh thanks for sharing :). I am the only kid I allowing the family !

  24. 24 risa

    Monstar definitely had its share of flaws (including some major ones), but for me, the flaws were eclipsed by all the ♥feels♥ it gave me. It was a truly lovely ride– short, sweet, and poignant. I’m sure that my loving 90% of the music in it helps explain why Monstar was able to touch me so.

    Most of the cast was new to me and that also aded to the experience– especially since that made all the talent reveals more thrilling. (BTW, was anyone else taken with Do Nam’s sultry voice when he sang in the Color Bar competition?) Even the fact that Monstar aired only once a week (and on devoid-of-dramas Friday, no less) helped make it feel like a special treat.

    Thanks again, gummimochi, for all the time, energy, and love you put into these recaps– it’s much appreciated!

  25. 25 Jooosh

    Wait so there’s an episode 13 right? No? This wasn’t just an open ending, no part of it felt like a conclusion at all…. o_O

    • 25.1 Jooosh

      Also Kim NaNa needs her own show!

      • 25.1.1 Brian

        I agree. I do worry that the show will concentrate on her acting skills, which are quite good. But I love her voice so much that I would also love to have her performing as well — not sure how they would do that without going into the monstar/glee/dream high redundancy — not that I would care, but I’m sure accountants and other bean counters would be worried.

  26. 26 owl

    This drama really was a nostalgic high school trip. The childish behaviors were realistic and a reminder of how painful it sometimes is with relationships, family secrets/stories, and truths. Sometimes growth is unwanted or unexpected, but it happens anyway. The reactions we saw in just about all the characters was in response to what happens anyway.

    Love Seol chan to pieces (can you shout Beast, Beast, Beast) especially with Se yi. that song – ah, so sweet, so perfect I loved how the mother listened through the door and said how Seol chan was all grown up.

    I cried when he said to Se yi, “Why is life so painful. We’re only 18.” Being high school age – so hard.

    I never did see Sun woo and Nana together as a couple. I was sorry that Nana never got to be just a teenager, but had to carry so much of weight from the adults in her world. Gotta love the wicked guitar, though!

    Se yi’s charm was her ability to walk the perimeter of high school student politics, clicks, and games because she was a transfer student. She stepped in where she wanted, but was never unwillingly pulled in through peer pressure. I really loved her humor, “just kidding.”

    gummi, thanks for great recaps. There were a lot of plot holes as you pointed out, to be sure, but it was satisfying with plenty of good moments, charm, music, and eye candy (including a No min woo cameo :).

  27. 27 Mar

    The Seol-chan-Sun-woo rift: in light of the reveal of this final episode that SC’s mother returned him to the orphanage at one point-If I recall when SC was talking about the rift between he and SW in an earlier episode he said that something happened and SW felt that he needed to tell his own mother about SC adoption. So perhaps something occurred that would incite a young SW to defend SC or want his own mother to understand SC. Perhaps it was not that SW simply revealed SC’s adoption to his mother, but probably that he told his mother that SC’s adoptive mother had at one point returned SC to the orphanage.

    Other parting thought on this drama:

    I feel that Sun-woo was a more complex character than this drama’s length allowed to explore and develop. He was disconnected and unaware and a loner and cruel and a team player and the nice polite boy and intuitive and kind all rolled up in one hot mess.

  28. 28 chewyish

    Am I the only one that is extremely dissatisfied with the ending? I’m completely fine with open endings when they’re done well (shut up flower boy band) but rather than open ended this ending just feels incomplete. I wasn’t expecting all the loose ends to be tied this episode but the only way an open ending works is if the characters had grown up/reached the point of the story where the viewers are comfortable with letting them go. Monstar doesn’t feel like that…. I feel like aside from the seul chan/seyi storyline all the storylines feel like they were just dropped because they didnt’t have enough to time to even set up for any sort of resolution….I mean sure we can “imagine” what happens but that’s no fun when you have to do about 70 percent of the imagining…
    I really loved Monstar in the begining because it was heartwarming and charming in it’s own quiet way but the pacing slowed to a screeching halt and that’s why this episode felt so imcomplete…they could have really used another episode

    • 28.1 colors

      No you’re not. I felt exactly the same, and I liked how you phrased it.

      However, thanks for the recaps gummimochi! I’m glad I watched this show because I loved how the music was introduced with such a normal way, rather than those fake American musicals where people appear out of nowhere to join the song (and the dance…). I like the real singing and (Eun Ha) imaginary singing better!

      • 28.1.1 bbstl

        yes, I’m disappointed in Monstar’s ending; chewyish, thanks for putting it into words! I was counting on a lot more from a show that started out so creatively. The whole story about SY’s parents is a mess and doesn’t compute and I wanted much more for our minor characters.

    • 28.2 BAR

      You’re definitely not the only one. Like I always said, a good sequel hook wraps up all old ends and opens up new ones. A perfect example is Seyi’s revelation of her father’s death. Do we know HOW she’ll deal with it? No, we only know THAT she has to deal with it, and more importantly she’ll have SC by her side to help her along. However, the show doesn’t wrap up many old ends, but rather leaving them sloppily open in hopes that their resolution “will be left up to the audience”. Nuh-uh. That’s not how hooks work.

  29. 29 xine

    Thanks so much for the recaps! I loved this series to bits, including its slice of life, meandering adolescent reality, and you really added to my understanding of the characters and esp identifying the music, which I had no history with. Star!

  30. 30 Fangy

    Here is my theory of what might have happened 6 years ago.. Seolchan shared his secret to Sunwoo, and perhaps his fear of being sent back to the orphanage too. One day, little Seolchan got into trouble but didn’t want his mom to find out. Little Sunwoo worried for him and ran after him. But little Sunwoo needed to report his whereabout to his mom too (to keep her at ease) and also he believed they needed an alternative adult’s help. And of course, Sunwoo’s mom told Seolchan’s mom what happened and Seolchan’s mom got upset (probably becos he didn’t tell her personally and not because he was in trouble). But that in turn got Seolchan pissed with Sunwoo for tattling. Sunwoo, being a good boy and probably taught this way by his mom, felt that he was not in the wrong to seek an adult’s help. Hence, the friendship was broken and drifted apart. This is not a situation where there is a clear who’s right and who’s wrong. I don’t believe that both hate each other, and both probably understand why the other reacted that way in the past now that they have grown up. The fact that they are able to perform together on stage implies that they see each other as friends, just not best of pals.

    Somehow after watching this episode, I have this feeling that Seolchan was not angry with Sunwoo about telling his mom that he is adopted. But he indirectly caused his mom to be upset when that is the last thing on earth that he wanted to happen. He probably used the adoption secret to hide his fear of abandonment. Seolchan probably didn’t realise that by hiding from his mom cause more hurt to her than the actual trouble. So instead of trying to reconcile the 2 boys’ friendship, I’m happier that they choose to show hints that Seolchan and his mother are moving closer. Hahahaha… I suddenly have this image that when the day comes when Seolchan and mom become closer, he becomes the biggest aegyo baby in front of her. :p

  31. 31 Ace

    I’d probably appreciate this more once I watch it over again. I got drama fatigue around 3 weeks ago so even IHYV & HC didn’t get as much love from me during the last few episodes. I just finished those for the sake of finishing.

    Anyway, I still love Sun-woo even if my hopes for a romance with Nana didn’t come true. Sometimes I hate realism in dramas. Fantasy happy-ever-afters are why I watch dramas in the first place. 😉

  32. 32 whilethemusiclasts

    Overall, I’m okay with the finale. Though, yes, I would’ve appreciated more answers. But the lack of succinct answers is fine in that the emotional closure felt enough.

    I would agree also with the falling out of Seol-chan and Sun-woo. I think because Seol-chan was already abandoned twice, he didn’t want to become a burden to his adoptive parents and be abandoned a third time. When Sun-woo had told his mother about Seol-chan being adopted, Seol-chan’s main complaint was that he didn’t want to burden his mother. The fear in a five-year-old of being abandoned must be immense. Can you imagine? Sure, it carries lesser weight now that they’re older. But when you see that Seol-chan never really got over his abandonment issues (i.e. always tiptoeing around his mother, trying to avoid being a burden all the time) then it’s safe to say his resentment of what Sun-woo did would not have faded with age as well.

    Just my two cents.

    Overall, this drama showed me how awesome Junhyung is. Heh.

  33. 33 Lorac

    Is it only me that I want Seyi to end up with Sunwoo…and Nana with Seol Chan. I think Seyi and Seol Chan are both weird and if they ever decide to have a kid they would have a very very weird kid and Nana/Sunwoo would have a kid who doesn’t talk at all…Anyway, they are in HS, so that happening will be slim to none…

    I have so much hope for this kdrama, at the beginning, I was kinda hoping to fall in love again the way I did with Reply 1997…to much expectation I guess…

  34. 34 Lorac

    Is it only me that I want Seyi to end up with Sunwoo…and Nana with Seol Chan. I think Seyi and Seol Chan are both weird and if they ever decide to have a kid they would have a very very weird kid and Nana/Sunwoo would have a kid who doesn’t talk at all…Anyway, they are in HS, so that happening will be slim to none…

    I have so much hope for this kdrama, at the beginning, I was kinda hoping to fall in love again the way I did with Reply 1997…too much expectation I guess…

  35. 35 Bengbeng

    i’m so craving for part 2, and hopefully twice a week showing, with lots of music =)

  36. 36 Jenny

    Not a good ending at all, I guess they wanted a open ending but this was too open.

    We never really found out what it was that broke the friendship between SW and SC and they really never reconciled either.
    I’m guessing maybe SW finally realized that he can give up his little boy crush on SY and move on and that maybe he can move on to someone who sees him who he can be and not what he is trying to be. (cough cough Nana)
    Nana became my favorite character, she was far more interesting then SY and I could relate to her more.
    Her unrequited love for SW really broke my heart, hopefully she could let him go now.
    I think the weakness was that they started focusing on SY and SC too much so that the rest of the story suffered a bit too much.

  37. 37 Saima

    The ending could’ve been better but this show tugged at my heartstrings. Seol Chan was definitely THE best character and quite a breakthrough performance by Jun Hyung. Hope he returns soon to drama land in a show that’ll enable him to mature his acting skills and not one that highlights his vulnerabilities as an actor. <3

  38. 38 wag-a-muffin

    I watched this on the site that can’t be named–because I paid for a subscription to that site before I found this site and learned how e.v.i.l. that site is.

    That said, the subbing was awful. The captions were posted a full 2 minutes before they were said, so my daughter and I were trying to remember what was written even while more was printed on the screen–while the actors said their lines. (Yeah, I’m not explaining this well, but it was frustrating.)

    I am not upset with SunWoo. He had been carrying this unrequited love after being dumped by little kid SeYi for years and some of you expect him to be able to just do a 180 and fall for NaNa? (I loved her character too, but come on. Haven’t you guys ever been in love? It’s not like you can tell your heart, “be reasonable. Fall for ___ and just stop liking _____!”)

    I loved this show. I’ll have to find a place where the subtitles match the dialogue, though. (And maybe I’ll like the ending better then.)

    • 38.1 Squibbles

      Have you tried Viki?

  39. 39 Peridot

    What can I say about this monstrosity? 🙂 Poor joke, I know, poor joke 🙁

    There were moments in the final episode that I enjoyed, but, overall, my enthusiasm for this show waned around the ninth episode or so. I thought that too many conflicts were introduced and just as many were poorly handled. I have no problem with the final episode being open-ended to a certain degree. It is true that not everything can be neatly wrapped up in real life. What is also true, however, is that this show wasted a lot of time, time that could have been devoted to fleshing out more conflicts and on more character development. One of the stories that really attracted me was the relationship between Donam and Kyudong. I was upset, however, that the larger issue of Kyudong’s bullying was ignored (and Sunwoo’s complacency in that bullying) as soon as he and his old friend reconciled. It was as if reuniting with Donam erased the greater ills occurring in the classroom (sorry if that wasn’t clear). I am reminded of my disappointment with “I Miss You.” *SPOLERS OF I MISS YOU AHEAD*

    The writer decided to introduce something as dark as rape and handled it very poorly (I will not go into details). After Sooyeon’s reconciliation with Jungwoo, it seemed as if she was cured of her trauma. I can understand that Sooyeon may have felt that Jungwoo abandoned her and that she had unresolved issues with him, but that does not deal with the fact that she was brutalized by someone else. What was that show trying to say? That all Sooyeon needed was a man’s love to cure all the trauma she experienced. I digress.


    Poorly handled issues such as that of bullying were the main problems I had with this show. Too much time was wasted on the unnecessary and not on fleshing out issues. Also, did it bother anyone else that Kyudong and Donam become relegated to the background and almost disappeared once their conflict was ‘resolved’?

    This show did have a lot of cute and there were wonderful acting and musical performances, but I can’t help but mourn over the wasted potential.

    • 39.1 colors

      Well the bullying started before the show, but what we know is that Do Nam let the other bully his former buddy. Then, it escalated emotionnally for Kyu Dong who was torn between his past betrayal (hence not fighting the bullying) and “his” inability to make things all right with Do Nam. I think he also wanted to get back at the bullies somehow. Anyway, Nana saved him physically and the others including Do Nam later on.

      And then, the main bully stopped being a bully because the others who sometimes (often?) followed his lead just stopped doing that. He was also proven weak compared to other “leaders” in school and coudn’t do anything about it (not even threaten Se Yi).

      Eventually, Do Nam showed publicly that he didn’t resent Kyu Dong and the matter was dropped. I guess the bullying ended the way it started, just like that for no real reason.
      (Which does not mean it’s alright.)

  40. 40 Nadia

    As originally stated by Gummimochi in the Monstar recaps, this kdrama was simply charming, refreshingly cute, filled with heartwarming and humorous moments, a delightful cast, and fantastic songs.

    My favorite moments:

    1. Yoon Seol-Chan (Yong Jun-hyung did a wonderful job with this role!)
    2. Se-yi joining Kyu-dong’s voice in song [Episode 1]
    3. All of the retorts/verbal exchanges between Seol-chan and Sun-woo
    4. All of the “I’m a star, a star!” musings by Seol-chan
    5. Duet performance of Se-yi and Sun-woo [Episode 2]
    6. The piano duet performance by Seol-chan and Sun-woo of “Canon D” [Episode 4]
    7. The beatbox performance of Do-nam with Kyu-dong joining him in song, as they perform an impromptu 2NE1 medley [Episode 5]
    8. Seol-chan reactions to the lips of Se-yi (restaurant, group toasting to the name ColorBar, etc.
    9. The almost-kiss between Se-yi and Seol-chan [Episode 6]
    10. The rivalry of Seol-chan and Sun-woo for Se-yi, their hot-and-cold/tension-filled bromance relationship
    11. In the car, Seol-chan asking Manager Hong to hit him, Seol-chan framing Se-yi’s note, the lightning round relay of a math formula in the classroom and the subsequent expressions of Seol-chan and Se-yi [Episode 7]
    12. Nana’s awesome musical performances (singing, rocking the guitar, and dance number)
    13. Imaginations of the various characters
    14. Duet performance of Se-yi and Seol-chan to “Your Memory” on the guitar [Episode 8]
    15. The scenes with Seol-chan, his mother, and Se-yi, interacting [Episode 12]

    • 40.1 Nadia

      I apologize for forgetting to tag SPOILERS ahead!

  41. 41 space kablooie

    I kind of liked the nana/ sunwoo ending. It means that if they do have a romance, it will be slowly and as equals. Kim Nana was too awesome to be anyone’s consolation prize.

    One of the things that was great about seolchan- seyi was that it was totally grounded in reality: just people who met and liked each other and continually took more of an interest in each other. That’s why their relationship was the one in the show that succeeded- it was based on reality and not one sided fantasy and memory. In a way, Seonwoo, Nana, and Eunha all looked at their crushes the way a fan looks at an idol (to make the comparison the show used a lot). Seolchan and Seyi, on the other hand, were in each other’s face and arguing from episode 1. No idealization from a distance there.

    • 41.1 Mar

      “Kim Nana was too awesome to be anyone’s consolation prize.”

      Absolutely! There was no way I would have been okay with a sudden shift by Sun-woo.

    • 41.2 Laica

      I totally agree with your comments.

    • 41.3 Enz

      Really good points. Agree wholeheartedly.

  42. 42 Nadia

    I apologize for forgetting to tag SPOILERS ahead!

  43. 43 j

    I would like to find out more about why Se Yi had been crying, presumably after talking with ajhussi. Seol Chan then comes and wipes her tears. I felt as if ajhussi had actually told Se Yi about the accident and mom and that was the reason she had been crying. Can someone explain me better, I am afraid I might be missing something. Thanks!

  44. 44 Squibbles

    Thanks for the recap gummi 🙂
    I actually liked the ending unlike most of dramaland it seems; to me the open-endedness was very realistic and fit the drama’s characters who are only in high school and who have so much more to learn and experience. A time skip ending would have been nice but in opinion it would have felt too much like Dream High’s ending.
    I’m sad that the drama never reached its full potential in the 2nd half but I’ll never regret watching this quietly wonderful drama, Thanks to Monstar I have a whole new cast of people to fangirl over! I’m so obsessed with Yong Jun Hyung now but I’m 99% sure it’s because of his portrayal of Yoon Seol Chan.
    I wish the writer worked with a (talented) team instead of by herself because most likely she ran out of ideas during the 2nd half and made the plot go super slow cause she wasn’t sure what to do which caused the drama to not live to its fullest potential. I remember the exact same thing happened with her pervious drama, Sungkyunkwan Scandal (it also couldn’t live to its fullest potential).
    Writer-nim please work with a talented writer (like yourself) or writers from now on. It will make the writing experience more enjoyable, less stressful and you’ll think of more great ideas that way. 🙂
    I know a lot of viewers want a season 2, the fangirl in me would love one but logically, I don’t think one is needed. Yes a lot of plot lines were left untied but they weren’t not untied to point where the viewer couldn’t guess what the ending to those plotlines are. I am a firm believer that Nana and Sunwoo will eventually get together; the sad part is that we don’t get to see it happen. Even if Mnet was to make a new series my guess is that it will feature a entire new cast of characters.
    I would have loved see to the scene where Seol Chan asked his manager to drop him and Se Yi off at his house that would have been such a funny scene. Also how is the crazy stalker girl so good at pretending to be Se Yi Seol Chan fell for it twice!
    Bye Monster, I’ll miss you! You were so worth the 12+ hours I spent on you! 🙂 I’ll miss hearing “I’m a Star” and all the sheep references.

  45. 45 Laica

    Congratulations gummi on another finished recapping project! I marathoned to catch up on Monstar on Saturday so I could read your last recap in a timely manner and join the finale discussion. So much more fun that way. I back-read your recaps, too of course. Thanks for the wonderful recaps. I loved that you identified and linked to all the songs used in the drama – I discovered so much awesome new music!

    I actually really liked the finale. True, it wasn’t perfect, and there were a lot of loose end that were left untied, or at least things that could have been resolved more clearly. But one of the things I loved about Monstar from the start was how it didn’t need to spell out every little obvious thing, and let us draw our own conclusions about certain things, which is so much more true to life than the common drama way of verbalizing every detail. In life, sometimes people don’t come out and say how they’re feeling – they avoid conversations, they speak with their eyes, they say non-committal things that leave the other person hanging. Even though it frustrated me at times how much was only hinted at, especially in the earlier episodes, I like that they didn’t treat the viewers like idiots.

    Like Seol-chan and Se-yi – there were no grand declarations of love, but how much more awesome was that sequence of them walking back and forth at night with the musicians following them? And then in ep 12 the song. I love it. There’s no need for those ordinary words. I guess Seol-chan was able to do something totally different from Sun-woo’s confession after all.

    Sun-woo was a jerk this episode, I agree. I didn’t like his childish interfering between Seyi and Seol-chan but I got it, but his behaviour to Nana was inexcusable. Even if he wanted to be clear there was no hope for something between them, there were many non-assy ways to do it. But then again I never did warm up to Sun-woo, despite my love of Kang Haneul. Someone who is silent and cold and only nice to his crush is not a person I would want to hang out with. But I do like that when he put on the jacket he had second thoughts. In my head he pursues Nana once he’s over Se-yi and gets firmly shut down. Lol.

    In the end it as the kind of ending that works well for hgih school dramas – an ending about beginnings. The beginning of Seol-chan and Se-yi’s relationship, the beginning of Seol-chan and his mom reconciling, of Sun-woo moving on, of Seyi dealing with the truth of her father’s death, of Color Bar’s next adventure. Sure, I would have liked a bit more resolution on some aspects, but all in a satisfying finale.

    I think what wil stay with me the longest is the music. And of course, my newfound love for Junhyung. <333333

    • 45.1 Enz

      ‘In the end it as the kind of ending that works well for hgih school dramas – an ending about beginnings. The beginning of Seol-chan and Se-yi’s relationship, the beginning of Seol-chan and his mom reconciling, of Sun-woo moving on, of Seyi dealing with the truth of her father’s death, of Color Bar’s next adventure. ‘

      Well said and very true. Didnt think of it like that but yes, its the beginning of many things for each of the characters.

  46. 46 Abbie

    After an amazing series, the finale seemed a little lackluster. I liked it, I did, I just felt that something was missing. Overall, Monstar was a good drama. Sadly, it faltered in certain things. Am I the only one who thought the All for One kids were underused? And not just them, but the MIB kids, and the teachers. What happened to teacher Dokko and the PE teacher? And the manager? So many good (or at least, interesting) characters were suddenly dropped or lost significance. What was up with Arnold (?), the member of MIB who was paired with Seol-chan in the fanfics? We never found out his deal for real, although I’m sure he is/was in love with him. I really think this show could have been longer. It should have been 16 episodes, if only to flesh out some other characters and resolve some issues. It’s only at the end of this, that I can look back and see the flaws in this show. I get that Monstar was about the Color Bar kids, and at the end of the day, I’m okay with that. If the show had been longer, and if the writer and director weren’t so stuck on keeping this show so whimsical, we might have gotten all this. Oh well, it’s over and done, and I just need to move on.

    I’ve already been a fan of Beast, but this drama made me a fan of Yong Jun-hyung. He’s actually a pretty good actor. All the idols in this were excellent or at least good. I’m looking forward to seeing more of them in dramas, especially Jun-hyung.

    Sun-woo did piss me off this episode. Up until this episode, I liked him, and felt bad for his unrequited love, but seriously, he acted like a total ass, not just to Nana, but to Seol-chan. I mean, Se-yi told him how she felt about Seol-chan, and he still went out of his way to keep them apart. It was really petty and bratty, and I was just like WTF, Man? What’s your problem? I like Kang Ha-neul, but this episode made me hate Sun-woo just a little.

    Overall, this was a good drama, and I enjoyed it. There was just too many things that annoyed me, character-wise. If there is to be any resolution for some of these characters, then I’m hoping for a season 2. If not, oh well. I’ll take what I get.

    Thanks for the recaps, Gummimochi!

  47. 47 Rossi

    I think I need to look up a good translation for the song “When love leaves” that SW sang in the courtyard with Nana because I totally thought that was his way of coping and grieving over the loss of Se Yi and not an intentional dig at Nana’s feelings for him. I felt like in that moment, he was laid bare and allowed himself to really let the rejection sink in. And that he did it in front of Nana kinda spoke of the level of comfort with her. I thought the reason Nana cried was because she wanted to cut clean with him and in a way “laugh” so she can walk away. But instead, at the very end, he still makes her cry which is a mirror of the whole Se Yi/SC/SW dynamic because you like who you like, no matter if that person makes you cry or not, you can’ help your heart to choose the right decision. I thought the scene was really poignant and has the subtle musical touch that I really appreciate in “Monstar.”

    It was the first time that I actually like Ha Neul’s acting because up till that point, he was just a pretty face to me who shine because of his oozing chemistry with Dahee.

    Thank you gummi for recapping this, without reading your recap for the ep. when Nana angst it out like the talented Diva that she is I wouldn’t have start watching and discover the amazing Kim Nana (who’s so going into my echelon of favorite Kdrama heroine EVER!).

  48. 48 Marcela

    Thanks for the recaps :).
    i just wanted to point out the reason SC and SW broke their friendship. SC stated that since they were little he told SW about his adoption. One day SC had a problem and he told SW then SW told his mom who in turn went to tell SC mom. SC got mad at SW for this because he didn’t want to become a burden to his mom again like when she returned him to the orphanage.

  49. 49 Emma

    I’m usually against a series having a long drawn out run, something like 24-26 episodes because the storyline gets a little stale, but I think I could watch these Monstar characters for another 12 episodes and never get tired of them. If there was ever a series I would support a second season of, it’d be this one, and then maybe we could get a few of the answers that were left open.

  50. 50 Tatiana

    I really enjoyed watching this. Watching the members of Color Bar and hearing their stories. I was surprised by Sun Woo’s vocals in this episode. Didn’t know he had it in him. I loved it. And I loved the ending song. And that epilogue was cute. Overall, I enjoyed this drama and the finale. This show really does showcase the power of music. Showing how these teenagers with different personalities were able to come together with the power of music. Farewell Monstar, you certainly did tug at my heartstrings. Won’t forget how much I loved watching this.

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